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thinking of jumping back in M43 with Panasonic GF3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by asaulo1, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. asaulo1

    asaulo1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 21, 2012
    Found a good deal on a panasonic GF3 with the 14mm lens for $300. Just wanted to ask the Pana crowd if this is a good body to build on. Came from an Olympus OMD but had to sell it to upgrade my DSLR to full frame. Thanks for your comments and recommendations in advance.
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    You'll miss the manual control of the OMD or DSLR on a GF3 (or E-PM1/2).

    If you don't mind a spot of menu diving then the entry-level/compact m43 camera's are great value.

    I love my E-PM1. I thought I'd miss the controls of my E-P1 but I just tend to use my E-PM1 slightly differently, the vastly improved AF and the compact size make up for it in my opinion.
  3. wlsinwi

    wlsinwi Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    It's not a great body to build on but it is a very good lens to build on. Basically these kits are being blown out to get rid of GF3 kit inventory. The lens by itself sell from just under $300 to just over so you are getting the body for not much money if not free. I have to believe Panasonic is crediting the dealers for the body cost so that they can sell out their remaining inventory. The GF5 is nicer and due to drop in price when the GH6 comes out in April. Buy the $300 14mm deal and you get a nice compact lens that you can use for now and then later upgrade to the GF5 with the new manual or power zoom or what ever you want since the lens will fit any micro four thirds camera.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    In my opinion, you lose a lot more going to the GF-3 than just a bit of finger controls. You lose the essential hardware compatibility of a full system camera, including hotshoe for flash and light triggers, electronic viewfinder compatibility, and external microphone jack. If you go with a small Pen camera like the Mini or Lite, you don't lose any of these hardware capabilities but still get a camera just as small, compact, and affordable.
  5. gary.l

    gary.l Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 16, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Is this the same lens that goes for under $200 on eBay or is that something different?

    Sample: Latest Firmware Black Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2 5 ASPH H H014 M4 3 Japan 00361 0885170023529 | eBay
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I'm with Ned on this one. It seems like Panasonic has stripped down the GF series (excepting the GF1, which should be retroactively re-named the GX0) more than necessary. I wouldn't trade my E-PL1 (by now, quite ancient) for any of these.

    I'd rather spend $200 on a refurb E-PM1/14-42 bundle rather than $300 a GF3/14 package.
  7. wlsinwi

    wlsinwi Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    It is the same lens but on eBay, and the seller is not listing the retail version of the lens, as he states these are taken off GF3 bodies and shipped in white boxes. Kind of like buying used or gray market. It's a good deal although you have to ad $16 to get the warranty that would come with the retail version. So even as a worst case example you are still paying at or less than $100 for the body which is what you would have to pay anyway if you bought a refurb body or the GF3's this guy took the lenses off.
  8. wlsinwi

    wlsinwi Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Different tastes for different folks. I would rather buy new than refurb'd. Also I looked at the PM1 new for $299 and felt that without a touchscreen such as the GF3 has it was not acceptable. Also the kit lens it comes with is not as good as the 14mm prime for me at this time. Now the PM2 is a different story since it has a touch screen and I will keep an eye out for a $299 deal on it while I am looking for the same deal on the GF5. I could go either way.
  9. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    Depends what you want to use the GF3 for. If you are just happy to keep the 14mm and maybe add the 20mm and Olympus 45mm and you don't require a view finder or hotshoe, then it is not bad. I look at it a a good quality fun/party camera. I've got one with the Olympus Bodycap lens on it. For a more serious camera to build a system around it, I agree with Ned.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Plus, with the $100 difference you could add the 14mm used, or spend only a little bit extra for it new.
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Good point regarding the touch screen -- if that feature is a deal-breaker for you, then the GF3 wins some points. I also would prefer the 14mm prime unless it were my only :43: lens in which case I'd trade the bit of speed at 14mm and the size advantage for the versatility of the Oly zoom.

    I certainly wouldn't fault someone for choosing differently. As you say, different strokes for different folks. Either of these cameras are capable of very nice output.
  12. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I found a great deal on a gf3 from a brick and mortar retailer ($179 w/ 14-42mm store display), and, I have to say, if a compact shooter is your thing, the gf3 body sure is that. However, if I'd researched before jumping in, I'd have gotten the 14mm kit.

    The 14mm is highly regarded and its pancake design is really the reason to get a gf3, it's about as compact as it gets. I found a lightly used gf3 with the 14mm on eBay for $200, and snapped it up, so when it gets here I'll have the lens I want, and possibly a gf3 to try and sell (the market is clogged with them now, I know).
  13. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I like the $199 GX1 and an ebay 14mm for $175.
  14. xzsadboyzx

    xzsadboyzx New to Mu-43

    Jun 26, 2013
    why not go for a gf5? for a hundred buck more.
  15. I went from using a Nikon D200 to the GF3 and while the photo quality was better than expected, adjusting the controls via menu frustrated me. I am used to shooting manual on D200 and with GF3, I just used the scene modes which was quicker and easier without external controls. I missed the manual controls so much, I upgraded to a GH3.
  16. je83

    je83 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2013
    I considered the Gf-3 seriously when it first came out along with the E-pl3. I ultimately went with the E-Pl3 because of the external controls and tilt screen. It turned out the tilt screen was useful but in bright light conditions, it would reflect sunlight directly into my eyes so it was pretty useless for that. I did enjoy the external controls, switching modes was easy enough although there was a slight lag when changing shooting modes on the dial before it would actually change on the camera screen. I returned the camera for different reasons and just this year found some good prices for the GF3.

    I got mine for around 270USD with the 14 2.5 and I couldn't be happier. As far as handling, I have big hands and prefer something large to grip on but never had issues with the E-pl3 or GF-3. The touchscreen is a bit awkward at times but you learn to live with it and mix it up with the dial and confirm button.

    Changing shooting modes is a breeze via touchscreen once you get used to it. Whatever mode you're in is displayed on the top left corner, you just have to tap it and select whichever mode you want either via touchscreen or mode dial and it switches. Once in the selected shooting mode, press up to choose exposure compensation and up again to change either aperture or shutter speed depending on which mode you're in. The whole process is only marginally longer than on a camera with an external mode dial and both methods require the use of both hands.
    So basically the main thing I was worried about on this body wasn't such a big deal after all.

    For what I use it for (backup and mostly snapshot type stuff) it's great and you can't beat the compact size of it. I find doing street photography with this is a lot easier, it's not as noticeable and intimidating as a DSLR or even the more "serious" looking m4/3's like the EP3 or GF2, people just seem to think you're taking snapshots and aren't as bothered when you point it in their direction.

    For the price you can't beat it, like yourself it's something I got as an introduction back in the the format and as a starter, something to build on, I'm perfectly happy with mine.
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