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GF3 or G3 for first system cam

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by knightsy, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. knightsy

    knightsy New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 9, 2011
    Hi all - firstly thank you all for your interesting posts in this forum, seeing some of your photos has got me so excited for the camera I'm about to buy.

    Looking at the GF3 or G3 as they seem about the right price (£400 - £470ish here in the UK), I saw some pictures on here from a G3 and they looked amazing. But I'd be open to other suggestions if anyone knows a better camera based on the below.

    I'm struggling to see what the main differences are between the cameras, I guess my general uses will be:
    - Holiday photos, including a Safari next year (get a good big lens for that next year)
    - Portability is important
    - The odd night photo
    - Clear shots of fast paced amateur basketball

    Does anyone have a gut feel based on that which to go for? I almost feel both are so good I probably won't notice, but always good to know!
     
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    hi welcome to the forum.

    i'll chime in on what i easily remember on the main differences between the two models...

    1. G3 has a built-in electronic viewfinder, while GF3 has none, and has no possibility of having an optional external viewfinder attached.

    2. G3 accepts an external flash mounted, GF3 can't.

    3. G3 has an articulated screen, while the GF3 is fixed.

    4. GF3 is more compact and more portable vs the G3.
     
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Really different cameras

    They're very different cameras. The GF3 is a tiny, semi-pocketable (depending on lens), with minimal controls. It has no hot-shoe, so can't be used with an external flash or EVF. It has the older 12Mp sensor, which begins to get pretty noisy at ISO > 800.

    The G3, on the other hand, is a more robust camera--larger (so it's never really pocketable, even with a pancake lens), with a built-in EVF and many more controls. It's 16Mp sensor is significantly better at higher ISO. It's got a flip-n-rotate rear screen which can come in handy when shooting at odd angles. Some might consider it more of an "enthusiast" camera.

    So . . . it depends on what you want. If you're looking for a P&S upgrade, and don't want to mess with a lot of controls, the GF3 might be perfect. Or if you already have a bigger 'serious' camera, and are looking for something very compact you can take with you everywhere, the GF3 beats the G3. But if you're looking to get into interchangable lens cameras in a serious way I'd recommend the G3 or one of the new PENs.
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    IMHO, the G3 is better in every way, except perhaps size - and if you want a big telephoto for safari work, that may be an advantage too.

    The G3 controls can be set up as simple as the GF3 (iA mode), or full hardcore manual with buttons/wheels for the most common settings, and touch screen for the rest.

    The G3 sensor is far superior and less likely to have you searching for an upgrade in a year or so when you get frustrated by the ISO800 limit. Throw in the EVF and the tilt/swivel screen, and it's a no-brainer IMHO.
     
  5. pinholecam

    pinholecam Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Oct 20, 2011
    I think the additional features the G3 has over GF3 has already been well pointed out above.

    G3 has better resolution, better ISO performance too.
    Its a more serious camera with features and interface compared to the GF3 which is targeted at a more pns crowd.
     
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The G3 is worlds more camera than the GF3. Better controls, more comfortable to use, has a flash, has a hotshoe, has a viewfinder, has a better sensor. I don't think the GF3 is worth buying.
     
  7. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
  8. knightsy

    knightsy New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 9, 2011
    Thanks for those replys, given the differences you've mentioned and a trip to see the nothern lights now booked I think it has to be the G3. Went and saw both in the shop today and fell in love with it, just gotta choose between red and black now ;)
     
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Doesn't really matter, just choose a color and go. More importantly, go out and start getting experience with the camera, because familiarity with its capabilities and controls will mean that much better pictures for your trip. Make those mistakes now, on photos that don't matter as much.
     
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    For your purposes, and between the two, the G3. If you are shooting safari, you'll probably want the 100-300. You will need a bigger body than the GF3 to use that. You will also sometimes need high ISO to keep your shutter speed high for the long telephoto. G3 produces better images at high ISO than GF3.
     
  11. winx14

    winx14 Mu-43 Regular

    80
    Dec 1, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I actually took a G3 and a GF3 on vacation with me. On my G3, I had on mostly the 25mm and sometimes the 45-200mm. On the GF3, I left the 14mm on.

    Here are a few observations on the two:
    -Main use of the G3: Almost everything.
    -Main uses of the GF3: Taking pictures of food without busting out a big camera, when the 14mm was needed, quick photos, and some self couple pictures.
    -The GF3 could be handled with the 25mm, but felt like the 45-200mm was going to snap the mount off. The body is really small.
    -I actually preferred the wheel on the GF3 over the G3. I could change aperture and shutter speed a lot faster.
    -I would rather have an articulating screen on the GF3 rather than on the G3. I was missing the screen a lot when using the GF3. On the G3, I used mostly the viewfinder. On the GF3, there is no viewfinder, but I probably would not have used one anyway.

    If I were to have just one body, I would pick the G3.
     
  12. Another vote for the G3

    Based on nothing but the safari. You'll almost certainly want to buy the Panny 100-300mm lens for that, and it would be weird on a GF3!

    Cheers, Tom
     
  13. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Nov 17, 2011
    Sydney
    Anthony
    Just to throw a spanner in the works, in the UK you can pick up the GF2 with the 14mm lens for sub £300. If you were leaning towards the GF3 it may be a better option, similar IQ but stereo audio and hotshoe.

    The G3 is a much more flexible camera but sometimes I regret not buying a smaller body for those travel shots. Carrying around the G3 isn't heavy but it's more awkward than I imagine a GF3/2 is..
     
  14. lenticularis

    lenticularis Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Sep 30, 2011
    Australia
    I'll be a heretic on this forum / thread and suggest that for your safari needs, you might want to look at a DSLR instead. I realise that this will not grant you the portability that you want, however a DLSR will give you faster frame rates (and importantly card writing speeds), a much better viewfinder and probably faster AF. I believe these attributes will also give you advantages in your amateur basketball interest.

    I'm unfamiliar with Nikon equivalents, but something like the Canon 550 or 600D gives you an 18 megapixel sensor, HD video and a vast array of EF lenses available (many at high prices!). The HD video will not have AF and that's where the G3 will win.

    I recently bought a G3 and love its relative portability over a professional level Canon DSLR, however I have issues with its luminance noise even at ISO 160.
     
  15. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    I have both the G3 and GF3 and agree with everything that winx14 summarized above.

    Having both cameras, I'd say the following from my 'limited' experience:

    - the G3 is obviously better in most ways, but don't understimate the pocketability advantage of the GF3. I have often found myself taking out the GF3 because it's smaller and fits in my pocket.

    - as everyone has said, the high ISO performance of the GF3 is worse, but for wide 14mm shots in normal light the GF3 is great. During my holiday in Spain I took most of my photos with the GF3 and the 14mm/F2.8 and found the results very good. Having said that I didn't have the G3 at the time of my holiday!

    - the 100-300 is a nice lens, but it's tricky to use on the small body of the GF3 and much easier to handle of the G3... Also as the poster above said, the better high ISO performance of the G3 will help on the telephoto shots.

    If you were not wanting to do telephoto, then the decision would be less clear cut, and the GF3 could be tempting. But overall, it's far better to go for the G3 even if it is not pocketable.

    Now if I were in your position today it would be a tough call between the G3 and the immanently released GX1. The GX1 is basically like a G3 (without built in EVF or articulating screen) and slightly bigger than the GF3. So maybe the 100-300 lens will be usable on the GX1 (better ISO performance and slightly bigger body).

    The GX1 with the new X 14-42mm lens might be useful for many of your general travel photos.

    Just food for thought..... :smile:
     
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Aug 25, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I don't think the size of the body is as much an issue with the use of a 100-300mm lens as the lack of a viewfinder. It's much easier to hold the lens steady while using a viewfinder than trying to hold it steady out in front of you using a screen.... well at least it seems that way for me.