Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Review
The Lumix G2 is Panasonic's follow up to the DMC-G1. No, it's not a DSLR, but it's not a compact camera as well. It's more of a DSLR-style camera, a hybrid - which has become rather popular in the market these days. Other similarly styled cameras include the Olympus Pen EP-2 and EPL1.
The G2 is cheaper than the G1, but adds some new cool features such as a rotating touchscreen and HD video recording.
We took the G2 for a test drive for a day, and immediately fell in love with the touch screen. You use it to control every setting in the camera from the shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance and more. Heck, you can even use the touch screen to shoot photos.
With most cameras, you have the scroll through settings, but with the G2, you can just directly choose the setting you want to tweak. Pretty neat, and one of the highlights that made us fall in love with this camera right away.
The G2 has basically the same build and design as the G1. It has a very comfortable grip. For those that don't want to mess with the touch screen, don't worry. There are plenty of dials in the G2. You'll find the usual manual/semi-manual/automatic options in the top right of the camera. The intelligent auto mode is not in the dial however. It's on a tiny button near the on-off switch. But don't fret - it glows blue when you activate it.
The G2 is pretty small, but still too large to fit into any normal pocket. It's lighter than most DSLRs, but it's not a slim point and shoot by any means.
Another feature they added to the G2 is HD video recording. Yup, you can now record 1280 X 720 HD videos using the AVCHD Lite format. It's easy as heck to do too. They have a 1 touch record button that shoots instantly. No need to turn a dial, or mess around with the menu.
The AVCHD format is much more efficient at encoding than the Motion JPEG. You just need to transcode them before you can upload them online to view.
Like most Panasonic cameras in this price range, the G2 is pretty darn fast. From power on to shot, it takes .85 seconds. In good lighting conditions, the G2 takes .45 seconds to focus and shoot. In dark and dim lighting, it the Panasonic Lumix G2 takes .7 seconds to focus and shot. Shot to shot time is .75 seconds for both JPEG and raw. If you use flash, it takes 1 second.
Shooting fast moving objects is what the Lumix G2 is bad at, and it's because of the electronic viewfinder that's built in into the G2. So if you're planning to shoot lots of sports, the G2 may not be for you. But the viewfinder has its benefits of course. If there's a lot of sunlight, and changing angles doesn't seem to help, you can just reply on their high resolution viewfinder.
We took many pictures with the G2 and were satisfied with the overall image quality. The colors turned out to be vibrant and our images were detailed. We even took some pictures through a window and the shots turned out to be great (just make sure there's no reflection). You'll notice that the G2 really delivers really bright, saturated colors.
That said, we did find a few faults, picky reviewers that we are. Even though the G2 delivers bright colors, we noticed visible noise even with low ISO of 200. You can fix this of course with your favorite image editing program, but we still expected better image quality in this low ISO level. We may be a bit picky, but there's no doubt other cameras in this price range has less noise in ISO 200. This is also an issue with the G1, and we wished the G2 would improve with handling noise, but it doesn't.
You can choose to pair the Lumix G2 with several lens. We tested it with the 14-42mm kit lens, as well as the 45-200mm and the photos turned out great.
- Touch screen with 3 inch LCD
- 12.1 megapixels
- MicroFour Thirds, 14-42mm kit lens
- Viewfinder, LV 1,440,000 dots
- Supports ISO up to 6400
- Battery life supports up to ~350-360 images
- 124 X 84 X 74mm
- Weighs 593g
- HD movie using AVCHD Lite
- supports HDMI
- Great touch screen and LCD
- Pretty fast performance
- Bright, saturated colors
- Noisy images at mid-range ISO
- Bad at action shots
We think the Lumix G2 photo quality is a tad noisier than they should be at middle of the range ISO sensitivities.
However, the fast performance, great LCD and touch screen, great EVF as well as HD video recording are outstanding features of the Lumix G2. If you're not ready for a DSLR but want better quality than a regular point and shoot, the Lumix G2 is the best hybrid camera for you.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $724.95.
Note: This is a 9% off Amazon coupon and one of the best deals for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2.
If you're not ready to buy yet, bookmark this page so you can compare prices here and buy it for the lowest price when you are ready to buy this camera.
|Amazon||$724.95 (Cheapest Price)|
|Hunts Photo & Video||$799.95|
|B&H Photo Video||$799.95|
Prices last updated on: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:18:07 PST