Panasonic's New and Smaller Lumix G3
Posted by Justin Case — 13 May 2011
Panasonic is pleased to announce a new addition of interchangeable lens system camera for LUMIX G Micro System - DMC-G3 featuring new 16.0-megapixel sensor and 1920 x 1080 full HD video recording capability. The DMC-G3 achieves further downsizing in both size and weight to break the record of world's smallest and lightest camera*.
LUMIX G Micro System realizes high-quality photo images with real-to-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction. In addition, high sensitivity signal processing is redesigned for DMC-G3 to take full advantage of the newly developed 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor. Notably, images to be shot in low-lit situations at high ISO sensitivity setting is stunningly clear with highly sharp resolution.
Precision Contrast AF system of LUMIX G Micro System gains even higher speed realizing world's fastest level of approx. 0.18 second.** With the combination of touch-control shooting, focusing is ever more quick and accurate thanks to the newly adopted Pinpoint AF. Furthermore, consecutive shooting is also improved for 4 fps in 16.0-megapixel full resolution with a new mechanical shutter.
The DMC-G3 records 1920 x 1080 full-HD video with stereo sound in AVCHD format which is superior in both compression efficiency and friendliness with AV equipment for playback. Advanced AF system including practical full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording so that every photographer can enjoy high quality video recording with minimum ease.
Newly renovated color mode Creative Control allows users to set color effect more intuitively and finer control in contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction is available with Photo Style.
The acclaimed iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is advanced to be iA Plus mode and both are incorporated in DMC-G3. In addition to the conventional powerful shooting support functions, defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance can be adjusted in the iA Plus mode. The iA Plus mode works not only in photo but also in video recording.
The DMC-G3 boasts 7.5 cm (3.0-inch) free-angle Intelligent LCD with 100% field of view, 1,440,000-dot equivalent LVF (Live View Finder). The body is made of aluminum which features lightness and high-specific strength. The newly designed body profile incorporates ergonomic grip which offers comfortable hold despite its ultra compact size. With a variety of attractive colors - black, red, white and brown, DMC-G3 is the camera to fit in the stylish lifestyle enabling to save precious memories in both high quality photo and video.
* For an interchangeable lens system camera with a viewfinder as of May 12, 2011.
** The time for focusing on the subject is measured with the DMC-G3 attaching LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS014042) to move the lens position to "2m" from "infinity" position. The zoom position is in wide range. Panasonic measurement method.
1. Even Higher Image Quality with Stunning Clarity
LUMIX G Micro System realize high-quality photo images with real-to-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction; high-grade lens and precision AF achieves high resolution, optimal balance of resolution and noise reduction achieves lifelike image rendering and high precision auto exposure and white balance with live light metering results in the faithful color reproduction.
The newly developed 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor for DMC-G3 plays a big role in high quality image rendering. With the new circuit which reads out signals with minimum noise, the level of noise is significantly suppressed by more than 66%. Notably in shooting at high ISO setting, S/N value is improved by approx. 200% compared with the conventional 12.1-megapixel sensor. The sensor performance improves by 6db at ISO 3200 and max. 9db at ISO 6400, resulting in the dramatically flawless picture without noise.
For the image processor, the Venus Engine FHD is incorporated that features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities in both photo and video recording. By separating chromatic noise from luminance noise even more accurately by applying the optimal noise reduction to each, you can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels. By preventing the color mixture which tended to occur around the edges, any chromatic noise, not only the in gradation part but also in the edge part, are described clearly. The engine also provides selective noise reduction to the outline part to let it have more naturally-balanced curve without deterioration of the resolution. In addition, the spot-type noise which can be often seen in the dark area of the picture taken in low light situation or color bleeding on high luminance area generated by the chromatic aberration. Details are kept by optimum synthesizing of the data which is processed with resolution-priority for edge part and NR-priority for smooth part of a picture*.
The best performance coalition for the signal processing from sensor to engine realize high quality image rendering with even higher clarity.
In addition, the DMC-G3 is now capable of 4 fps consecutive shooting in 16.0-megapixel full resolution with mechanical shutter. High speed burst shooting at 20 fps with electronic shutter is also selectable according to the shooting fast-moving subject and it is possible to select the best shot later**.
* In a single shot at ISO3200 or higher. Not available with iA and iA Plus mode.
** In the high speed burst shooting at 20 fps, the picture size is fixed to S-size in all aspects.
2. Advanced AF System
All cameras of LUMIX G Micro System adopt Contrast AF for its focus system. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, the Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy even in shooting at small F value. (e.g. the accuracy of Contrast AF is approx. 90% while Phase difference AF is approx. 60% at F1.4) The Phase-difference AF system is susceptible to mechanical margin of error. However, in Contrast AF system, focusing is controlled by the image sensor so that no mechanical margin of error occurs to achieve precise focusing. The DMC-G3 features the world's fastest level* of Light Speed AF featuring approx. 0.1 second** which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by doubling the drive speed from 60 fps to 120 fps, Not only the accuracy but also the speed excels by far than the high-end DSLRs with Phase difference AF with the advanced contrast AF system in DMC-G3. Combined with the Touch AF control, setting and focusing at the subject is incredibly easy and quick, never missing the spur-of-the-moment.
Taking further advantage of Contrast AF, the DMC-G3 incorporates Full-area focusing which makes it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view. Frame composition is free and intuitive combining the touch-screen operation.
To elevate its operability even higher, the DMC-G3 adopted touch-control shooting, which immediately lets users to set focus to the subject by just touching it on the large, 460,000-dot free-angle LCD and you can even release the shutter. Once you lock on the subject by a touch, the camera tracks the subject with the AF tracking function even if it moves. Just a touch on the screen lets you select the part and the size of AF area with the 1-area AF. The 1-area AF in Face Detection even allows you to set finer focus on the eyes while capturing human face bright and clear. The Multi-area AF with 23 AF areas allows to set a group of AF point according to the composition. In addition, Pinpoint AF function is incorporated in DMC-G3 allowing more precise focus setting by further enlarging the focusing area. It assists, for example, setting focus right on the pupil in an eye.
In the MF assist mode, you can enlarge the part by just a touch to select 1x, 4x, 5x or 10x and smoothly move the part by dragging it on the screen. The 4x enlarged view is displayed on the framing screen making it possible to setting fine focus while composing the whole picture at the same time.
* The time for focusing on the subject is measured with LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-VS014140) to move the lens position to "2m" from "infinity" position. The zoom position is in wide range. Panasonic measurement method.
** Approx. 0.1 sec with LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S., Approx. 0.18 sec with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S., Approx. 0.15 sec with LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.
• To get the best AF performance with DMC-G3 and LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-VS014140), the firmware of LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-VS014140) must be updated to ver. 1.3 or later.
3. Enhanced Operability in Pursuit of further Ease of Use
Achieving further downsizing by approx. 25% in size compared with the predecessor makes DMC-G3 the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system camera*. Compact, stylish round-form design adopting aluminum dispels impression for conventional big, heavy and colorless DSLRs. With the durable metal mount surrounded by a silver-colored ring, the DMC-G3 boasts sleekly refined profile with a variety of stylish colors - black, red, white and brown. It is stunningly compact but yet comfortable to hold with the new ergonomically studied grip. Operation is also smooth and easy with optimum layout of control buttons and so on. Every photographer can be used to DMC-G3 right after starting shooting with it without hesitation.
The large, high resolution with wide-viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down offers approx. 100% of field of view. The free-angle LCD with a touch-screen operation makes both monitoring and touching at any physical position. The touch-screen operation excels not only for shooting but also for playing back images with outstanding visibility. You can play back the image you want out of hundreds of stocks by touching in the thumbnails. To play back images one by one in order, you can drag the image over the screen with a finger to browse the collection of photos as you flip over the pages of the book. Max. 16x of enlargement is also operated easily with touches. Plus, in the Custom setting, user can set ON/OFF of each touch controls such as touch shutter, touch AF, touch display to make the camera more comfortable to operate for the user.
The LUMIX G Micro System's large, bright 1,440,000-dot equivalent LVF (Live View Finder) with 0.7x magnification retains the outstanding viewability of an optical viewfinder and can also display information about camera settings that the user can see without taking his or her eyes off the subject. Reducing the color breakup by half in principle, the LVF assures stunning image view for any subject in any scenes. Together with the 60 fps Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner.
Cameras of LUMIX G Micro System are equipped with highly efficient Dust Reduction System. If dust or other foreign matter gets inside the camera when you're changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. The Dust Reduction System in the DMC-G3 helps eliminate this possibility by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.
* For an interchangeable lens system camera with a viewfinder as of May 12, 2011.
4. 1920 x 1080 Full-HD High Quality Video Recording
LUMIX G Micro System is the camera that records not only high quality photo but also stunning video. The AVCHD format features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG. A special, dedicated button on the back lets the user instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without any having to make any extra settings. Now the DMC-G3 can record high-resolution full-HD videos 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) in AVCHD (Sensor output is 30p [NTSC] / 25p [PAL])*. Image recording is more flexible fun with the DMC-G3. In addition to the practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing the subject, the focus is shifted to it and let it stand out to attract attention.
The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range Max.4.8x without deterioration of image quality in smaller resolution.
Even video beginners can record excellent video with the DMC-G3 because the popular iA and iA Plus modes are also available in video recording. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on it, so it always turns out beautiful. The Intelligent D-range Control offers natural looking by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully including the blue color of the sky. And Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Portrait, Scenery, Close-up and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize various parameters for higher visual quality.
High quality sound can be recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. The DMC-G3 can take a photo while recording video by just pressing a shutter button. Also, photos can be cropped out from the video and the unwanted part of the video can be removed with a video divide function.
* Full HD (1920 x 1080) videos are output by the image sensor at 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL), and recorded at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL). HD (1280 x 720) videos are output by the image sensor at 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL), and recorded at 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL).
• Motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 29 min 59 sec in European PAL areas.
• Continuous recording exceeding 2GB is not possible when recording motion JPEG. Remaining time for continuous recording is displayed on the screen.
• Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures in [AVCHD]. Also, use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 6" or higher when recording motion pictures in [MOTION JPEG].
* SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.
5. Renovated Color Control Functions -- New "Photo Style" and "Creative Control"
The DMC-G3 is artistic not only in form, but also in function. It provides an array of features that let users capture precisely true-to-life images and create their own beautifully expressive images. The popular My Color mode equipped in the LUMIX G Micro System is renewed for Creative Control by handpicking the frequently-used color modes; Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia and High Dynamic. Now it is possible to adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode.
The conventional film mode is also renovated to be new effect control function called Photo Style. It has Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait presets while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction by each. It is possible to fully customize those settings to make user's own color effect manually in Custom mode.
These two modes Photo Style and Creative Control let users at any level of skill enjoy giving photographers' intention to make the picture even more impressive.
6. Advanced iA (Intelligent Auto) mode for More Creative Freedom -- iA Plus
The DMC-G3 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably in both photo and video recording with the iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus. In the new iA Plus mode in DMC-G3, defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance can be adjusted for scenes where a slight manual adjustment may bring better result.
The defocus control function in iA mode allows users to adjust the defocus area in the background by just moving a slider to make the subject stand out impressively. With AF Tracking, the DMC-G3 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot.
The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback. The Intelligent D-range Control offers even more natural looking by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully including the blue color of the sky. An automatic backlight compensation function is activated whenever the camera detects the subject in backlight. The Intelligent Resolution technology features even more natural-looking with better-balanced sharpness to the detail part and the edge part, suitable for printing in large size.
In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include MEGA O.I.S. (included in the lens), which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the most common shooting situations - Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, Close-up and Sunset - and switches to the appropriate scene mode. The camera automatically switches to the appropriate mode according to the subject touched. For example, a touch on a human face switches to the portrait mode and a touch on the background or scenery to the scenery mode while a touch on the subject close to the camera to the close-up mode.
The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting the iA mode.
• Some functions in iA mode may not be available depending on the lens that is mounted.
7. Enjoy Watching High Quality Photos and Videos on Large HDTV - VIERA Link Networking Even in 3D
With the world's first* introduction of digital interchangeable lens to make 3D shooting possible with an interchangeable lens system camera, Panasonic proposes to enjoy high-quality shooting in 3D with DMC-G3.
Both still images and motion images in AVCHD recorded on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV with dynamic HD resolution. The user simply inserts the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on a VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player** to play the content. Alternatively, an optional HDMI mini cable can be used to output still and motion images recorded with the DMC-G3 directly to the TV for easy VIERA Link operation. This makes it possible to take maximum advantage of the camera's playback functions, including slideshows in which both still and motion images are played sequentially, or calendar displays and so on.
* For a digital interchangeable lens as of September 21, 2010.
** AVCHD motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD cannot be played on a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
8. Rich Options for Further Expandability
The Micro Four Thirds System products are joining today's Four Thirds System products to provide customers with even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-G3 can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adaptor for the unlimited number of lens properties. The LUMIX DMC-G3 system camera offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.
• Some functions on the DMC-G3 are not available depending on the lens that is mounted. • Some accessories are not available in some countries.
9. Just Shooting Is Not the Goal -- Included Softwares
With the DMC-G3, PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.2 HD Edition for easy organization of photos and videos, the SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE for RAW file development and Super LoiloScope (trial version) come bundled.
The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.2 HD Edition makes it possible to sort and organize photos not only of those newly taken but also of those stored in your PC with quick start-up and fast read-in of images. The Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture automatically sorts the photos by the registered faces without picking out each photo one by one when you only want pictures of a specific person. You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music and burn it onto a DVD disc in MPEG2. It is easy to create an edited short video by just selecting the photos and video clips you like with Short Movie Story function. Photos and videos can be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube via the same interface.
The original image data in RAW file format recorded with the DMC-G3 allows images to be developed according to your intention using highly advanced functions of the SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE software utility. It features unique combination of high resolution and extraordinary color separation performance. The Super LoiLoScope lets you experience high speed HD video editing.
Additional information: All about the new Panasonic Lumix GH3 compact DSLR