Panasonic DMC-G2 interchangeable lens camera
Micro Four-Thirds touchscreen tour de force
Review The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is another addition to the growing Micro Four Thirds family of cameras. I think we know the drill now; cuter form factor for a traditional interchangeable lens system, similar features to a DSLR but no reflex mirror, and a bit more discreet.
Touch and go: Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G2
Yet what sets this model apart from some of the bigger competition is a near-silent autofocus system – utilising contrast detection – that is ideal for video and works flawlessly. Having been impressed by the DMC-GH1, I was looking forward to seeing what the DMC-G2 could do, especially as Panasonic is offering it for a considerably lower price.
The brushed black exterior certainly makes the DMC-G2 feel more money than other cameras at this price. Although the kit lens doesn’t have much of a mass, all told, the camera weighs just enough to hold a steady pan. Like most other G-series models, the G2 touts a 12.1Mp (effective) sensor and has a 3in LCD, but this is a touchscreen panel. It is an 'everywhichway' articulating screen too, so it’s great for low/high angles, positioning off to the left side or reversed so no screen showing for storing.
Thanks to the touchscreen, putting your greasy fingers all over the monitor is now the new way of interacting with parameters. The ability to flick through images and zoom into them with a tap seems second nature. How quick it is to get used to these different ways to interact. It is a nice feature though, especially when showing someone else the images at the end of the day.
These niceties aside, the groundbreaking feature has to be focus point selection, which enables you to pull-focus silently whilst recording video. It really works. Picking an area of the composition – by tapping it to bring into sharpness – soon becomes evident to be a very sensible way to alter focus points.
Despite the touchscreen, there are still dedicated controls aplenty
For stills, the on-screen touch shutter function, likewise, focuses on the chosen area and then takes a picture. AF functions include 23-point or single-point focusing, face detection and AF tracking. With the latter, you can tap on your target and the DMC-G2 will track it across the screen – it sure is nice to play with something new.
Yes, it does all those things.
Look at the top view of the camera. The dial on the left controls the focus -- full continuous auto, auto, and manual (for manual you can get a handy zoomed in view via the electronic view finder for pin sharp photos). You focus by twisting the lens barrel.
The PASM wheel to the right allows both aperture and shutter priority, both adjustable via the jog dial on the back (it's on the front -- much better -- on the GH1).
I suggest you head over to DP Review for a full (very full) photographers perspective. I guess El Reg is catering to the general gadgetista's interest here.
No they haven't. They've made APS-C and fullframe 35mm shaped sensor cameras.
Christian Erhardt of Leica had this to say about micro 4/3:
“Our lenses our designed to work best with full format, the light can hit different pixels of the sensor at a very extreme angle–once you have that, the image may be slightly out of focus, or not as bright around the edges.”.
But he also explained why Leica choosed to not join the MicroFourThirds alliance: “One reason why we’ve decided not to move into Micro Four Thirds is that we have looked at the sensor size and realized that it cannot produce the image quality that we need. Therefore we decided to stick with the full format in addition to APS-C. It’s all about the ratios“.
The major reason that I never bought a K-x as a cheap backup camera (I'm a Nikon and Leica user otherwise) is that the f'king thing only takes AA cell batteries, not proper solid camera batteries. Even feeding the thing 2900mAh rechargables, the run time is pans,a nd spares are bulky.
Sure, give it the capability to take consumer batteries too- but let it run on proper camera batts. My Ricoh GR Digital 3 runs on the usual lithium camera battery- but can also take AAA cells in the same compartment if you remove the normal battery.. due to clever engineering.
Otherwise the K-x is a fine little camera, nice image quality, snappy focus (certainly compared to cheap Canons) and available in a load of cheerfully loud colours.
Err no redux
You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Leica are actually on record that they will NEVER make an EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangable lens) camera, as the 4/3 factor doesn't suit their optics set up at all.
The sensor size isn't that far from APS-C, which you find in low and midrange DSLRs- in quality and noise terms. Full frame is different, but then only bodies costing £1500 upwards have these in.