Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3


The Lumix DMC-GF3, just announced, is billed as the smallest and lightest digital camera ever made by Panasonic that has an interchangeable lens and a built-in flash. The camera is more than 15% smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the GF2.

The DMC-GF3 is a brand new mirror-free Micro Four Thirds camera with a body that’s roughly the size of a point-and-shoot and weighs only 7.83 ounces. That low weight is, of course, with no lens attached, but it’s still an impressive spec. Also impressive is the list of features crammed into this tiny camera.

The Lumix GF3 uses a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine FHD image processor to capture high-resolution images that rival the quality of full-size DSLRs. Not only that, but the Lumix GF3 can also record 1920 x 1080 full-HD video in the AVCHD format. The GF3 has no hot shoe but it makes up for it with a built-in pop-up flash that should suffice for most low-light shooting. The flash extends far enough from the lens to help prevent vignetting effects.

A 3-inch touch screen LCD is used to compose and review stills and video and also to access most of the shooting, focusing and effects controls. Menus can be customized using drag-and-drop motions. The camera also features a thumb wheel that lets users cycle though various modes with visual feedback displayed on the LCD.

Other features of the Panasonic Lumix GF3 include a high-speed Contrast AF system, manual focus control with a quick 4x magnification feature, MEGA O.I.S., an automatic dust reduction system and a host of other features. The camera will be available in July, at prices starting at about $500 for just the body.

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