Looking into the Lumix jungle - lost

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by LindaZ, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    I've tried to look into the Lumix :43: cameras but ..there's just too many. Do anyone know of a comparison site that I could look at?

    There's F H X 1 2 3 ... all I want is a camera that has a viewfinder and good IQ for still frames with a nice, snappy response. No need for HD video.
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Look at the g3! Best bang for your buck right now IMO

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Not so hard, really, at least for Panasonic. In all cases, the number references the generation of the particular model (e.g., GH2 is the second generation of the GH series). Except the Japanese frequently skip the number 4.

    GF series (with the exception of the long-discontinued GF1) are low-end, fairly basic cameras aimed at P&S upgraders. The current version is the GF3. A new version (GF5) is just around the corner.) No EVF.

    GX 1 Small and light, but with more manual controls than the GF, and a metal body instead of the plastic of the GF series. A plug-in EVF is an option.

    GH series. H = hybrid, meaning optimized for video as well as stills. Built in EVF. The top of Panasonic's line. Also the most "advanced" in terms of features, and the best ergonomics of current Panasonics. Large, comfortable grip, lots of external controls so you don't have to go into the menus all the time. GH2 is the current model, GH3 rumored to be introduced later this year, maybe in the fall, but no one really knows.

    G series In between the GF and GH. Built in EVF. The current model, G3, is much more compact than the GH2, pretty much matches it in IQ (slightly better at high ISO), but doesn't have all the manual controls, so you have to use the menus more often. The prior model, the G2, was very similar to the GH2, lacking mainly the video capabilities. So not as compact as the G3, but with better ergos. (I have an almost new one for sale, if you're interested). A G5 is rumored to be around the corner, but no one really knows when, or what it will offer compared to the G3.

    Olys (I'm not as knowledgeable here, so someone may correct me). No current Oly's have built-in EVFs, but all accept an accessory, plug-in unit, I believe. The OMD, due in April has a built-in EVF.

    e-pm1: The smallest, lightest Oly. Compares to the GF series. Like all Oly's has in-body image stabilization, but many have reported issues with IBIS at certain shutter speeds with this camera.

    e-P3: The high end Oly. More control capabilities, but still requires more menu use than the Panasonic GH2 or G2.

    e-PL3. The P3 "light" Fewer features than the P3, but similar performance.

    OM-D EM-5: Olympus' newest camera, available some time in April. Their competitor to the GH2. More robust, all metal, weather-sealed body, improved (according to Oly) IBIS, more manual controls than prior Olys. New sensor that's better than what's in the prior Olys, on par or somewhat better than in the G and GH series Panasonics.

    More details about each available here: Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Benefits of Micro Four Thirds

    and at the manufacturers web sites.

    LUMIX G™ MICRO SYSTEM | LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global

    PEN System Cameras

    FEATURES | OLYMPUS OM-D | Olympus Imaging

    Test reports for all of them are available at dpreview.com.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina

    That was very kind of you, thanks for the help :smile:
  5. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    Worth noting that with regard to the E-PM1's IBIS issues, many had their problems resolved with the latest firmware update. I, personally, never experienced the issue at all because the update was already released when I purchased mine.

    ...but you were asking about the Lumix line-up, so possibly irrelevant (although I think you should at least give the Oly's a look).
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Sounds like the G3 is what you're after. :) 
  7. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    I've already excluded the Oly's for various reasons. I like my cameras bulkier and built in viewfinder. Don't want to spend $200 on just one gimmick for that part only.
    Since I don't have a DSLR anymore...I want something as close to it as possible.

    It might very well be Ned! We'll see...
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    G3 ... you'll be as happy as a clam in wet sand.

  10. 00r101

    00r101 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2012
    +1 on the G3

    If you want something smaller look at the Oly PM1 as best bang for the buck without an EVF
  11. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    Seeing the G2 is already 2 years old...I think I best go look for a G3 :biggrin:

    I like being happy as a clam in sand :thumbup:
  12. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    G3! I got mine in January, and have been very happy with it, even though I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do. The viewfinder was the decisionmaker for me.
  13. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    GX1 is also an option if you don't mind having the EVF be an external part. More expensive and no articulating screen, but smaller form factor if that matters.
  14. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    Thanks Spelstrong, but less expensive is a better option for me :)  And since I used to log a Nikon D300 around, I don't think I'd mind the size of a G3. Think I will also keep the PL1 until I've been handling a G3 (when I get hold of one). Considering how cheap the PL1 are selling for now, I might as well keep it for purse days, or the kids to use.
  15. LindaZ

    LindaZ Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    What am I expected to pay for a G3? With or without kit lens 14-42mm.
  16. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    If you're looking for more of a DSLR form factor, the G2 actually is better equipped than the G3. Two years old isn't THAT old. Heck, your D300s just as old, and my D200 is older! The G2 has a bigger grip, bigger battery, automatic viewfinder sensor, more buttons and switches, etc. If you're looking for a DSLR-like body, the G2 is the second-best handling Panasonic. Only the $1,000 GH2 is better, and the G2 beats out its newer brother G3, especially if you are going to be using those older Nikon lenses (trust me, I know from experience :biggrin:). Understand that you'd be trading those handling improvements for a worse sensor (it's actually identical to your E-PL1's image quality, as opposed to the newer G3/GX1 sensor). Just another option, if price matters. It was available for $300 while it was in stock a few months ago, so maybe you can find one for $250-$300 in the buy/sell section.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro


    $550 body only, or about $630 with lens.
  18. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    +1 on not ruling out the G2. The G3 does have an updated sensor, but in terms of handling, the G3 is like a G2 that was left in the dryer too long. Some people prefer the more compact size of the G3, but if you don't mind the slightly larger form factor, the G2 deserves a close look.

    This assumes you're comfortable buying used, because the good deals on new models do seem to have dried up.
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If you want new then the G3 is what you're looking for if you're willing to buy used then the G1 and G2 could also be thrown into the mix (they would be significantly less). All are excellent cameras.

    G3 - 16mp, 1080 video, smaller body than the other G series cameras
    G2 - 12mp 720 video, excellent ergonomics
    G1- 12mp no video, excellent ergonomics

    The G3 has the best IQ of the bunch but the G1 and G2 are also quite good and have some advantages. They'd be a lot cheaper. The reason I bring it up is because I think the G1 and G2 are superior ergonomically to the G3. I like the G3 but the times I have held one I didn't find it as comfortable in the hand. Of course that could also be due to my familiarity with the G2.
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I can appreciate that but newer doesn't make the G3 better...just newer. The G2 has some things features that the G3 does not such as a bigger and more comfortable grip, auto on/off eye sensor on the EVF and more manual controls (dials and buttons). That said it really is what you're comfortable with and the G3 is a heck of a camera.

    I'd suggest going to a store and handling one of you have the opportunity.
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