The Lumix DMC-G2 will be the world’s first Micro Four Thirds camera with a touchscreen when it arrives in July, according to Panasonic, and also the world’s smallest and lightest ‘system’ camera.

The interchangeable lenses utilised by the Micro Four Thirds system allow users to benefit from the creative possibilities usually found only in digital SLRs, but from a camera that is roughly the size and weight of a traditional compact. Panasonic offers seven Micro Four Thirds Lumix lenses, with lenses from other brands supported via an optional mount adaptor.

As the latest (imminent) addition to Panasonic’s successful G series, the DMC-G2’s three inch LCD will introduce many of the touch controls currently available in Panasonic’s compact cameras (see press released on the next page for full details), providing quick finger-based navigation through the menu system  – to focus, track subjects, take photos, change settings and play back images, among other things.

With a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, the DMC-G2 also combines the image quality of a CCD sensor with the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor. The 60-frames-a-second Live MOS sensor also enables Live View, which allows users to frame, track and view shots (smooth and jerk-free) in real-time on the LCD. In Live View, users can also check the affect that various preset colour modes – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette Colour – will have, before the shot is captured.

The DMC-G2 provides 1280 x 720 high definition video recording using the AVCHD Lite format, and allows simultaneous image and video capture. It will also record video in the less effiecient HD motion JPEG

Accompanying the launch of the G2 will be the Lumix DMC-G10. This integrates many of the features of the DMC-G2, bar the touchscreen and AVCHD Lite recording. Instead, it records moving pictures in HD motion JPEG video.

No pricing is yet available for either model, but Panasonic confirms the DMC-G2 will sold as body only, single lens kit (14-42mm /F3.5-5.6) and twin lens kit (14-42mm /F3.5-5.6 and 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6). The DMC-G10 will be available for sale as a twin and single lens kit only.