When Panasonic introduced its mirrorless interchangeable-lens DMC-GF1 compact camera back in September 2009, it joined Olympus as the only other member of the class. Since then, Samsung and Sony have joined the club, and if you believe the latest rumors, Nikon is about to as well; perhaps as soon as the CES show in Las Vegas. Whether Nikon gets into the game at Vegas or not, Panasonic is already back at the table and betting folks will ante up for the GF2, a more compact, lighter version.
The new camera includes some modest upgrades over the feature mix of the GF1, notably full 1080 HD video, a 3D capability when mounting a Lumix G 12.5 mm f/12.5 3D lens and a touch control with a new graphic user interface.
Panasonic claims the GF2 is 19% more compact and 7% lighter than the GF1, which translates to dimensions of 2.67 x 4.44 x 1.29 inches and 9.35 ounces for the body only (versus 2.8 x 4.69 x 1.43 and 10.6 for the GF1). Smaller and lighter, yes, but that quarter inch here and ounce and a quarter there probably aren't going to have a major impact on most folks.
The body is aluminum and looks and feels well built - our review sample was finished in a matte-black paint with just the tiniest hint of texture to it and came equipped with the 14 mm f/2.5 kit lens (the camera is also offered in a 14-42 mm kit).The finish of the GF2 feels almost slippery, but contoured grip and thumb rest areas provide a fairly secure feel for one-handed shooting.
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