Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


New PortraitPro 12 SALE + 10% OFF code EPZROS814

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 vs DMC-G3 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 vs DMC-G3 Review - We look at the new Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Lumix GX1 and compare it to the Panasonic Lumix G3.

 Add Comment

Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Panasonic Lumix GX1
Price : £100
Share :

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specifications

Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1
We recently reviewed the Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1, you can read our full reviews here: Panasonic Lumix GX1 Full Review and Panasonic Lumix G3 Full Review. The G3 and GX1 have a lot of similar features and specifications, to all intents and purposes they are the same camera inside, but the main difference is the lack of electronic viewfinder (EVF) and smaller body on the GX1. The GX1 also gives additional external controls and buttons, to find out what else is different read on.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 vs G3 Features


Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1
Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1

Panasonic Lumix G3 Panasonic Lumix GX1
16mp Live MOS 16mp Live MOS
SSWF Dust reduction SSWF Dust reduction
3inch 460k dots, Touch, Tilting screen 3inch 460k dots, Touch screen
1.44m EVF EVF optional extra
Lens based IS Lens based IS
TTL Built-in-Flash, GN10.5 TTL Built-in-Flash, GN7.6 (can be tilted up)
Stereo Mics Stereo Mics
Shutter speed: 60 - 1/4000s Shutter speed: 60 - 1/4000s
Focus AFS, AFC, MF Focus AFS, AFF (Auto Focus Flexible), AFC, MF
ISO: 160-6400 ISO: 160-12800
4 fps 4.2 fps
Video AVCHD / MP4 Video AVCHD / MP4
Battery: 270 (with FS1442) Battery: 310 (with PS1442)
Size: 115.2x83.6x46.7mm Size: 116.3x67.8x39.4mm
Weight: 336g (Body only) Weight: 272g (Body only)
Price: £449 with 14-42mm Kit lens Price: £469 Body Only
White, Black, Red Silver or Black
Filters: Expressive / Retro / High key / Sepia / High Dynamic Filters: Expressive / Retro / High key / Low key / Sepia / High Dynamic / Toy effect / Miniature effect
  Built-in 3 shaft accelerometer sensor / electronic level
  Remote socket

Panasonic Lumix GX1 vs G3 Handling


Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1
Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1

Handling - The GX1 has a more rubberised front grip compared to the smoother G3. The back of the GX1 has slightly more grip with a more noticeable bump and less smooth texture. You can also spot from the back that the GX1 has dedicated function buttons, while the G3 shares its function buttons with the DISP and Q.Menu buttons. On the G3 if you want AF/AE lock then this needs to be set to one of the function buttons. The GX1 also adds a dedicated button for AF/MF and moves the video record button to the top.

Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1
Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1

Menus - The menus are very similar between the two cameras, with the biggest difference being in the colour of the menus, the GX1 adopting a new black colour theme. The GX1 also takes you straight into the menu options, whereas the G3 shows you a touch screen with icons where you can select which menu to go into, once selected you then get the same menus as the GX1.

Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1
Panasonic Lumix G3 and GX1

Battery Life - The battery life of the G3 is rated at 270 shots according to CIPA testing compared to 310 shots on the GX1. We found the GX1 gave better than expected battery life compared to the G3, which is impressive considering both cameras use the same battery.

Panasonic Lumix G3 Panasonic Lumix GX1
CIPA 270 CIPA 310
Actual 270 Actual 400+

Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot to shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced, we also made sure to test all the cameras at the same time to ensure the cameras were being tested under the same conditions.


Panasonic GX1*
Panasonic G3**
Sony NEX-5N
Shutter Reponse 0.05 0.05
<0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
0.15* 0.2** 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2 0.2 0.2
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.1 0.7 0.9
Shot to Shot (without flash) 0.5 0.5 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.2 1.0 0.7
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 4fps (26 shots)
4fps (8 shots) 10fps (10 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) N/A N/A 2fps
Continuous Shooting (RAW) 4fps (9 shots)
4fps (8 shots) 10fps (7 shots)

* Tested with 14-42mm Power Zoom ** Tested with 14-42 kit lens.

The new Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 14-42 Power Zoom lens gives slightly quicker focus than the 14-42mm lens.

For both cameras, the continuous shooting at full resolution was around 4fps as expected and shooting at the 20fps mode reduces the image size to 4 megapixels, as well as switching the camera to an electronic shutter. Shooting at 4fps we were able to take 26 shots before slow down with the GX1 and just 8 shots with the G3.

If you use long exposures such as a 10 second exposure, the camera will spend another 10 seconds shooting a dark frame to reduce noise from the image, delaying the next shot, unless you switch off the NR in the camera's menus.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 vs G3 Performance

Here we've posted a number of sample photos from both cameras allowing you to compare the results from each. You can click the image to view a larger version, or click "Hi-Res" to view the full size originals. For additional sample photos and video please see the full reviews.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 ISO test images


Panasonic Lumix G3 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance: Both cameras offer very good noise results with ISO3200 usable on both cameras. At ISO6400 the G3 shows stronger noise reduction and slightly softer results, although with the benefit of lower noise. The GX1 also gives an additional ISO12800 setting which could be useful for images used resized on the web or converted to black and white.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 White-balance test images


Panasonic Lumix G3 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance: Under tungsten and fluorescent lighting both cameras perform well, with the cameras giving the option of using presets when needed. The presets can be adjusted as well, although there is no fluorescent preset on Panasonic cameras, most likely due to auto white balance performing well.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 Sample Photos


Panasonic Lumix G3 Sample Photos


Sample Photos: Here are some "real world" shots taken in a variety of situations. The portrait shot with flash shows very little to no red-eye and good detail in the images, with very little difference between the two cameras.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 Digital filters


Panasonic Lumix G3 Digital filters


Digital Filters: The G3 and GX1 both offer colour modes, called "Photo Styles" with the option of Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait as well as Custom. The G3 offers digital filters called "Creative control" with the option of Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, with the GX1 offering the addition of Low Key, Toy Effect and Miniature.

Value For Money

£469 for the GX1 body or £529 with the 14-42mm kit lens (standard lens, not the power zoom shown in this review) vs £449 for the G3 + 14-42mm kit lens. These cameras both offer good value for money for Micro Four Thirds cameras that aren't entry level models (see the GF2/GF3 or EPM1 for the entry level models). The G3 is better value for money, having been available for longer its price has dropped further and it also features a built in EVF and swivel / tilt screen, however the GX1 does have additional features, controls and a more compact body.

Panasonic Lumix GX1 vs G3 Verdict

  Panasonic Lumix GX1 Pop up flash
 
  The Panasonic Lumix GX1 is an excellent camera, compact, fast, controllable and great to use.
Both cameras offer high image quality, quick shooting, good value for money and access to the ever increasing Micro Four Thirds lens range, as well as numerous third party lenses and adapters, making either camera a great choice. The features available with each and what is right for you depends on your needs. If you're after a small camera and don't mind using a rear LCD screen, then the GX1 is an excellent camera with a few extra features that you might find useful, such as an electronic level, higher ISO, remote socket, better continuous shooting, additional external controls and additional filters. If you're not a fan of using the rear LCD, then the G3 offers a great EVF, a tilting rear screen for added flexibility, a more powerful flash and lower entry price, although with slightly less battery life. While the cameras score very highly and produce almost identical image quality to each other, the improved features and handling on the GX1 that give you more direct control over the camera is definitely an advantage and this makes it our Editor's Choice.


For full scores please read the full reviews:
Panasonic Lumix GX1 Full Review
Panasonic Lumix G3 Full Review

Panasonic Lumix G3 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4592
Pixels (H)3448
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dots
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Scene modes
  • Program
  • Manual
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity160 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Bracket
  • Manual
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution1.44 million pixels
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30p,25p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA RatingNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera, Battery Charger, Battery Pack, Body Cap, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, Shoulder Strap, Stylus pen, CD-ROM
Dimensions
Weight544g
Width115.2mm
Height83.6mm
Depth46.7mm

View Full Product Details

Panasonic Lumix GX1 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4592
Pixels (H)3448
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dots
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity160 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Viewfinder
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4.2fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30fps, 25fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion 7.2v, 1010mAh
CIPA Rating340
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery Charger, Body Cap(DMC-GX1K and DMC-GX1 only), USB Connection Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM * Body cap not included for DMC-GX1X kit and DMC-GX1W kit ** Lens rear cap of H-H014 lens not included for DMC-GX1W Kit
Dimensions
Weight272g
Width116.3mm
Height67.8mm
Depth39.4mm

View Full Product Details

Explore More

Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix GX1

b e a k yTime Is MoneyTime Shiftcruise liner sailing from tilburycornSant Tomasl a s t  - r a y sy o r kseat on the moorCastlerigg Stone Circle'delicate'Allium & RoseTigerQuinagHutton-le-Hole II
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments


JohnHoppy 5 5 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2012 8:00PM
Fair review, though itís a pity Panasonic didnít give the GX1 a swivelling rear screen which would reduce the need for an expensive slot-on EVF. Having in mind that Olympusí OM-D is coming out soon, what I think many Panasonic devotees are waiting to hear is how Pany will take the best of the G3 and GX1 and put them together in what we hope will be an enthusiast successor to the G2/GH2. The latter pair have all the right functionality on the outside where the former pair are more in-date on the inside. It then only needs Panasonic to offer a more complete range of lenses Ė particularly a reasonably priced superwide Ė to become a great DSLR competitor. For now, Iím not swopping my very capable G2 & GF2 for minor upgrades.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

30 Jan 2012 1:32AM
the EVF and swivel screen are so useful that even though the newer model has added features - the lack of those two make the G3 a winner! If the Image Quality or Dynamic Range were significantly better, then perhaps the GX1 would be a better choice, but all things considered the G3 is so much more versatile...
Believe G3 does have a remote socket, I don't think this is a differentiator.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.