DigitalCameraReview.com
Panasonic Debuts Curvy Lumix DMC-GF3
by Allison Johnson -  6/12/2011

Striking a curvy profile, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 is announced less than a year after the introduction of the GF2. The new GF3 incorporates a few updates into a slightly smaller and lighter Micro Four Thirds camera body.

Panasonic introduces the Lumix GF3 just eight months after unveiling the GF2. Style-wise, the GF3 moves into more modern territory with aluminum construction and rounded edges where the GF2 was boxier. The pop-up flash, a key selling point for Panasonic's GF series, has been re-positioned to just above the lens. Panasonic credits a size and weight reduction of about 16% to a re-designed lens mount.

Some of the inner workings have carried over from the GF2. The Lumix GF3 will retain the 12.1 megapixel sensor and Venus Engine FHD processor of its predecessor. The GF3 will also offer a 3.0-inch touch screen of 460k-dot resolution. An array of finger-friendly options follow, including Touch AF in still and video capture, drag-and-drop quick menu icon customization and touch shutter.

On the back panel, a dial has been added around the four-way controller. A 4x magnification manual focus assist is now available, enlarging the area of focus on screen to help with fine tuning. Per usual this Micro Four Thirds camera accepts all compatible Olympus and Panasonic lenses, and the GF3 is driven by a contrast-based AF system.

The GF3 will record 1080 HD video in AVCHD like its G-series predecessors. In-camera processing features include Intelligent D-Range control and Intelligent Resolution, putting more control at the user's finger tips over dynamic range and sharpness. Familiar Creative Control modes are back such as retro, expressive and high dynamic. A miniature effect mode is added, a popular feature that creates a model-like effect by blurring elements of the foreground and background.

Panasonic Leica DA SUMMILUX 25mm/F1.4 ASPH
In addition to the new body Panasonic adds a lens to its Micro Four Thirds lineup today - a wide aperture 25mm lens. It incorporates Nano Surface Coating to help combat ghosting and flare. The lens is comprised of nine elements in seven groups.

With a 35mm equivalent of 50mm, the new lens is designed to fulfill the needs of a portrait photographer. The wide f/1.4 aperture should also prove useful to available light photographers.

Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 will be available beginning in July 2011 in black, red, brown or red. A kit with 14mm lens will cost $699.99 and a 14-42mm kit fetches a retail price of $599.99 (available in August). No pricing is announced at this time for the 25mm f/1.4 lens - Panasonic will release price information 30 days before the lens becomes available in August 2011.