(FT5) Panasonic G3 with a complete new design (new sensor and FullHD)


We just learned that Panasonic is going to introduce a completely new designed G3 camera. The new body looks different than the current G1/G2 cameras. But it will not have a “rangefinder look” like the famous DMC-LC1. One of our sources told us that the new body form is very close to the Samsung NX10. We received rumors saying that Panasonic wasn’t happy with the Panasonic G10 and Panasonic G2 sales. That’s why they anticipated the release of a new G camera having new specs and new design. As you know the G10 has been discontinued and the G2 price is decreasing.

The new sensor is the same that will be used by future Olympus cameras. We have no reliable info yet but we received rumors about a new 14-15 megapixel sensor from unknown sources. What’s certain is that the G3 can take FullHD videos (but not at 24mbit/s like the new GH2).

Stay tuned on 43rumors! I hope to receive some detailled spec as soon as possible. Thanks!

Links to the Panasonic DMC-LC1 on eBay or Amazon.
Links to the Samsung NX10 on eBay or Amazon.
The discontinued G10 at Bhphoto.

Reminder: Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

  • Henrik

    Interesting that you say that it will use the same as the future Olympus models (and by that I also read the pro model from Olympus). I wonder if this sensor is “worse” than the GH2 one or better? Maybe the GH2 has a better sensor for video and less good for stills compared to this new sensor?

    This should mean that Panasonic isnt giving Olympus the GH2 sensor to play with for thier Pro model? Lets hope this new G3 sensor is still good then.

    • bilgy_no1

      I guess it will be like the 12MP G1 sensor vs. the 14MP multi-aspect GH1 sensor. We now have the 18MP multi-aspect GH2 sensor and the new one will be something like a 14MP fixed aspect sensor. Note that the GH2 is 16MP in 4:3, so if the new sensor has 14MP, it will still have bigger pixels.

  • awestruckinfalian

    Sigh… Why does it have a pocket-tangling pentaprism box when it doesn’t have a mirror?????

    • tgutgu

      The “pentaprism” design is like to be smaller than a rangefinder design with a view finder of similar size and quality. The VF needs to be places above the LCD. With the “hump” design the left and righ shoulder are smaller, in a rangefinder design the top is level. Thus, the current “hump” shape is effectively better and leaves room for top plate controls.

      I have no idea, what is so terrible with the current G1 design. The difference to the NX cameras is that the body is thinner and a bit more fluently shaped. I guees this is what Panasonic is after.

      • Eric

        “I have no idea, what is so terrible with the current G1 design”

        This is all subjective of course, but to me the G1/G2 looks like they were designed more for women then for men. Which is fine, but I’ve never had any real interest in them due to that. The chrome accent + smooth finish is just not something that appeals to me. Looks it took styling cues from the P&S world instead of the SLR/range-finder world.

        At first I didn’t like the NX10 either, but it looks much better in person than it does in photos. Plus, it feels very nice when you hold it. I think Panasonic would be wise to flatten the G cameras out a bit. Perhaps use a larger version of the grip on the LX5.

    • The EVF isn’t exactly tiny. It needs a space to fit on the body.

  • I sincerely hope that the new sensor stays at 12MP. There is much to improve before popping to 14-15 and the E-5 seems to indicate that detail rendition is limited by the optics, not by the sensor. What I’d like is some more DR and perhaps cleaner shadows.

    • shutterwill

      Move slow but solid move is better then always trying to get ahead.

  • Agent00soul

    Hmm… but the NX10 was a copy of the G1 styling, wasn’t it? So how much different will it be then?

  • grzybu

    Maybe it means bit slimmer body, not as thick as G1? And sensor optimized more towards photo than video? GF2 video quality with stereo mic will be enough for family movies. If sensor will have better DR and maybe even bit less noise than GH2 (less MP) it could be better choice for photographers than hybrid GH2.

  • oh no! why use yesterday capability and not 24Mpbs or above while you already owned it. Like 60D FHD@ 5Mpbps :D Sony new compact has 28Mbps! look like not a good hope for G3 for video filming and still still unknown.

    thank admin for new rumor!

    • J3PP3

      With that it will simply kill the GH-X. If Panasonic is going to annouce another HD-EVIL it will be the GH3. Like the post says, they need a camera that can disquinsh it from the rest of the G-serie, (GF and GH), hile the GF remains as a campact M4/3 and GH as a HD-EVIL. As you can tell, there aren’t many rooms left inbetween. That’s why i think G3 will be like the E5, kick-ass still and ok video (in E-5 case, the video was totaly out of league though…)

  • Actually G3 is compete to rivals which model?…

    • No competition, as no other manufacturers make mirrorless camera with ultra-fast AF and touchsreen at this time.

      • you are right! :D A55 (mirrorless, uf-AF) Nex (mirrorless, touch screen) but expect history will change as CP+ is getting close :D

  • ??

    Looks like old-fashioned dslr => not interested.

  • Boris

    So many people moaning, what if the new sensor would be better than the one in GH2!

    It’s like expecting to find that the engine in (you can put here any brand) is better that the one in the latest Lamborghini.

    Sorry, I doubt it, unless they at Panasonic want to shoot at both legs.

    Let’s see if my gut feeling is wrong. :-)

    • I don’t think Pana intentionally would make a weak sensor at the time the competition already has better ones. It’s nonsense.

  • George

    First of all Pana needs to make available their current cams. I owned a G1 bought G2 returned it preordered GH2 4 months ago. They announced it mid September and I waited till 15Jani this is 4 months FFS!!!!! then i canceled my preorder and bought a canon60d. I still want a m43 but i am not going to wait for another unknown stock time

    • haha 60D user :) i am actually hold my tempting 60D since rumors spread strong in Q4 2010 until now :D

    • Mr. Reeee

      I could order and buy one sight unseen, but I really want to handle one first. It’s easy for me to drop into B&H or Adorama to try, but neither has had one in their showrooms!

      These are rumors after all, so there’s no real point getting worked up over them until real announcements are made.

  • Panasonic had said that the GH2 would be available, here in Europe, from the end of November. I received mine 2 weeks later. As long as you have a camera, why not wait until you can get the camera you want?

    As to the G3, I fully expected a new and slimmer body design. Panasonic stated that they wanted to differentiate the high-end GH line from the mid-range G cameras. It’s also unlikely that the new, lower positioned G3 will have better image quality when shooting stills. Maybe the same, but likely not better. So I agree with Boris.

  • compositor20

    well it could have less detail since its 14mp but be equal at high iso since i believe it will be a backlight CMOS so it should improve the usable iso from 1600 to 3200 just like the one in gh-2

    dynamic range is whhat kills iso 6400 and the noise in the blue channel so if they are addressed they could perform very well at that iso with lightroom 3

    oh and lets hope they kill the green/yellow blotches that are the trademark of panasonic high iso images

  • Miroslav

    Good choice of shape. I was very surprised when I saw NX10 in a shop, it looks much smaller than it actually is. I expected Olympus to adopt such shape for its “pro” models, NX10/5/11 look a bit like E-4xx series.

  • TR

    Makes sense to slim down the G series – something to stop it being a budget GH series. Why is everyone so sure that Olympus pro will have slr styling? Why not rangefinder styling? Wouldn’t they want something to separate it from E5?

    • I’d be surprised to see an SLR-like Olympus m4/3 camera. A flat, clean design with a left hand side VF would make more sense.

      • Greg

        Yes. With beautiful materials. Fast AF. No nonsense knobs and buttons. Hard and light enough to be used single-handedly in street close-combat :D

        • Hmmm…
          As I see it, it would have to be on the heavy side to accommodate those nice 4/3 zooms. As you said, beautiful materials.

      • Chris

        Whatever happened to those rumors of an OM4-based camera? Perhaps that’ll be one of the new pro-spec m43 cameras?

  • Max

    Will we see it during CP+?

  • uth

    they need a classic design, if they care about number of sales….

    only GH model is enough for DSLR design…

    GF for modern design and another new series for classic or rangefinder…

  • safaridon

    This is what I had assumed would be a new attractive smaller thinner body. Maybe not the L1 style with EVF raised in the middle but maybe close. The primary difference in my projection would be replacing the ugly front grip with a thinner but not necessarily better one like that used by the NX10 and a thinner body but shape be able to use existing G2 innards with minimal changes. Hope they retained the swivel screen but maybe not to lower the cost and differentiate from GH2 more for video. I can already see the 20/1.7 as one of the kit std lens on this camera as well as a new smaller zoom to match its size.

    If you look at the tops of the NX10 and E420 cameras you will see the grips and style are much alike and not much different or modifications of the L1 style so I frankly wouldn’t be too suprised to see the new Oly m4/3 using a similar approach for a model which would replace their Exxx series?

    If this is the only new m4/3 coming this spring from Pany then I would bet it is patterned after the L1 look except for raised EVF in middle with Pany hoping to attract both GF1 upgraders and potential DSLR buyers. I think both Pany & Oly found not practical to get medium size EVF into a rangefinder body. Also plastic body is much cheaper to produce than a metal rangefinder one so to keep the price down another reason. If not then I believe there will also be a new GF3 model with this new sensor, possible new rangefinder body and new smaller higher resolution EVF I hope?

    Maybe just another management mistake in not going for the rangefinder model even if they say is and will be the most popular? Rather than improve on and expand the very popular small rangefinder models instead management wasting resources trying to compete in other areas where they have been less successful? Bad strategy as Oly found with their 43 Exxx series.

  • shutterwill

    I seriously think panasonic should cure the shortage of the GH2 b4 whining about the sales of the Gs.

    If all ppl want is an entry level GF and a highend GH, so maybe you should cut both or either of the Gs.

  • GF pocketable; GH perform nice still & video;

    GF — G — GH is this correct? I still not able to figure out the G series for what purpose…

    • shutterwill

      that’s what I think too.
      G is in a very embarrassing position.

  • I mean if low end abit from GH2, we have GH1; if G3 to be lower than GH2, then a GH1.3 could serve the purpose :D

  • Tom Blue

    I won’t get a m4/3 product until it matches the styling I’ve been craving (LC-1 type body) or the features (internal viewfinder + AF lamp)…sigh… I REALLY don’t want to HAVE to get the x100 or forth coming Nikon mirrorless, but if Panasonic and Olympus don’t deliver… it’s the only choice…

    Something GOOD must be coming by Nikon and Fuji because Panalympus are cranking out the bodies one-after-another… maybe fearing they wont be able to move the stock after the Fuji/Nikon launch…

    • Jay Gloab

      The G(H) series has an integrated viewfinder and AF lamp.

  • G3>GH2,and this autumn comes GH3.
    Shorter cycles = ahead of competition.
    Btw its better for them to sell a new camera instead of updating it’s firmware because firmware brings no income.

    • G3>GH2? invalid, it doesnt have 24Mbps. (degraded feature…)

      D90 now is still sell like a hotcake at my place. and that price = 60D which is a 2010 model from canon.

      Hope to see the Pro -highest mirrorless camera in 43/apsc will probably end of this short cycle camera.

    • Steve

      “Btw its better for them to sell a new camera instead of updating it’s firmware because firmware brings no income.”

      Not to mention they don’t have to worry about hacks if they don’t release any firmware updates.

    • And the market is not so good in boycotting or protesting with sales number to the shorter and shorter product cycle.
      Happens in the mobile phones, let’s assume consumer cameramen are not much different.

  • spriggers

    No way they have anything better in this camera compared to the GH2 except maybe size. Despite the big hype for video on the forums, most consumers don’t know that it’s that good on the GH2. Panasonic still want to market the GH2 first and foremost as a photographers tool. The G3 will have a sensor that is clearly a step down from the GH2. It’s too bad though. I’m not that impressed with the GH2 image quality compared to say the Nex 3/5. All they seemed to do is change the noise reduction algorithm to something more aggressive and tweak the ISO values.

  • BBernhardt

    I beleive it will take a more aesthetic aproach. Appealing to people who like the look of a camera and buy it. The G and GH are exactly sexy, like a ep1 of gf2.
    Lets hope they put in some quality features aswell. I feel a little robbed that panasonic have no in camera HDR or ability to stitch landscape pics together. The oly art filters are nice too. Cant have everything in 1 camera I suppose =)

    • BBernhardt

      I mean G and GH aren’t as sexy as a EP1 or GF2…

  • Finally a design change for the Gx series. I’m excited to see it. I think they can keep much of the faux dslr body the same, just make it slimmer and with a smaller hand grip. Some angle of the G/GH series cameras with the pancake lenses look ridiculous because the hand grip seems to extend further than (or just as far as) the lens itself.

    • safaridon

      I agree a body change is long overdue for a more attractive look. Maybe it will look a little more like NX10 than LC1 because they need to keep controls about the same as G2 to fit in body for economic production reasons. I believe the 20/1.7 will be one of the kit lens choices to show off more compact thinner body. I only hope that ADMIN will post some sketches or photos of what the G3 will look like soon even if preliminary.

      I see no reason why this new G3 model should not be everybit as capable as the GH2 other than new sensor not designed for multi-aspect. Also Pany for some unknown reason has held back production of GH2 not even beginning to supply in US even though sales in Japan not high while sales of G2 have been reasonably good in Japan. One could guess maybe sensor production problems but then new sensor producting plant was operational over a year ago? So my thinking Pany would rather be producing a GH2x using this new body style instead rather than having two different bodies the GH2 being much less attractive with its big bump leaving the future Pro model to be for the LC1 style rangefinder body with global electronic shutter.

  • I do hope they don’t remove the wheels or function buttons for a touch screen based interface…

    • safaridon

      Why wouldn’t they retain the wheels, function button, and touch screen from the G2 and GH2? You can be sure the touch screen will remain for sure but may be stationary.

      However it is possible that Pany might in the future build a very small ILS with small EVF in middle using the new GF2 body! However I don’t think it is this one or it would not be named a “G” model but not entirely out of the picture that the GF3 could be such a model yet to come?

    • Voldenuit

      I hope they move the wheel to the top of the body so you don’t have to take your thumb off the thumbrest (and lose your grip on the bloody camera) just to use the goddamn input wheel.

      But they won’t.

  • I can see the sense in Panasonic moving the G2 line to a different form factor … you can’t help but think twice when looking at a GH2 and consider the G2 instead? Considerably cheaper (and available).

    GF2 – a dumbed down GF2 in terms of handling, its gone more compact camera like
    G?# – a GF1 meets G2 in terms of size (something like an NX)
    GH2 – top of the line, best chip, best video la la la

    • .., and you could see Oly do something similar, since they’ve dumped the E-400/500/600 series:

      E-PL2 – entry
      E-P?# – a higher spec camera to follow, perhaps change the E-P2 form factor
      E-P?# – a GH2/E-30 mashup

      E-5 … looks awful lonely being the only camera to take big 43 lenses huh!

      • 43photo

        The e5 might be lonely but it seems that the E5 IQ is the best of any 4/3rds (also m4/3) camera today.
        GH2 the best 4/3 film camera, the E5 the best photo camera.

        • Jonathan

          The E-5’s raw files are the same as the Pens and Panasonic G’s. The next generation m43 should outperform it.

      • Mr. Reeee

        The downside to the E5 is it’s sheer size and weight! It’s the same as a Nikon D7000! No thanks!

        I was at B&H comparing various cameras today… they even had a GH2 on display, with NO availability schedule!

        The only thing Olympus has over Panasonic is their detatchable EVF, which is on par with the GH2’s EVF.

        • and Olympus has image stabiliser

          • pdc

            IBIS is inferior to in-lens stabilization. Ask Nikon.

          • Zaph

            It’s not superior with a lens that doesn’t have OIS. :)

  • could G3 have better image quality for stills then the GH2 16mp?

  • Stills are the Olympus Domain – until now video the strong point of Panasonic.
    Perhaps there is happening some kind of convergence soon?

  • article about panasonic g3 has a samsung camera as picture… :D

    • as example as the rumor said its ‘like’ nx.

  • Nick

    To the marketing people at Panasonic. The G2 is not selling because the camera offers very little over the G1. The G2 added touchscreen (big deal) interface and movie capability (which may or may not be important to some). But, worst of all, you cheapened the kit lens! Here’s what I would do if I was in charge. 1) use a very low noise multi-aspect ratio sensor and bring back the 14-45mm kit lens. You must improve IQ significantly or the camera is as good as dead! 2) Use the same or better EVF as the G1/G2 3) Improve the ergomonics by reducing the number of buttons (do not remove the dials!) and make those buttons larger and more separated from each other and the thumb grip. Many people with larger hands hit buttons by accident resulting in unintended changes. I really do not think the camera should be any smaller than it is. 4) improve the AF speed by using the same focusing algorithms as the GH2. 4) give us raw shooter an option to display a “raw” histogram rather than one based on the developed jpeg. 5) improve the jpeg development

    I would love to see a more robust weather-sealed design, but most of your customers may not be willing to pay for it.

  • Mark

    Well I have a G2 and I have been very impressed with the still image quality. If the G3 improves on the quality, keeps the aspect ratio option available, and has a attractive price then I will consider it.


  • Dave_in_MI

    Personally, I like the look of the GH2 and hope the GHx series keeps the mini-DSLR look.

    I do wonder if they’re planning on merging the Gx series and the pro GFx upgrade into one pro/rangefinder styled body? That way they’d end up with 3 lines…

    GFx series: entry-level system with decent still/video.
    GHx series: flagship video-optimized hybrid camera.
    Gx series: flagship stills-optimized rangefinderesque cam.

    • agreed … it’s time for three different ways to have m43 (small, range-esk, mini-dslr sounds just right)

    • JRK

      That would be awesome I agree.

    • TR

      That would be awesome – put me down for a ‘flagship stills-optimized rangefinderesque cam’ I’ll take one from panasonic or olympus – who is going to mae it first? Fuji?

      • I would pay NOT to have video on my camera (another reason I kept my E-30)

      • Joel

        I think Fuji and Nikon will beat them to it, 2 years of releasing the same cameras over and over again is a little sad.. ;-)

  • I am really happy that the faux-DSLR-style of camera does not sell well.

    Please move the EVF to the left side of the camera (same postion as on
    a rangefinder). Much more convenient. And if flash and EVF are seperated,
    the EVF hump can be made smaller.

  • Arkersaint

    To the marketing people at Panasonic :
    + Do as Nick said for technical…
    + Do as Dave_in_Mi said for shape…
    And you have wise straight forward strategy !!!

    Come on Panny, is that so difficult ?

  • Admin,

    I hope they’ll keep the tilt-and-swivel display, for the God’s sake…
    Do you know anything about it?

  • Pepe Le Peu

    Could it be the G3 = supposedly GF3?

  • novel

    I had a GH1 for a month or so, but I have biggish hands and kept knocking one of the 4-way buttons and accidently changing settings (the right hand one) which was annoying, so I got rid of it. I agree with mostly what’s said here, a weatherproof would be nice, and one with clever ergonomics for big-handers. Higher dynamic range would be fine over 18MP, drop it down to 15 or so and give us better image quality.

  • Edvaard Wu

    These mirrorless rangefinder styled camera manufacturers should think about loosing the built in flash so they can be designed with built-in high quality live view. The can make a tiny comparable external flash available as part of the body package so no one complains that they don’t get a flash with the kit unit.

  • Diane B

    IMO the G2 hasn’t sold well because many of us with the G1 didn’t see wny reason to upgrade. I’ve had my G1 for over 2 yeqrs and my GF1 for 18 mos and will need mire to push me to upgrade. A new sensor will do it and I would love a bwit of a aesthetic change. I use the aux. EVF with the GF1 but would welcome a built in good EVF. The model shown as an example would find me ready to buy IF it has a new sensor. Otherwise I may likely upgrade to the GH2 althi the video on the G2/3 is enough for my small bit of fun video.

  • bossy22

    I wouldn’t upgrade to the G2 either. Not that much better. What I would like to see is a “Pro” m43 Camera: 18mp sensor, Rugged, water sealed “pro feel” body, Battery pack w horizontal shutter release, 6-7 fps in raw mode.. For me it could be a tad bigger..

    Then it would be no brainer to buy..

  • Brian

    Any rumors as to when it will be released?

    Should I just hold off on purchasing the G2 & wait for the G3?

  • Yoosung

    Same here as Brian above. Should I wait for the G3?

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