Panasonic DMC-GF3 Review
Body & Design
The GF3 is a small, light and easy to use camera. It becomes the first of Panasonic's G-series not to feature a clickable command dial; instead there's a control dial around the 4-way controller. This move may well ease the transition for users upgrading from compact models - where this integrated design is common - yet represents a significant change of behavior for previous G-series model owners. In early use with the GF3 we often found ourselves reaching for the now-absent rear dial out of habit. With the loss of the click-dial, the 'up' position on the 4-way controller is (understandably) given over to exposure compensation. This comes at the expense, however, of a dedicated button for ISO (which exists on every other G-series model). Changing ISO via an external button is now only possible by assigning its control to the Fn button.
The GF3 has essentially the same touchscreen interface as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2, which is one of the best we've encountered in a digital camera. Unlike the higher-end G3, which offers a lot of external control points alongside a touch-sensitive screen, the GF3 follows the trend set by the GF2, towards fewer direct controls for major shooting settings. By default, five functions can be accessed using physical buttons - white balance, exposure compensation, drive mode and AF point selection mode, with the option of assigning one further function to the Q.Menu/Function button.
|Although the outer dimensions of the GF3 vary only slightly from the GF2 (pictured at left), this frontal view shows the radical break from the GF-series' previous rangefinder-style design. With more tapered, rounded edges and a contour that hugs the lens mount more closely, the GF3 feels significantly smaller than the GF2.|
|In this top-down view, the more sharply-edged profile of the GF3's hand grip becomes obvious. The steeply-sloped grip provides much-needed leverage when shooting with lenses larger than the Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS kit options.|
|From the rear, the GF3 resembles a compact point and shoot camera with its Spartan control layout. The lack of an EVF port and the loss of the rear click dial will likely be the most immediate changes for previous GF-series owners to contend with in day to day use.|
The well-designed touchscreen interface largely mitigates issues caused by the GF3's paucity of direct external controls. The easily configurable Q.Menu provides quick access to 10 features of your choice, and for most operations, the Q.Menu is efficient enough to keep most of your key settings readily accessible. Deciding which function to assign to the Fn button, though, is going to require a reasonable amount of thought for some photographers (if you want to be able to use AE lock occasionally, are you willing to use the Q.Menu every time you want to change ISO, for instance?).
The touchscreen makes it very quick to place the AF point anywhere on the screen. This can be done with some precision using the pinpoint AF mode; the preview zooms in on the focus point as you position it, allowing you to fine-tune the focus location before hitting the shutter. You can also set the camera to both focus and make an exposure upon a single press of the screen.
These features help build on the GF2's position as one of the most accessible large-sensor cameras on the market. The touchscreen makes it quick and easy to access the camera's features, in a way that even the most beginner-friendly DSLRs still sometimes struggle with. On the GF3 this accessibility is enhanced by the iA+ mode - although heavily automated, you can still control white balance, exposure compensation and aperture (via the 'defocus' slider) manually. In conventional iAuto mode, the only manual control available is the defocus slider.
Oct 13, 2011
Aug 11, 2011
Jun 13, 2011
Aug 4, 2014
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
The 3D printed panoramic film camera known formerly as the "Cycloptic Mustard Monster" is officially available as a DIY kit through Kickstarter.
Snapchat is using its augmented reality tech to replace the sky in your photos. The so-called 'sky filters' can swap out a boring sky for a colorful sunset, rainbows, a starry night, and more.
A court ruling our of Newton, Massachusetts has set an important legal precedent for drone pilots: federal drone laws will now trump local drone regulations in situations where the two are in conflict.
Photographer Mathieu Stern has put together another interesting vintage lens shootout. One model, three lenses, three locations.
From landscapes to motocross and white water kayaking to a wedding, exactly what can't the D850 do?
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.