Touchscreen technology seems to be all the rage, but does it work in a Micro Four Thirds camera? Richard Sibley reviews the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 and finds out
It is hard not to be impressed with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2. It takes the best features of its predecessor, the G1, and adds video capture, a touchscreen and a few tweaks to the button placement.
Of all the features available in the G2, it is the combination of the AF and touchscreen that I was most impressed with. Although I found that the touchscreen menu was easy enough to use, I have to say I preferred the good, old-fashioned method of using buttons and dials.
However, when the touchscreen is combined with the fast AF in the Touch Shutter feature, it adds a more tactile experience to the process of taking images. I’m sure that it will only be a matter of time before we see a DSLR that includes a touchscreen, and no doubt that, as the technology evolves, new ways of using these screens will come to light.
With the metering and image quality being equally good, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is a great option for those more used to a conventional DSLR, but who are looking for something smaller and lighter.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 – Key features
As well as being able to fit external flashguns to the shoe, external microphones can also be fitted and connected via the mic input on the side of the camera.
The articulated 3in, 460,000-dot screen is touch sensitive.
Silypix Developer Studio 3.1SE software is included with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2. This enables raw files to be viewed and adjusted. Although it can produce good results, it is a little slow and not especially tailored to the camera.
The in-camera flash has a guide number of 11m @ ISO 100 and a synchronisation speed of 1/160sec. External flashguns, such as the Panasonic DMW-FL220, can also be fitted, as can the the DMW-FL500E, which was originally designed for the Panasonic L1 DSLR.
As well as being compatible with SD and high-capacity SDHC memory cards, the G2 can also take the latest SDXC memory cards. This new format is the same size as existing SD cards, but allows for far larger memory capacities of up to 2TB in size.
Video can saved using either the Motion JPEG or the AVCHD Lite codecs. The former is an older codec compatible with most video software. The newer AVCHD Lite is claimed to provide better image quality and smaller file sizes, but may not be compatible with older software.
Pressing this activates the on-screen Quick menu. The different options can then be changed either using the screen or the arrow buttons underneath.
This sensor detects when the camera is held up to the eye and it turns the rear screen off and activates the electronic viewfinder.