ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Buy The Panasonic Lumix GF1 or GF2?

Updated on July 18, 2011

After much anticipation, Panasonic have announced the successor to their beloved GF1, the GF2. As a Lumix fan, I was eagerly waiting to see what was new. I was hoping to get the GF1 but decided to wait to see what features the GF2 had to offer. Just a quick recap, the GF1 was Panasonic's flagship mirror-less Micro Four Thirds(MFT) camera. It was widely praised by every reviewer in the blogosphere for its portability and performance. With the announcement of the GF2, many GF1 owners and eager MFT fans waited for the big preview. What was new? A touchscreen and not much else. Panasonic unveiled the GF2 and it was more or less the same device. The fanfares ended and people got on with their daily lives. It was leaner, and more simplified compared to the GF1 but is it better? Being new to MFT cameras, why should I but the GF2 over the GF1?


Before we get into the crazy new features and advancements of the GF2, lets look at what made the GF1 such a great digital camera.


The Lumix DMC-GF1

The GF1 is arguably, the best MFT camera on the market today. It wasn't exactly a difficult contest. Panasonic and Olympus have a duopoly on the MFT standard so the GF1's only competitor is the Olympus PEN E-PL1. Yes, there's the Samsung NX100 and Sony has their NEX-3 and NEX-5 cameras but they're not MFT and that's subject for another hub. Back to the GF1. The GF1 is a 12MP camera with a MFT live MOS sensor. The “Four Thirds” refer to both the size of the image sensor(4/3”) and the aspect ratio(4:3). Besides having a sensor that is 9 times larger than a compact point ad shoot's, it also has a hot shoe available for an electronic viewfinder or flash. The larger sensor means it performs much better than a compact point and shoot but not quite as good as a full blown DSLR. Having an interchangeable lens system really makes this a versatile camera. There are some aftermarket mounts that allow you to use Leica M lenses as well as other brands on the MFT standard. The GF1 gave amateur photographers the controls of a DSLR with the size of a compact.


The GF1 isn't perfect. The MFT sensor isn't as large as a DSLR sensor but it is considered good enough for most people. The GF1 also did not come with the electronic viewfinder. Buying a viewfinder separately only adds to the cost of what is already an expensive camera. There is also a lack of image stabilization(IS) in the body. IS is dependent on the lens and not all lenses are equipped with IS. Overall, the GF1 is a solid camera. It takes great photos and it can record videos at 720p. It also offer the full control of a DSLR in a small body of relatively compact size.


Yes, the GF2 has a touchscreen!
Yes, the GF2 has a touchscreen!

Do you like touchscreens?

After winning over the hearts of many photography enthusiasts, Panasonic introduced the successor to the GF1, the GF2. The GF2 had some big shoes to fill and some people are wondering, “Can it live up to the GF1?” To answer that question, you have to ask yourself another one. Do you like touchscreens? The GF2 is not much different from the GF1. It has a slightly slimmer body. Along with the standard diet of MFT sensors and no mirrors, it has loss some fat with the removal of its manual control knobs. The result? A fancy new touch screen! They've also added a stereo microphone, 1080i video recording and a maximum light sensitivity of 6400 ISO(up from 3200).


Upgrade?

Is the GF2 better than the GF1? That depends. Some would argue that the GF2 is a dumbed down version of the GF1. Personally, I'm turn off by the GF2. You would think that a sleeker and slimmer GF2 would be a good thing but instead of being a sexy MFT, it's more like an anorexic blond. Dumb and skinny. The manual controls made using the GF1 a joy. The touchscreen of the GF2 made changing the settings a choir. What's worse than a touchscreen? An unresponsive touchscreen. Think about ATM touch screens. I'm talking about you Bank Of America. Not only does it mean more time fumbling through the menus but it also more greasy fingerprints and smudges on that LCD. I don't care if you are as hygienic as Howie Mandel. That screen will get oil on it. Just ask my touchscreen Lumix FH22 and I'm no slob.


There is one benefit to using the touchscreen on the GF2. That's their touch to focus feature. You can use the touchscreen to focus on a specific subject and it will focus on the subject. It can even track the subject if it is moving. You can also touch to take a picture. This is a pretty cool feature for composition. This feature comes with a price. Now you have to worry about camera shake when you press the touchscreen. Reminds me of those cameras on smart phones. Another unnecessary thing to worry about.


GF2 Reviewed by DigitalRev.com

Final Thoughts

It's difficult to call the GF2 an “upgrade” to the GF1. Panasonic have tweaked a few things on the GF1 and marketed it as a new camera. Up the ISO sensitivity here, a stereo mic there. At the end of the day, it's pretty much the same camera with a cheesy touchscreen. That can be a big letdown for some of its fans. Refreshing a brand can work but only if consumers feel like they're getting what they paid for. The GF1 gave photographers control and the GF2 takes much of that ease of use out of this new camera. Maybe Panasonic should've taken notes from Sony when they refreshed their Playstation lines. Call this new camera the “GF1 Slim” and wait a real successor. As a standalone camera, the GF2 is not bad but as an upgrade to the GF1, it left a lot to be desired. How about a built in viewfinder? How about 1080p video recording? Faster performance? Swivel screen? In body image stabilization? Better JPEG processing? There's so much that Panasonic could've done to make the GF2 an awesome upgrade but instead they choose to put in an unresponsive touchscreen and a stereo mic. You should get the GF2 if you don't already own a GF1 and you MUST have the latest. It also helps if your IQ is the same as the temperature in your room. For everyone else, get the GF1.


Join The Community

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Adroit Alien profile imageAUTHOR

      Adroit Alien 

      7 years ago

      honestly, I think the GF1 is the better camera. The GF2's touchscreen is a gimmick and the "upgrades" are marginal.

    • profile image

      Adam S 

      7 years ago

      I just bought the GF1 and have been having seconds thoughts that perhaps I should have waited for a GF2. I think I will stick with the GF1, to shoot good HD video a proper rig with a shotgun mic and a shoulder mount are needed. Just adding a stereo mic and making the camera smaller would not be game changing additions to the GF1.

      I am 6'5" and have large hands; the size on the GF1 is on the extreme small end of perfect, any smaller would make the camera useless.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)