When we reviewed the Panasonic G100 a few years ago, it was hardly what we expected from them. Especially since Panasonic was among the pioneers of the Micro Four Thirds system itself. As the first specs for the G100 II are reported, we see that it looks promising on paper. But the competition is so strong that they really need to knock it out of the park with this one.
The Panasonic G100 – Good Results, Below Average Performance
Panasonic seemed like they had the right intentions when they launched the G100. Sadly though, the execution really fell short of hitting the mark. It was shocking not to see IBIS for still photos in a camera launched barely 3 years ago. You could argue that it’s a camera aimed at bloggers, but if you’ve got IBIS for video, why deliberately disable it for photos? The battery life was mediocre, and the USB 2.0 charging made it slow to charge via cable. At around USD 750 for the kit(at launch), there are many shortcomings in what really should have been a better attempt from Panasonic. In our review of the camera, we said
“The autofocus in the Panasonic G100 is unreliable and battery life is mediocre. Build quality is okay, but no weather sealing is a shame. The Panasonic G100 is trying to appeal to hybrid shooters, but there are so many compromises that it misses the mark for photographers and videographers.”
Cameras like this miss the mark and do nothing to improve the brand value. If you’re going to release a half-baked camera, why release one at all when buyers and fans already have ample choices to pick from. But of course, every brand does something like this once every few years, and it’s not fair to single out Panasonic alone for this. They have a chance to redeem themselves with the Panasonic G100 II, a camera that could be announced very soon.
What Does The Report Say
According to PhotoRumors, the Panasonic G100 II is expected to feature some improved specs compared to its predecessor. They don’t have too much information as yet, but here’s a comparative look at the two cameras from what they’ve heard so far:
|25.2MP Live MOS M4/3 sensor
|20.3 Live MOS M4/3 sensor
|779 AF points
|49 AF points
|Phase Detection AF
|Contrast Detection AF
|Single UHS-II SD card slot
|Single UHS-I SD card slot
The massive increase in AF points is promising for photographers, as is the phase detection AF option. Surprisingly, an extra card slot has not been added. A micro-SD slot at least should have been added as a 2nd option. But this alone won’t be enough to keep the competition. And even if it’s being marketed at bloggers, there’s no reason that photography enthusiasts can’t opt for this camera if its pricing and specs are proper. Here are some more specs that Panasonic should really be looking at matching or exceeding in the Panasonic G100 II:
IBIS Support For Photography
This really shouldn’t have to be mentioned in 2023. Especially since Panasonic gave at least digital stabilization capabilities for video recording in the G100, it’s kind of a shocker that it wasn’t extended to still photography capabilities. Photographers shouldn’t have to always rely on tripods and the like when cameras these days can have 8 stops of IBIS. And we certainly couldn’t have gotten a sharp handheld 15-second exposure without the presence of IBIS. There’s no excuse for leaving this out in the G100; hopefully, Panasonic won’t repeat that error.
Faster Frame Rate For Stills
Peaking at 6 fps (mechanical) and 10 fps (electronic), the Panasonic G100 wasn’t the fastest camera of its time. Gone are the days when 8-10 fps was considered a fast burst rate. The G100 II should ideally feature at least full-resolution 10-15 fps (mechanical) and 20-30 fps (electronic) to compete with similar spec cameras. I hope it will come with better low-light flicker support too.
4K 120p Recording
If they want to make this camera more appealing to vloggers, Panasonic should consider adding 120p support for 4K recording. Or at least 60p in 4K and 120-240p in HD video mode. Micro 4/3 sensors are more than capable of this, and anything less would insult their target audience.
Better Battery Life
We averaged about 250 images on a full battery charge while testing the Panasonic G100. If you factor in video taking, that will be a lot less. If the G100 II doesn’t have at least 2 to 3 times more battery life than this, it isn’t going to be making any top vlogging camera lists by the end of the year.
A Much Better Autofocus System
The reported inclusion of phase detection is quite welcome, as it should considerably improve AF accuracy in the G100 II. There does need to be an overhaul of the technology to go with this though. Eye AF couldn’t pick up subjects’ eyes on the Panasonic G100 unless we were pretty close to them. And there was no Animal AF on that camera too. Overall, the AF tracking was inferior compared to cameras like the Sony a6100 and Fujifilm X-T200, which were older than it.
High ISO Noise Control
Up to ISO 3200, the Panasonic G100 seemed to do a pretty decent job. But the falloff of jpeg image quality when it switched to ISO 6400 was pretty drastic. We observed significant detail loss and grain in 11×17″ prints of images taken at ISO 6400. Panasonic needs to step up noise control at high ISOs in its upcoming camera. Their Dynamic Range Boost technology can help with this.
USB 3.0 Ports
Yes, we know the fastest charging capabilities when using the dedicated battery charger. But there are many instances when you don’t have access to a power port and must recharge your camera’s batteries. Especially when you’re on the go and can use power banks. It’s no use having a painfully slow USB 2.0 port during these times to barely give a teensy bit of charge to your camera’s battery.
All images seen in this article are of the Panasonic G100, taken from our review