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Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 in-depth review

By dpreview staff on Aug 11, 2011 at 19:09 GMT

Just published: Our in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3. With the touchscreen-equipped GF3, Panasonic goes further to embrace compact camera upgraders, but makes yet another break from the chunky, enthusiast-friendly ergonomics of the GF1. The smallest Micro Four Thirds camera yet introduces some new features, including all-area AF system and slightly improved JPEG image quality at high ISO settings. We have also taken the opportunity in this review to publish studio comparison shots from the Sony NEX-C3 and Olympus PEN E-PL3, both of which will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

Click here to read our in-depth Panasonic DMC-GF3 review

You can also click here to access our standalone camera comparison tool, to asses the NEX-C3 and E-PL3 studio test shots against the cameras of your choice.

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Comments

Total comments: 42
EpyonXero
By EpyonXero (Aug 17, 2011)

Can the reviewer explain how they were able to open the RAW files in ACR?

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Aug 18, 2011)

We have a close relationship with Adobe and typically receive beta builds of ACR that support cameras we are reviewing.

0 upvotes
EpyonXero
By EpyonXero (Aug 18, 2011)

Thanks for the reply. Its been driving me crazy trying to figure it out.

0 upvotes
Harpur
By Harpur (Aug 16, 2011)

Does anybody know where and when the GF3 will be available, preferably Singapore ?

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 15, 2011)

It's a shame the camera is only compact with the 14mm lens.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Aug 14, 2011)

Can anybody explain to me how the E-P3 copped so much criticism but the GF3 doesn't?

Perhaps you won't expect so much from the E-PL3 and E-PM1.

Cheers

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Aug 14, 2011)

Keep in mind the GF3 is the least expensive of the G-series cameras, while the E-P3 is the flagship of Olympus ILC lineup.

0 upvotes
cooljcc
By cooljcc (Aug 12, 2011)

I'd really like to get one. Currently I've got the Panasonic LX5. I love compact bodies and i'd like to try an ILC.
I'm not sure whether the picture quality compared to my LX5 is improved, and the lack of an image stabilizer in combination with the 14mm/F2.5 pancake might cause blur, especially in low light.

Anyone got any recommendation?
Thanks!
John

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Aug 12, 2011)

This a great small interchangeable lens camera

0 upvotes
kast lier
By kast lier (Aug 12, 2011)

Despite the reviews I can't see any longer the difference with Panasonic's G3, GH2 and GF3. Anyone who can explain wich camera is for wich user ?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 12, 2011)

The GF3 is for point and shoot users who still want a small package but want better low light capabilities.

The G3 is for people who bought a camera before the GF3 was available or people who must have a viewfinder, hot shoe, and fold out LCD but couldn't care less about movies.

The GH2 is for users who want manual video controls.

5 upvotes
kast lier
By kast lier (Aug 13, 2011)

great answer, thanks

0 upvotes
Wissett
By Wissett (Aug 13, 2011)

I agree. That is a great answer, and it's the kind of thing you would hope to see in a forum like this, instead of the bitching, fault-finding and ego trips that clutter most of the DPR comment areas. See below, although it often gets worse. Thanks for actually talking about cameras.

0 upvotes
Michael Bagg
By Michael Bagg (Aug 12, 2011)

How do I convert Raw files in ACR or Lightroom. Is there a version available?

0 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (Aug 12, 2011)

Sooo, how about... this GF3?

1 upvote
jbr
By jbr (Aug 11, 2011)

asleep at the switch

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 11, 2011)

Just a quick thought experiment:

In the time between a problem occurring and it being fixed, if you have no understanding of the complexity of that problem or what's being done to rectify it, how do you determine the difference between no activity and there being a group of people trying really hard to solve the problem?

4 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 12, 2011)

i don't know if it was magic, or hard work, but it's working now ;)

0 upvotes
Manny E
By Manny E (Aug 11, 2011)

An error has occured.

There is no need to contact us about this error as it has been logged.

Regards, webmaster [at] dpreview.com

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified

/misc/errorhandler.asp, line 427

0 upvotes
Josh Hays
By Josh Hays (Aug 12, 2011)

Thanks to everyone who noted this error. We're currently working on a fix for this issue.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Aug 12, 2011)

Maybe it's time to migrate off of .NET and use something open-source and more robust like Ruby on Rails. Love the website however. I just don't understand how Microsoft SQL, which is not a cheap platform to deploy to, keeps throwing errors. Love the website.

1 upvote
inis16
By inis16 (Aug 13, 2011)

marike6: ASP file extension is not .NET but old Visual Basic like Active Server Pages!

0 upvotes
ro6
By ro6 (Aug 11, 2011)

I wonder when is DPR going to drop this white text/black background display? I understand that's part of the general design, but in terms of readability, it's a poor choice. At least you could use the normal dark text/light background on the major sections where a lot of text is displayed.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 12, 2011)

First of all i don't agree, you must have a bad monitor or eyes. But there was a poll about this not too long ago. I believe most like it the way it is. And they were thinking about adding a user preference option to choose.

0 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (Aug 12, 2011)

Seems that the vast majority of dpreview users do not agree with you... :-)

http://www.dpreview.com/polls/

(see the first poll)

1 upvote
ro6
By ro6 (Aug 12, 2011)

OK, I guess I'm in minority here. But, if that would be the general case, why would books be printed black/white, or newspapers, or license plates dark/light, white backboards in classrooms, and many other examples? I'm pretty sure it's not just "economics".

This poll tells me that most people visiting this site are afraid of "change" rather than protecting their vision. Same goes for DPR. If they are serious about making their site more user friendly, they shouldn't even consider this type of poll.
There's a difference between being aesthetically pleasant, and being user friendly. But there's room for both, like less contrast between text and background colors.

Not only that, DPR should also consider increasing their text size. I'm using a 1280x1024 monitor, but this is a rather low resolution these days. The very least they should do is increase leading.

Sure, the majority will come with opposite opinions.

0 upvotes
xteapot
By xteapot (Aug 13, 2011)

The poll did not give much choice (only white-on-black or black-on-white). The problem here is the "contrast" the contrast is too high for pure white on black. I have to copy text and paste in notepad to read the review because if I'm staring at a it too long my eye (as everyone else) try to pull the bright text down by decreasing "iso" on the area that receive bright text. This is not a comfortable way to read at all. Try close your eye after reading dpreview you will see white/dark strips pattern of adaptive iso. I prefer a light grey text on dark grey or dark brown background.

1 upvote
iwo
By iwo (Aug 14, 2011)

Books and other prints are not comparable to computer screens (or TVs).
In case of print, the pigments are combined, in case of screen - lights. The base for pigments must be white, for lights - black.
So, actually, the black background for screen is natural, as much as white for the print, and I think it is more pleasant for the eyes generally.
But yes, real problem here is contrast, exacerbated with modern LCDs that tend to pump contrast high.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Aug 15, 2011)

Nostalgia is fine, but what's nostalgic for some is a nightmare for others.
In digital world, user friendliness is something achieved NOT through polls, but through giving a choice. That's the reason iPad is such a great success — because there is no single, right way to hold it in your hands — you can hold it as you wish.
White of black is a nightmare to read and that's one of the reason I never read DPR reviews, but just skip to last page on Conclusions and read reviews elsewhere, skipping over rivers of white glow.
Giving an option to swap colours would be a user friendly option, and not forcing people to adhere to something that basically doesn't work well.

1 upvote
ixache
By ixache (Aug 17, 2011)

Did you know that you can instruct your web browser to show any site in the colours you prefer? You can also use extensions (such as "Readability") in browsers that allow them (such as Firefox, Chrome, etc.; Readibility is included in vanilla Safari). You may also enlarge the text with Ctrl-+. So anybody can cook up its own user-friendliness while the designers stay happy and oblivious. Cheers!

0 upvotes
ro6
By ro6 (Aug 25, 2011)

If everybody would customize their browsers for their viewing pleasure, why do we need designers than? I'm pretty sure they are not hired mainly for promoting their own talent and skills on companies' time and money! Their main duty is to provide an aesthetically pleasant experience AND a usable display of information.
Even a simple operation such as Ctrl+, is considered an unnecessary operation for a well designed website.
BTW, I happen to work in this field.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 11, 2011)

Other errors are the entire formatting disappearing, leaving a white page with the review text, few working graphics if any and everything in a continual list instead of in different parts of the screen aka no formatting.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Aug 11, 2011)

Try emptying your browser cache and then reload the page.

0 upvotes
TimT999
By TimT999 (Aug 11, 2011)

The one thing I dislike about DP is these interstitial pages and the way they spread the reviews out over so many linking pages. If there's a link from a Home Page to an article, go directly to the article. Don't put some useless page in front of the article just so your site can get more ad revenue. It's just a bad web usability experience.

2 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Aug 11, 2011)

Review page doesn't have the comment form. This page allows you not only complain about existence of this page, but also report actual errors in the review.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 11, 2011)

So you'd prefer a system where most news stories take you to a longer version of that story (with the press release and images, etc), and some others taking you out of the news section of the site? I'm not sure that necessarily gives a better experience.

As far as I know, the reason is structural, rather than having anything to do with ad revenue.

1 upvote
snackwells
By snackwells (Aug 11, 2011)

Review page appears to be bugged quite a bit, not rendering correctly, thanks.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 11, 2011)

Care to elaborate? Which particular page/s are you have problems with, and what sort of issues are you seeing? Does the problem go away after clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page?

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Aug 11, 2011)

An error has occured.

There is no need to contact us about this error as it has been logged.

Regards, webmaster [at] dpreview.com

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified

/misc/errorhandler.asp, line 427

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Aug 11, 2011)

From the link above Click here to read our in-depth Panasonic DMC-GF3 review http://dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgf3/

0 upvotes
Donald M Mackinnon
By Donald M Mackinnon (Aug 11, 2011)

An error has occured.

There is no need to contact us about this error as it has been logged.

Regards, webmaster [at] dpreview.com

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified

/misc/errorhandler.asp, line 427

2 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Aug 11, 2011)

Yes..it went away after REFRESH!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 42