Panasonic today announced the LUMIX DMC-GF2, the latest of the company's DSL Micro (DSLM) compact mirrorless cameras, which is Panasonic's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system camera ? complete with a built-in flash.
The LUMIX GF2 is compatible with lenses from the Micro Four Thirds standard. Even more, the LUMIX GF2 is compatible with Panasonic's new 3D interchangeable lens, the LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12, so users can take 3D photos.
The LUMIX GF2 is easy to operate for consumers at any level, thanks to a newly-designed user interface, which allows for the focus to be set, or shutter released, by touching the 3-inch touch-screen LCD (460,000-dot-resolution). Once a user locks on a subject by touch, the LUMIX GF2 tracks the subject with the AF tracking function, even if the subject moves ? making it easy to take photos of moving subjects. The contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX DMC-GF2 is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF (Auto Focus) modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.
The touch operation also shortens the time spent navigating the menus. With the LUMIX GF2's newly-designed Touch Q-menu, the user can customize the camera's shortcuts with the most commonly used settings. Together with the simple button components, including dedicated buttons for video recording and iA (Intelligent Auto) mode which lights in-use, users can operate the camera with ease.
With the Intelligent Scene Selector in the iA mode, the camera automatically switches to the appropriate mode according to the subject touched. For example, a touch on a human face switches to the portrait mode and a touch on the background or scenery switches to the scenery mode, while a touch on the subject close to the camera switches to the close-up mode. With the MF assist mode for manual focusing, users can enlarge the subject by just a touch to select 1x, 5x or 10x and smoothly move the subject by dragging it on the screen. In iA mode and the Peripheral Defocus mode, the range of defocus can be adjusted by just moving the slider with a finger, something not possible with larger more complicated DSLR cameras that don't feature touch control.
For the image processor, the Venus Engine FHD is incorporated, featuring high performance signal processing capabilities in both photo and movie recording. With the advanced noise reduction system employing the 3D NR and CNR (Chromatic Noise Reduction), users can capture clear images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels to help prevent the color bleeding.
Panasonic's Venus Engine FHD enables Intelligent Resolution technology, which means that three areas ? outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation ? are automatically detected. Then, the outline parts are enhanced to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to look more finely detailed. To the soft gradation part, noise reduction system is applied to make it smoother. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the technology Intelligent Resolution performs signal processing pixel by pixel, resulting in images that are naturally clear in both video and photos. The 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor featured in the LUMIX GF2 offers the best of both worlds ? the superb image quality of a CCD sensor, plus the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor.
All of Panasonic's LUMIX G-Series DSLM cameras are equipped with the Dust Reduction System. If dust gets inside the camera when the user changes lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in photos. The Dust Reduction System helps to reduce this risk by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles.
The LUMIX GF2 shoots professional-quality full High Definition (HD) videos as well as handling still photography. The LUMIX GF2 can record 1920 x 1080 videos at 60i or smooth HD 1280 x 720 movies at 60p in AVCHD. For those looking for better compatibility with computers, the LUMIX GF2 can also record HD Motion JPEG in 1280 x 720 and QVGA, VGA and WVGA. A dedicated video record button makes it easy to start shooting videos, and high quality sound is recorded with the stereo microphone for Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. Panasonic's iA mode extends to video recording, with the following features: Optical Image Stabilizer, Face Detection, Intelligent D-range Control and Intelligent Scene Selector.
The LUMIX GF2 features My Color mode which is integrated with the conventional Film mode. My Color mode offers a total of eight preset effects ? Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Cinema, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette, plus Custom mode, which lets users manually set the color, brightness, saturation and contrast levels. Also, with the Full-time Live View function, users can see how these settings will affect the images before they shoot, which makes it easier to capture the exact effect desired. The LUMIX GF2 has 17 Scene modes, most which can be used during video shooting, too. The exposure meter can be displayed in the P/A/S/M shooting modes for entry-level users to visually learn the correlation between shutter speed and aperture to enhance their photography skills.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF2 will be available in black, silver, white, and red models with the following kit options: DMC-GF2C ? 14mm F2.5 Lens Kit and DMC-GF2K ? 14-42mm Zoom Lens Kit. The LUMIX GF2 will be available in January 2011 and pricing will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipment.