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Compared to the G1

For the most part this is a case of 'evolution, not revolution' when compared to the G1, but some subtle changes have been made to the body in its latest incarnation.

At first glance there is little distinction between the G1 (left) and G2 (right) beyond the video-related decals. On closer examination you'll notice that the control dial has been moved to the rear of the camera and the hand grip very slightly re-shaped. The area around the lens mount is also slightly more substantial and features two extra screws below the lens.
As well as the repositioned dial, an extra button has been added above the four-way controller. The touch screen is noticeably less reflective than the G1's LCD.

Most of the changes are fairly minor attempts to refine and improve the G1's already very good control and handling but there have been a handful of hardware changes made too.

The remote control socket now doubles as a stereo mic input, though sadly it remains a 2.5mm connector, rather than the more common 3.5mm style. The G2 loses the card door that appeared on the G1's right flank. Cards, including the large capacity SDXC type, now live alongside the battery (which is bad news for tripod users).
The controls on the top left of the camera become more sophisticated, adding focus point selection mode to the corner dial and transferring focus drive mode to a new switch that encircles the base of it. The controls at the top right have also been juggled around - iA mode leaps off the dial to its own button, next to the new direct movie record button. The Q.Menu and Film Mode functions are moved to buttons on the back of the camera.

On the button-front there's been something of a reshuffle - all the key players are still around but now hold slightly different positions. The big gains are for AF-point selection mode, which gets added to the G2's scaled-down retro-styled combination dial and switch, and the newly arrived movie mode, which has a direct start button. Intelligent Auto mode also gets its own button, having been displaced from the mode dial by Movie P mode.

Q.Menu, exiled from the top plate, finds a new home on an additional button on the camera's rear (just next to where the 'Q.Menu' virtual button appears on the touch screen). Film Mode, which also used to occupy the top of the camera gets shunted to the four-way controller, nudging AF-point selection down to the Fn button. As a result, the only function to lose direct access is metering mode, which instead becomes one of the other options available for the Fn button (there's a choice of ten, rather than the G1's five).

Panasonic DMC G2 compared to G1 and G10

G2 changes over G1 at a glance

  • Movie mode + Audio recording (built-in mono mic, connector for external stereo mic)
  • Venus Engine HD II processor (with 'Intelligent Resolution')
  • Control dial moved from front to back
  • Touch Screen
  • 1:1 aspect ratio option
  • Expanded ISO range (now goes up to ISO 6400)
  • iA and movie buttons added
  • Focus mode (AF point selection) dial
  • Minor button / dial function changes
  • SD card now in base with battery
  • Live View can be maintained during continuous shooting (at Medium and Low burst rates)
  • Improved Auto ISO algorithm (maintains higher shutter speeds)
  • Autofocuses with most Four Thirds SLR lenses
  • Basic distance scale added for manual focus

The DMC G2 is at first glance a fairly gentle update of the G1, once you've got to grips with the touch-screen. Beyond that, the most obvious differences are the refined ergonomics and the addition of AVCHD video recording. There are also a few minor tweaks to the available options, such as the addition of a 1:1 aspect-ratio shooting mode and ISO 6400.

Delve a little deeper, though, and you'll find a few other welcome fixes to some of the G1's less obvious shortcomings. Perhaps most importantly, the G2 (and G10) can maintain live view during continuous shooting if you're willing to drop the frame rate from the 'H' setting (3.2 fps) to 'M' or 'L' (2.6 and 2 fps respectively), which makes a huge difference when trying to follow moving subjects. The Auto ISO algorithm has been tweaked to maintain higher shutter speeds - for example with the 20mm F1.7 it starts to raise the ISO at 1/60 sec rather than 1/30sec. This may not sound like much, but it reduces the risk of getting blurred shots either from camera shake or subject motion, making Auto ISO much more useable in practice.

On the focusing front, both cameras gain the ability to autofocus with almost all Four Thirds SLR lenses, and while AF is (of course) still distinctly slow and hesitant, this makes them more appealing to anyone with a collection of Olympus ZD lenses. For manual focusing, a basic distance scale can now be displayed, and while this is nothing more than a line marked with the current focus position in relation to infinity and closest focus, it gives solid feedback about what is happening when you turn the focus ring (which really comes into its own when using lenses like the 45mm F2.8 Macro with magnified focus assist enabled).

DMC-G10 differences

The G10 is, in many respects, even more similar to the G1. It doesn't offer the G2's touch screen, direct movie button or the combined dial/switch on the top left corner of the camera. Its button layout is closer to that of the G1's, too - the Q.Menu button has moved to the back of the camera and the iAuto button has replaced Film Mode but everything else remains the same with AF point selection holding its position on the four-way controller.

The G10 still offers 720p movies from the mode dial though not in the more efficient AVCHD format and loses all movie-related branding from its front. It also gets a smaller, lower-spec viewfinder that's similar to the GF1's add-on unit (202K dots, rather than 1.4M) and loses the articulated tilt/swivel LCD. Unlike the G2, it is only available in black and offers no external mic input.

 

Panasonic DMC G2

Panasonic DMC G1

Panasonic DMC G10
Sensor
• 4/3 type MOS ('Live MOS sensor')
• 13.1 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
• 4/3 type MOS ('Live MOS sensor')
• 13.1 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
• 4/3 type MOS ('Live MOS sensor')
• 13.06 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
Processor
• Venus Engine HD II
• Venus Engine HD
• Venus Engine HD II
Aspect ratios
• 4:3
• 3:2
• 16:9
• 1:1
• 4:3
• 3:2
• 16:9
• 4:3
• 3:2
• 16:9
• 1:1
Video mode
• AVCHD :
1280 x 720, 60/50fps

• Motion JPEG:
1280 x 720, 30fps
848 x 480, 30fps
640 x 480, 30fps
320 x 240, 30fps
• N/A
• Motion JPEG:
1280 x 720, 30fps
848 x 480, 30fps
640 x 480, 30fps
320 x 240, 30fps
Audio
• Mono (stereo via external mic connecter)
• N/A
• Mono
Focus modes
• Auto Focus (Contrast AF system)
• Manual focus
• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
• 23-Area-Focusing/1 Area Focusing
• MF Assist (5x, 10x)
• Touch AF
• Auto Focus (Contrast AF system)
• Manual focus
• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
• 23-Area-Focusing/1 Area Focusing
• MF Assist (5x, 10x)
• Auto Focus (Contrast AF system)
• Manual focus
• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
• 23-Area-Focusing/1 Area Focusing
• MF Assist (5x, 10x)
LCD screen
• 3.0" TFT LCD monitor
• 460,000 dots
• Approx 100% coverage
• Multi-angle swing and tilt (180°swing, 180° swivel)
• Touch sensitive
• 3.0" TFT LCD monitor
• 460,000 dots
• Approx 100% coverage
• Multi-angle swing and tilt (180°swing, 180° swivel)
• 3.0" TFT LCD monitor
• 460,000 dots
• Approx 100% coverage
Viewfinder
• 1.4x magnification
• 0.7x (35mm equiv)
• 1,440k dot equiv
• 100% FOV
• 1.4x magnification
• 0.7x (35mm equiv)
• 1,440k dot equiv
• 100% FOV
• 1.04x magnification
• 0.52x (35mm equiv)
• 202k dot equiv
• 100% FOV
ISO range
• Auto
• iAuto
• 100-6400
• Auto
• iAuto
• 100-3200
• Auto
• iAuto
• 100-6400
Bulb exposure max duration
• 4 mins
• 8 mins
• 4 mins
Drive modes
• Single
• Continuous H (3.2 fps)
• Continuous M (2.6 fps)
• Continuous L (2 fps)
• Single
• Continuous H (3 fps)
• Continuous L (2 fps)
• Single
• Continuous H (3.2 fps)
• Continuous M (2.6 fps)
• Continuous L (2 fps)
Connectors
• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• Video output (PAL / NTSC)
• HDMI
• Remote/external mic
• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• Video output (PAL / NTSC)
• HDMI
• Remote
• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• Video output (PAL / NTSC)
• HDMI
• Remote
Dimensions
124 mm x 84 mm x 74 mm
124 mm x 84 mm x 74 mm
124 mm x 84 mm x 74 mm
Weight (body only)
Approx. 371 g (13.1 oz)
Approx. 380g (13.4 oz)
Approx. 336 g (11.9 oz)
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