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First Panasonic GH2 review at

Share (Click here) posted the first Panasonic GH2 review. There are many image samples from 160 to 12.800 ISO.

Are you satisfied with the GH2 image quality and noise handling?

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  • Panasonic delivers again, unlike so of their competitors…

    • Brief impressions:

      All shots slightly soft – OOC Jpegs perhaps? Colours are dull but probably due to the shooting conditions. I’m also used to slightly saturated E-P1 Olympus colours, so I’m expecting a lot.

      ISO160: fine
      ISO400: Seems to be blurry due to camera shake – even ISO1600 looks sharper
      ISO800: looks pretty good
      ISO1600: Sharp, low noise but loss of colour
      ISO3200: noise is well controlled, some loss of detail and loss of colour
      ISO6400: Lots of detail and colour lost, but noise is acceptable at a push
      ISO12600: black and white use only

      Just my thoughts :). Essentially a stop or so increase, by the looks of things. Hopefully the softness is due to the reviewer/lens/test conditions or can be sharpened up well in Lightroom or something.

  • mrmacmusic

    Now I’m depressed…. I will eagerly await further reviews from trusted UK surces, but on the face of it, it seems that the GH2 ‘raises the bar’ once again, leaving my GH1 looking a bit tired, old and wrinkly… :-(

    From my quick glance at those image samples, it appears that the fixed pattern noise has gone at ISO3200, and even 6400 looks usable in emergency. Despite the occasionally hilarious Google translation, it’s also clear that the claimed super-quick AF speed isn’t just marketing faffle, and the GH2 is indeed one fast camera.

    Thumbs up by the looks of things!

  • MK

    i hope they deliver $625 GF1 with 14-45 by my next paycheck lol

  • Eric

    Photos taken with the GH2 are starting to find their way to Flickr also:

    Here’s an ISO1600 sample:

    That’s certainly good enough for my needs. I can’t wait to see what can be done with the RAW files in Lightroom 3. Lightroom 3’s noise reduction can even make ISO1600 on the G1 usable. We might even be able to use ISO6400 from the GH2 when shooting RAW.

  • Inge – M.

    Maybe Olympus can try ISO 25600, with truepic V+ in next PRO camera ?

    • Steve

      Olympus? Are they still even in the hunt other than their JPEG prowess?

      • Olympus just like to take things slow. I’m confident we’ll see new m43 from them over the next year. :)

  • addieleman

    Noise-wise the pictures look quite good, well useable at ISO 3200, less so at ISO 6400. However, I’m disappointed at the lack of sharpness at lower ISO settings. Either the lens or the jpg is not very good. I’ll have to wait for raw samples with better lenses to really see if the GH2 performs well enough.

  • spanky

    I voted No. There’s significant softness even starting at ISO 400, and gets worse from there even though noise doesn’t appear until ISO 1600. The difference between ISO 400 and ISO 160 in terms of detail is astonishing. At ISO 400 the processor has washed out a lot of detail from the image.

    These may be fine for general purpose photography, but not for anything more serious. Hopefully they’ll look different in RAW and with the production firmware, but right now I’m not impressed. I think the foolish move to bump up MP is going to cost them the enthusiast crowd, although most users and videographers I’m sure will rave about it. I’m keeping my GH1 for the moment…

    • 400iso looks like the camera was shaking quiet a bit because 800&1600iso looks way sharper to me

      This lens is very poor, the 14-42 that is,
      the 14-45 is sharper, and they should tested with a 14-140mm
      I look forward to DPreview, they use the Zuiko 50mm I believe.

      Dont draw any strong conclusion based on these photos though

  • CR102

    Well, apart from high ISO which looks pretty decent up to 3200, I was unimpressed with sharpness, DR and the generally dull colours (although those samples seem to have been shot on a dull day). 16 MP is clearly too much for whatever lens was used. The plastic construction makes this camera a fancy toy for amateur videographers rather than a serious tool. Such a pity Panasonic decided to compete by enhancing features instead of IQ. I sincerely hope that the GF2 sets a different trend.

  • zebarnabe

    The 14-42mm lens are not the 14-45mm in terms of sharpness… i would love to see 14-140mm samples… GH1 vs GH2 comparison would be easier.. (specially if both cameras were used at the same time for the same subjects)

    I also noticed the NR is taking some different action when compared with GH1 one… but given the already softness of 14-42 (helped further by the MP’s increase) it’s hard to tell.. :/

    On the good side, noise is not out of scale as one would expect with the MP’s increase… also the banding that GH1 often shows (specially at 1600~3200 ISO’s) seems that went away… that is truly my only complain with GH1 high ISO image quality (sure ordinary noise is there, but not unexpected)…

    More samples with more standard subjects and better lens would give a more conclusive answer to what GH2 sensor is…

  • zebarnabe

    (Sorry for double posting)
    Looking closely i noticed something quite weird … On ISO batch, look at the flowers on the window… at ISO 160 there is some softness, ok… that could be the lens… or the focusing… but … look at ISO 800 .. there is some drop in saturation and detail, and that is to be expected… however, some hints of ‘color bleed’ are seen .. at higher ISOs this is evident.. NR algorithm is doing something strange… or there is something with the sensor…

    Well … i hope that final product doesn’t behave like that at ISO 800… seeing stuff ‘glowing’ by increasing ISO is weird enough for me…

    • david

      Definitely some odd color bleeding effects there (most noticeable in things like the label on the trashcan). 400 has some camera shake, or they perhaps forgot to turn off IS on the tripod. General detail looks pretty good though. No doubt they’ll refine the JPEG processing a bit in the production firmware, but I don’t really care. Overall I’m cautiously optimistic that the RAW will be up to snuff (equal or slightly better than the GH1, without high-ISO banding).

  • One thing that did initially surprise me was the size. It’s tiny in the reviewer’s hands! I’m an E-P1 user, so I was expecting it to look huge.

    • Miroslav

      I also noticed that! The guy has to have big hands :), because GH2 looks like a P&S superzoom on those photos.

  • Well, like all samples taken to date, these are not the best. Still, while in camera jpeg processing looks to be in effect, it is promising. I look forward to well controlled RAW and jpeg samples from professional reviewers using a production camera. Still overall, comparing to my GH1, I have hopes for overall though not dramatic improvement and that is with an increase in resolution. Can’t afford it today anyway but good chance the GH2 will be my second body to go along with my GH1 if the trend continues. Show me the RAW though.

  • Bill

    If Panasonic DR keeps going downhill like this, soon all the images will be monochromatic. It is sad that a Fuji F200/300 at one fifth the price puts the GH2 to shame. While it is to Psnasonic’s financial benefit to cater to those who worship at the megapixel altar, one could hope that Olympus will take the high road. The E620 still has the best DR of any 4/3rds camera, hopefully the E5 will improve on that with Olympus introducing a more affordable E50. If not, it will be APSC for me.

  • Boris

    It was the color rendition that impressed me most. Taken on a cloudy day the pictures were fun to watch.
    The colors are JUST RIRHT on the target TO MY EYES, not too showy not too dull. The best color rendition I’ve seen from Panasonic in-camera jpegs.

  • richard

    I had no doubt Gh2 will deliver great video, but image i don’t think is anyway close to nikon.

  • awall

    800 + Soft!! We will have to wait and see how it looks with some higher end optics but to me it just looks like the gh2 does some serious softening from even 400 iso plus. I am actually really disappointed in the these images, cant wait to see more photos with some higher end glass and see how this bad boy performs.

    • George


  • kesztió

    The only thing can show what the camera is really capable of is the DxO labs RAW measurement.

    I voted yes, but let’s wait for DxO tests!

    • Inge – M.

      Hope the come soon now.

    • zebarnabe

      yep…. DxO tests are quite conclusive :) let’s wait for them…

  • George

    listen up guys these ISO photos were taken with 14-42mm. I bought g2 and returned it just because of that stupid len. Belive you me it is a disaster lens since i have g1 with 14-45, i know the differences. What we need to see is 20mm or 14-140 shots. But it seems pretty good, even though begginning at ISO800 it shows up some softness.

    • kesztió

      Hi, George,
      Would the GH2 perform using 14–45 as fast as you would use 14-42 (maybe after firmware upgrade)?

      • George

        i believe so, my main concern is how fast it will be with 20mm. gh1 with 20mm is pretty slow i hope this will work better

  • Inge – M.

    ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 is more green and other ISO setting!
    Maybe Panasonic have two difference out read speed in green canal.

  • Will

    After having my D90 for a year, I bought a GH1 so that I wouldn’t have to carry an additional video camera with me on my hols. The GH1 totally impressed me with it’s video but I was horrified with image quality. The camera over saturated bright colours like reds and blues- this problem was even worse when using the flash in low light. The portraits I took of my partner made her look awful- red blotches all over her face. I took the camera back and thinking about getting the GH2- will it be the same?
    Has anyone else had this problem? I would really appreciate some feedback.

    • Duarte Bruno

      No experience with the GH1 but shooting RAW and using the right color profile for your camera in the RAW developer might solve your problem.

    • ANGRY Olympus Owner

      The lens may have been the problem, the 14-140 is a superzoom and colors and contrast and DOF arent great on it. Its made to be a all-rounder, so there will be great compromises

      What lens were you using with the D90?
      The GH1 is a great sensor, I think the lens is what let you down. Also use raw with ACR not out camera jpg, for best result

      If I were you, I would get the GH2 with a 20mm or a 25mm leica or wait for there fast zoom or m43-25mm which should both perform well

  • I think we have to wait until there are samples using the production firmware to be able judge what the GH2 is capable of. What I’ve seen so far looks hopeful so I might end up getting a GH2 but assuming the quality is up to par I’ll go for a 100-300 first.

  • Miroslav

    I like high ISO handling and agree with Mike’s first comment. ISO 1600 is totally OK for my needs, while 3200 is for emergency, due to the loss of color. I’d like to see what could Olympus do with that sensor. Maybe they are not using these multi aspect sensors due to their size, maybe there’s just not enough room in the PENs?

    Anyway, since there are two more fast lenses in the system ( 25mm F0.95 and 14mm F2.5 ) and more to come soon, I think the manufacturers should concentrate more on some other functions and leave this high ISO as it is. Just think: GH2’s ISO 1600 is better than most compacts’ ISO 100.

    • Duarte Bruno

      If you are worried about color loss then you should go past 400 because at 800 is wheere it takes the major HIT!

      • Duarte Bruno

        Sorry, I meant to write: “shouldn’t go past ISO 400!”

      • Miroslav

        Yeah, you’re right. Unfortunately. I only paid attention to the flowers. That yellow sign behind the door disappoints me the most – it completely vanishes. There’s also some color shift, the whole ISO 3200 picture looks purplish to me. But since high ISOs are more for low light, I’d like to see some night time samples as well.

      • ANGRY Olympus Owner

        @400 the camera is shaking

  • Duarte Bruno

    What I can say from those samples:

    low contrast detail retention – amazing up to 1600, already acceptable at 3200 and falling apart at 6400 (check the floor tiles under the distant door and also it’s glass panels)

    high contrast detail retention – same applies but shifted 1EV further

    dynamic range – as expected, this is a roller coaster that starts going straight down from base ISO. Check the yellow sign next to the left top of the distant door. The letters are there at 160, they almost fade at 200, at 400 it’s the sign itself that’s already fading and at 800 it’s almost gone. I’d say that at 1600 the GH2 still has a respectable shadow noise but at the cost of severe highlight clipping!

    colour sensitivity – this is where the worst news await, between 400 and 800 the loss of colour is almost unbelievable and at 1600 colour is virtually non existent! Check the signs on the distant door and on the garbage bin.
    In the end, I believe that if you need the best quality you should stop at 400!

    If you are interested about detail and you can sacrifice on colour, you can go up to 3200. With a good noise removal tool manually adjusted (I used NeatImage) even 6400 is usable in an emergency and it is my limit!

    Amazingly ISO 12800 preserves more edges than I would ever dream but all other parameters are heavily compromised. You’ll need to fine tune your noise reduction, and reduce your picture to around 6MP to get some decent pixel quality and you’ll still end with all sorts of shortcomings: DR, color reproduction and color noise (in big blotches)).

    • david

      What I can say from those samples: It’s probably not production firmware, Panasonic has likely made no significant progress in their JPEG processing, and in RAW the camera will probably be quite good.

      • ANGRY Olympus Owner

        remember these are jpgs, if fine pixel examination is going to be done we need raws, any who looks for details that small will not be using jpgs

  • Will

    I used the standard 18-105 lens with the D90, which gave me great portrait shots with the on board flash. I tried turning down the saturation levels down in “My Film Mode” which didn’t make much difference. This made me think that the flash was poor and not exposing properly- the shots I took without the flash seemed to be fine.
    I have read some reviews that Panasonic G cameras do tend to over saturate like P+S, whereas Dslr’s tend to keep colours natural.
    I kept the iso below 400 at 1/60 under normal incandescent lighting.
    I’m in a real dilemma with this and am seriously considering the D7000 which will give me good shots but the video will be poor.

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