Overall Rating:

3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3


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Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£629.99

With its 15.8-million-pixel sensor, improved AF system and a smaller body than its predecessor, the Panasonic G3 could be the upgrade that micro four thirds users have been waiting for. Our Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review finds out more...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 at a glance:

  • 15.8-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 160–6400
  • 3in articulated LCD touchscreen
  • Small body
  • 1.44-million-dot EVF
  • 4fps shooting rate
  • Pinpoint AF
  • 1920×1080 HD video with AF tracking
  • Street price around £620 with 14-42mm kit lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review – Introduction

It has been just over a year since Panasonic launched the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2, the first of the company’s second-generation micro four thirds cameras. This model was notable for refinements such as the introduction of a touch-sensitive screen, but the most significant leap forward for the micro four thirds system came last September with the release of the top-of-the-range GH2. In the GH2, Panasonic had for the first time fitted a sensor with a 16.05-million-pixel resolution rather than its usual 12-million-pixel unit.

Now the company has brought out the first of its third-generation micro four thirds cameras, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3. Although aimed at entry-level photographers, among its features is a sensor capable of producing 15.8-million-pixel images at a shooting rate of 4fps, as well as an improved contrast-detection AF system. All these features have been packed into a body smaller than we have previously seen from a DSLR-style G-series camera.

By including the improved AF from the GH2, and increasing the image resolution and shooting rate, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 looks to have raised the bar for entry-level micro four thirds-system cameras. So, with these factors in mind, I wanted to see how the G3 performed, particularly when shooting moving subjects such as wildlife. In the past, the slower contrast-detection AF of compact system cameras has made this difficult to carry out successfully, but the new G3’s AF system and faster frame rate should help make this more feasible.

  • External mic: No
  • Dioptre Adjustment: ±4
  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, 2 custom, Kelvin, all with fine-tuning
  • Built-in Flash: Yes, GN 10.5m @ ISO 160 (8.75m @ ISO 100)
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF with 1,533,600 dots equivalent
  • Output Size: 4608x3456 pixels (15.8 million pixels)
  • LCD: 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen LCD
  • Field of View: 100% on LCD
  • AF Points: 23-area and touch focus anywhere in the frame
  • Sensor: 16-million-effective-pixel Live MOS
  • White Balance Bracket: 3 frames
  • Focal Length Mag: 2x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, iA+, 17 scene modes
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1/3 steps
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote release
  • Metering System: 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
  • Dimensions: 115.2x83.6x46.7mm
  • DoF Preview: Yes, with shutter speed simulation
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: 4fps for 7 frames in raw, or unlimited JPEGs. 20fps at a reduced 4 million pixel resolution
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec
  • File Format: JPEG, RW2 (raw), raw + JPEG, MPO (when attaching 3D lens in micro four thirds-system standard), AVCHD
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Weight: 336g (body only)
  • Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
  • ISO: 160-6400
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, face detection, AF tracking, 23-area, 1-area-focusing, pinpoint, touch
  • Tested as: Compact system camera
  • Video: Full 1920×1080, 60i AVCHD, 1280x720, 30fps MJPEG

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