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Panasonic G3 or G5 for Beginner?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Marine Paethor, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Marine Paethor

    Marine Paethor Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    After getting some feedback here in the forums, and researching a bit more, I have decided to go with a Panasonic for my first jump into micro 4/3. I think having a viewfinder will make a big difference for me, so I've been leaning towards the G5. I also like the size and look of it. But after reading some of the comments here, and a few other things online, I am trying to decide if I should go with a G3 to start. Some of the differences I can see are the the resolution of the LCD, which I don't see as a huge issue since I'll use the viewfinder most of the time, and the video quality, which isn't my primary concern for the camera.

    The two things I do question are the differences between the sensor/processor , and the difference in ISO, with the G5 going to 12800 and the G3 only going to 6400. I'm wondering if these two things play a big enough role that I'd be better off going with the G5, or if the differences are minimal enough that I should go with the G3.

    The best price I can find the G5 for is $500 with the 14-42mm lens, or $600 with the 14-42mm and the 45-150mm.

    I found the G3 on B&H with the 14-42mm for $350. With the difference in price, and if there won't be a huge difference in bodies, I'm thinking I might be better off with the G3 and an additional lens for about the same price as the G5.

    I would greatly appreciate any thoughts, opinions, or experience on this debate so I can make a decision and finally pull the trigger on a purchase. :) 

    Thank you very much.
  2. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    I would suggest going into a store to handle both bodies as they are different to hold. You would want your camera to be enjoyable to use.
  3. nublar

    nublar Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2013
    G5KK is also $570 @ Amazon with the 45-150. Lowest price ever was $470 for the G5KK with the 45-150. The G5KK has also been popping up around $400 quite often.

    I got the G3KK back in November for $300 but had to jump on the $470 G5KK + 45-150.

    Just give it a couple of weeks for another deal to pop up.
  4. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Look in " hot deals" above. I believe there's a G5 kit for $399, unless it expired. Lot's of good used G3's being sold here all of the time. I know. I sold mine w/extras for $235. Had less than 3500 actuations.
  5. simonz

    simonz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    New England
    Go with the G5

    The G5 has better ergonomics. The improved grip alone is worth the extra cost. Also, it has a silent shutter mode that is useful in certain situations. I had a G3 and now a G5 and I think the IQ is improved over the G3.
  6. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    What simonz said.

    The ergonomics are just so much better on the G5. The G3 was my first µ43, and I did really like it (kept it as a backup body), but the G5 is so much easier to handle.
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Not really sure about the definitive ergo differences, but I wear an L to XL glove, and have no issues with the size of the grip on the G3 I have. I also find that it is easier to slip into a pocket than something with a larger grip would be. Personally, if you have X set aside to spend regardless, I think the extra money going to a second lens may help more than the differences in body.
  8. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    G5 all the way. Better grip, more dynamic range, 2/3 stop better noise, the higher res lcd actually does make the difference when checking focus, and most importantly for you: the auto evf switch is back.
  9. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I think you might actually find that the G3 has a lower noise rating at high ISO than the G5
    The 12800 rating for maximum ISO is superfluous as images at that ISO are probably of little use due to the noise - 6400 is probably as high as you would want to go
    There are pros and cons for both
    G3 is very good and a lot smaller. With a pancake lens fitted you can get it into a large coat pocket which is a great bonus when you want your camera with you 'at all times'
    The G5 however is like others have said much better ergonomically and much more comfortable with bigger zoom and telephoto lenses such as the 14 - 140 and 100 - 300
    The G5 also has the 'Touch Pad facility whereby you can move the focus point with a finger or thumb on the LCD whilst at the same time looking through the viewfinder. This is very seldom mentioned and seems to be somewhat overlooked. It is a great feature especially with Macro
    Switchable Vf/LCD is mentioned a lot but if like me you mainly use the VF this is not a huge issue
    You will save money and have a 'pocketable' camera with the G3 which is not far off of the G5 for image quality or you can get the G5 which is more comfortable in the hand especially one handed and with bigger lenses and which has better features (some of which are not mentioned here) but spend more money !
    I think if I was starting out I would go with the G3 for the price you could get one for nowadays
    I don't believe you would be disappointed with the results
    If you get the chance then go to a store and try them both as some dislike the ergonomics of the G3 but this is not always an option where some live I know
    I personally highly rate both cameras for different reasons as above
  10. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Having owned both, I would say there is absolutely nothing wrong with the G3 if that's what your budget can handle. But if you can swing the price difference, go for the G5 for the reasons stated above, particularly by Lisandra. If you need something smaller later, I would suggest the Olympus E-PM2 would make a fabulous pairing alongside the G5. Or a Panasonic GX1 on closeout.
  11. dwrk

    dwrk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    ...the G5 has a better evf optics and less "smearing"...may be important if you wear glasses
  12. lhwu317

    lhwu317 New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    Hi all!

    I'm actually in the same situation as the original poster (complete newb trying to decide between the g3 and g5). I'm trying to take it with me on a 2 month long backpacking trip to SE Asia, so for me the size/weight is an important consideration.

    Also wondering how far the 14-42mm kit lens that is included will get me if I am just starting off. Should I spring for a package that includes a 45-200mm lens as well? I imagine I will be taking mostly landscapes, but some monuments will be quite far away...
  13. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Either way, G3 or G5 you can't go wrong... depends on you budget. Guys, I will suggest is start it out with one lens. Then take it from there.
  14. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    not knowing what you like to shoot, it's hard to say, but i'd get the zoom. when i got my G3, i was happy i already had a 45-200 from my GF1. i see a lot of people are happy with primes and shorter zooms, but i like versatility - specifically the ability to take a pic of something far away without it being teeny in the EVF and the picture.

  15. lhwu317

    lhwu317 New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    pcake, I have heard that the 45-200 is awkward on the G3 and makes it somewhat difficult to handle. What are your thoughts about that?
  16. dhewie84

    dhewie84 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2013
    I think the biggest factor is what you want for lenses. The G3 is considerably cheaper than the G5, but you only get the kit lens. If you think you want the 45-150mm lens, then you will end up spending the same with that as you would for a G5 kit with both lenses. But if you don't need more than the kit lens, or want something different than the 45-150mm, the G3 may be the way to go.
  17. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i guess it depends how you shoot. i'm only 5' 3" and didn't find it awkward or unbalanced at all, but then i got used to shooting with my left hand supporting the body and lens of any camera i use. actually of all my lenses here at the time, the 45-200 was the one that spent most of the time on my G3.

  18. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I've handled all the G's, and the G5 is my favorite by far.
  19. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    agreed. the G5 has a great feel.

  20. ConChuot

    ConChuot Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 19, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    I Lille G5. It is focus faster than G3
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