Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G2 12.1 MP Digital Camera - Red (Body Only)

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Smaller size that DSLRs

May 9, 2011 (Updated May 11, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Photo Quality:
  • Shutter Lag

Pros:Great micro four thirds camera body for your existing lens or pancake.

Cons:Smaller sensor than full sized DSLRs

The Bottom Line: Great choice if you have existing lens or buy the pancake for a very compact set up.


If you are looking for a compact camera with all the advanced features of a DSLR set up then this Pansonic G2 body and the Panasonic Lumix H-H020 20 mm - F/1.7 Micro Four Thirds lens is the perfect set up.

The Camera

The Panasonic G2 is a great compact camera that is mirror less so its smaller than DSLRs.  I know why I like my point and shoot camera.  Its easy to use and easy to carry so I never have an excuse not to have a camera with me at all times.  But when it comes to producing stunning photographs, the tiny camera falls short.  So photography beyond snap shots I decided I needed a better camera to complement my handy point and shoot.

After looking around, quizing my friends and neighbors about their camera experiences, doing research etc.  I decided on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1.  The major selling point was its Micro Four Thirds format.

Even before digital cameras, the better portable cameras have been SLR or single lens reflex cameras.  The camera designs that allow the photographer to look through the camera lens and compose the shot instead of looking through a separate view finder like you have with point and shoot cameras.

The problem with this set up is that it adds a lot of bulk to a camera body.  You need mirrors, prizms and a lot of optics to get the image from the lens to your eye and then to flip the mirror out of the way during shutter release. 

The Four Thirds format developed by Panasonic and Olympus does away with all of the mirrors and prizms and is all digital - thus saving a lot space and making for a very compact form factor.  You still get to see through the lens, its just electronically delivered to the view finder.  The trade off on size is a smaller sensor in the camera so you do loses some quality but then again compared to a point and shoot camera the sensor in a Micro Four Thirds camera is much larger.

The Lens
(Not included - here is a suggestion)

If you purchase the G2 as a kit you get a Lumix G Vario 14-42mm lens which is lightweight (lots of plastic) but doesn't get the best reviews.  By buying the body only, you can either use your existing lens with adapters or get the fantastic "pancake" lens - the Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm.

This large-diameter F1.7/20mm fixed focus lens produces bright photos with a dramatic soft focus even in dimly lit locations. Its compact, easy-to-carry size is also ideal for capturing everyday scenes and snapshots.

Less Bulky Means More Use

What good is a camera that stays in the camera bag under the bed?  I knew that I'd use a smaller camera size when my inlaws came to visit and left their Nikon DSLRs behind.  My Panasonic G2 with the pancake lens  (Pansonic Lumix 20 mm F/1.7) is really only a bit larger than some digital point and shoot cameras.  The touch screen makes the camera easy and fun to use.

Details:

12.1 Megapixel Interchangeable Lens System Camera

•Touch 3.0-Inch Free Angle LCD Intuitive operation such as AF/Shutter/Playback by touching the screen

•One-touch AVCHD Lite Movie Recoding Records using AVCHD Lite to capture HD, 1280 x 720, 60p movies with movie button

•1.44mil-dot equivalent Super High Resolution
Live View Finder with eye sensor

Shoot the exact image the camera sees without switching the setting of the display

Note: Due to the earthquake in Japan, there is a shortage of lens coming out of Japan especially in regards to the popular "pancake" lens from Panasonic. Both Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four Thirds photographers are buying this popular lens and the shortage has some retailers jacking up the price. It retails for $350 but some retailers are selling it for over $500.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 399
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Flexible Enough for Enthusiasts

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