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on 14 September 2011
As a relative newcomer to photography, my expertise is not quite up to the level of some other reviewers. However, I'd like to stick my neck out and say that this is a GREAT CAMERA. The software works intuitively, the hardware feels robust and well-made, and the free photography gift pack that came with my purchase didn't hurt either.

One feature I liked a lot was the (don't know technical name for it) background blurring. So you focus on someone's face and the area around it becomes blurred while the face remains sharp. It works great.

The one niggling problem that I have with the G3 is the fact that the viewfinder does not work at the same time as the screen, nor does it activate when looked down. A button must be pressed, every time, to switch between the screen and the viewfinder. A little issue, but it really annoys me!

In all, a great camera compromised by such a tiny detail - it does surely deserve four stars though.
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on 26 October 2012
Maybe too small, hard for me to press the button, esp the photo preview which is too close to the viewfinder.
Also, far too slippy, add a bit of grippy tape ( not too pretty) and huge improvement. Manual focusing is not easy, this is a huge shame as the viewfinder is really good, ok if you are doing macro but at a distance a complete gamble. Come on panny, give us focus peaking. One more thing, dont push iso too high unless you like the grain.
However, the dial is bril, its clickable to go between aperture and shutter speed or other combos of your choice so as easy as having dedictaed dials for each one. The menu is fine, lots of detail for those who like that sort of thing. I rarely delve for the happy reason that once im in aperture priority, iso set, there is no need. I tweeked the white balance to suit me as i did the sharpness , noise reduc etc and thats about it. The photos are superb, quibblers will argue that the depth of field control is not as good, true but with lens like the 25mm 1.4 , 45mm and 75mm 1.8, soon to be 43mm 1.2 ( shiver) there is plenty of control for bokeh fans.
It is a tiny cam. I just take two lens, two batteries wherever i go, in a tiny and light crumpler bag, v discreet.
I sweated blood trying to choose between the lovely OM 5 and this but just try and see which one suits first, dont listen to the naysayers, With the exception of the limited iso range, the g3 is every bit as good. Really long focul lengths will benefit from olympus IBS tho, but this is minor issue for some.
Above all. The price is good enough that i can play rough with the g3, and this is rather liberating. I dont like to worry about losing or dropping a cam the whole time, what is the point in owning a device that limits its own use because of the price.
I love my g3. I love the lenses and i love the price.
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on 14 February 2012
I moved to this camera following on from taking a NEX-5 on holiday.

My reasons for switching was that I really missed having a viewfinder and while the viewfinder is not as good as on an SLR it is more than capabale and with the exception of the new NEX-7 one of the best out there.

Camera wise the G3 is up the top of the list of camera for your money. It has the more recent sensor that seems to be getting used in other 4/3 cameras at the moment so it gives you good noise free images up to about ISO 1600.

The rest of the features of the camera are on par with an entry level SLR but the space savings are huge, even more so when you pair it up with the fantastic panasonic 20mm or the new panasonic 14-42 X lens.

The articulated screen is a great feature as well and comes into its own when taking video. It is also a grat way of protecting the screen when not in use as you can fold it in on itself.

I have been very happy with my switch to micro 4/3, sure the sensor is not as big as on the NEX series but the offset is that it allows the lenses to be smaller and I feel that the micro 4/3 has a good balance between performance and size.

Overall very happy with my purchase and I look forward to seeing what they do with the next update.
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on 30 January 2012
After a number of years with a Canon DSLR I was beginning to find the weight of the camera + 2 lenses burdensome, especially on holiday. Also, severe baggage restrictions make a camera bag an expensive option. So what does a dedicated SLR shooter do? None of the viewfinderless cameras fit the bill if you need corrected vision and don't want to carry glasses around with you. The "rangefinder" options out there have rotten viewfinders (Canon G12, Fuji X10, Nikon P7100 for example) and limited range zooms. If you shoot with the sun at your back most screens become hard to see. Enter the micro "DSLR" without a mirror. I researched long and hard and found nearly every review heaped praises on the little G3. At first, the touch screen was a daunting proposition but as soon as I received the camera and played around with it I found it extremely easy and intuitive to use. The size is perfect for me and I do not do well with overly-miniature cameras. The viewfinder is HUGE--as big a view as a full sized DSLR. It is electronic so not as good as a true DSLR but streets ahead of the older electronic viewfinders you might find in a Canon SX series for example. The swing out LCD screen is great for when light is not too bright and when you need to shoot from an awkward angle. The viewfinder and moveable screen together make a viewfinderless ILC redundant in my view. Why pay for one of these and then another load of money for an accessory viewfinder when the G3 does it all? My G3 came with the kit 14-42mm made in China version and my research shows that the 14-45mm MIJ version is a little better so I will opt for one of these. That said, the results so far from the cheapo 14-42mm are quite stunning and as good as my old and much loved Canon 450d. Focus is as lightning fast as all the reports say. There is simply nothing to dislike although I would have preferred a few more dials for direct access to ISO, +/- exposure for example. If I was not downsizing I would not have parted with my old DSLR--Canon make a fabulous product in that class but I was extremely dissappointed when no miniature "DSLR" was announced at CES this year (21012). Canon lost a very long-standing customer. The Nikon J1 does not appeal and the price is excessive for a tiny sensor camera. Tokina and Tamron have both announced they will be making micro four-thirds lenses for the Panasonic G series cameras and that is a sign that the market has accepted them. Lets hope Sigma follow suit as my favorite lense for my old Canon was the brilliant 17-70mm f2.8-4 OS. I believe these micro-four-thirds cameras will eventually kill off Pro-sumer DSLRs because they are so much smaller, lighter, travel friendly and equivalent in quality. Bottom line: I am pleased with my G3 because it ticks all the boxes regarding size, quality, ease of use and price is fantastic if you managed to get the rebate recently offered. Message to Canon and Nikon: get with the program guys!

*********************UPDATE after using for a few more days: I am still pleased with the camera but battery life is TERRIBLE: one star rating if that! A dozen shots and a bit of fiddling with the playback and its down a notch. I have downgraded my rating one star because of this. I bought this back up battery from Amazon as there was no way I was going to pay over £50 for a similarly made-in-China battery with the Panasonic name on it: PowerPlanet DMW-BLD10, DMW-BLD10E (showing sold out--seems like I am not alone in not paying for the Panasonic rip-off). It works well and does show how much battery life is left but it still does not last very long. I bought a 14-45mm on ebay to replace the kit 14-42mm because all of the reviews say the Made in Japan 14-45mm is superior to the newer Chinese replacement. I have compared the two and there does not seem to be much difference in results unless you are an obsessive pixel-peeper. However, the feel of the Japanese 14-45mm is much smoother and I believe the contrast is better too. The Chinese kit lens has a plastic mount and the lack of smoothness in zooming did detract from the overall quality feel of the package. Panasonic were obviously on a cost saving exercise by having their new standard kit lens made in China. I have also bought the Panasonic 45-200mm and am relieved to find it is also made in Japan and feels like it--very solid, smooth and excellent results. Might be a good idea to buy a Japanese one now as it may be made in China soon! If Panasonic keep such cheapening policies up they will fall further behind in the quality stakes and with hot competition from Sony challenging the big 2 (Canon and Nikon) Panasonic made a mistake in downgrading the key standard zoom lens.

Just noticed Amazon are selling a G3 with kit lens for £288 less an Amazon £30 rebate. THE bargain of the year! Buy it--its smaller than the G5 and newer G6 and has all of the same essential features.
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on 18 July 2011
Panasonic Lumix G3 16.1MP Compact System Camera Kit - Black with 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens An extemely sophisticated piece of kit that takes wonderful pictures. It is almost idiot proof when set to what amouts to point and shoot mode withs is wonderous auto focus system, shoots incredible videos as well and is small compact and light and is quick enough to catch my wife before she closes hers eyes!She has the knack of blinking when a piture is taken!!!!!!
Has both touch screen and electonic view finder so really does mimic an SLR despite not looking through the lense as a true DLSR does, no loss there then.
It is however going to take me a long time to unlock its potential and the free software promised has not turned up yet! Apart from that I am over the moon with it.
Go and reseach this camera you will be impressed.
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on 4 July 2011
After reading about the G3 prior to it's release, I was curious that the decision had been made to further reduce the size from that of the G2. It is, however, a fantastically portable camera that still feels solid and of good quality in the hand. I feel so much more compelled to take this camera out on all my travels as it is small and light enough to keep around the neck all day whereas with my other dslr I'm aching to take it off after a only a short country walk.

With this camera, Panasonic seem to have improved upon almost every aspect vs older models. A 16mp sensor rivals many of the competing cameras from the likes of Canon & Nikon in the same price range. The image noise control makes the camera very useable in low light, and I am loving full HD movie capture! There is a nice feature when using manual mode that allows you to enlarge the subject of your photo when focusing for a sharper image, while it is also possible to touch focus at any point on the camera's lovely fold out LCD screen. Those who are still not sold on touch screen cameras will be pleased to hear that you can get used to it whilst using the buttons, which are well laid out.

There will be something for everyone here - the G3 should appeal to point and shoot users, with an 'intelligent auto plus' mode that gets some great snaps whilst allowing a little freedom of some simpler and some more creative image settings, whereby the casual user can build some confidence to move across to the manual modes. Panasonic have packed the G3 full of plenty of tricks and features, more than enough to keep the more avid photographer busy.

At this stage, the only criticism I have of this camera is that the strap could be a little chunkier, but given the weight of the camera, this is only a small issue.

The G3 is on a par with any entry-mid level SLR camera whilst in a far more practical package.
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on 19 August 2011
Honestly my experience in photography is not great but i was looking to buy a camcorder when i came across this product. I was recommended high about this product and having seen and tried, I feel this is value for money.The pics and videos are amazing and the camera is user friendly. The weight can be sometimes telling on you but manageable. The software provided looks very basic but serves the purpose. I'm still exploring this but would recommend this product strongly.
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on 16 December 2011
Excellent camera for this price, I just got it and took my first 300 pictures. Extrem fast shutter lag. Even at low light conditions it'll take pictures in a fraction of a second. No need to calculate the right moment of taking the picture, just press the button and the picture is there in same time. The quallity is astonishing in JPG fine. If you use RW2fine its incredible. It feels like a professional DSLR.

But almost no software can deal with RW2 files. Not even Irfanview. Means you have to use the sotware included (Silkypx 3.1SE), photoshop cs4 or Gimp with plugin etc. Hopefully there will be more software soon.
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on 28 September 2013
Bought this second hand on Amazon at a bargain price. It appears to have had hardly any use at all. It is noticeably lighter and smaller than my Lumix G2 and build quality is just as good.. Where the G2 would sometimes struggle to focus , the G3 does not seem to have that problem, and it copes with low light better also the image in the viewfinder in low and artificial light is not as grainy. In short this is a camera with most of the capabilities of a DSLR that you can use as a "point and shoot" if you want to, also while the kit lens is good, combining the older Lumix G Vario 14-45mm lens with the G3 body is a marriage made in heaven. Having said all that , I do marginally prefer the level of manual control the G2 gives in comparison to the G3 and I think Panasonic reduced the body size a little to much. As occasionally you can press buttons without meaning to. For these reasons I give four stars out of five .
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on 25 September 2011
I fancied this range of cameras since the G1. then came the G2, which I also fancied. same old same old, could not justify spending the money!!!
Pretty experienced with 35mm(still got two SLR's Canon). Also got a digital Konica Minolta which is a damn good camera. So given all that how could I spend 750.00 on a twin lens package. Welllll! I was going on a cruise wasn't I. Holiday of a life time wasn't it. Really need a great camera to record for posterity. At least that what I told her who must be obeyed, after I bought the camera package of course. This G3 is awesome, and I, in no way do it justice yet. But I will. Technically, I have a lot to learn, and I can't wait. I got great video as well as pictures(750 of them, nearly filled 16GB card. Its light, the lenses attached and it is still light. Its beautiful(looks). BUY IT BUY IT
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