Panasonic formerly announce their two new touch screen Micro Four Thirds cameras – the G2 and G10 plus a new 14-42mm kit lens

Written by Gary on March 7th, 2010

New Micro Four Thirds cameras add touch screen control.

The touch screen control allows:

  • choose subject to AF on by touching it on the screen, and the camera will then track that subject automatically (if it is not moving too fast)
  • face recognition allows finer AF on the eye
  • ability to choose AF region size or spot metering location
  • multi-area AF possible
  • further improves speed of manual focus by allowing you to quickly choose the area on the screen you wish to be magnified, then choose level of magnification 1x, 5x, or 10x PLUS you can change MF via touching a slider function on the screen instead of using MF ring on the lens – of course, I presume it will also be automatically activated when in MF mode and you rotate the MF ring of a M43 or Four Thirds lens.
  • ability to trigger shutter
  • ability to move guide lines around
  • improves playback functionalities such as image selection

Panasonic G2:

  • similar styling to the G1 and GH-1
  • 12mp sensor
  • 460,000 dot flip, swivel touch screen LCD
  • 1,440,000 dot 60fps EVF – similar to that on the G1, GH-1 and thus much better than the GF-1 add-on EVF
  • imaging engine upgraded to the new Venus Engine HD II detects 3 separate regions of the image – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas, to optimise image quality for each region.
  • adds AVCHD Lite 720p 30fps video with HDMI output, and can take a photo while recording movie by just pressing a shutter button.
  • as a cost cutting measure, does not have the 1080i AVCHD mode of the GH-1, nor the 60fps 720p mode – these will come in the GH-2
  • the front dial of the GH-1 has thankfully been moved to the rear – I was always plagued with accidentally changing exposure compensation on the GH-1 and there was no way to deactivate it.
  • movie record start/stop button has thankfully been moved to the top of the camera – I was forever accidentally pressing it with my eye up t the EVF on the GH-1
  • film mode button has been replaced by an iA button
  • focus mode dial on top left of the camera has been re-designed to add AF type mode such as face detection, tracking, multi-point, while the rear button previously used for this is now the metering mode button which was previously only available via menu. This may be problematic when using legacy MF lenses with eye up to the EVF as the touch screen will not be there to help out, and presumably, one will need to use your left hand to activate MF assist, then right hand to hit OK button, then left hand to manual focus – not sure this will be a great sequence of events – the Olympus may be the better approach for those using an EVF.
  • can divide videos in-camera
  • added My Color (art filters) including Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette, but seems as though you still can’t set the color filter for B&W images as you can on the Olympus cameras – I hope I am wrong, but I really miss this functionality.
  • the 26 scene modes adds a Peripheral Defocus mode, and most of these can be applied for video capture as well.
  • stereo mic port
  • built-in flash with GN 11m (ISO 100) and flash sync 1/160th sec but still no remote TTL as is available with the Olympus E-PL1
  • ISO increased to max. 6400
  • shutter speed 60 -1/4000 sec but BULB limited to 4min
  • 2, 2.6 and 3.2fps burst rates

Panasonic G10:

  • similar to the G2 but a cut down version
  • EVF is only 202,000 dot
  • HD video at 720p 30fps  is only motion jpeg with no AVCHD Lite option
  • no stereo mic port

Panasonic 14-42mm Mega OIS 3x zoom kit lens:

  • similar optics to the 14-45mm kit lens but cheaper build quality and no IS switch on the lens.

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Hi Gary.
    Thank you for having a superb website with excellent information for the photographer researching equipment! I am currently on the fence between ths new Panny G2 and the Canon T2i. Primarily needing a “trave” camera, I realize that the Canon is quite a bit larger than the G2 (especially with the Canon L lenses), but I also realize that the image quality of same should be better than that of the m4/3 G2…the question is, how MUCH better? Thank you!

  2. admin says:

    Hi Steve,

    There is not much difference in image quality between the two.

    the GH-1 is at least as good if not better in the image noise department, but the G2 sensor is not quite as good as the GH-1 i believe, so image noise may be a touch more and dynamic range a touch less than the T2i – but if you shoot mainly at ISO 100-800, I doubt you will see much difference.

    There are no tests available of the G2 thus I am assuming it will be similar quality as the GF1 sensor.

  3. Bob Hudson says:

    I am looking at buying either a GF1 or the new G2. Which do you consider would be the better buy. I see that you said that the GH1 has a better sensor than the G2. Does the GF1 have the same sensor as the GH1 or the G2?

    Any idea when the G2 might be released? I spoke with Pansonic during the week and was told last July maybe late August.

  4. admin says:

    I personally like the better sensor, EVF, swivel LCD and hand grip of the GH-1 over the GF1.

    I personally would prefer a G2 over a GF-1 based on the EVF, swivel LCD and hand grip and presumably will also have improved functionality and image quality ove the GF-1 but not as good as the GH-1, and I would really miss the 720p 50/60fps mode of the GH-1.

  5. Bob Hudson says:

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Would you consider the 14-42mm lens that comes with the G2 to be as good as the 14-45mm lens with the GF1.

  6. admin says:

    I believe the image quality should be similar between the two kit lenses.

  7. HI Gary.
    Thanks alot for your comments and insight on the G2. Personally, I just find it hard to believe that the new Venus Engine II won’t show better image characteristics (sharpness, noise, etc.) than the 1+ year-old GH-1. I thought that the new capability of detecting contrast, texture, and outlines would enable the G2 to focus more precisely and atain a bit better sharpness (using the same lenses, of course). Video is not a priority for me, but image resolution, detail and sharpness is. I will keep researching, but I appreciate your expertise! Thanks, Steve

  8. admin says:

    The engine is only part of the image quality equation – and we are yet to see good comparisons of the end result – but it is clear that the sensor of the G2 is not the same as the GH-1 which is currently the best of the Micro Four Third sensors in terms of noise and dynamic range.