Plugged in to a Samsung 3D TV using the GF2‘s HDMI port, I had my first 3D experience and sadly a discouraging one. While I enjoyed taking the shots I found I could hardly review the images, as after 10 minutes of watching them on-screen with the active 3D glasses, I started to feel unwell and had to stop. Apparently, if you suffer even mildly from motion sickness 3D is not for you and I can confirm that, all in all, it is certainly not for me.
Toughing it out in the format wars
The GF2 can record 1080i HD, 1920 x 1280, movies at 60 fps or 720p at 1280 x 720. It can also record MJPEG movies at several different resolutions for online sharing. The movie mode makes full use of the Intelligent Auto system along with touch focus options while recording. The stereo microphone delivers crisp, clear sound and has a wind-cut option available. The lack of built-in image stabilisation in the pancake lens – only available for zoom optics – can result in shakiness if care is not taken but otherwise video footage was very smooth.
The DMC-GF2’s new sleek smaller body and the shedding of most external controls in favour of touchscreen technology suggests Panasonic is feeling the squeeze from newcomers such as Sony’s NEX models – ultra-compact, electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens (EVIL) cameras with DSLR-size sensors, with 3D shooting capabilities and point and shoot usability.
Recent additions, including the new DMC-G3 suggest Panasonic’s emphasis may have shifted to entice more cost conscious photographer to the MFT format. Whether the touchscreen is enough to compete with the likes of the Olympus PEN E-PL2, remains to be seen. Still, with the Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic has succeeded in creating a clever and exciting camera. And while it's not the cheapest of interchangeable lens models in this class, it has a great range of accessories and is well suited to enthusiasts wanting more than point and shoot. ®
Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 micro four thirds camera
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.