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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Overview
Reviewed by Dave Etchells, Shawn Barnett, Zig Weidelich, and Mike Tomkins
Review Date: 05/04/2010
Panasonic’s update to the first Micro Four Thirds digital camera is the Lumix DMC-G2, a close approximation of the G1, but with a few key changes that mostly improve the function of the original while maintaining the $799.95 price point.
Most of the Panasonic G2’s basic specs remain the same, including the 12.1-megapixel sensor, the 3-inch LCD with 460,000 dots of resolution, and the electronic viewfinder’s 1,440,000-pixel resolution is also maintained, as are the shape and size. Panasonic added a new processor to the G2, though, the Venus Engine HD II, which is expected to improve both videos and still images. Maximum ISO sensitivity notches up one stop, from 3,200 to 6,400.
New is the touch screen, which is integrated into a few basic functions, like focus point selection. It’s a surprisingly useful feature in the Panasonic G2, which we’ll explore in more detail in the User Report below.
The Panasonic G2 ships with a different lens than its predecessor, the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6. It’s a 3x zoom rather than the 14-45mm 3.2x zoom on the G1. The new lens lacks an O.I.S. switch, but it still has optical image stabilization built in; only now it’s controlled from the Panasonic G2’s menu.
Other changes on the Panasonic G2 include a new location for the Control dial: it goes from the front grip to the rear thumbgrip area. And a dedicated Movie button now appears on the G2’s top deck, right behind the Shutter release button. Movie mode is limited to 720p, not rising to the 1080i level of the GH1, so there’s still room for another model should Panasonic see fit, but the Panasonic G2 does include a new stereo Mic jack.
The Panasonic G2 ships from late May 2010, with a suggested retail price of US$799.95 including the kit lens.