Tiny SLR-shaped camera sports clever microphone technology for top-quality sound
Panasonic has taken the wraps off its latest Micro Four Thirds camera, with the Lumix G100 marking a distinctly new direction within its range. It’s not, as its name might suggest, an update to last year’s enthusiast-focused G90, but instead a tiny SLR-shaped camera which has been specifically optimized for vloggers.
To this end, it boasts a top-mounted electronic viewfinder and fully articulated rear screen, along with a relatively simple control layout that’s designed to be approachable for users stepping up from smartphones.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature is the high-tech OZO Audio by Nokia mic system. This is designed to work with the camera’s subject recognition to keep the built-in microphone focused on the subject, even if they move across the frame. It also employs a third rearwards-facing capsule that promises improved audio when the user is narrating to camera. In addition there’s a 3.5mm stereo socket for an external microphone, but no support for headphones.
To keep footage steady, 5-axis hybrid image stabilisation combines electronic and in-lens optical IS, with the latter also used for shooting stills. However there’s no in-body stabilisation.
Key specs include a 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor offering sensitivities up to ISO 25,600, continuous shooting at 10 frames per second, and 4K video recording at 30fps. The viewfinder boasts an impressively high 3.68m-dot equivalent resolution, and is complemented by a 1.84m-dot 3-inch touchscreen.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, the battery charges via USB, and the G100 can even be used as a webcam over HDMI. This all fits in a diminutive body that measures just 116 x 83 x 54mm, and weighs a mere 412g with the tiny collapsible 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom on board.
While Panasonic is primarily marketing the G100 based on its video prowess, we think it has the potential be a really nice little camera for stills photographers too, especially given the firm’s strong selection of small, inexpensive optically-stabilised lenses.
The Panasonic Lumix G100 is due to go on sale at the end of July for £589.99 body-only, £679.99 with the 12-32mm lens, or £719.99 with the new DMW-SHGR1 tripod grip, which incorporates shutter and movie-record buttons. Early adopters who buy the body or lens kit before the end of August will get the grip free.