It would have been embarrassing for Micro Four Thirds-pioneer Panasonic to drop the ball with the Lumix DMC-G2, so the company has worked hard to deliver a real high scorer.
While it may seem expensive at first glance, you get a lot of innovative camera for your money, and it is worth getting just for the touchscreen wizardry, intelligent auto modes and quality HD movies.
The Lumix DMC-G2 is a very well made and generally well-thought out camera. The plethora of buttons and dials can look a bit intimidating at first, but this camera bends over backwards to be helpful.
Touchscreen AF-point selection is a truly impressive innovation, one that many less experienced photographers will find makes a huge difference to the quality of their photographs. The electronic viewfinder is excellent too, as is the articulated screen (though it could be easier to read in sunlight).
Obviously it would be nice to shoot HD movie at the 1920 x 1080p level offered by Canon 550D DSLR, but there are always some compromises with Micro Four Thirds hybrids.
Apart from a few usability niggles, which you soon get used to anyway, the biggest problem with the Lumix DMC-G2 is the relatively narrow choice of lenses and accessories.
Compared to a similarly priced DSLRs, there's a limited choice of glass, and using different types and makes of lenses via lens adaptors is a clunky and expensive solution. The supplied 14-42mm lens is fine for the money, but it'll soon feel restrictive.
If you're looking for a real do-it-all camera and aren't too worried about building up an extensive collection of lenses in the short term, the Lumix DMC-G2 is an excellent buy. It packs in lots of features for the price and the quality electronics deliver impressive still and video images.
In a nutshell, the Lumix DMC-G2 is one of the best Micro Four Thirds-cameras to date, and throws the gauntlet down to Olympus and other hybrid competitors.