Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3X Overview
The Panasonic GF3X, announced in late August 2011, is a variant of the Lumix GF3 model from late June, with the main change to be found in its product bundle. The biggest difference between the GF3X and the earlier GF3 model is to be found in their choice of kit lenses. The Lumix GF3X includes Panasonic's new LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042) power zoom lens, where the Panasonic GF3 shipped in kits with either the LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH. prime lens, or the LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. zoom.
(Note that although in our pictures above, a black lens is shown on a white body, as that's what we had on-hand for our preview, the GF3X kit will include color-matched silver or black lens-and-body combos. Existing owners of the white GF3 owners may find the silver version looks at home on their camera body.)
The Panasonic PZ 14-42mm lens offers the same focal length range as the previous version, but in a much smaller and lighter, retracting design that automatically extends when the camera is powered on. Not only that, but it includes a rocker switch on the lens barrel which controls the zoom position, and operates progressively; the more you move the rocker, the faster the lens zooms. (A simultaneously announced PZ 45-175mm lens, which isn't included in the GF3X kit, includes the same feature.) With a light touch, it's possible to get a nice, slow zoom that'll look great on movies, without the camera jiggling that invariably accompanies attempts to zoom via a lens ring. While slow zoom motion with our 14-42mm sample takes a very light touch to achieve, we could repeat it quite easily with just a little practice, and the control on the 45-175 sample we had was less touchy. With a quiet background, you can hear a little noise from the zoom motor in the audio track, but it isn't too bad and we do very much like the ability to do slow zooms.
We're looking forward to getting production samples of both lenses into our lab so we can test and review them for SLRgear, and rest assured we'll do so as soon as they're available. Optical quality has been a strong suit of Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds lens line, so we have high expectations for these new models.
The Panasonic GF3X is basically identical to its predecessor in other respects. Hence, for the full story on the GF3X, read our Panasonic Lumix GF3 review.
The Panasonic GF3X kit ships in the US market from October 2011, and pricing is set at around US$750.
Order the GF3X as well as the new X lenses on Amazon.com! Click on the shopping links below:
Black Lumix GF3X 14-42mm kit
White Lumix GF3X 14-42mm kit
Red Lumix GF3X 14-42mm kit
Black X 14-42mm PZ lens
Silver X 14-42mm PZ lens
Black X 45-175mm PZ lens
Silver X 45-175mm PZ lens