Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review

Started Jul 7, 2010 | User reviews thread
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Rob13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,116
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review

This is my second 4/3's camera. I had owned an E-P2 with it's fantastic EVF, for about 7 months before it got stolen last week when traveling thru Vancouver.

Taking a ton of pictures in Toronto, Banff & Vancouver, I was starting to grow accustomed with the E-P2's cumbersome menu system and then suddenly it was
stolen. That's life I guess.

The jpegs from the Oly were great out of the camera without pp and I only took RAW in really difficult indoor lighting where I had difficulty with the white balance.

Anyway, when i had to replace it, it was kind of "been there, done that" scenario, so after some indecisiveness over NEX 5 vs G2, I opted for the G2 primarily due
to it's easier to use menu system and user friendly number of "on camera" buttons.

The touch screen is a bit of a novelty, and it's great for magnifying the image. However, I'm still more accustomed to using the "on camera" buttons for most funtions as its quite direct for me. However, I do find the touch screen very user friendly than the OLY when using my manual "M" mount Zeiss or Leica or CV lenses. Just touch the screen and the image is magnified, for focusing, just have press the shutter button and it returns to normal view mode. The Oly had a few more button presses.

I had the 14-45 & 20mm Panny lenses along with the Oly 9-18 lens kit, which all got stolen :0(, so I can offer a comment on the new 14-42 over the older 14-45.
In terms of rendering, sharpness, contrast, I don't pixel peep too much nor make gigantic prints, so I can't say the new 14-42 is much different from the preivous version. The 14-42 has the plastic mount which hopefully will hold up well with use.

The EVF works, but is definitely less bright & clear than the Oly. However, the thing that was a bit inconvenient with the OLY EVF, was that I liked to have it permanently mounted on the E-P2. With that configuration, I did find that it added considerable height to the camera, making it rather bulky so that it never quite fit in to my mid size camera bag. Yes I could carry a bigger one, however, I have a preference for light, which is why I dumped all my SLR gear a few years back and switched to rangefinders and new also have the 4/3's to supplement when I want a zoom.

Performance wise it has a faster startup time and has a higher fps than Oly. The lack of in body stabilization for using non-stabilized lenses really bites, as all these primes are of course much better than the kit lens (which are ok for a kit lens), but I do appreciate the ability to get more keepers with the body/sensor stabilization of the OLY. Perhaps when the E-P3 comes out the EVF will be built in and it will have a "useable" flash. Currently a big advantage is the built in flash on the G2, although I prefer to use available light, it is usefull for those occassions so I don't need to always lug around my Nissin flash.

I find low light ISO capability to be similar to the E-P2 (non-scientific tests), stick to 800 or below for colour jpegs, perhaps 1600 in a pinch using RAW and for B&W anything you want up to the max. However, I am trying to keep it simple as I'm treating the 4/3s as a muchly improved P&S. (if you're looking for something with control in a much smaller package and not as good as the 4/3s, try the Canon G11 or S90) At this stage, the micro 4/3s is not going to best the SLR or Leica M8 or M9 in terms of image quality.

I'm not a big video fan, but when I need it the 720 is sufficient for my needs.

It's a great 4/3's camera and extremely user friendly. I'll have to wait and see at the end whether I prefer the E-P2 or the G2. I do know I'll miss the in-body stabilizatoin of the E-P2, but not the bulky EVF.

Problems:

One gripe I do have is the focus point moves whenever I accidentally touch the screen and it's a bit of a pain to get it back to the centre. Will there be a firmware fix so that this auto feature can be turned off? it's driving me crazier....than my original state of crazy... Best, Happy Shooting!

 Rob13's gear list:Rob13's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Samsung Galaxy S4 Sony Xperia ZR
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
12 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Mar 7, 2010
Rob13's score
4.6
Average community score
4.3
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