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  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12 MP Micro 4/3 Compact System Camera with 3-Inch Touchscreen LD and 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Brown)
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12 MP Micro 4/3 Compact System Camera with 3-Inch Touchscreen LD and 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Brown)


Available from these sellers.
Brown
  • 12 Megapixel Ultra Compact System Camera
  • Micro Four Thirds 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
  • 3.0" Free Angle Touch Enabled LCD
  • Built-in Popup Flash
  • Multiple Lens Options including 3D Still Lens
1 new from $398.39 1 used from $357.85

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Color: Brown
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Review summary from DPReview

DPReview TestedAugust 2011
The GF3 stands as a well-specified camera, which is characterized by hassle-free ergonomics, and is capable of very satisfying results. It's not perfect though, due to its ageing 12MP sensor, and some questionable design decisions regarding flash and lens mount position.
Amadou DialloAmadou DialloRichard ButlerRichard ButlerAndy WestlakeAndy Westlake
71%

Conclusion

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.

Reasons to buy

  • High quality (though aging) sensor capable of excellent raw file output
  • Well-implemented touchscreen interface
  • Fast-focusing AF system (for its class)

Things to consider

  • No hotshot or EVF
  • Small body size makes handheld use of larger zoom lenses awkward
  • Mono microphone (instead of stereo) for video recording
  • Positioning of pop-up flash is susceptible to producing redeye and lens-barrel shadow

Suggested for

Users who want excellent image quality and responsive performance in a compact-style camera body

Not suggested for

DSLR enthusiasts looking for a smaller second body with direct control points and a viewfinder option
PoorExcellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (RAW)
Image quality (JPEG)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world's most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Compact System Cameras, Lenses

Product Details

Color: Brown
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 2.6 inches ; 9.3 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0058SDGJG
  • Item model number: DMC-GF3KT
  • Batteries 1 Nonstandard Battery batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,565 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: August 31, 2011

Product Description

Color: Brown

Panasonic's LUMIX DMC-GF3 realizes all the features you want from a bulky DSLR interchangeable lens camera, only it accomplishes this in an ultra compact point-and-shoot camera body about as wide and tall as a typical smart phone yet is lightweight and simple to master. This remarkable reduction in size and weight is thanks to advancements in new mirror-free camera technology, and large DSLR format sensors that are more compatible with a new class of compact Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lenses. This new class of Compact System Cameras (CSC) offers a weight and compactness not seen in traditional DSLRs, yielding greater portability and creative control. The DMC-GF3's image quality comes from a large DSLR-sized 12.1-megapixel sensor and newly advanced image processing technologies. The DMC-GF3 provides a traditional DSLR-like experience without the need for complicated external mode dials, yet provides intuitive and quick access to common modes like Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual via a touch-enabled LCD that operates much like a smart phone. The DMC-GF3 provides a dedicated video button that can be used to switch to video capture quickly without changing modes. At the heart of the DMC-GF3's simplified functionality is a large 3.0-inch LCD (460k- dot) that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customized using simple drag-and-drop actions like those on most touch-enabled smartphones. This allows for a custom user interface, giving Quick Menu access to functions that can be tailored to any user's expertise level. Using the touch-screen operation, a user can lock onto a subject, enabling AF Tracking in both still and video modes. When you're ready to shoot, the subject will be in focus and ready to capture.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Camera takes awesome pictures.
Melanie
I'm not a photographer by any means, but I tried this camera out in the store and really liked all of the features.
Zach Wolf
The picture quality is very good and the camera itself is fairly lightweight.
Bernard O. Onyango

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

259 of 269 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2011
Color Name: Black
Forgot to check Amazon reviews before buying this, but glad I didn't because the camera is quite good for my needs and I might not have bought it based on the mixed and sparse reviews on Amazon. I did look at "professional" reviews on photographyblog and dpreview, which were much more positive.

I was deciding between the new Olympus Pen Mini E-PM1, Sony NEX C3, and GF3. Tried out the Olympus and GF3, and decided on the GF3. I got a better price on the GF3 than I could for the Pen Mini, but that was just icing on the cake, because the features on the GF3 meet my needs better.

Similarities between GF3 and E-PM1:
--body size about the same
--similar price range
--Micro Four-Thirds sensor
--both are the budget, easy-to-use version of their respective camera families
--instant-record movie button
--kit zoom lens 14-42mm
--neckstrap
--to my layman eyes the photo quality was about the same, as was auto-focus speed, though E-PM1 is billed as having the fastest auto-focus in this category.

The features that put the GF3 over the top for me:
--Price. I got a great deal on the GF3. Sony was just too expensive, though I've read great things about photo quality
--GF3 touchscreen, while not very responsive (resistive screen you have to press down on, rather than capacitive screen like iPhone), is very useful for quick adjustments. It just makes the camera easier to use, much like an iPad is easier to use than a laptop. Deleting batches of photos is much easier than using buttons. So is scrolling around a photo you're reviewing in close-up. You can also touch to change the subject of focus, like on an iPhone.
--Flash is built in--not so on the Pen Mini or NEX.
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128 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Mebpenguin on December 28, 2011
Color Name: Black
I think how you feel about this camera is really going to depend on where you're coming from. If you're a DSLR shooter and are looking for a portable body you're likely going to be frustrated by the lack of control points on this camera.

On the other hand, for those upgrading from a point and shoot camera like myself, this camera can be ideal. I came from a Canon S90, which I purchased a couple of years ago looking for a camera that does a better job in low light than the typical point and shoot. The S95 was definitely a step up from what I had before, but more recently I've become frustrated with the limitations of the sensor and was also interested in exploring the world of interchangeable lenses.

What I didn't want, however, was to get a full DSLR. Portability is extremely important to me, any camera that can't be slipped into a coat pocket or small bag is simply useless to me. No, the GF3 can't fit into a pants pocket like my S95 did, but it's still massively smaller than even the smallest DSLRs and it's amongst the smallest models in the mirrorless camera class.

With small size taken care of, the next question is how good is the image quality? If you're stepping up from a high-end point and shoot like I am you're probably not going to notice a major difference in good lighting conditions, but where the GF3 blows my old S95 away is in low light situations. This performance does come with a caveat, however, which is that you need the right lens on the camera in order to get the low light performance you want. If you are not going to buy any additional lenses beyond the kit you're not going to see any benefit over a high end point and shoot and you should probably consider one of those cameras (Canon S100, Olympus XZ-1, Fuji X100).
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Desmond on December 3, 2011
Color Name: Black
I got this kit about a week ago at Target. It was a deal I couldn't pass up: $400 with a free $75 Target gift card. I'd been obsessively researching system cameras for a few months, and I thought I had narrowed it down to either the Canon T2i or the Nikon D3100. I wanted something that could do full HD as well as sophisticated focus pulling. I was pretty sure I wanted something that could shoot at 24 fps, but this deal got me rethinking that. The more I read, the more I realized that you don't really need 24 fps to get that film look, that there are other factors that go into profession looking shots. I wanted to be able to achieve the rack focus effect of pulling the focus from the background to the foreground or between different subjects in the frame. With the touchscreen and the crazy-fast autofocus on the GF3, all you have to do is point where you want to focus. It makes it so simple, and if you want more controll, you can still focus manually. The mic is mono, but I decided I could live with that because I can alway use an external recorder and microphone and add the audio track to the clips later, which would lead to better sound anyway. The lack of viewfinder option is a little disappointing, but I'm over it. I may eventually get a third party LCD viewfinder for shooting in sunlight.

I had no trouble importing clips to Corel Videostudio and editing them.
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111 of 124 people found the following review helpful By li'l bamboo on July 12, 2012
Color Name: Black Verified Purchase
I am not a pro photographer. I don't usually make money off of my photos but I like good photos. I am mainly a very enthusiastic amateur portrait photographer. Anything that gets in front of my camera is fair game so.

The camera:
I bought this camera to fit a specific niche. I'm not looking to retire my DSLR. I don't want a bunch of lenses for this camera. I have all Pro Glass for my DSLR. I'm not going to shoot any production videos with this camera as my DSLR shoots also video. The niche was for me to have available a camera that is smaller and lighter than my DSLR with nearly the same range coverage. During a trip to Europe a few years ago I realized that nearly half of the several thousand photos I took were with my P&S. I realized in some situations a smaller camera can be advantageous. I've seen these micro four thirds in action and I liked the idea of being able to shoot RAW instead of JPEG. This is a personal preference. I didn't buy this camera to replace my DSLR. For me it is a walk around / scout camera. The size and weight advantage this camera are evident at 17 ounces it beats carrying my 5 pound DSLR. I also got a 45-200 lens to go along with my 'kit' so at somewhere just over 2.5 pounds I have nearly as much range as 30 pounds of DSLR and three lenses with flash.

I like the fact that I'm able to 'set up' the different modes to my liking. I tend to use more sharpness to my photos and I have that ability with this camera.

dislikes out of the box: This is the second Panasonic camera that I have. Both of them have this really flimsy battery/card access door. There is no question that anywhere near water this could be a problem. There was also a noticeable gap along the bottom where the two halves of the body joined.
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