Amazon Business Best Books of the Month STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Luxury Beauty March Birthstone Shop Popular Services branding branding branding  All-New Echo Dot Starting at $99.99 Kindle Oasis GNO Shop Now STEM

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 97 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 138 reviews
The Panasonic GH2 is an amazing camera. It's much smaller than an entry level dSLR or super zoom camera like the canon SX40. It has a really nice feel in my hands especially with the kit lens. The lenses for this type of camera are much smaller and lighter than a similar dSLR lens so the total weight is much less. This is just one of the appeals to this mirror less camera. A long telephoto lens could make the GH2 feel unbalanced. I haven't tried one yet.

The first shock on using the GH2 was how large and bright the EVF viewfinder was, much larger than my Canon 60D. The GH2 camera is mirror less; you view the scene as the sensor sees it rather than through the lens. Many people in reviews have complained that they prefer an optical viewfinder especially in low light situations. I think a superb EVF viewfinder as found on the GH2 is vastly superior to any optical viewfinder for the following reasons.

1. All the data can be viewed without moving your eye from the viewfinder, including histogram and every setting that you can display on the LCD screen.

2. You can immediately determine if white balance and exposure are set wrong before snapping the image. Pressing the video button, the camera becomes a powerful camcorder that many claim revivals a professional camcorder. There are few camcorders today under $1000 that have viewfinders so many purchases this camera for that purpose. I haven't tried it yet.

3. You don't have to remove your eye from the viewfinder to see if your image came out perfectly, just snap another image, or quickly change a setting and snap away without moving your eye.

4. Disadvantage: Not great in low light situations but improves when you bump up the iso.

The camera is lightning fast focusing and storing images. The burst is jaw dropping. There are actual buttons for just about all the important functions. There are multiple custom settings which is also nice. It may take some time to fully master all its capability. If you wonder if this camera is for you, I suggest you read the many excellent professional reviews written about this camera. Read those reviews first. One caution: the current camera kit does not include the excellent 14-140 Panasonic lens. The current kit which is what I bought includes a typical kit lens which I think is just so-so.

I bought an inexpensive Fotoiox (nice product), Canon and Nikon lens adaptors so that I could try a number of my prime lenses on this camera. They work OK but having tried all my lenses, I came to the conclusion than nothing beats autofocus and image stabilization. Image stabilization is probably one of the best inventions along with digital to improve photography and make great image taking available to anyone. I was quickly reminded how difficult it is to hold the camera perfectly steady for even a normal lens shot in low light without image stabilization or high iso. With very long exposures the viewfinder will go blank. That will happen also to a dSLR while the mirror is locked up blocking the viewfinder.

Like many of you reading this review, I'm no pro and make no claims to any special knowledge. just 50 plus years of taking pictures and enjoying every moment. I own over 25 film and digital cameras and this camera is by far the most complex and capable camera I have purchased. It's possible for a beginner to successfully use this camera if they initially use the IA setting with the kit lens. You can get great images but most beginners will want to expand to P mode and make some changes as they learn the camera. The pictures should rival a dSLR except in lower light and depending on the quality of lens used. Many claim the micro family of lenses are on a par with their dSLR counterparts but I haven't bought any yet.

I gave the camera 5 stars because it deserves 5 stars. The GH2 has been replaced by the GH3 with even greater feature set and performance and should be looked at too. I should mention that I bought this camera on one of Amazon great deals. I saw the camera for the first time when I opened the box. Like you, I read the reviews and knew this was something special and you can tell I was not disappointed.

There are so many choices for cameras today; it is very difficult to decide which one to buy. I personally prefer the super zoom style like the Panasonic FZ150 because it's a camera that includes all the lenses you will ever need in one package and you do not need to sell your home to buy a good lens. I also find my Canon S95 a favorite subcompact camera that I carry around all the time and provides superb images for a small sensor camera. If you chose to buy the GH2, you will be in for a pleasant experience and lots of great images. One other bit of advise, never, ever sell your current digital camera if you are so inclined, until you know for certain this is the only camera you want to use.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 2011
What is better, the GH2 or the 7D? I have both cameras now and here are my Pros and Cons:

GH2 is flimsy, buttons are harder to push, and it seems like a point and shoot on steroids. Although, LCD swivel touch screen is fantastic and Electronic viewfinder eliminates the need for an LCD eye piece. Focus is easier to accomplish is a shorter amount of time.

7D is built tough, weather proof, much larger and seemingly more durable. So it will work in the rain, in the snow, and in the desert. Buttons are easy to find, settings are fast and simple to change. Although, no swivel screen for odd angles, need a LCD eye piece to maintain good focus.

Winner: GH2 - the LCD touch swivel screen and EVS is unmatched -- just don't drop the camera.

GH2 can use almost any lens you can think of as long as you have the proper adapter. And now with the tele-zoom function, you can even use those old school C-Mount TV lenses. Only problem is that everything is then manually controlled and there are not many wide angle lenses for cheap.

The autofocus lenses are useful in run-and-gun shooting environments. Although, the native autofocus lenses are very limiting and often horrible in low light. The 14-42mm kit lens is a better investment than the 14-140mm lens. For the money, the 14-140mm is a rip off.

7D has a better selection of powerful canon glass that it can electronically control, but no autofocus during video and even though there are many lens adapters for the 7D, it doesn't compare to the amount of options the GH2 has.

Winner: GH2 - once you get over the crop factor, the GH2 gives you more lens options.

(3) AUDIO:
GH2 has manual control over audio, albeit only four levels to choose from. You also get audio bars during recording. But the audio input jack is only 2.5mm, so you need an adapter to connect most mics to the camera.

7D has auto gain control, which means you have no manual control of the audio and no bar levels to monitor it.

Winner - GH2 - no brainer.

GH2 is only good at 1080(24p) and 1080(60i), the rest sucks balls. No PAL.

7D is good at almost everything. 24p, 30p, 25p, 60p, -- you name it, 7D has got it.

Winner - 7D

GH2 is AVCHD 24mbps, has less moire, aliasing, and rolling shutter.

7D is MOV 48mbps, can have awful moire, aliasing, and rolling shutter.

Winner: GH2. This is a tough one cuz the 7D has proven itself in Hollywood. If the environment could be tightly controlled, the 7D would be the winner. But I shoot run-and-gun with no control over my environment so I trust the GH2 over the 7D -- if the lenses were the same.

Winner: 7D -- no contest. The Panasonic LX5, a point and shoot, can give you the same images the GH2 can. That's bad.

I'm keeping both the GH2 and the 7D, but if you can only get one, get the GH2. It's more bang for your buck.

The GH2 is better for run-and-gun shoots where I cannot control my surroundings. It's small, easier to conceal, and I don't need a lot of accessories to get proper focus and audio. The still image quality sucks, but it's better than nothing. This is the perfect documentary camera, travel camera, all-purpose hybrid camera.

The 7D is better for controlled environments where I have time to set lights, mess with dual audio or if taking good still images is important. If I'm shooting a narrative film or music video, the 7D is my camera of choice.
1414 comments| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 22, 2011
I am approaching this review from the professional video perspective.

The Panasonic gh2 is by far, without a shadow of a doubt, the best video DSLR I have ever used. Prior to this purchase I have owned the Canon 5d mkII, Canon 7d, and the Panasonic GH1. All of which had their respective ups and downs. My biggest issue with these cameras was that they compromised image quality in one fashion or another. The canon's all had issues with Moire and cooling. The Panasonic was crippled by its lackluster codec and low light performance.

I purchased this camera in the hopes that it would be a versatile B camera to support my AF100 during interviews and documentary shoots. It does not disappoint, in fact I find myself taking the gh2 out more than the af100 for most small shoots because of its size and convenience.

I love the fact that I can adapt literally any lens to the camera without having to use optical correcting filters or invasive modifications (canon PL Mount modification). This camera is a true hybrid. It has an EVF, flip screen, audio gain control, long record time, exceptionally clean image, overcrank and undercrank options... the list goes on. All for $1000. That is the price of a nice consumer camera! But it preforms like a pro camcorder.

The camera is extremely easy to use. Buttons are well placed, menu's are easy to navigate, and everything is right where it should be. The touch interface is surprisingly comfortable to use. I would note though that I am very tech savvy so it may not be as easy to use for a beginner.

There is some room for improvement. Panasonic should adopt the global shutter in their cameras to eliminate skew (mos roll) on fast pans, even though it is much less pronounced than the canon and nikon cameras that I have used. I feel like the camera is more then capable of doing a solid 1080p @ 60fps with a high bitrate yet it can't really do it due its limited firmware. More options for overcrank and undercrank would be nice: instead of %'s it should be FPS. Options for audio monitoring while recording like a 3.5 headphone jack would be a huge plus. A battery grip would be a welcome accessory for extended shoots.

All in all Panasonic did an excellent job with this camera and they have set the bar for what is to come in the Video DSLR field. I look forward to canons answer to this camera. Hopefully the 5d mkIII will come out this year!

**When editing, convert the .mts files to Apple Pro Res 422 not only does this save time in the edit but it also holds up better to color grading. Native AVCHD files tend to break under heavy grading, so keep this in mind when prepping for post work.**

*Edit* After further testing it looks like the GH2 has a better dynamic range (ability to get a good exposure in a high contrast environment) than my 7d during video recording. I am not sure as to what the cameras actual DR is during video, DXOmark has it listed at 11.5 stops for stills. I can also say that it seems to control the highlights better than my af100 and 7d in high contrast environments, though this has a lot to do with the gamma settings in the camera itself. In a controlled environment all these cameras would look great! But for real world usability, shooting outdoors, and unpredictable environments the GH2 stands by itself. I would say that if you are looking for a versatile camera for documentary and production work, this is by far the best value closely followed by the af100. If you are just looking for something to shoot in controlled environments or a lot of stills with, a canon may be the better choice. I know that they are fazing out the t2i right now so you could probably pick it up for cheap.

I would also look into picking up some lenses in the m42 mount (aka pentax screw mount). They are practically universal and can be adapted to most lens mounts for about $5. I use them on my Canon and Panasonic cameras with great results. If you look carefully you can pick some old Ziess lenses for a good price. I was able to build a full prime kit for a couple thousand over the course of a couple months. Old lenses aren't the best but they will save you lots of money and heart ache when you are starting out.
44 comments| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 6, 2011
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 16.05 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Hybrid Lens (Black)My GH2 arrived this week from Amazon and I'm nothing but delighted with the quality and versatility of the outfit. I worked my way through college photographing weddings, sports event and beauty queen pagents, and turning out more than 1,000 enlargements a month. My experience goes back to the 4x5" Crown Graphics, Rollies, Canons, Nikons, etc., and has gone through uninterruptibly more than a dozen digital cameras including the Lumix G1& GH-1. Suffice to say that this is the BEST and MOST VERSITILE camera I've ever owned or borrowed.

For still photography, it offers a devestating combination of quality and portability. Thanks to a year with the GH1, I've got the 14-140mm and 20mm lenses, and thanks to this purchase the 14-42mm lens as well. All perform admirably and I'm really loath to leave any of them behind when I go out shooting. And, thanks to their small form factors and low weight, I don't have to abondon any of my beauties! Rather, the body and all 3 lenses fit nicely in a Lowepro Nova 180 AW bag, along with a Blackrapid camera sling (that I consider a "must" purchase) and all the normal accessories including the charger, lens shades & filters -- and the total package weighs just under 5 pounds!

It took me only a day to dispell the reluctance I had experienced about spending $100 more for the kit with the 14-42 lens. "Wasn't this overkill," I thought. No way! Yesterday I was doing observations of a Los Angeles Regional Youth Orchestra program and more-or-less on a whim I decided to do a real-life fieldtest of my purchase. I mounted the 14-42 mm lens for this indoor assignment because the 14-140 -- although it has tremendous "reach" and produces very sharp images -- was slower in aperature and relatively heavy and would have been in the way when I had to take notes on a clipboard. And, the 20mm -- although blazingly fast, light and producing terrific quality images -- didn't have the "reach" I needed to shoot in an indoor gym that was about 50x150 feet with action going on all around.

In this case the 14-42 turned out to be an ideal compromise. It was only slightly heavier and larger than the 20mm 1.7 lens, and yet it was a full stop faster than the 14-140 zoom and had the "anti-shake" mechanism that the 20mm lens lacks (thus making up for most of the 1.7 lens' speed advantage). Consequantly, it was the perfect lens for this well-lighted, large indoor venue. Also, when I put it video mode it performed beautifully and I was able to shoot video clips that I'll use to supplement my written observations which -- by themselves -- I now perceive as being hopelessly dry and uniformative compared to embedding video clips with my writing.

When I go back to shooting sailboat races where you have to zoom in on boats that may be from 3' to 300' away from your lens, I'll suck it up and lug the 14-140; when I need to shoot people indoors incompspicuously under poor lighting conditions, I'll give thanks for the 20mm 1.7 lens; but for assignments such as yesterday's, the 14-42 mm zoom was perfect for the job.

One other thing about the 14-42mm lens -- it's lighter and more "plasticy" than the 14-45mm zoom it replaced on the GH1, but frankly I think it's better both from the standpoints of quality and portability. I sold off my 14-45 lens after only a month of use; but based on yesterday's results I think the 14-42 is a keeper.

More important than any of the above comments: I'm finding the GH2 is a "game-changer" for any of us still photographers that write for a living and suddenly realizes that they can can enrich everything from research reports, to travelogues, to product reviews with generous doses of video. I didn't feel that way about my halting efforts to produce videos with the GH1, but the videos I was able to turn out yesterday without ever reading the manual makes me a fan of gh2 videos for life -- or at least until the next generation arrives! Also, don't even talk to me about competitors that don't have high-quality optical-style viewfinders; I don't view them as being worth considering for anything that smacks of "seriuous work."

Finally -- please note that I haven't gone into any technical data relating to the gh2's performance or more rigorous comparisons to the other ways you can blow $1000-$2500 on your next camera. For this kind of info, just go to the review on which is the most useful and even-handed review I've seen. They too consider the gh2 to be a game-changer for lots of reasons, but they also point out some things that Panasonic will need to fix via firmware updates or in the next generation of these fantastic cameras.
55 comments| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 22, 2012
I could write pages and pages analyzing each feature of the GH2, but that's been done. This camera has two big interest groups: cinematographers, and photographers (still photos, that is). Read the section more pertaining to you, bearing in mind that I'm a still photographer

great performance. Great depth and everything.
Some of the things less advertised:
-Lots of in-camera photo editing (pre-shot) so you can set +contrast, -Sat, and B&W to see what the final image will look like, before ever putting it on the computer. I use it to see if the effect I'm going for will work. Also, built in "films" that are great for different looks on your photos, each one equatable to a LR plugin or preset. Things like smooth, vivid, etc.
-Zoom in for manual focus. I really love this when I'm using a tripod for Macro work and my depth of focus is ~.5mm I can get a real close up look at the subject and get that amazingly sharp spot-on focus that everyone loves
-The dials. I think they're underrated. I can go from facial tracking to spot focus to multi-area without taking my eye off the subject. I can change focus modes, turn on burst, set a timer, all that without taking my eye out of the viewfinder. I love that.
-The AF/AE Lock. If you don't have this on your current camera, you're missing out. It's great for exposing shots into the sun. Point up a bit, set the lock, then focus on a lower subject, pop flash, and then you've got a great shot in a high-dynamic-range environment without any post-processing, bracketing, or setup.
-The settings screen. Many people are going to use the LCD for taking pictures. I use the viewfinder, so I then set the LCD to a settings screen showing white balance settings, exposure settings, and all the other settings like bracketing and EC, focus modes, drive mode, saving mode etc.etc.etc. It's the info shown on the live-view screen, but you can edit it all with a tap and a spin of the dial, instead of navigating the quick menu. And it's in big shiny boxes, real pretty to look at too.
-Lots of other random stuff. I'd take way too long to explain it all. Don't listen to the haters, this camera is great. Don't listen to dSLR evangelists, EVIL (Electronic viewfnder & interchangeable lens) cameras can stand up next to them. It's all about how you use it.

Compared to a friend's T3i, the GH2 is much smaller, more compact, less chunky. The T3i has about 200ISO better noise performance, but both produce good images at ISO3200 (not that I got that high regularly). Gh2 has faster focusing, but less accurate low-light focusing. Interesting fact, the Gh2 will not focus on a solid white wall without the focus light. Just tossing that out, even though nobody really does that. The 14-42 kit lens is the same as a T3i's 18-55 kit lens. Oh and the GH2 is 158032^152 times more fun and user friendly to use xD. More awesome auto mode. I haven't found a way to repurpose the record button, so I think you'll just always have a random video button. Oh well, I'm not using it.

The GH2 has a M4/3 sensor (obviously) so the focal length multiplier is 2x. So at 14mm, your "zoom" will be about he same as a 35mm camera at 28mm. So don't bother getting a 50mm lens, that's basically what the kit lens is (14mm<25mm<42mm).

A note of warning, advanced functions -are- possible, but some are a little hidden. One is custom WB. You have to set the display to the settings screen, then choose WB and then "adjust" and you can set 4 custom WB settings to use later (gray card or manual adjust). Some other things are a little hidden like this, you just have to google what you're trying to do.

Slave flashes are hard to set up, as is high-sync. Doesn't tether to a laptop well, either. Can't use an external device control it (Canon has a EOS utility for PC's and Mac's). A few things like this come out of it being built as a video camera first, then a photography camera - or, it seems that way at least.

The 2.5mm port is great for remote shutters, I have a 2.5Ghz wireless one set up right now

Screen is nice and brightness is auto-adjusted. I've never noticed it being very dark or bright relative to my conditions, it's always about right.
The LVF/LCD switch is set to "high" out-of-box, but I found that it would often switch while I was using the touch screen, so I moved it to "low". It's a little slower but seems more intent-accurate. Btw, I love the switch. Very useful, saves lots of battery.
Swapping batteries is super easy, I can do it in 5 seconds flat from looking in the viewfinder to looking into it again. 7 seconds flat Picture>>swap>>picture. That was with the battery on my desk. Obviously it would take a bit longer from your pocket, but the point is that the camera isn't the hold up.

All in all, I really love this camera. I've used it for macro, landscape, portraits, HDR, Focus stacking, just about everything. And it's small and light enough to not get in the way. It feels sturdy though, probably ABS plastic.

Anyways, I hope you get the point: Buy it. Support the revolution and treat yourself while doing it. If you don't get this, the T4i is the next step up in my opinion. It came out a few months after I got my GH2, though. It's got all the Canon support and backing that draws lots of people. The Rebel line is sort of the iPhone of cameras, lol.

I can't talk much about this becuase it's not my field, but I get suuuuper high quality videos that come out great. Great bitrates built in. Full HD of course, and lots of format options. I understand there are hacks for higher bitrates, none of which I intend to use.
Focus pulling isn't beautiful with the kit lens and tap-to-focus. It works really nicely, but isn't a smooth transition--it looks more like a camera focusing :)
Other things like power zooming would all be from some other lens. Check that the lens you want is made for M4/3 cameras. The 5DmkIII has a better selection of lenses, but it's also more than double the cost. I've seen this camera used professionally, in some documentaries and newscasts. It's a great lightweight and super portable camera that doesn't sacrifice quality. Movies look great at ISO12,800. Dynamic range is a little less than a full-frame, but that's to be expected.
11 comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 26, 2012
I sent one of my GH2's in for warranty service because the LCD had developed a white spot. Not a cracked LCD ( did that on a Canon once), just a blemish on the screen.

I got a call from them telling me they had received it. Weeks later (today) I called to see what the status was. First they said they had no such work order as the number I gave them. Some colorful language later, they found it, then said no proof of purchase, more colorful language and they found that.

Then they said they were waiting for my authorization to fix it for $325.00 because there was physical damage.There was no physical damage to that camera.. and more discussion that will necessitate me gong to church on Sunday.

I finally told them to box it up and send it back to me in the same condition they received it.

I really get sick of this. If they had come up with something legitimate there wouldn't be much I could say about it, but to say there was physical damage is just a shady way of avoiding the warranty.

Repairs and warranties are important to me so despite the great performance of the GH2's, this will be my last Panny.

A web search which I should have done before purchasing, shows the same complaint over and over.....Buyer beware!
11 comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 27, 2011
First off, when I ordered this item I wasn't expecting to get the GH2k, which is the European version. It only shoots in 1080i, not 1080p. I don't really care though, because when it comes down to it, 99% of a video/still's quality comes from the photographer and lens.


This camera body has extremely impressive quality. I love how tiny and lightweight it is! Because of the mu43 sensor, it needs a lot more light than other DSLRs to function professionally, but it also has next to no moire. It's a worthy trade off because you're supposed to use lights anyway. The colors I can get out of this thing are absolutely stunning. I can crank the iso up to 800 without a single pixel of grain, and it only gets super grainy after 2000. Paired with the 20mm 1.7 lens, this camera shoots cinema quality. I recommend shooting all of your videos and stills very neutral so that you have more to work with when you get to a computer.

Speaking of computers, the program that comes with the camera to edit and manage pictures is fabulous. I compared it's power to photoshop and there was no contest- the factory software blew everything else out of the water.

I give the interface 10 out of 10 for being intuitive and efficient. You can set all of the function buttons to different actions depending on what you need to adjust the most. It has a gazillion useful features, seriously.

The kit lens is not bad, especially if you leave it at 14mm. It's nice and sharp, and has awesome autofocus/OIS. If you zoom to 45mm, it becomes very difficult to get enough light.

There are not as many lenses on the market for mu43 cameras. I tried adapting a 28mm zeiss, but it's so dark and the DOF is so shallow that I can barely use it for stills. Do some snooping around to find a nice mu43 lens, and you're all set.

0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 22, 2012
After owning this camera for two months I would not say that I've utilized all of its features and capabilities, but at the same time hopefully have enough experience to approach it objectively. It was surprising to see that somebody gave three stars to this camera after just a 15 minute comparison with Canon 60D and making a conclusion based primarily on how the camera sits in someone's hand. This camera does not deserve such a "quick" evaluation and adding another point of view should help others get a more objective picture.

First of all, yes, I would agree about the smaller grip on this camera comparing to Canon Digital Rebel that I own. However, if one is concerned about the quality of products (pictures, videos) from the camera, one would consider many other factors than just a grip. Plus, a smaller grip can always be enlarged, but a larger grip cannot be made smaller. While traveling every gram will pull you down, hence it's understandable that the designers of this camera left ideas of adding some bulk up to the owners and it is wise.

I've owned Canon Digital Rebel for approximately six years and was using it not because I was inspired by the tool, but because I did not have an alternative. Panasonic GH2 inspires me to capture videos and take photos because qualitatively speaking I like the final product and that what all it matters. Who cares about the grip size of about the proportion of plastic in the camera's body? Speaking about plastic... Yes, when zooming in and out it feels that the parts are going "plastic and plastic", but I am rarely zooming in and out during videos. If it will be important for me, I'll consider purchasing a lens with powerzoom Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 Lens for Panasonic Lumix G-Series Digital Cameras, specifically designed for video shooting. When I was buying this camera, a body-only option was going for the same price as the kit, so did not make sense to buy body-only.

By the way, some people have mentioned that they are concerned about the built of this camera. I am not sure how long will last, but my Canon Digital Rebel had to go to service twice for fixing. Once during first 12 months and another time in it's second year. The shutter mechanism is supposed to last 100,000 pictures, but stopped working somewhere around 4,000-5,000. Not sure about Canon's products for professionals, but I'll keep some distance from their consumer products for a while.

It appears that the price for this camera has increased during last five weeks. Either it's because the sale is over now or because Panasonic has made an updated firmware available on December 7th, 2011 and in turn the demand has increased. Among some fixes the updated firmware now offers a 1080/30p option (HBR at 24Mbit/s) versus 24p and 30i that this camera was limited to before December 7th.

By the way, while choosing a camera, one should remember not only about the controls and quality, but also about what happens with post-production and how much time post-production can take. If you will be getting only .MOV (QuickTime) video files from a photo camera, think about how much time it can take to convert them in order to burn a Blu-ray video disc. This camera captures video in AVCHD format that can be immediately played on a Panasonic, Sony, and some other Blu-ray players without any conversion. Many Panasonic Blu-ray players and TVs have an SDHC reader built in which makes it fast and convenient to check the quality of photos and videos without transferring to a PC and burning discs. In my case using a Panasonic Blu-ray player seemed to be faster at reading 14 Megapixel photos than a Panasonic TV, but the most recent models of Panasonic TVs are most likely better equipped.

For those who are interested in technical details... If you will be using a 32GB SDHC card in this camera it should be enough for approximately 3 hours and 3 seconds of HBR (High-Bit Rate) video at 1080/30p. The camera comes with a free/bundled program that will allow you to burn HD video to a DVD-R (clips with no more than 18Mbit/s) or BD-R media (24Mbit/s is OK), therefore you don't need to buy a separate disc burning program. Since there is no conversion while burning video discs with AVCHD files, these discs can be used for both purposes: for archiving original video and for watching that video without spending extra time for authoring. Hopefully this information will help those who are proactive and think about their video production workflow ahead of time.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 10, 2012
I have been shooting professionally since the 1990s. Most of my camera bodies have been Canon, and my most recent ones have been Canon 5D MkII, of which I own and still use two. The Canon 5D MkII ("5d2") is an excellent camera, capable of fantastic results, and while it's considered to be 'compact' compared to other professional bodies (Canon 1Ds MkIV, Canon 1Dx, Nikon D4, etc), it's still quite cumbersome to carry. Even the consumer oriented Canon and Nikon camera bodies can be quite heavy, especially when carrying more than one lens.

Enter the micro four thirds format (m43). Early in its history, image quality was decent but left lots to be desired. Lens selection was poor. They were slow to focus and respond. And they were expensive for what they were.

m43 today is an entirely different story. Fast, compact, a respectable range of lens choices, and reaonably priced. And while not up to producing image quality of full-frame dSLRs, it can certainly hold it's own against many dSLRs with APS sized sensors (Canon 7D, 60D, Nikon D7000, Canon G1X, Sony NEX series, etc).

I owned an Olympus EPL1 for some time, and felt that the image quality was quite good, especially for the compact size. Now that I own a GH2, all I can say is WOW!!! The GH2 is fast and responsive, and the 16MP sensor is a huge improvement over the 12MP EPL1. Sure the GH2 is a little bigger than the EPL1, but it's negligible. Plus the GH2 is much nicer to hold, and I have small hands. Go to the camera size website and see for yourself (google it; amazon doesn't allow links).

The GH2 is a winner in many ways. The video is produces is pro-quality. Many independent filmmakers have turned to the GH2 for its 'film-like' quality. Search around on Vimeo and see some of the GH2 footage for yourself. Clearly AMAZING.

The best thing about the m43 format is it's size. Especially the lenses. Many of my most used Canon lenses weigh anywhere from 1 to 3 POUNDS! The heaviest m43 lens I own weighs a few OUNCES. Check out the various pancake lenses out there.

I used to use my Canon gear for 100% of my professional work. Since getting the GH2, I only use the Canon gear for about 70% of my professional work. As I get more m43 lenses and a lighting system, that percentage will surely shrink to the 50% range. For my non-professional work (travel, social snaps, etc), the GH2 is my go-to camera. It's such a JOY to use.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 30, 2014
I switched from Canon to Nikon when the D90 was launched specifically for the video capabilities. In hindsight, I should have stuck with Canon and stepped up the the 5D, but that's history.

Nikons are tough to beat for still photography - my D3s are still go-to cameras for paid stills work, but I got tired of waiting for Nikon to take video seriously, so I invested in several GH2s.

The video quality produced by the GH2 is simply amazing. I never got around to hacking mine and never felt the need to do so. I've shot green screen and the footage holds up nicely in post. With wide aperture lenses, you can do low light work. You won't get FS100 or C300 level clean low light footage, but then this camera costs a fraction of those units. The GH2 works in situations where my previous camcorders would dare not venture.

The 25mm Panasonic/Leica lens is my favorite for interviews on this camera.

Two main gripes with the GH2: 1) No headphone port means no ability to monitor incoming audio. 2) Batteries drain quickly

Audio is so critical to video work, that you need the ability to monitor it while recording. Relying on the meters is not enough - you could be recording static. This happened to me on a job once. Fortunately, I had two cameras rolling so I was able to use the 2nd camera's audio. Since then, I always used an external recorder. Shame really, because the GH2's internal audio is quite good - better than what Canon DSRLs offer, so I've read.

Battery drain is more of a convenience issue, and I always have a ton of spares on me. But, if you're rigged up and on sticks, you might have trouble swapping batteries quickly. Pain in the ass if you've got several people waiting to be interviewed. I did buy the A/C adapter, but haven't used it yet - laying down an extension cord seemed the greater evil.

I have since upgraded to GH4s. I enjoy the improved ergonomics and 4k quality, but the GH2s were smaller and lighter. If you're on a budget, the GH2 is still a great option for video work.

Still photos are passable. I still prefer my Nikons for stills.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse