Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review

Tim Smalley
20 Jul 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Panasonic's G2 is a well-specified camera and the new kit lens is a great upgrade, but its image quality still can't match comparably priced DSLRs.



17.3x13mm 12.1-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (28-84mm equivalent), 593g

The G Micro system has been something of a success for Panasonic and the Lumix DMC-G2 looks to build upon that with a number of improvements over previous models. This and its cheaper brother, the DMC-G10, are designed to replace the G1 and lead a two pronged attack against the competition. While the G10 surpasses the G1’s specification in a few areas but loses out in many others, the G2 surpasses its predecessor in almost every respect. Its upgrades are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, though.

The headline upgrade is the new movie mode, which supports 720p recording at 30fps in the AVCHD Lite or M-JPEG formats. It supports mono sound with the option of attaching a stereo microphone. Video quality is very good for a camera of this size and the AVCHD Lite format is very efficient. The other big news is the new fully articulated 3in 460,000 dot touch-screen display, which hasn’t come at the expense of the more traditional button controls. Panasonic has spent time improving the G2’s handling by refining an already sophisticated but simple control system.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 (left)

The control dial has been moved to the rear, while the iA mode has also been moved from the mode dial to its own dedicated button on top next to the shutter release – it’s accompanied by a new direct movie record button, too. The Q.Menu button has also been moved and now sits above the four-way controller, giving you access to most of the camera’s settings with the touch of a button. To the left of the electronic viewfinder, the controls have also become more advanced with focus point selection added to the dial while focus drive mode has been transferred to a switch encircling the dial’s base.

Panasonic’s decision to add a touch-screen interface is a curious one, but means the G2 is the first touch-screen interchangeable lens camera. Headline functions include touch focus, where the user can select a focus point by touching the screen, and touch shutter, which takes that one step further by releasing the shutter. Some functions are quicker to activate using the touch-screen, but frankly it feels like a bit of a gimmick.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 (rear screen open)

Another disappointing change is the relocation of the SD card slot, which has incidentally been upgraded to support the new SDXC standard. The slot is now located in the battery compartment on the bottom, instead of in its own hatch on the side of the body, making it difficult to change cards if you’re using a tripod.

The G2’s 4/3in sensor remains largely the same as its predecessor’s, packing the same 12.1 megapixels, but its maximum sensitivity has been expanded to ISO 6400 thanks to the new Venus Engine HD II image processor which was also included in the G10. It also includes Intelligent Resolution technology, which is claimed to make soft gradations smoother as well as emphasise edges and detailed textures in the camera’s Intelligent Auto mode.

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