updated 10:20 am EST, Sun March 7, 2010
Panasonic G2 and G10 add to Micro Four Thirds
Panasonic followed up on its self-leak today by officially rolling out two new Micro Four Thirds cameras. Of the pair, the Lumix G2 is the first swappable-lens camera to use a swiveling touchscreen; photographers can now not only preview shots off-angle with the 3-inch LCD but control the camera at the same time, including tap-to-focus AF. It simultaneously represents the first in-between video-capable Lumix G as it can record at 720p30 in H.264, which trails the GH1's 1080p24 but saves space.
The camera still uses a 12-megapixel sensor and a 1.44-megapixel, 60 frames per second electronic viewfinder, but a second-generation Venus Engine HD II processing technique promises to produce clearer edges, improve noise reduction and speed up shooting. SDXC card support is new and permits 64GB or larger cards.
As is becoming common with Panasonic camera launches, the G2 doesn't have a price. However, it should ship in June in black, blue and red colors and will come in a kit with Panasonic's new 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 image-stabilized lens; it primarily offers improved optics but drops the toggle for the IS effect.
The G10 is a budget alternative to the G2 that fixes the 3-inch LCD in place and uses a lower-resolution, 202,000-pixel viewfinder. It still records 720p but uses less efficient Motion JPEG to capture footage. As a still image camera, it keeps the 12-megapixel sensor and Venus Engine HD II's benefits.
Like the G2, the G10 will also come with the new 14-42mm lens in a kit and should be available in June, but only in black.