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Nikon D100 vs Panasonic GF2

The Nikon D100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2002 and November 2010. The D100 is a DSLR, while the GF2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D100) and a Four Thirds (GF2) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D100
versus
Panasonic GF2
Nikon D100   Panasonic GF2
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
6 MP – APS-C sensor 12 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-800 (200 - 1,600) ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8" LCD – 118k dots 1.8" LCD – 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
144 x 116 x 81 mm, 780 g 113 x 68 x 33 mm, 310 g
Nikon D100:
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Panasonic GF2:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D100 and the Panasonic GF2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF2 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the D100 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D100 vs Panasonic GF2
Compare D100 versus GF2 top
Comparison D100 or GF2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF2 is considerably smaller (54 percent) than the Nikon D100. Moreover, the GF2 is substantially lighter (60 percent) than the D100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D100 nor the GF2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D100) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF2, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D100 gets 370 shots out of its EN-EL3 battery, while the GF2 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
2.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
3.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
4.
 
Nikon D500 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
6.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
8.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
9.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
10.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
11.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
12.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
13.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GF2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 73 percent) than the D100, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D100 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF2 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF2 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D100 and Panasonic GF2 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF2 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D100. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 7.85μm for the D100). However, it should be noted that the GF2 is much more recent (by 8 years and 8 months) than the D100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GF2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D100 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 200-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

D100 versus GF2 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
2.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
3.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
4.
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
5.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
6.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
7.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
8.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
9.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
10.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
11.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
12.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
13.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
14.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
16.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
17.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GF2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D100 does not. The highest resolution format that the GF2 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D100 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D100, the Panasonic GF2, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D500optical Y3.2 / 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n n
5.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D100, but is missing on the GF2 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The D100 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GF2 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D100 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Nikon D500Ystereo / monoYYmini3.0YYY
5.
 
Nikon D300SYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the D100 and the GF2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D100 was replaced by the Nikon D200, while the GF2 was followed by the Panasonic GF3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D100 and the Panasonic GF2? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D100:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 38%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 118k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x68mm vs 144x116mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 470g or 60 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (73 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D100 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GF2 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D100 05:11 GF2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D100 and the Panasonic GF2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D100 or the GF2 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
2.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
3.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
4.
 
Nikon D5005/5+ +4.7/591/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +..82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
6.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
8.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
9.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
10.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
11.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
12.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
13.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D100:
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Panasonic GF2:
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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D100 vs Panasonic GF2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2002 November 2010
    Launch Price USD 1,999 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 1,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 506
    Screen Specs Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D100 Panasonic GF2
    Battery Type EN-EL3 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 144 x 116 x 81 mm
    (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    113 x 68 x 33 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 780 g (27.5 oz) 310 g (10.9 oz)
    Nikon D100:
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    Panasonic GF2:
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