A few issues with the Panasonic G3

Started Aug 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
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mikewhalen5
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A few issues with the Panasonic G3
Aug 25, 2011

I've been using the G3 for about 2 months now and for the most part, I find it is a nice camera. There are many things to like about the G3 and it's IQ is quite good and it is small and compact, so it scores high in these important requirements. However, it is less usable for action and I think the handling could be a little better. Although these are quibbles, here are things that I would improve in the G4 that would make a very good camera a great camera (at least for me):

1) Improve the EVF. Although the EVF is good, it doesn't compare to an OVF. I think this technology still has a ways to go before I'm willing to forget about an optical viewfinder. The G3 (and it's EVF) is really not good at all at doing BIF or action shots. Updating the EVF during an action burst does not happen so it is very difficult to track a moving target.

2) Improve the length of the RAW buffer. It is just too small for capturing a burst of time sensitive events. Memory is cheap, why not use it.

3) Put the Eye sensor back in. This is one of my biggest complaints. It is very cumbersome to have to hit the small button each time you want to alternate between the EVF and the LCD. This needs to be automatic.

4) Extend the grip. The small grip of the G3 makes the camera hard to hold, especially with a larger lens (such as the 100-300mm).

5) Make the camera just a little larger. The problem with a very small camera is that it is difficult to hold and manipulate. I would love to see a slightly larger model the next time around. It will just make it more comfortable and natural to hold, especially with bigger lenses. 4-5 mm in each direction would be fine. Maybe this would permit a larger batter to be used.

6) Give the buttons more tactile feel. It is difficult to feel the buttons with the fingers when not looking at them. They need to be raised, or textured, but they need to stand out more when your eye is on the EVF.

7) Improve the burst speed. 5 shots/second minimum would be better.

8) Improve the battery (shots/charge). Make larger if necessary.

9) Improve focusing with the 100-300mm lens. One quirk I've run into is when your lens is extended to 300mm and you are focused on something far away, it is very difficult (in any focus mode) to have the lens focus on something closer. The focus mechanism just doesn't see small things that are in the foreground that you are trying to focus on. this is extremely difficult to focus on things like birds that are smaller in size. Inevitably, the camera lock into something large in the background and once there is difficult to get off of it. Very frustrating.

10) Add one or two more general purpose programmable buttons.

I realize that some if not many of these features existed in the GH2. It's a shame that so many useful features were removed in the G3.

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