What We Use: Panasonic Lumix G2 Digital Camera

I have generally carried a small point-and-shoot camera. I like the portability and ease of use. But, as I’ve been attending more events as a member of the media and including more pictures on my blogs, it became clear that something a little more robust was in order. It’s hard to be taken seriously as a journalist with a camera that fits in your pocket!

After considerable research, I selected the Panasonic Lumix G2 (DMC-G2). I’ll be honest, the first thing that drew me to it was that it comes in a gorgeous shade of red. You have to start somewhere, right? Once I started looking into specifications and features, however, it became clear that it was also a really great camera.

The Lumix G2 looks like a smaller DSLR, but is actually a Micro Four Thirds System. Basically, it retains the features of other interchangeable lens systems, but eliminates the internal mirrors and optical viewfinder. The result is a powerful camera in a smaller and more lightweight body.

The Lumix G2 has an LCD screen for picture taking and also a digital viewfinder which shows you a preview of what the picture will look like. The LCD screen rotates to a variety of angles, making it super easy to take shots in a crowd (raise it over your head with the LCD pointing down for viewing) and self-portraits. It’s a feature that I had in a previous camera and missed in my most recent point-and-shoot. The kids love it, too, and they’ll ham it up if they can see themselves on the screen.

I have also been hoping to learn more about photography. I finagled a mini-tutorial from one of the demonstrators at the Panasonic booth at the Consumer Electronics Show this past year, and have been trying to learn more and more over time. This is where I give a special shout-out to my father in law for finding the viewfinder focus dial that had been knocked out of whack. I thought my camera was broken! It’s great to be able to use advanced features, but sometimes (especially when my husband is taking pictures) I just want something easy. It has an “Intelligent Auto” button, which I call the “Easy Button,” that puts everything into auto mode and takes great shots, too.

As with most digital cameras today, the Lumix G2 takes video, high def in my case. It can also take pictures in jpg and RAW format at the same time, if you’re someone who wants a lot of fine control over your images. The battery lasts forever (I made it through a week at Disney World and needed to recharge once), but it uses an external charger, so don’t be caught without it!

I have two complaints about the Panasonic Lumix G2. The first is that the lens cap is not attached and is quite easy to knock off. In fact, mine finally took a permanent vacation when it fell into a stream at Lost River in the White Mountains. The second, which I knew going in, is that the lenses cost as much or more as the camera itself. You can’t do much about that one, but it’s important to know before you buy.

In a nutshell, the Panasonic Lumix G2 meets all of my needs in a digital camera. There is room for me to grow and learn on it, but I have a quick way to take good shots without any effort. It’s lighter than most DSLRs and the color garners positive comments everywhere I go. The moveable LCD view finder, great battery and portability make this a wonderful choice for families.

Looking for crazy stats and numbers? You’ll find them on the Panasonic Lumix G2 website.

What We Use is an unsponsored series of posts on the technology we have in our own home. Unless otherwise noted, the items were purchased by our family.

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