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on 28 March 2011
I bought this camera after considerable research to develop my skill and knowledge of photography.
I have had quite a few compact digital cameras so I know the basic principles of operation, but found the manual that came with the camera incomprehensible.
After a few attempts to grasp the basics of the G2 (and failing!), I bought a book called 'The Panasonic G2 Quintessential Guide'which is much more accessible and allows the ordinary user to develop an understanding of the camera functions and how th use them
Having gained this understanding, I find the G2 is excellent in all respects, giving first class results in all situations that I have tried it.
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on 26 June 2017
Good camera
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on 5 March 2011
I always wondered why a DSLR is so large and heavy - as the image sensor is only two-thirds the size of a 35 mm negative, I thought they should be about the size of an old Pentax ME - the smallest full-frame 35 mm SLR.

Well - here it is,in the form of the Lumix G2 - it does everything my Nikon DSLR does, but has about two-thirds of the weight and bulk. Even the standard 14-42 lens is as good as the Nikon equivalent, while the electronic viewfinder is even better than the optical pentaprism of my Nikon.

The control layout is really good, and it is difficult to fault it - but what is the point of a touchscreen? Still, it does no harm, and its ability to swivel makes it a good low or high-angle viewfinder.
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on 3 July 2011
I have had my camera for about a month and am very happy with it. I am a beginner and wanted to be able to have the option of learning more whilst having the ease of a point and shoot. This has fitted the bill very well and I am pleased with my results so far. I have achieved some good results with the movie mode too. I bought the idiots guide* which I am finding very useful as the manual is quite difficult to follow. With the help of the guide I am gradually getting to grips with all that the camera can do and there is a lot more for me to learn when I step up to more manual control. But the results with the automatic setting are very good so even if I never get any further than that I am pleased with my pictures.

I was pleased with the speedy and efficient service as well. My camera arrived promptly and well-packaged.

*The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2: The Unofficial Quintessential Guide
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on 9 May 2011
Very pleased with the camera and am finding new things about it all the time! It is exactly what we wanted - fully automatic for ease but with a plethora of functions should you wish to experiment. The angled touch screen is excellent and I found the viewfinder very useful (more so than the screen but that is my old fashioned way of taking photographs!). The other thing about the camera is its size, which is still compact enough to make it an easy thing to carry with you. Any smaller I would struggle to hold it any larger I know I would not want to lug it around with me.
All in all excellent buy and fully recommended.
Usual excellent service from Amazon full order tracking and it arrived a couple of days before it was expected.
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on 26 September 2010
I thought long and hard about whether to get another full-sized DSLR or move to the lighter and more portable micro four-thirds format. I'm glad I did as the G2 is a terrific camera. Photos quality is comparable to well known DSLRs but I find the small and light form factor encourages me to take the camera with me more often and to experiment when I wouldn't have bothered to carry a much heavier offering from Canon etc. Downsides - not the camera, but the manual which is impenetrable.
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on 15 December 2011
Great camera, takes fantastic pictures, great videos to, not to heavy. Not to happy with Panasonic uk, as there dragging there tail whith the applicable repaid. Rubish service.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 September 2011
=== Update after a year's ownership ===
I still love my G2 but I tend not to use it much. I found that the improvements of the FZ150 over the FZ100 solved the picture quality issues of the FZ100, so there is less need for the G2 when I want a sharp picture. I've also subsequently bought a Nikon D5100 as an upgrade from my D50 (following some substantial price reductions) for macro work. The D5100 comfortably out-performs the G2 in terms of resolution and low-light performance, so the G2 now falls into a kind of no-man's land in my kit. That said, I'm keeping my G2 as it allows me to use my old lenses where my Nikon SLR doesn't, but I can't actually recall when I last used my G2. The bottom line is, If I could only have one camera, it would be my FZ150.

Original review
=== The background ===
The whole idea of a bridge camera is a camera that gives advanced exposure control and produces high quality results, in a package that is more compact and convenient than an SLR. However, until the Four Thirds sensor cameras were released by Panasonic and Olympus, the "bridge" camera was essentially a greatly accessorised compact camera. With a fixed lens, the only option to give the user as much flexibility as possible was to provide a zoom lens with ever increasing focal range. To keep the size of this "superzoom" lens acceptable to a wide number of users, the sensor was kept small: The bigger the sensor, the bigger the lens needed to fill it to the edge.

Whilst this approach gave rise to some remarkable cameras, none were really comparable to the quality offered by an SLR. Often, even fairly modest cropping, far less "pixel-peeping", reveals both a lack of fine detail (a smearing effect) and a surplus of noise (speckles of random colour) in pictures taken under ideal conditions. Problems that only get worse in poor light when more is asked of the little sensor. The FZ100 sensor squeezes 14MP onto a 6.12 x 4.51mm sensor, whereas the G2 has 12MP stretching their legs on a 17.3 x 13mm sensor. With each pixel being considerably larger, more light can reach each pixel and noise levels are reduced considerably. This means pictures can be cropped closer without losing visible quality.

As the delighted owner of a Panasonic FZ100, like the husband of a fading beauty, I dearly loved my photographic partner but sometimes longed for one that was a little more appealing when viewed close-up. I have an SLR, but I find it a little too big to carry around as often as I want a camera. More importantly to me, SLRs don't "do" live-view or video particularly well.

The micro four thirds (m43) standard lives in the shadow of "better" SLR cameras, and yet is more expensive than most fixed lens bridge cameras with a "superzoom" lens. And that's only the start, do NOT underestimate the cost of additional lenses. Even "cheap" lenses designed for m43 (micro four-thirds) cameras cost around £200. Fortunately, the m43 has a trick up its' sleeve that cuts costs somewhat. You can buy adaptors that will allow you to fit almost ANY SLR lens to an m43 camera. This means that the lovely selection of lenses you have from your old SLR (in my case a Minolta X700) can be fitted to your m43. (There is a 2x multiplying factor, so your old 50mm is a 100mm lens on m43.) How cool is that? Additionally, there is an active and growing m43 user community who are very helpful, particularly for film-makers.

=== The overview ===
Anyway, about the DMC-G2. To anyone familiar with the FZ100, there is a great sense of déjà vu about the G2. With battery, card and cap, the FZ100 weighs 552g whilst the G2 with stock 14-42mm lens weighs 601g: A difference of about the weight of four AAA alkaline batteries.

The back panel is, at first glance, identical. However there are some changes in the button functions, and more importantly, a considerably larger Electronic ViewFinder. This EVF is quite a revelation. I have, on rare occasions, used the FZ100 EVF and am on record as describing it as a somewhat pointless and nasty little peep-hole. I'm surprised and delighted to find that the G2 EVF is excellent, and vastly superior to the viewfinder FZ100 and even to that on my Nikon DX-format SLR. The EVF is actually provides much the same sized view as a full-frame SLR viewfinder. Don't dismiss the viewfinder as a factor when choosing a camera. If you're upgrading from a compact to an interchangable-lens system, you might find the APS-C or DX SLR format viewfinder uncomfortably small with extended use, particularly if you wear spectacles. Compare a DX and FX SLR and you'll see what I mean.

At the front, in place of the FZ100's silky-smooth 25-600mm (equivalent) zoom, is a slightly slower 28-84mm (equivalent) zoom. It took a little use to become comfortable with the feel of the manual zoom, but it feels natural now. In fact the electric zoom doesn't feel right now, so I suppose it's what you get used to. Anyway, the auto-focus of the G2 appears to be on a par with the FZ100. Low light/low contrast subjects can still defeat it, but it works quickly and quietly in less challenging conditions. The neat manual/close-up/normal focus switch on the barrel of the FZ100 lens has moved to a switch round a dial on the top panel to the left of the EVF. However, with this move is another subtle rearrangement of functions. Now the three position switch selects from manual/normal/continuous focus, whilst the dial itself is the auto-focus mode: Face detection/tracking/23 area/single area. I like this new arrangement. Additionally, the touch-screen provides a terrific touch-to-focus feature. This allows the user to touch a point on the screen to set the focus point. The thumb-wheel then allows you to set the size of the focus area, which is useful.

The old "close-up" switch has evolved to a mode in itself on the main top dial, with four sub-settings to choose from: Flower/Food/Object/Creative. "Creative" being some kind of D.O.F. control. I'm tempted to be slightly scornful of these new modes, but I'll see how well they work. Panasonic modes tend to be a lot cleverer that they are given credit for.

Actually, given that the Panasonic scene modes have previously been so good, it was disappointing that when I went looking for them and set the dial to "SCN", instead of the plethora of options offered by the FZ100, I found six. Sunset, Party, Baby1, Baby2, Pet and "Peripheral Defocus". I'm looking forward to experimenting with "Peripheral Defocus" but having learned to trust the Panasonic scene modes in my Panasonic TZ5 and FZ100, it's quite a loss to see them axed for the G2. Maybe there's a load of them tucked away in a sub-menu somewhere. I live in hope and will update this review if I find them or confirm they really aren't there, I'm still working my way through the manual. Incidentally, I've seen some reviewers bleating about the manual: The G2 is a complicated camera and requires a lot of explaining. Panasonic manuals start at the beginning, and slowly and logically works their way through all the camera's features. The G2 manual is no different. It's not a novel, and it's not a quick-start guide. G2 owners will have to do some reading and learning: Deal with it!

=== In Use ===
Using the kit lens produces excellent results. There is a slight tendency to over-expose (to my mind) but that's easily compensated for and there are comprehensive bracketing options of 3, 5 & 7 frames in steps down to 1/3 stop.
As much of my photography is macro, it's quite a luxury to pop a close-up lens onto the kit lens and have the benefit of auto-focus. The pleasure of being able to touch the point I wish to focus on, and have the camera snap onto it is almost visceral. Brilliant! Swapping the kit lens for my old Minolta 35mm f1.8 lens, with a suitable adaptor on the back and a +10 close-up lens on the front, I have an excellent budget macro set-up that has allowed me to take some great pictures. A press of the thumbwheel is my preferred way to toggle the focus-zoom, but it's not the only way. A remote shutter release plugged into the 2.5mm accessory socket ensures a steady shot without the benefit of OIS. Manual focus is also available with the kit lens, of which the focus ring is nicely geared and achieving very accurate focussing is easy. In fact so far I've been so pleased by the ease of manual focussing, I haven't actually used the close-up modes at all.

Further use of the camera reveals that some of the switchgear is context sensitive. It's all fairly logical and quickly becomes second-nature, but it is a little bewildering at first. The G2 is a well-made camera that operates with a reassuringly expensive sounding mechanical click upon the shutter release.

As with the FZ100, familiarity breeds affection, and the more I use the G2, the more I enjoy using it. I now find the G2 to be increasingly intuitive to use, greatly facilitated by the touch-screen. Make no mistake: The touch-screen is here to stay! But for traditionalists, I love how the G2 alows more than one way to access a function on the camera, letting the user choose their preferred method. You're not forced to use the touch-screen, but it's silly not to if you can. A capacitive touch-screen might be nicer, but possibly at the cost of accuracy. I'd say the only fault with the screen is that it's not a 920,000 pixel one.

I really appreciate the "film", ISO and white balance buttons on the rear D-pad. Very handy! You can also program a button for a function of your choice, which I find neat, but at the time of writing I can't actually remember what I programmed mine to do! :) The touch and slide exposure compensation on the rear-screen is pretty cool and drew an impressed "Ooh!" from my companion, but in practice I found it a little fiddly to use. However the traditional controls are to hand if you're wearing gloves or have big sausage fingers. I've actually found that putting the camera in manual and setting the aperture and shutter manually according to the exposure meter on the display works most conveniently for me.
I really like the way I can choose the way I shoot with the G2, I'm not forced to do things a particular way. All touch-screen, all buttons or a mix of both. Have it your way, to coin a phrase.

=== Downsides ===
The G2 and the FZ100 are only superficially similar cameras, in use they suit different styles of photography. The G2 doesn't have the va-va-voom of the FZ100: There's no big, fast zoom. So I have to move myself around more. There's no 11fps burst mode, so I have to be more skillful in my photography. I miss the 11fps a lot on the G2, it's a great feature.

=== In conclusion ===
Like the FZ100, the G2 is much greater than the sum of it's parts. Panasonic seem to have a knack for making cameras that are both a real pleasure to use, and don't stop you doing something you want to try due to a lack of functionality. I intended to upgrade from my FZ100 to the G2, but the FZ100 is so good at what it does, that I may well keep it AND my G2. Especially as all the accessories (bar the conversion lens adaptor) work equally well on either FZ100 or G2. The FZ100 is an excellent camera to take with you when you go out and about. The G2 is an excellent camera to take when you go out specifically to take photographs. If I could only have one, it'd be the G2. But I'd miss my FZ100.

P.S I sold my FZ100, found I really DID miss it, and replaced it with an FZ150. Bliss, at a price! ;-)
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on 23 October 2011
I took this camera out for it's first test walk today. I bought this particular camera because of it's light weight and compact size. And I love it, I am strictly an amateur 'snapper' and the decreased weight means that I am far more likely to take this camera around with me and hopefully take some great pics once I have sussed out the manual. It is a little complicated so I will probably invest in a book to help me decode it, but I was easily able to take some pictures that I was reasonably happy with straight away. The menus are much easier to understand than my previous camera, and navigating around them is also painless !
All in all a good camera and a good buy.
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on 3 August 2010
The camera is easy to use, and should appeal to point and shoot users as well as those seeking some creative control, image quality is generally very good, but given what is availble on some entry level SLR cameras, is not exceptional. The big selling point over the G1 is the AVCDHD Lite video and the touch screen. While the HD video is good its not Full HD and will not replace your HD camcorder, it is far better than a domestic DV camcorder. As for the touch screen, its tricky getting to rely on it and I still find myself using the regular controls and menus, fortunatly Panasonic have duplicated all the functions, so you dont need to use the touch screen until you feel happy with it.

Images are detailed and the autofocus and exposure systems are quite good, Images noise is reasonably well controlled up to 800 ISO and approaches that of similar priced SLR type cameras that compete for your money. As a stand alone camera this is all that most people will need, but it is probably not going to be as expandable as the Nikon of Canon range. Smaller and lighter than an SLR camera it is still reasonably large and would not fit in your pocket, those not looking specifically for the benefits of this breed of camera will need to really consider if this is what you want, there are so many compact and superzooms out there at lower cost that perform nearly as well in good light, and if this is going to be your only camera I would research the whole range of Panasonic Cameras. Check the weight and size of any additional lenses you are considering, and think if you would want to carry them around with you.

WHATS GOOD
Excellent intelligent Auto mode
Detailed images with minimum lens distortion (processed out by camera) good for portraits and landscapes
Very good exposure and autofocus.
reasonable noise control up to ISO 800
Effective Raw mode, for those that can be bothered to edit every picture
Very good viewfinder and good swivel LCD, not dependent on Touch screen, which is useful in some situations, but you can easily survive without it
Generally good build quality with some questions marks ie kit lens
Good control layout, dedicated movie mode and intelligent auto buttons
Flash performance
good grip and user ergonomics
Reasonable performance, but keep to 2.6 frames per second burst mode or below to avoid screen blank out between shots
Good battery life
Pleasing HD video mode, suitable for spur of the moment videos but not up to the standard of a dedicated HD camcorder
Printed full operating Manual

WHATS NOT
Video not full HD only 720 and will only record in mono without an additional £160 microphone which uses a non standard 2.5mm plug.
Poor Dynamic range , means that the exposure is always set to underexpose, to avoid burnout of bright areas, so most images even in bright sunlight need shadow details to be recovered using your software editor.
Kit lens, inferior to previous model(14-45) in build quality (plastic mount and zoom smoothness) and sharpness.
Poor macro with supplied kit lens
A spare Panasonic battery will cost you £50 and aparently third party batteries wont work, or at least wont charge in the Panasonic charger.
No in camera stabilizer, relies on the inbuilt sytems within the lenses (which are effective though)
Image noise above 800 ISO cannot compete with most entry level SLR's
Slow usable burst mode, so not suited to sports photography.
Shutter sound

A good camera but still not quite as good as most entry level SLRs, that said its a lot smaller and lighter, so if you are looking for a creative lightweight near SLR quality camera that while not pocket sized wont strain your neck and can be carried all day in comfort this product ticks the box. As a general family camera it may prove over complicated and the need to change lenses to gain any telephoto shots may not suite everyone. Given that this camera retails at the same price as most basic SLRs, some people may find that route more approprate, while families may find a superzoom like the FZ38 or travel camera such as the TZ10 more practical and fun (and half the price). I cant say that I have felt any WOW factor, with this camera, it does the job, thats it. I dont think its significantly better than a good pro compact model, my feeling is that Panasonic are trying to get more money for features that are not necessary, quite why they did not incorporate the full HD that they have in the much cheaper superzoom (fz100) is beyond me, still I guess that coming on the G3, I certainly wont be buying that.
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