(FT5) Panasonic G3 with lens for $649.

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Image on top: The Panasonic G2.
We just learned from our sources that the Panasonic G3 with 14-42mm kit lens will be priced at $649. That’s $150 less than the price of the Panasonic G2 (original launch price in March 2010).
As we already told you the major changes will be the new 16 Megapixel sensor with FullHD recording and the new more compact design (with focus on touchscreen controls). There will be no other big changes. Announcement is expected around May 11/12. The new Panasonic lenses will be announced in late August only.

Links:
– The current Panasonic G2 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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  • http://about.me/calvinlee Calvin

    Personally, I think that would be quite the reasonable price. I hope in addition to the fancy new 16MP sensor, image quality increases as well – to make this a viable alternative to the P&S crowd! The more M43 users, the more lenses, the merrier!

  • leendert

    Thats a good price!

  • JM

    I bet it’ll be not less than $1000 in Europe :(

    • io

      You know, 1$=1€ …

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/frosti7/ frosti7

        Agreed, would probably be 650€ in EU, but its a good price nevertheless!
        Panasonic seising its chance to get market share when Canonikon ?could? raise prices

      • Miroslav

        “You know, 1$=1€ …”

        You’re probably right. I wonder why are camera manufacturers afraid of loosing money in Europe, but not in the US. Let’s wait and see what the European price will be…

  • Miroslav

    Hopefully that’ll be 439 EUR here in Europe. But I don’t think it will be below 550 euros.

    If they priced G3 around 450 EUR / 650 USD and they made it widely available, it would be a big boost for the system.

    • Pascal

      Everybody forgets about the VAT.

      650$ is without any taxes in the US.

    • Jules
  • fta

    Wow, good price. What will be the difference between this and a GH2?

  • twoomy

    I hope they offer it with some new lens or with a no-lens option. We don’t all need another boring 14-42mm gathering dust in our closets.

    • http://www.ericparks.com Eric

      I agree. I hope they realize at this point a lot of people will be upgrading to this camera from the G1, GH1 and GF1; and those of us that own one of those cameras has no need for the 14-42mm lens. Hopefully they’ll offer it either body only or as a kit with either the 20mm or 14mm.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/elniorg/ Elniorg’s Journeys

    “the major changes will be the new 16 Megapixel sensor”

    As long as we don’t know anything about the sensor, its dynamic range, it’s high ISO behaviour, its dynamic range and it’s refreshing rate (on which autofocus performance depends), we actually know nothing about the camera.

    Better be damn good if it is to keep me away from the Fuji X100…

  • Robbie

    not again, the 14-42mm lens is really lame…

  • io

    I think it will be like a GH2 but with less features (like manual controls for video), and with a new more compact (with less buttons) design.

  • J3PP3

    Will it be kitted with 14-140? If not there better be a body-only option!

  • Fishfishfish

    I guess the dimensions of the G3 body would be similar to those of NX10?

    • bobw

      I am wondering about the form factor too – would be quite pleased with something resembling a scaled-down E420. Keep working those sources, admin 😉

  • Mr. Reeee

    Let’s hope it doesn’t get too dumbed down like the GF2.

    I wish Panasonic had some sort of ala carte camera body + lens deals where you get a price break when purchasing separate body and lens at the same time. I’d love to get a second body to compliment my GH2 (GF2) and either a PL45mm or the 14-45mm or even the upcoming 12-50mm. But as it stands now, there’s a big price penalty purchasing separate components.

    The current lineup of kit lenses aren’t very appealing to me and I already have a 14-140mm that I don’t use nearly as much as my other lenses…. 20mm, 7-14mm and a Nikon 60mm f2.8D macro.

    • Miroslav

      “I wish Panasonic had some sort of ala carte camera body + lens deals where you get a price break when purchasing separate body and lens at the same time.”

      Something like these deals from Adorama? http://www.43rumors.com/new-olympus-e-pl1-and-panasonic-gh1g2-instant-rebates-in-us/

      • Mr. Reeee

        Yeah, exactly, but those are for discontinued models. I’d take a GF2 with a 14-45mm.

        I’d hope that mediocre lenses like the 14-42mm would suffer under a scheme like that!

    • Bob B.

      yeah…I have a GF1…sold my G1 cause the focusing was so not dependable. I want to buy a GH2 but would love it if I could buy it with a 8mm fisheye or 12mm at a discount…but they don’t offer the body that way. I have a 14-45mm zoom in perfect, almost never used condition…if you are interested…I think I am going to put it up on ebay to help finance some primes…maybe the new Oly. 12mm (if it is what is anticipated). Make me an offer.
      I have a 7-14mm, 20mm, 45mm macro and those are the lenses I use the most…

  • safaridon

    If the price is right that may give us more clues of what is coming? First it will be a plastic body and no possibility of a metal one like the GF2 but with EVF. The lower price and size also suggests a fixed rear screen and smaller EVF similar to what the NX11 offers to reduce production costs. Size is reported to be similar to NX11 so likely similar smaller styled handgrip. Less buttons and more touch screen operation probably means similar controls to GF2 ie drops AF/AE lock & display buttons and maybe top control dial, I hope not? If this is the case then it would be a more radical sleeker outward appearance to differentiate from the crowded look alike DSLR field. As for new processor we can logically assume it will be as good IQ as the good one in the GH2 only not multiaspect coverage without cropping. Now if only we had a picture or two so we know what it looks like?

  • pdc

    A good price, but I really hope the build quality of the G3 body is at least as good as G1/G2, so that the Gx cameras continue to appeal to enthusiasts.

    Product line differentiation is lacking in MFT and is hurting further development of the platform. There should be a distinct consumer line, and a distinct enthusiast (prosumer) line. For Panasonic the GF2, 14, 14-42 and 45-200 could be thought of as belonging in the consumer group, and the G2/GH2, 8, 20, 45, 7-14, 14-45, 14-140 and 100-300 thought of as the enthusiast line.

    The consumer products should be built in quantity, and stocked in all the big box retail outlets in order to build the brand presence. The enthusiast line should feature IQ performance, functionality and build quality, and be sold primarily through on-line photography specialist stores. The reputation of the brand will be built on these critieria.

    If Panasonic don’t revamp their marketing along these lines, continue to cheapen the brand with poorly performing and built consumer-grade zooms, they will not be able to take on Canon and Nikon in the enthusiast space. That would be shame as their technology has so much going for it.

    • http://www.bmupix.com/ Björn Utpott

      I think Panasonic is doing just that: creating both a consumer and an enthusiast line. In my opinion, the GF2 marks the split of the compact “rangefinder-like” body into 2 lines. I think we will see a higher end body of this type before the year is out. The DSLR-styled line will see further differentiation with the introduction of the G3 (the G1/2 were too similar to the GH1/2). It would make sense if the G3 had fewer direct controls and a different body shape to differentiate the Gx consumer and GHx enthusiast lines.

      • pdc

        I’m not as confident as you that Panasonic understand the necessity of line differentiation – certainly their advertising messages seem muddled. I also don’t think the stills-centric G3 model will sell well in the consumer space, and its predecessors certainly haven’t – the GF2 is the consumer product, but it has not been shipped in sufficient quantity to really establish the brand name (Samsung NX_ and Sony NEX_ have become better established). The G3 and the GH2 should occupy the enthusiast space, along with the good (as opposed to mediocre) lenses – these are the 20, 45, 7-14 and 14-140. Right now, everything is all muddled up in the same pot, the company doesn’t identify clear user group targets, and doesn’t market accordingly.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zebarnabe zebarnabe

          If you come to my country, Portugal, you’ll only see Sony Nex for sale… Panasonic GH1 costs officially 1600€ here (with 14-140mm lens) and the only way to get one is by ordering it online.

          I got my GH1 + 14-140mm from french amazon and it cost me a bit less than 1250€ at that time… (a couple of months later prices – in amazon – went to 1300€ waved a bit, and then start to drop till reached the current value)

          If you go to a store, most likely is that they don’t even know that GH2 exists… 20mm lens is impossible to acquire here (or any Panasonic lens for that matter), I had to order it from UK…

          • http://www.bmupix.com/ Björn Utpott

            You have a point pdc; Panasonic’s message has been somewhat confused. Selling the GH2 with the mediocre 14-42 lens certainly doesn’t do much to establish it firmly in the enthusiast category. They will have to change that, if the G3 is – as I suspect – targeted at the consumer market. I’m still optimistic though that Panasonic will market a high end rangefinder styled camera with the appropriate lens. Why else “dumb down” the GF range if not to create room for a new compact enthusiast body?

            As to supplying their product in sufficient quantities, My local store has most of the Lumix lenses and all the camera bodies except the black GH2 in stock. It’s too bad for the brand and Panasonic that that isn’t the case everywhere.

          • Jules

            @Björn:
            “Panasonic’s message has been somewhat confused. Selling the GH2 with the mediocre 14-42 lens certainly doesn’t do much to establish it firmly in the enthusiast category”

            We all know that the 14-42 is not enthusiast category and that the GH2 is.
            Anyone serious can find that out. He who doesn’t want the kit lens, can buy body only, or in bundle with the 14-140. Thats two more options than with the GH1. Great.

            With enough imagination, we can find messages in anything life. The only message I see is that the lens line up and the distribution still lacks maturity. but m43 is still young after all. Until the announced bright zoom becomes reality, those are the bundles we have to live with. …ok, I wish Panasonic offered GH2 in bundle with the 2.8/45…

  • Kevin

    the G-line should just become a rangefinder with EVF like the 4/3 Panasonic L1 or Fuji X100. that’ll be 3 popular distinct lines:
    GF – compact
    G – rangefinder w/ EVF
    GH – highest quality

    • Chris

      +1 I don’t think they can make an SLR-style body *very* much smaller without it becoming non-ergonomic. Plus I fear that a G2-type camera will struggle in the market as it’s vulnerable to being seen as ‘a poor-man’s GH2 that nonetheless is more expensive then better spec’d APS-C cameras’.

      I think that the GF series should continue to become as close to P&S handling as practicable, so as to be the least intimidating large sensored camera on the market (there’s surely gold in that thar market), whilst the G series would hoover up the enthusiasts with an interchangeable lens rangefinder. Given Panasonic, unlike Fuji, would just be adapting its existing technology for a tweaked body form, I presume it could produce them for considerably cheaper than the X100…

      Then the GF series could be the best option for P&S upgraders, the G series could be the best (non-Leica) option for street, travel and photojournalist photography, and the GH series could be the best option for videographers. At the moment the G series seems too much of a compromise- good at everything, excelling at nothing.

      • mahler

        Also a rangefinder style would quickly become non-ergonomic, if Panasonic makes it smaller. This has nothing to do with, wether the body is DSLR style or not. Personally, I don’t see the need for a rangefinder style body, since it does not have any functional advantage over he current GH line. To integrate a large EVF into it, would inevitably make the body higher – so what’s the point of it?

        • Chris

          I was thinking that a DSLR-style body requires curling fingers around the side ridge. Each side of the ridge must therefore roughly correspond to the length of a segment of a finger. With rangefinder-style bodies the main ergonomic restriction is that the body must be at least a finger’s width from front to back. That’s not really going to be a problem…

          A rangefinder design has a massive functional advantage over the GH line, in that it doesn’t look like an SLR. Point a DSLR at people and they often seem to react with tension, annoyance or suspicion; point a rangefinder-style camera at them and their reaction is much less likely to ruin the picture, if they notice you at all. This makes a rangefinder-type camera better suited to genres such as street and photojournalism; the rangefinder’s slimness also makes it better suited to travelling.

  • Boooo!

    At this point, the most important part is the sensor. I think we all want to know how it behaves and if it’s an improvement over the GHx sensors, as well as the old sensor Olympus uses.

  • Joel

    If they want to focus on touch screen then they BETTER make it a capacitive screen.. There is no point being touch screen and using old technology like resistive screens.. NO phone manufacturers (except for the cheapest crappy phones) use resistive screens any more, because they suck unless you carry a stylus all day, which defeats the purpose really…

  • JimBoy

    Uh…how ’bout fixing the dreaded Panasonic colors on this new camera? I love everything about the Panasonic m4/3 cameras except their inability to produce the right skin tones and NO, RAW will not fix skin tones and if you’re lucky enough to fix it, you will end up screwing other colors instead.

  • Netos

    Fix the damn color!

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