Panasonic Lumix DMC – G3 & Panasonic Lumix DMC – GF3

Panasonic further develops its micro four thirds range with its third - generation G3 and GF3. They are the smallest and lightest yet, with more dedicated lenses to choose from, too

THE G3 and GF3 third - generation models continue to enhance the Panasonic micro four thirds range, which is impressive given that they are the smallest and lightest versions yet. With a body measuring 115.2x83.6x46.7mm, the G3 is 25% smaller than its G2 predecessor, and at the time of release it was the smallest interchangeable - lens camera with built - in viewfinder. Likewise, the GF3 is approximately 16% smaller and lighter than the GF2, and is the smallest of its kind around, this time with the stipulations of including a built - in flash and four thirds sensor.

The G3 has a 16 - million - pixel sensor, which is a huge leap up from the 12.1 - million - pixel sensor of the G2. This same sensor was also found in the entry - level GF2 and now the current GF3. It is a clear move by the company to separate the two cameras for different types of user. The GF3 has taken steps toward, being a mass - market camera.

Both cameras feature an LCD touch - sensitive screen, which offers the benefit of very handy features like touch focus. The user can select the part of the frame they want to be in focus by finger touch, which is particularly effective in the pinpoint AF mode. As well as this feature, the G3 can be controlled by a four - way control pad and the GF3 by a new control wheel, the latter being the first in the range to include such a control and aids speedy handling no end - which is a clear strength of the camera.

Other than styling, one of the key differences between the G3 and the GF3 is that the G3 has a hotshoe port for accessories, such as compatible flashguns, and also a built - in 1.44 - million - dot electronic viewfinder. Furthermore, the G3 offers not only a touchscreen, but it is also articulated from a hinge on the left - hand side.

Other shared features include full HD video capture at 50fps in AVCHD format, 4fps high - speed shooting and a sensitivity range of IS0100 - 6400.

Any camera in the Lumix micro four thirds range has an increasing number of lenses to choose from. Alongside the cameras, the company released a long - anticipated 25mm f/1.4 prime lens.

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