The Panasonic G2 is a Micro Four Thirds camera, making it lighter and smaller than most interchangeable lens snappers. It’s not as diminutive as its stablemate the Panasonic GF2, but its chunkier shape, fully adjustable screen and electronic viewfinder make it arguably easier to handle.

The grip on the right, coupled with the camera’s strokeably rubberised finish, means it sits far more comfortably in your hand than the GF2. The viewfinder comes in handy if you’re shooting in bright sunlight, or perhaps in a dark theatre and don’t want to annoy other attendees by gazing at a bright 3-inch LCD screen all evening.

Twist and shoot

The screen isn’t the sharpest we’ve seen, but can be twisted to face any angle: a boon when framing shots above your head or close to the ground – not to mention those brooding self-portraits to tart up your Facebook profile. It’s also touch-sensitive, and you can simply tap an area to set the focus and metering point; very useful indeed.

The menu system is slick, with the Q.Menu button allowing rapid adjustment of aperture, ISO, metering and the like. For those less comfy with the technical aspects of digital photography, you also get the usual range of presets for shooting different subjects: portrait, landscape, sunset and even pets.

Picture and video quality are both solid, although there’s nothing to make the G2 stand out amongst its mid-range peers: colours are bright and detail is sharp at lower ISO settings. With movies you’re restricted to 720p quality, but you can up the frame rate to a silky smooth 60fps.

Fancy a flash?

The sensor is smaller than that on most other mid-range interchangeable lens cameras, which should mean more noise, but from our snaps we didn’t find it becoming a noticeable problem up to ISO 1600. That said, with 6400 the maximum ISO, this isn’t as well equipped for low light shooting as most of its rivals – you’ll find yourself using the pop-up flash indoors and when the sun dips behind the horizon.

Review continues after the break…

While the Panasonic G2 doesn’t quite offer the level of a performance of the Canon 550D or Sony A55, it’s very easy to take great shots with it – whether you’re an old hand or a young pretender, you can grab the G2 and will pretty much instantly be able to use it. Designed to cater for all types of photographer, it succeeds brilliantly.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 review

Fuss-free high-quality photography for noobs and vets alike