The Bottom Line
However, if price and camera size are important, you may want to at least pause. You'll find the GH2 is a bulky camera, especially for a mirror-less DIL camera, and it is especially heavy when used with a large telephoto lens, as I did during my Panasonic GH2 review.
The GH2's price seems a bit high, too, at $1,000 or more with a starter lens, but it's an excellent camera.
- Touch-screen LCD also can swivel and rotate away from camera
- Extremely easy to use
- Shoots sharp and bright photos
- Camera offers quick response times
- Camera design places most controls on top panel, making it easy to use
- Camera is bulkier than most mirror-less models
- Shutter makes a little noise, even in "mute" mode
- Price is high for an easy-to-use camera
- With large 14-140mm lens, camera is heavy, needs a tripod
- Resolution: 16.05 megapixels
- Optical zoom: N/A, uses interchangeable lenses
- LCD: 3.0-inch touch screen, 460,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
- Dimensions: 3.53 x 4.88 x 2.98 inches
- Weight: 13.82 ounces (without lens, battery, or memory card)
- Image sensor: 17.3 x 13.0 mm Live MOS
- Movie modes: Full HD, 1080/60i
Guide Review - Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Review
Most advanced cameras create outstanding images, but the GH2 is head of most of its peers. With its 16.2 megapixels of resolution, the GH2 can create extremely large prints, and its image quality is among the best you'll find in a sub-$1,000 camera. The GH2 creates great photos in all types of light.
You'll find a nice mixture of manual and automatic controls with the Lumix GH2, meaning you can manually control as much or as little of the shot as you want. If you aren't ready to shoot in fully manual mode, the image quality is very good in fully automatic mode. As you grow and improve as a photographer, the GH2 can meet your needs -- it can be easy to use, while also offering full manual controls.
With the GH2, you can shoot at a variety of ratios, including 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1. You'll also have three different resolution options at each ratio.
Finally, you can shoot using a few different special effects, such as black and white or "film" mode. You also can customize a few different image-control settings as you shoot each photo.
The GH2's movie modes are especially strong, providing plenty of options. You can shoot full 1080/60i HD video, which is impressive.
Beyond the strong image quality you'll find in the Lumix GH2, the camera's performance levels are strong, too. The GH2's autofocus works very quickly, and you have the option of switching to manual focus when needed. The camera starts up quickly, and shutter lag is not noticeable.
The 3.0-inch touch screen is very bright and sharp. It can twist and rotate away from the camera body, and you can shoot photos simply by touching the subject's image on the LCD. Additionally, when shooting extreme closeup photos, the LCD will magnify the subject, allowing for extremely precise manual focusing.
Because the popup flash unit on the GH2 is centered on the camera body, it works well for illuminating photos evenly. However, you must use a little care when holding the camera with your left hand -- especially with a long lens -- as you can block the flash with your hand.
Unlike the small Panasonic Lumix GF2, which I recently had a chance to review, the GH2 is a very large DIL camera. The GH2 measures almost 3 inches in thickness, making it more similar in size to a DSLR camera. When used with a large telephoto lens, I'd recommend using a tripod, because of how heavy the camera becomes.
The GH2's designers did a nice job placing nearly all of the camera's controls on the top panel of the camera, putting them all within easy reach. In addition, the Lumix GH2 has a large right-hand grip, making it comfortable to hold and use the camera.
One of the handiest features on the GH2 is the camera's ability to sense when the camera is being lifted to the photographer's eye, which causes the camera to automatically blank the LCD and activate the viewfinder, which enhances the GH2's ease-of-use features.
The GH2 offers a "mute" mode, but the camera's shutter still makes a little noise.