Looking at g1/G2 or G3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by funkytwig, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. funkytwig

    funkytwig New to Mu-43

    Feb 2, 2015
    I, have quite a range of Lumix lenses I use for my AF101 video camera which I use professionally. I want to spend a little on a stills camera that uses the same lenses, shoots RAW and has good low light performance (i.e. not too much visual noise at highish ISO and good autofocus in low light).

    It seems I can pick up a G1, G2 or G3 for around £60 used. Looking at reviews it seems the G3 is a lot better in low light but I am put off by the smaller size and reduced ergonomics that goes with this. I also cant work out if the G2 is actually any better (or worse) in low light. Lastly I am wondering why the G3 is selling used for a similar price for the G1. Are people not getting on with it? In a similar vein wondering why the G2 is not much more expensive used than the G1.

    Be interested in peoples experience and opinion, especially concerning low light performance and why the G3 is not significantly more expensive.

    Alternatively maybe there are other cameras people can recommend that fits the bill (for a similar price).

  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    Not certain what the prices are where you live, but I would suggest looking for a used G5. It uses a generation-newer sensor than the G3, has better ergonomics, higher res EVF, etc. They can be had for pretty cheap over here in the States.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
    You are looking at older cameras - G1 in 2008, G2 in 2010, and G3 in 2011. G1 was the first m4/3 camera and didn't have video that shouldn't matter to you. G2 added video, improved processor, and touch screen among others. G3 got smaller, less exterior controls, more MP's, another improved processor and more. Below are older reviews with tech info and samples of noise, saturation and more.

    G1 - http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG1/DMCG1A.HTM
    G2 - http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG2/DMCG2A.HTM
    G3 - http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG3/DMCG3A.HTM

    I agree if you can get a G5, it will be better than any of the 3 above. Although, I prefer the external controls of the G2.

    Good luck.
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    G3 and G5 are the same 16MP sensor.
  5. profgregorio

    profgregorio Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    I had a G3 and then upgraded to a G5. The much-improved ergonomics alone of the G5 was worth the upgrade for me.
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    my view is that there is little if nothing to really distinguish them, so unless you have a desire for the touch screen then G1 is a bargain.

    when looking at the specs on this page


    you will note the unequal distribution of ISO on the lines, meaning that the ISO of the G3 needs to be set to 200 to equal the sensitivity of the G1 at 100 ... thus the specs may seem to show that S/N Ratio is better on the G3 when its actually not so different

    look through the measurements and scores with a careful eye there and you'll see its up to you.

    I loved my G1, only sold it to get a GH1 as I wanted video for a trip. I personally did over 20,000 exposures on it without a snag and took it everywhere from -35C in Finland to tropical rain forests.

    You may also find the GH1 an interesting alternative as it has a better sensor than any of those mentioned ... quite the sleeper in used value
  7. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I liked the G3 have one that I may sell as I have a pair of GX7's, the newer cameras I have tried are a bit better but as a stills machine I do not think you can go wrong with a G3 for what they are going for now, I would go for one over the G1 and 2. Where are you by the way?
  8. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I still shoot with a G1 and find it quite good. Low light performance is adequate with a bit of work (shoot RAW and post-process carefully). In good light it is very good.

    In general, the G1 and G2 are much the same; there are only minor feature differences and no significant image quality differences.

    The G3 was a step up in low light image quality and, going by the years of comments on this forum, a massive step down in ergonomics, which is likely to be a major factor in its relatively low value on the used market. The G5 fixes the handling flaws in the G3, based on the comment trends.
  9. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    I seem to be one of the few "G" fans and have owned most all of them at one time or another. They seem to quickly fall out of favor, maybe because a new "G" came out every year for a while there until the G6 which as stood it's ground for a while. Anyhow I would characterize them like so.

    G1 & G2, same camera, same sensor, with video in the G2 (720p only). These are miniature DSLR bodies with lots of external buttons. They used the old 12mp sensor.

    The G3 game along with the much improved sensor in a smaller size, removing a lot of the buttons in favor of a touch screen. Added 1080p and electronic shutter. Most common complains are about menu diving, lack of eye sensor, and sort of whacky JPEG output but I never had a big problem with it.

    The G5 addressed a lot of the G3 complaints - eye sensor came back, the grip got bigger and the JPEGs improved. It has the same sensor but somehow I do see some improvement.

    The G6 got larger still with improved video, although it's still pretty small. I have not owned one of these (yet).

    In my opinion the G5 is the best value now, it can be picked up for well under $200 used and can compete with any of the latest Canon or Nikon crop cameras.

    If you shoot in good light the G1 and G2 (and red-headed stepchild G10) are perfectly suitable cameras too that you can pick up for around a hundred bucks. This is cheaper than just a digital viewfinder for some other cameras. The external buttons are really nice to have. I also like the red and blue ones but they're hard to find.
  10. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    No electronic shutter on the G3. Added to the G5
  11. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    The G5 is your best choice as it is very cheap and considerably more capable than the earlier models.

    The G3 is pretty nice too, though, if you can get one for really cheap.
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I use a G1, great body.
    Got a G3 which in my opinion is slightly better at high ISOs but loses some body functions.
    Bought an e-pM2 (then an e-pL7) and it was MUCH better at low-light but totally different body functions.
    G5 & G6 have warmed-up GH2 sensors as far as I can discern, and are not up to the latest stuff for low-light.

    So going against the thread flow, if you really want a Panasonic that has a good body and good low-light get a GX7 or GH3
  13. funkytwig

    funkytwig New to Mu-43

    Feb 2, 2015
    about 3 times the price (more than i want to spend). If I was thinking of spending that much would probably get a GH2.
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That older 12MP sensor was not great at high ISO. The 16MP on in the G3 isn't bad. I would also consider a GX1 if you aren't married to a viewfinder.
  15. funkytwig

    funkytwig New to Mu-43

    Feb 2, 2015
    going for a g5, it really is very similar to the GH3 for photography.
  16. iamajai

    iamajai Mu-43 Regular

    Would you recommend an upgrade to a GH1 for a long time G1 user? Will you notice any increase in still performance? What did you find better?
  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    hard to say ... I have no real direct comparison to my GH1 except (anymore, as I sold the G1) with my GF-1 (which IIRC is more or less the same as the G1) ... there is a slight advantage to the stills on the GH1, but to be honest if I didn't have any interest in video and I could just reverse the situation I'd probably do it because I find that the location of the "quickrecord" button on the GH1 to be stupid. I'm used to it now, but I was always pressing it.

    IF video was a priority I'd probably get the GH2, but its not ... and I don't like the GH3/4 bulky body....

    To be honest both cameras (GH1/G1) are very close but the GH1 is ahead by about a stop. I'd put it (and so too does DxO) very close to the newer cameras in almost every respect.

    G1 / GH1

    back then dpreview was patchy in their review format and they never did like keeping easy side by side past a certain generation point...
  18. davidavdavid

    davidavdavid Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 2, 2015
    funkytwig, if you are still in the market for a G2, i have one here in London which I am not using, so if you're local we can meet up
  19. funkytwig

    funkytwig New to Mu-43

    Feb 2, 2015
    Thanks everyone. Ended up getting a G5 (got a body for £100). The video functionality is actually shockingly bad. Basically its all automatic. This was not a biggie but may upgrade to a GH2 (or is this actually a downgrade in terms of stills?

  20. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    its an upgrade in every way you could look at it.