Panasonic G3 battery life - is it really that bad?

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by stratokaster, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Pavel
    I wanted to try the new Panasonic G3 before deciding whether to switch from Micro 4/3 to something else or not.

    My friends at Panasonic kindly offered to loan the camera to me. Yesterday I spent the whole evening playing with it. To my surprise, I don't miss the removed control points (such as the AF mode lever) and image quality is certainly very good.

    However, there is one thing that really disturbs me. I fully charged the battery before using the camera. I took about 200 pictures (mostly snapshots) and 3 short videos when the battery indicator started to blink. After 15 more shots the camera simply turned off.

    Is G3's battery life really that bad? If so, it seems Panasonic wants every owner of this camera to buy 3-4 spare batteries...
     
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
  3. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    I find the G3 to be fine for me. It's not great but no worse than the XZ-1 or F550. It's not as good as my DSLR but as said not bad. I find that it is fine for a full days heavy use with 1/3 to spare. I do have a spare but have yet to swap it over.
     
  4. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 14, 2010
    The G3 needs the same battery as the GF2, which has the size of a compact camera. That means, that the battery of the G3 has the size of a battery of a compact camera, too. This is one of the negatives of sizing cameras down.
     
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Pavel
    The camera is not new. It's a press sample so it was used extensively. On the other hand, its battery may be already slightly worn-out.
     
  6. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Pavel
    I think comparing its battery life to compacts is not a compliment. My Sony R1, despite being nearly 6 years old, still gets over 1000 photos on a full charge. Oh well, at least G3 doesn't weigh 1 kg.
     
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Pavel
    I think camera companies have lost their way. Even the smallest and greatest camera is useless if its battery is empty.

    Adding insult to injury, it seems Panasonic doesn't sell spare batteries in Ukraine :eek: It basically rules out G3 as a viable option for me.
     
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    I don't think that anyone has reported that the G3 battery life is significantly worse than other equivalent camera, so the battery in your example may be on the way out.
     
  9. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    We were told in the shop by a battery expert guy that the thing to do when charging the battery for the 1st time was to

    1: Put the battery on charge,
    2: Wait until the battery has charged fully indicated by the charger,
    3: Remove the battery for 10 seconds or so,
    4: Replace battery onto charger and charge for a further hour.

    This apparently makes sure all the cells are active and working to their fullest ability.

    I'm not sure how true this is but worth a go. It should make the batteries last a little longer!?!?
     
  10. PrimeTime

    PrimeTime SC Rookie

    20
    Aug 27, 2011
    Sorry, this may be off subject but pertains to G3 batteries.

    - Has anyone had success with third party batteries with the G3? If so, any preference/source you could please link to.

    Thank you
     
  11. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    Join the club!

    My experience with the Oly E-P3 is similar - approx 250 shots per charge. So it's either bulk up camera size for a bigger battery or hope for more efficient EVF technology to maintain compact dimensions. :frown:
    I reckon with four batteries I'd feel safe to tackle a whole day's shooting.
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    In the month or so I had an EP3, I never noticed a particularly short battery life. I guess I wasn't specifically counting, but in some long days of shooting, I never needed more than one spare, which I consider pretty reasonable. I've never had a mongo-sized DSLR with an all-day battery, so I don't have super high expectations, but I've had between one and three spares for pretty much every camera I've ever owned. If I'm going out for the day with any serious shooting in mind, I take a spare and, with some cameras, two.

    That said, at least with Oly you can buy relatively inexpensive third party batteries (and pretty much every Pen yet made uses the same battery). One of the things I didn't love with Panasonic was when I had three separate Panasonic cameras, I had to have three separate types of batteries and chargers and you had to buy THEIR batteries - third party batteries didn't work with the cameras, or at least not all of the camera's features (like showing you remaining battery life). That said, with the GF1, GH2, and LX5, all three had pretty good battery life - I rarely needed a spare with any of those cams. But it sounds like that's not the case with some of the newer, smaller cams.

    -Ray
     
  13. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    Even so, still better off ...

    This is true - already trying out a generic brand battery and it is lasting as well as the Oly battery that came with the camera, so may stock up on a couple more.
    Some of the mileage comes down to shooting style. I tend to use S-AF and pump the shutter to keep in focus on mobile subjects as I don't trust any C-AF system -and they are no use when you want to lock AF and recompose.
    When I say all day, I mean up to twelve hours - with camera on most of that time for some event shooting I do, and the total shoot may only be 600-700 shots. Throw in a video clip or two, some reviewing and suddenly you are chewing through the amps. But I'm not too worried, I'm enjoying the lightness of micro 4/3 freeing me from DSLR size and weight to worry about getting some extra batteries.:smile: