Panasonic announces a new Micro Four Thirds camera – the G3 – looks very exciting indeed!

Written by Gary on May 12th, 2011

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!


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