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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Panasonic GF3 announced, previewed
(Monday, June 13, 2011 - 01:01 EDT)

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. has today announced a followup to its GF2 compact system camera, in the form of the Panasonic GF3, and we've just posted our hands-on preview.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 reduces body size a little further beyond that of its predecessor, and like that camera, again ranks as the smallest interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash, according to the company. There's also been a worthwhile reduction in body-only weight.

These changes do come at the cost of some features absent in the new design, though. Notably, the Panasonic GF3 lacks the earlier camera's hot shoe, as well as its accessory port, changes that mean it can't offer either external flash or an electronic viewfinder. In the absence of a hot shoe, the built-in popup flash strobe has now been rehoused directly over the central axis of the lens, a change that should make for more comfortable hand-holding. One other notable removed feature is the GF2's stereo microphone, replaced with a monaural mic -- although for some purposes this could be considered preferential, and due to its placement the GF2's mic didn't exhibit a lot of stereo separation anyway.

Overall, the GF3's body is much softer and more modern looking than that of its predecessor. At the rear, the most significant control change is that the e-dial has been replaced with a wheel-style dial that encircles the four-way controller. The GF2's large touch panel LCD display has been retained, and now provides the only way to frame or review images.

The ISO sensitivity range has contracted slightly at the bottom end, with a base ISO of 160 equivalent. The Lumix GF3 bests its predecessor in other areas, however. For example, it has a manufacturer-rated burst shooting speed of 3.8 frames per second, almost 20% faster than the earlier camera. Battery life has also been greatly improved for real-world movie shooting, and firmware tweaks seen in the recent Lumix G3 announcement also trickle down, such as the renamed creative options and clever manual focus assist mode. There are even some features that weren't present on the G3, such as a new Miniature effect mode.

The Panasonic Lumix GF3 will be available in black, white, brown, and red bodied versions, with two different kits including varying lens choices. A kit with the company's Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH. lens will ship first next month, priced at around US$700. This will be followed from August 2011 with a kit including the LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. lens, priced at around $600.

For more details, read our hands-on Panasonic GF3 preview.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact System Camera
Model NumberNorth America: DMC-GF3
Dimensions4.2 x 2.6 x 1.3 in.
(108 x 67 x 33 mm)
Weight11.3 oz (319 g)
Planned Price$700
Planned AvailabilityJuly 2011
Image Capture
Sensor TypePanasonic Live MOS
Micro Four Thirds (approx. 0.85 in. diagonal)
13.06 megapixels (total)
12.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier2.00
Aspect Ratio4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions4000 x 3000 (12.0 megapixels)
4000 x 2672 (10.7 megapixels)
4000 x 2248 (9.0 megapixels)
2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1880 (5.3 megapixels)
2816 x 1584 (4.5 megapixels)
2992 x 2992 (9.0 megapixels)
2112 x 2112 (4.5 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1504 x 1504 (2.3 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1600 x 1064 (1.7 megapixels)
1600 x 904 (1.4 megapixels)
1440 x 1440 (2.1 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 3.8 frames per second
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
460,000 dots (approx. 153,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.0x max
Lens TypePanasonic 14mm f/2.5 ASPH LUMIX G, 6 elements in 5 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses
Fixed focal-length
46mm lens thread
Lens MountMicro Four Thirds mount
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length14.0mm (actual)
28mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.5 - f/22
Focusing SystemContrast detection with Face detect, AF tracking, 23-area, 1 area, Pinpoint
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 7" - infinity (18 cm - infinity)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 160-6400; Intelligent ISO
Shutter Speed60 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes144-zone Intelligent Multiple, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, Flash, White Set 1, White Set 2, Color Temperature Setting
Internal FlashGuide Number: 5
Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Range: Lens dependent
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV increments
Scene ModesPortrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Peripheral Defocus, Flower, Food, Objects, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illiminatioms, Baby 1, 2, Pet, Party, Sunset
Digital ZoomUp to 4x
Self TimerYes, 2, 10, 10 (3 images) seconds
Movie FormatAVCHD, Motion JPEG with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatRAW, RAW+JPEG, JPEG (EXIF v2.3), MPO
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMini HDMI (Type C)
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary 7.2v 1010mAh
Product Bundle
SoftwarePhotofunStudio 6.2 HD, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE, Super LoiloScope (trial), USB Driver
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
NotesMost compact CSC from Panasonic yet; 460K-dot touch-screen LCD, 1920x1080@60i and 1280x720@60p HD movies. Available in black, white, red and brown.
More Photos
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF3 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Panasonic Unveils The Lumix GF3, The Company's Smallest And Lightest Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera With A Built-In Flash*

The LUMIX GF3 Body Weighs Just 7.83oz and Produces High-Quality Photos, Full-HD Video Recording Capabilities and Smart Touch-Screen Controls

SECAUCUS, NJ (June 13, 2011) -- Panasonic today announces its latest compact system camera (CSC), the mirror-free Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3 is the company’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash*1, with its body size comparable to that of a smartphone and weighing just 7.83oz (body only), less than a standard 8oz cup of coffee. The Panasonic’s LUMIX GF3 realizes all the features desired from a traditional DSLR interchangeable lens camera, only it accomplishes them in an ultra-compact body that is lightweight and simple to master.

This remarkable reduction in size and weight is thanks to advancements in new mirror-free camera technology, and large DSLR format sensors that are more compatible with a new class of compact Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lenses. This new class of Compact System Cameras offers a weight and compactness not seen in traditional DSLRs, yielding greater portability and creative control. The DMC-GF3’s image quality comes from a large DSLR-sized 12.1-megapixel sensor and newly advanced image processing technologies.

The LUMIX GF3 digital camera is based on the Micro Four Thirds standard of lenses, which includes Panasonic’s 3D lens, thus the LUMIX GF3 not only provides outstanding still photos, full-High Definition 1080/60i video, but is also capable of shooting 3D still photos.

The Panasonic LUMIX GF3 produces high-quality photos with true-to-life details, thanks to excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction; high-grade lens options; and extremely precise Auto Focus (AF). Plus, the LUMIX GF3 creates the right balance between resolution and noise reduction, thus producing life-like images with accurate auto exposure and white balance, creating rich colors. Taking a page from the renowned LUMIX GH2‘s image quality, the LUMIX GF3 boasts full sized DSLR like Image quality thanks the same Venus Engine FHD image processor. The Venus Engine FHD image processor makes impressive low noise images from its 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor. Notably, images shot in low-lit situations at high ISO sensitivity setting, are stunningly clear with extremely sharp resolution. The image processor also excels in energy consumption by extending the battery life, despite its smaller size.

Thanks to a new mount, the LUMIX GF3 is approximately 16.7% smaller and 16.2% lighter than its predecessor, the LUMIX GF2. Despite its small size and unlike many CSC cameras in this class, the LUMIX GF3 still maintains a built-in flash and features a new pop-up mechanism that helps prevent the vignetting effect due to short distances between the flash unit and the interchangeable lens. With a newly-designed aluminum body that incorporates an ergonomic grip, and a well-designed control dial combined with a 3-inch touch enabled screen, the LUMIX GF3 is extremely intuitive and easy to use.

“The Panasonic GF3 compact system camera is extremely small and its newly-designed rounded body is quite attractive, which we expect to be popular among those users wanting to step-up from a point-and-shoot, yet who view traditional DSLRs as bulky and overly complex,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “While the size and weight of the GF3 has been greatly reduced, Panasonic does not compromise what is at the core of every LUMIX, which is exceptional photo and video quality with an easy-to-use interface.”

All models in Panasonic’s LUMIX G Series of digital cameras feature Contrast AF for their focus system, as opposed to phase-difference AF systems, used in traditional DSLRs, which is susceptible to a mechanical margin of focus errors at wide apertures. With a Contrast AF system, focusing is controlled by the image sensor so that mechanical margin of error is reduced to achieve precise focusing, thus boosting higher number of in focus shots, especially when shooting in low light with wide open lens aperture. As a result, when the LUMIX GF3 is used with Panasonic’s new wide aperture interchangeable lens, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH, also announced today, the performance of the Contrast AF system is optimally maximized.

The Panasonic LUMIX GF3 features a high-speed and extremely precise Contrast AF system that locks in approximately 0.18 seconds. Taking further advantage of Contrast AF, the LUMIX GF3 incorporates full-area focusing which makes it possible to set focus on any point in the field- of-view. The LUMIX GF3 also features Light Speed AF, an extremely fast AF which measures at approximately 0.1 seconds*2, which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by doubling the sensors drive speed from 60 fps to 120 fps. With the combination of touch-control shooting, focusing on close up macro or still life objects is evermore quick and accurate thanks to the newly adopted Pinpoint AF that unlike a DSLR, offers near pixel level touch control focusing.

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 (Manual Focus) Assist and AF + MF focus modes.

At the heart of the LUMIX GF3’s simplified functionality is a large 3.0-inch touch enabled 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 similar to those on some touch-enabled smartphones. This allows for a custom user interface, giving Quick Menu access to functions that can be tailored to any user’s expertise level. Users can also release the shutter using the touch-screen. Once locked onto a subject, the LUMIX GF3 tracks the subject with the AF Tracking feature and another touch allows the user to select the size of the AF area. In addition, Pinpoint AF function allows even more precise focus setting by further enlarging the focusing area. With increased customization, users can set the touch shutter and touch AF ON/OFF based on their preference. Touch-control also makes playback of photos and videos easy to flip through like pages in a book.

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.

The LUMIX GF3 records 1920 x 1080 full-HD video in the AVCHD format, which features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG. A dedicated video record button on the top lets users instantly start recording video, without having to hassle with any menu settings. The LUMIX GF3 allows for Touch AF in video recording, enabling professional-like features, such as rack focusing. For instance, by touching the subject on the screen, the focus is shifted to the subject.

Contributing to its ease-of-use, the LUMIX GF3 features Panasonic’s acclaimed iA*3 (Intelligent Auto) mode -- and the new advanced iA Plus mode -- are automatically engaged once the iA button is pressed, helping to make shooting video and photos with the LUMIX GF3 extremely simple -- even to users new to compact system cameras. Panasonic’s iA features include MEGA O.I.S. (included in several lenses), Intelligent ISO Control, and Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control and Intelligent Resolution. With the new iA Plus mode, the LUMIX GF3 easily enables commonly desired manual enhancements not available from standard camera auto modes such as peripheral defocusing around faces, exposure compensation, and color balance adjustments which are visually adjusted by moving an on screen slider with the user’s finger or the thumb wheel.

The LUMIX GF3, like all CSCs in the Panasonic LUMIX G Series, is equipped with a highly-efficient Dust Reduction System. In some system cameras, if dust or other foreign matter gets inside the digital camera while the lenses are being changed, it’s possible that the debris could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. However, the Panasonic Dust Reduction System helps to eliminate this problem by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor that vibrates vertically approximately 50,000 times per second - thus repelling dust and other particles from the LUMIX GF3’s sensor.

Two modes - Photo Style and Creative Control - let users at any skill level get creative with their photos. With Creative Control, the user can choose the most-frequently-used color modes (Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic and newly added Miniature Effect*4 mode) with easy access. In Miniature Effect mode, the peripherals are defocused while saturation and contrast is emphasized so the photos look like a diorama. The Photo Style mode revitalizes the conventional film mode with settings in Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait presets while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction.

The LUMIX GF3, like all the CSC in the LUMIX G Series of digital cameras, is compatible with other Micro Four Thirds lenses and the full sized Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adaptor. Other accessories available to the LUMIX G Series include external flashes, PL and ND filters, leather cases, straps, and more. The Panasonic LUMIX GF3 will be available in black, white, red and brown bodies for a suggested retail prices of $699.99 with the 14mm lens kit system starting in July 2011, and $599.99 with the 14-42mm lens kit system starting in late August 2011; and. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX G Series compact system cameras, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

  1. For an interchangeable lens system camera with a built-in flash as of June 13, 2011
  2. Approximately 0.1 sec with LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S., approx. 0.18 sec with LUMIX G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH. and with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S..
  3. Some functions in iA mode may be unavailable depending on the lens that is mounted
  4. Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long).
  • Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
  • Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds Logo marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Olympus Imaging Corporation, in Japan, the United States, the European Union and other countries.
  • The "AVCHD" is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
  • All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
  • This unit is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. You can only use SDHC Memory Cards on devices that are compatible with them.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

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