Panasonic’s successor to the first ever Micro Four Thirds system camera the Lumix G1 is the logically named Lumix G2, which at first glance very closely resembles its digital SLR-styled predecessor. It comes complete with a thin rubber coating to the body that not only feels inviting, it also aids grip.
Like its forebear it has done away with the traditional mirror mechanism found in a DSLR to bring lens and sensor closer together, hence a smaller overall size and the ‘Micro’ tag. Neither a DSLR then, nor a compact, the camera is one of a growing army of ‘hybrid’ devices that also includes the Olympus Pen EP-2 and E-PL1.
Check out our Panasonic Lumix G2 gallery here:
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Panasonic Lumix G2: G force
However where the 12.1 effective megapixel G2 differs from the original G1 is that it now incorporates 1280x720p HD AVCHD movie capture and features a one-touch record button to enable clips to be shot near instantly, avoiding the need to turn a mode dial or delve into camera menus to otherwise do so. Taking a still photo is equally idiot proof.
Press the ‘iA’ (intelligent Auto) button more commonly found on Panasonic’s compacts and the camera recognizes common scenes and subjects, performs all the tricky calculations to get the best out of them, allowing any user to point and shoot.
Despite the hand-holding features, including limited touch screen operability, for adjusting the focus, shutter or aperture via via the 460k-dot resolution, 3-inch angle-adjustable LCD at the back, there are all the physical knobs, dials buttons and manual creative controls existing DSLR users will expect.
With dimensions of 124 x 83.6 x 74mm the G2, whilst small, is still too big to fit into a pocket, it’s sturdy yet lighter in weight than most DSLRs ‘proper’ at 593g with lens and accessories, compared to 530g for the Canon EOS 550D without the lens.
Pansonic Lumix G2: Colour confidence
If sunlight makes screen visibility tricky, and changing angle doesn’t help, there’s no optical viewfinder like you’d find on a DSLR to fall back on. Instead you get a very high resolution 1,440,00-dot electronic version (EVF), with another button to swap the view between this and the larger screen below.
Resultant pictures are sharp and colour rich – requiring little if any image editing, and indicating that the Panasonic Lumix G2 is more aimed at consumers than photo enthusiasts who want to tinker to the nth degree. Ultimately this camera is a fantastic, lighter alternative to a DSLR, perfect for those who wants to step-up from a compact.
Sensor: 12.1MP Live MOS
Lens: MicroFour Thirds, 14-42mm kit lens,
Screen: 3in vari angle, 460,000 with Touch panel
Viewfinder: Yes, Live View 1,440,000 dots
Max ISO: 6400
Anti shake: Via anti-shake lenses
Connections: USB 2.0, mini HDMI, stereo mini jack
Battery: 360 images
Weight: 593g (total)