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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic little camera
This is the GF-3 compact in the much-lauded Lumix range, this one includes the body and the vari-focal lens 14-42mm. For technical specifications; please see the product descriptions.

I have to say that this is a fantastic camera that sits somewhere between the point-and-shoot category and the true SLRs. It has no viewfinder, so you are looking at a digital...
Published on 22 May 2012 by J. Morris

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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish indoors - even with moderately bright rooms. Slow shutter speed.
Bought this camera just before Xmas and took it on a 10 day holiday where I tested it extensively. I am not an expert - this is my first upgrade from a decent compact. I read all the reviews and was compelled by the enthusiasm for this camera.

Yes, there were lots of pluses
- the interface seemed pretty intuitive and easy to find things. I was able to play...
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by NutwoodWanderer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic little camera, 22 May 2012
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12.1MP Compact System Camera Kit with 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is the GF-3 compact in the much-lauded Lumix range, this one includes the body and the vari-focal lens 14-42mm. For technical specifications; please see the product descriptions.

I have to say that this is a fantastic camera that sits somewhere between the point-and-shoot category and the true SLRs. It has no viewfinder, so you are looking at a digital reproduction of the light hitting the sensor on the back screen. This is not a major problem, but proved to be difficult to frame things correctly in bright-light or higher-humidities where the fingerprints from using the touch-screen show up. All settings can be tweeked manually with the quick menu and has full ISO settings and F-dot control.

What I found most useful is the IA (Intelligent-Auto) assist button that sits on the top of the camera next to the capture button, this IA (Idiot-Assist as I have come to call it!) sets up the ISO and focal settings for you on the fly - it is incredibly quick at doing this as well meaning that when there isn't time to plan the shot; you still get great results. The focal mode can be shifted from Auto-Continuous, to Auto-Single or onto Manual, where a zoomed in section of the photo is shown to you to tweak it to perfection with the manual focus ring. This is a very nice touch that allows you to focus properly, despite the lack of a viewfinder.

The build is sturdy, if a little lens-heavy - but then this is the compact and has made an effort to reduce body size. The lens comes with a hood & a branded-carry-belt that attaches neatly to the sides. It comes with all the standard charger & necessary transfer cables for data - obviously. For this price, this is a fantastic camera that will produce quality photos with a professional feel to them.

The one thing that frustrated me was the lack of a camera case specifically for this model. The ones for the GF3 are slightly too large and the best fit I could find was for the Sony NEX-5, but does the job. Aside from this minor qualm, this is an impressive bit of kit for the money. Recommended!
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded expectaions-superb for video, 2 Nov 2011
I am a professional photographer but wanted a small and compact high quality camera that could shoot HD video. I saw this absolute bargain at J Lewis in Kingston, while looking at another Panasonic Video camera for a client. I saw the GF3 on a shelf with a reduced price tag of 300-last one they had before restocking. I asked to look at it and unlike the very poor, yet pricey Camcorder i had looked into, this was immediately distinguished by its build quality-good slightly weighty feel, giving it a reassuring feel. What's more it came with the 14mm-42mm zoom as well! I have seen this all for over 450 on the web since.
I have now used it and the video in HD is superb. The controls are easy to navigate and it has a range of controls allowing you to override the auto settings. The lens quality is superb-i have only used the standard 14mm which has a great field of view.
The sound is also excellent-and in stereo. Ok, you cannot add external mics, but for this price you cannot expect to. (You could always buy a sound recorder and link the two in edit-should you need professional sound)
Furthermore i have bought some adaptors that will enable me to use my old manual Nikon F lenses-sharpest you can get. Also have some unused Pentax M42 lenses which I inherited. They will now have a new life on this camera. Also the bonus is that these lenses double their focal length on this camera so a cheap 135mm lens becomes a near enough 300mm lens.
Given its capacity as a video camera with HD as well as a still camera, it is a bargain. Quality without a price tag to match.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice compact camera, 11 May 2012
By 
Alan Ross - See all my reviews
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Nice little camera which goes everywhere with me (unlike the bulky DSLR) and allows me good control of the shots. Like the option of the touch screen but can be a bit fiddly. Love the 14mm pancake lens which is very sharp. Battery life is very good. Camera has a feel good colour.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality images, rather flimsy construction, 12 Sep 2011
By 
Twasme (Swindon, UK) - See all my reviews
The Panasonic Lumix GF3 is, at the time of introduction, Pansonic's smallest Compact System Camera. It has a "micro four thirds" lens mount, so is compatible with lenses made for other Lumix G series cameras and the Olympus PEN cameras.

Compared with previous Panasonic G series cameras, the image quality is a great improvement: their previous cameras had discernible luminance noise when viewed full scale, which seems to be absent here. For me, that improvement in quality and the small size of the camera are it's main advantages.

The controls on the back of the camera are a slight change from previous models. It retains a rocker button for the main menu navigation, but the jog wheel of other Lumix G cameras is replaced a ring around the rocker button. On the one hand this makes it easier to scroll through menu items, but on the other hand it is quite easy to knock, bringing up a menu when mid-way through composing a shot.

The small size of the camera mean there is not much space for buttons, so the few that there are have to work quite hard. The buttons are quite light and responsive which means it is quite easy to navigate through the menus, but it is also quite easy to find you've gone a button-press too far.

As an alternative to the buttons, the camera also has a touchscreen, from which it is possible to do all that is available on the buttons, and a little more. To me, the screen seems to need rather heavy pressure to register a command, but is still quite responsive. Using both buttons and touchscreen together makes it very quick to get around the menus.

The camera shell is mainly of metal construction giving it, in the main, a robust feel, but that is let down by two functional parts that seem quite flimsy. The inbuilt flash mechanism seems incredibly delicate - not something to push back into its closed position in a hurry, and as there's no hot shoe, this inbuilt flash is your only flash option. The other disappointment is the cover for the various sockets, which is rubberised plastic rather than the metal flap that, for example, the Panasonic Lumix GF1 has. It is quite a tight fit and looks as though the lugs that keep it closed will wear quite quickly.

I've mainly used this with a Panasonic Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 Pancake Lens so far, with which it has a nicely balanced feel. It also feels quite comfortable with smaller zoom lenses, but the body is so small that it just doesn't feel right with a large zoom lens.

If you're looking for a small, go-anywhere camera then, although this isn't quite pocket sized, it's a good step up from a compact, with image quality way above compacts of similar size. If you already have a larger micro four-thirds camera, it is a convenient back-up to go with your existing equipment. For the moment though, there are other interchangeable lens cameras that, by virtue of being somewhat larger, are more suited to a wider range of photography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Photo's & Easy to Use, 26 Jun 2012
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Although I selected the white camera against my better judgement I was more than pleased when I opened the box . The camera looked great and was so easy to use, I was up and running in no time at all. The quality of the photographs is beyond my expectations, yes a professional might pick holes but 99% of us mere mortals they will be the best we ever take
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb images from a compact system, 14 Dec 2011
The Panasonic GF3 with the 14mm lens is a very compact camera able to produce superb quality images, the menus are very user friendly and combined with the touch screen makes programming and changing settings quick and easy, Focusing is very quick, and having the ability to touch any point of the screen and the camera will focus and take a picture of the chosen point is great for spontaneous candids. The only negative point is the strap that was supplied is too heavy for the size of the camera, but this was easily resolved by changing it for a wrist strap. This is a superb camera and goes everywhere with me now, (unlike my DSLR which spent more time at home due to size and weight).
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish indoors - even with moderately bright rooms. Slow shutter speed., 9 Jan 2012
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12.1MP Compact System Camera Kit with 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Bought this camera just before Xmas and took it on a 10 day holiday where I tested it extensively. I am not an expert - this is my first upgrade from a decent compact. I read all the reviews and was compelled by the enthusiasm for this camera.

Yes, there were lots of pluses
- the interface seemed pretty intuitive and easy to find things. I was able to play around with the different settings easily, to experiment.
- The response speed was great - you could take another picture so quickly after the last one (even when not on burst).

But I struggled over and over again to take photos inside. When the camera is in its intelligent auto mode, if it's not really bright, the camera thinks it needs to use a slow shutter speed. In dim (but not dark) rooms, it thinks it should use a nighttime setting and leaves the shutter open for a few seconds.

As a result, most indoor pictures were blurry, unless the subject was totally still, which it rarely was, as my primary subject is a 3 year old child. A tripod is not really feasible for most family situations where you just want to catch the moment and they don't help if the subject is moving. My much cheaper and older compact camera (Fuji Finepix) had always managed these sort of shots with no bother, so I was gutted to have taken a step backwards in being able to just take a photo.

I managed to get some OK shots by using the shutter priority mode and the handily-built-in flash, but this only worked when I could get close enough for the flash to be effective - it's not a very powerful flash. Plus, I then got the flash effect photos, rather than more natureal lighting. Trying to achieve the same by adjusting the aperture wasn't as effective and the ISO settings only made bit of a difference. It was all very unsatisfactory and needed constant attention to test out a shot in a new situation because I could never use Auto settings.

I took the camera back to the shop (Jacobs) in the hope of being shown where my inexperienced user error was, and being told what setting I should use, but when they tried to replicate the problem in their darker back room, they too discovered that pictures in low light caused slow shutter speed. They very kindly agreed to exchange the camera for another and recommended the Sony NEX 3 which I intend to do. In the shop, this seemed to perform effortlessly in low light. Even when it whacked up the ISO setting, the noise was much less than my compact camera and the picture was much clearer than the Lumix. (It's in their sensor, which is apparently excellent - particularly in low light.) Forget about the convenience of the Lumix's built in flash - the Sony doesn't seem to need one for most situations.

I don't understand why no other review has picked this up, as it is such a fundamental part of family photography. Did they just test landscapes and outside people? Jacobs (excellent customer service) said that two other customers had returned a Panasonic, but they have had no returns on a Sony.

Disappointed with my first experience away from simple compact. I hope the Sony will not disappoint.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC, 7 Nov 2012
By 
R. P. J. White "Bob, Rawtensatll" (lancs, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12.1MP Compact System Camera Kit with 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I travel a lot a needed a smaller, light weight SLR to hand. Having owned many film and digital SLR's over the years, I was keen to see how this little mirrorless chap performed.
All I can say is I am a convert. I have sold my Sony Alpha and bought additional lens's for my new Panasonic. The image quality is excellent and video is spot on. It is so easy to use, and handy. The only thing I miss is a view finder but that would make the camera larger and I would be back where I started.
I have thought I may buy a body only G3 as I now have a range of lens's but I keep using my GF3 and an think, no save the money, It could not be better than what I already own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased with Pancake lens, 3 Jun 2014
By 
A. Armogida "Angel" (London) - See all my reviews
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I had previously owned the Lumix G2 (the larger bridge camera with flip out rotating viewfinder). Although I loved that camera for filming videos of myself for YouTube, etc. the bulky size and heavy weight made it a hassle for taking on holiday. I would often deal with it for the first few days, then switch to using my phone's camera, only to come home and review the pictures, wishing I had stuck with the Lumix since the quality difference was so noticable.

I didn't want a compact point & shoot because I didn't want to compromise on quality, but I didn't want anything big and heavy, so I chose this smaller body camera with the 14mm lens (which is almost 300 on it's own here on Amazon!) I use the camera for both landscape and portraits and for me it works very well, I just hit the iA button when I pass it to my partner or daughter and they take great pictures with it too. I like the depth of field and have used it for filming videos also. The camera with this lens is compact enough not to be a nuisance but is sturdy enough to take a good photo.

Very happy with my purchase. If they could only manage to get a flip out viewfinder on a tiny body like this it would be perfect!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Small and strong with picture quality but not IS, 29 May 2014
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12.1MP Compact System Camera Kit with 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS Lens - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
The camera is slightly outdated now at the time of writing this review however I have it coupled with a Summilux DG and the combo is near perfect - no complaints whatsoever. Of course if it had IS that would be even more amazing but it's strong sides are its image quality for the size (when coupled with a winning lens) and I'd say videos which are sublime. It's got fairly accurate auto white balance and generally shines with auto setup. In fact having compared auto to manual I decided to keep it at auto which is not how I am used to work with my previous cameras.
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