Art for art's sake
The display is extremely responsive and the icons are big enough, clear and sensibly arranged. But if you still can’t get used to controlling the camera from the screen, you can still access virtually all settings through the available controls and the Main Menu, which has its own dedicated button and is scrolled through the control wheel. Equally, the Fn button can be re-assigned to replace the departed AF/AE Lock.
Touchscreen controls reduce the button count but icon menus can be customised
The GF2 offers manual and semi-manual modes together with a 17-scene mode and its flagship Intelligent Auto, which now includes Intelligent Exposure, a feature that automatically adjusts exposure only in under-exposed areas of the image.
The Intelligent Auto mode is extremely effective in all its applicable scene modes – Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Macro – delivering consistently well-exposed images and automatically selecting the appropriate settings for the framed scene. The Intelligent Resolution feature, improves the resolution of an image by processing outlines, textured and smooth areas separately.
In terms of creative options, the GF2 does not present the usual selection of effects found in similar models. Instead, Panasonic offers a set of filters called MyColours that include Retro, Pure, Elegant, Cine, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette and a customisable option. These presets are regrettably not realistic nor artistic enough to be used in any practical way. I was also disappointed with the monochrome setting, which often results in a slight sepia tone and lacks contrast.
Despite adding an extra ISO stop to its range, 100 to 6400 ISO, the GF2 delivers a very similar noise performance to its predecessor, with a good showing up to ISO 400. Noise starts to appear at ISO 800, becoming more obvious at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 is already barely usable, so I can’t see why Panasonic added an ISO 6400 setting other than for marketing hype.
Next page: Sample Shots
It's not just for the outdoors...
A viewfinder is a boon to those of us who need reading glasses.
What's more, the to-the-eye method of holding a camera is always going to be the most stable way of hand-holding it.
Looked at the 3d pics on my 3ds, and the 3d wasn't extremely apparent. Some almost looked 2D, while some you could see some of the difference. For the record I've viewed other 3d camera images on my 3ds, and the 3d was way more defined.
2D the pics look really nice though
I'll pass - I won't pay for that overpriced optional viewfinder, and I won't buy a camera of this level without a viewfinder. I take alot of outdoor pictures, and there are times when the LCD screen is useless.
I found 3D camcorder video practically useless. Anaglyphs recorded on DVD cannot be properly displayed on TV even if you bend over backwards and try to optimise them for reduced ghosting. And crosseyed video is much more tiring to watch than stills.
Stills are OK though, but you need an audience who can learn how to watch them.
Have _you_ looked up stereo?
A Blumlein pair does stereo from microphones that are zero inches apart. I'm not suggesting that this is using a Blumlein pair, or that the audio through the built-in mics is even particularly good, but you can certainly achieve stereo from two mics close together. You can even get a half-decent surround sound from a bunch of mics clustered together if you do some tricksy processing. Built-in mics are typically much crappier than a decent external mic, but they can certainly manage stereo.
I'm not sure why you think there's a problem with placing them both on the same side of the camera, either.