Sony NEX-VG20 vs Panasonic DMC-GH2: Side-by-side Comparison

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Hands-on with the SONY NEX-VG20 vs the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2.

Bottom line: The GH2 and VG20 are both great cameras. Aside from the form factor, with the GH2 taking on a traditional DSLR-like shape, and the VG-20 more of a video cam style, here are some observations.

The VG-20 lacks manual color, contrast and sharpness adjustments, but it has a built-in headphone jack and full manual audio control, it is better than the unhacked GH2 in low light and the factory-set color profile is just fine.

The GH2 does handle moire better — but just barely. You will see moire from both cameras on the venetian blinds in the final shots — the VG20 has it on both blinds, the GH2 has it on one.

Another factor to consider is the number of available lenses. The GH2 is a micro 4/3 camera and therefore, there is a TON of glass available. You can use any micro 4/3 lens from Panasonic, Olympus or any other 3rd party manufacturer… all micro 4/3 lenses will work with any micro 4/3 camera, no matter what the make – and a lot of those are high quality lenses. With the VG-20, your native lens options are more limited as there are only a handful of lenses available for SONY’s NEX camera lineup. You should note, however, that you can get adapters for either of these cameras to use lenses (for example, Canon f-mounts, which can found on ebay for CHEAP!) to use lenses from outside of their format.

The other obvious difference is the price. The body-only price for a VG-20 kit is about 2 to 3 times that of the GH2 as high as a GH2 (depending on which lens you choose), and the price on the GH2 is currently dropping with the impending launch of the all new Panasonic Lumix GH3.

Conclusion, you can’t go wrong with either camera. They each solve 2 of the biggest issues you’ll find on almost all other DSLR or mirrorless cameras when you use them in video mode. 1. Sensor overheating and that pesky 29 minute video recording limit. Neither of these cameras has overheating issues, and GH2s (outside of the EU region) do not have the 29 minute limit.


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