updated 02:00 pm EST, Fri January 21, 2011
Panasonic Lumix GF2 kit ready at Amazon
Panasonic's Lumix GF2 edged closer to launch today with a pre-order listing at Amazon. Just one version is on view and comes in black with Panasonic's own 14mm f2.5 pancake lens. The pricing is lower than expected at $700 for the full kit, although it doesn't have a release date.
The camera is considered one of the smallest and lightest mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses and is a simplification of the GF1, with fewer manual controls but input moved mostly to the three-inch touchscreen. Its 12-megapixel sensor and 23-point autofocusing are similar, but it can now record 1080i60 and 720p60 video. A pop-up flash still fits in the design.
Other colors are due to reach the US, including red, silver and white, and Panasonic will have both a 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens as well as its earlier 20mm and 14-140mm lenses.
Electronista had a brief hands-on with the GF2 at CES. While we didn't get to try all the features of the camera, our views were mostly positive. It's as fast as a DSLR or other Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, and the body is relatively easy to hold but smaller even than a 'prosumer' fixed lens camera like the Canon PowerShot G12. Our main concern is whether the touchscreen menu is intuitive; not everything is clearly labeled, so it may take familiarization to get to the point where you can change settings on the fly. We did like hardware shortcuts to common features like ISO and white balance.