Customer Review

214 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, easy and fun to use, May 29, 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 12.1 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 MEGA OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
Panasonic G2 is a successor of G1, which is the first micro four third camera. G series focus on make the camera as small as possible without sacrificing image quality and control. G2 adds video recording and touch screen feature.

Panasonic G2 main specs

- 12 megapixel - four thirds sensor
- 3"' 460k resolution swivel and touch screen LCD
- 1,280 x 720 high-definition at 60fps
- Built-in Electronic viewfinder (1.44 million dots)

BODY DESIGN

Panasonic G2 weights 371 g / 13.09 oz body only, 593 g / 20.92 oz with battery, memory card and 14-42mm lens. It has dimension of 124 x 83.6 x 74 mm exclude protusion. Compared to regular DSLR camera, The package is significantly smaller and lightweight. Compare to advanced DSLR such as Canon 7D , G2 is approx. half the size and weight. As a result, it is more fun to carry around and it takes only a bit of room to store.

Like G1, Panasonic G2 has built-in electronic viewfinder which is helpful for composing photos, the rear 3' inch LCD is also very bright and nice to use. It can also swivel so you can compose a picture in unusual angle for example overhead or very low in the ground.

New in micro four third system, LCD screen is now equipped with touchscreen technology. You can touch the screen to select or change various settings and also you can touch the screen to set auto focus point.

Therefore, changing AF points in G2 is very fast. In regular DSLR camera, you might need to scroll around until you get AF point that you want. in G2, you just touch it. AF point could be also be enlarged or decreased for precision.

HANDLING

Panasonic G2 is nice to hold, thanks to the grip. It also has many dedicated buttons and switches. It has one main dial, camera mode dial, Release mode switch, Auto focus mode switch, metering switch, ISO button, WB button, Function button, AF/AE lock button, display button, delete button, live/lcd button, intelligent auto button, and video recording button.

As a result, control and handling is significantly better and faster than many entry level cameras where you need to dwell deep in the menu to change setting that you want.

IMAGE QUALITY

Image quality in low ISO setting is excellent. However, like all four thirds system camera, image in high ISO is not as good as regular DSLR camera that has APS-C sensor.

Image quality from ISO 100 to 800 is excellent. in ISO 1600, image starts to lose some details, sharpness and a bit of saturation. In ISO 3200, image starts to breakdown and 6400 is reserved only in emergency situation.

AUTO FOCUS PERFORMANCE

G2 is an very responsive camera. It shines in auto focus performance. AF speed is almost instantaneous whether in bright light or low light condition, I feel it can beat some beginner DSLR cameras. In G2, you can also touch the screen to set up AF point which is very convenient.

Auto focus tracking work well in slow moving subject, such as people walking, however, sometimes, it failed to track, especially fast or erratic movement. This is where the area G2 lacks compared to regular DSLR camera.

There are plenty to like about Panasonic G2

+ Small and lightweight relative to DSLR camera
+ Built-in high-res electronic viewfinder
+ Touch screen that allow you to change setting, set AF and flip image in playback
+ Swivel LCD screen help to compose photos in awkward angle
+ Fast Auto focus performance
+ Many dedicated buttons and switches
+ What you see is what you get (changing color balance, film mode shown in LCD)
+ Very good performance (responsive)

What I don't like about Panasonic G2

- Auto focus tracking is not reliable
- Image quality in ISO 1600 and above is not as good as regular DSLR
- Harder to achieve shallow depth of field (Defocus background)
- 1/2 to 1 second screen freeze after capturing photo
- Auto ISO is not very accurate and tend to stick with ISO 400

COMPETITORS

Samsung NX10 - Digital camera - prosumer - 14.6 Mpix - body only - supported memory: SD, SDHC - noble black
NX10 has bigger image sensor (APS-C) and higher-res (610k) AMOLED screen, however NX10 built-in viewfinder, body handling is not as good as Panasonic G2. G2 also slightly faster in auto focus performance.

Olympus PEN E-P2 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens and Electronic View Finder
Olympus E-P2 has a smaller design and more appropriate to be compared with Panasonic GF1 instead of G2. The main advantage E-P2 has is it has built-in image stabilization, however, it falls short in many areas such as slow auto focus especially in low light condition, low res LCD screen, and no built-in flash.

CONCLUSION

Panasonic G2 is the best flagship micro four thirds camera in 2010 with many new innovative technology such as touch screen LCD and full HD video recording. It is fun to use and carry around. However, G2 still has the same problem that has plague many four third system cameras which is image quality in high ISO setting. Despite it offers up to ISO 6400, but I recommend user to stick with ISO 800 or lower.

Subjective rating relative to mirrorless camera system 2010

Image Quality : 4/5 (with 14-42mm kit lens)
Features: 5/5
Performance: 5/5
Body / Handling: 5/5
Value for money: 3/5

For image sample and iso comparison, please visit my blog. You can find the address through my profile page. Thanks for reading.
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Comments

Tracked by 7 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 30, 2010 7:27:31 AM PDT
Carol Stee says:
Is the mount on the 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens plastic or metal? Does it look like it's durable?

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2010 2:16:56 PM PDT
Enche Tjin says:
Hi Carol, it is plastic mount, but it looks better than regular DSLR kit lens.

Posted on May 31, 2010 9:25:10 PM PDT
W. Cruz says:
Hello Enche Tjin, I hope that you would be able to help me out. On Panasonic's website they mention that the G2 has a HD Movie mode of 1280 x 720, 60p. That's what I want, 60p but in the technical Specs it says: Motion Image (AVCHD Lite) NTSC: [HD] 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 30fps)
Now I'm confused, cause it say sensor output is 30fps. Can you tell me if it's an actual 60p or 30p? Hope you can help me.
W. Cruz

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2010 9:35:04 PM PDT
Enche Tjin says:
It should be 30fps. the 60p maybe is field per second not frame per second.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2010 9:49:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2010 5:25:02 PM PDT
L. Yang says:
AVCHD Lite:1280 x 720, 60p with 1280 x 720, 30p sensor output. The camera duplicates every frame.

It is not clear to me what the benifit is. On Panasoni website, it claims that AVCHD Lite reduces the needed memory size by half. I guess, the only benefit is that, when connected to an HDTV iva hdmi interface, it produces a fake 720p video.

In the other words, if you want to capture fast moving event, AVCHD Lite is a undesired option.

Posted on Jun 7, 2010 7:36:24 AM PDT
M. Donnelly says:
Is there a manual focus option?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2010 8:53:02 PM PDT
Enche Tjin says:
yes, sure

Posted on Jun 15, 2010 11:42:10 AM PDT
Tiff says:
I see amazon says it takes 1-2 months to be shipped.....how long did it take for u to receive it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2010 4:29:48 PM PDT
Enche Tjin says:
I got it when it is on stock, so it takes only 2 days

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 1:32:09 PM PDT
In the Competitors section, and on the Conclusion you state the G2 has "full HD video recording", which is incorrect. G2 is capable of 'HD video recording'
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