|Upon arrival of a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Panasonic Lumix GH2 camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Panasonic GH2 color reproduction and white balance
We compared the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2’s color reproduction to that of the pre-set Gretag Macbeth Color Checker and it appears that the color representation is constant until 6400 ISO. Compared to the GH1’s test result, we can see that the Panasonic GH2 has made improvements in terms of accurate color reproduction. The white balance measurements also show an improvement in accuracy. Up to 6400 ISO, the Panasonic DMC-GH2 shows a constant and accurate white balance. Here we can also see that the GH2 performs notably better than its predecessor, the GH1.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 image sensor
A new image sensor gives the Panasonic GH2 a clearly higher resolution and gives the camera the status of a system camera with the highest resolution at the moment (Q3, 2010). During its introduction, Panasonic strongly emphasized that the sensor also includes a new approach in its control of signal/noise. This includes a separate digital interface and algorithms that have been tweaked to achieve maximum performance. The Venus Engine FHD effectively takes charge of all the image processing. The measurements made in the DIWA Lab show that the Panasonic Lumix GH2’s signal/noise ratio is completely under control up until 1600 ISO. At 3200 ISO, Panasonic has to put on the brakes, but it is still a fairly usable ISO value. From 6400 ISO and up, noise becomes strongly visible.
Panasonic DMC-GH2 signal/noise ratio
In comparison with the GH1, and despite the heightened resolution, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 has improved significantly in terms of signal/noise ratio. A fine performance, and the answer to the higher expectations that we had of this camera. According to our findings, there has been an improvement of a minimum of one stop, which is a fine achievement. The dynamic range has also been improved throughout the whole ISO range. The new algorithms and the Venus Engine FHD have displayed their merits.
Panasonic Lumix GH2 and Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 Aspherical lens
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 test sample was delivered with the new Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 aspherical lens, among others. The Panasonic Lumix G 14mm lens has a 14 mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 28 mm) wide angle and f2.5 brightness. This lens is interesting to use for landscape shots but also for daily use, for example indoors, this lens ensures fine compositions. The lens system includes six lenses in five groups, including three aspherical lenses.
|The dimensions of the 14 mm lens are very compact. The lens’ center sharpness is very good from f2.5 up to f16, and shows a slight decrease with a closed aperture of f22. Panasonic often knows how to effectively control distortion, and the in-camera corrections made by the camera’s software have a very positive influence on the JPEG shots. This is a method that certainly has advantages for the consumer. The lens suffers slight chromatic aberration at a full opening of f2.5, but with one more stop, it pretty much completely disappears.
Panasonic Lumix GH2 and 14-140 mm Lumix lens
The 14-140 mm Lumix lens' sharpness is fine and only shows visible blur at the edges in telephoto mode. In f/5.6-f/8 the zoom lens performs optimally, after that, we find edge blur in wide angle and tele. In terms of distortion, only in wide-angle does the lens encounter some hurdles, the remaining focal lengths perform excellently. Without any visible distortion, not even any measurable distortion in the Lab, of the remaining focal lengths, the Panasonic Lumix HD 14-140 mm f/4.0-5.6 lens is a jewel in this respect. Chromatic aberration is effectively corrected and hardly plays a role, with the exception of the telephoto. From minimum aperture of f/5.6 to f/22 a constant sensitivity for chromatic aberration is noticeable. Vignetting does not actually play a part. Panasonic uses software correction, thus delivering convincing results when measuring the GH2's JPEG tests samples.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 Mega O.I.S lens
The second lens with which the Panasonic GH2 was combined for testing was the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 Mega O.I.S. The new Panasonic zoom lens 100-300mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 600 mm) is very compact and lightweight. Shooting with such a combination means a lot of freedom of photography for subjects at diverse distances. Thanks to Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S., camera shake that normally creates movement blur while shooting, is effectively compensated.
Chromatic aberration and distortion
In terms of sharpness, on the edges and in the center, the Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm performs well, only at 300mm is there visible edge blur. On the other hand, Panasonic manages to perfectly control distortion. The measurements of the JPEG test shots show that the in-camera software corrections are extraordinarily effective in correcting distortion. The 300mm tele position has a bit more difficulties with chromatic aberration. Over the whole aperture range there is visible chromatic aberration in the tele range. The other focal distances do not suffer from this effect.