We're happy to report that the Panasonic G3 delivers some of the best looking images from a Micro Four Thirds camera yet, thanks to that brand new 16MP sensor inside of it. Image quality has noticeably improved over the G2, with better ISO performance.
Images are clean up to ISO800, and ISO1600 is looking better than ever. Even at ISO3200 noise is fine and well controlled, while ISO6400 is a mess (as usual). We wouldn't go hopping to ISO3200 often, but the G3 offers a better looking last ditch solution at ISO3200 this time than on the G2, at which the same setting was unusable.
Even though the G3 was released at the same time as the GF3, both with new 16MP sensors, they are - surprisingly - not the same sensor. In fact, the G3 delivers cleaner images at higher ISOs from ISO1600 to ISO3200 than the GF3. The G3 even delivers crisper images at ISO3200 than the older, but higher-end GH2, which was a pleasant surprise to us (the GH2 still smokes the G3 in its video capabilities).
The G3 returns a high 20-2200LPH horizontal and vertical resolution, which looks slightly more refined than the results we had from the GH2 and GF3. Colors tend to be rendered a little cooler, and the camera tends to underexposure under challenging lighting conditions. But you can always override exposure, even in automatic mode now with iA+. The ability to tap to focus is a real pleasure and helps immensely in those rare moments when auto-focus struggles.
Below are 100% crops of our test scenes. Click for the full-resolution images.