Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
Better than a Flip -- a great little pocket camcorder
on June 6, 2010
Better than a Flip -- this tiny pocket camcorder is packed with features you'd expect in more expensive camcorders. However, the only two significantly useful features are the electronic stabilization and swingout LCD. Compared to Flip-style camcorders or digital cameras with fixed LCD viewfinders you can shoot useful hand-held video from a variety of positions without the shakes.
- The auto-focus works great, giving you better composition compared to fixed-focus Flips. Turn on macro focus and you can shoot tiny bugs 1cm away.
- The 5x optical zoom works fine but its little button is tough to control, especially during one-handed shooting. The GH2 is easy to operate with the right hand: flip the LCD with a pinkie, press the top record button with the thumb, shoot from the hip.
- Audio is surprisingly good due to the microphone placement on the LCD cover, facing your subject.
- The flash is great for taking indoor stills, with still picture quality comparable to other small digital cameras.
- Battery life is ok, I got 1.5 hours in SD shooting (a static shot). However, in "field use" recording clips in HD, taking several flash pictures, and using focus and zoom, I get about 45min battery life.
- Low light picture quality is average (as all camcorders are) but turn on the "high gain" feature and you'll capture usable video that most camcorders won't get.
- Manual features available made me LOL! There's a lot. You'll have to read the manual a few times.
- Picture quality is pretty good. Shots taken at 1080i setting viewed on a 52" 1080i TV look great, with good detail and color. The GH2 records 1080i video at about 17Mbits/s. You'll need a decent computer to edit HD files.
- Webcam: Fixed at VGA size @15fps and no manual control it's a very basic webcam.
- Bugs: the GH2 locked up on me once -- popping the battery cures it.
- Construction: the GH2 feels like an large clamshell cellphone. Not as robust as a Kodak Zx1, for example. Just don't drop it.
Overall a great value in a convenient little package.