Panasonic G2 vs GF1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2010 and September 2009. Both the G2 and the GF1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|720/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 100-3200|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 460k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.6 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|360 shots per battery charge||380 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 84 x 74 mm, 428 g||119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? 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: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G2 and the Panasonic GF1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G2 can be obtained in three different colors (black, blue, red), while the GF1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is notably smaller (19 percent) than the Panasonic G2. Moreover, the GF1 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the G2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G2 nor the GF1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Panasonic G2»||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599||-||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1«||4.7 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||13.6 oz||380||n||Sep 2009||749||-||Panasonic GF1|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Panasonic GF5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||9.4 oz||360||n||Apr 2012||499||-||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||-||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||549||-||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||699||-||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF2« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||n||Nov 2010||549||-||Panasonic GF2|
|Panasonic GH2« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||3.0 in||15.6 oz||330||n||Sep 2010||899||-||Panasonic GH2|
|Panasonic GH1« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||1.8 in||13.6 oz||300||n||Mar 2009||899||-||Panasonic GH1|
|Panasonic G1« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||12.7 oz||410||n||Sep 2008||599||-||Panasonic G1|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GF1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G2 and the GF1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the GF1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Panasonic G2»||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1«||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54||Panasonic GF1|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|Panasonic GF5« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic G3« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54||Panasonic GF2|
|Panasonic GH2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60||Panasonic GH2|
|Panasonic GH1« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64||Panasonic GH1|
|Panasonic G1« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||-||21.1||10.3||463||53||Panasonic G1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (720/30p).
Feature comparison: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G2 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G2, the Panasonic GF1, and comparable cameras.
|Panasonic G2»||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1«||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GF1|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic G3« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2||Y||n||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||202||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic GF2|
|Panasonic GH2« »||1534||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH2|
|Panasonic GH1« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH1|
|Panasonic G1« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic G1|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G2 has a touchscreen, while the GF1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The G2 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GF1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The G2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic G2»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF1|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic G3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||Y||mono||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF2|
|Panasonic GH2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GH2|
|Panasonic GH1« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GH1|
|Panasonic G1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G1|
Both the G2 and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF1 was replaced by the Panasonic DMC-GF2, while the G2 was followed by the Panasonic G3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
Review summary: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic G2 better than the Panasonic GF1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the GF1).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G2 emerges as the winner of the contest (6 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G2 and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 G2 or the GF1 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: Panasonic G2 vs GF1
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Panasonic G2»||-||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||-||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1«||85/100||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749||-||Panasonic GF1|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||-||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic G3« »||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549||-||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699||-||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||-||70/100||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2010||499||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF2« »||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549||-||Panasonic GF2|
|Panasonic GH2« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||-||Panasonic GH2|
|Panasonic GH1« »||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899||-||Panasonic GH1|
|Panasonic G1« »||+ +||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599||-||Panasonic G1|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Panasonic GF1
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Panasonic GF1
- Nikon D3000 vs Panasonic G2
- Olympus E-300 vs Panasonic GF1
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GF1
- Olympus TG-5 vs Panasonic GF1
- Panasonic G10 vs Panasonic GF1
- Panasonic G2 vs Panasonic G6
- Panasonic GF1 vs Panasonic GX800
- Panasonic GF1 vs Panasonic TZ100
- Panasonic GF1 vs Sony A7 III
- Panasonic GF1 vs Sony RX1R II
Specifications: Panasonic G2 vs Panasonic GF1
|Camera Model||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2010||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.33 μm||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.34 MP/cm2||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus HD II||Venus HD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||53||54|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.2||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.3||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||493||513|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.6 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic G2||Panasonic GF1|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLB13 power pack||DMW-BLB13 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
124 x 84 x 74 mm
(4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
119 x 71 x 36 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||428 g (15.1 oz)||385 g (13.6 oz)|