Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3CK Kit Black 12.1-megapixel Digital Camera with 14mm Pancake Lens
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3CK Kit Black 12.1-megapixel Digital Camera with 14mm Pancake Lens
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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3
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.
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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 Capture
LUMIX 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 System
As 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 Capture
The 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 Focusing Contrast 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
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|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 FHD
The 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
Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Color Name:White|Amazon Verified Purchase
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.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
For some time I've been looking for a camera with better image quality than a point & shoot that I could carry whenever I didn't feel like lugging my EOS 7D or 60D around. When a competing camera business offered the 14 mm kit bundled with the 14 - 42 mm zoom, I couldn't resist and jumped in. The GF-3 feels very well built and so does the 14 mm pancake. Not so much the kit zoom, but never worse than the standard kit glass offered with the Rebel line from Canon. The camera with the 14 mm prime is very small and certainly filled the profile of what I was looking. External controls are sparse but no surprises here, as simplicity is the predominant philosophy preconized buy Panasonic. In its favor, the touchscreen interface is very intuitive and you do get full control access after some Q-menu tweaks. Therefore, in my opinion, the GF-3 gets high marks in usability but not so much in image quality. Although I wasn't expecting DSLR quality given the limitations (and advantages) of the micro four/thirds format, I do think that IQ is closer to high end point and shoot than entry-level DSLRs. Specially at above ISO 800. ISO 1600 is usable but very blotchy at regular jpeg output and requires some processing for raw images. Love the size of the pancake but unfortunately this lens is SOFT at the open 2.5 setting. And I mean soft at even regular viewing magnifications. Also, it might be a mislead impression, but it behaves slower than you might expect from a 2.5 maximum aperture prime. I guess you can't cheat physics. The kit zoom offers visibly better IQ at the wide (equivalent) end but it is painfully slow. Not sure how much the mega O.I.S. helps in low light in a camera that is more difficult to hold still than a DSLR. I final note goes to the bundled software. I haven't tried the raw converter, but Silkypix crashes every time I connect the camera through the supplied USB cable. This is the case in two separate machines although I have to mention that it coexists with other camera manufacturer software. So far, direct SD card downloads and uninstalling the software has solved the issue. To summarize, even with the lack of external controls, I like the ergonomics for what it is (compact mirrorless camera) and the handling is good but noise at high ISO settings is above my generous expectations.
People interested in the m4/3 format should consider offerings from Olympus or the newer GX-1 for better low light image quality.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Color Name:Black|Amazon Verified Purchase
The Panasonic GF3 is a compact, easy to use camera that takes excellent photos.
Design wise the Panasonic is very sleek and compact. It's not going to fit into a jean's pocket, but will slip into a jacket pocket with ease, especially with the small 14mm pancake lens. It's light in weight and is easy to carry around all day. The camera is very discreet and draws little attention. There is a small rubber grip on the back and a nice sized grip on the front. I had no trouble getting a good hold on the camera and it fits nicely in my average sized hands. Build quality of both the lens and the camera is extremely high, with a nice metal body that feels solid and well assembled. Lastly, there is a small pop-up flash that can also be pulled back to function as a bounce flash.
Using the Panasonic is simple. For beginners, there is a button on the top of the camera to activate Intelligent Automatic mode. In this mode the camera will do all the thinking for you. For those who wish to have more control, the camera offers the full suite of manuals controls, including aperture and shutter priority modes. While the exterior of the camera has very few buttons, there are just enough to give you direct access to important setting (focus mode, exposure compensation, continuous shooting, and white balance). Additionally, the camera is very customizable and I like the fact that you can set the Quick Menu button to operate any number of features, including ISO speed. There is a movie record button on the top by the shutter. The 3' touch screen on the back is bright and sharp, and responds instantly and works well. You can even customize the features that pop-up when you use the touch screen's quick menu. For instance I added the metering setting so I'd have quicker access to them. I really enjoyed shooting with the camera and found the lack of external buttons to be a non-issue.
In operation the Panasonic GF3 is very speedy. It turns on and is ready to shoot in about 3 seconds. Focus speeds are quick, especially in the 1 area autofocus mode. Continuous shooting is fast as well and gives you a choice of three speeds; the highest however will not update the screen in real time. When reviewing/deleting photos and navigating the menus the camera responds instantly. Shot to shot times are instantaneous as well. Battery life is high and I was able to take over 200 pictures with lots of reviewing and menu navigating before the battery died.
The 14mm f/2.5 kit lens is compact and nicely made. It is sharp from corner to corner, even wide open. If you shoot JPEG and turn on the camera's shading compensation vignetting is not much of an issue, and you'll might notice it in 1% of your photos. Additionally the combination of the GF3's large sensor and the lens' bright f/2.5 aperture allow for a shallow depth of field for nicely blurred backgrounds and foregrounds. Without an image stabilizer the slowest shutter speed I can hand hold is 1/20'.
Photo quality is terrific, and while it's not as good a high end SLR (like my Canon 7D), it is a definite step up from a point and shoot camera without much added bulk. Colors, exposure, sharpness, and detail are all very good. At low ISO speeds the photos are devoid of noise. Moving up the ISO scale, I can confidently shoot up to ISO 1600 before I start to see noticeable noise in the camera's JPEGs. ISO speeds above 1600 are decent, but I save those for emergencies only. The camera allows you to adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation, and noise reduction for the photographs. Movie quality is also good with smooth action and good sound, but it is recorded in mono.
All in all...a great little Micro Four Thirds camera that is a joy to use, and delivers excellent photo quality.
P.S. If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I would be happy to respond.
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Date Post : 2012-06-15 22:03:48
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