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Lumix G3 vs E-P3

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Gary_Berg, May 28, 2012.

  1. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    I started out looking at the OM-D E-M5, but decided that it's pretty much unobtainium and I really don't want to spend $1300 plus for a 2-lens kit plus body.

    I was looking at the E-P3, but I decided that since I was really going to want to use the EVF a lot, the E-P3 wasn't as compact as it would otherwise be. And it would still be at least $1000 with the VF-2 (going with Cameta factory refurb). It does have a great feel.

    I happened to be reminded about the Panasonic G3. It looks like it fits my criteria:

    1) EVF built in, so not a separate purchase and is part of the body.

    2) The price is less, so it more closely fits my criteria (cost would be about $750 for a 2-lens kit).

    It appears, from what I've read, that the 16Mp sensor on the G3 is similar to that on the Oly E-M5. Oly's had the advantage of another year to tweak the sensor, but they are similar in terms of resolution and noise. Am I correct about that?

    From reading the forums, it appears the 14-45 is probably the best of the short "kit" lenses. I'm looking for opinions on how well it compares with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO. I'm looking at the SLRGear reviews, and it appears that they are close. The 14-45 being better, but close. Opinions?

    Also, it appears that the 45-200 is most popular in the medium zoom range. How does it compare to the 45-175 (I know the 45-175 is a bit lighter)? It appears that Panasonic may have discontinued the 45-200?

    Batteries? It looks like having a couple spares is important. Third party suggestions, or am I best sticking with Panasonic's own batteries?

    It looks like Panasonic raw images are larger than Olympus images even after you take into account the difference in Mp. Am I correct in my observation? Are Panasonic raw images losslessly compressed before being stored?

    I'm coming from an Olympus E-510 with the 2 lens kit. I'm looking for smaller/lighter and more compact. But much of what I will do is outdoor photography, which means that the LCD will tend to be hard to see and the EVF will be important. I do like the tilt/swivel LCD. My first two digicams were a Canon Pro90 IS and Konica Minolta A2, so I'm well familiar with the advantages of EVFs.

    Thanks for any observations.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    They could be the exact same sensor. Resolution is the same, looks like noise is similar, but a little better in the newer Oly. Either way, they are a HUGE leap over what was in your 4/3 Olympus.

    Still shows on their website. Great lens - most underrated lens in m43, and a tremendous value IMHO.

    Yes, you will definitely want some spare batteries. I go with the originals, but had a third party "BECAM" in my GF1 and it was always fine.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It really boils down to what you like and judging from what you are saying I'd think the G3 would be a more natural fit for you. The E-P3 and G3 are both terrific cameras but coming from the E-510 the G3 will give you an experience much closer to THAT...except the EVF on the G3 is a huge improvement over the E-510's OVF (I always thought the E-510's OVF was terrible). I came to m43 from using an E-510, 14-54 and 40-150 and I find that my GH2, 14-45 and 45-200 are a better kit than my E-510 kit ever was. It's smaller, has better IQ, HD video and its easier to adapt legacy glass to m43 cameras (I like using adapted lenses). I should think the G3 will give you much the same results and the G3 is even more compact than the older G and GH series Panasonic bodies. Also, it is relatively simple to alter the in camera AWB and color in Panasonic bodies to produce pleasing JPEG color much like the Olympus cameras. There is no IBIS on the Panasonic bodies but the 14-45 (a terrific kit lens) and the 45-200 (VERY underrated lens) both have switchable IS on the lens barrel. A spare battery is a good idea as are spare extra SD cards (video takes up a lot of space).
     
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  4. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    297
    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    I recently switched from an Olympus E-PL2 to the G3 and have found the Panasonic to be very capable with excellent image quality. You are correct about the batteries; they can run down quickly on the G3. The camera turns off the LCD when it is left closed with screen facing in; all information and images are displayed on the EVF. I have found battery performance to be excellent when operated this way and this is becoming normal for me except when I am shooting macro with the PL45.

    The G3 is a lot of camera for the current going rate. Mine was a gift from my wife and did not have a lens, but I already had the 20mm and have since added the 14mm, 45mm, and 45-200mm. I have not heard any nice things about the 14-42mm kit lens and have only heard nice things about the 14-45mm. I have made my choices for now, but will probably add the 14-45mm in the future.

    I came to the micro four-thirds platform from an Olympus E-620, so I think you will find the G3 to be a very nice step up in image quality and performance.

    Lee
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't know if this will help you, but you don't need to get a 2-lens kit for your E-M5 body. Why not just get the MMF-3, MMF-2, MMF-1, or Panasonic DMW-MA1 and use your current two-lens kit.

    The E-M5 body-only is $1000. The best Four-Thirds adapter out now is the MMF-3 and it's $180, but you can get a lot cheaper than that if you look around. The MMF-2 should be the cheapest of the OEM brands and you won't pay any more than $150 at full retail price, but I hear you can buy it online for about $90, or Viltrox also makes an adapter for about $75.

    The twin-lens kit on your E-510 is CDAF compatible and will operate decent on your E-M5. Not quite as fast to focus as native lenses, but close enough.
     
  6. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    Okay, I'm going to reply to all 3 of you as thoughts come to me...

    Is the 14-42 that comes in the G3 kit OIS? I had the impression it was, I'd like to be sure. Any feel for how it compares to the Oly 14-42 for the full four thirds cameras, since most of you came from over there?

    I'd rather not use my Oly four thirds lenses with an adapter on the E-M5; I had considered doing that for the 40-150, but I'd rather not. It would be possible to do that and skip buying the 45-200, but then I'd not have IS on the G3. I am aware that Oly has a rebate on the mmf-3 right now with purchase. If it was more available I'd consider it, but my target is vacation in 3 weeks.

    It looks like Panasonic is really pushing the 45-200 right now with discounts, which is why availability is down. Any thoughts on comparing the 45-200 to the 45-175? The 45-175 is lighter and smaller, for sure.

    Any gut feels on the G3 to E-M5 comparison? My feel is they are comparable, the Oly maybe a bit more refined in comparison.

    Any feedback on batteries, besides the fact I probably need to buy at least a pair? Who should I buy from, Pany originals or third party? It know that Pany has coding in the batteries, I don't know if that's been reliably broken or not. I do realize in theory the Pany batteries are a safer bet. In theory. I know that third party will be less expensive.

    If I was going to do old third party lenses, I'd have done it with my E-510 or earlier E-500. But I never did.

    Oh yes, will my Oly FL-36 work with the G3? Does Panasonic support the R flashes?
     
  7. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    Please, if you could, give me a pointer to some info about that. The G3 raw files are nearly 20mb in size, really freaked me out. At least they are old enough that my iPad can read them at least somewhat.
     
  8. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    297
    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    I have had my G3 for less than a month. I read quite a bit about the quality of Panasonic JPEGs and shot RAW out of the box. Curiosity got me and I tried JPEG; the images are excellent. I have selected Vivid to increase saturation, but that is the only change so far. I will shoot RAW when the scene is complex and I expect to post process. Also planning to tweak settings, but just learning the camera for now.

    There are things I miss from the Olympus, but Panasonic got an awful lot right with the G3. I hear the same about the OM-D, so I don't think you can make a bad choice between the two.

    Lee
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    Here is a thread that I started a while back and lots of folks jumped in with their settings. Take a a look. It has some examples of various ways to tweak the color to get great OOC JPEGs. See what you think.

    https://www.mu-43.com/f43/panasonic-color-26171/
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The 14-42 has IS but you access via the camera UI as opposed to a switch on the camera.

    I think the 45-200 is a much better lens than most people give it credit for. Do a search on this forum to see some great examples of what it can do. IMHO it's a better lens than the Olympus 40-150.

    I'd say the OMD is better. It has better DR and overall IQ seems to be better but I don't think were talking a lot here. The G3 is awfully good and has some definite advantages over the OMD for me. For instance I am a huge fan of the articulating LCD. The flip up LCD on the OMD is not something I like.

    Using adapted lenses with ANY of the m43 bodies is a snap. Buy the right adapter and your good to go. Most adapters can be bought on eBay for around $25-$30 delivered. Rainbowimaging is an eBay vendor I have had very good luck with.
     
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  11. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    Anyone have comparison info on the Pany 45-200 versus the Pany 45-175? It's getting harder to find the 45-200 because of the instant rebate Pany is offering. The 45-175 is smaller and is a PZ Len. I assume a newer design? How does the quality compare!
     
  12. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    Another question; do the Olympus FL flashes work with the G3, particularly the FL-36?
     
  13. wgriggs

    wgriggs New to Mu-43

    5
    May 29, 2012
    As what is stated here, the choice will ultimately boil down to what you prefer though you have presented quite some differences with them. And looking at things plainly here, I would actually consider that you are leaning toward the G3 here.

    Not really to go about and claim that will be something that would fit you better but at least that should be something that could probably be the better option at least between the options here.
     
  14. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    G3 is on order and should arrive today. I'm still looking for feedback on the Pany 45-200 vs the Pany 45-175. I hit a thread here complaining about doubled edges on the 45-175?? Is this still a problem?

    And it looks like I found confirmation that my FL-36 will work...
     
  15. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    I've had the 45-200, two samples of it, and replaced the second sample with the 45-175. My first 45-200 had a large unsharp blob in the lower left corner, my second one was slightly unsharp at the right border and my 45-175 is also not optimally sharp at the right border. So much for consistency from sample to sample.

    Apart from size and weight, I found the 45-175 a modest, but significant improvement over the 45-200 in the image quality department. The 45-175 has more contrast and is maybe just that little bit sharper; in practice the 45-175 can give sparkling images and the 45-200 not so much. In grey weather the 45-200 could turn up with dull, greyish pictures which didn't improve enough in PP for my taste. Also, the 45-200's vignetting is more pronounced: even when shooting at f/8 I had to correct for it.

    You should be aware that some people complain about the 45-175's OIS effectiveness at shutter speeds between 1/30 s and 1/250 s. I had those issues until I updated its firmware to V1.1, but some people state this firmware didn't help them very much. The 45-200 doesn't seem to be plagued by OIS issues. Either lens is best ordered IMHO with a store with a liberal return policy to counter for sample variation in IQ and OIS performance.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Jan 25, 2012
    That's interesting. Photozone tested both 45-200 and 45-175 and the newer lens fared worse. Now after your post I think maybe they had a bad copy of 45-175..
     
  17. Gary_Berg

    Gary_Berg Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 27, 2012
    Sounds like some QA issues. What camera are you using the 45-175 with? And I would think that if the new firmware makes such a difference it would come in the new lenses.

    How do firmware updates go on Panasonic cameras and lenses? And how can I check them?
     
  18. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Dec 26, 2011
    Both lenses appear to have sample variation. Someone posted a dead sharp portrait taken at 200mm with the 45-200mm. I wanted the 45-175mm because I prefer internal zooming, but got the 45-200mm at the reduced price. Watch for the reviews by LensRentals.com which has reviewed wide angle and normal range m43 lenses, and should be doing the telephoto zooms next.
     
  19. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    I'm using it on the GH2. I guess by now the lenses have firmware V1.1 on board, it was released in nov. 2011.

    I've done more than 10 firmware updates on Panny cameras and lenses, all of them went smoothly. You have to take care that the battery is (almost) fully charged, otherwise the camera won't run the update procedure. The lens to be updated has to be mounted on the camera. There's a menu item showing the firmware versions of camera and lens mounted.

    Steps in short:
    1. Download firmware on your PC.
    2. Execute the downloaded program.
    3. Copy the bin (camera) or lin (lens) file to the root folder of an SD card.
    4. Insert the card into the camera.
    5. Switch the camera on.
    6. Press the Play button.
    7. Follow directions on LCD.
    8. Presto!

    Find downloads and detailed instructions here.
     
  20. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Quite to the contrary, i just did the firmware update on my 45-200 and it is downright amazing now