The GF2’s façade is almost similar to its predecessor, the GF1 on first look. It is not until you begin to hold it in your hands and start using it that you realize Panasonic has done some nifty changes that give a better overall experience with the Lumix GF2
At the back, you have a 3-inch touchscreen and a four-way navigation pad to quick-access some needed manual controls such as ISO, White Balance, Burst mode/timer and the focus mode.
There is also a Quick Menu (Q Menu/Fn) and the playback button to access the photos you taken. On the top left side, you have a dedicated switch to open the flash which pops out.
Above the viewfinder, you have an accessory port that allows you to connect various peripherals such as the electronic viewfinder (DMW-LVF1)
The top of the Lumix GF2 looks less cluttered now as the model dial has been removed.
At the top left side, the camera houses the built-in flash, followed by the accessory port, the power switch, the shutter button, a dedicated record button and Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) button.
The left and right microphones are located at the top as well as the eyelets where you attach the camera strap onto the Lumix GF2.
The mini HDMI and AV/Out/Digital connectivity ports are located on the right of the camera, protected by a hard cover, while the left is bare.
The battery and memory card slots are located at the bottom of the camera, together with the tripod socket. Quite the standard stuff here.
At the front, we have the lens, the lens unlock button and a focus lamp.
To power up the camera, simple slide the power switch to on. We noted that the power-up response time is almost instantly. The Lumix GF2 looks to appeal to touchscreen point-and-shoot users and advanced power users who are looking for sophisticated fine tuning controls.
Although the GF2 is categorized under Panasonic's G series' lineup of cameras, the GF2 lacks a physical mode dial; move that surprises most users and it takes time to get used during usage.
However, the mode dial did not disappear but rather, it has become an on-screen touch button that allows you to set the desired mode between Program, Apeture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Intelligent Auto, My Color mode, Scenery mode and Custom
With less clutter, Panasonic puts a dedicated iA button on the top for users who wants a quick shot without manipulating the settings.
Upon activation of the iA, the button gives off a cool-looking blue glow around it. A very nice indication of Panasonic's marvel in controlling the parameters for you.
The camera feels great in your hands despite the reduced size as compared to the GF-1. The grip of the Lumix GF2 has improved slightly, giving a better grip to complement the reduced camera size.
Overall, the buttons are well placed and of decent sizes. In general, the design of the Lumix GF2 camera stands out by itself pretty well, compared to the likes of other manufacturers. This is one camera you might want to consider if you based solely on its looks.