Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Released May, 2011
New: Lumix DMC-G5 (Jul, 2012)
  • 15.8 MP
  • Four Thirds 17.3 x 13 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 6.5 beta).
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
8.7 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Lumix DMC-G3
8.2
D5100
9.6
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Lumix DMC-G3
7.0
D5100
7.1
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Lumix DMC-G3
8.5
D5100
9.0
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Lumix DMC-G3
9.3
D5100
9.1
Reviews from photographyblog.com, dpreview.com and reviews.cnet.com

8.7

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Lumix DMC-G3
8.7
D5100
9.0

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Lumix DMC-G3
667 ISO
D5100
1,183 ISO
PEN E-PL3
499 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Lumix DMC-G3
2,400 LPH
Lumix DMC-GH4
2,900 LPH
D5100
2,600 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-G3
293 ms
EOS M
742 ms
Lumix DMC-G5
194 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Lumix DMC-G3
80 ms
D5100
114 ms
EOS M
51 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Lumix DMC-G3
1,400 ms
EOS M
2,700 ms
D5100
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-G3
4 fps
Lumix DMC-G5
20 fps
Lumix DMC-GH4
12 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3


7.5
This is consistent with our previous experience that has shown you can expect to recover up to 1EV of additional highlight detail but without any guarantee of color accuracy.

10.0
5.6. Now that Micro Four Thirds is more established as a system, there are a wider range of lenses on offer including an ultra-wide-angle and a macro lens.

7.7
If you're looking for a camera that's not quite as big as a dSLR but doesn't skimp on hardware controls or features like an articulated LCD, EVF and stereo full HD video, the G3 is one of my favorite options.

Overall

8.5 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

Optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lens, rather than being built-in to the camera body, although the 14-42mm lens lacks the physical OIS switch of the 14-45mm lens.
by Photography Blog (May, 2011)
The supplied 14-42mm optic is small and very light, the 20mm pancake lens has to be seen to be believed, and the 45-200mm is also pretty amazing when you consider that it offers an effective focal length of 90-400mm in 35mm terms.
by Photography Blog (May, 2011)
Combined with the smaller size of the body itself, you may find that larger, heavier zoom lenses in the Panasonic lineup can become a bit more awkward for handheld use in terms of overall balance and weight.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)

Screen

I'm also a big fan of the bright, sharp articulated touch-screen LCD.
by c|net (Jun, 2011)
In addition to its small size, the Panasonic G3 features a brand new 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor with 15.8 effective megapixels, the so-called Light Speed Auto Focus System that delivers a 0.18 focus speed with the 14-42mm lens, and a 3 inch articulated LCD that provides touch-based functions like Touch AF/AE and Touch Shutter.
by Photography Blog (May, 2011)
As I've mentioned with previous Panasonic models, the touch-screen user interface works for two reasons: because the big virtual buttons are easy to hit precisely and the screen is sufficiently responsive.
by c|net (Jun, 2011)

Sensor

And the cumulative exposure value is set by the camera, regardless of the exact combination of shutter speed, ISO and aperture that appear on the screen before you start recording.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
At ISOs above 1600, the default combination of noise suppression and JPEG compression necessitate the use of Raw files to achieve results even remotely close to the sensor's capabilities.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
To fully realise the color accuracy and resolution of which this camera is capable, you really do need to shoot in raw mode.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)

Focus

Beyond this, the bulk of the G3's new features are incremental improvements - there's a picture-in-picture manual focus magnification option so that you can focus while still viewing the overall composition, and a Pinpoint AF mode that combines a small AF area with a zoomed preview for precise focusing.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
That AF system drives the sensor at 120 frames per second to more quickly iterate down through the contrast autofocus decisionmaking process.
by c|net (Jun, 2011)
When used in full auto mode, the G3's autofocus and metering system do an admirable job under a wide range of conditions of producing a pleasing image.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)

Viewfinder

Of course you always have the option of using the electronic viewfinder.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
Admittedly this is a non-issue for those who prefer to use either the EVF or the rear screen exclusively.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)
When you're ready to start shooting again, lightly pressing the shutter button exits playback mode and switches automatically to the viewfinder.
by DPReview (Jul, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 15.8 MP
Resolution 4592 x 3448
Size Four Thirds
Area 17.3 x 13 mm
Crop factor 2.1x
Pixel size 14.2 microns
Light sensitivity 160 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 23
Cross type focus points 0
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 115 x 84 x 47 mm
Thickness 47 mm
Weight 336 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images Yes
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous Yes

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen Yes
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Electronic

performance

Max continuous shooting 4 fps
Battery life 270 photos
Continuous shooting
  1. 20 fps, JPEG
  2. 4 fps, JPEG
  3. 3 fps, JPEG
  4. 2 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 293 ms
Shutter lag 80 ms
Startup delay 1,400 ms
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