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Panasonic Lumix G2 review

New Micro Four Thirds G2 has touchscreen controls

panasonic g2

Panasonic has opted to keep the same 12.1 megapixel count as the G1, GF1 and other models in its range.

While the similarly priced Canon 550D SLR weighs in with a 14MP sensor, the disparity doesn't make much difference in practice.

The layout is conventional enough, with a top PASM dial and an extra 'iA' button, standing for Intelligent Auto.

We're not sure why Panasonic gave a dedicated button to this hand-holding auto mode, as some beginners might not even realise it's there if they haven't read the manual – but still, it's a useful setting for complete novices. iA works cleverly with the touchscreen AF – so if you're taking a portrait and touch somebody's face to set the focus point, the iA automatically switches to Portrait mode.

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As with the Canon 550D, there are a lot of icons squeezed onto the top dial, including the scene modes (exposure pre-sets for a range of shooting conditions) and the My Color range of picture styles.

The My Color icon on the top PASM dials enables you to choose a range of options, from Pure to Retro to Dynamic Art, via Elegant. They're fun to play with, and can help boost the colours in JPEGs, but don't get carried away and use them as a replacement for proper camera technique.

Another big selling point of the Lumix DMC-G2 is the articulated three-inch screen which can be rotated through 270 degrees. It's well engineered, but could be easier to read – try and use the touchscreen to set the AF point in very bright sunshine and you have to duck into the shadows.

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The menus themselves look a bit cheap compared to Canon's, but they're easy enough to use.

As well as being simple to use, the Lumix DMC-G2 is fairly fast. although the limited choice of lenses means this camera is unlikely to appeal to sports photographers, it can fire off 3.2 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.

The electronic viewfinder is of a very high quality and enables you to check exposure and colour settings as you frame the shot. It also makes manual focusing a lot easier than on comparatively priced DSLRs. Being able to call up a grid is a big help with composition and keeping horizons straight.

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The electronic viewfinder gives plenty of information about settings too, so it's really one of this camera's strong points.

The Lumix DMC-G2 enables you to shoot in JPEG or RAW, and although the supplied RAW-editing software won't give Adobe any sleepless nights it does the job (and works on Macs, too). In common with other hybrid cameras, the Lumix DMC-G2 offers a wide-range of in-camera image tweaks.

There's a good choice of cropping options too; as well as the conventional 4:3 ratio, you can go for the 3.2 aspect ratio used by most DSLRs or even choose 1:1 or 16:9 (widescreen crops).

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
Wide AngleNo
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix G
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital (SD) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlue
Optical Zoom3x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesLive View, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)593 g
Minimum Focus Distance300 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution13.1 Megapixel
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
Height83.6 mm
Width124 mm
Depth74 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesG
Focal Length14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-G2
Product NameLumix DMC-G2 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineLumix
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCG2KEBA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The LUMIX G2 is the world's first system camera with touch-control shooting. Just touch the LCD to indicate the subject, and the LUMIX G2 focuses on it instantly. Choose from four AF modes (listed below) to match the conditions. You can also operate the auto focus and shutter release at the same time with just a touch, for a completely new way to shoot.

Battery Life390 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-G2 Mirrorless Camera
  • LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm Lens
  • Battery Charger/AC Adapter
  • Battery Pack
  • Body Cap
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Stylus pen
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone