GF2

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GF2

Postby BlueWater on Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:45 pm

Panasonic unveiled its first compact-body 'rangefinder-like' Micro Four Thirds camera in September 2009, in the shape of the DMC-GF1. This quickly gained a following as arguably the best 'enthusiast' camera of its type. with its solid feature set, fast reactions and body bristling with external controls.

The DMC-GF2 is essentially a smaller, externally-simpler version of the GF1 that's acquired many of the feature upgrades we first saw on the G2 (most notably the touch-sensitive screen) plus Full HD video. Its body is smaller in every dimension than its predecessor's, making it very nearly as petite as the Sony NEX-5. In the process, though, it's shed a significant number of those external controls that until now have been the hallmark of the G series - most obviously the exposure mode dial, but also the drive-mode lever that sat beneath it, along with several of the buttons on the back. This places rather greater reliance on the touchscreen for quick operation compared to the G2, and Panasonic has redesigned the interface .

With the GF2, Panasonic has somehow managed to shrink its smallest Micro Four Thirds shooter even further, by a reported 19 percent, and the difference in handling is tangible. The Japanese giant has also lightened the load by seven percent, thrown in a new touchscreen-centric UI, and, predictably, upped the video ante to 720/60p or 1080/60i recording in AVCHD format.
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GF2

Postby BlueWater on Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:48 pm

It's worth saying that our sample shots were taken late on an overcast day, yet still the GF2 managed to focus remarkably quickly and generally made the right decisions for us. Startup time is also fabulously fast -- we were able to go from turning the camera on to taking our first shot within about a second -- and the sheer responsiveness of the GF2 makes it a pleasure to operate. The dedicated video button kicks you straight into recording from the moment it's pressed, which makes accessing it an instantaneous and hassle-free affair.

The GF2's construction also merits praise, as its aluminum body looks to have been finished to a very high standard, offering us pretty much nothing to criticize. Its pop-up flash jumps open in a satisfyingly aggressive manner and can be retracted manually, while a couple of your standard-issue covers protect output ports and the battery and memory card slots. Speaking of the battery, it has a capacity of 1010mAh, which seems just about right for a device that'll be relying on its LCD for both picture composition and review.
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