When it comes to picking one of the growing number of "hybrid" cameras, the marketing doesn't exactly make it easy to make sense of the different size cameras available.
Panasonic is billing its new Lumix DMC-G3 as the "world's smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens system camera". It sounds impressive, and this camera has shrunk compared to the previous version the DMC-G2, but it's not a compact.
Put the DMC-G3 beside Panasonic's own GF2 and we'd choose the latter, if we're after a camera small enough to pocket. Not to mention the fact the GF2 also shoots Full HD video.
In fact it's this very trade-off between the size and bulk of some hybrid cameras, and the less desirable sensor (compared with an APS-C camera) that has put us off some hybrid cameras in the past. We like the G3's predecessor, the G2, but noted that for a bit more money, you could pickup an award winning DSLR like the Nikon D3100.
With the G3, Panasonic has decreased the size by 25%, though as we note, it's still bulkier than a micro four thirds camera that doesn't have a viewfinder. Another welcome move is a new 16MP Live MOS sensor, which Panasonic claims "significantly" reduces noise.
The DMC-G3: to be released in Australia in July. No pricing announced yet.