The 12-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 might just be the best Micro Four Thirds camera you can buy. This compact interchangeable-lens camera has a body size that’s comparable to a small point-and-shoot, but its images and speed rival that of a D-SLR.
The GF2 also spices things up by offering a touchscreen and the ability to shoot real 3D photos via the optional Panasonic Lumix H-FTO12 12.5mm f/12.3D G Lens. Still, it’s tough to recommend the GF2 over our Editors’ Choice pick, the Sony NEX-3, which offers similiar size, a lower price and larger image sensor.
Like all Micro Four Thirds cameras, the GF2 offers D֊SLR-like speed and image quality, but in a compact body. This is achieved by using a larger image sensor. The Panasonic GF2 can power on and shoot in an impressive 1.27 seconds, and can continuously shoot at 3.2 frames per second. And there’s almost no shutter lag.
The snappiest aspect, though, is the camera’s autofocus. When using the optical view-finder, top-of-the-line D-SLRs can autofocus and shoot in a few milliseconds, but when using the LCD in Live View, they slow to a crawl. The GF2 takes beautiful images, too. It crushes any compact point-and-shoot, and is more comparable to D-SLR cameras, though true D-SLRs and other cameras with APS-C size sensors (Sony NEX-3) do offer slightly better image performance.
The DMC-GF2 with 14mm f/2.5 lens is an impressive camera. Both its still images and video look fantastic, plus it’s easy to operate and nicely compact. If you’re looking for maximum performance, however, the Sony NEX-3 packs a bigger image sensor into a comparable body size at a lower price.