The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is an upgrade to the G1, a new breed of exciting digital cameras that does away with the mirror in a DSLR, uses a large image sensor and accepts interchangeable lenses. Panasonic dubs its mirrorless DSLR a Digital Interchangeable Lens (DIL) camera. This form factor is quickly capturing the imagination of photographers since it allows the same image quality and performance of a DSLR in a much more compact and lightweight body.
The Lumix G2 improves over the G1 by adding HD video (720p) in AVCHD Lite with monaural sound (stereo sound with optional accessory stereo microphone attached), a new high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II which has been re-engineered to improve image quality, and a Touch Screen LCD screen. Otherwise, other G2 specs remain pretty much the same as on the G1.
The Touch-screen technology allows the photographer to select the focus point, adjust various settings and fire the shutter. Most Touch-screen technology is not implemented as elegantly and intuitively as on the Apple iPhone / iPod and is easily a Love-Hate affair. So, the G2 has wisely retained all traditional button controls so you don’t need to use the Touch-screen if you don’t want to. I suspect that most photographers will still warmly welcome the ability to select focus point with a simple touch on the screen instead of using the Arrow Keys to move the AF Frame around the screen.
Where the Panasonic DIL cameras trump traditional DSLRs is in their implementation of Live View. Unlike the slow Live View Contrast Detect focus on DSLRs, the G2’s Contrast Detect AF is lightning fast, approaching the speed of the Phase-detect AF on entry-level DSLRs. The use of a large Four Thirds sensor allows the G2 to deliver DSLR-level image quality, including at high ISOs. The performance and image quality of the Lumix G2 allow it to comfortably compete with entry-level DSLRs.
In addition, by doing away with the traditional reflex mirror / prism / viewfinder in a DSLR and instead using a high resolution Live View Finder (LVF) and Live View LCD display, the Lumix G2 succeeds in being much more compact and lightweight than a DSLR. It is not pocket-sized but its handgrip makes for comfortable holding.
The LVF sets the standard in electronic viewfinders. Being electronic, it is able to give a 100% field of view and displays all the information that usually appears only on the LCD. This SVGA EVF is bright, clear and sharp (technically, it has 800 x 600 = 480,000 dots but each dot reflects a red, green and blue signal very quickly in succession, so Panasonic claims it as having 1,440,000 dots equivalent). The LVF has a fast 60fps refresh rate for a smooth display. What should delight most users tired of small displays on entry-level DSLRs is how large the display of the LVF is: as large, bright and sharp as the viewfinder display found on a full-frame DSLR!
The large 3.0-in. LCD is free-angle (i.e you can rotate it 180° side to side and tilt it 270° up and down) and has a high 460,000 dots resolution for a bright and clear display. An Intelligent LCD function automatically increases the backlight brightness in bright sunlight according to the ambient light intensity and automatically adjusts the frame rate (“gains up”) in dimly lit conditions according to the ambient darkness to help provide a better view in those challenging situations. The LCD is sharp enough to allow accurate manual focus. Its refresh rate is fast enough to allow tracking a moving subject.
An eye sensor besides the LVF automatically switches on the LVF (and switches off the LCD) when you look into it and switches it off (and switches the LCD on) when you remove your eye from it.
The Lumix G2 caters to both the point-and-shoot crowd and to more advanced users. Its Intelligent AUTO (iA) function and Scene modes help beginners ease into using the G2. More advanced users will appreciate the availability of PASM modes for full exposure flexibility.
Other features include Dust Reduction and many of the features that Panasonic has popularized in its popular digicams. There is no built-in image stabilization since the Panasonic G2 relies on I.S. beng in the lens, such as in the new LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm (28-84mm equiv.)/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. kit lens.
The Panasonic G2 uses the SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is compact and elegant and targets those who are thinking of upgrading from their compact digital cameras (point-and-shoot or prosumer models) to a DSLR-level camera without the bulk and weight of a traditional DSLR.
Read our Panasonic G2 review…
Photoxels Editor’s Choice 2010 – Compact DIL/DSLR
|US | CA | UK | Lumix|
|Image Sensor||12.1 Megapixel, Live MOS 17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Lens Mount||Micro Four Thirds mount|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-shift (optical), therefore dependent on lens attached|
|File Format||RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard|
|Media||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Viewfinder||Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equiv.)
Magnification: Approx. 1.4x/0.7x (35mm film camera equiv.)
Auto Eye Sensor
|Shutter Speed||1/4000 ~ 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 4minutes)|
|Continuous Shooting||H: 3.2fps, M: 2.6fps (with Live View), L: 2 fps (with Live View)
7 images (when there are RAW files with the particular speed)
Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW files)
(depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)
|Shooting Modes||Intelligent AUTO, PASM, Scene Modes|
|Exposure Metering||Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot|
|ISO sensitivity||Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / Intelligent ISO|
|Dust Reduction System||Supersonic wave filter|
Focus mode: Single, Continuous, Manual
Touch shutter, Pre AF (Quick AF/Continuous AF), Touch MF Assist (5x, 10x)
AF mode :Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Touch (1 area-focusing in Face detection / AF Tracking / Multi-area-focusing / 1 area-focusing)
AF Assist Lamp
|White Balance||Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting|
|Display Monitor||3.0 in. Free-angle LCD, 460k-dot|
|Movie||NTSC: [HD] 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 30fps) (SH: 17Mbps, H: 13Mbps, L: 9Mbps|
|Remote Control||Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)|
|Battery||Li-ion (360 shots, CIPA) included|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||124 x 83.6 x 74mm / 4.88 x 3.29 x 2.91 in.|
|Weight (body only)||371g / 13.09 oz.|
|MSRP||with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. kit lens: US $799.95 / CAD $TBD / UK £ / €|
*Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Please consult manufacturer’s site for latest specifications.
You can buy the Panasonic G2 from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:
|Black w/kit lens||Blue w/kit lens||Red w/kit lens|
|Black w/twin lens kit||Blue w/twin lens kit||Red w/twin lens kit|
|Black Body Only|
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