G31 Panasonic launches Lumix G3 digital interchangeable lens camera

Today, Panasonic announced the Lumix G3, which claims to be the company's smallest and lightest digital interechangeable lens camera. And VR-Zone was one of the media who was invited to hands-on the G3 this afternoon.

G31 Panasonic launches Lumix G3 digital interchangeable lens camera

The Panasonic G3 is slightly smaller and lighter than its G2 sibling, and has the pop-up flash and hot shoe for external attachments.

According to Chung Zi'ang, marketing executive, AV department for Panasonic, the G2 was a small upgrade to G1 while the G3, compared to the G2, has few changes.

"The G3 has incorporated the GH2 16-megapixel sensor, overall size is smaller and full HD recording. It is an upgrade to the G1 and G2. The G2 features AVCHD Lite, while the G3 is AVCHD. We have received a lot of feedbacks on the G2, or micro four-thirds, that the image quality probably loses out to the APS-C sensor and this has been improved on for the G3," Chung said.

G33 Panasonic launches Lumix G3 digital interchangeable lens camera

The G3 also has a vari-angle LCD display that lets you frame your shots even at odd angles. The mode dial, Intelligent Auto (iAuto) and shutter buttons are on the top right.

G32 Panasonic launches Lumix G3 digital interchangeable lens camera

On the right holds the remote, HDMI and AV/Digital out connectors, concealed by a plastic flap. As the unit we tried is still a pre-production unit, we are unable to share any sample pictures to show the image quality.

According to Panasonic, the Lumix G3 is scheduled to be available in Singapore in Q3, which will most probably be in July. No luck for those who are expecting to see it selling at the upcoming PC Show next month.

Here's the official press release:-

Panasonic today announces a new addition to the LUMIX G Series of Compact Systems Cameras (CSC), the LUMIX DMC-G3, the company’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a viewfinder to date. The LUMIX G3 features a new 16-megapixel sensor that produces rich, true-to-life, high quality images, plus 1920 x 1080 full high definition (HD) video recording capability with stereo sound in AVCHD.

The LUMIX G3 provides a traditional DSLR-like experience with an external Mode dial for quick access to common modes like Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual. Additional dial settings include two Custom Modes, Scene Modes and a Creative Control Mode. The LUMIX G3 provides a dedicated video button that can be used to switch to video capture quickly without changing modes. Like most traditional DSLRs, the LUMIX G3 provides a built-in flash and hotshoe for connecting optional LUMIX flashes. To enhance operability and ensure it’s user-friendly, the LUMIX G3 features touch-control shooting, which lets photographers focus on the subject by simply touching it on the large, 3-inch high-resolution LCD touch screen.

For added ease of use, the LUMIX G3 features Panasonic’s iA2 and new iA Plus modes, which are enabled automatically once the iA button is pressed. Panasonic’s iA features, such as Intelligent Resolution, MEGA O.I.S. (included in several lenses), Intelligent ISO Control, and Intelligent Scene Selector are available when shooting still images.

The LUMIX G3 utilizes the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system mount, offering greater size and weight reduction in the lens without compromising performance and clarity. Made of aluminum, the camera will be available in a variety of attractive colors, including black, red, white and brown. Suggested retail price of the LUMIX G3 with the 14-42mm Zoom Lens Kit will be US$699.99. 

Source: Panasonic