A short video of me doing what I seem to spend much of life doing. Fiddling with cameras and sitting in front of the computer! I was pleasantly surprised by the GF2's video output. Its actually very good. This was done with the 14mm lens. As you can see, and hear, it autofocuses during shooting, and silently. The "hunting around" has more to do with the fact that its a m4/3 sensor. This continuous AF sounds like a good idea, but in reality I've always found it a nuisance. Because of the more limited depth of field of sensors such as m4/3, APS-C and full-frame, continuous AF is always going to be adjusting all the time. On micro sensor cameras, everything is in focus most of the time so you notice the changes in focus much less, if at all. However for what its worth the GF2 does it.
This video was shot in brightish indoor light and taking stills readings the camera would have been working between ISO 400 and 800. Its actually pretty clean footage. The lens was wide open at f/2.5 for all of it and it all looks very sharp.
It looks an improvement on the GF1 to me. Its not in the GH2 class, and I'm not sure that all the compression artefacts are a result of my compressing it for YouTube, but with care I think it could produce very good results.
2nd. Video shot with GF2.
The GF2 is a very nice camera. Contrary to mine and other peoples predictions of a "dumbed down" GF1 it more than holds its own. In many cases transferring functions to the touchscreen makes things easier and quicker, so its not the problem I envisaged it to be. Its nice to handle in practice, and in terms of stills produces images identical to the GF1, and in terms of video, better footage. It has slightly quicker AF than the GF1, and the screen is easier to use in bright sunlight. Its also extremely well made and feels very solid and sturdy.
I looked again at my initial reaction to its announcement -
I noticed that I did have the good sense to end the piece with the words "You know me. I could even end up buying one!!"
I like it much more than I thought I would and have had a few enjoyable days using it. One of the points I raised in my original piece however does need thinking about. The GF2 works very well with certain lenses. Some of the larger m4/3 lenses are however very unbalanced on it and handle very badly. I used my 45mm f/2.8 macro on it, which was OK but I really wouldn't want to use anything bigger.
Do I prefer it to a GF1? Well in some situations I do. Its an unobtrusive camera, despite being very red!, and would work very well for street photography.
14mm f/2.5 LENS
Excellent. I really like this lens. I got some great results with it. This will be a great addition to my m4/3 lens collection and its so light that its possible to take it out all the time in the bag.
I don't know about the rest of the world, but at the moment in the UK, the GF2 / 14mm kit is at a very good price. If you were thinking about buying the lens then the camera is relatively cheap. Heres a couple of links for the best deals I've found. How long they will stay like this I can't say. Both are reputable dealers who've been around for years.