Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Review

By

Review posted 04/07/2011
Camera announced 09/21/2010

Quick Take
Pros
  • Smaller than an entry-level dSLR
  • iAuto makes it easy for anyone to shoot
  • Excellent iAuto shooting system
  • Excellent overall image quality
  • Outstanding single image shooting performance
  • Very good ISO performance up to ISO 1600
  • Continuous Autofocus while recording movies
  • Hot shoe for more versatile accessories
  • HDMI output
Cons
  • Auto Focus is slower than the phase detection found on dSLR's
  • Limited lens availability (but growing)
  • Burst mode is good, but is a little less than claimed by Panasonic
  • Both EVF and LCD use battery power quickly compared to dSLR viewfinder
  • More expensive than many entry-level dSLRs
Bottom Line
The Panasonic Lumix GH2 is an excellent, compact EVIL camera. With comparable features, performance and quality of the top entry-level dSLR's, this is an excellent, more compact solution, with a slightly higher price tag. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
panasonic_GH2_14-42mm_550.jpgPanasonic continues to add powerful Micro Four-Thirds models to their Lumix G-series line, with the latest addition being the Lumix DMC-GH2. Replacing the popular GH1 of old, Panasonic has loaded the GH2 with several appealing upgrades that both photographers and videographers will appreciate.

Of these is a new 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, which Panasonic claims offers improved signal-to-noise ratio over past sensors. This unit also allows the GH2 to capture full resolution images at up to 5fps in burst mode, or up to 40fps at 4-megapixels. The GH2 also adds full HD (1920x1080) video in 60i format, along with the 24p option that was available on the GH1. Below you will find a list of the GH2's main features.

Panasonic DMC-GH2 Features:
  • New 16-Megapixel Live MOS imager with improved signal-to-noise ratio
  • Choose from 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 aspect ratios
  • Micro Four-Thirds lens mount system
  • Is capable of using the World's first interchangeable 3D lens
  • Compatible with Four Thirds mount lenses using optional adapter (DMW-MA1)
  • Venus Engine HD image processor
  • Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System
  • 22 different exposure mode options
  • AVCHD video recording @ 1080p (1920x1080, 24p or 60i) or 720p (1280x720, 60p)
  • Standard Motion JPEG video recording at VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240), and WVGA (848x480) @ 30fps
  • Instantly capture a 14MP (16:9) still photo while recording video
  • New Cinema mode
  • Compressed RAW and JPEG (Fine/Standard) formats, including RAW+JPEG (Fine or Standard)
  • TTL Auto White Balance with several presets, custom set, and White Balance Adjustment
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 60 seconds and Bulb (approx. 2 minutes)
  • Full resolution burst mode shooting at 5fps
  • High-speed burst mode shooting at up to 40fps @ 4-megapixels
  • Faster contrast detection AF system with AF Tracking, 23-area-focusing, and 1-area-focusing modes
  • Touch AF option
  • 3.0-inch Touchscreen LCD that rotates up to 270 degrees (460,000 pixels)
  • Electronic Viewfinder or 'LVF' (Live View Finder) with 17.5mm eye point and diopter adjustment, and 100% frame coverage
  • Intelligent Auto ISO or fixed settings from 100 to 12,800 in 1/3 EV steps
  • Built-in Pop-up flash unit + hot shoe for external units
  • Noise Reduction for long exposures
  • SD/SDHC/MMC memory card storage
  • Selectable video output with NTSC or PAL format
  • HD output via MiniHDMI Type C I/O port (with optional cable)
  • Built-in stereo microphones + a microphone input jack for an external unit
  • USB 2.0 (High-speed) data and control interface
  • Powerful7.2V 1200mAh Li-ion battery pack (good for up to 340 photos using the LVF)
The Lumix DMC-GH2 is available in the following kit configurations:
  • Body only - $899.95 US
  • Body with the LUMIX G VARIO 14-42 mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.lens - $999.95 US
  • Body with the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens - $1499.95 US
What's in the box?:
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Body Cap
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Stylus pen
  • CD-ROM


Additional Product Views

panasonic_GH2_back-open_550.jpg
panasonic_GH2_back-closed_550.jpg
panasonic_GH2_front_550.jpg
panasonic_GH2_14-140mm_550.jpg







Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

Buy related cameras and accessories from Amazon.com
Related Product Description Price
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens (Red) Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens (Red) $1,999.95
EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera Body - Imported EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera Body - Imported $1,619.00
Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18MP - EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens - 8GB SDHC Memory Card - Card Reader - Digital Flash - Carrying Case - Full Size and Mini Tripod - Plus Much More! Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18MP - EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens - 8GB SDHC Memory Card - Card Reader - Digital Flash - Carrying Case - Full Size and Mini Tripod - Plus Much More! $749.99
Canon G1 X 14.3 MP Kit - 32GB SDHC Memory Card - USB Card Reader - Memory Card Wallet - Table Tripod - Delux Lens Cleaning Kit Canon G1 X 14.3 MP Kit - 32GB SDHC Memory Card - USB Card Reader - Memory Card Wallet - Table Tripod - Delux Lens Cleaning Kit $749.99
Panasonic DMC-G5 16 MP Compact System Camera with 14-42mm Lens and 45-150mm Lens (White) Panasonic DMC-G5 16 MP Compact System Camera with 14-42mm Lens and 45-150mm Lens (White) $749.99
Panasonic DMW-MS2  Directional and Stereo Microphone for DMC-GH3K Body (Black) Panasonic DMW-MS2 Directional and Stereo Microphone for DMC-GH3K Body (Black) $349.99
NEW 62mm Digital Pro Wide Angle/Macro Lens Bundle For The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, PN AG-AF100 Digital SLR Camera Which Has A (14-140mm) Lens. Includes Wide-Angle/Macro High Definition Lens, Lens Pen Cleaner, Cap Keeper, UP Deluxe Cleaning Kit NEW 62mm Digital Pro Wide Angle/Macro Lens Bundle For The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, PN AG-AF100 Digital SLR Camera Which Has A (14-140mm) Lens. Includes Wide-Angle/Macro High Definition Lens, Lens Pen Cleaner, Cap Keeper, UP Deluxe Cleaning Kit $69.99