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2020.06.26

Just on the heals the the Sony ZV-1 launch, Panasonic introduced their own vlogging digital camera with an entirely different core. The new Panasonic Lumix G100 is a Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera based around a 20 MP CMOS sensor built into a compact and lightweight body designed for self-directed videos. As a Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless, the G100 gains access to the entirely lineup of native lenses from Panasonic, Olympus and numerous third-party manufacturers. In contrast, the ZV-1 is a fixed-lens camera built around a smaller 1″ CMOS sensor paired with a bright 24 – 70mm F/1.8-2.8 optically-stabilized lens. The Panasonic is thicker and significantly taller, plus its nearly identically-specified weight does not include the lens.

Panasonic G100

The Panasonic Lumix G100 is one of the most compact mirrorless cameras currently on the market.  This is partly due to the smaller sensor-size and lens mount that Micro Four-Thirds affords. Panasonic still managed to make this camera even smaller than most by limiting moving parts to one single-curtain mechanical shutter. Originally used on the tiny GM1, this mechanical shutter allows for maximum shutter-speed of 1/500s and flash synchronization down to 1/50s while shutter-speeds from 1/16000-60s are provided by an electronic shutter. Panasonic unfortunately omitted parts that move the sensor, which includes both image-stabilization and sensor-cleaning that are lacking from the G100 compared to most modern mirrorless cameras.

Given its 20 MP Four-Thirds sensor with no Anti-Alias filter, the Panasonic G100 is guaranteed to produce superior images with great sharpness, at least when paired with a good lens. The native ISO 200-25600 range makes this camera sensitive to low-light and can be expanded down to ISO 100 when shooting in bright light. What makes this a vlogging camera is its rear rotating LCD and grip designed for front operation, plus an exceptional 3D Tracking OZO Microphone that provides directional sound tracked in real-time using information from Face-Detection. Essentially this are the similarities between the two vlogging cameras announced with week, except that the 3-capsule microphone differs.

Panasonic Lumix G100

The large prominent video recording button is easy to operate from the front as well as the front control-dial. A second rear control-dial is also included for photography. Also, and the main design choice difference compared to the Sony ZV-1, the Panasonic G100 features a high-grade 0.5″ EVF with 3.7 MP, extra-large 0.73X magnification, 100% coverage and an essential Eye-Start Sensor. Such a high-end EVF has never been used on a compact mirrorless, making the Panasonic G100 quite suitable for photography.

This camera can record 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS and 1080p Full-HD video at 120 FPS. Sounds may be recorded from the built-in microphone or via an external source connected to the stereo mini-jack input. Panasonic includes plenty of video modes and full manual controls during filming, plus an Interval Timer and Time-Lapse video as well as many unique 4K modes.

The concept of vlogging camera is new and somewhat puzzling since they are basically cameras designed to record video-selfies yet video cameras are already designed for this job and most have an articulating screen already. Perhaps it is due to their lower image-quality but surely improving in that would be easier than trying to twist a photo camera into essentially doing video-selfies.

The Panasonic G100 is scheduled to ship shortly for $700 USD, including a compact collapsible kit-lens. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

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