Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Ken McMahon, March 2011

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise / Lumix G 14mm Sharpness / Lumix G 14mm vs 14-42mm

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 vs Olympus 'PEN' E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-3 Real-life resolution

Support this site by
shopping below


To compare real-life performance with kit lenses at their maximum wide angle setting, we shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix GF2, the Olympus 'PEN' E-PL2 and the Sony NEX-3 within a few moments of each other. The Lumix GF2 was fitted with the G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Mega O.I.S kit zoom, the E-PL2 with the Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II kit lens, and the Sony NEX-3 with 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view and all three were set to aperture priority mode with the ISO sensitivity manually set to the lowest available setting.

The above image was taken with the Panasonic Lumix GF2 and G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Mega O.I.S kit zoom set to its widest angle setting of 14mm (28mm equivalent.) The camera was mounted on a tripod and the image stabiliser was disabled. We took shots at each aperture setting and chose the one that looked best in quality terms. Reducing the aperture size results in quality improvements as only the central portion of the lens, which is less prone to physical aberrations, is used. Beyond a certain point however the improvement is offset by the effects of diffraction. The best results from all three cameras our test were achieved using an aperture of f5.6. All three cameras were set to use the RAW plus fine JPEG quality setting and the JPEGs were used for these comparisons. The file size of the 4000 x 3000 JPEG from the GF2 was 6.85MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and are presented here at 100%.

Our test scene usually poses something of an exposure challenge for digital camera sensors, but on this particular day with bright, but overcast weather conditions the scene lacks its usual wide dynamic range. In general use the Lumix GF2's Multiple-metering did a good job of accurately determining exposure and in this test shot it has got it spot on. The histogram extends all the way to the right edge, but there's no clipping. In contrast terms the image looks a little flat, but that's as much to do with the weather conditions as anything. Though it looks a little cool next to the slightly reddish tone of the E-PL2 crops, we reckon the GF2 has made the best job of determining the correct white balance for this scene and the colours are vibrant and well saturated in view of the overcast conditions.

Now let's take a look at the crops. In the first two crops from the GF2 the detail looks a little soft and there's an overall slight noisiness which is apparent both in areas of flat colour and more detailed texture. Edge detail is sharper on the third crop which is from closer to the centre of the frame, but when you get to fourth crop, again from close to the frame edge, the softness is back, with the edges of the window frame looking particularly indistinct. One problem the G Vario 14-42mm kit lens doesn't suffer from, though, is chromatic aberration, there's not a hint of colour fringing anywhere - we believe much of this is down to digital correction in the camera.

Overall we'd say the Olympus E-PL2 has a slight edge over the GF2. The GF2 crops look less contrasty and softer than those from the E-PL2, but they are, at least, correctly exposed. The GF2 crops also look more processed and appear a little noisier. We'd also say that the crops from the Panasonic GF2 lack the consistency of those from the Olympus E-PL2. While the central crop, with the pink scaffolding banners look sharp and punchy, the other three, from closer to the frame edge are all slightly softer.

With a larger sized sensor you might expect the Sony NEX-3 to produce superior result to the micro Four Thirds cameras, and it does, but the differences aren't that marked at least at this lowest sensitivity. Like the GF2, the NEX-3 crops look a little soft and lacking in contrast contrast but, unlike the GF2 crops, they don't look overy processed and that's no doubt due to the superior noise performance of the NEX-3/5's larger sensor as well as processing differences.

What isn't down to the sensor or processing is the quite pronounced colour fringing on the NEX-3 crops. You can see a cyan fringe around the chapel in the top crop, and red fringing around the window on the crop from the other side of the frame. You could almost certainly remove this by processing the RAW file, but look again and you'll notice that these edge crops lack the sharpness, contrast and definition of the central crop. Like the Panasonic Lumix GF2's kit lens, the Sony 18-55mm kit zoom can't match the Zuiko 14-42mm for edge-to-edge consistency.

Panasonic Lumix GF2
Olympus E-PL2
Sony Alpha NEX-3
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO

Panasonic Lumix GF2: JPEG versus RAW

We photographed the scene pictured below using the Lumix GF2's RAW plus Large Fine JPEG mode, allowing us to directly compare images created from exactly the same data. Below are 100% crops taken from the original JPEG file alongside the RAW version, processd using a trial version of Silkypix Developer Studio 4.0E.

The orginal RAW conversion, produced using the Silkypix default settings (as seen in our Olympus E-PL2 full review outdoor test results page) was very soft compared with the in camera JPEG so for this comparison we increased the demosaic sharpen from its default setting of 60 to 80, selected the Strong contrast preset and the Natural fine sharpening preset.

The result, as you can see from the crops below is a sharper, more contrasty image. In retrospect we should have chosen a less aggressive contrast setting as the Strong contrast preset has resulted in the loss of some highlight detail. A more serious problem though is that our attempts to improve the edge sharpness have produced a noisier result. It looks very much like the Panasonic engineers have actually done the best job possible in producing an in-camera result which strikes a balance between noise suppression and image detail.

In the third column we've added crops from the RAW image shot with the Olympus E-PL2. This file was processd processed with the supplied OlympusViewer 2 1.1 software. For this comparison we turned off the noise filter and increased sharpness to +2. We also managed to eliminate chromatic aberration that was evident in the JPEG by setting the R/C chromatic aberration slider to -66. However the end result is produced, in camera or via RAW processing software, the E-PL2 looks to have the edge. The E-PL2 crops look better to begin with and have more potential for improvement via RAW processing.

Now let's see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

Panasonic Lumix GF2 JPEG
Panasonic Lumix GF2 (RAW)
Olympus E-PL2 (RAW)
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise / Lumix G 14mm Sharpness / Lumix G 14mm vs 14-42mm

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs