May 17, 2011: Panasonic has released details of an addition to its G-series mirrorless camera range, the Lumix-G3, slated for Australian release in July.
Panasonic says this model is the smallest and lightest ‘compact system camera’ with a built-in viewfinder. The G3 is 25 percent smaller and 9 percent lighter than the G2 it replaces. It features a new 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, which is coupled to a Venus Engine FHD image processor. The sensor performance is improved at higher ISO levels, resulting in reduced noise.
The new interchangeable has a3-inch adjustable touch screen plus a 1,440,000-dot equivalent electronic viewfinder. Video capabilities have been boosted with the addition of Full 1080i HD (1920 x 1080) video recording using the AVCHD format, with stereo soundtracks. You can use any zoom lens while recording movies, focusing as you would for still images.
The re-engineered Precision Contrast AF System is faster than those in previous models. Touch AF is supported and a new ‘Pinpoint AF’ mode allowing more precise focus setting by further enlarging the focusing area. The shutter can also be released at a touch. The popular defocus control function in iA mode is now easily operated with a slider on the touch screen, allowing users to adjust the defocus area for a sharp subject and softly focused background.
A new mechanical shutter achieves 4 fps consecutive shooting at full resolution, and the buffer can accommodate up to seven Raw files or ‘unlimited’ JPEGs.
The mode dial carries settings for iAuto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes plus two custom modes, C1 and C2, that photographers can configure for quick access. A new iA Plus mode has been added for adjustment of the defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance. This mode is available in both photo and video recording.
A new range of Creative Controls replaces the G2’s My Colour mode on the mode dial. Indicated by an artist’s palette, this setting provides five options: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia and High Dynamic Range. They can be used for both stills and movie recording and support user adjustments. Creative Control settings, which are non-adjustable, include Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait and Custom.
The Lumix DMC-G3 will be a highlight on the Panasonic stand at the PMA Imaging & Entertainment Expo in Sydney, June 24 – 26. It will be offered in three colours: black, red and white. Pricing and lens kits will be announced closer to the release date. (US suggested retail price with 14-42mm lens is US$699.99.)