Panasonic Lumix G2 review

New Micro Four Thirds G2 has touchscreen controls

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As mentioned, the camera comes with a reasonably sized 12.1megapixel MOS sensor and the new Venus Engine II image processor.

Both deliver smooth, well exposed images from the box. There's a slight tendency to underexpose but this is easily tweaked via exposure compensation, and anyway, better slightly underexposed shots than blown-out ones.

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CREATIVE ART MODE: The My Color presets are fun to try and handy for boosting colours for creative effect

ISO performance is acceptable for the money, though noise is more noticeable at higher settings than the Canon 550D, for example. It's certainly very usable up to ISO 800, however.

White balance, meanwhile, is impressively accurate, and comes with a full range of options. The 14-42mm lens is workmanlike without being spectacular, and surprisingly light and compact compared to a similarly-specced kit lens from a DSLR. Image stabilisation is built into the camera, rather than the lens, so you need to delve into the menu to activate it.

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AUTO FOCUS: Being able to quickly set the AF point via the touchscreen LCD is a big help when shooting pets or kids

Considering the camera and lens are quite light, it's definitely worth doing this. The lens itself is certainly up to the standard of a basic kit lens you get with a comparatively priced DSLR, and we noticed minimal lens distortion and aberration.

Shooting movies is very straightforward, and although it's a shame you don't get full HD, the 720p HD performance is good. Again, we noticed a slight tendency to underexposure, but colour and detail are captured well. The stereo microphone is sensitive, and there's a useful Wind Cut option to reduce extraneous noise.

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g2 macro

MACRO: The flexible AF options are also good for flower close ups

Our only slight query concerns the ease of adjusting exposure controls in movie mode. The only way we could adjust aperture, for instance, was to set the aperture in A mode on the top dial, then hit the red movie record button to the right of the dial.

It's easy enough when you work it out, but not that obvious when you first use the Lumix DMC-G2, so this is something that could confuse less experienced users.

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g2 skin tones

SKIN TONES: The camera has a slight tendency to underexpose on default settings, but skin tones are accurate and pleasing

Once you have figured out how to adjust exposure controls when shooting movies, the results are very good – colours are clear and motion is captured smoothly. There's a choice of standard motion JPEG recording or Panasonic's proprietary AVCHD Lite format.

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g2 zoom

ZOOM: While the 14-42mm kit lens is respectable rather than revolutionary, telephoto performance is reasonable, with minimal distortion

While AVCHD Lite is an economical and efficient format, it doesn't work with every video-editing program (or older versions of software) so check before you shoot.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
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
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
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height83.6 mm
Width124 mm
Depth74 mm
Product SeriesG
Focal Length14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelDMC-G2
Product NameLumix DMC-G2 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCG2KEBA
Manufacturer Website Address
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.

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
Limited Warranty1 Year