G3 or something else?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by pcake, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i could use some help. i have a GF1, and i loved it so much that i couldn't figure out why i stopped using it for a while. i finally realized that i love shooting with a viewfinder, and one that i can clearly see motion and sharpness in, which sort of lets the viewfinder on my GF1 out.

    i realize ultimately i'm probably going to be using 2 cameras - perhaps both m4/3 - because as far as i know, no one has made my particular wishlist in a camera. i have a weak right wrist, so while my plan was to go with a G3 and a canon t3i, i find i cannot comfortably hold up a t3i with the zoom i would like to work with. i need something lighter than the canon t3i, and something that will be lighter with the equivalent of the canon stabilized 18-135mm kit lens on it. i don't mind the plastic-ier feel of the G3, btw, as while the GF1 feels much more substantial, the G3 is so light. for now, that's of primary importance. i don't want to damage my wrist further. so here's my laundry list. how close can i get? i know the newer panasonic line far better than the recent PENS.

    external controls for ISO, white balance, exposure compensation (exposure compensation seems to be missing from the GH2 and G3 unless i'm missing something)

    fast, easy to get to shutter speed

    good quality pics with reasonably accurate colors. i don't mind a little post processing on my favorites.

    good video quality. i'd prefer some manual settings and external mic, but will compromise on the manual settings rather than pic quality.

    on board viewfinder that's fast to refresh, works for me whether i'm wearing glasses or not (for me, canons require a diopter attachment) and looks pretty good. the first G3 i tried had a very blue cast to it, looked like the white balance was very wrong. the liveview wasn't as blue, so is that common to the G3? otherwise i really liked its viewfinder.

    good lower light performance (useable ISO 1600 with only mild noise and able to focus (doesn't matter if it hunts a bit) in fairly dim situations.

    decent zooms available. one shorter zoom starting at maybe f/2.8, at least one reasonably priced long multipurpose longer zoom. also at least a couple good lower light lenses - primes or shorter zooms.

    i was looking at the GH2. is its image quality, viewfinder and color accuracy as good as the G3? it also doesn't have external button for exposure compensation, but if quality is good and no problems with colors that i can't fix easily (i very rarely shoot auto), it sounds like a good camera. reviewers talk about its pics not being that great, but the samples they put up seem okay.

    are there any oly's or anything else i should be considering?
  2. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    I love my g3.
    Exposure compensation is as easy as spinning the thumbwheel.
    The blue cast had to mean WB setting was off.I mostly use auto in daylight.The dedicated WB button is right there on your four way controller for instantaneous changes.
    ISO 1600 is decent.
    Some say,for stills, the G3 is as good as the GH2 in a smaller, lighter package.Video is good also, but with fewer controls.
    I too,need a good viewfinder,but don't care for the snap ons, so that leaves out all the Olys except the newest one,which I have preordered.When it comes, I'll decide if I keep my G3 or sell it.Many of it's features are duplicated in the new Olympus.For the money, I don't think you can beat the G3.
  3. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    I use a G3. Exposure compensation in A, S and P modes are achieved by pushing in the thumbwheel. This toggles between the primary control (aperture in A mode) and EV compensation. It's very quick to use in practice. The G3 is a really nice camera to use once you get its settings to where you like them. I find this goes for any digital camera. It has two assignable function buttons with a range of settings for each to expand the direct controls.

    The G3 is fine at 1600 imo. In fact I shot a few frames at 6400 by accident a while ago and they're easily useable for web display and fine in b/w.

    As for lenses, you won't find any f2.8 zooms for :43: yet. The Panasonic kit zooms are as good as kit lenses get. The 45-200 is very good too. I'd suggest a look at the native lens sample threads for Panasonc lenses elsewhere on this site. Panasonic OIS works very well. The 20/1.7 is a superb normal prime at a reasonable price.
  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    While f 2.8 zooms aren't available yet, Panasonic has been showing "concept" zooms of 12-35 and 35-100, both f 2.8 constant aperture. No availability date yet, though.

    I think the G3 will give you everything you're looking for, but most of the controls have to be set using the screen and menu, as opposed to the switches and buttons of the GH2.

    I chose the GH2 for the reasons in the post linked below, but if light weight is really critical the G3 might be a better choice for you.

  5. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I also love my G3, it's very configurable, easy to use and I like the ergonomics and it has all the adjustments etc you specified. The VF is really good and there is no cast in mine so I can only assume the WB was set wrong on the one you tried.
    I have the Lumix 100-300 lens which is very good and works well with the G3 and had the Lumix 20mm f1.7 lens till a few days ago, I sold it after getting the PL 25mm F1.4 mFT lens. Both are very good lenses, sharp and very good IQ, I prefer the 25mm but it bigger, heavier and twice the cost.

  6. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    G3 is great, I have never looked back to the GF1. IS0 1600 is quite useful, I let it go up to 3200 while GF1 was limited to 800. EVF picture does look little colder than screen by default but there are independent settings for both so you could fine tune it.
  7. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    thanks, all - the g3 will be the next camera i buy. and McDark, thanks for letting me know about the independent settings - that would probably explain why the screen and viewfinder seemed to be so different in tone. after all, it was a demo model out on a counter.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    pcake, it was a pleasure to help. And you could use 'thanks' button as well :wink: