Panasonic Lumix GF2 review
Movie Mode & Quality
Panasonic Lumix GF2 review - Movie/Video Mode & Quality
Panasonic GF2 - Movie/Video Quality
Movie mode is s activated by using the one-touch movie button on top of the camera. The horizontal element of your frame is maintained, but should you be shooting 16:9 ratio, the vertical run of the frame suffers a crop across the top and bottom. Irritatingly there are no visible crop marks to compensate for this in advance which causes some bother when composing.
The quality of the movie files themselves utilises and impressive bitrate (when capturing using AVCHD) for utmost quality. These files need to be processed using a computer before they can be edited and utilised off-camera and a non-formatted card will persist in failing to deliver the captured files (an issue with AVCHD across all cameras, not just the Panasonic). There is also a Motion-JPEG capture format which requires no off-camera processing, which offers a best capture of 720p at 30fps.
The fullest 1920 x 1080 definition is limited to interlaced capture at 50 fields per second (output at 25 frames per second), i.e. half the lines are captured in one frame, the other half in the next frame. This can lead to ‘tearing' when capturing fast moving subjects and, arguably, isn't actually as top quality as using a lower resolution progressive capture.
Panasonic GF2 - Movie/Video Focusing Modes
It's possible to have single, continuous or manual focus control while shooting movies depending on your preference. A particular favourite is using the Peripheral Defocus Scene mode while shooting movies however, as a quick tap on the screen destines the focus point and can make for some smooth focal transitions. As focusing doesn't try to be too swift it's generally more accurate and pleasing for movie capture too. The main issue with focusing is the very same as with shooting stills - the sensor focuses across a fairly centrally-arranged area only.
Panasonic GF2 - Movie/Video Manual Control
There's a small degree of manual control available. Aperture can be fixed in advance of recording, though final exposure cannot (even when in Manual mode). The camera will always adjust the exposure according to where it thinks it should be and, therefore, many of your settings will be over-ridden.
Within the menu options there are a variety of focus, metering and other smaller options such as microphone level adjustment to tweak various options.
Panasonic GF2 - Movie/Video Sound
Although a stereo microphone is present on the top of the camera body, the L and R channels are so closely paired together that the supposed stereo has limited differentiation between the two channels. The lack of a microphone jack (2.5 or 3.5mm) also limits the overall complexity of ways to record sound. Though that's not to say there's anything at all wrong with the final quality, despite it sounding a little more hard-centred than you may wish for.