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

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:

The Good Excellent electronic viewfinder; high-resolution, articulating display; touchscreen-based autofocus and shooting; vivid, crisp image quality.

The Bad Duplication of physical and touchscreen controls; hyper-complicated features.

The Bottom Line The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 takes great pictures, but this Micro Four Thirds camera's mass of features makes it complicated and often disorientating to use

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The 12.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-G2 is one of the replacements (the other is the budget  G10 ) for Panasonic's original Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera, the G1. It's packed with Panasonic's latest hi-tech goodies, such as touchscreen-based autofocus and shooting, special-effects filters and a 720p high-definition movie mode. It cost about £500 with the 14-42mm kit lens. Is it worth it?

Touchscreen triumph

What's not to like? You get a small, light, digital SLR-style body with full-time live view and 720p movies. The autofocus is fast, the 1.4-megapixel electronic viewfinder is excellent, and the 76mm (3-inch), 460,000-pixel LCD on the back flips out and swivels, making the G2 perfect for shooting low-angle shots and movies.

Is it our imagination or is Panasonic's new 14-42mm kit lens not quite as good as its old 14-45mm one? There's no chromatic aberration, but it does lose definition towards the edges (click image to enlarge)

Despite its small size, the G2 is big on external controls. You change the focus mode (multi-point, single-point, autofocus-tracking or face-detection) with a dial on the top, and the main mode dial has a secondary dial underneath for changing the drive mode (single, continuous, bracketing or self-timer). Also on the top is a big red button for the movie mode. Around the back is a clickable control dial -- in manual mode, for example, you click this to switch between aperture and shutter-speed adjustment.

The touchscreen interface offers some neat shooting options, too. To focus, you just tap on the screen, and, if the 'touch shutter' option is activated, the camera then takes the picture as well. You can also adjust many of the camera settings using the touchscreen interface, by tapping on the 'quick menu' icon.

The G2's fold-out, rotating display makes it easy to shoot from the hip

Like the other G-series cameras, the G2 has a precise, well-made feel and shoots vivid, sharp pictures. It also adds a selection of 'my colour' photo effects to the mix, for customising the colours in your pictures.

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Where to Buy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Part Number: CNETPanasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Typical Price: £500.00

See manufacturer website for availability.