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Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 | Digital Camera Review | Control
Although the Panasonic Lumix GH2’s body is almost identical to the GH1, the hand placement is a bit different. The difference is especially in the feeling that the body gives you. The material is more refined and has a professional look. The hand grip is neatly covered with rubber and allows for the GH2 to sit in the hand perfectly. In everything, Panasonic is showing that the GH2 is a very serious camera, aimed at the enthusiastic and semi-professional photographer. A beginner will be able to use it immediately, but will most likely not get around to using the true arsenal of setting and function possibilities.
Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 | Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 | Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix GH2 operation
Whoever already got to know Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras from the G-series will recognize its control. The camera is full of buttons, setting dials and of course the folding display. Just like the G2, the Panasonic Lumix GH2’s display is a touchscreen. This works surprisingly intuitive and quick in practice. Almost all the settings can be controlled by touching the screen, and we haven’t run into any problems. If you really don’t want to you use the touchscreen, you can always control the Panasonic GH2 without touch control.

Panasonic DMC-GH2 menu adjustments
Changes can also be found in the camera’s menu, although they are rather superficial changes. The menu and its setup are more colorful and more clearly visible than was the case in the previous generation. The setup is almost identical, so that you don’t have to find your way through a new menu if you are the owner of a camera from the previous generation. A few buttons, however, have changed. For example, the video recording button that was found on the back of the GH1. We had already mentioned it in our GH1 review that it wouldn’t surprise us that this button’s position would be changed in future generations, because many unintended video recordings were made by accidently pushing this button. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 now has this button on top of the camera, so that making this mistake no longer occurs.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 control dial
The control dial was placed on the front of the camera in its predecessor, and now it is placed on the back of the GH2. This is a logical place, and once again, an improvement in the camera’s ergonomics. The separate video mode button is found in the menu, and it has been replaced with the much-demanded Fn (programmable button) in threefold. These are small, but important changes that make the Panasonic Lumix GH2 even more attractive for high-end users, and we are also talking about serious videographers.


Panasonic Lumix
Recording videos with the Lumix GH2
Indeed, the Panasonic DMC-GH2 really excels in video. The video mode was already quite extensive, but Panasonic saw a chance to fine-tune everything even more. The Full HD video (1920x1080 pixels) resolution delivers a nice, fluid representation. The fast Venus Engine FHD processor and the maximum bitrate of 24 Mbps has made shooting video truly staggering for this segment. The way in which a compact system camera such as the Panasonic GH2 is able to produce such a high quality video, is very impressive. As a serious videographer you now only need a small camera bag in order to complete a project.

Watch recorded films in cinema mode
The Cinema mode adds even more professionalism. The 24p video option together with the Cinema mode heightens the movie experience. If you want to get creative in shooting video, you can really live it up with the Variable Movie mode. Moving images can be captured in different frame-rates so that a fast/slow playback option is possible. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is now also able to display images via an optional HDMI mini cable connected to an external monitor, which is handy for professionally assessing the captured shots. This is another area that shows that Panasonic listened to comments from the professional film world. Sound is recorded in stereo and can be enriched by connecting an external microphone onto the Panasonic Lumix GH2.

Panasonic GH2 offers very fast contrast-AF
Another area in which the Panasonic GH2 excels is the AF-performance. Panasonic already announced it during the official introduction, but the tests show that the Panasonic GH2 is indeed one of the fastest, perhaps even the fastest cameras with contrast AF detection. This is a remarkable and unique achievement and puts Panasonic ahead of the competition, even the professional DSLR. Focusing goes quickly and accurately and contributes to a very pleasant photo and video experience. Nothing is as annoying as having to miss moments due to a slow camera. For this aspect, the Panasonic GH2 is certainly not a let-down!

Lumix camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2
   
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