Panasonic G3 - a real world user review
This review is focused more on user impression in actual usage rather than specs. I think the former is often lacking on the internet and the user can easily find the latter on all major photographic review/equipment sites.
So for those interested in a tech review, there are the usual suspects, here :
Panasonic DMC G3 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
Panasonic Lumix G3 review | from TechRadar UK's expert reviews of Digital SLRs/Hybrids
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Compact System Camera - Review
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review | Cameralabs
Physical layout and comparisons
Below is a comparison to the Panasonic GF1.
The G3 is about the same and in fact smaller in some dimensions to the GF1.
However, it has a different feel to it in terms of the grip and look.
It feels more like a mini DSLR than an old school film or RF camera. I think the reason for this is the grip and the small EVF bump on the camera.
All this is just my own user impressions rather than actual empirical stats.
I can see the attraction of 'feel' and style in a RF styled m4/3 camera like the Oly EP series and Panasonic's GF1.
So buyer take note.
If you want a 'mini DSLR' or don't care about style and feel, the above observations don't matter.
If you do, then the more you should try out the G3 at a store to see if the look and handling is for you.
Side by side G3 and GF1
The G3 is actually shorter in length. Styling is different too (DSLR VS RF style).
Generally the same top single mode dial. The G3 does not have a frame mode switch but that is allocated to one of the direction pads. Not a great deal difference imo.
Almost the same thickness. G3 is a bit thicker, but then it packs a full articulating LCD, so its pretty impressive.
Notice that the EVF of the G3 juts out quite a bit, which may bother some folks who want a more slim profile for easier placing in a small bag.
The G3 actually has one less function button compared to the GF1. The D-pad is the same. The two function buttons on the G3 can be customized, so it can easily be assigned as AE lock; focus type; picture style; etc. In other words, though it has 1 less button, there is really no loss since the Fn buttons can easily replicate whatever was on the GF1 or otherwise.
The new grip on the G3 is really well thought out and in some ways, makes it stand out from the previous GF and G series.
It sleeker and less "in your face" jutted out compared to previous Gx series and feels more substantial as a grip compared to GF series.
It wells secure and really nice.