GH2 or G3?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Justified_Sinner, May 25, 2012.

  1. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    I've had my G1 for a few years now and I've been REALLY happy with it. However, the one major drawback for me has been the noise at high-ISO, which means that I really don't like using it above ISO 400, a great pity as I love taking photographs at night.
    A local camera shop has a 2nd hand, barely-used, body-only GH2 for about the same price as a new G3 and I am torn between which one to get. Obviously, I've studied all the reviews I can online and it is a tough one to call.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Generally speaking the GH2 is going to be the better choice if price is removed from the equation. In favor of the G3:
    * It's smaller
    * Slightly better high ISO range
    Versus a lot of plus points to the GH2. Better DR, better controls, better grip, better video, better audio, multi-aspect, list goes on.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    Thanks! That was more-or-less the conclusion I had arrived at too.
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Have you tried handling them? I thought they were quite different when I did up to the point where I found the G3 downright awkward. For stills I really like the multi-aspect sensor of the GH2, giving me a lot of resolution in 3:2 format. If my second body, a G1, would perish I'd go for a G2 as a replacement, not a G3. If my GH2 would perish, I'd probably buy an E-M5.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    I have handled them and like the GH2 from the point of view that it is similar in feel to the G1. The G3 struck me as being a touch awkward and I wouldn't like to have to use it with a large legacy lens. Also, I think the non-switching of the EVF/LCD would annoy me a lot.
    In fact, I think I am just talking myself into the GH2!
    The EM-5 is lovely but just too expensive for me just now.
  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I've recently gone through this dilemma and went for a GH2 as a GH1 replacement - handling (size) was a main concern.
  7. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Another vote for the GH2, with the G2 as backup choice.

    Dauvit, one moderately significant handling change going to from the G1 to the GH2: the adjustment wheel goes from the front (forefinger) to the back (thumb) where it's been for the rest of the Panny models. I didn't find it difficult to make the change, having used a GF1 before; however, if you've used your G1 a lot, you may have a bit of an adaptation period.
  8. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    Excellent, thanks! That is it decided: GH2.
  9. rgeorge911

    rgeorge911 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2012
    I Know You've Decided, But

    Just a quick vote for the G3. I was in a similar situation when upgrading from a G1 and GF1 earlier this year. I decided on two G3 bodies. I find the G3 to be only minimally larger than the GF1, especially since I always had the live view finder on the GF1. The image quality upgrade is obvious.

    I understand the pluses of the GH2, as well. Neither choice will be a bad one.

    Since I shoot mostly stills, the video strengths of the GH2 didn't matter to me.

    BTW - I don't have any problem shooting legacy lenses with the G3.

    Enjoy your new GH2!

    My Lumix Blog:
  10. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    If you want a 2-body setup, two G3s will be better than one GH2 and something else. The GH2 uses its own unique battery and charger, while G3 shares battery and charger with the GF2 and the GX1.
  12. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    Each of us has our own needs, likes, and dislikes. But for me my primary focus is motion picture and the GH2 is rapidly earning a reputation as being one of the best performers in the DSLR type arena (even though the GH2 is not a true DSLR).

    I'm moving from Canon into mu4/3 for more compact gear, lighter weight, and the look of GH2 motion picture imagery. But one of the pleasant surprises was the "touchscreen" implementation. I've been no fan of touchscreen, could take it or leave it, but the GH2 implementation is hands down the best I've seen in anything I've handled.

    Using the "quick touchscreen menu" I can access just about any operating parameter I need to without having use dials, switches, or menus. And there is even a "rack focus" capability there by "touching" on the LCD the subject you need focus to change to.

    My choice was GH2, wait for the OMD E-M5, or stay with Canon. The Olympus had very appealing features, 5 axis IS, excellent high ISO performance, but limited frame rate options in video. So the choice I made was GH2.

    Actually 2 of them so I can do a 2 camera shoot and not have to worry with color matching.
  13. arg245

    arg245 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 25, 2012
    South Florida
  14. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    Well, thanks for all the advice. I bought the second-hand GH2, but from a seller on Mu-43, rather than the camera shop, saving a very few pounds. I'll be taking it out this weekend for a test run.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Bill (really)
    I favoured the G3 over the others for three reasons: 1) Size. I carry it around most of the time and the G3 is small enough for that. 2) Cost. The G3 was less expensive. 3) I don't do much video, so the GH2's video qulaities were not as important.

    Other, issues that I considered:

    The button placements on the G3 leave much to be desired. The multi-aspect settings on the GH2 isn't a big deal for me. I address the absence of the eye detection in the EVF by keeping the LCD turned in (so that the EVF is always on). The IQ for stills seems similar.
  16. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    My wife has a G3, I use a GH2. The G3 is smaller and lighter. The GH2 is easier and more comfortable to hold because of the larger grip, has much better controls for a serious photographer, and the multi-aspect sensor which is more useful than I expected. Having three customizable buttons has also been very useful to me.

    Initially, I didn't think the multi-aspect sensor would be that big a deal, since you can always crop, either in camera or later, from the 4/3 sensor, and 16 mp is enough that even after cropping resolution should be fine. But I discovered another advantage: when shooting wide-angle, switching to 16:9 makes a notable difference in the amount of horizontal coverage.

    My opinion: If you'll mostly put the camera on "P" and leave it there, go for the G3. But if you'll frequently change shooting modes, focus modes, set exposure bracketing on and off or switch between single and continuous shooting, the GH2 is simply much, much, much easier to use. It's got better ergonomics than a great many larger, more expensive cameras, and definitely better than the G3.

    While this is true, you actually CAN charge a G3 battery in a GH2 charger and vice-versa. The chargers are electrically identical, and the battery contacts in the same locations. The only issue is that one battery is a bit longer than the other. If you put the shorter battery in the charger made for the longer one, just stick a few pennies in to hold it in place. To charge the larger battery in the smaller charger, use a rubber band to hold it in place.

    No, not ideal, but I've tested it and it works. When my wife and I travel together, it's my backup plan in case either charger dies on us.
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    Thanks for that. I do shoot in a variety of modes and I also have large hands - my own thoughts on the G3 were that it would be tough for me to use it with some of the larger legacy lenses I like to put on it.

    I had never thought about the 16:9 giving wider coverage. As I just bought the Olympus 12mm f2, that will be interesting to try!
  18. micz87

    micz87 Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2012
    just waiting for soft hack for G3 as Vitaly from PersonalView works on it. We may then answer question above as video quality and features should be more similiar...
  19. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Real Name:
    I just made the choice to go with a GH2 over a G3 for physical handling considerations. I actually use the GH2 99.99% for stills but love a couple of old Canon FD/Minolta MD lenses that are heavy. I bought a TP half case which made the grip a little bigger but also the camera a little taller on the G3 from eBay. It is a very nice case for $45 (although not the same quality as a Gariz case) but unfortunately taller and bigger didn't help with handling too much and my hands aren't incredibly big. The grip/orientation of the shutter button on the GH2 works much better for me. In the end the difference in cost, $220 more for a GH2 body has been well worth. Both are very good cameras.

    One more thing, I don't find an advantage with the G3 in composition with the "part-screen" magnification setting when composing/manual focusing.
    • Like Like x 1