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
LCD, viewfinder, live view and video
With no optical viewfinder, it is important that the screen and EVF of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 are good enough for both framing and focusing. With the 3in rear screen having a 460,000-dot resolution, it falls a little short of some of the better screens we have seen on DSLR cameras, with many current models featuring 921,000-dot screens. That said, the screen is detailed enough to make manual focusing simple when the screen is set to its magnified mode. The on-screen menus, text and symbols are also clear and easy to read.
One concern I had before using the camera was that the touchscreen would quickly become covered in marks and grease from my fingers. Thankfully, the screen doesn’t have a high gloss finish, and it is bright enough that any finger marks aren’t visible when an image is displayed. Finger marks are noticeable when the screen is turned off, but these can be easily wiped off using a suitable cloth.
Being electronic, the viewfinder offers a complete 100% field of view. It is also of a good size and is bright, clear and responsive, making it easy to compose an image. Its 1.44-million-dot (equivalent) screen provides enough detail to aid manual focus when the 5x or 10x magnification is used.
As the display is the same regardless of whether the screen or viewfinder is in use, it also offers the ability to see settings and features not available on a traditional optical viewfinder, such as a live histogram view.
Video is a feature that was lacking in the G1, but which has been introduced in the G2. With a maximum resolution of 1280×720 pixels at 30 or 25fps, it doesn’t offer the 1920×1080-pixel Full HD resolution of the GH1, but with an external microphone input, its quality should meet the requirements of most amateur photographers.