Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-G3 Micro Four Thirds compact interchangeable lens camera

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Summary: Panasonic unveils successor to the DMC-G2 compact interchangeable lens camera. The new G3 is smaller, lighter and more touch-screen oriented.

[Updated: May 12, 2011 @ 5:57pm - Adding gallery and related links] It’s no big surprise that photos of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 leaked out before this morning’s announcement of the new Micro Four Thirds compact interchangeable lens camera (leaked photos seem to be par for the course these days). But in a break from its standard protocol of late, Panasonic chose to time the announcement much closer to the product ship date than usual, announcing pricing and availability at the same time rather than falling back on its usual “pricing and availability will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date” spiel. [See a photo gallery of the DMC-G3]

The successor to last year’s Lumix DMC-G2, the new G3 is smaller and lighter than the G2 at 4.54×3.29×1.84 inches, 19.20 oz with SD card, battery, and 14-42mm lens (vs. 4.88 x 3.29 x 2.91 inch, 20.92 oz). The G3 also takes the camera’s touch-screen operation one step further, eliminating the G2’s left dial and incorporating the dial’s focus-function controls into the touch-screen controls.  As with the G2, you can focus on a subject by touching it on the 3-inch, flip-out articulating LCD (which rotates 180 degrees laterally and tilts up and down 270 degrees, like the G2’s).  The G3 adds a new Pinpoint AF function for precision touch autofocus point selection, that provides near pixel-level accuracy. Rather than limiting the number of fixed focus points (as with digital SLRs), the Pinpoint AF allows you to set autofocus points anywhere on the LCD by touching it. Other new features include a Precision Contrast LightSpeed AF system, which reduces detection time for focusing by doubling the sensor drive speed from 60 to 120 fps, as well as improved manual control over focus. A new Intelligent Auto Plus mode provides real-time visual feedback for touch-enabled features like background de-focusing, exposure control compensation, and white balance (sounds similar to Olympus’ Live Guide).

Other highlights include:

16-megapixel Live MOS sensor1920×1080 full-HD video recording with stereo sound in AVCHDElectronic Viewfinder with 100% field of view (1,440,000-dot, 0.7x magnification)Selective noise reductionBurst mode up to 20fps (4 fps at full resolution)New Photo Style effect controls in conventional film mode (for visual effects)Black, red, white, and brown body color options

The DMC-G3 will begin shipping in June with a suggested retail price of $699.99 with a 14-42mm kit lens.

Related links:

For more information, read the press release »

Janice got her hands on a Nikon Coolpix 900 back in 1998 and has been a digital camera enthusiast ever since.

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