Updating the original Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Micro FourThirds digital compact, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 mimics the shape and control layout of a digital SLR.

Available in black, red or blue it has a tactile thin rubber body coating that makes it easy to grip. As with its GH1 stablemate, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 offers HD video recording; here 720p in AVCHD format and with a dedicated button to invoke one-button operation.

We were also pleased to find Panasonic has borrowed the intelligent Auto (iA) photography mode from its Lumix compact cameras – a useful inclusion that allows newcomers to manual control cameras the chance to familiarise themselves with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2’s abilities before experimenting with its settings.  

Another distinguishing feature of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is the 3in touchscreen LCD. This can be tilted to enable a variety of creative compositions. You can use it to shoot from unusually high or low viewpoints, for example. It can also be flipped facing screen inwards to the body for added protection when inactive. An amazingly high-resolution (1,440,000 dot equivalent) electronic viewfinder – here named a Live View Finder – sits in place of the optical display you’d find on a standard dSLR. There’s a button to switch the view from screen to viewfinder and back again.

Because of its shape the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 could not claim to be a pocket camera – it more closely resembles a bulky ‘bridge’ model. These are regular-issue compact cameras that previously sat between a snapshot model and dSLR in terms of their spec.

Yet even with rechargeable battery, SD card and the image stabilised 14-42mm, 28-84mm equivalent kit lens attached, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 feels considerably lighter than we expected. So if you’ve ever been put off conventional DSLRs by the bulk and weight, the G2, along with the others here, means it is time to re-consider.

As we’ve found with Panasonics in the past, pictures are not only consistent, they’re of better quality than those usually offered by cameras at the entry-level end of the dSLR market and have a different, more filmic look. Auto modes work well in delivering correct exposures, and, while there’s some pixel fringing on close inspection, there’s a surprisingly high level of detail courtesy of the combination of sensor and lens, results at ISO3200 as free of noise as those delivered at ISO1600 by competing cameras, and so here Panasonic has added a further ISO6400 equivalent option, bettering the G1.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2: Specs

  • 12.1Mp Live MOS Sensor
  • 23-area-focusing
  • 2.0x crop factor
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
  • 3.2 frames per second
  • ISO min/max: 100/6400
  • 3 inch screen
  • SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
  • ID-Security Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1250mAh)
  • 593g
  • 124x83.6x74mm
  • Resolution: 4000x3000
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3
  • Sensor size: 17.3x13mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • Contra: 460,000
  • JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.21), RAW, DPOF compatible
  • USB 2.0 High Speed, miniHDMI TypeC, Monaural Type, NTSC/PAL, Stereo mini jack
  • TTL Built-in-Flash
  • 12.1Mp Live MOS Sensor
  • 23-area-focusing
  • 2.0x crop factor
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
  • 3.2 frames per second
  • ISO min/max: 100/6400
  • 3 inch screen
  • SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
  • ID-Security Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1250mAh)
  • 593g
  • 124x83.6x74mm
  • Resolution: 4000x3000
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3
  • Sensor size: 17.3x13mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • Contra: 460,000
  • JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.21), RAW, DPOF compatible
  • USB 2.0 High Speed, miniHDMI TypeC, Monaural Type, NTSC/PAL, Stereo mini jack
  • TTL Built-in-Flash

OUR VERDICT

The best combination here of image quality, camera build and features, we highly recommend the Panasonic Lumix G2’s one-touch HD video recording, choice of viewfinders and its tiltable LCD. Buying in to the Micro FourThirds concept in the first place isn’t cheap, but if you’re up for the investment, this excellent camera is the model to choose.

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