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Should I buy cheap G2 or expensive G3?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by nickfromlondon, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I am so pleased to have found this forum, it seems highly friendly.

    I wouldn't even call myself an amateur photographer but I now need to invest in a decent camera, not least because I am off to Africa with a charity and part of my remit will be to document my trip in photos.

    In a nutshell, anything I buy will be better than what I already have. I don't have the expertise to buy a DSLR hence why I'm looking at micro 4/3.

    I am looking at the Panasonic G series cameras. From what I can see, in the sub £500 range, the G3 is the best (and most recent camera). There is also the GH3 but that seems to be much less well specced (and is too small to carry a decent lens).

    Meanwhile, the "old" G2s are going for cheap online.

    Is there a case for getting a G2 (they cost less that a GH3). Or is it worth paying the extra £120 for a G3?

    I know that with computers, just because something came out a year ago, that doesn't mean it is obsolete. Is it the same with cameras?

    Thanks a lot for reading. Any help would be much appreciated.

    All the best

  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Is there a specific reason you're looking at m43 and not DSLR?
  3. nickfromlondon

    nickfromlondon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    Hi Art,

    My photography loving friend has said that for a beginner like me, I would be better of with more automation, hence m43. Plus I get a sense that there is more value to be had in m43 for a beginner...


  4. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    I would probably disagree with your friend. DSLR's have just about all the same auto-functions of a M43 camera. They'll just have their own (Canon/Nikon) name to describe them.

    For all intents and purposes, M43 camera's and DSLR's are very similar. To put it simply, it's things inside the camera that are different, rather than how they are used.
  5. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    Sub £500, I have to say, in your position, I'd be tempted by a Canon 550D with kit lens if you don't mind the extra bulk.

    My main reason is that they (Canon DSLR's) are as common as muck and there's bound to be other users in the group you're with with one. This might give you the opportunity to share lenses but will also give you chances to pick people's brains if you need a bit of help.
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Hmm... The main reason people are choosing m43 is substantial size and weight reduction of a system compared to dslr system. Other than that, dslrs currently have much better (and cheaper) selection of AF lenses and bodies while the image quality and low light AF is better too. For 90% of consumers rebel+bright f2.8 constant zoom is all they'll ever need (if they're ok with size/weight, I definately am not).
    Maybe your friend thinks that m43 will be easier for you cause you're used to LiveView only? in which case it makes sense (I simply can't stand using dslr viewfinders myself). Canon's liveview is horrible and not really usable, IMO (dunno about Nikon)
  7. Gerald

    Gerald Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2011
    The G2 is a great camera. The G3 may be better in some respects, however the question is whether you will actually notice the difference. The cash saved with a cheaper body might spare you some extra budget to spend on lenses later on. Which I think is more interesting and a better investment. But I'd start out with the g2 and kitlens. Great value and loads of fun. Don't buy extra gear and lenses until you know why you need it.
  8. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Buy the G2, use the extra money to get a good lens.
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think you mean GF3
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The only reason to get a G2 over a G3 would be to use the money saved on a good lens, which will get you a lot further than the improved sensor of the G3, and will also be a long-term investment which could last you decades as opposed to the short-term investment of a body which could last you years.

    PS, I think you meant to say GF3 in your original post, rather than GH3.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Okay now, hold on a second. I went from a DSLR (Olympus E520 and Nikon D40) to m43 and the size difference is significant even with something like the G2. IN addition, the G2 is just about the most comfortable camera I have ever used. It has lots of control and I find the IQ to be quite good.

    So, back to the OP...I thin k the G2 is an excellent choice. I prefer its handling over the G3 although the G3 will have a bit better IQ. That said, I am of the opinion that that IQ differences may show up fine when photographing test charts but I have found very little difference between the various outputs of all my m43 cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I think I tend to agree that perhaps your friend has recommended m4/3 for the wrong reason. It's still a very good recommendation, but m4/3 cameras like the G2 or G3 are no harder or easier to operate than your average DSLR. Instead enjoy the (very close to) DSLR performance, smaller size, lighter weight, and using a camera that performs optimally whether you choose to use the viewfinder or not.
  13. CCRoo

    CCRoo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2011
    Some points:

    SIZE: DSLR's are pretty big and chunky compared to M43. People take note of DSLR's, they're "serious" and conspicuous. People notice when you point one at them.

    CONVENIENCE: Do I bring my camera or not? You will be more tempted to leave your DSLR at the hotel because of its size. It's a lot easier to opt to take an M43 camera along with you. They are compact and fit in one hand (some models more than others).

    EASE OF USE: As others have said, M43 offers no advantage over DSLRs.

    FUN FACTOR: Who wants to carry around the same kind of camera every one else has? These cameras are fun and rare enuf to feel interesting and unique.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    When you're relatively in the middle of nowhere and you need to find/borrow a battery/charger/lens, you're a lot better off with something that the majority are familiar with, than something different just for the sake of being interesting.
  15. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England
    I was recently faced with a similar decision and chose the G3 over the G2.

    The main reason I chose the G3 is that it performs exceptionally well in low light. The G3 images at ISO 1600 are as clean as the G2's at ISO 400. The difference is two full stops.

    Other reasons for choosing the G3 include the far superior speed and accuracy of its autofocus system, its much smaller size and lower weight. The extra pixels - 16 million instead of 12 million - did not sway my decision.

    I am happy with my choice, however I would probably also have been happy with a G2. Just not quite as happy. :rolleyes: 
  16. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    To the OP: Having owned both cameras, I would say that, all other things being equal, I would recommend the G3 over the G2, primarily because of its better high ISO performance, faster autofocus and because the G3's jpg processing produces better colors - losing most of the slightly green cast that was seen on the earlier G cameras.

    But if you are working on a tight budget, the G2 is a fine camera all by itself and it's possible you may prefer its size and handling. Also, if buying the G2 means you can now afford to buy an extra lens or two, I say go for the cheaper camera and more glass.

    Now, in addition to the charity work, do you plan to photograph a good amount of wildlife - as in safaris? If so, this is where micro four-thirds can be an economical and effective alternative to traditional DSLRs.

    You can get some great wildlife images with the $500 Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6 zoom. The lens gives you a field of view of 200-600mm in full-frame terms. True, you can get lenses that will do the same and even more for a DSLR. But expect to pay $1000 or more if you buy them new. Plus, they are bigger and heavier.

    Good luck with your decision and let us know how it goes.
  17. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales

    D in W
  18. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    At just over £400, a 100-300mm probably isn't on the cards, with an overall budget of sub-£500. And I think your DSLR comparison is a bit off too. I accept the size/weight difference and, granted, the FF focal lengths aren't the same, but a circa 300mm zoom for over £1000 is going to be a Canon L, which isn't really like for like. There's several x-300mm lenses available for under £300.
  19. Judasmac

    Judasmac Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2011
    I have both and have planned to sell my G2 body, but am now deciding to keep it along with the G3. They are both small in comparison to a DSLR, but the G3 is noticeably smaller, especially as I go back to the G2. The G3 is much better in low light, as others have said; and those are its two main advantages -- size and low light. The G2 is more ergonomic for me, with a real grip and a shutter button on the grip, making it much easier to use with a big lens. The G2 also has a lot more controls on the the body, which I still prefer even to the G3's customizable menus. Oh, and the battery life on the G2 is much better than the G3. Battery life on the G3 is a real weak point, in my view. Not only do you need to buy a spare battery, you need to keep a charged spare with you, if you plan to shoot throughout the day. I find myself constantly fretting over battery life with the G3. Those are my pros and cons for each.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I had a G3 and switched to an E-PL2. Older gear still gets the job done!
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