Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
Although Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G2 featured an articulating touchscreen display, one of the more endearing features of this Micro Four Thirds camera was its ability to pull focus when recording video by simply touching areas on the screen. You could even take photos this way and the AF would pinpoint the region tapped on the touchscreen. While both the G2 and the cheaper G10 (that lacked the articulating touchscreen niceties) featured 720p video recording and an upgraded processing engine, the pixel count remained at 12.1Mp, as on previous models.
However, later in the year, Panasonic raised the game for the Micro Four Thirds format with the Lumix DMC-GH2 featuring a 16.1Mp sensor and Full HD 24p video recording. At over £300 more than the DMC-G2, you’d have to want that extra resolution pretty badly, but for many, the compactness of these cameras for video work in tight corners was worth every penny. Lest we forget stills photographers, who not only benefitted from high quality images, even at higher ISO settings, but a wide range of lenses, some of which have appeared as a result of Panasonic’s association with Leica.
Panasonic Lumix H-FT012E stereoscopic lens
Those into stereoscopic photography could cough up £250 and take advantage of the H-FT012E 3D lens, and Panasonic would happily sell you a suitable Viera 3D telly to make the most of it. The company certainly put a lot of weight behind the Micro Four Thirds format this year, expanding upon it as a complete system. The arrival of Sony’s APS-C NEX models may have caused some potential buyers to pause for thought over sensor sizes, but the Lumix G-series had some rather attractive price drops later in the year, which can certainly help in the decision making process. ®
Leica M9 90%
Canon G11 80%
Samsung NX10 80%
Olympus PEN E-PL1 85%
Sony NEX-5 85%
Panasonic DMC-G2 85%
This year's classy compact cameras
dude there is no std. 12mm prime of µ4/3
Sorry Viet 1, there is Lumix 12mm 3D which is a novelty lens really. Then there is 14mm (28 eqv) prime which is to be bundled with the GF2. But that's it, there is no mention of a 12mm standard prime for m4/3 in the near future.
...am off sick with man-flu trolling the comment columns *ho-hum*
You have a point too
But it really depends on your needs. I won't dispute on the usefulness of modern DSLR's amenities. They are some pros' bread and butter, especially those working in areas where speed is prime (sports and weddings comes to mind). But how many photographers are making a living on their cameras ? And which pros exactly need to suck dry their memory card capacity in less than a minute ?
One should never forget a whole generation of reporters brought back worldwide acclaimed images from all over the world using only a leica, a 35mm lens, and tri-X.
The good camera is the one that's ready in your hand when something happens. If you don't have problems carrying your EOS 1D around your neck, by any means, do it. Maybe I'd like it too, but I can't. It's too big for me, it breaks my back, it scares away people from scenes I'd like to picture, and it would be much too expensive to replace if it got stolen or damaged. My e-p1 on the other hand is always at the ready, unobtrusive, light, produces almost dslr quality, and doesn't make people think I'm pointing a shotgun at their head.
In fact, it so much fits my needs like a glove that I sold my DSLR system since I got it. It covers 90% of the pictures I wish to snatch. The 5% of situations I need something really small, I use my LX2. And the 5% I'd like faster AF, well, I'm doomed, so be it. Most of those times, I'd be doomed anyway because any DSLR would be tucked out of reach either at home or at the bottom of my bag. But if I only had a DSLR, I would miss more than half the pictures I currently make. I've been making more images with the e-p1 in a year than I made with my dslr in 4, with almost a constant keeper ratio.
So, it's really a case of "to each his own", I guess.
So not really the best compact cameras, then
Which part of "compact" is not clear? These cameras are as compact as a bloody great bulky thing with a big ol' lens slicking out of it.
Compact cameras look at Panasonic TMZ10 (phenomenal value, optical quality and control), the teenzy but quite clever Sony Cybershot TX9, and the Canon S95 (good as the G12, but much more...well... compact).
None of these are compacts.
Compacts are roughly cuboid shaped one-piecers that fit easily in your jeans / jacket / handbag.
All the cameras here defy the dictionary definition of the word compact - they're just slightly smaller DSLRs (albeit without the optical viewfinder).