Hands on with the Panasonic G100 – the Vloggers Choice? How does it compare to the Sony ZV-1?

Vloggers rejoice, Panasonic just announced another option for you only a few weeks after Sony’s ZV1. After years of neglect, two companies listed and produced vloggers oriented cameras. But how good the G100 really is and is it a true competitor on the vloggers hard earn money? Our friends Chris and Jordan from DPR had a chance to play with a pre-production version of the camera and has some very interesting conclusions.

The G100 is a micro 4/3 interchangeable lens camera (can accept all micro 4/3 lenses and adapt lenses from other manufacturers as well unlike Sony which has a fixed lens) and it is shipped as lit with a 12-32mm (24-70mm equivalent in 35mm focal length) lens. The sensor is larger than Sony but apparently this has less of an effect than you would think for video based on Jordan’s test in the video above.

One of the main features of this camera is ‘OZO’ technology licensed from Nokia (yeah that “prehistoric” cell phone company) which brings front, rear and surround modes as well as ‘tracking’ audio mode that works with the camera’s face detection feature – pretty cool. Sadly it seems that Panasonic didn’t really think the whole audio thing enough and despite having a mic jack the camera has no way to listen to what you recorded (other than the crappy internal speaker which is a shame).

Here are some of the main feature of the camera:

  • 20MP Micro 4/3 CMOS sensor
  • Electronic image stabilization (that can work with lens IS)
  • Nokia OZO Directional audio with tracking mode
  • Articulated high-brightness 1.84M-dot LCD
  • 3.68M-dot equivalent electronic viewfinder
  • Video up to 4K/30p (1080p up to 120p)
  • Mic Jack (but no headphone jack).
  • Micro USB (ver 2.0) that works with the optional tripod grip (DMW-SHGR1).

As you can see from Chris and Jordan’s video as a vlogging camera the image stabilization, at least with the kit lens it is not super useful as the image is cropped quite heavily. The battery life is also quite short and the camera has record limitations in both 4K and 1080p (in slow motion).

Focusing is also limited to a contrast-based system (you can see some focuses misses in Jordan’s video which are very obvious).  As for image quality – in 1080p the image quality seems pretty good even at higher frame rates. On 4K the image is just not as sharp as the Sony

If you are looking for a 1080p vlogging camera – this is a pretty decent camera. If you are looking for a 4K vlogging camera it is much harder to recommend (at least based on the pre-production camera Chris and Jordan used which can of course be improved with the production camera or future firmware).

As for pricing The G100 with the 12-32mm Lens and Tripod Grip Kit you will be paying around $750.

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