Originally published 11/3/2010; updated 2/1/2011: Pricing added to chart. Scroll to the bottom for additional analysis.
When we awarded the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 an Editors' Choice about a year ago, it was mostly because it fulfilled three of the four reasons I think the category exists: an interchangeable-lens camera (ILC), it provided a consumer-friendly compact size, faster than point-and-shoot performance, and the image-quality benefits of a large-ish Micro Four Thirds sensor.
Now there's a lot more competition: Olympus' PEN series is still around (but with sluggish performance), and Sony has come out with its sleekly designed and solidly performing NEX models. The biggest problem with a lot of these models, however, is price: They command the prices of entry-level dSLRs but don't deliver on the performance. The cheaper ILCs simply aren't compact enough. So I have to admit, I expected a little more with Panasonic's announcement of its GF1 update, the Lumix DMC-GF2. Though the sensor is the same resolution as before, it's the same newer version that's in the Lumix DMC-LX5.
The camera also has the updated image-processing engine that's in the GH2, improved video capture capabilities, and a touch-screen interface similar to that of the G2. Of course, given Panasonic's refusal to announce pricing it's impossible to state outright that it's too expensive; I'll just assume it's going to cost at least as much as the current GF1, which is on the high side.
Here's Panasonic's current lineup:… Read more