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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.

We liked:

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).

We disliked:

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.

Verdict:

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.