The Lumix GF3 is the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera. What Digital Camera's Panasonic Lumix GF3 review checks if the downsizing makes for the best GF-series model yet...
Panasonic Lumix GF3 review – Design
The GF3’s goal to knock away every millimeter of excess does a grand job in making it a positively tiny camera. Although there’s more physical depth than your average Smartphone, the GF3 is less wide than an iPhone 4 and of a very similar height. Easy to carry anywhere, it’s only the (well proportioned) lenses that add much extra bulk, and when the 14mm pancake’s on the front that’s hardly much extra size or weight at all.
However, all this trimming does come at some expense. The first GF-series release, the GF1, was far more enthusiast-targeted, including mode dials and quick-access buttons. That was something the next incarnation, the GF2, more or less did away with by embedding modes into virtual menus instead. While we were less keen on this the GF3 follows a similar road, but goes the extra mile by stripping away the hotshoe and downsizing the flash (in both size and power). But the GF3’s a far more consumer-targeted camera rather than one for your hardcore pro – though it’d also make an excellent second camera to take anywhere and one that’s far better equipped than even the highest spec of compact camera.
It’s with the size that the Micro Four Thirds sensor size makes good sense – the lenses are proportionally smaller than those for the larger-sensored Sony NEX and Samsung NX cameras. This can be of particular use when using long lenses such as the 14-140mm or 100-300mm that are, considering their huge reach, of compact proportions.
The GF3’s touchscreen has seen improvements and is responsive for the most part, though could do with that extra lick of sensitivity to see it as a truly immersive hands-on experience. Those not keen on the touch-sensitive controls can access all major controls using the rear d-pad-cum-rotational-wheel instead.
The UK version of the Lumix GF3 will be available in black, white and red finishes.