Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
3:40

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Culture
Hi! I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3. The successor to the G2, the G3 is substantially smaller but it's still pretty large to be considered a compact alternative to a dSLR. In fact, although I like the G3 very much because it's got great photo quality, solid performance, comfortable shooting design, and a reasonable feature set. I'm really still not sure who it's for. It's designed for people who like a little more half in their camera. It's got a good grip compared to the more compact alternatives but it's smaller and lighter than a dSLR or dSLR size ILC's like its big brother the GH2 or Sony's SLT models. It's very comfortable and well balanced and the grip is just the right size, at least for my hands. The EVF is large and bright with a sufficient refresh rate, but like all competitors, it gets sluggish and low life. I'm also a big fan of the bright, sharp, articulated touch screen LCD. There's no automatic switching between the EVF and the LCD which doesn't bother me but some people might find that annoying. As I've mentioned with previous Panasonic models, the touch-screen user interface works for two reasons because the big virtual buttons are easy to hit precisely and the screen is efficiently responsive. It also works because if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. Almost every function is duplicated by traditional direct-access controls. The Quick menu and display buttons can be mapped to user-defined options. The jog dial controls exposure compensation as well as shutter and aperture adjustments and you can also customize the Quick menu with the settings that you use most. It's just really nice. The movie record button now sits under your thumb-- which is a much better location-- and Panasonic is done away with the movie mode on the dial. There are two custom slots on the dial, one of which holds three sets of options. Panasonic has replaced its Film looks with an underwhelming handful of Creative Control mode special effects. Things like Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, and High Dynamic. In addition, Panasonic offers both its Intelligent Auto and its Intelligent Auto Plus modes. Rather than being an electronic effect, the defocus physically adjusts the lens aperture and you can hear it changing as you scroll through the options. Other notable features include the bracketing, which supports up to 7 frames in one-third stop increments, for a new high of up to three stops. Our test shots for the G3 at varying ISO sensitivities look much better than those of the G2 in part due to the much-improved JPEG processing. Unfortunately, there are [unk] I needed but wasn't available at review time. The photos look good up through ISO 800, with just a little softening from luminance noise reduction kicking in at ISO 1600. More importantly, the JPEG artifacts I've seen in previous models at lower ISO sensitivities or high ISO's in good light are gone. My one gripe about the images: For shoots without fine edges, the level of sharpening looks good, delivering a natural appearance. But edges on fine objects like hair or fur display a visible aliasing in the standard setting. In other words, they look kinda jaggy. If you're looking for a camera that's not quite as big as the dSLR but doesn't skimp on the hardware controls or features, the G3 is one of my favorite options. But performance is hit-and-miss for shooting Action, so you may end up having to go with something just a bit bigger anyway. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road
thumb-vanlife-2-00432-1

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!
question-block

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse
experts-react-11

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games
gmt20220518-190025-recording-avo-1280x720-00-15-09-11-still001

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
1202231812667975-b8hrndwonamcg2sdaf5l-height640.png

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag
shopping-1

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player
donda-for-site

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work
moviepasscnet

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work

Watch ferrofluid turn into art
ericmesple

Watch ferrofluid turn into art

How Black Friday is very different this year
htdia-blackfriday-v2

How Black Friday is very different this year

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro