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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3KK 12 MP Micro 4/3 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch Touchscreen LCD and 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
|Price:||$378.00 + $5.92 shipping|
|You Save:||$171.99 (31%)|
Overall score: 71%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?
Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.
Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.
- 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,Memory Card Type: SD, SDHC and SDXC
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||300 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||3.2 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||460,000|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||160|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/160_sec|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|Form Factor||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|HDMI Type||Mini HDMI TypeC|
|ISO Range||Auto, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.64 x 1.26 x 4.25 inches|
|Item Weight||0.58 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||940 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
|Lithium Battery Weight||39 grams|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,000|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Venus Engine FHD|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Supersonic wave filter|
|Shipping Weight||2.85 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger|
|Touch Screen Type||Yes|
|Video Capture Format|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p_hd|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
Review summary from DPReview
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.
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
Sample images from DPReview
Sample images for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Whats in the box
Digital Camera Body (DMC-GF3)
Lumix G Vario 14-42mm Interchangeable Lens
USB Connection Cable
Lens Rear Cap
From the Manufacturer
Panasonics 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.
Mode Access via Touch-Enabled LCD or Mode Thumb Wheel 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. Additional quick access touch-enabled settings include three Customizable Modes that get you to your favorite camera setup quickly, multiple Scene Modes and the new LUMIX Creative Control Mode. 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-GF3s 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 users expertise level. Even the shutter can be triggered from the touch-enabled LCD by simply touching the subject you want focused and captured. Using the touch-screen operation, a user can lock onto a subject, enabling AF Tracking in both still and video modes. When youre ready to shoot, the subject will be in focus and ready to capture.
For those who miss the tactile feel of a traditional DSLR mode dial, the DMC-GF3 offers an innovative mode thumb wheel that quickly cycles though all available modes with visual feedback provided on the large 3 touch-enabled LCD.
Available Scene Modes: Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Peripheral Defocus, Flower, Food, Objects, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Baby, Pet, Party and Sunset, which can all be controlled from the intuitive touch-enabled LCD.
Thanks to a 6400 ISO, the DMC-GF3 shoots well under low light even without a flash. But there are times when a flash provides desired enhancements. So, like most DSLRs, the DMC-GF3 provides a built -in pop-up flash for added light during low-light shooting.
Lens Options and 3D CaptureLUMIX G Series Compact System Cameras utilize the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lens mount. MFT offers greater size and weight reduction in the lens without compromising lens performance and clarity. The LUMIX G MFT System offers a selection of 12 high performance fixed focal length and variable aperture G Vario zooms, including a highly versatile 3D lens capable of capturing both 2D and 3D images at the same time. There are lens adaptors available for mounting older Leica M and Leica R lenses, including older LUMIX full Four Thirds lenses. An innovative 14-140mm HD G Vario lens provides the best of video and still-image shooting with a long 10x range and near silent high-speed focusing. When connected to the DMC-GF3, ultra fast focusing and auto subject track AF can be achieved.
Many LUMIX MFT lenses come with MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) built-in. This feature helps prevent blurring from hand-shake. Working together with the cameras Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves, youre sure to capture images that are sharp.
Dust Reduction SystemAs with many interchangeable lens cameras, dust on the sensor reduces image clarity. To eliminate this potential, the DMC-GF3 has a Dust Reduction System that uses a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.
HD Video CaptureThe LUMIX DMC-GF3 also shoots 1080/60i High Definition video using the AVCHD format (sensor output 30 fps). It offers a built-in mono microphone and includes a wind-cut function that further enhances the sound as it helps reduce noise caused by background wind. An audio meter can be displayed on the LCD for monitoring audio levels. Captured video can be played back in High Definition via an optional HDMI mini cable directly to an HD-compatible TV, or played directly on Panasonic VIERA TVs via the SD card. New near silent focusing features offered in several LUMIX Micro Four Thirds lenses help keep lens noise at bay, while the touch-enabled LCD allows you to automatically keep active subjects in focus with touch-enabled subject AF Tracking.
Faster, Accurate Pinpoint FocusingContrast Detection Auto Focus technology used in point-and-shoot and new mirrorless Compact System Cameras now approaches the speeds that were once only available from traditional professional-level DSLRs. The DMC-GF3 now offers the new LUMIX Light Speed Auto Focus technology developed for the highly regarded GH2. LUMIX Light Speed AF locks onto a subject quickly so you wont suffer from shutter lag frustration.
Contrast Auto Focusing also offers greater shot accuracy due to fewer hardware components needed vs. traditional DSLR phase difference systems, thus fewer pictures will suffer from system focusing errors (e.g., the accuracy of Contrast AF is approx. 90% at F1.4, while Phase Difference AF is approx. 60%).
|Select the Pinpoint AF from the menu. ||Touch the point for auto focusing. ||Enlarge the image to finely adjust the point. ||Focus and shoot with the touch shutter. |
Manual control over focus is available in the DMC-GF3 and now features a quick 4x magnification feature. By simply touching the subject, that subject is then enlarged in a small window, allowing you to keep the rest of the image in view as a framing reference. Beyond 4x, that small window fills the monitor so even more control over focus fine-tuning can be achieved. This handy feature is available from both the MF Assist (Manual Focus) and AF + MF focus modes.
The DMC-GF3 now offers a large LCD touch-focus area, enabling touch-focus control from any part of the image as seen on the LCD. Unlike traditional DSLRs that limit the number and position of focus points, the DMC-GF3 uses the entire image sensor and can even fine-tune focus with a new fine-tuning Pinpoint AF feature. When Pinpoint AF is enabled, the image is enlarged, allowing for pixel-level setting of the focus area desired. Once set, the DMC-GF3 will use this fine-tuned focus point to produce a sharp, detailed image.
Intelligent Auto and Intelligent Auto Plus (iA, iA+)The DMC-GF3 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably in both photo and video recording modes with iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus. In the new iA Plus Mode, the defocusing area, exposure control and white balance can be adjusted visually for scenes where a slight manual adjustment may produce a more desired result.
- Defocus: the background defocus can be adjusted
- Color: the white balance can be adjusted from red color to blue color
- Brightness: the exposure compensation can be adjusted
Color and Effects
|With LUMIX Creative Control Mode, accessed from the Mode dial at the top of the camera, an expressive look to the image can be achieved without the need for complicated post-processing software. Common effects can be achieved via the touch-control menu as a pre-setting in an easy-to-understand what you see is what you get experience. Effects include: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic and now, Miniature Effect. ||Using the LUMIX Photo Style Mode, popular color effects can be achieved. These settings can be further enhanced with fine-tuning of Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation and Noise Reduction. Color effects include: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait and Custom.|
Venus Engine FHDThe new LUMIX Venus Engine FHD offers vastly improved compensation for electronic noise under low light and shadows where higher ISOs typically add grain to the image. Circuitry on the large DSLR sized 12.1-megapixel sensor further reduces low-noise signal problems at the pixel level and at the amplifier circuit level. As a result, higher ISOs with much lower noise can be achieved. This means faster action-stopping shutter speeds in low light, and a maximum achievable ISO of 6400.
The new Venus Engine FHD uses new Intelligent Resolution technology to sharpen edge detail without softening fine detail. In addition to maximizing edge and fine detail, the Venus Engine offers Intelligent D-Range Control. Intelligent D-Range Control enables maximum capture of the images full range of brightness, without blown-out highlights and muddying shadows
Top Customer Reviews
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
--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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
I had no trouble importing clips to Corel Videostudio and editing them.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We love this camera. It may be my favorite of the 4 we've owned. You can take wide sharp pictures that are compatible with Photoshop to produce stunning results. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kristine E. Lynn
I like this camera and I am new to the amount of features which I have to learn to use. The features like type of light and light exposure seem a little hard to use. Read morePublished 5 months ago by kickd
a good camera with many features. i give it 4 instead of 5 for 2 reasons: 1) no way to add a viewfinder (hard to see LCD in sunlight) and 2) no panorama mode. Read morePublished 6 months ago by tori
I've had both a GH1 and a GH2 and while I loved the camera, each needed repairs. The GH1 I sent to Panasonic for repairs and many many months later with very frustrating... Read morePublished 7 months ago by dlynn
Bear in mind that part of this review is biased due to a bad buying experience. But even so- I'm unimpressed with the product. Read morePublished 7 months ago by B. Kelley
Just bought this camera a few days ago! It has been fairly easy to navigate and I'm very impressed with it! Read morePublished 11 months ago by amanda forman