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...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review


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Our verdict

When I started to test the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, I wanted to see how far I could push it. We know that micro four thirds cameras are ideal for street, travel and day-to-day photography, but with the faster contrast-detection AF system I wondered if the G3 could do more.

In turns out that the AF doesn’t really open up its use for other types of photography, such as wildlife, but it does further improve those it already excels at. Point-and-shoot photographers will love the focusing speed, and the smaller body makes it more portable without adversely affecting the handling. Image quality has also slightly improved, with a high resolution, but noise is still more of an issue than with an APS-C-size sensor.

Both first-time users and enthusiast photographers looking for a DSLR-style compact system camera should really like the G3. It is not quite an all-round replacement for a DSLR, but it should suit the day-to-day needs of most photographers and there is now a superb range of Panasonic G series lenses available to go with it.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3: Focal points

The G3 lacks an eye sensor to automatically turn the EVF on when the camera is held to the eye. This button toggles between the rear LCD screen and EVF being switched on

LCD screen
The 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen is starting to look a little dated compared to the 921,000-dot and 1.04-millon-dot screens found in recent Nikon and Canon cameras respectively

Direct record
This button has moved from the top of the camera on the G2, to the rear of the G3. It can easily be pressed with a thumb while shooting

Function buttons
By default, the two function buttons access the display options and the Quick Menu. However, if you choose to use their touchscreen equivalents, they can be used as programmable function buttons

Lens stabilisation
Unlike Olympus micro four thirds cameras, Panasonic does not use in-camera image stabilisation. Instead, some of its lenses feature optical image stabilisation, known as Mega OIS

As well as the built-in flash with a guide number of 10.5m @ ISO 160 (8.75m @ ISO 100), the G3 also has a flash hotshoe. This allows it to be used with the Panasonic DMW-FL500E and DMW-FL220E flashguns

Inputs and outputs
On the side of the G3 are sockets for a remote release cable, a mini-HDMI cable and digital output, which acts as USB socket and audio visual output. There is no external mic socket

Face detection and recognition
Not only can the G3 detect faces and focus, and expose for them, but it can also recognise an individual’s face. Once registered on the camera, it can prioritise exposure and focusing for faces it recognises


  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  10. 10. Our verdict
  11. 11. Competition
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