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Panny GH2 or G3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Sugarman, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Sugarman

    Sugarman Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    Hi everyone

    earlier today I was reading a thread where a member doubted between a G3 and a GF3.

    My doubt is regarding getting a G3 or a GH2.

    I am currently happy with my G1 but I would like to upgrade to a better sensor. I am not interested in video and portrait work is my main interest in photography.

    I see that the G3 is obviously an imporvement but at the cost of some loss, swivel screen. EV etc. I am by no means a novice now and would like to head into something that is going to allow me to be more creative and demand more from me as a photographer.

    Now that some time has elapsed since both models have been on the market I would apprecite comments from users on their experiences with the cameras.

    A few questions also. I have a Metz 48A flash for the G1 and presume this would fit both models. Correct?

    I am a keen user of prime adapted lenses and would be very pleased if members could let me know about their experiences using such lenses on either model.

    My thanks in advance

  2. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Not sure what you mean hear regarding the loss? The G3 has a swivel screen.

    A key difference between the two is that the GH2 has a connection for an external microphone - but since you are not into video that's not a big deal. The G3 has fewer direct external controls, but for the most commonly used functions there are dedicated buttons, plus two buttons you can assign as you wish.

    For still photography, I cannot imagine a benefit to the GH2 over the G3, but others may take a different view.
  3. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    And if "EV" is electronic viewfinder, then it has one of those, too. Also, I'm not sure "time has passed since both have been on the market" applies to the G3, since people are just receiving the first ones and most are still waiting.

    Functionally, the G3 is nearly as capable to the GH2, and most of the differences are video related. The grip is smaller on the G3 and the rest of the dimension are somewhat reduced, but the viewfinder hump is similarly sized. If you're mostly interested in stills, then the extra cost of the GH2 doesn't seem like it would be worth it.
  4. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    The big difference for me is the multi-aspect sensor. I may be in the minority, but it's a big deal to me. I shoot 3:2 most often, and I'm glad to not have to crop off parts of the image to do so, especially when shooting wide. Shooting 3:2 or even 16:9 native with an ultra wide adds significant horizontal FOV from the 4:3 aspect ratio, which is great. The EVF is a little better on the GH2, but I have a GH1 as well, and the EVF differences don't bother me much. I went with the GH1 as a second body mainly because it too has the multi-aspect sensor (and very similar image quality, though lower resolution and not quite as good at 1600 and higher).
  5. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    If video and extra controls are not a priority, then go with G3. I don't do videos either, but I like dials ... lots of dials! I hope the GH3 has dual control scroll wheels!!
  6. lapiz

    lapiz Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 21, 2010
    Hi Joe

    Until this year I had a LX3 a G1 and a GF1 and 4 panny lenses and loved them all. By January I had read enough about the GH2 to know I wanted one and also to know I wanted the 14-140 to go with it. Mainly because it was this combo that I could justify to myself the high asking price!
    With a lot of luck (for then) I managed to get them and I have to say that that camera completely changed my life. Everything about it rejuvinated me - the sensor ... the speed ... the response ... the controls .... the IQ ....

    I didn't care about the video side but there wasn't much around to photo in January except birds so I went into video mode with the long lens and never came out for 2 months - it was (and is) incredible on this kit.
    As the Spring came in I needed something macro and went after the PL45 on eBay quite a few times but always ended up just outbid so I turned to legacy instead with glass from Konica Minolta Sigma Tamron Voigtlander Oly etc and I can truly say that the GH2 made these lenses a pure joy to work with. Manual focus is very very easy and the control you get with that 10x mag is astonishing. To me the GH2 and old (or new) glass is a marriage made in the clouds!

    Because I wear specs I have also found that I couldn't live with a camera without a swivel LCD and EVF. I like and use both equally for different reasons to such a degree that I havn't taken one picture with the GF1 since the GH2 arrived.

    So in 6 months my skills have increased dramatically as has my appetite for taking pictures and it's all down to one camera and too many lenses !!

    Hope this helps

  7. John Bourne

    John Bourne Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 30, 2011
    I'm not into video so for me the biggest differences between these two (G3 vs GH2) are

    1) No focus mode switch on the G3. Now I find that only two of the four modes are usefull in most situations and that's face detect and single shot. I occasionally use continuous but its only good for slow moving subjects. Nevertheless it is handy to be able to select these quickly without having to delve into menus or have to look at the LCD to make the setting.
    2) No dedicated AE/AF lock button on the G3. On my GF1 & GH2 this button is right by yout right thumb and it has a different shape to the other buttons and a ridge along the middle so you can find it by feel alone. That how it needs to be Kudos to Panasonic for doing this right. But now they've removed it altogether on the G3. You can program another button for this but you won't find it easily just by feel.
    3) The grip on the G3 is much reduced. I'm not sure why they needed to do this since it only reduces the camera size/profile when it has no lens attached. A marketing thing I suppose. I personally prefer the grip on the GH2. Your index finger doesn't have any ball and socket joints in it - you can bend it but not rotate it. So when you curly the other three fingers around the G1/GH1/G2/GH2 grip your index finger naturally curves over the top of the grip. With the G3s' Samsung style grip you have to bend your second finger down round the front of the grip. Its a bit like holding a compact. Your index finger now wants to point forwards at an angle. You have to force it back towards the grip. Its fine for just a few shots now and again but if you shoot intensively for any time it gets uncomfortable. It will probably result in an arthitic finger eventually.

    I just hope that the older grip will return with the GH3 and that Panasonic are not planning to wean us all off physical controls in favour of touch screens.

  8. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    With regard to the AE/AF Lock and assigning a Fn button: you can in fact find the topmost Fn button very easily by feel on the G3. In fact, it falls very naturally to the thumb.

    I was surprised to find the G3 size, grip and handling very well thought out and comfortable. No issues at all.

    I like the focus mode switch on my GF1 for the same reason you note. I would prefer to have such a switch, but would also note that changing the setting is very fast on the G3: one of the 4-way control buttons is assigned, and then you can tap, navigate with the buttons or use the scroll wheel - and all of this can be done with the camera to your eye.

    Again, I prefer direct controls, but they really have thought through the interface.
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    The top Fn button on the GH2 is impossible (for me) to reach with the right index finger while my right hand is in its normal camera holding position around the grip. Aargh.
  10. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    That's frustrating. It was a concern for me when the G3 was announced. it's all very well for Fn buttons to be available, but I want them to be useable. Fortunately with the G3 all the buttons are very well placed and can be found by feel if that's how you prefer to operate, without any serious shifting of your hand position.
  11. mach330

    mach330 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 19, 2011
    The OC
    crap...i just called today to cancel my G3 order (kind'a digging the new olympus stuff) then they told me it shipped yesterday. must be a sign. i guess i'll keep it. sweet.
  12. I probably shouldn't say it until I've actually held one, but I think that the abbreviated grip on the G3 would improve the handling of the camera compared to the shrunken down mini-DSLR grip of the existing G/GH models which I find to be too narrow.
  13. Sugarman

    Sugarman Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    Hi folks... my apologies for not getting back here earlier.

    Many thanks to everyone for your opinions and observations. A number of very valid points to consider indeed.

    I have more or less made up my mind to head in the G3 direction partly because of an excellent deal I have found here in Spain... and availability.

    By Monday I have promised myself I will have decided.. or not.... or... Oh God.... dilemas!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. Sugarman

    Sugarman Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    Hi folks

    my new G3 arrived yesterday. Jpegs brilliant. Really. I am used to doing RAW in Lightroom which as of yet hasn't had the appropriate update... I hope it won't be long.

    A few observations. Coming from a G1, the switching back and forth from the screen to the EV is annoying. I will get used to it. The size means the buttons are smaller and I am a bit of a butter-fingers so far. I will get used to it. It's VERY easy to swtich into video mode without realsing.

    The manual is typical Panny.... how do they do it? They must be the worst camera manuals in existence.

    It's complex. Very. There seem to be a myriad of possible functions and settings and some of the basics can only be done using the menu. Mind change and memory, that's all. I think. I hope.

    It feels comfortable in my hand.

    The auto focus really IS fast. Unfortunately changing the size and position of the focus cursor was easier on the G1 so for an EV shooter that sort of cancels out some of the speed of the auto focus.

    The TTL works fine with my Metz 48A flash. I haven't tried off-camera flash yet.

    I have tried out two non-Panny lenses (Canon fd 85mm and Rokkor 50mm) and great results. The blown up manual assist is 100 times better than the G1.

    There are few very annoying and I think unecessary screen instruction/advisory boxes that pop up when not needed.

    Anyway, those are just a few observations after two days in-hand.

    The best of all... the image quality.

    Cheers... and once again, thanks for your previous comments

    • Like Like x 1
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