Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Canon Digital Rebel T2i VS Panasonic G1

If you are a first time DSLR buyer, you probably have thought about these cameras. They both appeal to first time buyers. Since I have both, I will chime in and give my 2 cents.

First of all, The T2i and the G1 are very capable but are in fact very different cameras. On one hand, the T2i has a traditional SLR design: optical viewfinder with interchangeable lenses; the G1 is an Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) camera. There are advantages and disadvantages to both designs: Optical viewfinder offers real time viewing without delays, but the pentaprism/mirror assembly makes the camera larger. EVIL cameras uses an mini LCD screen inside the camera in place of the optical viewfinder. The benefits are two fold: cheaper to make, and smaller/lighter camera.

Which one is better? As with most things in life, everything has its good and quirks.

Advantage for the T2i over the G1 include:
  • 1080p movie mode -- this is the primary reason I bought the T2i
  • Beautiful 3" 1 million pixel LCD
  • Slightly better image quality, especially in high ISO
  • Focuses faster, especially on tracking focusing
  • Faster frame rate
  • Selection of lenses
Advantage for the G1 over T2i:
  • Swivel LCD screen
  • Electronic Viewfinder (only an advantage if you use manual focus lenses a lot)
  • Smaller and lighter with kit lens
  • Very short lens to sensor register. This means it can take all kinds of manual focus lenses though adapters (an advantage only if you are a fan of manual focus lenses)
  • Less expensive with kit lens.
To me, the only feature that made me buy the G1 was the fact that it can take all sort of manual focus lenses, including some fantastic cine lenses. Small size, swivel screen, etc are not feature I consider deal breakers. If you mainly use auto focus lenses, the Canon has more selections, from 15mm fisheye, 50mm f1.0 exotic, to 1200mm f5.6 super telephoto. On the other hand, if you only want a couple of zoom lenses for travel, the G1 would be an ideal choice, just be warned that the only fast lens Panasonic has for micro 4/3 is the 20mm f1.7. Anything faster (brighter) would have to be manual focus lenses through adapters.

Please keep in mind that these are my opinions. What features you are looking for is probably different than mine.

Side by side from top. The Canon is chunkier. Notice the pentaprism housing. This is what makes the Canon larger.

Side by side -- the Canon is taller but not by much.


  1. Hi, this is an interesting comparison that might be useful for the people who considering both models.

    If you don't mind, I would like to reproduce this article too.