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Panasonic FZ100 vs G3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2010 and May 2011. The FZ100 is a fixed lens compact, while the G3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ100) and a Four Thirds (G3) sensor. The FZ100 has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the G3 provides 15.8 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic FZ100 versus Panasonic G3
Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 Micro Four Thirds lenses
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 160-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g 115 x 84 x 47 mm, 336 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Panasonic G3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The G3 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the FZ100 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic FZ100 vs Panasonic G3
Compare FZ100 versus G3 top
Comparison FZ100 or G3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G3 is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Panasonic FZ100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ100 nor the G3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ100 has a lens built in, whereas the G3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the G3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the FZ100 gets 410 shots out of its DMW-BMB9 battery, while the G3 can take 270 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G3 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon SX40 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 380 n Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 370 n Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20 4.8 in 3.5 in 3.4 in 21.2 oz .. n Aug 2009 399i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 2 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Panasonic G6 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic FZ200 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic G5 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic GX1 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic G2 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GH2 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ100 was launched at a lower price than the G3, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ100 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic G3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G3 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic FZ100 and Panasonic G3 sensor measures

With 15.8MP, the G3 offers a higher resolution than the FZ100 (14MP), but the G3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 1.41μm for the FZ100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the FZ100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic G3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ100 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

FZ100 versus G3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G3 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ100 (1440k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic FZ100 and Panasonic G3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G3 has a touchscreen, while the FZ100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the FZ100 and the G3 write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the FZ100 and the G3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ150, while the G3 was followed by the Panasonic G5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic FZ100 better than the Panasonic G3 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G3 requires a separate lens.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2010).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.8 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

FZ100 07:11 G3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ100 and the Panasonic G3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the FZ100 or the G3. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30+ +..3.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20+ +73/100..4/54/5 Aug 2009 399i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic FZ200+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic G5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic FZ100:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G3:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~

    Specifications: Panasonic FZ100 vs Panasonic G3

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2010 May 2011
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor Venus FHD Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 667
    Screen Specs Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic FZ100 Panasonic G3
    Battery Type DMW-BMB9 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    115 x 84 x 47 mm
    (4.5 x 3.3 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 336 g (11.9 oz)

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