The GH2 is the latest Micro Four Thirds camera to market. With its new 16MP sensor, touchscreen LCD, 'Light Speed' Autofocus and 1080p movie mode is it a true DSLR-beater? The What Digital Camera Panasonic GH2 review...
Value & Verdict
Panasonic Lumix GH2 review – Value
There’s no avoiding the fact that the GH2 is going to cost a fair wedge of cash: with the 14-140mm lens it’s anywhere between £1120 and £1350. Take that lens out of the equation, however, and the 14-42mm kit price is around £760 – which certainly provides a wider range of options for purchasers. There’s even a body-only option that’s a little harder to track down but can be picked up for around something in the region of £680.
The difficulty in evaluating the GH2’s overall value is how it weighs up against DSLR ‘equivalents’ – the Canon 60D is an obvious comparison due to the vari-angle screen and it’s very similarly priced, but instead offers an optical viewfinder which may be an essential for some. The introduction of the new Canon 600D may further throw up some comparison issues as this too has a vari-angle screen.
Panasonic Lumix GH2 review – Verdict
The GH2 really is as good as Compact System Cameras come. Those doubting the Micro Four Thirds concept will be impressed at the improvement in image quality (as it can genuinely rival a DSLR for much of its ISO range), and the new ‘light speed’ AF system is better than on any other contrast-detection system in the market – and that includes all compacts, Compact System Cameras and DSLRs.
Using the latest 100-300mm lens gave further scope into how small a 600mm equivalent can truly be, something that the GH2’s concept more than delivers upon. However the overall plasticy external finish of the camera does leave something to be desired.
Videographers will also be best pleased at the potential scope the GH2’s movie mode delivers. The 23Mbps output at 1080p24 quality is immense, and the increased control over the GH1 is also a bonus. The only ‘fault’ to speak of here is the ongoing inclusion of a 2.5mm microphone jack (standard 3.5mm in the future please!).
All in all the GH2 is the best Compact System Camera that money can buy. But money you will need – at over £1000 it’s a serious purchase to contemplate and certainly has more than a lot of DSLR-based competition to fight off too. It certainly wins some battles, but just not quite all.