Top positive review
131 people found this helpful
GREAT camera, but GREAT, depends how you will use it...
on August 10, 2011
This Panasonic GF3 is a rather impressive camera that can take VERY sharp pictures with really good IQ/Dynamic range, and color overall. Besides my love for Photography I also enjoy using the best of the best cameras in their category if I can afford them. I have owned, or own the Canon S95/Fuji X100/ Sony NEX-5, Had the original E-P1, Had the GF1 prior.
I have been searching forever for a VERY SMALL camera that can take DSLR like pictures. Though the GF1 did have a little bit more manual control than the GF1 does, for instance even flash compensation..I can't seem to find that adjustment on this GF3. Even cheap point and shoots often let you change the amount of flash you will use, That's one con here.
Overall though, though using the same sensor as the older GF1 and GF2 my pictures from my GF3 look BETTER overall as to color, noise, IN focus, virtually no Moire pattern problems..the GF1 had a lot of Moire pattern noise, the GF3 seems much cleaner.
The GF3 has something called pinpoint focus. It works GREAT and so super fast. You choose ANY point on the lcd you want to focus on, drag the POINT where you want it. Press the shutter 1/2 way down..you can focus on just an eye or any small spot you like. The screen will first show you an enlarged view so you KNOW you have perfect focus..that's a great plus being able to have picture after picture IN focus. Also depending upon what focus mode you choose the focus speed is rocket fast on this camera and usually quite accurate. Pictures outdoors look as good as a high quality DSLR as to overall dynamic range, very little highlight clipping, color..and the 14 mm lens has virtually no purple fringing. The reason for just four stars is though the GF3 is pretty good up to 800iso ..you still see a bit too much noise and yellow splotches on jpegs indoors unless the light is rather bright or you use 400 iso and under. It's too bad there's no in camera image stabilization like Olympus does..another con if you are using the 14mm lens or the 1.7 aperture lens here. My Fuji x100 can use iso 2000 in poor light and still look amazing. BUT the x100 has a full sized sensor and is a fixed lens camera..and it's much more expensive and larger than the GF3, so not a fair comparison.
Overall as to overall picture quality, SMALL FORM factor, this camera with LARGE sensor is almost the exact same size as the Pana LX5 which I also own...you just can't beat the GF3 overall,as far as the camera you CAN take with you..vs some bulky heavy camera that will drag you down.
I have not used the video function as it is not important to me so I can't comment about that.
I like the pictures from this GF3 overall a bit more than my NEX-5 because the NEX-5 pics to me all look all a bit too soft..it mis focuses too often..and NEX color seems a bit too saturated..(Just not right). That said, the NEX5 blows away the GF3 on high iso..hence it depends how you are going to use your camera most.
Overall..I think most people will really like the GF3. Sure if you NEED a hot shoe..obviously it doesn't have one. For me if I'm going to use a hot shoe..It's going to defeat some of the SMALL factor, so why bother with a small camera like this in the first place. I applaud Panasonic for getting most things right here. The touchscreen works just fine, you just need get used to it. It's 2011..maybe this will be the way of the future, change is often painful..:)
Overall..this is an excellent camera..maybe a tad overpriced I feel..but an excellent camera on most points.