Panasonic Introduces Lumix DMC-G2 And DMC-G10 Micro Four Thirds Camera

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News Posted: Sun, Mar 7 2010 11:19 PM
For the longest time, there were two main choices when it came toselecting a digital camera. You either purchased a DSLR, or youpurchased a point and shoot. Needless to say, both of these optionsprovided drastically different results, and there has been little inthe middle to satisfy those who didn't want to jump into one camp orthe other. And then, the Micro Four Thirds system was introduced. Thissolution packs DSLR-like image quality into a camera that's just barelylarger than a typical point and shoot. Today, Panasonic has introducedtwo new cameras in their Micro Four Thirds lineup.

The
Lumix DMC-G2 is the G1's successor, and for the most part, it'salmost the same camera. Very little has changed from the G1 to the G2,but one standout feature is the tilt and swivel LCD which just sohappens to include a touch panel. This 3" screen allows users to frameand snap a picture with a simple finger press on the screen, making itthe first interchangable lens system camera with a touch-controlmovable LCD. Outside of that, there's a 12.1MP sensor, auto-focusadjust by finger touch, a 720p movie mode, and the Venus Engine HD IIprocessing technology.


With the touch-screen operation, users can even snap a photo by touching the LUMIX G2’s screen.  Additionally, the touch-screen operation excels not only for shooting but also during playback.  Users can touch one thumbnail viewed among many to quickly and easily see the full size of the desired photo.  Also, to view images one-by-one, photos can be dragged across the screen to browse as though flipping the pages of a book.

“With the LUMIX G2, Panasonic is pleased to continue to lead the evolution of the Micro Four Thirds platform and also be the first in the industry to offer a touch-screen interchangeable lens system camera,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Touch-operation is a user interface with which many consumers are both familiar and expect, and we think the LUMIX G2’s touch-operation makes it easier and quicker to take photos and videos that have professional-like effects.”

Using the touch-screen operation, once a user locks onto a subject, the LUMIX G2 enables AF Tracking and will track the subject as it moves within the frame. Then, with a touch on the screen, users can select the part and the size of AF area with the 1-area AF.  The Multi-area AF sets a group of AF points according to the composition. While using the manual focus, users can enlarge a subject by touching it and then choosing to enlarge it by 1x, 5x or 10x and then smoothly moving the part by dragging it on the screen. With this touch operation, menu settings can be changed quickly; cutting the time it takes to navigate using standard cursors. However, all setting changes can still be done using the control pad, if preferred.

The LUMIX G2 records 1280 x 720 HD videos in the AVCHD Lite format, which increases recording capacity and is highly compatible with audio-visual equipment. With a dedicated video record button, users can easily start recording a video. To complement its high-quality video capabilities, the LUMIX G2 features advanced audio options, as sound is recorded with Dolby Digital Creator and an optional accessory stereo microphone can be attached. A Wind Cut function further enhances the sound as it helps reduce noise caused from background wind.

The 3.0-inch touch-operation LCD has a wide-viewing angle and rotates 180° from side to side and tilts 270° up and down, providing approximately 100% of field of view. This free-angle LCD with a touch-screen operation makes it possible to both view and touch the screen from any angle.  The double Live-View function offered by the high-resolution, 460,000-dot free-angle Intelligent LCD and 1,440,000-dot 1.4x (0.7x) Live View Finder allows users to see the settings’ results before pressing the shutter.


The Lumix DMC-G10, on the other hand, is the world's lightest digitalinterchangeable lens system camera with a viewfinder. It includes thesame 12.1MP sensor as the G2, and while the 3" LCD on the rear is stillthere, it's not touch-sensitive and it remains in place rather thanswiveling out. Adding to its lightweight body, the Lumix G10 will comeequipped as part of its kit, with the newly announced LUMIX G VARIO14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens. The new lens offers a versatilezoom range of 14-42mm (35mm camera equivalent: 28-84mm). This one also shoots a 720p movie mode, but as with the G2, no price and release date are mentioned.


The LUMIX G10, with its incredible compact body and portable design, uses a mirrorless structure as part the Micro Four Thirds System standard, eliminating a number of components that are found in a conventional interchangeable lens camera, including the mirror box and optical viewfinder unit. This innovative structure allows for the LUMIX G10 to be the world’s lightest system camera in a compact digital camera design that is a desired feature for new users.  Adding to its lightweight body, the LUMIX G10 will come equipped as part of its kit, with the newly announced LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens. The new lens offers a versatile zoom range of 14-42mm (35mm camera equivalent: 28-84mm), making it suitable for shooting a wide-range of scenes, from dynamic landscape to portrait.

Panasonic designed the LUMIX G10 to be easy to use offers iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – with its shooting assist functions that have proven extremely popular in LUMIX compact cameras. Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto), an easy shooting mode with automatic optimization according to the scene in either photo and video recording, is helpful to beginner users unfamiliar with an interchangeable lens system camera. With the new dedicated iA button, which illuminates in blue when engaged, activating this mode is even easier and can be used to shoot both photos and videos.

When shooting still photos, iA offers the following: MEGA O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves; Intelligent Exposure optimizes exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced properly; Intelligent Scene Selector detects the most common shooting situations – Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, Close-up and Sunset – and switches to the appropriate Scene mode automatically – no setting changes needed.

The LUMIX G10 can record 1280 x 720 HD video in Motion JPEG, QVGA, VGA and WVGA formats. Users can enjoy recording HD videos while taking advantage of the high quality lens and the flexibility to change to other lenses. Even users new to recording videos will find the LUMIX G10 makes it easy. Panasonic’s iA for video offers the following: Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom; Face Detection** automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion; Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows; Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.

With AF Tracking, the LUMIX G10 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves – making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots of moving subjects, such as children and pets. Simply aim, lock, and shoot. The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback.  The contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX DMC-G10 is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including AF Tracking, 1-area AF, Face Detection AF/AE and 23-area AF.

The LUMIX G10’s Live View Finder, with a resolution of 202,000-dot equivalent, 1.04x (0.52x*) retains the viewability of an optical viewfinder and displays information about its settings that users can see without removing their eye from the subject.  The 60 fps Live View is powered by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide approximately 100% field of view. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner. The 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD with wide viewing angle automatically controls the brightness according to the situation as an Intelligent LCD. 

The 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and the new Venus Engine HD II help to separate chromatic noise from luminance noise and apply the optimal noise reduction to each, so users can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels.  The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II, which has been re-engineered to incorporate the new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, enables the recording of beautiful photo and HD video with high quality signal processing. With Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation –are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges increased clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accentuation to the textured areas so they look finely detailed. For the soft gradation areas, the improved noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to achiever a smoother effect.  Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way, resulting in images that are naturally clear.
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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 8 2010 1:45 AM

I don't have any personal experience with the Lumix camera's, but I have heard a decent amount of positive comments on them.

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Xylem replied on Mon, Mar 8 2010 4:11 AM

My Boss has a FZ Series and he apparently is very impressed with it. Personally, I would not go below a Canon. Stick out tongue

Nikon Rulez and will keep ruling my world for a lot of time to come.. Big Smile

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I have a couple of Nikons to shoot with and I'm happy with them. I had a Lumix with a Mega-Zoom lens on it but my daughter kept making little 'I want it' noises every time I used it. I ended up giving it to her. I replaced that with a Nikon Coolpix P-90 and haven't looked back. It is far superior to the Panasonic.

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