Panasonic Lumix G3 – the perfect middle ground between features and portability
10 January 2012
Conclusion: The starting price for the Lumix G3 body is actually lower than the G2, which is another great point for the camera, and thanks to its good video mode, it might also be a good purchase for people who need a hybrid still/video camera, but who want to focus more on photography than video.
Summary: Once again, Panasonic has created a very impressive ILC in the G3, combining fine imaging with a well-evolved touchscreen experience. Users who want to exploit RAW shooting should take some time to experiment with noise reduction.
Summary: The G3 is a camera that is easy to use and produces excellent image quality--a step up from previous G-series models. Its overall handling and touchscreen interface have distinct appeal for users moving up from a point-and-shoot.
Pros: Very good image quality with impressive high ISO performance, Well-implemented touchscreen interface, Fast-focusing AF system (for its class), Improved skin tone rendering, AF point can be positioned along the edge of the frame, Touch AF can be disabled, Can shoot 4fps (but sadly not in live view...
Cons: Poor JPEG rendering at high ISOs, Lacks a dedicated AF/AE lock button, No eye sensor to switch between viewfinder and LCD, No external mic input, Small grip makes hand-held use of larger lenses awkward, Flush design of DISP. button makes it hard to press, Long wait times between image bursts in R...
Conclusion: Because the sample lens that I used was pre-production I have not done any rigorous comparisons with alternatives such as the older D Summulix, the 20mm f/1.7 and, of course, the 25mm f/0.95 Voigtlander Nokton. Maybe when production lenses become available I’ll revisit doing such a comparison.
Excerpt: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 (priced from $599) is a compact, SLR-styled mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that uses the Micro Four Thirds standard. It's the follow-up to the DMC-G2, and its biggest changes include an even smaller body, a new Live MOS sensor and image processor, faster autofocus...
Summary: It sports an excellent touch-screen interface, backed-up by a selection of physical buttons for those who prefer traditional controls. The contrast-based AF system is very snappy, giving the camera a very responsive feel which pans the Live View handling on most DSLRs.
Pros: Great image quality which matches APS-C DSLRs., Articulated touch-screen with tap-focusing., HD video with quiet and fairly quick continuous AF., Very fast AF and face detection. Ideal portrait camera.
Cons: Slow continuous shooting when continuous AF is enabled., Live view not available during continuous bursts above 3fps., Traditional DSLRs better for low light or fast action photography., No external microphone input or manual movie exposures.
Summary: The Lumix DMC-G3 becomes Panasonic’s “smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a viewfinder” following its May 2011 introduction. Anytime a camera successor pops up a year after the previous model my first question tends to be whether the new model offers more than a modest...
Pros: Small size and weight, Very good still images, Excellent video
Summary: The G3 with 14-42mm kit lens will retail for £629.99 – close to the G2’s original launch price. None too shabby considering all the technology on offer, and far less than the GH2’s £800 asking price (with the same 14-42mm lens). For a body only purchase, the G3 can be picked up for £549.99.
Pros: Super-fast autofocus, built-in EVF, small size
Cons: Poor battery life, EVF performance in low light, touchscreen should be more sensitive