Panasonic G3 versus Panasonic G7
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2011 and May 2015. Both the G3 and the G7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.8 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Panasonic G3 vs Panasonic G7
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G3 and the Panasonic G7. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the G3 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G7 is notably larger (11 percent) than the Panasonic G3. Moreover, the G7 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the G3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G3 nor the G7 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Panasonic G3»||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic G7«||4.9 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||14.5 oz||350||n||May 2015||649||-|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX850« »||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G85« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||2.9 in||17.8 oz||330||Y||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic GF7« »||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.4 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic GM5« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic G5« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GF2« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||n||Nov 2010||549||-|
|Panasonic GH2« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||3.0 in||15.6 oz||330||n||Sep 2010||1,499||-|
|Panasonic G2« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599||-|
|Panasonic G10« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499||-|
|Panasonic G1« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||12.7 oz||410||n||Sep 2008||599||-|
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 G3 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the G7 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic G3 vs Panasonic G7
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.8 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G3 and the G7 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G7 is much more recent (by 4 years) than the G3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic G3»||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic G7«||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65|
|Panasonic GX850« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Panasonic G85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|Panasonic GF7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|Panasonic GF6« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic G5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Panasonic GF2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Panasonic GH2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Panasonic G2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|Panasonic G10« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|Panasonic G1« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||-||21.1||10.3||463||53|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G7 provides a better video resolution than the G3. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the G3 is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Panasonic G3 vs Panasonic G7
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G7 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the G3 (2360k vs 1440k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G3, the Panasonic G7, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n|
|Panasonic GX850« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||500||10.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G85« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic GF7« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||500||5.8||Y||n|
|Panasonic GM5« »||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||500||5.8||n||n|
|Panasonic GF6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G5« »||1440||n||3.0||920||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic GX1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Panasonic GF2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||2.6||Y||n|
|Panasonic GH2« »||1534||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G2« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||4000||2.6||Y||n|
|Panasonic G10« »||202||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||2.6||Y||n|
|Panasonic G1« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||4001||3.0||Y||n|
Both the G3 and the G7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G3 was replaced by the Panasonic G5, while the G7 was followed by the Panasonic G85.
Review summary: Panasonic G3 vs Panasonic G7
So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic G3 better than the Panasonic G7 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 74g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2011).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1440k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the G3 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G7 is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G3 or the G7. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic G3»||HiRec||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic G7«||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||-|
|Canon M« »||Rec||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX850« »||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G85« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic GF7« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Rec||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic G5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GF2« »||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549||-|
|Panasonic GH2« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-|
|Panasonic G2« »||-||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||-|
|Panasonic G10« »||-||70/100||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2010||499||-|
|Panasonic G1« »||HiRec||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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