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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 with 14mm lens review

Ben Pitt
21 Jan 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
620
inc VAT

Slimmer and lighter than the GF1 but image quality is eclipsed by the cheaper Sony NEX-5

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Specifications

17.3x13mm 12.0-megapixel sensor, 1.0x zoom (32mm equivalent), 265g

An SLR sensor in a compact body is an appealing prospect, and the GF2’s classic rangefinder-inspired styling makes it even more so. It’s a similar size and weight to the Sony NEX-5. Both are available with a choice of wide-angle pancake lens or bulkier 3x zoom lens. They both offer a full complement of manual controls, but the GF2 brings these features to the fore with a command dial and buttons for ISO speed, white balance and focus mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Best of all is the ability to specify the focus point via the touchscreen, with the choice of locking to that area or tracking subjects as they move around the frame. Performance is firmly in SLR territory, and there’s a conventional shoe for an external flashgun plus an integrated pop-up flash.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 rear

This second-generation model is smaller and lighter than the GF1 but this comes with some sacrifices. The battery is smaller and lasts for 320 rather than 380 shots. The exposure mode dial has gone, although mode selection via the touchscreen was just as quick. The disappearance of the drive mode dial and buttons for auto/manual focus, AF/AE lock, display options and depth-of-field preview are more regrettable, though.

Another major change over the GF1 is a new kit lens with an f/2.5 aperture and wide-angle 28mm-equivalent focal length. It’s remarkably small and light but we prefer the f/1.7, 40mm-equivalent lens that came with the GF1 – it’s a whole stop brighter and the narrower field of view makes more sense for a fixed-zoom camera.