GH2 - where does it rank for photos?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by sigamy, May 30, 2013.

  1. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I was lucky enough to get a GH2 during Amazon's Christmas sale. I primarily shoot short films and the GH2 was my entry into "DSLR" filmmaking.

    I'm also now using it for family photos and kids sports. I'm making my way with it and have left our prior Nikon D60.

    I'm wondering where the GH2 would fall in a comparison to other m4/3 cameras strickly for stills? For example, how does it compare to the PENs in image quality, AF, etc...
  2. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    According to various camera review sites the GH2 ranks lower than all the Pens in still image quality, but better in video image quality than the pre-E-PL5 & E-PM2 Pens. But image quality is, in part, a matter of personal preference.
  3. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    it depends on whether you want to know about how it compares with current models or it's contemporaries. against the current olympus offerings and the gh3(the only current lumix i've looked at) it lags a little behind. against the models it was contemporary with, it was a bit ahead of the game. if you want something more concrete, you can check dxomark, but iirc, it was about 2/3 of a stop better than the models that used the older 12mp sensor, and is about 2/3 behind the latest models with the newest sensor. i'm strictly talking m43 models here. against everyrthing else, it depends on the specific model. it was somewhat better than some aps-c models that it competed with, but a little. worse than some of the others. it probably trails most of the current aps-c dslrs by how much will vary depending on the model. a better question is do you like it? i like my gh-2, even though i would only want to use 3200 sparingly. figure that unlike some of its contemporaries that are still available at low clearance prices, its hard to find new gh2s on clearance, and also unlike its contemporaries, it seems to be pretty pricey for a used one. i could probably make 150-200 USD on mine if i wanted to sell it, which should tell you something about the general opinion of it.
  4. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    I'd take most of the technical rankings with a grain of salt and look at some pictures produced by the camera if I was looking to assess the quality of the GH2's photos.

    Here's a good place to start: Flickr: Camera Finder: Panasonic: DMC-GH2

    In my personal experience (also worth ignoring), I enjoy the camera and I have been happy with the quality of images it produces - better by a bit than my GX1 and lagging well behind my 5D MkIII (somewhat obviously).
  5. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    I really like that last photo of the bottom of that page ;-)
  6. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    The GH2 was arguably the best Micro Four-Thirds camera of its time in terms of image quality, AF, low light, FPS, and of course video. It's an ancient relic in our hyperkinetic digital world, but still capable of good images. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for family photos. Throw a fast lens on it and your good. AF is a touch slow for youth sports, particularly those where the action is unpredictable. For baseball - good. For soccer, not so good, but that's what video is for, right?

    I've blogged extensively about the GH2 for both still and video. Take a look:
    What Blog is This?: GH2
  7. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Real Name:
    Really ? Interesting....I'd like to check those reviews out.
  8. The GH2 is completely adequate for any kind of still photography unless you want to print fine art quality images 16x20 or larger or shoot ISO above 1600. In those cases, you'll want a FF camera, not a MFT. Properly and exposed and developed in post, images from the GH2 will stand up against photos from any MFT camera made, new or old. (And many APSC cameras as well.)
  9. Kilauea

    Kilauea Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Real Name:
    I'd say in terms of image quality things are as follow (from best to worst). Note that within a group, there is no order.

    Group 1: GH3, E-M5, E-PM2, E-PL5
    Group 2: GH2
    Group 3: GX1 (or group 2), G5, G3, GF5, GF3 (I think)
    Group 4: E-PM1, E-PL3, E-P3

    I am a little less sure about the positioning of the G3, G5, GF3 and GF5, but I this is what I understood (hopefully I am not too far off).

    With that being said because a camera is in group 4, it does not make it a bad camera, it just means that it is more limited than group 3 in terms of image quality.

    So, your GH2 is actually a very good camera.
  10. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    FWIW, my friend has printed gallery quality B&Ws with his GX1, which by most accounts is a step behind the GH2.

    That looks about right. I'd put the GH1 in Group 2 as well.
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'd put the GX1 and G5 both into your Group 2.
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I think this really needs amplification. The GH2 had, whoops, HAS, great ergos, great IQ and super-great video. The GH3 and EM-5 are better, sure (except for video in the case of the EM-5). But the GH2 did not suddenly start making bad images (or videos) when the EM-5 and then the GH3 were introduced. It's still a very, very capable camera. :2thumbs:
  13. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    This is probably a good way to put it. Of the models I've used in group 3 I would probably agree with sliding the gx1 up a notch, but I would probably slide the gf3 down a notch, the others I've not had the opportunity to try. Which only shows how subjective this kind of thing can be.

    Dxomark is an objective measurement (that so many people seem to hate,) but most of their measurements are at least pretty close to what I've seen when I've had a chance to use the cameras in question. If some particular camera model scores higher for low-light/high-iso compared to another one on dxomark, when I've tried those two cameras in the real world, that's typically what I've seen. So if the problem you're running into is frequently needing ISO 6400, and you're going to try to print large prints and you don't like noise and you don't like the results of NR (software or in-camera,) you will probably want to upgrade to a model that has a higher score for low-light/ high-iso performance.

    Having said that, just looking at Dxomark numbers won't tell you whether you like the image quality of some particular model or not. It depends on you, what you're going to use the stills for, how often do you use high isos, etc.

    Which gets back to my question: do you like the gh2? If you do, unless you're running into some problem, don't worry about it. I like mine, but I'm aware I don't like it above about iso 1600, but ymmv. Depending on the scene lighting, I sometimes think iso 3200 looks good, but sometimes not. Other people might think ISO 6400 looks great.

    FWIW - I'm not planning on selling my gh2, even though I could make money on the sale. I use it for mostly video, and I would have trouble finding a better ALL-AROUND camera that can do stills and video, has lots of lenses available, great handling, controls and features for the money I could get out of my gh2.

    Now if Panasonic offered to trade me even for a GH3 I would certainly consider it.....

    Let me put it this way, as much as I like my e-m5 for stills, and I do think it's better at stills than my gh2, e-m5 video is kind of let down for me. So if I could only keep my gh2 or e-m5, I think I would keep my gh2 because I think it's a good stills but great video camera, so I could get by using it for everything.
  14. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    All you need to know is that it ranks high enough. :smile:
  15. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    The G5 uses an 'improved' GH2 sensor, although it seemed pretty much identical when I had both, so should go into group 2. The GF3 and GF5 use the old 12MP sensor, which puts them with the group 4 cameras. That's if you want to do this sort of chart, of course :)