Nikon D3100 or Panasonic GH2

Started Oct 24, 2010 | Discussions thread
Flat view
Daiken Regular Member • Posts: 270
Nikon D3100 or Panasonic GH2

Hi, I'm a newbie photographer and have been looking to move up from P&S to a larger sensor camera. I've narrowed my choice to one of these two cameras and need some help deciding.

Now ideally I'd like to buy a camera that I won't outgrow quickly and is futureproof, e.g. I won't rush out to buy the next version next year cause of some important feature. I'm primarily interested in stills, but I want the ability to take good video as well. If I had to give a percentage interest, I'd say I'm 75% interested in photos, and 25% in videos. Size is a factor for me and while the bodies are roughly the same size, I know the lenses for the GH2 will be a lot smaller. My budget was supposed to be $1000, but I'm willing to stretch it (max $1500). I'll mostly be shooting pictures of family, vacations, special events, friends, and portraits. Pretty casual stuff, nothing that serious.

I can get the Nikon D3100 body for $530. Along with that I'll probably get the 18-105mm ($300) lens and the 35mm ($200) lens. So The whole package for around $1030. I don't plan on buying too many lenses in the future, maybe a portrait lens and that's about it.

As for the Panasonic GH2, I'd probably buy the body + 14-42mm kit lens ($1000), and the 20mm lens ($330). So the total package for $1330. The 14-140mm is nice but it costs just way too much. Plus I feel I need the 20mm for indoor shooting.

My comparison:

Nikon D3100 - $1030
+ small body
+ large availability of lenses (might buy a portrait lens later)
+ good image quality from what I've seen (low iso too)
+ cheap

  • jelly in video is very annoying

  • autofocusing motor is very loud

  • Bigger and heavier lenses

  • Lack of a few features like auto bracketing (not sure how much I would use this though)

  • Can't autofocus with all Nikon lenses

Panasonic GH2 - $1330
+ small body
+ small lenses
+ good video
+ Better LCD + tiltable
+ Stereo audio
+ non-HD lenses don't seem too loud when autofocusing

  • not much lens selection (would prefer a longer all purpose zoom lens and a fast portrait lens)

  • pricey

  • I doubt the JPEGs OOC will be as nice as the Nikon D3100

So, my main worry about the d3100 is the size, and crappy video. My main concern with the GH2 is the lack of lenses. I don't know how happy the kit lens + 20mm will keep me.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow