Micro Four Thirds hands-on with test pics and video
First Look With a DSLR dangling from my neck, unpacking the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 was certainly quite a contrast. The diminutive lens is remarkably light and, even when married to the body, you certainly don’t feel like you’re being burdened by bulk.
Finishing touch: Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G2
A DSLR it ain’t and it’s easy to see that there is probably some truth in Panasonic’s claims that Micro Four Thirds cameras are fast becoming a favourite among compact owners wanting to trade up to the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, and advanced users needing something small, but versatile.
With the DMC-G2 and DMC-G10 officially announced only moments earlier, as the Focus on Imaging show opened, press samples were dished out with just an hour allowed to play. Panasonic was keen to stress that the G2 test models were running version 0.20 firmware. The underlying message being, it’s work in progress, so be kind, but have fun. There will be many refinements between now and the release models in June.
Indeed, it was pertinent to keep that in mind on turning on the G2 and seeing a purple wall through its viewfinder where a grey one stood before me, but on moving around things steadily improved. According to a Panasonic product specialist, the samples are still running on algorithms based on the G1, but the G2 and G10 both feature the new dual processing Venus Engine HD II.
So what about this new processor? Could a warts ‘n’ all pre-production model show off the charms of Madame Venus’ twin engines? Judge for yourself, as the urge to perform an impromptu ISO test was too great to resist. Like its predecessors the G2 has a 100 to 6400 ISO range and a 12.1Mp sensor.
AF tracking screen view
However, it soon becomes obvious that the higher you climb, the view starts to get uglier. Compression artefacts abound in the details too – even in the lower ranges – which suggests that Madame Venus is a bit of a harsh working girl at the moment and will be in for a makeover before she hits the streets in June.
Next page: Sample Shots
Not really a competitor
And costs about a grand more for the body only (assuming G2 prices are similar to current G1).
Having said that, the 550D looks a decent alternative for not much more. A lot bigger and heavier though...
zero video on the 7D?
Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse, since you have a 7D and I only have the Reg's review and the Canon product page*I'll have to defer to your experience of a lack of video on the 7D.
All it needs now ..
.. is a decent remote control so that you could hook it up to a decent size monitor and control it.
I fear the touch screen idea won't work for me, because that typically relies on a display that won't move any further away when you press it (i.e. at the end of range for the hinge), unless you handle it with 2 hands (or "thumb" control it). I like the idea, but not sure how that is going to "pan out" (cough) in reality..
Anyway, nice preview, thanks.
I'll stick with my...
EOS 7D thanks as it's all camera and zero gimmiky video game.
That's a very slick bit of interface design.
However, firm presses don't sound great for stability, especially when hand holding- I like to take a lot of pictures in rubbish light and hate tripods, so that would worry me.
The other thing that would worry me is if you're expected to chimp off the back screen while using it- one of the things that most represents a tradeup for me with a DSLR over my compacts is being able to use the viewfinder, and top LCD, and have nicely laid-out physical controls. That's actually half the value of the format for me- being able to do 99% of the things that I need without having to turn the rear LCD on, which messes with battery life terribly, and is extra-nasty on sunny days.
Still, it is a lovely bit of interface design!