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Panasonic Lumix GF3 Announced

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    As expected, Panasonic announced the GF3 today. The images below provided by Panasonic via DCRP) show the new GF3 (left) compared to the GF2 (right):

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    As you can see, the GF3 is slightly smaller and more rounded. While the two cameras share the same 12MP sensor, the GF3 gains the latest Venus engine processor from the GH2 and G3, which means that it will share with those cameras the fastest autofocus performance currently available amongst cameras using contrast detect autofocus (all mirrorless compact system cameras). Continuous shooting rate is slightly increased to 3.8 fps.

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    Gone are the stereo microphone, hot shoe, electronic viewfinder port, rear click dial (now replaced by a larger thumb rest), and dedicated ISO dial.

    These changes are clearly aimed at "point and shoot" upgraders, so it is curious that the camera will initially be offered in July only with the 14mm f/2.5 lens for $699. The kit makes sense for the target market in terms of size and looks, but one expects this demographic to want a zoom lens. A kit with the 14-42mm OIS lens will be available in August for $599, which is $50 less than the release price of the comparable Sony NEX-C3 zoom lens kit. However, it is worth noting that the GF3 14mm lens kit is $100 more expensive than the NEX-C3 16mm lens kit View attachment 167139

    Those still waiting for an upgrade path from the GF1 in the form of a "rangefinder styled" camera with a full set of tactile controls can take heart. In an interview with Photo Radar (via 1001), a Panasonic Japan executive indicated that there are plans to split the GF series to include a camera "GF camera aimed at experienced photographers".

    We highly recommend 1001 Noisy Cameras for those interested in comprehensive coverage of the GF3 release.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    This is very heartening. Those with G1/GF1 or GH1/GF1 kits can look forward to updated G3/GFx or GH3/GFx kits that will properly replace the cameras they currently have. Panasonic's market strategy now appears to make sense... and includes everyone from newbies moving up from the P&S world as well as intermediates and experienced enthusiasts. Good times.
  3. dia36

    dia36 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 3, 2011
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Now I guess GF2 looks like a beauty and does appeal to enthuasiasts.... :p 
  4. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    That will do for me!

    I will be waiting with a certain amount of patience and trepidation for a genuine GF1 replacement rather than another "Point & shoot" model. I just hope that if and when it does arrive it is smaller than the Fuji X100 :rolleyes: 
    • Like Like x 1
  5. semma

    semma Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2010
    Makes sense? Money- and marketwise I even doubt that..
    And what about the lack of the hotshoe and/or EVF????? And the manual controls? And programmable buttons????

    I think a lot of users who own a GF1 are not so happy with the GF3, at least I am not.
    I was thinking about to get the GF3 to replace my D-LUX5 and GF1, but without hotshoe or control wheel and programmable function buttons? Hell no, then I keep my D-LUX5 (LX5) and buy a G3.
    For me, it is like a LX5 without zoom, without hotshoe and without the control wheel that I love. And yes, you can changes lenses, but my D-LUX5 has an equiv. 24-90mm fast zoom. So for me it is an expensive downgrade of their popular LX5.
    Sure it has a much bigger sensor then the LX5, but do pointers&shooters really care about that? I doubt that also, I often go out with my G1 and D-LUX5, and I even do not see the difference in quality on a 4x6" print.

    If I plan to buy a P&S, then I dont care about interchangeable lenses (but I care about a good fast zoom).
    If I buy an MU43, I want manual controls, and this GF3 is (time for a beautiful expression in dutch) "mossel noch vis" IMO.
    Why? It is not a P&S anymore with a kitlens on it (and not pocketable), and who wants a P&S with a 28mm (equiv) lens on it? No zoom?
    They better kept to the GF-concept, and made this GF3 a "better" GF1, and came with a L-X100 with a prime 35mm (equiv) 1.4, to get in the "X100-segment of the market".

    The positive thing is, a lot of people will like the design, and will buy this, so more money for Panasonic to develop new small lenses, that also fit on a real MU43 :biggrin:
    I think they make a big mistake here, but fine, every single GF3 they sell, is good for us. More used lenses will be sold soon, ha ha.

    This whole post is just IMHO, nobody has to agree, but that is how I feel at the moment about the GF3.
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Interesting. We basically knew all this already, but people around here (enthusiasts) aren't going to like it. Not too many calls on this board (or the DPR board) for a smaller, simpler camera. Hopefully the long standing enthusiast demand for some serious m43 kit will be satisfied soon as well.

    I do tend to wonder if there's really demand from the compact-upgraders for a camera that does has no zoom or real stand-out features without investment in more lenses. Seems unlikely... the real trouble is, like Thom says today, these new cameras have largely failed to move the bar at all. It's all well and good to have down-market bodies, but where is the ambition?
  7. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    My question is - why does this camera cost so much considering how much it is dumbed down?
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    The good thing about Panasonic - if you don't like the camera that they just announced, wait 2 months and they'll announce another one.

    Seriously, the rate at which they have just revamped their entire lineup makes this Pentax owner a little green with envy...
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    And that's fine. Read my post again. The GF3 isn't for you. The next GF camera under development mentioned in Amin's original post will be. Or if you can't wait, the G3 should be able to do the job nicely, even if it isn't in a rangefinder-style package. That's what makes sense... until everyone can figure out where the natural market position is for micro four-thirds - and mirrorless in general - Panasonic will have the bases covered. Remember, these are still early days.
  10. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Amen, brother! :) 
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I was wondering the same thing. I suspect it's in part due to the processor upgrade, but the G3 seems a bargain by comparison.
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The GF3 autofocus speed with the new processor is making a big impression with review sites.

    From DPReview's preview (emphasis added):
    From Imaging Resource's preview, speaking of the 14mm lens in use (emphasis added):
  13. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    I think it looks promising. It's not for me, but then neither is a GH-!

    It does seem curious that the 14-42 zoom kit option will be delayed. Admin at 43rumors seems to be suggesting (in the comments) that a 'kit zoom' (and the 7-14mm) will be revamped later this year.. Perhaps the GF3 will be released with a collapsible 14-42 kit? If so, the R&D costs and the clear size advantage over the NEX might explain the pricing.

    Just my speculation, of course!
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think we'll be seeing the kit zoom revamped at least yearly for a few years. It is a primary objective to have a small kit zoom which is video optimized, and the current Pana 14-42 is neither (in contrast to the Oly 14-42 II).
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    My guess is that the next one will be a collapsing design similar to the Oly kit with one major difference - the lens will expand automatically when the camera is turned on and collapse automatically when the camera is turned off, just like a point-and-shoot.

    And while they are at it, why not an auto-collapsing zoom with less than 100% coverage? Why, you ask? Couldn't a lens with 80% coverage be made smaller than one with 100% coverage while still having enough megapixels (9.6) and better low light performance than supercompacts? A lens like this pared with the GF3 would be a high quality, ultrasmall setup - a Canon G12 killer for sure.
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Wow, if the AF speed has really improved that greatly then this is welcome news. Of course it won't make me consider a GF-3 as I could never give up control of lighting (an undeniable necessity in my eyes) over faster AF (which I see as more of a crutch than a need), but this is a technology that I would be more than happy to embrace in a more full-featured compact body.
  17. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think the most interesting thing to see will be the effect of the new processor. Are Panasonic sensor chips all that far behind the APSC's, or has it been the processing all along?
  18. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    If they're targeting people upgrading from a P&S camera, they got the camera right but the price wrong. Why should someone pay $700 when they can get an XZ-1 that's more flexible and has a faster lens and is at least $100-$200 cheaper?

    Coming out with the more expensive option of the 14mm only is not helping.
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I admit that, although a bit pricey, it's a very tempting little street camera. You could also use it as a backup body. Just take one less candy bar. :biggrin:
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think I'll be buying a GF3 unless I'm taken with one of the new Olys. The idea of a tiny camera (with the 14mm lens) with great image quality that focuses unbelievably fast is very appealing to me.
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