GH2 vs G3: Observations after buying both

Started Aug 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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GH2 vs G3: Observations after buying both
Aug 10, 2011

My wife and I recently bought a GH2 and a G3, which arrived on the same day. We want to replace our Sony Alpha a700, mostly because it's just too big and heavy for us. Thus, size was our main priority (and going in we liked the sound of the G3 more). We are only going to keep one of the Panasonic cameras.

Here are some notes comparing the two - all just our personal opinions of course. Neither of us had ever handled either camera before.

  • The first thing we noticed was that the size difference between the two is not nearly as much as we thought it would be. Yes, the GH2 is bigger, but only by a small amount. The difference is so small that it really didn't affect our decision. Besides, compared to the a700, they are both tiny.

  • The lack of the eye sensor on the G3 was immediately frustrating and annoying. Maybe we're just accustomed to the same feature on the a700, but we both wanted to take a picture with the EVF, then pull the camera away to look at the result on the bigger screen. Having this handled automatically is a big deal.

  • The eye sensor has another advantage: you can use the big screen to display camera settings (and change them thanks to the touch screen) and the EVF for framing your shot (just like the a700). I find this really handy, and I don't want to constantly press buttons to do it.

  • Speaking of the EVF, we both preferred the one on the GH2. The colors seemed more accurate, and the picture seemed a little better. The EVF on the G3 wasn't bad by any means, but we both immediately noticed the difference and like the GH2 better.

  • I really wish the GH2 would let us focus to the edge of the screen like the G3. This could be accomplished with a firmware update, but I won't hold my breath.

  • The interface on the G3 is a little nicer. The menus have more contrast, and the initial screen has large buttons that are easy to press with your finger.

  • We mounted the 14-140 on both cameras, and it was much more comfortable on the GH2. I knew the G3 had a smaller grip (and I don't have large hands), but the difference was significant. The GH2 was comfortable; the G3 was distinctly uncomfortable. With the 20 1.7 the difference wasn't as noticeable, but even so the G3 always felt a little cramped. We found that we had to squeeze the G3 where we could just hold the GH2.

  • The extra buttons/switches on the GH2 make a big difference for me. I like quick access to my settings, and the GH2 provides it.

  • I know this has been covered before, but I forgot that the G3 doesn't have mode 2 stabilization. That's too bad - it's useful and wouldn't cost Panasonic a thing.

  • The multi-aspect sensor is a nice bonus in the GH2's favor, although it didn't really factor into our decision.

In case it's not obvious, we're keeping the GH2. The G3 just doesn't fit with the way we want to shoot, and even without the GH2 we probably wouldn't keep it. That was a surprise for us, since the G3 seemed like a much better fit on paper.

Again, these are just our opinions! Please don't slam me if you disagree. The G3 is a fine camera, just not for us. I wish this went without saying, but sometimes this forum can be awfully defensive.

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