A very neat little camera that gives excellent results

Started May 14, 2012 | User reviews thread
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barnfocus New Member • Posts: 2
A very neat little camera that gives excellent results

I have a GF3 as a spare body, having already bought a G1 some time ago. It is very similar in concept to the G1, though of course it lacks a viewfinder. Paired with the excellent Panasonic 40mm f1.7 lens, this is an effective and very small camera that is fast to operate. It also works well with the 14-45mm zoom. It works extremely well in low light and its iA feature (for those in a hurry) is especially effective in nearly all normal situations. For the sort of photography I do, its 12 mpx are quite enough and sharpness is excellent. Panasonic's micro 4/3rds cameras have in-body lens aberration correction and it is very impressive indeed. There are virtually no distortions after the image is processed (automatically in the body) and I have not been able to find much chromatic aberration, either. Plus the zooms have stabilisation (not the pancake lenses).

The touch screen works very well and even with quite big fingers I have no problem with it. It's handy to be able to touch the part of the screen you want to focus on and have the shutter release at the same time, or later. I take nearly all my stills in RAW, which does work out a little better, though the difference is not large.

The GF3 has a very large feature set, but you don't have to wallow in endless menus. Most of what you need is easily accessible in several different ways. If you really want to delve into PASM, you can, and it works well. Exposures are normally very accurate but those extreme situations can easily by accommodated by the manual adjustment using the little wheel on the body and a yellow scale on the screen.

Personally, having a G1, I would not use the GF3 with the 45-200mm zoom. Holding it still will be a little tricky at the long end! But it is possible, I tried it out once.

My only real complaints with the GF3 are (a) the flash is pretty poor except for close portraits (and no flash shoe) and (b) that Panasonic have used yet another battery size! That means having 2 chargers. Every new camera from Panasonic seems to come with its newly-designed, incompatible battery. I know the G1 shape will not fit a GF3, but could the smaller bodies have just one battery design? Please?

To sum up, this is a really neat and effective piece of kit. I have stopped lugging my big full size SLR around and now use this and the G1, an excellent, small and light combination.


The list price is high, though there are discounts around and cashback for this now discontinued model.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
12 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Jun 13, 2011
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