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No love for the G2?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dixeyk, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just bought myself a new/unused G2 at a really attractive price (the previous owner bought it for the lens) so I am entering the Panasonic m43 world. I currently have an E-PL1 and for quite a while had been looking at an E-PL2 but after we got one at the lab I work in I realized that the E-PL2 was more of a side grade so I decided to address the greatest shortcomings of my little PEN camera the UI and controls and go with a Panasonic.

    It took quite a while as I was really leery of the Panasonic's IQ. I decided that test targets, pixel peeping at high ISO noise and sharpness tests are not the true measure of what a camera is capable of so here I am. I decided on the G2 because the EVF is more on a par with the VF2 I use on my E-PL1 than the LVF for the GF-1/GF-2, the nifty swivel LCD and quite frankly I cannot afford a GH1 or GH2 (so no telling me that I should have gotten a GH2...too late for that).

    Since I am new to Panasonic cameras is there anything I should look out for or other sage advice I should be following? Oh yeah, it's a little present for myself for my 50th.
     
  2. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    One thing specific to Panasonic's M4/3 cameras which I like is the extent to which you can customize to meet your needs. I suggest reading through the manual, and asking questions here if anything is unclear.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Switching the tone of the post here a bit...

    Why all the apathy for the G2? It seems like a pretty nice little camera to me. It looks to me that the GH1 (and of course the GH2) are the much loved cameras. Granted the sensor is better in the GH1 and GH2 but that doesn't make the G2 trash.

    Just curious.
     
  4. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    412
    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Very good camera that perhaps just didn't strike the same cord as other models.

    G1 = the original
    GF1 = the performance compact
    GH1/2 = the video marvel

    G2 = the touchscreen?

    Perhaps it was that other than the touchscreen, what really changed/improved? Sensor was still the same, the engine was a little better, slightly different controls, but other than that what was there to push G1/GF1/GH1 owners onto a G2? Not a ton unfortunately. Still an excellent device, but you're right... Perhaps a little unloved.

    Poor, poor forgotten middle child...
     
  5. irishdude

    irishdude Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Apr 20, 2011
    I kind fo felt the same way. When I was researching which 4/3 camera to purchase. I kept coming back to the G2 as the best value of the line, however it was hard to find information about the camera on forums, because no one seemed to be using it.

    I ended up resorting to onliine reviews by professional reviewers and then making a judgement call based on what I felt I wanted and needed in a camera.

    I just ordered mine yesterday and I am waiting on ground shipment from New York to Alabama, so I will see how I like it when it gets here. I don't think I will be dissapointed.

    Now I've got to find some extra lenses that I like and find another good bargain on one for Mrs. Irishdude and we will be set.

    Back to the original topic: I think that they are just sort of the forgotten camera in the Panasonic line. Which can be a good thing, because it means that there are good deals to be found on them if you look.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I would agree they are largely forgotten. I also had a really hard time finding out anything about the G2. The rest of the line is pretty well covered, GH1...the hacker/fan favorite, the GF1...beloved/waaaay too much information, the GF2...lots of folks feeling betrayed that it's not really a GF1 Super Duper, the GH2...awesome and expensive. The G2 on the other hand...it's like it never existed. I find it pretty funny. I decided to choose a better UI and controls (over my E-PL1) instead of ultimate image quality. I suspect that the differences in IQ will be largely academic. I have an LX3 and in actual practice the images from that are just as nice as the E-PL1. The Olympus does produce cleaner more detailed dimages but for a majority of us the difference isn't that significant. I figured since I was willing to accept that the G2 would be just fine. I should be comparable to the Olympus Pens and I would imagine the G1 and GF1/GF2 (after all they all use the SAME sensor). The GH1 and GH2 is a different sensor and as I would expect...better. That said, the newer "better" sensor is not without it's quirks. Don't get me wrong, I think the GH1/GH2 are very cool but the G2 just seemed like the right fit for me. I picked up a brand new body only for $330 shipped. Not as good as the Panasonic blowout price but close when you factor in tax and shipping.

    I try and take the copious numer of test images you see online with a grain of salt. I remember back when I had a Fuji S602 Super CCD camera. In the day it was a pretty cool little camera. It would get slammed for too much noise at high ISO. The thing was when you printed the images that noise became a non issue. I still have some images form that little camera that look great even by today's standards. What it did have that many of my other supposedly better digicams didn't have was good ergonomics. It was easier to use and therefore I used it more. I guess I feel like a picture with noise is better than no picture.
     
  7. vsiddhartha

    vsiddhartha Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Mar 24, 2011
    New Jersey
    Another guy in the new G2 camp here. I looked at the NEX, G2, Olys, and Samsung. I liked the styling and jpegs of the Olys, and the compactness of the NEX, but at the end of the day, the external controls, free-angle LCD, and EVF of the G2 won me over. I don't regret it a bit. The G2 is becoming quicker and quicker for me to use every day. I use the touchscreen to move the focus point ALL THE TIME. It's awesome how much easier this makes framing shots. No more half-press focusing, then reframing, unless you need to lock the exposure. The touchscreen is also great for moving the live histogram around and panning/paging during photo review. The control interface is amazing (as long as you don't need to find anything in the "record" or "custom" menus, which are FIVE and SEVEN pages long, respectively).

    It does have a few quirks:

    - painfully true-to-life colors...easily remedied once you learn to use and tweak the film modes.
    - ISO limited to 400 when you have limit set to OFF (still don't understand the rationale behind this one). Inability to set ISO LIMIT any higher than 1600...I set it at 1600 and move on.
    - you can't adjust exposure comp, SS, aperture, or ISO in the MyColor modes, which is disappointing...
    - the afore-mentioned five and seven-page long menus...partially mitigated by the MY menu which shows the 5 most recently used menu items

    Other than that, I'm loving it. It really is FUN to shoot! Don't beat yourselves up. The G2 is great. Worry less, shoot more!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. irishdude

    irishdude Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Apr 20, 2011
    I would, but I've got to wait for the slow train from New York. At least we are going to New Orleans for my birthday in August and I will have tons of stuff to shoot there.

    Birmingham, ourr home town, is a pretty cool city to shoot in too, so I can't wait until it gets here.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I'm looking forward to getting the G2 and shooting with it. I have an E-PL1 and I can tell you the OOC JPEGs are terrific but their charm starts to wear thin when you deal with the clunky button controls and clumsy UI. I find myself grabbing the LX3 more than the E-PL1 despite having a Panasonic 20 mounted in it because of the clunky operation. I would have gone the E-PL2 route as I have the much sought after VF2 but we got one where I work and while it's pretty nice it doesn't address the underlying UI problems. The click wheel on the back is a good start but no nearly enough.
     
  10. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Glad to see a few more G2 advocates! I've related my experiences in a couple other threads; I have no substantial complaints about the camera.

    Distinguishing features vs. G1 for me:

    1. Thumb wheel on rear of camera - works better for me than front wheel on G1.
    2. Video - I don't need it enough to justify a GH2, but it's nice to have.

    vs. GF1: EVF.
     
  11. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jan 21, 2011
    I've been through a few Olympus E-Pxx cameras, and ended up with an E-P1 and Panasonic G2. Although it took some effort to get used to the Panasonic interface, coming from Olympus, I'm glad I did it, now I feel comfortable using both cameras and have no plans on changing anytime soon.
     
  12. stevendotwang

    stevendotwang Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Mar 13, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Steven W
    Unfortunately the current M43 ecosystem is like this, I do understand how you feel about owning a G2 since I own a GF2 and have felt exactly like you before.
     
  13. As near as I can tell the G2 is not a great deal changed from the G1, therefore there has been little reason for early adopters of the m4/3 system with G1s to justify making the switch. It seems that those who have upgraded from G1s went straight to the GH series.
     
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I can see that the G1 and G2 are so similar that the G2 falls into that odd place in a product line up. Also, the GH1/GH2 are the current Panasonic fan favorites so the G2 gets ignored. I'm still happy with my choice although I must admit I did have some buyers remorse for a day or so for not having bought a GH1 then I reminded myself WHY I went with the G2 i the first place...I was looking for the best UI/controls and between the G1, G2 and GH1 the G2 seemed like the best choice.

    In the end it's academic because in my experience while all the tests in the world can tell you that camera A is better than camera B it's what you do with it that counts. I have a ton of photos from my travels that I shot with an old Olympus E520 and then a Nikon D40 before that and an Olympus E500 before that. If I put them all side by side I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference without checking the EXIF data. I find that I often can't tell the difference between my LX3 and my E-PL1 so I'm pretty confident that no matter how poor the G2 sensor is compared to the GH1/GH2 I won't notice it.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I hear you...in fact I suspect it's worse for you since the G2 is largely invisible but the boards have not been kind to the GF2. FWIW, I think the GF2 looks like a nice camera. If nothing else it's a pretty bold rethink on what a compact DSLR should be like.

    Kevin
     
  16. I think there is a "resistance to change" aspect involved. The biggest changes to the G2 and GF2 seemed to involve the UI, implementation of those new-fangled touchscreens and loss of hard controls, which has put a lot people off. Judging by the popularity of touchscreen phones and tablets you can be sure they'll become accepted on cameras as well over time, but old habits die hard.
     
  17. stevendotwang

    stevendotwang Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Mar 13, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Steven W
    Yep, exactly my point when I posted a while back on DPR offering someone advice on GF1 vs GF2.
     
  18. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    As far as I can tell, there's no loss of hard controls on the G2 vs. The G1. Touchscreen is only required for some settings, optional for most key shooting parameters. GF2 vs. GF1 is where the hard controls were lost, in addition to the removal of flash exposure compensation (hard to fathom...).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. vsiddhartha

    vsiddhartha Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Mar 24, 2011
    New Jersey
    I understand with the GF2, but what hard controls were lost on the G2? Touchscreen on the G2 is a bonus. It allows you to use the G2 in a way that's impossible with the G1 and GF1. Or you can not use the touchscreen, and the UI is essentially the same as the G1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I respectfully disagree. There's a world of difference between a device you're supposed to look at because its main function is to display things and a device you'd prefer to forget but is there between you and the world by necessity only.

    Hard control are good on cameras because you can operate them by touch while you keep your eyes locked on the scene, either through a VF or because you're framing by estimate. They provide tactile feedback and they fall under the fingers because their position never change.

    Touchscreen controls are good only for playback, and may be interesting for selecting the AF point, but can be a major nuisance for all those cases when you wished you could turn off your LCD (because you want to have a low profile in dimly lit situations, and the brightness of the screen would be an instant giveaway).

    Forcing touchscreen controls is bad, in my opinion. You're not supposed to look at your camera to take pictures.

    Cheers,