There's so much to like about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 that the few, unfortunately serious, flaws with the camera seem to loom as even larger detractions. On the upside, it preserves much of the really nice design characteristics of the GF1, incorporating a very well designed touch-screen interface, and improves on that camera's already zippy performance. And if you shoot raw, the camera can produce some very nice images. But it also suffers from two serious flaws: the same poor JPEG processing engine that plagues the LX5 and the same tantrum-inducing inability to lock the focus area on the touch screen as on the G2 and GH2.
If you shoot raw, you can get extremely good images as high as ISO 800 and usable ones at ISO 1,600--the dynamic range is such that you end up with some clipping in the shadows, but nothing unacceptable in a camera in this price range. However, I wouldn't recommend shooting JPEGs higher than ISO 100 unless in bright sunlight, and even then get ready for artifacts. The GF2 uses the same Venus FHD processing engine as the LX5, and though the images look better (likely because of the better sensor), the JPEGs suffer from similar yellow splotches and oversharpening crunchiness. Interestingly, the GF1 posts better noise results than the GF2 up to ISO 800. You definitely get better JPEG results on macro shots and zoomed-in closeups than you do in broad wide-angle or landscape shots.
Aside from that, it does well on all the other measures of quality, such as color, exposure, general consistency, and sharpness across lenses. But that's a pretty big aside.
It also delivers solid video quality: moderately sharp with some typical edge aliasing, surprisingly good exposures even when backlit, and very little moiré or rolling-shutter wobble. The bigger issue with video is the dearth of adjustment controls. With the exception of Defocus, it's all automatic.
The GF2 performs roughly the same as the GF1, and beats the rest of its class in many respects. It takes about 0.9 second to power on, focus, and shoot. Focusing and shooting in good light runs an excellent 0.4 second, while in dim light it's a not-too-shabby 0.7 second. You typically can shoot two sequential JPEG shots in only 0.7 second, though that increases to 0.9 second for raw, and adding flash recycling time into the JPEG mix bumps it to 1.6 seconds. The burst rate of 2.8fps is just OK, but you really don't want to use any of these cameras for continuous shooting. This isn't dSLR-like speed, but the focus is fast enough to shoot predictably moving subjects; shooting fast or unpredictably moving ones still requires a dSLR with an optical viewfinder. And the dynamic tracking autofocus system is pretty good--better at locking and holding focus than Olympus' for shooting video.
Though not as small as Sony's NEX-5, the GF2 is a comfortable "compact" size for those of us who like a little more heft to our cameras. It also feels a little more balanced when equipped with a longer lens.
Among the sparse features atop the camera are a decent stereo microphone, albeit one that lacks separation, a dedicated video record button, and quick-access button for intelligent auto mode. Though I'm a big fan of the dedicated video record buttons, I don't like the feel of this one; it's flush with the top surface and a bit hard to find just by feel.