Panasonic G2 Review

by Enche Tjin on May 29, 2010

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.

Compared with Nikon D90

Compared with Nikon D90

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.

Please check Panasonic G2 ISO comparison images in my photo gallery

Please check Panasonic G2 image samples in my photo gallery

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt June 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Thanks for these interesting reviews!

I would like to know how the DMC-GF1 compares to the DMC-G2, particularly in terms of image quality and focus performance? Could you please elaborate?

Based on the ISO shots it looks like the G2 would be the clear winner – is this true?

Enche Tjin June 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

from ISO shots, you’re right, G2 is about 1/2 stop cleaner. Not much, but noticeable in ISO 1600. Panasonic G2 also provide ISO up to 6400 while GF1 stuck at 1600.
I think that it is less about physical sensor improvement but more about processing algorithm. Regarding AF speed, both are impressive and I think it is a tie.

It will be hard to choose which one to buy. If the price differences is about less than $100, I think G2 gives more value. Yes, it is bigger, but I like the grip, extra buttons and switches plus the swiveling touch screen LCD.

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