Panasonic DMC-G2 Review
As seen earlier, from a design point of view the G2 is almost identical to the G1 before it (and is very similar to the video-focused GH1), so everything we said about those cameras is equally applicable to this one. The control dial has moved to the back, GF1-style (so is now thumb-operated), which is an improvement over the too-easily-knocked position on the G1, and a lot better suited to such a small body. There's also a few button/switch changes, but physically the G2 is otherwise very similar to its predecessor.
From a design point of view the G2 is, in almost every respect, very careful to mimic DSLR design, with a large grip, large viewfinder and a bunch of buttons and dials pretty much where you'd expect them to be. And the result is a camera that will be instantly familiar to users familiar with DSLRs and, perhaps more importantly, one that is consistent with the expectations of users aspiring to own a DSLR.
The soft micro-textured finish and overall build quality appear to be pretty much the same as the G1, and give the G2 a reassuringly solid, quality feel that seems to be capable of taking the kind of everyday knocks it might receive in normal usage (after a few weeks of heavy use we saw no signs of damage to the surface).
In your hand
|The G2 has exactly the same viewfinder as the G1 and GH1 (click here to read more about it), which is no bad thing, since it's really rather good. There's still the slight color 'tearing' if you move your eye too quickly, but the sharpness, resolution, refresh rate, brightness and color are excellent. The G2's viewfinder is noticeably larger than most SLR finders and is perfectly usable in all but the lowest light (when the display gets a little noisy and a little laggy).|
In keeping with the G2's aim of behaving exactly like a DSLR, the EVF very closely mimics the appearance of a DSLR. And, unlike DSLRs with Live view, the layout of the information is consistent between the viewfinder and the rear LCD (unless you're using the Status Panel mode on the rear screen). The result is no hunting around for settings - they're always shown in the same place. And, unlike a DSLR, the G2's viewfinder can show you the options for each setting and update the preview image to reflect any changes made.
The only differences between the G2 and its predecessor are the video mode and Intelligent Resolution icons.