Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Review

July 8, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is a new Micro Four Thirds camera boasting a 3 inch articulated touchscreen LCD that provides touch-based functions like Touch AF/AE and Touch Shutter. Other key features of the G2 include a 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor, upgraded Venus Engine HD II processor, sensitivity range of ISO 100-6400, 720p HD video recording in AVCHD Lite format, a port for an optional stereo microphone and an electronic viewfinder. Powered by a proprietary Lithium-ion battery, the Lumix DMC-G2 takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards and offers both a pop-up flash and a hot shoe for external flashguns. There's also a built-in Optical Image Stabiliser to help combat camera-shake and a Supersonic Wave Filter to remove unwanted dust. Finished in blue, red or black, the Panasonic G2 costs £699 / $799 with the new 14-42mm kit lens.

Ease of Use

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is outwardly very similar to both the 18-month old DMC-G1 and the new G10 camera that we recently reviewed, so a lot of the comments that we made about those model's handling apply equally to the G2. Measuring 124 x 83.6 x 74mm and weighing 371g without a lens attached, the G2 is exactly the same size but 35g heavier than the G10, largely because of the G2's rotating, free-angle LCD monitor. Despite the Micro moniker, users with average-sized hands can still operate the G2 comfortably - I found that I naturally gripped the camera with the thumb, middle and fourth finger of my right hand, whilst operating the shutter button with my fore-finger and supporting either the lens or camera body with my left hand.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is a handsome yet understated camera, with the biggest surprise becoming quickly apparent when you first pick it up. The majority of the body is covered in a tactile rubber compound, which adds a hard-wearing, protective coating to the G2 and also makes it easy to grip, even with one hand. Overall the DMC-G2 is extremely well-built, with a high quality metal body, metal lens mount and tripod socket. The main weak-point of the G1, a rather flimsy memory-card slot door, has been rectified on the G2 by moving the memory card to the more sturdy battery compartment.

The G2 ships with a new 14-42mm kit lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35mm), which offers a little less focal range than the previous 14-45mm lens and uses a plastic rather than metal mount. While the body of the G2 is comparable in size and weight to entry-level DSLR cameras, the lenses are where Panasonic have really shrunk the overall system. The new 14-42mm optic is small and now very light, the 20mm pancake lens has to be seen to be believed, and the 45-200mm is also pretty amazing when you consider that it offers an effective focal length of 90-400mm in 35mm terms.

The 14-42mm lens does extend quite a long way when zoomed to its maximum telephoto setting, but that's a small price to pay for such a compact package. The only downsides from a specification point of view are the relatively slow maximum apertures of f/3.5-5.6. Now that Micro Four Thirds is more established as a system, there are a wider range of lenses on offer including an ultra-wide-angle and a macro lens. You can also use regular Four Thirds lenses and even other 3rd-party lenses via optional adapters, but lenses that are not compatible with the G2's Contrast AF function can only be used with manual focusing.

Optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lens, rather than being built-in to the camera body, although the new 14-42mm lens lacks the physical OIS switch of the 14-45mm lens. Instead it can be turned on and off through the DMC-G2's menu system. When enabled, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. There are three different modes, Mode 1 is on all the time including image composition, Mode 2 is only on when you press the shutter button, and there's also an Auto mode. You don't notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Thankfully leaving the anti-shake system on didn't negatively affect the battery-life, with the G2 managing just over 350 shots using the supplied rechargeable Li-ion battery, a 50 shot improvement on the G1.

On the front of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is the small focus-assist and self-timer indicator lamp, lens release button, lens mount and rubberised hand-grip. On the bottom of the Panasonic DMC-G2 is a metal tripod socket, importantly in-line with the middle of the lens barrel, and the shared battery compartment and SD/SDHC memory card slot. On the left is the MIC / Remote socket for use with the optional remote shutter release and external microphone, and two connection ports, including a HDMI port for connecting the G1 to a HD television or monitor. Unfortunately, Panasonic have decided to cut costs and not include a HDMI cable as standard in the box, which means that you'll have to purchase one separately to take advantage of this camera's HD connectivity.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Front Rear

Found on top of the Panasonic DMC-G2 are the combined Focus mode and Focus Area dial, flash hotshoe and built-in pop-up flash with a small switch to open it, burst mode/bracketing/self-timer switch, on/off switch, and large tactile shutter button. There's also a traditional dial that lets you choose the different exposure modes. The usual selection of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual are available for the more experienced photographers. This dial is a typical feature of SLR cameras, and enables you to quickly change between the various modes. The more beginner-friendly Scene modes are also accessed via this dial. Additionally there is a custom mode, marked CUST, which allows you to configure your favourite settings and quickly access them, and a My Color mode which sets the brightness, saturation and color of the image before you take it.

The DMC-G2 features the clever Intelligent Auto mode, now accessed via a small dedicated button on top of the camera. Panasonic have tried to make things as easy as possible for the complete beginner by providing this shooting mode, which allows you to point and shoot the camera without having to worry about choosing the right scene mode or settings. Intelligent Auto Mode automatically determines a number of key criteria when taking a picture, including selecting the most appropriate scene mode (from 5 commonly used presets) and ISO speed, and turning face detection (up to 15 faces), image stabilization and quick auto-focus on. The Intelligent Auto Mode also includes Intelligent Exposure, which increases exposure only in the under-exposed areas of the image, Digital Red-eye, which automatically detects and removes red-eye, and AF Tracking, which continually tracks a moving subject and keeps it in focus, without you having to hold the shutter button halfway down as on most other cameras. Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye can also be turned on in the other shooting modes.

In practice the Intelligent Auto Mode system works very well, with the G2 seamlessly choosing the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. The 5 available scene modes are Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Portrait and Night Scenery, so obviously not all situations are covered by Intelligent Auto Mode, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera. Also catering for the beginner are a total of 11 different scene modes, including the new Peripheral Defocus mode, which despite sounding rather complicated makes it easy for beginners to achieve a blurred background / sharp subject effect without having to understand what apertures are.

One of the main reasons for choosing the G2 rather than the older G1 or the cheaper G10 is the former's ability to record 720p HD 1280 x 720 movies at 30fps, either in the AVCHD Lite or Motion JPEG formats. AVCHD Lite almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with Motion JPEG, but software support is still a bit thin on the ground. Panasonic describe it as the best mode for playing back on a HD TV direct from the camera, and Motion JPEG best for email and playing on a computer. In addition it can also record Motion JPEG movies at 320 x 240 at 30fps, 640 x 480 at 30fps, and 848 x 480 at 30fps. Stereo sound is recorded during video capture and you can also fit an optional external stereo microphone either, both significant improvements compared to the G10. There's also a useful wind cut function which blocks out most of the noise from background wind. The new dedicated movie button makes it much easier to start record video footage at whatever quality level is currently selected. The HDMI port allows you to connect the G2 to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable.

The Panasonic G2's Intelligent Auto mode also works in movies as well as for still photos. Simply select the Movie icon on the mode dial and press the iA button. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically determines the most suitable Scene mode from five options - Portrait, Scenery, Low Light and Close-up or Normal modes. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. The Optical Image Stabilizer helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using a compatible lens.

You can obviously use any zoom lens during recording with focusing set as for still images. On the negative side, you'll find that if you choose continuous auto-focus, areas of the video will be blurred before becoming sharp again as the camera tries to refocus. On a more positive note, the the G2 is quite fast at re-focusing, and having this system is much better than not being able to auto-focus at all, as with most current DSLR cameras that offer video recording. Hand-holding the G2 during movie recording inevitably leads to obvious shake, despite the optical image stabilizer on compatible lenses, so for best results you'll need a dedicated video tripod.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Touchscreen Swivelling LCD Screen

The rear of the Lumix DMC-G2 is dominated by the large 3 inch LCD screen. The rotating, free-angle LCD monitor, which is hinged on the left side of the camera (looking from the rear), can be flipped out and twisted through 270 degrees. You can use the screen as a waist-level viewfinder, holding the camera overhead, and even for turning the G2 on yourself for arm-length self-portraits. There's also the added benefit of folding the screen away against the camera body to protect it when stored in a camera bag, preventing it from becoming marked or scratched.

The 460K pixel high-resolution screen coped admirably with the majority of lighting conditions. This screen is a great improvement on cameras with the usual 230K dot resolution, even being nice to use in low-light. The Auto Power LCD function automatically detects the current lighting conditions and boosts the LCD backlighting by up to 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, helping to keep the screen visible. The high-res, free-angle LCD screen is much more than just a novelty - it's a lot more versatile than the usual combination of optical viewfinder and fixed LCD, providing new angles of view and enhancing your overall creativity. Above all, it's a fun way of composing your images.

The G2's main innovation is its touchscreen interface, the world’s first in an interchangeable lens system camera. Panasonic have wisely restricted the amount of things that you can do by interacting with the screen, and indeed you can still operate everything on the camera without having to push and prod the LCD at all. But you would be missing out on a lot of genuinely useful functionality that really improves the shooting experience.

The most immediately noticeable function is the ability to use the 1-area AF mode to focus on your main subject simply by touching it on the LCD. If the subject then moves, the G2 cleverly follows it around the screen using the the AF tracking function. If the subject exits the frame entirely, simply recompose and tap it again to start focusing. Impressive stuff that makes focusing on off-center subjects fast and intuitive. It is a little too easy to accidentally press the screen and set the focus point to the wrong area for the current subject, but a simple tap in the middle of the LCD will center the AF point (or you can turn this feature off altogether).

The size of the AF point itself can also be changed via an interactive onscreen slider. If Face Detection is enabled, the 1-area AF point can be manually set to a persons eye to help ensure that the most important part of a portrait is in focus. If Multi-area AF rather than 1-area AF is enabled, then you can select a group of 4, 5 or 6 AF points from 9 different areas, again providing some manual control over what is traditionally a rather hit and miss affair.

When Intelligent Auto is switched on, the G2 changes the scene mode used when you touch the subject, for example selecting portrait mode if you touch a face and macro mode if you touch a close-up flower. If you prefer to manually focus rather than use the snappy AF, you can magnify any part of the subject by 1x, 5x or 10x by simply dragging the image around the screen. The final touchscreen ability from an image composition point of view is the ability to release the shutter, with a small icon on the right hand screen enabling this functionality, and then a single on-screen tap all that's required to take the picture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Top Pop-up Flash

Most of the menu options can be changed via the touchscreen interface, notably the Quick Menu and the Info Display menu - the main exception to this rule is the Main Menu, which is still controlled via the navigation buttons. You can also control image playback by touching the screen, with the ability to tap a thumbnail to see the full-size version, scroll through your images by dragging them from side to side, and magnifying them up to 16x.

Instead of the bulky optical viewfinder of a conventional DSLR, the Panasonic G2 has a smaller electronic viewfinder. The mere mention of an EVF is usually enough to elicit loud groans from any serious photographer, as they have traditionally been poorly implemented in the past, with low-res, grainy displays that were only really suitable for still subjects. Thankfully the electronic viewfinder on the G2 is identical to the G1's excellent EVF, which is far better than any previous system. It has a large 1.4x (0.7x on 35mm equiv.) magnification, 100% field of view, and a 1,440,000 dot equivalent resolution, resulting in a very usable display that won't leave you cursing. The EVF (and also the main LCD screen) operates at 60fps, twice the usual speed, which helps make it relatively flicker-free (although it is still noticeable).

As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information - for example, you can view and operate the G2's Quick Menu, giving quick access to all the key camera settings while it's held up to your eye. The various icons used to represent the camera settings are clear and legible. The icing on the viewing cake is the clever built-in eye sensor, which automatically switches on the viewfinder when you look into it, then switches it off and turns on the LCD monitor when you look away. There's also an LVF/LCD button for manually switching between the two viewing methods (useful if you turn the eye sensor off).

The main downside of the G2's EVF system occurs indoors in low light, as it has to "gain-up" to produce a usable picture, resulting in a noticeably grainier picture. In all other situations, however, the electronic viewfinder on the G2 is the equal of and in many areas better than a DSLR's optical viewfinder, particularly those found on entry-level models which are typically dim and offer limited scene coverage. The truest testament to the G2 is that I mostly used it by holding it up to eye-level, something that I wouldn't do unless the EVF was of sufficient quality.

Positioned to the right of the EVF are a Playback button, conveniently located AF/AE Lock button, and a thumb-operated control dial. This is used for, amongst other things, changing the aperture and shutter speed by turning from left to right and back again. This is a common feature found on DSLR cameras, so you'll be right at home if you've used any DSLR before - compact camera users will need to get used to using this dial, although it is possible (but rather long-winded) to set the aperture/shutter speed via the LCD screen. The control dial can also be pressed in to switch to setting the exposure compensation. Below this is the Q.Menu button which provides quick access to most of the principal controls, including ISO speed, image size, image quality and white balance (there are 14 settings in total). You can still access all of these options from the main menu system too.

The Display button cycles through the various LCD views. In shooting mode, the Display button alternates between turning the display off, the main camera settings as icons, no settings at all, and a useful Info Display which shows the current key settings in a clear graphical format. Underneath is a traditional 4-way navigation pad system with a Menu/Set button in the centre. Pressing left, up, right and down on the D-Pad buttons selects AF Mode, ISO, White Balance and Function options respectively. The Function button can be configured to activate one of five key settings - I chose metering mode. The Delete button intriguingly has a second function - it doubles up as the Preview button. This very cleverly toggles between showing a live preview of the effects of the current aperture (effectively a digital version of Depth of Field Preview) and the current shutter speed. The latter will prove especially useful for beginners, providing a visible way of checking how different shutter speeds will affect the capture of different subjects - running water is a good example.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The main menu system on the DMC-G2 is straight-forward to use and is accessed by pressing the Menu/Set button in the middle of the navigation D-Pad. There are five main menus, Record, Custom, Setup, My Menu and Playback. Most of the camera's main options, such as white balance, image quality, auto-focus mode and ISO speed, are accessed here, so the Record menu has 23 options spread over 5 screens, and the Setup menu has 20 options over 4 screens. As an indication of how configurable the G2 is, the Custom menu has 25 different options, allowing you fine-tune this camera to suit your way of working. As mentioned previously, the Q.Menu button on the rear of the camera speeds up access to some of the more commonly used options. If you have never used a digital camera before, or you're upgrading from a more basic model, reading the easy-to-follow manual before you start is a good idea. Thankfully Panasonic have chosen to supply it in printed format, rather than as a PDF on a CD, so you can also carry it with you.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2's new Intelligent Resolution makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high. Despite all the clever behind-the-scenes processing, it's fairly easy to tell which image was taken with Intelligent Resolution turned on and which one with it turned off due to unwanted artifacts appearing, particularly if viewing onscreen at 100% magnification. While the difference isn't quite so apparent on a print up to A3 in size, I'm not convinced enough to recommend regularly using it.

Face Recognition is a fun and genuinely useful feature which "remembers" up to 6 registered faces and then always prioritizes the focus and exposure for that person in future pictures. Very useful for group shots where you want your loved ones to be the centre of attention. You can specify the age of the registered subject, stamp the age of the subject onto your photos, change the focus icon for a particular person, and playback only the photos that contain a certain face. The camera will even automatically switch to Baby mode if someone registered as less than 3 years old appears in the frame!

Unlike a conventional DSLR camera which uses a phase detection auto-focus system, the DMC-G2 employs the same Contrast AF that is commonly used by compact cameras. As with the EVF, experienced photographers will now be tutting loudly at the thought of having to use a traditionally slower system. I'm happy to be able to report that this decision hasn't resulted in a slow and unpredictable AF - quite the contrary in fact. Panasonic have published marketing data which suggests that the G01's AF is as fast, if not faster, than a typical DSLR camera's, and in practice I noticed very little difference in speed between the G2 and a DSLR. Even more surprisingly, there were also very few occasions when the G01 failed to lock onto the subject, especially when using the centre AF point. There are a wide range of AF modes on offer, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking. The G2 also has a useful Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as you point the camera.

The start-up time from turning the Lumix DMC-G2 on to being ready to take a photo is very impressive at less than 0.5 seconds. The Contrast Auto-Focusing system is quick in good light and the camera achieves focus most of the time indoors or in low-light situations, helped by the AF assist lamp - the G2 doesn't have any notable problems locking onto the subject in low-light situations. The visibility and refresh rate of the 3 inch LCD screen are very good, and the pixel count of 460,000 is excellent, with virtually no visible grain. It takes about 1 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card - there is a barely perceptible LCD blackout between each image. Storing a single RAW image takes around 4 seconds, but thankfully it doesn't lock up the camera in any way - you can use the menu system or shoot another image while the first file is being written to memory. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 has a pretty standard Burst mode which enables you to take 3.2 frames per second for an unlimited number of JPEG images at the highest image quality, or 7 RAW images.

Once you have captured a photo, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 has an average range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 30 onscreen at the same time and in a Calendar view), zoom in and out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows, delete, protect, trim, resize, copy and rotate an image. You can also select favourite images, change an image's aspect ratio, and set the print order. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, and there is a small brightness histogram available during shooting and RGBY histogram during playback.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 100 to 400, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 800. ISO 1600 exhibits quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, and the fastest settings of ISO 3200 and 6400 are even noisier but still usable. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening level and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The various Film Modes allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images. The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light.


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:



ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (6.o4Mb) (100% Crop)

Standard (2.64Mb) (100% Crop)


RAW (14.0Mb) (100% Crop)



Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level by tweaking the Film Mode, with five different settings available.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)



The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction and Forced Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off (28mm)

Flash On (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off (84mm)

Flash On (84mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at f/8 at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2's new Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high.






Film Modes

Panasonic's Film Modes, similarly to Nikon's Picture Styles, Canon's Picture Controls and Olympus' Picture Modes, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. The nine available Film Modes are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also two My Film options so that you can create your own look.










Standard B&W

Dynamic B&W


Smooth B&W


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Panasonic RAW (RW2) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1280x720 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 10 second movie is 15.6Mb in size.

Product Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera / Pop-up Flash Raised

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Rear of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Rear of the Camera / Turned On


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Rear of the Camera / Quick Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Swivelling LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Swivelling LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Swivelling LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Swivelling LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Top of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Bottom of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Memory Card Slot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Battery Compartment


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 adds a genuinely useful interactive touchscreen interface and high-definition movies to the already proven design of the G1, resulting in a fast, intuitive and fun DSLR-like experience in a light and compact package.

The new touch-sensitive screen further enhances the refined interface of the G1 and G10 cameras, delivering all the convenience and more of a compact camera shooting experience in a DSLR-like package that is smaller and lighter than most DSLRs. Panasonic have wisely ensured that only certain key features can be configured by tapping the screen, rather than simply making everything accessible in this way, creating a hybrid interface that genuinely speeds up the camera's operation. You don't have to use the touchscreen at all, but you'd be mad not to.

The free-angle, rotating LCD and high-resolution electronic view-finder of the 18-month old G1 have thankfully been retained on the G2 (they were both dropped from the new entry-level G10). Subsequently the near-seamless Live View experience doesn't feel as though it has been literally forced into the overall design, as with the Live View function on the majority of DSLRs, so users looking to move-up from a point-and-shoot compact should definitely consider the G2.

As with the G10, the G2 can also record 720p HD movies, with the added extra of being able to so in the more memory-card friendly AVCHD format, radically reducing the overall file sizes that Motion JPEG creates. There's also the added bonuses of stereo sound and a socket for an external microphone, making this the most video-friendly G-series camera, with the exception of the even better-specced GH1 model.

At £699 / $799, the G2 is substantially more expensive than the new entry-level G10 model, £200 / $200 more expensive in fact, so if you don't need the touchscreen interface, articulating LCD or AVCHD format movies, the G10 makes more financial sense whilst delivering otherwise identical functionality and image quality. If your budget allows, though, we'd recommend that that you opt for the more capable, more intuitive and ultimately more fun Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 from around the web. »

Panasonic wants to hang on to its early market lead, so it has just launched the second generation of G Micro system cameras, the entry-level Lumix G10 and today's review camera the new G2, which takes over as the flagship model of the range. In terms of overall specification it is only a fairly minor upgrade over the G1, but it does add several new features, including the must-have HD video recording, improved maximum sensitivity, Intelligent resolution technology and a fully articulated touch-screen monitor. It also comes with a new standard zoom kit lens, a very high quality 14-42mm f/3.5-f/5.6 image stabilised unit equivalent to 28-82mm.
Read the full review » »

Most of the Panasonic G2's basic specs remain the same, including the 12.1-megapixel sensor, the 3-inch LCD with 460,000 dots of resolution, and the electronic viewfinder's 1,440,000-pixel resolution is also maintained, as are the shape and size. Panasonic added a new processor to the G2, though, the Venus Engine HD II, which is expected to improve both videos and still images. Maximum ISO sensitivity notches up one stop, from 3,200 to 6,400.
Read the full review » »

The Lumix DMC-G2 ($799) is the latest Micro Four Thirds camera from Panasonic. Panasonic took their DMC-G1 and split it into two new models: the G2 reviewed here, and the stripped-down DMC-G10. The G2 has most of the same features as its predecessor (including a compact body, super-fast AF, Intelligent Auto mode, and lots of manual controls), with the major additions being a new image processor, a touchscreen LCD, and an HD movie mode.
Read the full review »



Type Digital interchangeable lens system camera
Recording media SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Image sensor size 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount


Type Live MOS Sensor
Total pixels 13.1 Megapixels
Camera effective pixels 12.1 Megapixels
Colour filter Primary colour filter
Dust reduction system Supersonic wave filter


Recording file format Still Image: JPEG(DCF, Exif 2.21), RAW, DPOF compatible / Still Image with Audio: JPEG(DCF, Exif 2.21) + QuickTime / Motion Image: AVCHD Lite / QuickTime Motion JPEG
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
File size(Pixels)
Still Image [4:3] 4000 x 3000(L), 2816 x 2112(M), 2048 x 1536(S) / [3:2] 4000 x 2672(L), 2816 x 1880(M), 2048 x 1360(S) / [16:9] 4000 x 2248(L), 2816 x 1584(M), 1920 x 1080(S) / [1:1] 2992 x 2992(L), 2112 x 2112(M), 1504 x 1504(S)
Motion Image (Motion JPEG) [4:3] VGA : 640 x 480, 30fps / QVGA : 320 x 240, 30fps / [16:9] WVGA : 848 x 480, 30fps / [HD] 1280 x 720, 30fps
Motion Image (AVCHD Lite: NTSC) [HD] 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 30fps)(SH: 17Mbps, H: 13Mbps, L: 9Mbps)
Motion Image (AVCHD Lite: PAL) [HD] 1280 x 720, 50p (sensor output is 25fps)(SH: 17Mbps, H: 13Mbps, L: 9Mbps)
Continuous recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD Lite with picture quality set to [SH]: Approx. 180 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 160 min with H-FS045200 / Motion JPEG with picture quality set to [HD]: Approx. 180 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 160 min with H-FS045200
Actual recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD Lite with picture quality set to [SH]: Approx. 100 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 90 min with H-FS045200 / Motion JPEG with picture quality set to [HD]: Approx. 100 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 90 min with H-FS045200


Type Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)
Field of view Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent) with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Eye point Approx.17.5mm from eyepiece lens
Diopter adjustment -4.0 ~ +4.0 m-1
Auto eye sensor yes


Type Contrast AF system
Focus mode AFS/AFC/MF
AF mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Touch (1- area-focusing in Face detection / AF Tracking / Multi-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing)
AF detective range EV 0-18 (F3.5 lens, ISO 100)
AF assist lamp yes
AF lock AF/AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed in AFS mode
Others Touch shutter, Pre AF(Quick AF/Continuous AF), Touch MF Assist(5x, 10x)


Light metering system 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light metering mode Intelligent Multiple/Center Weighted/Spot
Metering range EV 0-18 (F2.0 lens, ISO 100)
Exposure mode Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
ISO sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity) Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / Intelligent ISO
Exposure compensation 1/3EV Step ±3EV
AE lock AF/AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed
AE bracket 3,5,7 frame, in 1/3 or 2/3 EV Step, ±2 EV


White balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1,2 / Color temperature setting
White balance adjustment Blue/amber bias, Magenta/green bias
Color temperature setting 2500-10000K in 100K
White balance bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis


Type Focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed Still Images: 1/4000 ~ 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 4minutes)
Self timer 2sec / 10sec / 10sec, 3 images
Remote control Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)


Still Image SCN mode Portrait (Normal/Soft Skin/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Scenery (Normal/Nature/Architecture/Creative) / Sports (Normal/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / / Close-up(Flower/Food/Objects/Creative) / Night Portrait (Night Portrait/Night Scenery/Illuminations/Creative) / SCN (Sunset/Party/Baby 1,2/Pet/Peripheral Defocus)
Movie SCN mode Portrait (Normal/Soft Skin/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Scenery (Normal/Nature/Architecture/Creative) / Sports (Normal/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Close-up (Flower/Food/Objects/Creative) / Low-light / SCN (Sunset/Party/Portrait) / (Activated by selecting Still Image SCN mode then pressing Motion picture Button. Still Image SCN mode without corresponding Movie SCN mode is recorded in Normal mode or other related mode.)


Burst speed H: 3.2 frames/sec, M: 2.6 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2 frames/sec (With Live View)
Number of recordable images 7 images (when there are RAW files with the particular speed) / Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW files) / (depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)


Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN11 equivalent (ISO 100 ?m), Built-in Pop-up
Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Synchronization speed Less than 1/160 second
Flash output adjustment 1/3EV Step ±2EV
Flash synchronization 1st. Curtain Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync.
Hot shoe TTL Auto with FL220/FL360/FL500(Optional)


Type Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD with Touch panel
Monitor size Free-angle 3.0inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle
Pixels 460K dots
Filed of view Approx. 100%
Monitor adjustment Brightness (7 levels), Color (7 levels)
LCD mode Off / Auto Power LCD / Power LCD


Digital zoom 2x, 4x
Extra optical zoom Still image: Max.2x (Not effective with L size recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio.) / Motion image: 3.1x (SH/H/L in AVCHD Lite and HD/WVGA in Motion JPEG), 4.2x (VGA/QVGA in Motion JPEG)
Other functions Guide Lines (3 patterns) / Real-time Histogram


Colour Standard / Dynamic / Nature / Smooth / Nostalgic / Vibrant
Black and white Standard / Dynamic / Smooth
Others My Film1 / My Film2 / Multi Film


Playback mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x Max.), Slide show, Playback Mode (Normal/Picture/Motion Picture/Category/Favorite), / Favorite, Title Edit, Text Stamp, Resize, Cropping, Aspect Conversion, Rotate, Rotate Display, Print Set, Protect, Face recognition Edit


Protection Single / Multi or Cancel
Erase Single / Multi / All / Except Favorite


Direct Print PictBridge compatible?Print size, Layout, Date setting is selectable ?


USB USB 2.0 High Speed
HDMI miniHDMI TypeC / Video: Auto / 1080i / 720p / 480p (576p in PAL system) / Audio: Stereo / Monaural
Audio video output Monaural Type, NTSC/PAL
Remote / External microphone input φ2.5mm. stereo mini jack
Built-in microphone Monaural, Wind-cut: Off / Low / Standard / High
Speaker yes


OSD language Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish


Colour Black
Battery ID-Security Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1250mAh) (Included) / Battery Charger/AC Adapter (Input: 110-240V AC, DC Cable is required)
Battery life CIPA standard: Approx. 360 images (LCD), Approx. 390 images (LVF) with H-FS014042 Approx. 340 images (LCD), Approx. 370 images (LVF) with H-FS045200
Dimensions (W x H x D) 124 x 83.6 x 74mm / 4.88 x 3.29 x 2.91 in (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 593g / 20.92 oz ?SD card, Battery, 14-42mm lens included) / Approx. 371g / 13.09 oz ?Body only?
Operating Environment
Operating temperature 0? to 40? (32°F to 104°F)
Operating humidity 10% to 80?
Standard Accessories
Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition / SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE / QuickTimeTM / USB Driver
Standard accessories Battery Charger/AC Adapter / Battery Pack / Body Cap / AV Cable / USB Connection Cable / AC Cable / Shoulder Strap / Stylus pen / CD-ROM


Lens Name LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.
Lens Construction 12 elements in 9 groups (1 Aspherical lens)
Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Optical Image Stabilizer yes
Focal Length f=14mm to 42mm (35mm camera equivalent 28mm to 84mm)
Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
Aperture F3.5(Wide) - F5.6(Tele)
Minimum Aperture F22
Closest Focusing Distance 0.3m / 1ft
Maximum magnification Approx. 0.16x / 0.32x (35mm camera equivalent)
Diagonal Angle of View 75°(W)?29°(T)
Filter Size φ52mm / 2.05 in
Max. Diameter φ60.6mm / 2.39 in
Overall Length Approx. 63.6mm / 2.50 in (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
Weight [g] Approx. 165g
Weight [oz] Approx. 5.82oz
Standard Accessories Lens Cap / Lens Hood / Lens Rear Cap / Lens Storage Bag

Further Specifications

MY COLOR MODE Expressive/Retro/Pure/Elegant/Monochrome/Dynamic Art/Silhouette/Custom(Color/Brightness/Saturation/ adjustable)

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