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Thread: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

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    Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    This morning I visited the annual Photo and Imaging show here in Toronto, and Panasonic had a G3 on display, next to the GF2, G2 and GH2.

    I played with it for about 20 minutes (I was early, and soon there was a line of potential G3 victims).

    Some impressions:

    1. Size.
    If you imagine it without the the rear of the VF protruding, I would say the body feels similar in size to my GF1, and therefore a little larger than the GF2.

    2. Build
    Very solid. I think it feels more solid than the GH2, but part of that is because it is much cleaner due to fewer controls, and simply has a solid uninterrupted flow to the body design. Clearly it's very strong, and though it is light feels every bit as robust as my GF1.

    3. Interface and usability
    For me this is the important part, assuming of course that it can take good images.
    it was good to be able to compare it to the G2 and GH2, both of which feel good, with plenty of good controls set out in a logical fashion. I held the G3 for a while, took some shots, changed settings etc, then did the same with the GH2.

    On the one hand I noticed some more roominess with the GH2 right away - it's simply larger. But then, the plethora of controls encroaches upon this room. This is not a negative comment, simply an observation that on a relatively small body there are a lot of controls all around your hands on the GH2.

    I then picked up the G3, and for an instant was dismayed. It is, simply, diminutive in comparison. This is a really small camera, yet it has a VF. My dismay came from the thought that I already found the GH2 borderline overcrowded (but very effective in actual use) and this little thing would be cramped - I really use camera controls a lot.

    The reality is that the G3 is very well designed. When you look at pictures of the rear it seems the two Fn buttons are kind of oddly placed and might be hard to reach, especially when using the VF. In fact, your right thumb fits perfectly into place (my hands are what I would call medium) and the camera feels really natural, if different.

    I changed some setting to my preferences, and took some more shots, changing settings as I did so. I had the upper Fn button as AE lock, for example. So with the VF to my eye I changed ISO, used AE lock, used the wheel for Exp Comp, and clicked it back for Aperture etc.

    The wheel is smaller than on my GF1, which is a pity, but it still works very well and for me is much preferred to having two separate wheel / dial things to deal with. The ISO button was easy to feel, and then of course you use the 4-way controller or the wheel to spin up the ISO you need.

    I will admit to being pleasantly surprised - though very small, the G3 really can be used efficiently and quickly, without any 'thumb or finger searching' while held to your eye. The design is well thought out.

    You really have to pick it up and use it properly in order to judge for yourself, but my experience has helped me understand the positive comments of the current online previews.

    4. Focus
    Super fast and super accurate in really challenging light, using the kit lens. Very, very impressive. I remain delighted with my GF1 in terms of auto-focus, but this is in a different league. In numbers terms it's most certainly a small difference, in actual use, it's wow.

    5. VF
    Its a classic Panasonic state-of-the-art VF. If you like using a good EVF you will be happy.

    6. Rear screen
    No issues. Very bright. Touch works well if you like that sort of thing.

    7. Menus
    They have been tidied up, and the icons are larger, and a much more effective font for clarity, speeding up use considerably.

    8 Shutter sound
    hard to tell in a show hall, but I think softer than the GF1: I had hoped for something a lot quieter, but it's OK.

    Overall

    The big thing is, as always, to start with your needs and photographic outputs. If they would benefit from a small, but very competent interchangeable lens camera with a VF and swivel screen, you need to give this camera a good visit.

    It's true that there are major concessions to P&S users moving up, but advanced users can be happy with the interface. It has moved on from some conventions, and part of me still would prefer some of the removed direct controls to be returned - but then it would be a larger camera. If the RAW output is solid, you would be able to use this for hiking / landscape work, wildlife with a long lens, and all your family stuff. With a pancake on board it is almost invisible, and will focus in an instant. great street camera.

    As I drove home, I kept thinking that the G3 is a thoroughly modern camera, and that's where I will leave it for now.

    Afterthought: I should add that while my comments are basically very positive, I would not describe myself as 'blown-away' (really irritating phrase...) by the G3 - not yet, anyway. I would need to see RAW results, and would need to see it again. But I am impressed with it, much more than I thought I would be.

    I played with the camera for quite a while, and I would be happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

    I hope this is vaguely useful. Please bear in mind these are my personal views, based on how I might use the G3.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Thanks Pelao. I've been shooting for over 2 years with a G1 and I guess 18 mos with the GF1. I have shot with a 5D for over 5 years but have found myself mostly shooting with the Gs--and mostly the G1 because of the better EVF, tilt screen, ergonomics. I have decided to order the G3 expecting it to be noticeably better IQ wise than the original sensor. I went through all the changes, button deletions, etc. to feel as though I can accept them. Size has been the one issue--whether I'll find it TOO small and not comfortable to shoot. I had been expecting to buy the GH2 but really think this will be a good upgrade for me. Your report has made me think about size again but I won't know until I shoot with it, will I?? LOL. I've looked at the body profile comparison photos with a number of cameras and it seems reasonable so we'll see.

    Thanks again for your hands on report.

    Diane
    Last edited by Diane B; 13th May 2011 at 13:07.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Diane

    You are very welcome. I too am a 5D person who now shoots more M4/3, and also a GF1.

    I did not find the G3 more cramped than the GF1, just different. There is a strong possibility I will order one - I want a good VF and a better sensor. The tilt screen is a nice addition. I am just waiting to read some reviews of RAW files.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Thanks Pelao for your report!. You mention that G3 is diminutive compared to the GH2 - what do you feel about its overall thickness compared to GH2? Dpreview has a side-by-side G2 vs G3 picture which seems to suggest that with the lens on, the overall package thickness hasn't changed much even though most of the body is slimmer. The comparison is at the bottom of following page:

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pan...mcg3/page3.asp

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by curious80 View Post
    Thanks Pelao for your report!. You mention that G3 is diminutive compared to the GH2 - what do you feel about its overall thickness compared to GH2? Dpreview has a side-by-side G2 vs G3 picture which seems to suggest that with the lens on, the overall package thickness hasn't changed much even though most of the body is slimmer. The comparison is at the bottom of following page:

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pan...mcg3/page3.asp
    Hi

    What I discovered, or maybe re-discovered today, is that photographs can be poor at showing relative scale. In the page you mention, you only detect the difference in body size if you look carefully: the G3 is thinner. In 'person' the difference feels significant.

    I would also say that the overall footprint is quite dramatically different. The GH2 is not exactly a big camera: it's a model of compact, well thought out design. What makes a difference though are things such as the extensive external controls on the GH2. These really increase it's overall surface area.

    Sorry if this sounds odd, but what I mean is that the G3, with it's smaller body, smooth lines and fewer protuberances, really is is much smaller overall. Perhaps like a smoothed and rounded GF1, with a VF added - but a VF that while in reality larger than the GF1 EVF, actually blends in to feel smaller.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Pelao; 13th May 2011 at 18:09.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Thanks again for your response. This was helpful Waiting for the G3 to hit the stores so that I could try it out in person.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    I was surprised to find quite a few G3 videos on Youtube (interestingly, all the ones I've viewed have been UK origin and appear to have been filmed prior to launch). Several presenters were men and the camera looked really small in their hands. One was a woman and it seemed not so small but I couldn't get a feel of size relative to the GF1. I have both the G1 and GF1 and have been handling both tonight to see how they feel sizewise (my feeling toward the GF1 has been based more on the lack of adequate grip and lesser EVF so I almost always choose the G1 for serious shooting).

    In truth if the GF1 was more ergonomically pleasing for me I'd probably prefer its size. The G3 seems that might be about that size but as Pelao says, more rounded, with a nice large EVF and tiltable LCD. I've come to terms with the button changes as I discovered how the ones important to me are implemented. I do shoot quite a lot with handheld MF lenses so I want a body reasonable to handle, not toy size. I really thought that the GH2 was the upgrade for me but other than size this seems a good choice. i won't really know how I feel about handling until I get mine. No chance there will be any available to try anywhere near to me so I'll take my chances. Price is reasonable body only and I'm sure I can resell if I hate it LOL.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Until a few weeks ago when one of the bulletin boards commented on the G3's imminent announcement I was not aware this camera was even on the horizon.

    Two reviews already have come out (Imaging Resource and and Photography Blog), in short, they are nothing short of sensational rave reviews. Particularly praising the camera's new sensor that is NOT in the GH2 but seems to be a match made in heaven with its processing engine. Imaging Resource which was somewhat disappointed in the GH2's IQ when making large prints in the 20x30 range (given the fairly sizable sensor mp-wise) were absolutely astounded by the quality through ISO 800 with even ISO 1600 being none too shabby.

    While I haven't held it yet, from the body shots I was a little concerned that direct input controls I liked on the GH2 had been removed. As I saw images of the G3 body and read the reviews including the wonderful commentary from the OP here a sense of re-assurance came over me that, what I would find lacking was not. And that the two well-placed custom function buttons would easily make up for what I found missing.

    I also liked the more simplified mode dial finally losing all those insane icons and just leaving PASM SCN and two custom modes. Hallelujah! I HATED those stupid things on the dial.

    I will miss the infra red sensor that turned off the rear LCD when you brought the camera to your face but I can work around that I think. The body while a high quality smooth plastic for the most part seems to be pretty solid with a nice grippy rubberage where its needed. And of course the articulating LCD and EVF that's still the best in their respective leagues (whatever that is) was left. Brilliant.

    Finally, I'm encouraged to hear that the AF is yet even faster. Go figure.

    All for what I still can't believe will be going for around $700.

    While I've still been using the G1 and had been wavering over my next move. I'd already passed on the GF1 (and it's Olympian cousin) since I'd have wanted an EVF and by that time I may as well get a regular G. I'd considered the GH2 but passed when so many reviews had comments that gave me pause. I had been currently waiting for Sony's yet to be announced A77 and ITS awesome EVF, a camera that'll be cramming 24 million pixels onto its APS-C sensor allowing for some stellar enlargements (particularly when using all that lusciously superb Zeiss glassage) IF the image processing engine is up to task which I suspect it will. But that camera will be bulky and I've become quite fond of the compactness of the G's. And Sony's approach to an articulating screen, if the invisible Wonderwomanesque prototypes they've been trotting out are any indication are far from what I've come to appreciate in a rear LCD screen. Panny nailed it with the G1 and they continue to with every new iteration in their mft lineup.

    Suddenly I find myself considering a new place to mount my 20mm f1.7 and pick up a 7-14 and other nice optical gems like Oly's 12-60mm.

    Here are the reviews:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG3/DMCG3A.HTM

    http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...dmc_g3_review/
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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Thanks for the impressions! Were you able to handle it with one of the pancake lenses?

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    You can now preorder the G3 on the Panansonic site, and if you are a registered member, get it for less than suggested retail.
    Joe

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ecsh View Post
    You can now preorder the G3 on the Panansonic site, and if you are a registered member, get it for less than suggested retail.
    Joe
    Unfortunately, it errors out if you try and preorder:

    APO: Plng object MONTH, +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++, + and basic method QUOTA have been lock ed (check not possible)| APO: Internal error: Item /000010(0001)| Sales document was not changed

    Doug

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Worked fine for me.
    Joe

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ecsh View Post
    Worked fine for me.
    Joe
    Dunno,
    I have tried just about everything. Two different browsers, removing and redoing the order, etc...

    Did you pre order? With the lens or without?

    Thanks,

    Doug

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    With the lens. Got the confirmation email to my email address as well. Since i already had a user name and password there from some time ago, i just logged in, went to the screen for the cameras, chose the one i wanted with the lens, and added it to the cart. It gave a better price for this, and i checked out. They do not charge the card until it is ready to ship.
    Joe

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    is it cheaper than amazon (free shipping)?

    edit: nm, i signed up. looks like it's $60 compare to amazon (even with free shipping and no tax). thx for the info guys.
    Last edited by mach330; 15th May 2011 at 00:08.

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    Re: Haute Shots

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    The best camera is the one you have in your hands at the moment.

    www.haute-shots.com
    Good hands they are too. Enjoyed visiting your site.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    I got the ordering error as well. Went back later and the site was down for maintenance. Now my order went through. Surprised the on line prices is discounted. With the EPP plan, it is even less. Surprised this camera came at such a good price. Feeling the pressure on pricing from the EPL and Sony's.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    Thanks for the impressions! Were you able to handle it with one of the pancake lenses?
    Hi

    No, unfortunately I was not bright enough to being one with me (I have the 14 and 20) and the guys on the stand were very busy.

    My impression s that with a pancake, it's overall dimensions will be very close to the a GF1 + pancake + EVF, but an overall smoother outline.

    Personally, I do wish some of the direct manual controls present on the GF1 had been retained. I recognize though that a lot of the target market will not use such controls. In addition, the Fn buttons will handle what I need. Of course, with a built-in high resolution EVF and articulating screen this camera is much more versatile than my GF1.

    Most of my shooting is in A mode, and the primary changes I make are to aperture and exposure compensation. Both of these remain accessible through the wheel as per the GF1. The AE lock button is next on my list. I would prefer it to be where it was, but I tried it with the top FN button and it worked for me. On my GF1 the AE button has a ridge to help you identify it by feel. On the G3 the ridge is not necessary as there is no other button nearby for confusion. The topmost Fn button is also slightly recessed to avoid accidental action.

    One concern: it seemed to me the iA button was perfectly placed for an accidental press, and in fact this happened to me. However, I have since read that you can alter the iA button so that it requires a double-press. Perfect.

    I am really looking forward to some analysis of the RAW capability, which I assume will come when Adobe update ACR.

    Peterb:
    You noted
    The body while a high quality smooth plastic for the most part seems to be pretty solid with a nice grippy rubberage where its needed.
    It does feel solid, and what I have since discovered is that the body is mostly aluminum, which accounts for the sense of solidity. The camera is light, but not shockingly so, and feels very 'tight'.

    In terms of physical appearance, I gained one other impression. The G3 was sitting on a stand alongside the GF2, G2, Gh2. This may sound odd, but it is a camera that does not stand out. It is not particularly distinctive in any way. For those of you into candid and street shooting, this will be a very discreet weapon.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Interesting impressions, thanks for writing them up. The new sensor and other improvements sound very good.

    It sounds like Panasonic is moving towards a "target market" in terms of control ergonomics that I'm not part of, though. I prefer discrete controls with customizability. Touch screen controls on cameras don't really interest me, based on what I find trying the G2 and NEX models, except in certain very specific situations.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Interesting impressions, thanks for writing them up. The new sensor and other improvements sound very good.

    It sounds like Panasonic is moving towards a "target market" in terms of control ergonomics that I'm not part of, though. I prefer discrete controls with customizability. Touch screen controls on cameras don't really interest me, based on what I find trying the G2 and NEX models, except in certain very specific situations.
    I too don't see a role for touch-screen in my photography. I was very disappointed in the GF2. In fact, my idea would be G3 size, or even slightly larger, but with controls like the Canon G12: the latter even has a dial for ISO.

    But, the G3 is no GF2. It does retain much direct control. This is of course a very personal thing, and I will have to play with it again to see if it truly works for me. First impressions were good.

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    Re: Haute Shots

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    Enjoyed visiting your site.
    Thank you Michael. Much appreciated. Stay tuned for a new technique about to emerge.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    >I too don't see a role for touch-screen in my photography.

    Thought the same. But setting the focus point with the GH2 by touch is nice and direct.
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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I got the ordering error as well. Went back later and the site was down for maintenance. Now my order went through. Surprised the on line prices is discounted. With the EPP plan, it is even less. Surprised this camera came at such a good price. Feeling the pressure on pricing from the EPL and Sony's.
    Well, I always got the error when trying to order the body only. Ordering with the lens went through, so I took the plunge. Silly thing claims it is shipping May 15th, 2011 (today :-)).

    I really do not need yet another 14-42...

    As I've said, hopefully the raw IQ is significantly better.

    Doug

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >I too don't see a role for touch-screen in my photography.

    Thought the same. But setting the focus point with the GH2 by touch is nice and direct.
    I found the touch focusing to be more annoying that not given the way I work... I would want to set it while looking through the evf, but couldn't, so I would have to take the camera away from my eye, switch to the evf, focus, then go back to looking through the evf.

    I also found the touch screen to not be accurate enough. I had problems getting it to respond to my touches unless the screen was tucked into the camera.

    Doug

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    I too don't see a role for touch-screen in my photography.
    Thought the same. But setting the focus point with the GH2 by touch is nice and direct.
    As I said, in certain very specific situations, the touch screen control is useful. But such situations account for very little of my photography. For instance, I manual focus most of the time and find I obtain more precise, accurate focus that way ... spot AF use like this is most useful for me when I'm doing table top work that has the camera fixed in position on a tripod or stand, allowing an easier way to get the focus in the ballpark quickly.

    Diff'rent strokes.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    I found a site that had a couple pictures of the G3 with 20mm pancake mounted:

    http://en.akihabaranews.com/94368/ic...sonic-lumix-g3

    Looks small, not still not too small compared to the GF2! It looks like a really nice camera, but I'm concerned about early reports saying the dynamic range is even slightly narrower than the 12MP sensor. I find that to be a big weakness of m4/3.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Touch screen controls on cameras don't really interest me, based on what I find trying the G2 and NEX models, except in certain very specific situations.
    I wasn't aware that Sony's NEX cameras had touch screen controls.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by allan View Post
    I wasn't aware that Sony's NEX cameras had touch screen controls.
    Not the touch sensitive but the style of the controls on the NEX is what I was referring to.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    I found a site that had a couple pictures of the G3 with 20mm pancake mounted:

    http://en.akihabaranews.com/94368/ic...sonic-lumix-g3

    Looks small, not still not too small compared to the GF2! It looks like a really nice camera, but I'm concerned about early reports saying the dynamic range is even slightly narrower than the 12MP sensor. I find that to be a big weakness of m4/3.
    I had not read about the dynamic range being poor. Do you have a link?

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    As I said, in certain very specific situations, the touch screen control is useful. But such situations account for very little of my photography. For instance, I manual focus most of the time and find I obtain more precise, accurate focus that way ... spot AF use like this is most useful for me when I'm doing table top work that has the camera fixed in position on a tripod or stand, allowing an easier way to get the focus in the ballpark quickly.

    Diff'rent strokes.
    I think all of us understand - if you do not want to use the touch screen you do not have to !!!!

    Cannot understand this debate Just a nice feature to have if you like it, so why should one complain ?????

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I think all of us understand - if you do not want to use the touch screen you do not have to !!!! ...
    Not exactly true. Many functions are only available via the touch screen, and the touch screen puts another element of uncertainly in place regards where your hands on the camera can be safely without changing settings.

    BTW, I wasn't debating anything: I was stating my preferences. Others who like a touch screen should enjoy using it, it's not a problem for me nor am I philosophically opposed to touch screen technology. I don't find it to my preference as camera control, that's all, so I buy other cameras that have controls more to my liking.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Not exactly true. Many functions are only available via the touch screen, and the touch screen puts another element of uncertainly in place regards where your hands on the camera can be safely without changing settings.

    BTW, I wasn't debating anything: I was stating my preferences. Others who like a touch screen should enjoy using it, it's not a problem for me nor am I philosophically opposed to touch screen technology. I don't find it to my preference as camera control, that's all, so I buy other cameras that have controls more to my liking.
    I do neither like nor dislike a touch screen. I simply do not use it!

    Same as a TV programs - if you do not like you are free to switch off!

    And I was not going to debate your preferences. Simply cannot understand the long elaborations (from others) about TOUCH SCREENS

    BTW - I manage to NEVER touch the screen of any camera when I work with it - at least almost never, so this is another no issue for me.

    End of the day if one does not like a Gxyz then simply stay away from this brand. I for myself find the G series cameras really awesome and technology marvels. Sometimes TOO MANY functions, but I am free not to use them if I do not like.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelao View Post
    I had not read about the dynamic range being poor. Do you have a link?
    About halfway down here:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG3/DMCG3A5.HTM

    Compared to the Panasonic G2, the G3 scored slightly higher at the "High" quality level (7.02 vs 6.68 f-stops), but lower in total dynamic range (10 vs 10.8 f-stops).
    Also a quick writeup here:

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cam...view?artc_pg=5

    From the second link, dynamic range appears to at least match the E-PL2 RAWs at low ISO and perform better at higher ISO.

    In real world use, the G3 will probably not be noticeably different from the other m4/3 cameras in dynamic range, which is really where my disappointment lies. I was hoping for fewer blown highlights in my next camera.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    About halfway down here:

    In real world use, the G3 will probably not be noticeably different from the other m4/3 cameras in dynamic range, which is really where my disappointment lies. I was hoping for fewer blown highlights in my next camera.
    Easy - just go for the Pentax K5 and you will be there

    Not M43 but much better DR.

    One cannot have everything .....

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    About halfway down here:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG3/DMCG3A5.HTM



    Also a quick writeup here:

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cam...view?artc_pg=5

    From the second link, dynamic range appears to at least match the E-PL2 RAWs at low ISO and perform better at higher ISO.

    In real world use, the G3 will probably not be noticeably different from the other m4/3 cameras in dynamic range, which is really where my disappointment lies. I was hoping for fewer blown highlights in my next camera.
    Thanks.

    I had read those ones, and thought you had something new. For now, while not discounting both reports, I am not taking them too seriously. Imaging resource make it clear they are not able to properly judge the RAW files until ACR offers support.

    Similarly, the Techradar report relies on analyzing files converted to TIFF.

    It may well be that these results will demonstrate DR no better than earlier M4/3 sensors, but I will wait and see a full RAW analysis before judging. I will say though that it seems odd that it produces jpegs judged as being better than all but the GH2, and rivalling the EOS60D without having better DR. These jpegs are developed in-camera from RAW, so this would infer that the RAW files offer very good DR and resolution.

    We shall see. If the RAW files are no better than the earlier sensors, then the camera is of much less interest to me.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    I evaluate DR by borrowing or buying a camera and testing it.
    Reports of others' testing results tell me little to nothing useful.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I evaluate DR by borrowing or buying a camera and testing it.
    Reports of others' testing results tell me little to nothing useful.
    In the end I rely on my own results too, but I will say there are certain reviewers and testers that I trust. These are, generally, working photographers who are less concerned with with technical pixel-peeping and more with the actual output and real-world use / handling.

    The other thing they have in common is that their end goal is a high quality print. This is also my goal. These people have a pile of experience, and proven output. Their judgement has never let me down and I am not prepared to discard their views.

    I can't say the same for sites like dpreview. It has it's uses, but I won't make buying decisions based on it's reviews.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    I agree while I have preordered based on all I've read and seen I won't know until I have one in hand and process myself in Lightroom. The good thing is that its not a huge amount of outlay for one and I feel sure I can recoup what it costs if I'm unhappy and buy something else later. I do feel reasonably sure it will be somewhat--or more--better than my current G1 and GF1 so not much to lose.

    Diane


    Quote Originally Posted by Pelao View Post
    Thanks.

    I had read those ones, and thought you had something new. For now, while not discounting both reports, I am not taking them too seriously. Imaging resource make it clear they are not able to properly judge the RAW files until ACR offers support.

    Similarly, the Techradar report relies on analyzing files converted to TIFF.

    It may well be that these results will demonstrate DR no better than earlier M4/3 sensors, but I will wait and see a full RAW analysis before judging. I will say though that it seems odd that it produces jpegs judged as being better than all but the GH2, and rivalling the EOS60D without having better DR. These jpegs are developed in-camera from RAW, so this would infer that the RAW files offer very good DR and resolution.

    We shall see. If the RAW files are no better than the earlier sensors, then the camera is of much less interest to me.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    I agree while I have preordered based on all I've read and seen I won't know until I have one in hand and process myself in Lightroom. The good thing is that its not a huge amount of outlay for one and I feel sure I can recoup what it costs if I'm unhappy and buy something else later. I do feel reasonably sure it will be somewhat--or more--better than my current G1 and GF1 so not much to lose.

    Diane
    I think your assumptions are reasonable. If you do decide to re-sell, you won't lose much at all.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelao View Post
    These jpegs are developed in-camera from RAW, so this would infer that the RAW files offer very good
    no, it simply says that most in camera raw converters (like in Canon 60D) are actually very bad...

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Just wondering what the price is you are seeing on the panasonic site? I'm registered and the price is the same on the panasonic site as on amazon.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Dennis, I had $480 for black body only in my basket yesterday. I registered through Facebook.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Thanks Diane! Maybe that's my problem

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deejjjaaaa View Post
    no, it simply says that most in camera raw converters (like in Canon 60D) are actually very bad...
    I don't think I expressed myself well. What I mean is this - the jpegs from the G3 appear to be very good, with most observers seeing that they are much better than the G2. Since the source material for those jpegs is a RAW file, this implies that the RAW itself is very good.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisgibson View Post
    Thanks Diane! Maybe that's my problem
    I followed this posters' instructions and it worked. Maybe it will for you. I tried this same method a month or so ago and it never would let me register but it worked fine this time.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=38437303

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelao View Post
    I don't think I expressed myself well. What I mean is this - the jpegs from the G3 appear to be very good, with most observers seeing that they are much better than the G2. Since the source material for those jpegs is a RAW file, this implies that the RAW itself is very good.
    That's my assumption. BTW, i hadn't heard that the Canon jpeg engine is particularly "bad". I always shot RAW but many many Canon shooters, 60D and other bodies, shoot jpeg and are happy with the outcome AFAIK.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelao View Post
    I don't think I expressed myself well. What I mean is this - the jpegs from the G3 appear to be very good, with most observers seeing that they are much better than the G2. Since the source material for those jpegs is a RAW file, this implies that the RAW itself is very good.
    you completely ignore the fact that quality of raw conversion depends a lot on a raw converter... compare E5 vs G2... or ACR 3.x vs ACR 6.x on the same raw files

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    You do realize there will be a RAW conversion via new upgrades of LR and PS (and others like Aperture, etc). You can never go back to LR2 for instance and convert a new camera's files unless you use dng. I will use LR3 to convert and process using the develop module to the best I'm able and expect to be able to get a very good file from it. I've shot RAW since 2001 using many RAW processors and though I appreciate review sites comparing jegs I can do a better job myself with the RAW files.

    I don't quite get comparing E5 and G2 as they are cameras, not RAW processors.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deejjjaaaa View Post
    you completely ignore the fact that quality of raw conversion depends a lot on a raw converter... compare E5 vs G2... or ACR 3.x vs ACR 6.x on the same raw files

    Um, no - that is exactly the point that started all this. I don't feel I will be able to fully judge the G3's RAW files on their own or against other cameras until RAW converters are updated to handle the files. Of course I know the converter makes a difference - that's the whole point. I did not ignore this, it was the basis for my comments.

    Sigh.

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    Re: Panasonic G3: My hands-on first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post

    I don't quite get comparing E5 and G2 as they are cameras, not RAW processors.
    any digital camera is a raw converter, Diane... how do you think you are getting all those JPGs ? any $1 cell phone w/ some ugly 640x480 camera has a raw converter inside... and point to compare E5 vs G2 was that they have pretty much the same sensor (noise/dynamic range wise - CFA/AA of course are different), yet if you will compare in camera JPGs from E5 vs in camera JPGs from G2 (you can mount the same lens on both if that is an issue) most people will find Olympus much better... now do you really believe that E5 has that better raw files (in terms of noise/DR) ? no - just Olympus put much more effort into the code to get good JPGs that are more pleasing to the eyes of many... the same thing is happening w/ G3 in camera JPGs, some people here want to believe that Panasonic made an leap and outdid GH2 sensor by a stop (then - why stop high ISOs @ 6400 when G3 is a stop better than GH2 where you have ISO12800, shouldn't a better sensor in G3 in this case allow for at least the same high ISO as GH2... simple question) - while such beans counting company like Panasonic just put some extra NR code in its firmware, that simple... but in any case - we shall wait for DxO to test the camera or something like DPReview to post the full review with ACR raw conversions w/ NR disabled

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