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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 16 MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Touch Screen LCD (Body Only)
- 16-megapixel compact mirrorless system; Micro Four Thirds format camera
- Body only; lenses sold separately
- 3.0-inch free-angle LCD with touch control; new Pinpoint AF feature
- 1080/60i HD video capability in AVCHD format; Venus Engine FHD enables Intelligent Resolution technology
- Intelligent Auto and Intelligent Auto Plus (iA, iA+); more burst shooting options; new Photo Style Mode
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|Auto Focus Technology||Contrast AF system|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||4 fps|
|Display Size||0.12 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||16 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||160|
|External Memory Included||No|
|Flash Memory Type||SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Item Dimensions||5.72 x 6.31 x 7.56 inches|
|Item Weight||0.74 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||1,010 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
|Lithium Battery Weight||44 grams|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||16 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||MOS|
|Shipping Weight||2.1 pounds|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080 x 720|
|Viewfinder Type||electronic viewfinder|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
From the Manufacturer
Panasonic's LUMIX DMC-G3 offers the benefits of a DSLR interchangeable lens system camera with a point-and-shoot camera's compactness, light weight and simplicity. This reduction in size and weight is thanks to advancements in mirror-free viewfinder technology, and large DSLR format sensors that are more compatible with a new class of compact Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lenses. This new class of Compact System Cameras (CSC) offers a weight and compactness not seen in traditional DSLRs, for greater portability and creative control. The DMC-G3 image resolution has been upgraded to 16.0-megapixels from its predecessor, the DMC-G2.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Highlights
The DMC-G3 provides a traditional DSLR-like experience with an external Mode dial for quick access to common modes like Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual. Additional dial settings include two Custom Modes, Scene Modes and the new Creative Control Mode. The DMC-G3 provides a dedicated video button that can be used to switch to video capture quickly without changing modes. Like most DSLRs, the DMC-G3 provides a built-in flash and hotshoe for connecting optional LUMIX flashes.
Available Scene Modes: Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Peripheral Defocus, Flower, Food, Objects, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Baby, Pet, Party and Sunset, which can all be controlled from the intuitive touch-enabled LCD.
Lens Options and 3D Capture
LUMIX G Series Compact System Cameras utilize the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System mount. MFT offers greater size and weight reduction in the lens without compromising lens performance and clarity. The LUMIX G MFT System offers a selection of 11 high performance fixed focal length and variable aperture G Vario zooms, including a highly versatile 3D lens capable of capturing both 2D and 3D images at the same time. There are lens adaptors available for mounting older Leica M and Leica R lenses, including older LUMIX full Four Thirds lenses. An innovative 14-140mm HD G Vario lens provides the best of video and still-image shooting with a long 10x range and near silent high-speed focusing. When connected to the DMC-G3, ultra fast focusing and auto subject track AF can be achieved.
Many Lumix MFT lenses come with MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) built-in. This feature helps prevent blurring from hand-shake. Working together with the cameras intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motions blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves, you're sure to capture images that are sharp.
Dust Reduction System
As with many interchangeable lens cameras, dust on the sensor reduces image clarity. To eliminate this potential, The DMC-G3 uses a Dust Reduction System that uses a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 time per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.
At the heart of the DMC-G3's improved functionality is a movable 3.0-inch LCD (460k- dot) that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customized using simple drag-and-drop actions like those on most touch-enabled cell phones. This allows for a custom user interface, giving Quick Menu access to functions that can be tailored to any user's expertise level. Even the shutter can be triggered from the touch-enabled LCD by simply touching the subject you want focused and captured. Using the touch-screen operation, a user can lock onto a subject, enabling AF Tracking in both still and video modes. When you're ready to shoot, the subject will be in focus and ready to capture.
For many, a traditional eyelevel viewfinder is still a must have. The DMC-G3 meets this demand with an eye-level electronic viewfinder that projects a high resolution 1.44m-dot image with 100% field of view (800x600, 0.7x magnification). Color breakup has been improved vs. the DMC-G2, resulting in smooth image viewing while panning.
HD Video Capture
The LUMIX DMC-G3 also shoots 1080/60i High Definition video using the AVCHD format (sensor output 30p). It offers a built-in stereo microphone and is available with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. Advanced video sound controls include a wind-cut function that further enhances the sound as it helps reduce noise caused by background wind, and an L/R audio meter display for controlling audio levels. Captured video can be played back in High Definition via an optional HDMI mini cable directly to an HD-compatible TV, or easily played directly on Panasonic VIERA TV via the SD card. New near silent focusing features offered in several Lumix Micro Four Thirds lenses helps keep lens noise at bay while the touch-enabled LCD allows you to automatically keep active subjects in focus with touch-enabled subject AF Tracking.
Faster, Accurate Pinpoint Focusing
Contrast Detection Auto Focus technology used in point-and-shoot and new mirrorless Compact System Cameras now approaches the speeds that were once only available from traditional professional-level DSLRs. The DMC-G3 now offers Light Speed Auto Focus (14-140mm ~0.1 sec. 14-42mm ~0.18 sec., 45-200mm ~0.15 sec.). LUMIX Light Speed AF locks onto a subject quickly so you won't suffer from "shutter lag" frustration. Contrast Auto Focusing also offers greater shot accuracy due to fewer hardware components needed vs traditional DSLR phase difference systems, thus fewer pictures will suffer from system focusing errors. (e.g. the accuracy of Contrast AF is approx. 90% while Phase Difference AF is approx. 60% at F1.4).
The DMC-G3 now offers a larger LCD touch focus area vs. the DMC-G2. Now touch focus can be enabled from any part of the image as seen on the LCD. Unlike traditional DSLRs that limit the number and position of focus points, the DMC-G3 uses the entire image sensor and can even fine-tune focus with a new fine-tuning Pinpoint AF feature. When Pinpoint AF is enabled, the image is enlarged, allowing for pixel-level setting of the focus area desired. Once set, the DMC-G3 will use this fine-tuned focus point to produce a sharp, detailed image.
More Burst Shooting Options
Rapid burst control at various rates and resolutions. Capture full-resolution 16-megapixel images at up to 4 frames per second with mechanical shutter enabled, or an even faster 20 frames per second using the electronic shutter feature at a reduced resolution of 4- megapixels.
Intelligent Auto and Intelligent Auto Plus (iA, iA+)
The DMC-G3 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably in both photo and video recording modes with iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus. In the new iA Plus mode, the defocusing area, exposure control, and white balance can be adjusted for scenes where a slight manual adjustment may produce a more desired result.
Color and Effects
Using the new Photo Style Mode, popular color effects can be achieved. These settings can be further enhanced with fine-tuning of Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation and Noise Reduction. Color effects include: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait and Custom.
With the new Creative Control Mode, accessed from the Mode dial at the top of the camera, an expressive look to the image can be achieved without the need for complicated post-processing software. Common effects can be achieved via the touch-control menu as a pre-setting in an easy-to-understand "what you see is what you get" experience. Effects include: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, and High Dynamic.
Venus Engine FHD
The new Venus Engine FHD offers vastly improved compensation for electronic noise under low light and shadows where higher ISOs typically add grain to the image. Circuitry on the new 16-megapixel sensor further reduces low-noise signal problems at the pixel level and at the amplifier circuit level. As a result, higher ISOs with much lower noise can be achieved. This means faster action-stopping shutter speeds in low light, and a maximum achievable ISO of 6400.
The noise level of the DMC-G3 offer significant reductions in electronic noise vs. prior models. Noise is significantly suppressed by more than 66%. Notably in shooting at high ISO setting, S/N value is improved by approximately 200% compared with the conventional 12.1-megapixel sensor. The sensor performance improves by 6db at ISO 3200 and max. 9db at ISO 6400.
The new Venus Engine FHD uses new Intelligent Resolution technology to sharpen edge detail without softening fine details. In addition to maximizing edge and fine detail, the Venus Engine offers Intelligent D-Range Control. Intelligent D-Range Control enables maximum capture of the image's full range of brightness, without blown-out highlights and mudding shadows.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Compact System Cameras, Lenses
Top Customer Reviews
I am a photographer who uses a Canon 5D2 DSLR with the Canon 24-70mm L lens as my every-day setup. It yields superb images for this format.
But, after years of using this combo, you start to feel weighed down ... I needed an alternative to "shlepping" this setup when going on a casual hike or family outing. I ALSO wanted a backup to the Canon 5D2 for those photo trips/assignments where the Canon setup might become inoperative ... sure, I could get another 5D2 body and get weighed down even MORE ... no thanks.
My solution, at this time, is the Panasonic Lumix G3. For now I use it with the 14-140mm Panny OIS zoom lens (I don't particularly like the kit lens that comes with the camera). I also particularly like the Panny 20mm f/1.7 lens which is tiny. The G3 is NO Canon 5D2, BUT it is very convenient and the images are very good compared to what most lightweight cameras can do. It took me awhile to be confident enough to trust this camera for images that I care about capturing, but it does a pretty good job considering the relatively low price of admission.
YES, there may be better small cameras coming out (usually you're obsolete in 4 months after your purchase of a small camera).
The Sony NEX-7 looks promising. If it lives up to its promise, it will probably edge out the G3 in image quality, BUT at twice the price.
The inexpensive G3 fills a niche for me: as a fun camera which I have confidence in and as a backup for my DSLR. The 4 stars represents the combination of G3 value and performance for me at this point in time. And lets not forget the G3's "fun" factor.Read more ›
If you have looked on with dismay as Panasonic abandoned the enthusiast small M4/3 and instead chases a smaller and smaller and dumber and dumber form factor with the GF line, then you now have a reason to be happy. It appears Panasonic is positioning the G3 as the successor to the GF1. They might not know that but that is how I view it. Viewed as a replacement to the G2, the G3 is a bit of a let down. Much the way the GF2 was compared to the GF1. However, the G3 is a great replacement to the GF1. It is a little bigger but not that much. The physical controls are the same but now there is touch screen controls and to make up for many of the missing physical controls there are the C1 and C2 modes on the mode selector. a Before continuing something that very few people seem to understand with these camera systems is the lens, not the camera body, determines how big the camera is. I will use extremes to illustrate the point. Put a 14mm f/2.5 on a GH2 and it seems very small. You can't put it in a shirt pocket but it will fit inside a jacket pocket. Also, you can get it in a very small carry case. It is so small and light I use a wrist strap and not a neck strap. Put a 100-300mm on a GF3 and it is going to be huge and because of the form factor really unusable.
The first thing to note about the G3 is the price is $699. That is $100 cheaper than the G1 or G2 at launch and $200 cheaper than the GF1. In addition to being $200 cheaper than the GF1, the G3 has a built in EVF (would have been nicer rangefinder style) and a swivel screen.
Another nice change from the G2 and the GF line is the new sensor.Read more ›
I actually prefer the handling of my G1 to this G3. The G1 has a little bit bigger bump on the right side and the surface is a nice grippy rubber. This camera is much smaller and made of slippery enameled metal. They also stripped off some of the hardware controls from the G1 -- you have to do more with menus in the G3, which is a pity.
But everything else that I love about the G1 is there in the G3. The picture resolution is remarkable -- comparable to a Canon T2i/T3i, which is to say it captures as much detail as you're going to get short of lugging around a $3,000 full frame DSLR. (a good place to see this in action is the Imaging Resources Comparometer -- just google it and try it out. The G3's resolution is better, somehow, than the average consumer DSLR.)
The Panny lenses are expensive but almost without exception terrific. The 14-45 (which shipped with the G1 and can be bought separately; much better than the 14-42 that ships with the G3 kit) is just a wonderful walking around lens, small, versatile and razor sharp.
The downside of the G1 is speed in medium and low light. So it wouldn't be your best camera for sports indoors or on a cloudy day. The G3's low light performance is so much improved it may have closed that gap, but you do your own research on that point -- I don't shoot sports or a lot of birthday parties.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted a camera that would take great low light, non-flash pictures. I'm a historian, and I spend a lot of time in libraries, museums, etc. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Trying to Survive NJ
What I am not going to do, that a lot of people do, is to compare this to a Nikon or Canon SLR.
What this camera is, is not one of those. Read more
This is the second G-3 I have bought because I do not want to switch lenses. Excellent, lightweight and compact. Very good viewfinder. Read morePublished 13 months ago by R. Nicholls
I was hesitant buying a reconditioned body but thought that if anything was wrong I could easily send it back to Amazon. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I bought a used G3 camera from Amazon for about $230 USD and I am amazed.
Compared to a 1/2. Read more
I got this camera on a SUPER sale and it was the only one in stock. This camera takes beautiful pictures and that fact that's micro four thirds and I can use the lens from this... Read morePublished 17 months ago by DeAndre B.
Can't believe how much I enjoy this camera! With one of Lumix's better lenses, the results are simply outstanding.
I bought another G3 after the price dropped to $249 when the G5 was introduced to have as a second body. Great quality at a great price. Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by High Standards
I bought this for a very good price the beginning of 2013, after the G5 came out. My only other micro four thirds camera is an E-PL1, which I had bought refurbished to see if I... Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Stephen Spitzer