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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.

Body comparison

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).

Panasonic G3 vs Panasonic G7 front
G3 versus G7 top view
G3 and G7 rear side
Body view (G3 on the left)

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.

Concerning battery life, the G3 gets 270 shots out of its DMW-BLD10 battery, while the G7 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic G3 (⇒ rgt) 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 no 2011 599discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft) 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 no 2015 649discont. check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft | rgt) 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 269 g 210 no 2017 549 latest check
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 YES 2016 899 latest check
Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 no 2015 499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 no 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 no 2013 499discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 no 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 no 2011 949discont. check
Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 no 2010 549discont. check
Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 no 2010 1,499discont. check
Panasonic G2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 no 2010 599discont. check
Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 no 2010 499discont. check
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 no 2008 599discont. check

The listed 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

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.

Panasonic G3 and Panasonic G7 sensor measures
Sensor size

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.

G3 versus G7 MP
Sensor resolution

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.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic G3 (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60i 21 10.6 667 56
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p - - - -
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.2 827 65
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p 22.8 12.5 656 71
Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p - - - -
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 22.1 11.7 721 66
Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60i 20.7 10.6 622 54
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 21.3 11.5 639 61
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p - - - -
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 20.8 10.6 703 55
Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60i 21.2 10.3 506 54
Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60i 21.2 11.3 655 60
Panasonic G2 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 720/30p 21.2 10.3 493 53
Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 720/30p 21.2 10.1 411 52
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 no 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

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.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic G3 (⇒ rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel YES 4000 4.0 11 no
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 7.0 9.3 no
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.3 no no
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 500 10.0 4 no
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 9.0 6.2 YES
Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 500 5.8 4 no
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1166 no 3.0 921 fixed YES 500 5.8 no no
Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 6.3 no
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 4000 7.0 10.5 no
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 920 swivel YES 4000 6.0 10.5 no
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed YES 4000 4.2 7.6 no
Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed YES 4000 2.6 6.0 no
Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1534 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 3.0 15.6 no
Panasonic G2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel YES 4000 2.6 11 no
Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 2.6 11 no
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4001 3.0 10.5 no

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.

Summary

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.

G3 02:06 G7

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. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic G3 (⇒ rgt) 88/100 HiRec 75/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2011 599discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 649discont. check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 84/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 899 latest check
Panasonic GF7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 499discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2011 949discont. check
Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 82/100 70/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2010 549discont. check
Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 86/100 HiRec 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2010 1,499discont. check
Panasonic G2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 72/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2010 599discont. check
Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 70/100 4/5 - 4/5 2010 499discont. check
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 70/100 HiRec 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2008 599discont. check

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.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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