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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 photo samples

If you shoot raw, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 delivers the goods; if you shoot JPEG, you may be disappointed.

LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin
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1 of 10 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise

As is typical of Panasonic's cameras, the built-in, default noise reduction delivers subpar results. Here, if you look at the text, you can see the bump in color NR between ISO 400 and 800 with the concomitant loss of sharpness. However, even as low as ISO 200 the color noise starts to impact the text. Stricly from a noise perspective, I wouldn't shoot JPEGs above ISO 100 in anything but bright sunlight.
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2 of 10 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise, ISO 100, raw vs. JPEG

Even at ISO 100 there's some unwanted noise on flat neutrals--look at the gray card--using the in-camera noise reduction. In part, it looks like it's exacerbated by excessive sharpening. A quick-and-dirty pass on the raw version produces much better results.
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3 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

If you deal with raw files, you can get relatively usable results up to ISO 1600.
(1/30 sec, f2.5, pattern metering, AWB, 14mm lens)
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4 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Artifacts

Even at ISO 100, JPEGs can have these horrible crunchy artifacts in non-close-ups. I think it's partly due to oversharpening, which can be adjusted in-camera. However, there's no similar problem for macro or zoomed-in shots, so there's no way to globally set the appropriate level of sharpening to cover both situations.
(1/100 sec, f4.0, AWB, pattern metering, 14mm lens)
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5 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Artifacts, JPEG vs. raw

This is a different crop of the previous image, demonstrating how the problem isn't inherent in the images themselves, but in the way the Panasonic is processing them.
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6 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Artifacts, zoomed in

As usual, when zoomed in, the JPEG results are better--this looks far better from an artifact perspective--but you can still see some minor color noise.
(1/60 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, AWB, 14-42mm lens at 42mm)
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7 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Distortion, 14mm lens

Panasonic generally does some in-camera distortion control, which is probably why there's so little at this wide an angle.
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8 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness, 14-42mm lens

The GF2 with the 14-42mm lens can be pretty sharp, but part of that is artificially boosted. Still, this looks pretty good.
(1/80 sec, f8, spot meter, AWB, ISO 100, 14-42mm lens at 36mm)
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9 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

14mm lens bokeh

The Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens has some relatively nice-looking bokeh.
(1/1,000 sec, f2.8, pattern metering, raw version of Expressive color mode shot, ISO 100)
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10 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

My Color mode

Though it's kind of nice to have, Panasonic's My Color mode isn't nearly as fun or flexible as Olympus' Art Filters. It does work with video capture, however.

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