As with all Lumix models, the G3 offers an intelligent Auto (iA) fully automatic point-and-shoot mode, which is supplemented by a new iA mode. This allows the user a bit more control, with access to white balance, exposure compensation and peripheral defocus settings. Oddly, the iA button isn’t located on the mode wheel with the other shooting modes but rather on the top of the body. It does, however, glow blue when activated.
With a choice of Face Detection to keep portraits sharp, 23-area AF to
achieve a good balance, Single-area AF to select a specific point of
focus, and AF Tracking to keep moving subjects in focus, the G3 offers
something for every situation. In addition, the G3 also offers a new
Pinpoint AF mode that creates a small square on the screen or
viewfinder, within which the camera zooms-in to show a close-up of the
specific point the camera is focused on for. As the name implies, this
is to give you pinpoint accuracy when focusing. Finally, there’s also a
new MF Assist function that creates an enlarged box within the
viewfinder/screen that helps you to fine-tune focus manually.
And of course, this being a touch-screen Lumix, the G3 also offers Touch focus and Touch shutter. Touch focus allows you to determine focus on any part of the scene simply by touching it on the LCD screen, while the latter goes one step further by recording an image once focus has been established.
In addition the G3 continues to offer the Peripheral de-focus feature seen in previous G-series models. This allows you to select a point of focus with your finger on the touch-screen, while the camera automatically selects a shallow depth of field to throw the background and make the subject stand out more.
Movies are recorded at 1080i Full HD and 720p HD, both at 30fps, in the super- efficient AVCHD file format. Audio is recorded in stereo courtesy of the built-in microphone positioned on top of the pop-up flash housing, although unlike the G2 there’s no socket with which to plug in an external microphone – this severely dents this cameras appeal as a true enthusiasts all rounder. Hidden away behind a protective cover, however, is a mini HDMI port for direct HDTV playback, a USB 2.0 port for connectivity and a 3.5mm remote input.