Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

$143
  • 12 MP
  • Four Thirds CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Released June, 2011
In AVCHD mode, when set to its highest quality setting (FSH), the GF3 offers true HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels in 60i (interlaced) mode.
Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

Conclusion Check out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

54%
75%
58%
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14%
50%
57%
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100%
100%
100%
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78%
89%
79%
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62
First reviewed December, 2011

Features Key features of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Angle view of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Motion JPEG video is captured at 30fps, in a choice of 1280x720, 640x480 or 320x240 pixel resolution.
Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

megapixels

0 MP
14 MP

12 MP
20 MP
20 MP
The drive towards smaller and smaller bodies and lenses in the fledgling Compact System Camera market is similar to the megapixel wars that have dominated compact digicams until very recently.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
The GF3 uses the same 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine FHD processor as the GF2, but incorporates some of the enhancements from the G3, including the Light Speed autofocus system and focusing options like pinpoint and a picture-in-picture navigator for manual focus.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by c|net (Jul, 2011)

sensor size

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
Samsung NX1000
With a pancake lens like Panasonic’s own 14mm f/2.5 fitted, the GF3 is about the same size as a typical fixed-lens compact camera, even though it boasts a much bigger sensor.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
The Panasonic GF3 is now as small as the Sony NEX system if you compare the bodies side-by side, and when you factor in the fact that the GF3 has a clever built-in flash and smaller lenses, it's easy to see the appeal of going with the smaller Four Thirds sensor if you can live with the slightly inferior image quality at higher ISO speeds.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)

body size

107.7 x 67.1 x 32.5 mm
109.7 x 65.5 x 42.9 mm
106 x 61 x 29.8 mm
The Panasonic GF3 is even smaller than its predecessor, the GF2, by approximately 16.7% in size and 16.2% in weight, measuring 107.7 x 67.1 x 32.5mm and weighing 222g without a lens attached or battery inserted.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
The camera feels solid and well-built, even a bit heavy, though it's the lightest in its class thus far.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by c|net (Jul, 2011)

focus points

0
35

23
135
200
Conversely, the GF3 is a real street shooter's delight when paired with the 14mm or 20mm prime lenses, looking to all intents and purposes like an unthreatening compact, aided greatly by the even faster auto-focus system.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
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.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
 

Performance Real world tests of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

DxOMark image quality

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Samsung NX1000
Sony Alpha NEX-5
The result is very good photo quality that borders just enough on excellent to push the rating over to that side.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by c|net (Jul, 2011)
It provides approximately three stops of highlight dynamic range from middle grey to clipped white.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

DxOMark low light performance

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Samsung NX1000
Sony Alpha NEX-5
This conservative approach to maintaining highlight detail means that there will be times that the camera-suggested exposure produces an image that is slightly too dark.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
The diminutive pop-up flash is OK for use as fill-in, the ability to make bulb exposures up to 4 minutes long will please night photographers, and anti-shake via compatible lenses helps to keep things sharp in low-light.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)

shutter lag

0 ms
598 ms

670 ms
312 ms
400 ms
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
Instead of standard control over shutter speed you have to choose among a few options-1/50 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/100 sec, or 1/120 sec-which live under Flicker Reduction settings.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by c|net (Jul, 2011)

continuous shooting

Once a burst of images fills the buffer, the frame rate drops to well below 1 fps.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
The DMC-GF3 also offers full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) in AVCHD format with stereo sound and full-time auto-focus, 4fps continuous shooting, fast contrast-detect auto-focus system that can lock onto a subject in approximately 0.1-0.18 second, Venus Engine FHD processor, RAW support and an ISO range of 160-6400.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)

battery life

320 photos
230 photos
400 photos
Compared with larger cameras, though, battery life isn't great.
Lumix DMC-GF3 by c|net (Jul, 2011)
 

Our analysis How does it stack up against its top 10 competitors

pros

  • Contrast detection focusing system
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
  • Create 3D photos to view on a 3D TV
  • Fewer buttons, interact directly with menus
  • Built in flash
  • Prevents dust showing up in your photos
  • 32.5 mm
  • 107.7 x 67.1 x 32.5 mm
  • 60 s
  • 264 g

cons

  • 50.0
  • 10.1 ev
  • 460 k dots
  • Jun, 2011
  • 20.6 bits
  • 0
  • 12 MP
  • None
  • The screen is fixed in place
  • 459 ISO
  • No automatic HDR
  • No automatic stitching
  • 1,900 ms
  • Won't have that film look
  • 78.16%
  • None
  • 1/4000 s

Reviews Word on the street

Rated 71%
Read the review (Aug, 2011)
The cumulative exposure value is set by the camera, regardless of the exact combination of shutter speed, ISO and aperture that appear on the screen before you start recording.
Rated 80%
Read the review (Jul, 2011)
Providing an equivalent wide-angle focal length of 28mm, this prime lens is a good partner for the GF3, keeping the size of the overall system to a bare minimum and really looking the part.
Rated 77%
Read the review (Jul, 2011)
It delivers solid center sharpness and the GF3's JPEG algorithm doesn't oversharpen, so you get a nice naturally sharp feel to the images.

Lens

A natural addition to your GF3 kit would be the 20mm pancake lens, which provides a 40mm focal length and an even faster maximum aperture of f/1..
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
As a teaching tool for less experienced shooters or an introduction to the creative use of depth of field for beginners, this type of interface is a move in the right direction.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
This hand-held video capture shows the image stabilization effect of the GF3 using the Lumix G Vario HD 14-140 OIS lens at its telephoto end.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

Sensor

But the colors are pleasing overall, the tonal reproduction looks good-save some clipping in bright highlights-and you can always shoot raw (or try the Neutral Photo Style) for better accuracy.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 77% by by c|net (Jul, 2011)
Because of the lack of a codec for Adobe Camera Raw, I was unable to make any raw quality comparisons or judgments.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 77% by by c|net (Jul, 2011)
Like the rest of Panasonic's current generation of G-series cameras, the GF3's noise profile and JPEG processing is much better than before and it does a nice job on midrange ISO sensitivities (ISO 400-ISO 800).
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 77% by by c|net (Jul, 2011)

Image quality

Its worth noting that as indicated in the graph on the dynamic range page of this review, when set to Portrait mode the GF3 yields a brighter image than the 'Standard' Photo Style, at the same reported exposure.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3's Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
Here, we're comparing the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3's noise performance with its predecessor, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and two of its closest competitors, the Sony NEX-C3 and Canon EOS 1100D, with all cameras at their default noise reduction settings.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

Screen

Supplementing the larger and more complex GF2 model, the new Panasonic GF3 features a FourThirds sized 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, built-in pop-up flash and a 3 inch touch-sensitive LCD screen with a resolution of 460,000 dots.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
touch-screen, DSLR, touch screen, touchscreen, micro four thirds, 1080i, CSC, high definition, 3fps, panasonic GF3, dmc GF3, dmc-GF3, GF3, Panasonic.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
The touch-screen LCD gets hard to view in direct sunlight.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 77% by by c|net (Jul, 2011)

Flash

The mechanical button for the pop-up flash has also been retained, although its position changed somewhat along with that of the flash itself.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Jul, 2011)
The built-in flash has been repositioned to sit directly above the lens mount, occupying the spot previously reserved for the now-discarded hotshoe and EVF port.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)
We've already mentioned the GF3's vulnerability to lens barrel shadow in wideangle flash shots, but more fundamentally, not having the option of adding an external flash is potentially very limiting in situations where the puny built-in unit simply doesn't have enough power to ensure accurate exposure.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 | Rated 71% by by DPReview (Aug, 2011)

Competition What else you should consider

1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Most shots per battery charge DMC-LX5 vs DMC-GF3
2
Olympus PEN E-PM1 2-way tie: Most detailed video recording mode Olympus PEN E-PM1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
4
Olympus PEN E-PL3 2-way tie: OK contrast-detection focus points Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
6
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 2-way tie: Fastest to start up DMC-GF2 vs DMC-GF3
7
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 2-way tie: Most detailed video recording mode DMC-GF5 vs DMC-GF3
Front view of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

New duel?

Let the battle continue or dare to compare.


Editions Editions of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Price Edition Area Resolution Megapixels Min Compare
$143
Four Thirds 460 k dots 12 MP 60 s
 
Compare

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Popular Questions

April 24, 2012
Point and Shoot Photographer looking to upgrade

I am a point and shoot photographer. I would like to upgrade to a bit more professional camera but i don't want to go for a DSLR because of sheer size/weight. I have decided to go for Compact so...

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June 22, 2012
Sharp images for websites...

I looking for a camera to take when I dont want to carry a DSLR. I do quite afew portraits. I want sharp images as they are used on websites oftenly. 

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April 8, 2012
Weddding and group photographs

Semi Pro, Fast response, Manual setting and fast and sharp autofocus will be handy

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Unanswered Questions

December 20, 2012
Low-light for indoor

Im a real estate agent and will be shooting indoor often. Im wondering which one would be the better choice. The Nikon 1 or the GF3C with the pancake lence? thanks in advance! Maurik

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November 19, 2012
What would be the easiest to to use?

Complete beginner but fed up with results from my digital point and shoot (wich is of decent quality). I also own a hair salon and would like to take some shots of my work from time to...

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August 6, 2012
Specification between GF3 and GF5

Since i see the data given by yours that GF5 have a high iso compare with GF3 but how about the picture quality as i know if i going to high iso the picture quality still maintain with a nice or...

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