Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

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Typical Price: $1,299.00

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

(Part #: CNETPanasonic Lumix DMC-G2)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Rotating, tilting LCD screen. Good image quality. HD video.

The Bad Touchscreen can hinder some shooting options. Can't disable the touchscreen. Noise and over-processing issues at high ISO levels.

The Bottom Line Panasonic adds a touchscreen and video recording to its latest interchangeable lens camera, which mostly comes up trumps.

8.0 Overall

Nearly two years after their inception, interchangeable lens cameras are starting to break into the mainstream camera market.

Strictly speaking, the G2 is a Micro Four Thirds camera but as that term doesn't really mean much to consumers, manufacturers are moving away from that label. So you might encounter names like mirrorless, interchangeable lens; EVIL, or Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens; or micro system cameras, but they all operate on the same principle.

 

Design and features

The Lumix G2 is the successor to the first Panasonic interchangeable lens camera, the Lumix DMC-G1 , styled like an SLR. However, the G1 and G2 don't have a mirror box like a traditional SLR, which in turn means they are a lot smaller. It's also why cameras of this ilk are termed "mirrorless" cameras. Despite the near runaway success of the Lumix GF1 (an earlier camera shaped more like a traditional compact) we're not quite sure why Panasonic stuck to the SLR-style shape for this iteration in the series.

A slightly soft plastic casing surrounds the camera, with all buttons and dials finished in black. For photographers of all levels, the mode dial comes well equipped: you'll find full automatic control, scene selections and manual PASM control as standard. There's also a giant record button near the shutter, a crimson you surely can't miss.

New additions to the camera include a flip-out touchscreen, HD video, plus the controls have been reconfigured around the place. Photographers can also touch the screen to focus and take the shot. Unfortunately, there's no way to turn the touchscreen off but given the glut of physical buttons it's quite easy to forget this camera has touch control.

There are a myriad of options provided from the touchscreen interface, including shooting options that can be adjusted by first pressing the Display button to enter into the shooting menu. From here, you can adjust ISO, white balance, film colour mode and flash control to name just a few.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 screen

(Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)

As with other Panasonic cameras, intelligent auto mode features here on a dedicated button that glows in an outline of blue when pressed. A dedicated external mic input and remote port has been added to the camera: it's a 2.5mm jack rather than the standard 3.5mm jack. Video recording has been added to the mix so the G2 now can record in AVCHD Lite (720p).

Kitted out with the new 14-42mm lens, the G2's autofocus is pretty quiet and wouldn't make too much of an impact on video recordings.

Compared to

Here's how the G2 compares to other mirrorless cameras.

G2 vs. E-P2 vs. NX10
Panasonic G2 Olympus E-P2 Samsung NX10
12 megapixels 12 megapixels 14 megapixels
3-inch, 460,000-dot touchscreen articulating LCD 3-inch, 230,000-dot fixed LCD 3-inch, 920,000-dot fixed AMOLED
Electronic viewfinder Optional electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
AVCHD Lite HD video (720p, 30fps) HD video (720p, 30fps) HD video (720p, 30fps)
Pop-up flash Optional hotshoe flash Pop-up flash
AU$1299 with 14-42mm AU$1499 with 14-42mm AU$849 with 18-55mm

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • RAW shot-to-shot time
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • Panasonic Lumix G20.90.80.70.5
  • Panasonic GF10.80.90.70.5
  • Samsung NX100.81.210.5

 

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