June 24, 2020

Panasonic LUMIX DC-G100 Takes on Sony with 4K and Impressive Audio

The LUMIX DC-G100 touts an articulating display and interchangeable lenses. 

Panasonic has announced the LUMIX DC-G100 mirrorless camera (known as the DC-G110 outside the U.S.) which uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor to record high-res 4K UHD footage at 30p or 24p or full-HD up to 60p. The lightweight camera can be used with interchangeable lenses and has a 5-axis hybrid I.S. (image stabilizer) feature to reduce camera shake. The articulating viewfinder makes it a contender in the vlogging world and is Panasonic's answer to Sony's ZV-1 and Canon's EOS M50

The G100 has a 20.3MP MOS sensor that does not include a low pass filter, which should yield crisp, high-res images. However, the absence of a low pass filter could introduce moire. The camera has a maximum sensitivity of ISO 25,600, and there are advanced features for V-Log L recording, where users can apply a LUT to the footage in post.  

Credit: Panasonic

The camera has an electronic viewfindersomething the Sony ZV-1 doesn't featurebut the Sony, Panasonic, and Canon cameras all have an articulating display. When the display is flipped out, the G100 automatically goes into Video Selfie mode and adjusts focus to locate your face. The 3" display is a bright touchscreen making navigating the menu system easier. 

Panasonic has also included different recording aspect ratios including 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4, and 9:16. However, in 4K mode, there's a 10-minute continuous recording limit and 20 minutes in full-HD 60p. This could be an issue for those recording longer takes. 

Another feature on the G100 is its S&Q mode, which stands for "slow and quick." When triggered, the G100 can record full-HD in 4x slow motion up to 120fps at 30p, or 2x slow motion to 30fps at 60p. When image stabilization is activated, the sensor will crop the image in both 4K and full-HD modes. Additionally, 4K shooting modes do not use the full width of the sensor and are cropped. 

Credit: Panasonic

For audio, Panasonic integrated OZO Audio from Nokia into the G100 which uses up to 3 different microphones to record spatial sound. When in auto mode, the camera will automatically detect the best settings and what microphones to use and switch between tracking and surround modes. This is a great feature for those who don't own an external microphone. But for those who do, the G100 has a built-in 3.5mm input jack, while lacking a headphone input.

The camera features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transfer images to a smartphone and can be used as a webcam via Panasonic's webcam utility. Expect the LUMIX DC-G100 to arrive in July in two configurations. The K kit includes the camera body and a LUMIX G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens for a preorder price of $697. The V kit includes the camera, lens, and a tripod grip that can trigger recording or the shutter for $748. The preorder period ends on August 1st, and then the price will increase.      

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Most things seem fine, but I would think that by 2020 the record time limits wouldn't still be around. Especially with the older (six year old) GH4 not having them. I get that the GH4 is probably a bigger camera, but this is also a much newer camera with a newer sensor/processor.
I kind of feel the same way about the 4K crop.

In fact when thinking about it, these companies need to try harder. They shouldn't just be trying to be compete with each other but the market in general. You can buy a three year old iPhone that shoots 4K/60p for basically half this price. I have one right next to me. Sure it's not a larger sensor with interchangeable lenses, but this Lumix doesn't check emails, make calls or edit photos, so they both have features that make up for what the other lacks.

I would think by now 4K/60p without crop or time limit would be standard issue. Same with headphone jack. I feel like the lack of these things is just artificial limitation.

June 25, 2020 at 10:14AM

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Mike Tesh
Pro Video / Indie Filmmaker
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