Panasonic GH2 : The fastest micro four thirds system camera ever?

by Enche Tjin on September 18, 2010

Today, I am a bit shocked that Photo Rumors says that Panasonic GH2 will have improved auto focus speed to 0.099 sec with 14-140mm lens. While I am not sure whether it is full auto focus (from closest to infinity) or it is an average AF speed, I am quite impressed by the claim.

For comparison, GH1 full AF + shutter lag is 0.354 second. Canon T2i ,an entry level DSLR camera full AF + shutter lag is 0.254 second.

Beside the impressive AF speed, GH2 also get a new multi-scale sensor (4:3 or 16.9). This will make GH2 the first micro four thirds and four thirds cameras that surpass 12 MP.

With resolution that high, many will think that the noise will be awful in high ISO setting, but on the contrary, GH2 will has ISO range up to 12800, a stop over most micro four thirds system cameras.

In addition, GH2 will have touchscreen swivel LCD and high burst shooting up to 40 fps (reduced resolution).

GH2 will be definitely the best mirrorless cameras up to date and worthy competition of many DSLR cameras.


Panasonic GH2 specs

  • 18 MP multiscale sensor (16 effective MP)
  • 100-12.800 ISO
  • 24Mbit/s AVCHD video recording
  • The GH2 has one LSI with three cores (instead of current two cores of the GH1)
  • Improved AF speed (0.099 second with the 14-140mm kit-lens)
  • High-speed burst shooting of 5 fps with 16 MP
  • Super high-speed burst shooting of 40 fps (lower resolution)
  • Touch screen LCD
  • Announcement: 21 September

spec via Photo rumors

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

kwanonku September 21, 2010 at 12:31 am

GH2 is the king of Micro 4/3 cameras.
Even E-5 as the professional model itself is not as nice as GH2 in term of specification given..

kwanonku September 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm

quotes from Andrew Reid (

The Panasonic GH2 is definitely the new benchmark for DSLR video. The 5D Mark II may have a full frame sensor, and the Nikon D3S may have amazing low light performance. But the GH2 has a list as long as your arm in terms of innovative features and advantages over the competition.
+ For a start, we have 1080/60p – a great technical advancement and great for slow motion, previously only an option for 720p.
+ Image quality thanks to the new scaling chip and 3 core CPU looks to be a great step forward for the DSLR video world. The camera resolves a lot more detail than the Canon DSLRs or the Nikon D7000, which look very soft in comparison.
+ The image is free of moire and aliasing.
+ It has simultaneous live HDMI output whilst recording, although yet to see it working for myself. You can capture the feed via Nanoflash or similar. This is fantastic. Not sure yet whether it is uncompressed, probably not – but still great to have for monitoring a feed on set whilst rolling.
+ For run and gun, the AF is by far the best system over Canon and Nikon’s.
+ We have a Cinema 24p mode, cinema picture profile, and innovative touch to focus systems. It is not a dumbed down camera like the Sony NEX VG10 or Sony Alpha DSLRs even though it is aimed firmly at consumers, it doesn’t insult the intelligence of people wanting advanced functionality that the average Joe would never use.
The variable frame rates just gives slow motion or speeded up footage, but still it is a great to have this option in-camera for those who don’t know how to produce slow motion with an editing package.
+ The EVF is fantastic – very very big compared to most optical ones on consumer DSLRs.
+ The rotating screen is present and correct, and has much improved colour and clarity.

Against that lot, the 5D Mark II is starting to look like a bit of a one-trick-pony in the same way that the D3S only does one thing well. Canon and Nikon just got beat and it’s time they responded.

I am frankly astonished that we’ve gone most of the way through 2010 without any advanced in DSLR video from Canon. The 1DS Mark IV was expected to show up at either the NY Expo or Photokina and it is nowhere to be find. It’s 3 years since the last 1DS which debuted the 5D Mark II’s sensor. Either they have something VERY special coming or Canon are suffering some troubles in development of the new DIGIC processor or sensor.

As for Nikon, the presentation by Chase Jarvis was good but it felt like a ‘tell us something we don’t already know’ moment from Nikon, who have joined the party late and with a solid offering that strongly rivals the 7D but does nothing to further DSLR video in terms of specs like the GH2 does. Chase’s video was excellent though and his stills were even better.

Steve Solomon October 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Greetings! I too, was excited to read the specs of the new Panasonic GH2, especially since recently obtaining the Panny G2. As for claiming superiority over DSLRs like the new Nikon D7000, which like the GH2, is not even released yet, I think it best to wait for the pro reviews of both systems before one can make good judgments on respective image and video quality. Although, if I may offer an opinion, as much as I like the m4/3 system (particularly, the Panny 20mm f/1.7 pancake with the G2), I cannot help but think that the overall image quality of the Nikon D7000 will be superior, if only because of the sensor’s physical size difference, not to mention the vast array of superb Nikkor optics. Now, I’m talking still image capture. Since the GH2 is primarily geared towards video capture, it may be superior in that arena. Very anxious for test results!

Enche Tjin October 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Just posted AF video test. It is very fast, and about equal if not better than digital SLR cameras.

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