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Panasonic DMC-G2

Micro Four Thirds hands-on with test pics and video

In the somewhat challenging mixed lighting environment of the Focus on Imaging exhibition, many of the images seemed a tad over-exposed with muted colours as a consequence. Yet outdoors was a different story, with the results being much more vivid and accurate. During tests, video capture also faltered slightly, flickering momentarily when panning from an outdoor view to the interior exhibition scene, a quirk that could be repeated easily enough. Indeed, video playback was none too smooth with pan shots, as shown in the clip below.

Playback is not the smoothest for this pan shot - room for improvement here
Available to view in HD

Yet, thanks to the dedicated video record button – adjacent to the shutter release – video recording is perceived as a guilt-free function of this camera, rather than some bolt on extra that gets the die-hard stills fan worked up into a lather. Indeed, the task of video capture is effortless, with the G2 delivering a creative workflow, enabling decisions to be made on the fly without the distraction of manually switching modes. And talking of modes, there are plenty more that an hour’s play just didn’t allow time to fully explore.

Verdict

It’s easy to like this camera in terms of concept and compactness. Image quality does seem like work in progress, which had been implied by Panasonic right from the start. Certainly there’s room for improvement, and it will be interesting to compare and contrast how refined the G2 becomes from the pre-production samples on show now and the retail models coming in June. ®

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Panasonic DMC-G2

Touch control isn't essential but, arguably, it's the way it can offer focus pulling for video shoots that is going to win some new fans of this format.
Price: TBA, camera available in June RRP