Panasonic may have been first company to market with its interchangeable-lens camera, but its early models made some missteps. The relatively reasonably priced Lumix DMC-G1 lacked video capture capability, and the video-capable GH1 came with an optimized lens that made it a pretty expensive package. The GF1 didn't really address the same market segment; instead it went after enthusiast users, a small group, as Olympus' E-P1 did.
With its two latest Micro Four Thirds camera announcements, Panasonic seems to be finding its footing at last. The new Lumix DMC-G10 ostensibly targets one of the major groups these cameras were initially intended for: diverting potential entry-level dSLR buyers seeking to upgrade from their point and shoots. Price is key here, and until Olympus announced its E-PL1 kit at $600, these cameras had been significantly more expensive than their dSLR alternatives. I say "ostensibly" targets because Panasonic has not released pricing information, but it did indicate that it will probably be the least expensive model in the line, which puts it somewhere between the E-PL1 and the Samsung NX10.
At the same time, Panasonic introduced its replacement for the G1, the Lumix DMC-G2; this time, it can capture video. In a feature twist, Panasonic endowed the G2 with a touch screen, the first in any consumer interchangeable-lens camera, including dSLRs (medium format digital cameras have had them for a while). Although I haven't seen the implementation, based on the product photos it seems like it'll be relatively intelligent.
The touch screen enables capabilities like touch focus and metering, which have been available in point-and-shoots for a few generations; however, it looks as if there are still plenty of direct-access buttons and navigation controls so that you're not stuck using touch when it's not the optimal interface. There's also a dedicated Intelligent Auto button to provide a one-touch override, which makes more sense to me than putting it on the mode dial. It also has a movie record button, which Panasonic didn't put on the G10, instead sticking with a specific capture mode. (A tentative thumbs-down on that decision.) Like the G10, Panasonic won't provide pricing and availability information until about 30 days before they cameras ship. I expect the G2's price to be pretty close to the G1's.… Read more