Full Panasonic G3 review at DPreview!!!

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Click here to read it: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcg3/. The camera earns a rating of 75% and gets the SIlver Award: “The G3 is a camera that is easy to use and produces excellent image quality – a step up from previous G-series models. Its overall handling and touchscreen interface have distinct appeal for users moving up from a point-and-shoot. Yet it offers the manual controls and custom parameters that enthusiasts in the market for a smaller, lighter body would expect.”

The camera is now avaialable in Europe (and slowly in US too). Click on the shop names to see if it is in Stock: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

One more private thing: Sorry If I posted that news 10 hours to late but I am on vacation on an isolated place. And yesterday the whole phone network didn’t work in that place. So connection is coming and going and it will be like that until July 26th. Hope you can have a bit of patience If I am not so fast in answering your mails or posting news.

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  • FIRST!

    First. Not a bad review.

    • Steve

      HK price update :
      E-P3 HK$7290
      G3 HK$6347
      GF3 HK$5590

  • Agent00soul

    Interesting. According to their test, The G3 has less dynamic range than the G2. This of course makes sense when the pixels are made smaller, but it’s against what most people seems to think. And lo and behold, the E-5 has better dynamic range than both the G2 and G3 and even the Nikon D3100, according to their test.

    • admin

      Just reading the review now. It’s pretty interesting what you said! Curious to see what the E-P3 can do!

      • Michael Devitt

        The G3 sensor handles high ISOs very nicely in RAW, no chroma noise just fine luminance film-like grain. I am curious about E-P3 performance too.

        • Steve

          Go to the “compared to” pages and add the E-P3.

          I have some favourite spots to look at such as the thread in the box and the queen of hearts.

          Dpreview have got it right – the G3 needs to shoot raw. Reds are way off.

          I guess that for many people this won’t matter and they’ll be happy to shoot jpeg only.

          • Duarte Bruno

            If you are making judgement based on the Queen of Hearts you are bound to make mistakes. The Queen of Hearts is inconsistently out of focus in DPREVIEW’s test shots thus misleading viewers.

            • Steve

              The queen is good for colour accuracy. Her outline should be royal blue and the heart should be a slightly orange shade of red. You can see the Panny is way off and the Olympus is a bit too dark/saturated as standard. Sony, Canon and Nikon all appear very similar.

              The thread in the box is one good spot for detail/noise/dr.

              The ladies face on the rhs is another favourite spot I go to.

              I wouldn’t use their test shots for resolution or sharpness because that depends too much on focus and lens choice.

  • ijack

    Interestingly, but sadly, it seems that GH2 and G3 did reduces their DR in the process of reducing their resolution.

    I would guess that the E-P3 would have increase DR with their “new” sensor. So it’s very clear now the 2 company is going two different direction. Which is a good thing.

    Another thing is that, apart from the Sony sensors, which they clearly has a great advantage over Cannon and Panasonic, E-5 is among the best, and E-P3 would only improve on that.

  • frank

    This makes me expect much from the GF1 successor, the so called GF-pro. If the G3 sensor will be in that, it is another step towards my perfect system and it will stimulate investments in glass as the bodies will become better and better.

  • whats intresting is: according to them, the GH2 has an extremely low DR, whereas the E-5 has an extremely high DR… when looking at DxOMark, GH2 is far better…

    Seems that dpreview is only looking at ooc jpgs? not at raws? Because they state the Auto-Grad function of Oly that high…

    And the measures of the X100 are off the charts! Well i dont know what to think about that… The D7000 should have a better DR then the X100…

    • dumbo

      bizarre, dxomark contradicts this difference in dr massively, so one of them has to be wrong. especially when you compare the canon 7d to the e5.
      i’ve always used dxomark… is it actually garbage?

      • Most cameras JPEGs have about the same DR, which is determined mostly by the contrast applied. In raw you have quite more DR, but most of the times it is unneeded (and when needed, cameras can also be set to a high DR mode to take advantage of it).

        Most people prefer a low DR, high contrast image than the other way around, because most of the times the interesting subject is in the same light range and benefits from higher contrast, while the parts far off the light range of the subject are less important (and these are the ones that benefit from low contrast/high DR). In practice, all cameras have more DR than is needed for “normal” pictures, so they discard a good part of it to make pictures look good (and did you see how bad those multi-shot images with huge DR look most of the times, how anti-photographic?).

        Regarding DxOmark measurements, when they measure DR they are really measuring noise in a different way than in the S/N ratio. So to know how good a camera performs at high ISO you have to look both at the S/N ratio and the DR measurements. Actually, the G3 is only about 1/3 of a stop better than the GF2 in S/N, but about 4/3 of a stop better in DR. If you sum both and divide by 2 the result is that the G3 is about 2.5/3 of a stop better at high ISO than the GF2, which matches what we’ve seen in the review.

        • I would agree but:
          For landscape photographers, DR is everything. They dont need high ISO PErformance (well, most of the time) but what they need is to capture the highest possible amount of details, even in the shadows. Just to ensure the picture looks, well balanced. When shadowareas dont contain any details, that would be a big loss. I dont care about those HDR pictures, but i do care about well balanced pictures. And with cameras with low DR, highlight clipping is a big problem.

          ” If you sum both and divide by 2 the result is that the G3 is about 2.5/3 of a stop better at high ISO than the GF2, which matches what we’ve seen in the review.”

          are you sure about that? The G3 is clearly more then 1 stop better then the GF2, just compare the dpreview results for G3/GF2s RAW. I would even say around 1 to 1.5 stops better.

          • Yes, for landscape photography DR is important. But still you don’t want high contrast landscapes with very bright midday sun and some very dark shadows (at least, most of the times). So even for landscape most cameras have enough DR if you shoot right. You specially want low noise at low ISO, not an increased DR (shooting raw should provide enough DR for most of the pictures).

            Yes, you are right that the G3 is more than an f-stop better than the GF2 at the highest ISOs. At ISO 3200, DxOmark says that the difference in S/N is about 2.5/3 of an f-stop, and the DR difference about 5.5/3. That would give about 1 and 1/3 stops advantage at ISO 3200. The point was that their S/N ratio measurement alone is not a good indication of the real world performance regarding noise. You have to look at their DR measurement too and make an average of both.

  • Mar

    Comparing raw studio shots, E5 looks much nicer than either g3 or gh2. Color and deails are much better with crisper and cleaner image.
    Even at higher iso, e5 looks nicer.

    Seems like the sensor in in isn’t so bad after all :)

    • Christoph

      But it’s not NEW!!!11 ;)

      • fta

        sure it is! Olympus said so themselves :)

    • Kralin

      thats exactly what i thought!.
      I was thinking G3 sensor was much better than any olympus one, but it looks like there is hope for the new ep3 sensor after all. also accurate color and better jpg should be a big plus to me…
      let’s wait for a dpreview on ep3

    • Mr. Reeee

      At 3 times the price, I HOPE an E5 rates better than a G3!
      The fact that they’re being compared head-to-head is great for the G3!

    • The E-5 images are a bit overexposed, what gives it an advantage in noise vs. the G3 and others. You should compare with the E-PL2 which has the same exposure time and the G3 and the same sensor as the E-5.

      It’s true that Olympus manages to get much better results than Panasonic out of that sensor (compare to the GF2, for example) even in raw, but that only leaves us wondering what they (Olympus) could have done with the sensor of the G3 if they had used it in the E-P3. Probably some really great results in both resolution and high ISO noise.

  • What strikes me is the lack of difference in detail rendition between 16MP and 12MP. Perhaps 12MP IS enough for 4/3 sensors.
    Saying that, Panasonic has done a good job with the G3. It’s a very good little camera which demonstrates the philosophy behind the G series. It is the best “bridge” camera ever made and I hope it sells very well.

    • I think, beyond a certain # of mp, the need for more is only when extreme cropping is applied(think about some sports/nature and papparazzi shooters or magazine editors).Interesting is the recent claim from the german Foto Magazin, which included a new test, concentrating on “fine texture resolution” which can give different results compared with standard resolution tests: the E-5 and E-PL2 scored very high, matching or surpassing the the higher mp class cameras, both milcs and dslrs
      As you observed the minimal extra detail in the 16mp, Olympus is prob right in their 12mp vision, but its also possible that their future pro-mft will be based on the need for “cropping headroom”

      • “Cropping headroom” is really irrelevant without extra detail. IMO the optics limit resolution beyond 5 microns, which is approximately the pixel pitch of 12MP in 4/3 sensors. APS-C may hit this wall when the sensors go beyond 21MP (though in the frame edges it happens already at 16MP with most lenses).

        • thats true, but assuming you earn your living with photograpy, can you convince your client with that explanation. And yes i know that mft is not the 1st choice for most of professionals, but surely it can be considered as extra gear for their special needs.

        • Agent00soul

          According to yesterday’s test of the Olympus 12/2.0, that particular lens starts to be limited by diffraction over 4.0. And this is with the E-P3’s 12 MP sensor. At 15 MP diffraction sets in even earlier. So that seems to indicate that few lenses and few photo situations will really make use of more than 12 MP.

          • person

            I actually have an SD1, which has a ‘true’ 15MP APS-C sensor resolution without AA filter or bayer interpolation. I can attest that this pushes the absolute limit of what is possible to resolve with APS-C lenses (not only Sigma, as I also have converted lenses from other makers).

            I think APS-C has already hit a resolution wall with the SD1. Reviews will soon show that it resolves as much detail as a 30MP bayer, but I think this is about as far as APS-C size can physically go.

            • Nick Clark

              Pics or bullshit.

              I’m certain the SD1 was just a marketing ploy and Sigma never actually made one :)

            • The SD1 is an interesting offering. Multi-layered sensors are the only way forward in terms of resolution. Will Sigma become the new Sony? Time will tell.

              • Nick Clark

                Out of interest, what exactly is the ‘new Sony’?

                • The benchmark of sensor technology and the leading manufacturer of sensors.

                  • According sneye comment – The opposite of Olympus.
                    .. sorry, could´t resist :D

                    • ijack

                      Olympus isn’t even a sensor manufacturer…..^^

  • man

    If you compare jpg quality of G3 and E-PL2, the oly still looks better and sharper to me.
    or am I wrong here?

    • Kralin

      you are not wrong but you have to consider also a much better kit zoom for epl2 and a far better jpg engine.
      the G3 kit zoom is really too bad for this sensor. is there anyone oging to compare ep3 and G3 WITH THE SAME LENS??

      • In all the studio shots at dpreview of m4/3 cameras I think they’re using the same lens: the Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 macro with an adapter.

        But yes, the E-PL2 looks sharp with its 12MP because of the weak AA filter and because of the sharpness applied to JPEGs.

        • man

          if you compare the hearts queen face or the martini label on the bottle in RAW, still the E-PL2 looks crisper to me, all ISO200, all shot with the same lens, Zuiko 50mm/f2.0 (same settings at f6.3)

          G3 just seems to have lower IQ, sad because I wanted one…

  • Guys!

    Maybe I’m a dumb, but hardly can understand why the dynamic range is tested with iDynamic option disabled – especially speaking about JPEG dynamic range.

    • dpreview states NO DR improvement with iDyn enabled.

      My guess is, the DR measures of DPreview are… well… bullsh*t. I like Dpreview very much, but their measuring of DR is simply weirdo.
      Olys E-5 has a better DR than Canon 7D. 7D is even lower then the G3 !
      Well that would be awesome, but i really doubt thats true…
      When comparing the G3 to the D5100, its more or less on par.

      (all compared with enhancing options set to: off!)
      My guess is, that its measuring some kind of processed DR, not what the sensor manages, whereas DxO measures more or less the sensors ability.
      Processed DR improvements are nice, but dont show the real DR of the camera… thats my opinion :D

  • Bob B.

    Vacation….when I go on vacation I like to go to a place where there is no internet or phone service….or people…like out in the desert in Utah. Being untethered and just being. Its a wonderful thing. I do bring my camera tho and my solar charger for my ipod!!!!!!!! :-)

  • Well I have been waiting for this G3 dpreview. And for the even smaller Oly and Panny MFT cameras to come out.

    What did I do? I bought the G2 together with the 20mm 1.7 from B&H for under $600 and will have it in two days. (:-{)}

    I figure this will get this n00b started on the learning curve, start my lens collection with a nice piece of glass, be here in time for this summer’s vacations and save me $400 for these vacations. Of course the lady friend won’t see how smart I was to “save” us so much money HAHAHAHA!

    I do like buying last years models.

    Peace!

    Bill

    • Cairnstar

      How the G2 with 20mm F1.7? I am planning the same thing

      • Sorry. BHPhoto. Select G2 then an option for $100 off when you choose a lens at the same time.

        Cheers!

        Bill (:-{)}

  • compositor20

    usually when comparing jpgs i go to imaging-resource and compare the manequin shot at the same exposure between shots…

    e-pl2 had great highlight retention although sony a55 was even better and much better than panasonic g3…

    shadows had less noise too and the highlight clipping rollof is subtle in the transitions so to me what counts is highlight transition because of video and becauseeven shooting raw i dont want to underexpose 0.7 every shot just to save highlights… shadows may fall where they want as long as they are not completely dark as in 35mm film slide

  • Per

    After a weekend with my G3 I can confirm the results in the DPR review: Excellent image quality especially detail (microcontrast). Color balance is very neutral, no pleasing warm tones – great. Image quality far better than E-P1 and its derivates. Usability great as well as focusing speed.

    Above here I se discussions about dynamic range: People tend to trust figures, but what does the figures really mean. Different reviewers measures in different ways and it is difficult compare between them. The difference G3 and f.i. D3100 is so small, its is probably see in real world photos. Compared to D700, according to DPR measurs the difference is about 1,5 steps – that is real!
    So m43 designers have now managed to narrow the gap to APS-C concerning high ISO and focusing speed. Great job! The next challenge for them is DR!

    And yes: G3 is for RAW shooters, if you shoot jpg (castrated images :-)), then Olympus is better!

  • dumbo

    meh another jpeg test. raw tests please!

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