Updated (July, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

Nikon D3100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Winner
Nikon D3100

52

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

35

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Autofocuses shooting video
Badge
Contrast detection
Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Size
Really small
Standard size 115x84x47 mm
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Overall image quality
Better image quality
67.0 vs 56.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
205 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 5x more lenses available
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 21 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.5 more bits of color
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
400 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
3.5x less delay when turning on
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.3 EV vs 10.6 EV
Help
0.7 f-stops more dynamic range
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 270 shots
Help
More than 2x more shots per battery charge
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 667 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
279 ms vs 293 ms
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-G3

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Size
Smaller
115x84x47 mm vs 124x96x73 mm
Help
Around 50% smaller
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Thickness
Thinner
1.9" vs 2.9"
Help
Around 40% thinner
Weight
Lighter
336 g vs 505 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
15.8 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
23 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The DMC-G3's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-G3
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 52
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        35 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Viewfinder Viewfinders Help
              D3100Pentamirror
              DMC-G3Digital
              Common Weaknesses
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              D310011.3 EV
              DMC-G310.6 EV
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D31001
              DMC-G30
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D3100230k dots
              DMC-G3460k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $279 - $547 body only

              $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $419 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $354 body only

              $600 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Entry-level DSLR

              $899 body only

              $749 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Has significantly less shutter lag
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Size Is slightly smaller
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $627 - $1,550 body only

              $400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $717 body only

              $1,032 with 55-300mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $574 body only

              $410 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Size Larger
              Thickness Thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $540 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $916 with 14-42mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $695 - $798 body only

              $1,135 with 45-150mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Significantly larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $509 - $549 body only

              $739 - $798 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Weight Slightly heavier

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Lumix DMC-G3
              Panasonic

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              Avatar for Tai Shy Tai Shy (1:43 PM, July 14, 2011)
              Hi Dave, hope this isn't too late for you, but in my opinion the touch focus is really a great bonus, but minor in what the camera can do!! Hopefully you will be able to find other uses for ICLs !!
               
              Low budget Dave (7:46 PM, May 23, 2011)
              I am planning to get the g3 because of the touchscreen focus. For me that outweighs the superior IQ of the d3100. It seems like a close call.