Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
4:15

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Culture
Hi, I'm Laurie Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3. The GF3 is the first of what I hope is the Goldilocks generation of interchangeable lens cameras. Small and fast with good to great photo quality that finally merits attention from point and shoot users looking for a compelling upgrade. The camera feels solid and well built, even a bit heavy, though it is the lightest in its class as far. It is substantially smaller than the GF2. And Panasonic achieved that primarily by dropping the hot shoe and the EVF connector and moving the pop up flash to seat directly over the lens. Some people may find the GF3 a little too small, but it feels reasonably comfortable to me. Thanks to the relatively thick body and small grip. You should definitely try it before you buy that to make sure that you like them. The flash is cleverly designed. You can tilt it back and hold it to bounce or simply as it quickly reduce the intensity. The GF2, the GF3 has a combination touch screen and traditional button interface. On top of the camera is an intelligent auto button which provides the quick way to jump in and out of auto mode. You use the virtual mode dial to switch between that and the slightly more advanced, intelligent auto plus mode which gives you a few beyond basic controls over exposure and depth of field. If you are upgrading from a point and shoot, the IA plus mode will serve you well, but this was all auto focus systems, it's completely automatic AF 23 area. makes poor guesses about the subject of the photo. The back has a defined indentation for your thumb which could use a bit more gripiness. And the small grip to feel a little too slippery. As with its contemporary Panasonic models the GF3 has a well designed interface that can function via the touch screen or using the navigational controls. I, especially like how you can customize which options appear on the click menu, either an advanced or on the fly. There's a complete set of useful manual features for shooting steels but there's nothing particularly note worthy or unique in this feature set. The GF3 is the same 12-megapixel live MOS sensor and Venus Engine FHD processors, as the GFT. But it incorporates some of the enhancements from the G3, including the LightSpeed AutoFocus system. The result is very good photo quality that boarders just enough on excellent to push the rating over to that side. The GF3 has a little trouble accurately reproducing intense colors and bright light especially purples and reds. The colors are pleasing overall, the total reproduction looks good, if a bit clipped in the highlights and you can always shoot raw or try the neutral photo style for better accuracy. The video quality is suitable for consumer shooting. The auto exposure and AF worked well and there aren't a lot of artifacts. But giving the lack of manual exposure controls, the facts that its monosound and there is no external mic support and the video has a little bit rate. It is not really a camera you want to buy for cheap video experimentation. It is really fast for its price and size class. In fact, for non-burst shooting, it's faster than the larger, more expensive sibling the G3. And this is effectively as fast or faster than the larger Sony Alpha SLT-A35. And it is just playing faster than almost all of the non-DSLR cameras we have seen In a couple of years. With the 3.9 frame per second continuous shooting rate, you will not catch any really fast sports action, but the auto focus system in 3 point will certainly get you a lot more than you could have with the comparably sized point and shoot or a similarly priced DSLR. The lock of a view finder or even the option for one makes life a little difficult. The touch screen LCD gets hard to view a direct sunlight. I really like the GF3 as a step up model. Long time DSLR users will probably find it too small and constraining without an EVF. But for point and shoot graduates, the size should feel comfortable and you will gain the speed and quality boost you have been looking for. Though it is bigger with the zoom kit lens, it is still a lighter and ultimately smaller combination than Sony's NEX models. However, the NEX in forth coming Olympus EPL3 stilting LCDs may make those options compelling alternatives. I'm Laurie Grunin and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road
thumb-vanlife-2-00432-1

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!
question-block

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse
experts-react-11

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games
gmt20220518-190025-recording-avo-1280x720-00-15-09-11-still001

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
1202231812667975-b8hrndwonamcg2sdaf5l-height640.png

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag
shopping-1

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player
donda-for-site

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work
moviepasscnet

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work

Watch ferrofluid turn into art
ericmesple

Watch ferrofluid turn into art

How Black Friday is very different this year
htdia-blackfriday-v2

How Black Friday is very different this year

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For
laptop-buying-guide-2024-00-02-36-12-still001

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot
p1022506-00-00-01-20-still001

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro