Panasonic G100 revealed: Lab First Shots and real world gallery images with 7 lenses
posted Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 7:00 AM EDT
There's a lot to love right off the bat with the new Panasonic G100. For starters, it weighs LESS than a pound with the 12-32mm kit lens attached, even though it has a relatively large 4/3rds sensor housed inside. This light weight begs us to compare it to compact cameras and smartphones, and yet unlike those tools, this one has interchangeable lenses!
No matter how cool, capable or portable compact cameras and smartphones get, they simply can't morph into the myriad of worlds that an ILC can, and this is what makes the Panasonic G100 so tempting. Want to dress it down and travel with less than a pound? Easy. Want to spruce it up with the more than 75 MFT lenses out there from Panasonic, Olympus and others? No sweat! It's ready to go in any direction, and that's what I set out to explore with it during the few days I was given with our sample prior to launch.
This camera is marketed first and foremost to vloggers, and that's an avenue I'll explore for you in-depth with our hands-on video tour coming soon. But for me personally, as soon as I picked it up my mind thought "vacation, hiking, traveling" for stills shooting. No doubt the G100 will find suitors in both camps, but this initial gallery assortment is more to showcase the lightweight/travel aspect of the camera.
After all, many of you reading this, just like most of us reviewers, may even already own a 4/3rds camera and therefore perhaps some quality lenses. For this reason, you may simply need a capable and lightweight back-up body that can also double as your go-to vacation rig. I set out therefore to bring you a variety of images across shot types, and have included landscapes, wildlife, a few portraits and nature shots as well.
And in order to do justice to the enormous lens selection, I've paired the G100 with 5 different Panasonic lenses as well as a few Olympus lenses in order to try and showcase the enormous shot variety you're afforded in the MFT/ILC world compared to compacts and smartphones. Indeed, if you're looking to "step up" from the limitations of one of those, this is a great time to do it. Also, when paired with the lightweight Panasonic 35-100mm f/4-5.6 or the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7, the overall weight of the kit doesn't rise much higher than about 1.1 lbs, so with all three combinations you're still treading very lightly on your feet.
G100: Exploring Nature
G100: People and pets
G100: Additional capabilities
As you've likely now read in our full preview of this camera, the G100 comes equipped with a wealth of new features. And even though it's lightweight it still sports some common, traditional amenities such as a full-featured EVF and a pop-up flash. I ended up needing both to capture these two images below, as it was a dark and shaded environment and I didn't want to disturb them with too much light. I also employed ISO 1600 here, which is no sweat for an MFT sensor.
My initial experience in the field with the svelte G100 is that it's a super-capable stills camera, able to capture terrific images with the wide variety of MFT lenses out there. We'll have you much more to come on the performance of the camera, and of course bring you plenty of video samples as well, but in the field thus far it's been "so far, so good!"
While I've been busy in the field, my colleague William Brawley has been busy in the lab, capturing First Shots samples for you. Our Still Life test target dates back more than a decade, and we strive to use the same lab lens for each similar line of cameras so that you can compare one camera to another with all else being equal. Using our world-famous Comparometer, you can compare the G100 to an RX100 VII as ISO rises, to see when the larger 4/3rds sensor begins to best the smaller 1-inch sensor, or compare it to other 4/3rds cameras to see if improvements have been made in the processing engine.
We'll take a quick look at a few side-by-sides below at 1:1 (100%) to whet your appetite for comparing, and then feel free to dive in and compare the G100 against anything we've ever tested! Since we've yet to have the chance to lab test the new Sony ZV-1, we'll start with its sibling the RX100 VII, which sports the same sensor size as the new ZV-1.
Panasonic G100 vs Sony RX100 VII
The G100 handles ISO 3200 remarkably well, controlling noise while retaining some detail, while the RX100 VII simply can't hold ground here due to its sensor being roughly half the size. That camera is still far superior to a smartphone, and can handle ISO 1600 where a smartphone cannot without major noise creeping in. However, to play in the big leagues at ISO 3200, you'll need to "step up" your game with a Four Thirds sensor or larger.
And now we'll move to Four Thirds turf and compare the G100 with the popular Olympus E-M10 Mark III. (Note that the E-M10 III has 16mp as compared to 20mp on the G100, which is why the images appear slightly less smaller in apparent size.)
Panasonic G100 vs Olympus E-M10 III
Dive into all of our G100 coverage for all the details and many more images in our gallery!