The Video DSLR, Improved

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH2

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH2

HANDS-ON PREVIEW: During Better Photography’s recent visit to photokina 2010, we got the opportunity tolay our hands on the latest Micro Four Thirds camera from Panasonic, the LUMIX DMC-GH2. Shridhar Kunte recounts his experience.

Panasonic tasted great successwith the GH1 because of the way in which it integrated both still and video functions. Until recently, it was the only HDvideo DSLR that allows you the use of AF while shooting video. The GH2 takes the video legacy further. The 1080i video is now derived from a 60 or 50fps capture, as compared to the GH1 that would shoot at24 or 25fps and then upsample the video. Moreover, the GH2 provides greater audio control as compared to the GH1.

High Resolution Sensor
The GH2 has a has a multi-aspect sensor with an effective resolution of 16MP. The multi-aspect sensor technology ensures that even if you shoot using a different aspect ratio, you still get are solution of 16MP. This makes the GH2 the highest resolution camera amongst those that have a Four Thirds sensor. Increasing the resolution in a relatively small-sized sensor results in an inevitable loss of quality. Considering the fact that the sensor is slightly smaller than regular APS-C sized sensors, it would be interesting to see the camera’s image quality, once we have a final production piece.

Ergonomically Different
Like the G2, the GH2 incorporates a touchscreen LCD that allows you to control various camera functions, including autofocus. The large 4,60,000-dot LCD is bright and easy to use, while the Electronic Viewfinder is also of an impressive resolution of 1530k dots. This makes it one of the highest resolution EVFs available in any consumer device.

An All-New AF System
When I used the GH2 at this year’s photokina, the first thing that struck me about the camera was its AF speed with the 14–140mm kit lens. It was extremely fast, and a definite improvement over its predecessor! Moreover, the new processor made the entire experience of capturing Full HD video a lot smoother.The handgrip with rubber coating gives a more serious feel to the camera. We only had a brief hands-on with the LUMIXGH2, and did not get the chance to push it to its limits, so we will not comment on the image quality until we do a full-fledged test. However, it would be interesting to see whether there is any improvement in noise performance and dynamic range. Yet, I was left with a very good impression of Panasonic’s latest.

Tags: Micro Four Thirds, Shridhar Kunte, November 2010, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH2, Hands On preview