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Thread: Review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

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    Default Review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

    [Introduction]
    Earlier this year, Panasonic announced the launch of the "smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens system camera" in their Lumix DMC-G3. This represents the start of Panasonic's 3rd generation of mirrorless compact system cameras, following the launches of their 2nd generation line-up of G2, GH2, and GF2 in 2010.


    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

    [Highlights]
    - 16MP Live MOS sensor, up from the 12.1MP count in its predecessor
    - Advanced AF system combining Light Speed AF with touch AF controls
    - 1,440,000-dot Live View Finder and 460k dot articulated LCD with a touch-screen
    - 1080i60 AVCHD with stereo microphones
    - New "Photo Style" and "Creative Control"
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 21st May 2011 at 10:02 PM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Specs


    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - close-up

    [Camera]
    Recording media - SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
    Image sensor size - 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
    Sensor Type - Live MOS Sensor
    Total pixels (Effective) - 16.6 Megapixels (16.0 Megapixels)
    Dust reduction system - Supersonic wave filter

    [Still Images]
    Recording file format - Still Image: JPEG, RAW, DPOF compatible MPO*
    * when attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds standard
    Image Quality - RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard, MPO+Fine, MPO+Standard
    Color space - sRGB, Adobe RGB
    [Aspect ratio (Setting) [File size]
    [4:3] 4592 x 3448 (L) [16M] / 3232 x 2424 (M) [8M] / 2272 x 1704 (S) [4M] / 1824 x 1368 (MPO)
    [3:2] 4576 x 3056 (L) [14M] / 3232 x 2160 (M) [7M] / 2272 x 1520 (S) [3.5M] / 1824 x 1216 (MPO)
    [16:9] 4576 x 2576 (L) [11.5M] / 3232 x 1824 (M) [6M] / 1920 x 1080 (S) [2M] / 1824 x 1024 (MPO)
    [1:1] 3424 x 3424 (L) [11.5M] / 2416 x 2416 (M) [6M] / 1712 x 1712 (S) [3M] / 1712 x 1712 (MPO)

    [Motion Image]
    Quicktime - [4:3] QVGA: 320 x 240, 30fps / VGA: 640 x 480, 30fps [16:9] HD: 1280 x 720, 30fps
    AVCHD-NTSC - [Full HD] 1920 x 1080, 60i (sensor output is 30p) (FSH:17Mbps) [HD] 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 30p) (SH:17Mbps)
    AVCHD-PAL - [Full HD] 1920 x 1080, 50i (sensor output is 25p) (FSH:17Mbps) [HD] 1280 x 720, 50p (sensor output is 25p) (SH:17Mbps)

    [Viewfinder]
    Type - Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)
    Field of view - Approx. 100%
    Magnification - Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35 mm camera equivalent) with 50 mm lens at infinity
    Eye point - Approx. 17.5 mm from eyepiece lens
    Diopter adjustment - -4.0 ~ +4.0 (dpt)

    [LCD]
    Type - 460K dots TFT LCD with Touch panel
    Monitor size - Free-angle 3.0 inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle
    Field of view - Approx. 100 %
    Live view digital zoom - 2x, 4x

    [Flash]
    Type - TTL Built-in-Flash (Pop-up), GN10.5 equivalent (ISO 160)
    Flash mode - Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
    Synchronization speed - Less than 1/160 second
    Flash output adjustment - 1/3 EV Step +/-2 EV
    Flash synchronization - 1st. Curtain Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync.
    Hot shoe - TTL Auto with FL220 / FL360 / FL500 (Optional)

    [Shutter]
    Type - Focal-plane shutter
    Shutter speed - Still Images: 1/4000 ~ 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 2 minutes)
    Motion Image: 1/16000 ~ 1/30 (NTSC), 1/16000 ~ 1/25 (PAL)
    Self timer - 10sec, 3 images / 2sec / 10sec
    Remote control - Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)

    [Burst Mode]
    Burst speed - SH: 20 frames/sec (4M), H: 4 frames/sec, M: 3 frames/sec , L: 2 frames/sec
    Number of recordable images - 7 images (RAW), Unlimited (no RAW)
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 21st May 2011 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Specs [cont]

    [Focus]
    Type - Contrast AF system
    Focus mode - AFS / AFC / MF
    AF mode - Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Pinpoint Touch (1-area-focusing in Face detection / AF Tracking / Multi-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing ) / Pinpoint
    AF detective range - EV 0 - 18 (ISO100 equivalent)
    AF assist lamp - YES
    AF lock - Set the Fn button in custom menu to AF/AE lock
    Others - Quick AF, Continuous AF (during motion image recording), AF+MF, Touch shutter, Touch MF Assist

    [Exposure Control]
    Light metering system - 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
    Light metering mode - Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
    Metering range - EV 0 - 18 (F2.0 lens, ISO100 equivalent)
    Exposure mode - Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
    ISO sensitivity - Auto / Intelligent ISO / 160 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400
    Exposure compensation - 1/3 EV Step +/-5 EV
    AE lock - Set the Fn button in custom menu to AF/AE lock
    AE bracket - 3,5,7 frame, in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV Step, +/-3 EV

    [White Balance]
    White balance - Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting (Touch operation is possible)
    White balance adjustment - Blue / amber bias, Magenta / green bias
    Color temperature setting - 2500 - 10000 K in 100 K
    White balance bracket - 3 exposures in blue / amber axis or in magenta / green axis

    [Scene Mode]
    Still Image - Portrait / Soft Skin / Scenery / Architecture / Sports / Peripheral Defocus / Flower / Food / Objects / Night Portrait / Night Scenery / Illuminations / Baby 1, 2 / Pet / Party / Sunset
    Video - Portrait / Soft Skin / Scenery / Architecture / Sports / Flower / Food / Objects / Low-light / Party / Sunset

    [Creative Control & Film Mode]
    Creative control - Expressive / Retro / High Key / Sepia / High Dynamic
    Film Mode - Color Standard / Vivid / Natural / Monochrome / Scenery / Portrait / Custom

    [Interface]
    USB - USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI - miniHDMI TypeC / VIERA Link
    Video: Auto / 1080i / 720p / 480p (576p in PAL system)
    Audio: Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator
    Remote / Input - φ2.5 mm. mini jack
    Microphone - Stereo, Wind-cut: Off / Low / Standard / High, Mic level adjustable (4 levels)
    Speaker - Monaural

    [Battery Life]
    Battery life - Approx. 270 images (When using the LCD / LVF) with 14-42 mm lens

    [Diamension and Weight]
    Dimensions (W x H x D) - 115.2 x 83.6 x 46.7 mm / 4.54 x 3.29 x 1.84 in (excluding protrusions)
    Weight - Approx. 544 g / 19.20 oz (SD card, Battery, 14-42 mm lens included), Approx. 336 g / 11.84 oz (Body only)

    [Standard Accessories]
    Software - PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.2 HD Edition, SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE, Super LoiLoScope (trial version), USB Driver
    Standard accessories - Battery Charger, Battery Pack, Body Cap, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, Shoulder Strap, Stylus pen, CD-ROM

    DMC-G3 Specifications from Panasonic Press Release
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 21st May 2011 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

    ["The Smallest and Lightest"] - The G3 body has certainly evolved from the G2 body, which was previously largely unchanged from its predecessor, the G1. The G3 has lost a few pounds has trimmed itself in length, making it more compact than the previous generations of the G-series. Aside from being smaller and lighter, it is quite the looker with new curves, previously not found on the more boxy G2 and G1.

    [The Grip] With the trimming of the G-body, the grip has been redesigned from the G2/G1. The grip also shows off additional curves in its design on the G3. Together with a rubber finger grip (for the last 3-fingers), it offers good ergonomics and grip for the new smaller body of the G3.

    [The Dial] The dial is positioned at the rear of the camera body, similar to that of the G2 after it was repositioned from the front on the G1. This provides convenient "thumb scrolling" for scrolling through menus, browsing pictures, and zooming... or just scratching your thumb.

    [Rear Interface] At the top-left, the "LVF/LCD" toggle, top-right has the "Play" / Review button. Next to the "Play" button, the "AE/AF" button of the G2 has been replaced by the repositioned "Movie Record" button. This makes it easily accessible as a thumb activated one-touch movie recording button. The bottom-right menu buttons has lost 1 button from the previous generation, but what remains has been re-rationalised, now offering 2 Fn buttons.

    [Top Interface] - While there was little impact to the rear dials and buttons, the top saw significant modifications from the previous model. The most obvious would be the lost of one of the dials (left of the LVF), the relocation of the "Movie Record" button to the rear, and the addition of the stereo mics in front of the hotshoe. Further, the right dial on the G3 has been simplified to offer 8 shooting mode options. The iA (Intelligent Auto) button is still positioned on the high side of the trigger and the On/Off switch remains conveniently at the side of mode selector dial for an easy thumb push to switch the camera on.

    Lost and Found - Lost from the top of the G2 and where to find it in the G3
    AF Mode (left dial on the G2) - "Left" button at rear
    MF / AFS / AFC (left dial on the G2) - Record Menu 2-1
    Multiple Exposure / Timer (right dial on the G2) - "Down" button at rear
    Various Scene Selection (right dial on the G2) - only available as auto select SCN mode*
    Movie Record button (top of the G3) - thumb access at rear of the G3

    * this is as far as I can tell, I'll have to explore a little more before confirming.


    G3 - front view


    G3 - top view


    G3 - rear view
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 26th May 2011 at 11:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

    Very clear review, thanks!

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Rear LCD

    [LCD] - Taking pictures with the G3 is a breeze with the G3. The various AF modes (Face Detection / A Tracking / 23-Area / 1-Area / Pintpoint) provide versatility according to the users preference.

    The 3-inch 460k dot free-angle touch-screen LCD adds to that versatility, allowing the photography to view, frame and capture shot from different angles. Shots can be captured either by the usual trigger button or via the touch screen by "touch focus and snap".

    MF (Manual Focus) assist is also available for those who would like to use non-M43 lenses, I managed to use the Voigtländer F-M43 and M-M43 adaptors without issue on "A" (Aperture Priority) mode. The MF feature available on the M43 cameras adds a whole new dimension to the lens range usable the M43 cameras.


    Shot taken by the G3


    LCD live-view of the subject


    LCD live-view manual focus assist using touch screen or 4-wy directional buttons


    Review of the picture taken on the rear LCD x16


    G3 - menu
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 26th May 2011 at 11:03 PM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - LVF

    [Live View Finder] - The G3 pegs to the current industry "standard" for electronic view finders with a 1,440,000-dot LVF. However, it has lost the eye sensor inherent on the previous G2/G1, and also on the GH2. The sensor is used to detect when your face is close to the viewfinder and automatically switches from the touchscreen. It is not a tragic lost, though an unfortunate one. The size of the eye sensor is not large, but in keeping the size of the G3 nice and compact, I suppose every µm counts.

    The LVF is excellent for those sunny days when glare gets in the way of viewing your LCD. Details are excellent, and I often find myself preferring to review pictures in the LVF than the LCD, as I find the details better and the colours more true.

    The LVF also provides the key shooting information - Exposure-mode, AF-mode, Metering, Aperture, Shutter Speed, EV+/-, ISO, shots remaining, flash-mode*, battery life*, and focus confirmation*.

    * only available upon focus confirmation


    G3 view through the electronic viewfinder (taken by an iphone)


    G3 view on the rear LCD screen (taken by an iphone)


    Actual picture taken by the G3
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 23rd May 2011 at 12:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - 16MP

    [MegaPixels] - The G3 packs a 16MP Live MOS sensor, up from the 12.1MP count in its predecessor. This now puts it on par with the GH2 which was launched late 2010.

    The sensor is capable of capturing very fine details. The test shot below used the Zeiss ZF Marko-Planar 100/2 (together with a using a Voigtländer F-M43 adaptor), a very capable lens in its own right in its resolving power. Even the stamping grooves and the dimples on the surface can be seen in the unsharpened 100% of the G3 Standard Large JPEG.


    G3's 16MP sensor


    G3 with ZF Marko-Planar 100/2 using a Voigtländer F-M43 adaptor


    G3 with ZF Marko-Planar 100/2 - approx 0.9m


    100% crop (no sharpening, only rotated)

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - CreATIve COntroLs and iA+

    [Creative Controls] - It helps add some spice to life! Your milage may vary when it comes to such creative controls settings pre-capture (as opposed to post-processing). But if there happens to be a setting you like, or if it fits a certain theme for your series, these settings can come in handy in getting the exact feel you want in JPEGs straight out of the camera.

    [Standard / Expressive / Retro / High Key / Sepia / High Dynamic]


    Creative Controls

    [iA+] - "Not just Auto, Intellengent Auto", the iA mode "activates detection and correction functions, so you get beautiful, clear shots" (Trust iA) - Mega O.I.S, AF Tracking, Face Detection, Face Recognition, Intellegent Exposure, and Intellegent Scene selector. iA also provides the additional "Defocus Control", a slider to adjust the amount of background blur you desire - the effective of which is of course is lens dependent. The feature adjust the aperture setting to vary your depth of field. iA+ is the iA with colour and brightness adjustments.
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 26th May 2011 at 06:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - ISO Performance

    [ISO Performance] - The G3 offers ISO settings from 160 - 6400 (in 1/3 steps). What is acceptable has much to do with personal preference, and application for what the photo is for, e.g. lost details due to digital noise may not be seen on a thumbnail, or may not sufficient contanminate a 4R print, but maybe hideous if viewed at 100% on a computer screen.

    At iso200, the picture is still nice and crisp with good details. However, these are slowly lost and the introduction of digital noise becomes more and more pronounced as you increase the iso setting. At iso800, the details are still reasonably good with sufficient details and contrast. Even at iso1600 the digital noise is still not very apparent, although you note a significant loss in contrast and details.

    (next post)... it gets exponentially worst thereafter once you hit iso3200 and iso6400. But that been said, it is still a photo - it is then a matter of whether that picture is sufficient for your use or tells the story that you want.

    Pls click on the various images to see larger versions of these samples.


    Sample spread from the latest copy of the LFI - 20mm f/1.7


    iso200


    iso400


    iso800


    iso1600
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 23rd May 2011 at 12:09 PM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - ISO Performance [... cont]


    iso3200


    iso6400

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Summary

    Panasonic's announcement of the G3 is indeed exciting news for Pana fans, as it represents the start of their 3rd generation mirrorless compact system cameras. The G3 inheriting some of the curves from the GF2, and also beefed up to the 16MP sensor, on par with the GH2. However, even as they beefed up some of the key headline specs of the G3 from the G2, they have also cut back on some features.

    Pluses+ aside from the more compact and lighter body with curves, Panasonic has beefed the G3 with a 16MP sensor, added a Stereo mic, improved the ISO performance, as well as the improved AF speed.

    Minuses- in reducing the size, some things has to go, the dials, the eye sensor, and the convenience of some additional buttons. Further, the G also lost some mode setting (e.g. Movie Programme) and the mic jack.

    I found that the "bulge" of the 1,440,000-dot LVF added some amount of clumsiness in slipping the G3 into my camera bag, but the LVF can come in handy in strong sunlight and difficult cause by glare. Further, I also found that the colours were more true through the LVF.

    The 460k dot articulated LCD with a touch-screen also came in very handy esp when taking those odd-angled shots and when mounted on the tripod.

    While I will not say anything about market positioning, competition, and list of compatible lenses, what I will say is that the G3 provides a nice shooting companion - the details provided by the 16MP are good even in JPEG compression, good White Balance (WB) performance, and the ISO performance offers a good compact shooter even in difficult lighting conditions.
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 27th May 2011 at 01:16 AM.

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    Default Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Samples


    20mm - 1/40, f1.7, iso800


    20mm - 1/50, f1.7, iso800



    20mm - 1/40, f1.7, iso800


    20mm - 1/100, f2.8, iso320


    20mm - 1/80, f2.2, iso320

    more samples to come...
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 2nd June 2011 at 11:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Samples

    Looks impressive. ISO definitely better than my G2 at higher range. But kind of missing the old G2 top left side dial where you can select the MF,AFC, face detection and etc. Overall its a new change of their G series.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Samples

    thanks for a great and concise review Cactus Jack !

    more pics please !!
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Samples

    Hi! Thanks for the great review. Want to clarify if there's manual control (ie iso, exposure etc) for video mode? And, what do you think will be the market price and release date? Thanks!

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Samples

    Quote Originally Posted by kohss View Post
    Hi! Thanks for the great review. Want to clarify if there's manual control (ie iso, exposure etc) for video mode? And, what do you think will be the market price and release date? Thanks!
    I'm honestly not much of a video user. But from what I can tell, while the G3 offers improvements over the G2 movie recording capabilities in the availability of full-HD and built-in stereo mic, the G3 has lost the "Movie Programme" mode in the G2 (previously found on the main dial). From what I've gathered, all exposure settings in movie mode on the G3 are automatic, i.e. shutter speed, aperture and iso setting. However, there is limited control over the EV compensation.

    As for market price and release date, I'll keep you guys informed if / when I get the info... but changes are, you guy might even get news of it before me...

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - More Samples

    I have always wanted to do this, mount my 200mm f/4 micro on a m43 body... and while it is not strictly an "endorsed" panasonic setup, it does show off some of the possibilities available to you.






    [a few snaps at SBG before it started to rain cats and dogs]

    I'll post up more samples using panasonic lenses...
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 2nd June 2011 at 12:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - More Samples


    14-42mm - iA, 14mm, 1/25, f3.5, iso800


    14-42mm - iA, 14mm, 1/250, f5.0, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 20mm, 1/400, f9.0, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 14mm, 1/640, f9.0, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 19mm, 1/200, f5.6, iso160
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 2nd June 2011 at 11:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 - Even More Samples


    14-42mm - iA, 15mm, 1/400, f7.1, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 14mm, 1/400, f7.1, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 16mm, 1/250, f6.3, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 14mm, 1/400, f7.1, iso160


    14-42mm - iA, 33mm, 1/320, f9.0, iso160
    Last edited by Cactus jACK; 2nd June 2011 at 12:33 AM.

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