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Panasonic’s Lumix GF3 for casual users

Panasonic’s GF3 camera is great for casual photographers.

gadgets Updated: Dec 12, 2011 18:40 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani
Nikhil Hemrajani
Hindustan Times

Micro Four-thirds (MFT) cameras have mostly competed with digital single-lens reflex (SLR)till now, and looked at hardcore photography enthusiasts as their audience. But this all changes with Panasonic’s Lumix GF3. From the looks of it, this camera seems more suited for casual user.

For starters, the GF3 is the tiniest Micro Four-thirds (MFT) camera we’ve tested. Even with the 14mm Pancake lens connected, it’ll fit in your pant pocket, which is quite a feat. The camera’s classy all-metal body, available in a variety of colours, makes it quite pretty too.

The only thing that’ll really keep enthusiasts away is its scarcity of buttons. If you need to make adjustments, including selecting the shooting mode (manual, aperture/ shutter priority etc.), you need to do it from within the menu.

This is rather tedious and time-consuming. However, the three-inch touchscreen Liquid Crystal Display(LCD) display allows you to tap to focus and take photos. This is convenient if you’re waiting to capture a specific moment.

The GF3 is well endowed with features. It can capture 12-megapixels photos and shoot videos at a full-HD resolution of 1920x1080. However, the stereo mics from the GF2 have been downgraded to mono.

You can shoot in the raw format, and the package comes bundled with two lenses — f/2.5 14mm and f/3.5-56 14-42mm.

Although the menus look dated, shooting with the GF3 is a pleasant affair. The 12-meg sensor captures noise-free photos all the way up to 800 International Organization for Standardization (ISO). If you shoot in raw and don’t mind doing post-processing, you can even go up to 1600 and 3200 International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and get good results in low light.

Photos are packed with details and colour reproduction is spot-on. Videos are clear too, but no manual controls are available, and you can’t capture a still image while recording.

Priced at approximately Rs 39,000, the Panasonic GF3 comes bundled with two lenses making it good value for money. Although its immediate competitor, the Olympus E-P3 is the more professional of the two, the GF3 is cheaper, smaller and less intimidating. Buy it if you want quick and good results with minimal meddling involved.

Rating: ***1/2

First Published: Dec 09, 2011 12:37 IST