Panasonic have been very busy indeed given the recent disaster in Japan and have just announced an upgrade to the Panasonic G2 incorporating some of the features of the GH-2 but making the body even smaller than the G2.
The GH-2 is the current mirrorless camera dream machine, but it is a touch expensive at the moment – the G3 may be the answer for those who want the AF speed but can’t afford a GH-2.
The Panasonic G3 essentially will have most of the features of the G2 but in a smaller body and with the following features of the GH-2 added:
- faster AF “Lightspeed AF” – has double the Live MOS Sensor drives speed (120fps) compared with G2 and gives AF time of 0.1sec with 14-140mm lens
- improved manual focus live view over the G2 with option of picture-in-picture magnified view mode
- improved EVF with twice the refresh rate
- more user friendly touch screen LCD
- 4fps burst rate with 20fps at 4mp (although GH-2 gives 5fps and 40fps at 4mp)
- 16mp sensor with improved noise suppression and ISO to 6400
- 1920x1080i HD video
- iA Plus expsoure modes
- Touch-screen-slider-enabled background defocusing.
- Touch-enabled exposure control compensation.
- Touch-screen-slider-enabled white balance
- stereo mics
So what do you miss out on compared to the GH-2?
- the over-sized multi-aspect sensor
- slower burst 4fps instead of 5fps
- slower electronic shutter burst 20fps at 4mp instead of 40fps
- fastest electronic shutter speed in movie mode is 1/6000th sec instead of 1/16,000th sec
- ISO 6400 max not 12,800
- 1080i 60fps derived from 30fps HD video mode giving 17mbps quality instead of 1080p 24fps 23Mbps quality and 1080i 60fps
- no AF-S/AF-C/MF switch on top panel
- no drive/self-timer switch on top panel
- no rear AF lock button (presumably you will have to do with the Fn1 button)
- no external mic socket
- bulb to 2 minutes not 4 minutes
- 60g lighter and smaller
- slightly less powerful battery (1010mAh instead of 1200mAh)
What do you miss out on compared to the G2?
- smaller body, including smaller grip (more like the GF-2) – but this may be welcomed by many
- no eye sensor for viewfinder – you have to manually switch between EVF and LCD
What do you get that is not on a GH2?
- pinpoint AF mode
- subject tracking AF in HD video
For many photographers, the cost-benefits of the G3 may just be what is needed to fit the bill.
Now, if only Olympus can make one like this with built-in IS, flash sync of 1/300th sec (please!!!), better flash compatibility with legacy lenses and remote TTL flash!