Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review

Price when reviewed

The trickle of intermediate SLD (single lens direct view) cameras of last year has turned into a torrent this year, with several new models from Samsung, Sony and Olympus hitting the market. Panasonic’s gambit this year comprises two Micro Four Thirds cameras: the Lumix DMC-G10, which we’ve already reviewed, and this, the pricier and more fully featured Lumix DMC-G2.

To look at, the G2 isn’t much of a departure from its more affordable cousin. It looks like a more compact version of a DSLR, a feat it achieves (as all SLD cameras do) by shrinking the distance between lens and sensor, and removing the optical viewfinder. The body is clad in the same disappointingly cheap-feeling resin plastic, and it’s all but identical in appearance.

Under the hood, it uses the same 12.1-megapixel 4/3in sensor, and many of the rest of the specifications and capabilities are the same too, including the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, and pop up GN11 flash.

Look closer, however, and critical differences do begin to appear, the first being that the electronic viewfinder is far superior. Where the G10’s EVF sported a lowly 202k resolution, the one in the G2 is seven times the resolution at 1,440k, and it makes focusing and framing shots in bright conditions much, much easier.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

We’d go so far as to say it’s the best EVF we’ve used in a camera of its type, and it’s also improved by the addition of a sensor to the right, which turns it on when you lift the camera to your eye and switches it off when you look away.

If you prefer to use the screen, you’ll find enhancements there too, although not as dramatic. The G10’s screen is actually the same resolution as the G2’s – a bright, usable 460kpixels – but it’s fully articulated just like the original Lumix DMC-G1

More interesting than this is that Panasonic has also added touch capability. This enables some useful features, such as touch focus with subject tracking, and certain less essential ones, such as gesture navigation in playback and a touch-activated shutter.

Investigating the exterior of the camera reveals a couple of refinements to the build, the G10 adding a dedicated movie button on top, just behind the shutter button, and an autofocus area dial on the left, mounted atop the focus mode dial. The lens mount on the G10 is metal rather than the plastic mount found on the G2.

Finally, video options are more sophisticated. The G2 is able to shoot at 720p/50 in AVCHD Lite format (for up to 100 minutes), whereas the G2 is limited to Motion JPEG. There’s also an input for a stereo microphone, allowing you to improve on the mono audio from the integrated mic.


Image quality4

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating12.1mp
Camera screen size3.0in
Camera optical zoom range3x
Camera maximum resolution4000 x 3000


Battery type includedLithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard)360 shots
Charger included?yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash?yes
Aperture rangef3.5 - f5.6
Camera minimum focus distance0.30m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)28
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)84
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed1/4,000
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed1 mins
Bulb exposure mode?yes
RAW recording mode?yes
Exposure compensation range+/- 3EV
ISO range100 - 6400
Selectable white balance settings?yes
Manual/user preset white balane?yes
Progam auto mode?yes
Shutter priority mode?yes
Aperture priority mode?yes
Fully auto mode?yes
Burst frame rate2.0fps
Exposure bracketing?yes
White-balance bracketing?yes
Memory-card typeSDXC
Viewfinder coverage100%
LCD resolution460k
Secondary LCD display?no
Video/TV output?yes
Body constructionPlastic
Tripod mounting thread?yes
Data connector typeProprietary USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual?yes
Software suppliedPHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE
Accessories suppliedLens hood

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