Micro 4/3 Panasonic GF2 Review

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
The argument about why this camera is needed, ie the size issue, I think, is hogwash. If Panasonic thinks so, they are fooling themselves. With a lens on, the GF1 is still smaller, and the PEN even smaller considering the collapsable kit lens. Sony is successful because of its brand name and because of its marketing. While I have played with the NEX, and I found it responsive and completly adequate other than the lack of quick controls, It actually felt larger to pocket or store than my E-P1.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Boy, I've never seen so much vitriol aimed at a non-existent inanimate object! Its way nastier over at DPreview but a lot of bad vibes here too. I really don't get what the fuss is about. The size, with a pancake lens, isn't a huge difference, but it really isn't a BAD thing. There's a lot of love here for the LX-5 and its, uhhh, smaller. And the only function I've seen that you now MUST use the touch screen for that you had a knob for before is the mode selector - they removed the mode dial and put it in software. I have a LOT of trouble getting worked up about this. I don't personally change the mode all that much - usually in Ap priority with occasional forays into shutter priority or full manual. The GF2 seems to have a big letter indicating the mode in the upper left corner of the screen and if you wanna change it, you touch it, all of the other modes become visible, and you touch the one you want. This just doesn't sound difficult or burdensome to me. The camera still has the little dial up by the thumb position to actually change the parameter such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure, etc, that the gf1 and lx5 have. So the problem here is what? It also does have an AFL/AEL button, its just not marked that way and it could be programmed to do other things. I just can't think of anything that I do that I couldn't do as well with this camera. I understand there are limits in terms of the flash and in terms of a remote release and these are real enough limitations for some folks. But that's not what I'm seeing complaints about. They all seem to be about the mode dial!

I think John Stewart's advice to "take it down a notch" is in order here. M43 lovers on the web seem to be more pissed about this camera than I am about the elections the other day, and I'm PISSED about the elections!

Just another point of view. I'm not gonna buy this camera but if I was looking at the GF1 or the GF2, I'd probably go for it if the sensor and AF speed are better...

-Ray
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Boy, I've never seen so much vitriol aimed at a non-existent inanimate object! Its way nastier over at DPreview but a lot of bad vibes here too. I really don't get what the fuss is about. The size, with a pancake lens, isn't a huge difference, but it really isn't a BAD thing. There's a lot of love here for the LX-5 and its, uhhh, smaller. And the only function I've seen that you now MUST use the touch screen for that you had a knob for before is the mode selector - they removed the mode dial and put it in software. I have a LOT of trouble getting worked up about this. I don't personally change the mode all that much - usually in Ap priority with occasional forays into shutter priority or full manual. The GF2 seems to have a big letter indicating the mode in the upper left corner of the screen and if you wanna change it, you touch it, all of the other modes become visible, and you touch the one you want. This just doesn't sound difficult or burdensome to me. The camera still has the little dial up by the thumb position to actually change the parameter such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure, etc, that the gf1 and lx5 have. So the problem here is what? It also does have an AFL/AEL button, its just not marked that way and it could be programmed to do other things. I just can't think of anything that I do that I couldn't do as well with this camera. I understand there are limits in terms of the flash and in terms of a remote release and these are real enough limitations for some folks. But that's not what I'm seeing complaints about. They all seem to be about the mode dial!

I think John Stewart's advice to "take it down a notch" is in order here. M43 lovers on the web seem to be more pissed about this camera than I am about the elections the other day, and I'm PISSED about the elections!

Just another point of view. I'm not gonna buy this camera but if I was looking at the GF1 or the GF2, I'd probably go for it if the sensor and AF speed are better...

-Ray


Ray,

Don't get me wrong, I think its probably a fine camera for many people. I don't own the GF1, rather a PEN. I think its just been over a year and owners or soon to be owners are looking for a serious upgrade to the GF1 instead of a dumbed down consumer model.

I think much of my "vitriol" is toward Panasonic as a company and its poor marketing department, especially here in the U.S. Panasonic makes great products. I've owned car stereo head units, Stereo Shelf units, DVD players, DVD recorders and even an FZ3 camera. Panasonic makes great products, usually better than the competition.

The excuse for this release is that the GF1 is non-competitive because of *size* against the NEX systems. Its really not the case though. They are stooping(sp) down to Sony's level. Not that the Sony is a bad product either. Sony has brand recognition and has always produced average to above average products to the consumer. Panasonic in my opinion, has always made excelent products with a better bang for the buck over Sony and other manufactures for various products. They were always "outside" just a bit of the box. I liked that Panasonic has been innovative and not necessarily mainstream with many of its products.
Clearly, this is not the case with this product though.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Don't get me wrong, I think its probably a fine camera for many people. I don't own the GF1, rather a PEN. I think its just been over a year and owners or soon to be owners are looking for a serious upgrade to the GF1 instead of a dumbed down consumer model.
Don't get me wrong either - my post wasn't directed at you specifically, but at the overwhelmingly negative reaction I've seen over the last couple of days to this camera - I guess your post was just the last negative one up before I got around to posting my reaction. I just don't see how this camera is really "dumbed down" from the GF1. Its a bit smaller, but its not down to NEX levels. I think there's a point at which a camera becomes too small, but if the LX5 isn't at that point (and it sure doesn't feel like it is to me), then the gf2 isn't either. And the only function I'm aware that they've moved from a knob/button/dial to the touchscreen is the mode dial. Yeah, you can adjust the focus point with the touchscreen, but how many of us move the focus point anyway? Most photographers I know tend to focus on a center point, and then reframe if needed. But if I DID want to change the focus point, I think a touchscreen is quite a bit preferable to the buttons on the two Pen cams I've owned.

I've seen somewhat conflicting reports, but my understanding is that the sensor is an improvement over the GF1 (although not up to GH2 levels?) and the same with the AF speed. To me this sounds like an upgrade, if not an enormous one. With the lack of remote release and the flash compensation perhaps being the only real downsides that I've seen (which wouldn't be downsides for me, but I see how they would be for some).

Not trying to pick a fight - just not getting it.

-Ray
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
The size, with a pancake lens, isn't a huge difference, but it really isn't a BAD thing.
There's no global truth to this. Its all down to what your preferences are as to how you want a camera to handle. We all have different tastes with regard to this and many of us are just expressing them.

And the only function I've seen that you now MUST use the touch screen for that you had a knob for before is the mode selector - they removed the mode dial and put it in software. I have a LOT of trouble getting worked up about this. I don't personally change the mode all that much - usually in Ap priority with occasional forays into shutter priority or full manual.
Surely you must concede that those of us that DO change the mode often, and also make all sorts of other adjustments, are entitled to complain about having to use a touch screen, if we used the GF2. I personally don't want to stick my fingers all over the screen to make adjustments. It means if I want to do it, I've got to access the page that its on and then make the adjustment. If I need to do it quickly, just flipping the dial is a lot easier.
This just doesn't sound difficult or burdensome to me. The camera still has the little dial up by the thumb position to actually change the parameter such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure, etc, that the gf1 and lx5 have. So the problem here is what? It also does have an AFL/AEL button, its just not marked that way and it could be programmed to do other things. I just can't think of anything that I do that I couldn't do as well with this camera.
Well thats your view, its certainly not mine and from what I see not a lot of other peoples either.

I can only speak for myself. I was a potential customer for a GF2. Like many people I assumed that the GF2 would be a Mk II version of the GF1. i.e. I assumed it would build on what the GF1 had already and would add to its functionality and what it offered. Instead a camera appears that in many ways subtracts from what the GF1 had. I don't want to be forced to use a touch screen, I don't want a smaller camera. Therefore I'm not now a customer for a GF2. If Panasonic had called it something different, there wouldn't have been anywhere near the outcry that there is. The GF1 is now an "orphaned" camera and I don't think its unreasonable for those of us that are disappointed by the direction that Panasonic have taken, to express that disappointment.

Its called "customer feedback" !!
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
All opinions welcomed here and appreciated. I am 100% with the personal preference part when it comes to choosing a camera. I do think you're right David when you point out that if they hadn't named it a GF2 that there'd be much less of an outcry. So much of perceived vitriol, or plain old dismay comes from anticipation of the enhanced GF2 all the GF1 photographers had been expecting and hoping.

I don't own a GF1, nor have I, but I do know it's beloved by many. I have my sites on another camera that a great many hopes are pinned on. Knock on wood, some of us don't get disappointed with that one, too. At least we Fuji dreamers only have specs to fantasize about and not a camera we already love and wish just had a couple of improvements. Well, I suppose if I still had my X1 I could fall into that category.:wink:

If anyone here does buy a GF2, I do hope they'll report in and let us know how the camera handles from their point of view.:flowers_2:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
There's no global truth to this. Its all down to what your preferences are as to how you want a camera to handle.
I certainly and fully agree with this. I was just amazed at the level of downright anger about a camera that nobody had actually tried using yet because it does a few things differently.

I just got back into semi-serious photography several months ago after years of point and shoots while the kids were growing up. Before getting a Pen in March, my last nice camera was an old film Nikon that had aperture priority and nothing else we'd consider essential today. And aperture priority was pretty new! Auto focus was just starting to be discussed. So when I got an epl1 and later an ep2 in the spring and summer, EVERYTHING about them was different than the last good camera I'd shot with. ALL of the controls were different. Turned out I liked dials and rings better than buttons so I moved on from an EPL1 to an EP2, but the epl1 wasn't bad. I guess these changes just seem really small and relatively insignificant and a lot of people might end up liking them if they tried them. I don't know if I would or not, but I don't see them as enough of a downside not to at least try one out in a shop with an open mind.

Imagine the first time the aperture control was moved from the lens itself to a dial or ring on the back of the camera - were people freaking out about THAT? Or the first time the shutter speed didn't have its own little dial on top like the mode dial of today (or maybe becoming yesterday) or when ISO had to be adjusted with the same dial as the aperture and shutter speed - you mean you have to use the SAME dial for all three functions????

I'm not saying any of this is wrong - there is no right or wrong here. It just seems rather overheated. And I'm not pointing to anyone in particular when I say that. Just the general reaction. Which, I must admit, has been more muted here than over at dpreview, where its been purely nuts. I should probably have posted there, but there's just too much noise. So I did it here where civilized discussion is still available.

-Ray
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Yes, threads over at DPReview can get quite heated and animated.

The sensor on the GF2 is the same as the GF1, the only differences is the process/jpeg engine. Apparently jpegs are cleaner. RAW users however probably won't benifit

There is a ton of expectations for significant improvements, especially considering the timeframe with these cameras. I think many people are looking for the new GH2 sensor in the GFx format. I personally think thats asking too much, since the GH2 is the premium camera. I think many people also want a built in EVF.

The GF2 is really a *new* product, not an upgrade product to the GF1.
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
I am happy not to be tempted to upgrade, I'm concerned if smaller is going to be the trend in m43, some of us with larger hands find that the size of current models is about as small as we wish to handle. I started off with a Nikon Coolpix 880 and went through a Nikon Coolpix 4500 to an Olympus E10, only when I reached the E 10 did the handling feel comfortable. If smaller is better, then I made a mistake in opting for m43. I'm not asking for bigger, but I sure don't want smaller, or touch screen technology, I want to operate a camera, not a computer with a lens attached.

Barrie
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
Thanks for the facts on the sensor, Jason.

Ray, I hear you loud and clear regarding the huge changes in operating a camera experienced having only gotten into digital on anything more than a true point and shoot in around February/March of this year. Can that be?:eek: Time sure moves quickly!

Imagine the first time the aperture control was moved from the lens itself to a dial or ring on the back of the camera - were people freaking out about THAT? Or the first time the shutter speed didn't have its own little dial on top like the mode dial of today (or maybe becoming yesterday) or when ISO had to be adjusted with the same dial as the aperture and shutter speed - you mean you have to use the SAME dial for all three functions????
I still really dislike punching buttons and having the same dial for functions. I guess I'm a semi-Luddite at heart.:wink:
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
I guess it had to happen. This video has been mocked up in one form or another on almost every topic imaginable. After seeing the screaming crazies at dpreview, someone took the obvious step on the huge GF2 controversy. So, for your viewing pleasure....

YouTube - Panasonic GF2 Downfall Parody Video

Made me laugh, anyway.

-Ray

I have the DVD of Downfall, which I've never been able to watch because of the parodies. Just as I was getting ready to watch it, along comes this!!

Very funny.
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
That is priceless! Ray thank you! :drinks: It's extremely well done and I love the way it just keeps going and going and going. Phew - what a laughter relief!

P.S. David, I have Downfall in my Netflix queue. Hmm...:rolleyes::wink:
 

Boyzo

Veteran
I think whats getting people heated up over at DPR is that the GF1 is no longer and the touch screen marvel is how Panasonic is headed, this is probably true.

A camera with interchangeable lenses does not mean enthusiast .. many Canon and Nikon users have DSLR's and lenses but are not hard core shooters, so I think while u43 is used and embraced by enthusiast's
Panasonic have in mind a large market of users who want to use a u43 camera system simply ie with a minimum of fuss like a P&S user and these people will not be making lots of adjustments prior to shooting.

Question is will there be a more Analogue GF3 possibly, also people were hoping for a GFX with built in EVF a kinda poor mans Leica personally I don't see this.
While Leica and Panasonic did work together and the Digilux series resulted and also a few lens designs but Panasonic pretty has pretty much gone its own way the two companies are divergently different
Leica is a professional / enthusiast camera maker Panasonic is a mass consumer manufacturer.
 

Latest threads

Top Bottom