NikonV1 or Panasonic G3

Started Apr 11, 2012 | Discussions
pgerrish
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NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
Apr 11, 2012

I am planning to buy a more specialist camera to upgrade from compact ( I used SLR many years ago) and was going to get Sony SLT-A65 but have looked at smaller formats. I would be interested in comments between the NikonV1 and PanasonicG3. They are appropriately same price with twin lens kits in UK NikonV1 (with 10-30mm + 30-110) $1250 and G3 (14-42mm + 45-200) $1150. Cameras will be for general personal use with little printing of photos and ideally a GPS would be useful as I tag most of my photos (so Nikon has an advantage). I am aware the Nikon has smaller processor but quality for what I would use seems OK.

Any comments that may help me decide would be most welcome.

thanks

Paul

maflynn
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

I sold my V1 in lou of the Olympus OMD.

Its a great little camera, but my major gripe with it, is the noise level at ISO 800 and above. I found it was more then I was expecting and was disappointed given the price of the camera. Nikon promises faster lenses on the horizon and I believe them, but you have more lens selection with the G3 right now.

Consider cropping as well, with the pixel count as it is, it could cause headaches if you need to crop your images.

Food for thought, in general I loved the camera but was disappointed in the low light handling.

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Optical1
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

pgerrish wrote:

I am planning to buy a more specialist camera to upgrade from compact ( I used SLR many years ago) and was going to get Sony SLT-A65 but have looked at smaller formats. I would be interested in comments between the NikonV1 and PanasonicG3. They are appropriately same price with twin lens kits in UK NikonV1 (with 10-30mm + 30-110) $1250 and G3 (14-42mm + 45-200) $1150. Cameras will be for general personal use with little printing of photos and ideally a GPS would be useful as I tag most of my photos (so Nikon has an advantage). I am aware the Nikon has smaller processor but quality for what I would use seems OK.

Any comments that may help me decide would be most welcome.

thanks

Paul

Paul,

At this point, the m43 format has much more to offer than the Nikon 1 series when it comes to lenses. The format is more mature, and there are really some incredible lenses that will be at your disposal should you have a need for further lenses.

The biggest negative I see with the V1 is the low light performance, as the lenses are slow, and the V1 has poor high ISO performance. The G3 has the edge on both counts.

Lastly, if you haven't done so already, you should handle both before you buy. You might be surprised by something.

-Kiel

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JonB1975
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to Optical1, Apr 11, 2012

You should also consider how much you use flash - The V1 has no built in flash and the bolt on flash is dinky whereas the G3 has a built-in pop-up flash AND a hot shoe for a cobra flash.

The only advantage the V1 has is hi-speed photography and is ergonomically hampered compared to the G3 - even lacking a touchscreen.

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Chas2
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

I think if you ask the Nikon question in a MFT forum, the answer is predictable.

The Nikon certainly has some advantages in fast action focus, and is surprisingly good for a small sensor until you get to around 800 or so, but in the end, the MFT system is more mature and has current advantage and potential than the Nikon system, especially with the plethora of lenses and two manufacturers innovating. In particular, just limiting to the G3, you get a really first class built in EVF and an articulating LCD in addition to one of the more advanced 16 MP MFT sensors.

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itairom
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

The main advantage m43 will give you over the 1 system is better image quality in lower light and a much larger lens selection. The V1 will give you better AF. If GPS is a differentiator for you, and the image quality, lens selection, and price are okay for your use, then the V1 would be a good fit.

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miketala
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

What kind of things are you most likely to take pictures of?

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bryanbrun
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

pgerrish wrote:

They are appropriately same price with twin lens kits in UK NikonV1 (with 10-30mm + 30-110) $1250 and G3 (14-42mm + 45-200) $1150.

The long end of the 14-42mm on the G3 will allow you to get at least some subject isolation and minimal background blur on portraits.

With the Nikon and the 10-30mm everything is always in focus all of the time, unless your subject is a matter of inches from the lens.

The 2.5 crop factor on the Nikon makes a lot of legacy lenses, such as the cheap and easily available 50mm, very difficult to use indoors.

The Nikon is a very expensive, fast shooting point and shoot.

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bobn2
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

pgerrish wrote:

I am planning to buy a more specialist camera to upgrade from compact ( I used SLR many years ago) and was going to get Sony SLT-A65 but have looked at smaller formats. I would be interested in comments between the NikonV1 and PanasonicG3. They are appropriately same price with twin lens kits in UK NikonV1 (with 10-30mm + 30-110) $1250 and G3 (14-42mm + 45-200) $1150. Cameras will be for general personal use with little printing of photos and ideally a GPS would be useful as I tag most of my photos (so Nikon has an advantage). I am aware the Nikon has smaller processor but quality for what I would use seems OK.

I think you meant sensor.

Any comments that may help me decide would be most welcome.

The v1 is more comparable with the GH series than the G, but in a smaller package. It will do some rather amazing things, which no other camera system will do. Most of these are to do with high speed action type photography, and if that is what you want, it is probably the best compact interchangeable lens system there is. The USP's of the V1 are:
Shoots full resolution stills and 1080p movies at the same time

Fast phase detection autofocus, can operate at 10FPS (though camera control modes are limited above 5FPS)

It can shot full resolution at 60FPS! There are restrictions, like AF locks at the beginning of the sequence, but there are not many (not any) other cameras that can do this.

It has extensive and powerful video modes, and a video optimised lens (the 10-100) with silent AF and aperture control, and smooth power zoom.

So, the V1 can do things no other camera can do - the question is, whether you want to do those things -

if not the G3 will offer better image quality with a more conventional user interface (I actually like the Nikon 1 UI, but most hate it, I get the impression). Most other specs, it lags the V1.
You might be interested in Rob Galbraith's review of the V1
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-11666-11988
--
Bob

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tt321
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

pgerrish wrote:

I am planning to buy a more specialist camera to upgrade from compact ( I used SLR many years ago) and was going to get Sony SLT-A65 but have looked at smaller formats. I would be interested in comments between the NikonV1 and PanasonicG3. They are appropriately same price with twin lens kits in UK NikonV1 (with 10-30mm + 30-110) $1250 and G3 (14-42mm + 45-200) $1150. Cameras will be for general personal use with little printing of photos and ideally a GPS would be useful as I tag most of my photos (so Nikon has an advantage). I am aware the Nikon has smaller processor but quality for what I would use seems OK.

Any comments that may help me decide would be most welcome.

The G3 is a pretty good deal at the moment and a very capable camera, but the V1 beats it in continuous AF. If you do a lot of moving subject tracking, maybe the V1 is for you. In almost all other cases the G3 should be better.

If you go with the G3, avoid the two lens kit as that is expensive. It's more expensive than the single lens kit plus the other lens bought separately. Difficult to see why but true.

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v11f
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to tt321, Apr 11, 2012

Hi pgerrish,

I just received a G3, c/w 14 42 and 45 200 lenses. I hav had SLR's in the past and didn't want to go there but had been looking at a A65, especially due to the EVF. I had been looking at an FZ150, my current / last camera having been FZ28 ...

Finally, I plumped for the G3, due to:

  • reasonable price

  • excellent reviews all round

  • I have found the Panasonic menus easy to use and was pleased with the FZ28

  • SLR format, but smaller / lighter

  • EVF significantly better than FZ28/150

So: just out of the box:

  • pretty, small, v well-built

  • very good EVF (but which will "rip" when you move, in low light)

  • fast & reactive

Promise: will be out this w/end (although have to leave Sunday, so don't expect any news soon ...)

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pgerrish
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to v11f, Apr 11, 2012

Many thanks for some helpful and balanced views, especially considering it is a m4/3 forum. There seems quite a consistency that the G3 is better value and offer more in the way of still photo. I will have to address the GPS issue in another way, considering many compacts have GPS built in strange not standrad at this level. I will take advice and try and handle both if I can.

In terms of telephotozoom for G3 is the Panasonic 45-200 zoom a good lens or should I look at third party and adaptor?

Thanks for everybodies' contribution.

Paul

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kenw
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

pgerrish wrote:

In terms of telephotozoom for G3 is the Panasonic 45-200 zoom a good lens or should I look at third party and adaptor?

The 45-200 can be a good zoom lens. Unfortunately it seems to have suffered a bit from quality control. Myself and others have "good copies" that are excellent given the price. There have been an abnormal number of folks who have gotten "bad" copies that seem rather soft. Best advice for this lens is purchase from a place with an easy return policy and test the lens when you get it. It is definitely a bit less sharp all the way at the 200mm end, but up to 150-175 it should be nice and sharp. There was just a FW update that improved the OIS as well. Assuming you get a "good copy" it is a great lens for the price.

There is the what was hoped to be promising 45-175 X lens, unfortunately it has suffered from poor OIS performance for many people. In fact, in general it would appear most people are have OIS problems (despite a FW upgrade Panasonic said would address the issue). I think there is exactly one person on this forum who has an unquestionably good 45-175, everyone else has varying degrees of OIS problems with it. This is a shame as it is a really nice lens otherwise.

Third party and adapter will be frustrating - no AF or if it is a 4/3 lens probably very slow AF. More weight and bulk as well typically. I'd say best bet is get a 45-200 from some place like Amazon that accepts returns easily and give it a test when you get it. (And if you find it is soft when you get it return it as defective product to Amazon or whomever so it will go back to Panasonic rather than the next unsuspecting customer).

Oh - there is also the Olympus 40-150 which is pretty inexpensive. Two problems, no IS system (but depending on how and what you shoot not a problem) and it is actually a bit soft at infinity. Nice and sharp on closer subjects, but not a great performer on distant stuff.
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Chas2
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

I have not tried the Oly 40-150, but for me, because it has OIS when using a Panny camera, the 45-200 is a great value for the money. I don't think you can buy a similar better lens for the money (under $250). It is really sharp for me at 45-135 or so, then it starts to soften up, but not terribly so. For close ups (i.e, way less than infinity), ever at 200 (which is 400 mm equivalent), it is quite good, and has pretty decent depth of field control for an f5.6 lens.

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manthasfamily
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Re: Question for v11f
In reply to v11f, Apr 11, 2012

Hi v11f,

You said you have the FZ28, I also have one and was wonder how the G3 and the FZ28 compare in size? There is no place around me that carries the G3 so I have no way of comparing. I can see the weight comparison online, but the size is what I'm wondering about.

Thanks for responding!

v11f wrote:

Hi pgerrish,

I just received a G3, c/w 14 42 and 45 200 lenses. I hav had SLR's in the past and didn't want to go there but had been looking at a A65, especially due to the EVF. I had been looking at an FZ150, my current / last camera having been FZ28 ...

Finally, I plumped for the G3, due to:

  • reasonable price

  • excellent reviews all round

  • I have found the Panasonic menus easy to use and was pleased with the FZ28

  • SLR format, but smaller / lighter

  • EVF significantly better than FZ28/150

So: just out of the box:

  • pretty, small, v well-built

  • very good EVF (but which will "rip" when you move, in low light)

  • fast & reactive

Promise: will be out this w/end (although have to leave Sunday, so don't expect any news soon ...)

-- hide signature --

Karen

If it pleases you then to hell what everyone else thinks!

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

Flexibility and expandability today would favor the G3, as it's a vastly more mature system. I've handled the two side by side on a couple occasions (don't own either) and preferred the V1's shape, balance, build quality, focus speed and EVF. I think they got a lot right on this camera out of the gate.

V1 output, from what I've seen, is better than I would have expected, but the G3 should produce both better stills and video. And at least for now, the G3 is much less expensive so presents a superior value. Naturally, the lack of 1-series lenses and accessories will be an issue for quite awhile.

But you need to handle both and decide which is the camera you want in your hands for hours at a time. That's where the camera is more than the sum of its parts.

Cheers,

Rick

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jquagga
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 11, 2012

The 45-200 is a reasonable tele zoom lens for a G3. I ended up returning a G3 as I didn't care for it (still have a GF3) and on the wee GF3 the 45-200 is a bit awkward in that the lens is rather heavy. The 45-175 is half the weight, but early versions had issues with image doubling and well, it's twice the price.

Not to dissuade you, but as I often suggest with "which camera do I get" questions, I'd suggest you find a camera shop and play the camera a little bit first if you can. I thought I'd love a G3, bought it and determined it wasn't for me and ended up selling it off again. If had the opportunity to play with it beforehand first I think I might have killed the idea.

In terms of GPS, I geotag all of my images on the Panasonic or my Nikon. I carry a small GPS track logger and make sure my camera's clock matches the GPS clock. After a shoot, I download the track log, download the photos and use the program GPSPhotoLinker to match photos up to the times on the track log and GeoTag the RAW images. The plus to this is that the logger has its own battery and is rather efficient at just logging. I turn it on when I go on a shoot and it has enough battery to last all day and doesn't effect the camera battery at all. Plus I get to see how far I walked that day. Another plus is it works regardless of the camera I have with me.

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pcake
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to jquagga, Apr 12, 2012

i got my g3 last week as an upgrade to my gf1. to me, it's a supremely comfortable camera, and i find it more comfy than the nikon or most other cameras; that being said, it's worth mentioning that i'm 5' 3". i am very happy with my 45-200 on it, and i'm keeping my 14-45 that came with the gf1, although the 14-42 that came with the g3 isn't actually bad.

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AdventureRob
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Re: NikonV1 or Panasonic G3
In reply to pgerrish, Apr 12, 2012

Used both. The EVF is much better on the V1, and its super quick to focus.

Apart from that, the G3 is better in everyway, most importantly is the lens selection and price. The camera is not always the main thing to consider. The V1 is still expensive even though it's dropped 50% of its price in half a year. I think it's a bit early to invest in the Nikon 1 system at the moment, I'm sure the models in 2-3 years will be really competitive though.

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v11f
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Re: Question for v11f
In reply to manthasfamily, Apr 12, 2012

Hi Manthasfamily,

The G3 is not in itself a lot bigger, but it is heavier. I don't think this is an issue at all. You're not lifting weights ... On the other hand, you will be carrying and changing lenses, so a bag is necessary, whereas I never had one for the FZ. Let's see ... I made the choice for the G3 as I was often on the FZ trying to use the full zoom and failing miserably to get useable photos. I hope with the G3 (more reasonable zoom ...) to get better results.

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