Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 is a 16.0 megapixel, mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC). Like other MILC cameras the DMC-G3 offers the user DSLR-like quality in a smaller, more compact body.
Built around Panasonic's new 16.0 megapixel, four thirds image sensor the G3 can capture up to 4 frames per second at the highest resolution or up to 20 frames per second at a reduced resolution of 4 megapixels.
Also able to capture both 16.0 megapixel images and 1920x1080 HD video, this Panasonic camera is a versatile and compact camera suitable for amateur and professional photographers alike.
Capturing video with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 is easy using the dedicated video button that allows you to start recording HD video without switching the control mode dial to a different mode. This allows you to quickly switch from still images to video with the touch of a button.
Unlike some MILC or"Four-thirds" cameras Panasonic has wisely included an electronic viewfinder that will appeal to many photographers. The viewfinder provides 100% field of view viewing and will certainly make this camera appealing for DSLR owners who might be in the market for a smaller more compact camera.
The fast 23 point auto focus system on the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 features Panasonics “Pinpoint AF” which allows the photographer very precise control over the focus point.
The “Pinpoint AF” coupled with the 3-inch touch control LCD screen allows the photographer to quickly and easily set the focal point by simply touching the point on the LCD display. Coupled with Panasonic’s “Lightspeed AF” detection system the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 provides quick and controllable autofocus capabilities.
The Panasonic LUMIX G3 accepts Micro Four Thirds System lenses. Panasonic currently has 11 lenses available in its LUMIX MFT mounting system. These include a variety of lens types including; macro lenses, wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses and even a 3D lens. Available lens adaptors also will allow you to use an older Leica M and R lenses as well as prior LUMIX four thirds lenses. Without any in-body image stabilization you do need to purchase image stabilized lenses in order to have that important function.
Powered by a rechargeable battery that is rated at 270 photos the LUMIX G3 is scheduled to be released in June 2011. It will be available with a 14-42mm lens and have a suggested list price of $699. The camera will be available in a variety of colors.
Other Key features of the camera include:
- A Control Mode Dial that gives quick access to the many different camera modes including: program mode, shutter priority mode, aperture priority mode, manual mode, two custom modes, scene modes and a creative control mode.
- A 3-inch touch control LCD display that is articulated allowing you to rotate it by 180 degrees or tilt it by up to 270 degrees. The touch control feature of the camera makes it easy to review your images or navigate the menu system.
- Panasonic’s new ‘iA Plus” intelligent scene selection mode. Like other intelligent scene selection modes this mode allows the LUMIX G3 to adjust the cameras scene mode according to changing conditions. In this mode the user can quickly use the touch control LCD display to make adjustments for background defocusing, exposure compensation and while balance. This gives the photographer fast and easy control over key camera controls.
The bottom line…
With its new 16.0 megapixel image sensor, electronic viewfinder and touch control LCD display the Panasonic LUMIX G3 packs a lot of impressive features in a small size.
The inclusion of an electronic viewfinder in a four thirds or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is a great feature. Adding to that the “Pinpoint AF”, “IA Plus” intelligent scene mode and the ability to select the focal point of the picture via the touch screen LCD display and you have a camera with an impressive set of features at an affordable price.
One drawback of the smaller sized body is that it comes with a smaller battery as well. Rated at only 270 pictures per charge the G3’s battery life will require many photographers to invest in a second battery in order to make it through a full day of shooting.
With an ISO range between 160 and 6,400 the G3 does not have the ISO range of many DSLR’s but Panasonic does a good job of controlling the digital noise at higher ISO settings.
The compact size of four thirds cameras coupled with the near DSLR image quality make these types of cameras very popular. The LUMIX G3 is a welcome addition to this popular camera format.