Panasonic Announces New G-Series Pseudo-DSLRs Including First Model with Touch Screen
March 8, 2010
By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist
The Panasonic Lumix G2 replaces the G1 which was released in 2008. The G2 uses the same 12.1MP Live MOS sensor as its predecessor but adds an articulating 3-inch touchscreen LCD on back.
It also features an electronic viewfinder with more resolution that the G1 for a clearer preview image. The G2 can record 720p HD movies to the AVCH Lite or Motion JPEG formats at 30fps. It's powered by the new Venus Engine HD2 processor.
Also announced by Panasonic this morning was the 12.1MP Lumix G10, a budget version of the G2 which has a 3-inch LCD but it's not a touchscreen and it's stationary on the back of the camera. It also does not offer the AVCH Lite, just Motion JPEG, but can record 720p, 30fps HD video as well.
There's also less resolution on G10's electronic viewfinder. The camera comes in black only but the G2 is available in Electric Blue, Black, or Red. Pricing has not been announced for either of the cameras.
We got a sneak peek of both of these cameras at the PMA 2010 trade show last month. Photos of the cameras shown on this page were taken during that sneak peek.
Panasonic also released a new lens for the cameras, the LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm/f3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA OIS.
More details on the G2 in the press release below. For more details on the G10 and the new lens, click here.
LUMIX DMC-G2, WORLD’S FIRST INTERCHANGEABLE LENS SYSTEM CAMERA WITH TOUCH-CONTROL MOVABLE LCD
Panasonic LUMIX G2 Features a 3-Inch Touch-Screen, Allowing for Quick and Intuitive Setting Changes, such as Focus, with a Single Touch
Secaucus, NJ (March 7, 2010) – Panasonic today announces the LUMIX DMC-G2, the world’s first* digital interchangeable lens system camera with a movable LCD that allows for touch-control, and the successor to the award-winning and revolutionary LUMIX G1, which was the world’s first Micro Four Thirds digital camera. The intuitive touch-control shooting elevates the camera’s operability, letting the user adjust auto focus (AF) simply by touching the subject on the large 3.0-inch 460,000-dot high- resolution LCD. The LUMIX G2, also shoots 720p High Definition video using the AVCHD Lite format, and joins the LUMIX G10, also introduced today, as the latest models in the LUMIX G Micro System.
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 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor featured in the LUMIX G2 offers the best of both worlds – the outstanding image quality of a CCD sensor, and the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor. Advanced technology enables it to read four channels of data simultaneously, helping the LUMIX G2 to deliver 60 frames-per-second Full-time Live View images, while faithfully reproducing high-resolution images with fine detail and rich gradation. Plus, with the high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II, which has been re-engineered to further improve image quality.
The new high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II supports the new image processing technology Intelligent Resolution, which 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 achieve 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.
For users looking for additional creative options for both photos and videos, the LUMIX G2 delivers. While shooting HD video, users can set the camera in “P” mode – to change the aperture for professional-like movie effects where the images blur into focus. For still photos, the LUMIX G2 features the My Color mode with a total of seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette while also keeping the Custom mode, which lets users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels and save their favorite settings into memory.
On the other hand, for beginner users not yet ready for manual modes – the LUMIX G2 features iA (Intelligent Auto), a popular setting in the LUMIX point-and-shoots that automatically engages features and settings for optimal image quality by detecting the shooting environment. Panasonic iA is available in both still photo and video recording settings and a new dedicated iA button, which illuminates in blue when engaged, makes it even easier to use this handy feature.
Other features of the LUMIX G2 include:
• Dust Reduction System: If dust or other foreign matter gets inside the camera when you're changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. The Dust Reduction System in the G2 helps eliminate this possibility by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.
• Included Software: PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition makes it possible to sort and organize photos. Videos can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the built-in YouTube uploader – even in HD quality. It also lets you create a 360-degree rotation panorama file in .MOV files. The software is compatible with the Windows 7.
The Panasonic LUMIX G2 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 a wide variety of scenes, everything from dynamic landscape to portrait. Additionally, the LUMIX G2 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds System lenses, allowing users even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera.
The LUMIX DMC-G2 and other LUMIX G Micro System digital cameras can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via DMW-MA2M or MA3R. Other accessories include external flashes, filters, a remote shutter, HDMI mini cables and a variety of stylish straps and bags. To learn about the Panasonic LUMIX Micro Four Thirds System and all the available accessories, visit www.panasonic.com/lumix. The Panasonic LUMIX G2 will be available in red, blue and black models and pricing and availability will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date.