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Panasonic Lumix G100 Review

The 20mp Panasonic Lumix G100 is designed to be the ultimate vlogging camera, but is it any good for video, and how does it stack up as a stills camera?


|  Panasonic Lumix G100 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Panasonic Lumix G100 (3)

 

The Panasonic Lumix G100 may seem like the successor to the Panasonic Lumix G90/95, but it's kind of a different camera altogether. Gone is the mini-DSLR design, and instead the G100 is a compact vlogging camera, more like a GX880 with an added grip, added electronic viewfinder, and vari-angle touch-screen.

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Panasonic Lumix G100 Features

Panasonic Lumix G100 (4)
 

The Panasonic Lumix G100 offers a 20mp Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor, which is larger than the 1inch sensor you get in a lot of serious compact cameras. With the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, there are a vast array of M43 lenses available. The G100 is sold as a kit with the 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 compact zoom lens, giving an equivalent of 24-64mm (in 35mm e. terms), and has built-in Mega Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S). The Panasonic Lumix G100 is also known as the G110 in some markets.

There's a 3inch, vari-angle touch-screen on the back, which can be turned to face forwards, great for selfies and vlogging. It has a high resolution of 1840K dots.

For stills photography, there's a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), with a resolution of 3690K, and a magnification of 0.73x. Impressive for a compact mirrorless camera. You can shoot at 10fps at full resolution, or you can use the 4K Photo mode to shoot at 30fps, with 8mp images produced.

Video recording includes 4K UHD video recording at 30,25,24fps, with V-Log L for later grading, and up to 12 stops of dynamic range.

5-axis Hybrid IS works in FullHD video recording, with 4-axis compensation available in 4K video recording. Video selfie mode automatically activates when you turn the screen round to face you when you're in front of the camera, and will automatically produce a clearer background... if you want bokeh, switch to a manually controlled video mode... (sigh). There's a dedicated video record button on top, that looks cool with a dark shiny red colour.

There's time-lapse shot support, plus stop motion animation options. There's also support for vertical video recording, for the likes of Instagram or TikTok. The screen is used as a recording indicator, with a red border surrounding the frame, so that you know when you're recording.

OZO Audio by Nokia, uses 3 microphones to track the subject, and cut out background noise, and on the auto setting the camera enables audio tracking, linked to face recognition so that your voice is tracked. You can leave this on auto, or select one of the other audio modes available, including tracking, surround, front or back depending on where you are and what audio you want to have recorded. You can also attach an external microphone, using the 3.5mm audio jack on the side.

Panasonic Lumix G100 In The Field (2)

As well as iA (intelligent Auto) modes, the camera has P, A, S, M shooting modes, giving you full manual controls. There are creative filters available, as well as a number of scene modes, a C (Custom) mode, and a new S&Q (Slow and Quick) mode for high-speed/slow-motion video recording. 

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, letting you connect the camera to a smartphone or tablet to remotely control the camera and transfer images. There's a dedicated Wi-Fi button on top of the camera, however, this can be customised to your own liking.

An optional grip is available, shown above, the DMW-SHGR1, which can be bought separately, or is included in the V Kit bundle. The small tripod gives stills and video record buttons, plus a sleep side button to put the camera to sleep. It has a small cable that plugs into the side of the G100. The stills / photo button has a two-step release, so can be used to pre-focus if needed.

Panasonic Lumix G100 (10)

Key Features

  • 20mp M43 (17.3x13.0mm) CMOS sensor
  • Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
  • 3inch vari-angle touch-screen, 1840K dots
  • 3680K dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), 0.73x magnification
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
  • Pop-up flash (GN5.1, ISO200)
  • 4K UHD video at 30,25,24fps
  • 5/4-axis Hybrid Stabilisation with video, electronic image stabilisation (with OIS if the lens has it)
  • FullHD video at 120fps
  • ISO100 to ISO25600
  • OZO Audio by Nokia with 3 microphones
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in

 

Panasonic Lumix G100 Handling

Panasonic Lumix G100 (6)
 

Handling - The Panasonic Lumix G100 is compact and lightweight, weighing 345g with battery and SD card. Add in the 12-32mm lens, which weighs just 70g, and you have a total weight of just 415g. This makes it easy to take with you where ever you go.

There's a good rubber grip on the front of the camera, as well as a rubber grip on the back for your thumb, on some cameras, these are plastic in order to save costs, not so on the G100. The camera has a plastic body, but feels well-built, with minimal flex, and the rubber grips help give confidence in the camera when it's in your hands.

A top mode dial makes it easy to change the mode you're in, and next to this is the on/off switch. There are 4 physical function buttons, all of these are customisable, but on the default settings, give quick access to exposure compensation (Fn1), the Q.Menu (Fn2), LVF (Fn3), and Wi-Fi (Fn4). There's a command wheel at the front, around the shutter release button, with a scroll wheel at the back of the camera (around the Menu/Set button), so that you can adjust settings when needed. You'll also find quick access to ISO/WB/Focus/Drive around the 4-way controller. Some people may find the buttons on the back a little bit small, but it doesn't take too long to get used to them.

Focus can be set to face/eye detection, tracking, 49-area, custom multi area, 1-area, or pinpoint. You can also use the screen the set the focus point. A focus-assist lamp is included for low-light shooting, and the AF system is sensitive down to -4 EV.

Panasonic Lumix G100 Shooting Screen Panasonic Lumix G100 Audio Options
Panasonic Lumix G100 Shooting Screen Panasonic Lumix G100 Audio Options


The 3inch screen looks great, and works really well even in bright sunny conditions, with good colour reproduction. The resolution is good at 1840K dots giving a clear display with lots of detail. As you can tilt the screen to face you, you can use it for selfies and vlogging, and as there is only the microphone port on this side of the camera, you don't need to worry about cables getting in the way of the screen. You can use the touch-screen to adjust settings, with a number of additional function buttons found on-screen.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is very high resolution with 3680K dots, making it very clear, although it'd be nice if you could increase the size of the text and icons, as they can appear quite small. When using the EVF, you'll need to be careful not to select the focus point with your nose, although you can flip the screen around to hide it away. The EVF features dioptre correction, as well as an eye-detection sensor so that the camera can automatically switch between the rear-screen and EVF.

Panasonic Lumix G100 (5)

The Panasonic Lumix menus remain neatly laid out, with colour-coded sections, so that you can easily find the options you're looking for. Simple things like having the photo options in the Photo menus, and the video options in the Video menus make the menu system far easier to use in comparison to Sony's menu system. You can use the touch-screen to select and change options in the menus, and a "MyMenu" section can be used to add your favourite settings, for even quicker access. You can also use the Q. Menu to quickly change settings.

Wi-Fi features - The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you remotely control the camera using the Panasonic Image App on a smartphone or tablet, and is available for iOS and Android devices. There are a large number of options and settings that can be accessed and changed, making the app extremely useful, there are also time-lapse options, and you can view and share images, as well as tag photos with GPS information.

Panasonic Lumix G100 (7)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 270 shots using the screen, 250 using the EVF, or up to 900 images with Power Save LVF mode active (sleep set to 1 second). Charging is via the MicroUSB cable, and a wall charger with USB socket is provided in the box. When charging, a red LED on top of the camera lights up to let you know you're successfully charging the battery. The battery compartment is where you'll find the SD memory card slot. The tripod socket is positioned in line with the lens, and with a smaller tripod head, you can still access the battery/memory compartment, which will be useful for video recording when you need to change the battery or memory card.


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Comments


pablophotographer 11 2.0k 429
23 Jul 2020 3:49PM
Looks well designed and ergonomic Smile
ChrisV 15 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
26 Jul 2020 11:58PM
You donít mention it, but I think the IBIS is actually electronic (hence the crop) and doesnít work at all in stills mode. Iím still tempted by this (once the price comes down a bit) as a replacement for my GM5. The evf looks a real winner and it does have a newer 20mp sensor. Shame about the lack of real IBIS and also the very slow flash sync the electronic curtain necessitates, but thatís the price of such a small body. You mention the G90 as an alternative, but the G9 is now in a similar price bracket and thatís a camera which represents probably the best of Panasonic in MfT - a real bargain at its current price, particularly now it will match the GH5s high bitrate video capture. Itís big of course, (which is the sole reason this camera tempts me as a stealth alternative), but itís also possibly the most superbly handling camera Iíve ever owned.
24 Apr 2021 8:13PM
I've owned the G100 for a month with the updated firmware. Focusing in video has been vastly improved, it doesn't hunt out of focus so much when my face is moving. The simulated IS works well enough with a stabilised Lumix lens even when compared to my main camera the original Olympus E-M1 which is well known for its great IS.

I find the crop in 4K acceptable for what this camera is trying to be. The full HD is superb if you don't need 4K. Personally, I find working on the larger file size coming from 4K time consuming and not worth the extra resolution.

The image quality of the G100 is on par with that of the G9 & GX9, quite normal since they all share the same sensor. I find the still image quality very high especially when used with a prime lens. I use my G100 set on A most of the time as I like to play & experiment with depth of field.

I find handling of the body pretty good for its small size. Someone with bigger hands might struggle when handling the G100 especially when a bigger lens is attached. There are currently no accessories such as half leather case or screw-on grips available on the Net even from China. These would definitely help with the handling or the protection of the polycarbonate body.

What I find the most annoying on the G100 is when viewing through the EVF the focus point moves to wherever your nose touches on the screen, as a result there were times where I had to disabled the touch screen function, this is not a problem if you articulate the screen to the side of the body, however because the body is so small, it feels a bit weird when I'm viewing through the EVF with the screen rotated to the side, I guess this is something that I will get used to with more practice.

I can't say much about its on-board audio capabilities as I use an external microphone, It's the only way for me as I live in Suffolk near the coast where it's windy on most days.

I can confirm that the EVF on the G100 is stellar and a joy to use and so is the rotating screen. There's not much wrong with this little camera, I think it was a brave move from Panasonic to produce a new model at a time when M/43rd is presumably considered dead, at least according to quite a few vloggers on YouTube. I still think this system will survive, it offers the best performance when taking into account the size of the lenses and bodies it has to offer.

I'm an amateur photographer and my comments are based on my own personal journey with the G100 and M/43rd system. Yours of course might differ. Being an amateur doesn't mean I'm a worst photographers when compared to Pros, it's simply means that I don't earn a living from photography Smile

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