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Nikon B600 vs Panasonic GH2

The Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2019 and September 2010. The B600 is a fixed lens compact, while the GH2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B600) and a Four Thirds (GH2) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B600 versus Panasonic GH2
Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 125-6,400 ISO 160-12,800
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1534k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
280 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
122 x 82 x 99 mm, 500 g 124 x 90 x 76 mm, 442 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon B600 and the Panasonic GH2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the GH2 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Nikon B600 vs Panasonic GH2
Compare B600 versus GH2 top
Comparison B600 or GH2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH2 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Nikon B600. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B600 nor the GH2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B600 has a lens built in, whereas the GH2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GH2 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the B600 gets 280 shots out of its EN-EL12 battery, while the GH2 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon P950 140 mm 110 mm 150 mm 1005 g 290 n Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon A1000 114 mm 72 mm 41 mm 330 g 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 146 mm 119 mm 181 mm 1415 g 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic LX100 II 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Aug 2018 999 i
 
Panasonic GM5 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GH3 133 mm 93 mm 82 mm 550 g 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299i
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899i
 
Sony WX800 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 233 g 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The B600 was launched at a lower price than the GH2, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B600 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic GH2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH2 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B600 and Panasonic GH2 sensor measures

Even though the GH2 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This implies that the GH2 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 1.33μm for the B600), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the B600 is much more recent (by 8 years and 3 months) than the GH2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B600 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Nikon Coolpix B600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

B600 versus GH2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon P950 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Panasonic LX100 II Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p........
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic GH3 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GH2 provides a faster frame rate than the B600. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GH2 has an electronic viewfinder (1534k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B600 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon B600, the Panasonic GH2, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Nikon P9502359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX100 II2764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GH31746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The GH2 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the B600 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B600 and the GH2 write their files to SDXC cards. The B600 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GH2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix B600 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon P950YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic LX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GH3YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the B600 offers wifi support, while the GH2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The B600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the GH2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GH2 was succeeded by the Panasonic GH3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon B600 better than the Panasonic GH2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix B600:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GH2 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 3 months of technical progress since the GH2 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH2 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B600 10:14 GH2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B600 and the Panasonic GH2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B600 or the GH2 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon P950....4/5..4/5 Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic LX100 II+82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 999 i
 
Panasonic GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GH3+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic GH1+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon B600:
Check Amazon price
Panasonic GH2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon B600 vs Panasonic GH2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2019 September 2010
    Launch Price USD 349 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 60
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 655
    Screen Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1534k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic GH2
    Battery Type EN-EL12 DMW-BLC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)280 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 82 x 99 mm
    (4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
    124 x 90 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.5 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 500 g (17.6 oz) 442 g (15.6 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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