Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
With the GF3, Panasonic continues to court the mass-market, with a camera that furthers its trend of simplification and new-user befriending. It's a gentle refresh of the GF2 but one from which even more controls (as well as size and weight) have been removed. It's still a 12MP camera but the addition of the latest three-core Venus Engine FHD processor gives it the impressive speed of its G3 and GH2 siblings.Building on the simple touchscreen design of the GF2, the GF3 loses Panasonic's signature rear click-dial, instead making do instead with a compact camera-style dial around the four-way controller. This and the loss of both the flash hot shoe and rear accessory port underline Panasonic's determination to keep things small, simple, unthreatening and inexpensive. The stereo mics of its predecessor have also gone, further casualties of the downsizing process.
The GF3 is a well-specified camera, which is characterized by hassle-free ergonomics, and is capable of very satisfying results. As such, it is well-placed to lure owners of compact cameras who desire better image quality and the opportunity to begin exploring advanced exposure controls and camera settings. Ultimately the GF3 succeeds in offering these users a range of features which may be completely new to them but in a package that is neither intimidating nor prohibitively costly.
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||4000 x 3000|
|Effective pixels||12 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length mult.||2×|
|Min shutter speed||60 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Format||AVCHD, Motion JPEG|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||264 g (0.58 lb / 9.31 oz)|
|Dimensions||108 x 67 x 32 mm (4.25 x 2.64 x 1.26″)|
The GF3 is a camera that combines high image quality and access to advanced shooting options with a small form factor and simplified control layout. Enthusiasts may be disappointed with the relative paucity of direct controls, but the GF3 is a very easy to use camera that is capable of lovely images.
Good for: Users who want excellent image quality and responsive performance in a compact-style camera body
Not so good for: DSLR enthusiasts looking for a smaller second body with direct control points and a viewfinder option