Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3


A Micro Four Thirds compact camera

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GF3 is the smallest of the company’s Micro Four Thirds compact cameras and the first to have an interchangeable-lens. Manufacturers promise their customers a device with full HD video and high image quality. Does this latest gadget rise up to expectations? We tested it and here is our review.

Interesting design

The Panasonic DMC-GF3 looks appealing, solid and better balanced than the NEX-C3. With its 4.2″ x 2.6″ x 1.3″ it is indeed really tiny. The camera weighs 319g and is thus lighter than the GF2 series. The lens is also tiny: 14mm f/2. The camera comes in black, white or red body colours. While small and light, the gadget didn’t sit very comfortably in our pockets and the grip supported only two fingers; we also had to make sure we didn’t drop it on the ground. Users should get a wrist strap to be sure they won’t damage the product. The front of the Panasonic Lumix GF3 comes with more gradual curves, sloping shoulders, a shiny chrome ring around the lens mount and an AF-assist lamp on the upper right of the lens mount. Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GF3

3 inch LCD screen

A small pop-up flash, a monaural microphone, a speaker, the Power key, the Intelligent Auto button, Shutter button and Record button are placed from left to right. The device sports 7 buttons, namely Quick menu/Function, White Balance, Playback, EV, AF-point and Drive. The rear houses a new scroll wheel type command pad and a 3″ LCD touchscreen with 460.000-dot display; during our test for this review we noticed that the latter was resolutely fixed as well as non-angle adjustable. The display of Panasonic Lumix GF3 is both vibrant and sharp and enables access to Display and Mode settings. The top boasts intelligent auto (iA) and Instant video record keys.

Venus Engine FHD processor

The shooting modes offer scene modes, Creative Control, PASM and two full and semiautomatic. There are also good manual features for taking stills. Video controls, on the other hand, are limited.
Panasonic provides prime and zoom lenses, as well as its unusual 3D lens; they are all compatible with the Lumix DMC-GF3. To take care of the dust that may settle around the lens, the company offers a system called Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction. The processor and sensor used by the camera are the well-known Venus Engine FHD and 12-megapixel Live MOS. Unlike the G3 series, the Lumix DMC-GF3 comes with focusing options and a Light Speed autofocus system. These two offered very good photo quality when we tested the gadget.

Good overall performance

In terms of JPEG and noise profile, the device does a decent job. Pictures snapped at ISO 160 had some noise in shadow parts and out-of-focus areas were mushy. A good idea is to take raw photos, because their quality is definitely better. The colors were nice (there were issues with the reproduction of intense colors in bright light) and the overall tonal reproduction looked good.
When it comes to the quality of videos, the camera performs well thanks to its AF and autoexposure.

Just mono sound

On the downside, the device had a low bit rate, lacked exposure controls and the mono sound had no microphone support. Moreover, we got some camera shake when while we were shooting stills without flash.
Overall performance is good. The device took under 0.6 seconds to power up and take photos, time between shots was 0.6 seconds, shot lag ran 0.3 seconds and the continuous shooting rate was 3.9fps.
The battery didn’t do so well and the device lacked a viewfinder.

Review conclusion

All in all the review conclusion is that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 is an ideal choice for point-and-shoot people.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCCD
Resolution Width in Pixel0
Resolution Height in Pixel0
Viewfinder TypeLCD only
Memory Type0
Optical Zoom4
Digital zoom4
Depth in mm24.8
Height in mm55.4
Lowest Focal Length in mm33
Focal Length in mm132
Interchangeable LensNot
Screen Size2.5
Video CaptureVideo + Sound
Burst shooting0
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel230000
Max Resolution Mode Video Width848
Max Resolution Mode Video Height480
Ability to save files in RAW0
Maximum Aperture Tele0
Maximum Aperture Wide0
Secure DigitalYes
Micro DriveNot
Compact FlashNot
Memory Stick / Memory Stick ProNot
Memory Stick Duo / Pro DuoNot
Internal Memory size in MB0
Sensor Size1/2.5 “
Battery Type0
Image StabilizerOptical Stabilizer
Shutter Speed fastest in SecondJan-00
Shutter Speed slowest in Second0
Shutter Priority0
Aperture Priority0
DebuggingFace Detection
Number of frames per second in video mode30