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Panasonics LUMIX DMC-GF3 realizes all the features you want from a bulky DSLR interchangeable lens camera, only it accomplishes this in an ultra compact point-and-shoot camera body about as wide and tall as a typical smart phone yet is lightweight and simple to master. This remarkable reduction in size and weight is thanks to advancements in new mirror-free camera technology, and large DSLR format sensors that are more compatible with a new class of compact Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lenses. This new class of Compact System Cameras (CSC) offers a weight and compactness not seen in traditional DSLRs, yielding greater portability and creative control. The DMC-GF3s image quality comes from a large DSLR-sized 12.1-megapixel sensor and newly advanced image processing technologies.
Venus Engine FHD The new LUMIX Venus Engine FHD offers vastly improved compensation for electronic noise under low light and shadows where higher ISOs typically add grain to the image. Circuitry on the large DSLR sized 12.1-megapixel sensor further reduces low-noise signal problems at the pixel level and at the amplifier circuit level. As a result, higher ISOs with much lower noise can be achieved. This means faster action-stopping shutter speeds in low light, and a maximum achievable ISO of 6400. The new Venus Engine FHD uses new Intelligent Resolution technology to sharpen edge detail without softening fine detail. In addition to maximizing edge and fine detail, the Venus Engine offers Intelligent D-Range Control. Intelligent D-Range Control enables maximum capture of the images full range of brightness, without blown-out highlights and muddying shadows. Like most DSLRs, the DMC-GF3 provides a built-in pop-up flash for added light during low-light shooting.
HD Video Capture The LUMIX DMC-GF3 also shoots 1080/60i High Definition video using the AVCHD format (sensor output 30 fps). It offers a built-in mono microphone and includes a wind-cut function that further enhances the sound as it helps reduce noise caused by background wind. An audio meter can be displayed on the LCD for monitoring audio levels. Captured video can be played back in High Definition via an optional HDMI mini cable directly to an HD-compatible TV, or played directly on Panasonic VIERA TVs via the SD card. New near silent focusing features offered in several LUMIX Micro Four Thirds lenses help keep lens noise at bay, while the touch-enabled LCD allows you to automatically keep active subjects in focus with touch-enabled subject AF Tracking.
Mode Access via Touch-Enabled LCD or Mode Thumb Wheel The DMC-GF3 provides a traditional DSLR-like experience without the need for complicated external mode dials, yet provides intuitive and quick access to common modes like Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual via a touch-enabled LCD that operates much like a smart phone. At the heart of the DMC-GF3s simplified functionality is a large 3.0-inch LCD (460k- dot) that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. For those who miss the tactile feel of a traditional DSLR mode dial, the DMC-GF3 offers an innovative mode thumb wheel that quickly cycles though all available modes with visual feedback provided on the large 3 touch-enabled LCD.
Lens Options and 3D Capture LUMIX G Series Compact System Cameras utilize the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System lens mount. MFT offers greater size and weight reduction in the lens without compromising lens performance and clarity. The LUMIX G MFT System offers a selection of 12 high performance fixed focal length and variable aperture G Vario zooms, including a highly versatile 3D lens capable of capturing both 2D and 3D images at the same time. There are lens adaptors available for mounting older Leica M and Leica R lenses, including older LUMIX full Four Thirds lenses. An innovative 14-140mm HD G Vario lens provides the best of video and still-image shooting with a long 10x range and near silent high-speed focusing. When connected to the DMC-GF3, ultra fast focusing and auto subject track AF can be achieved. Many LUMIX MFT lenses come with MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) built-in. This feature helps prevent blurring from hand-shake.
Intelligent Auto and Intelligent Auto Plus (iA, iA+) The DMC-GF3 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably in both photo and video recording modes with iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus. In the new iA Plus Mode, the defocusing area, exposure control and white balance can be adjusted visually for scenes where a slight manual adjustment may produce a more desired result.
Faster, Accurate Pinpoint Focusing Contrast Detection Auto Focus technology used in point-and-shoot and new mirrorless Compact System Cameras now approaches the speeds that were once only available from traditional professional-level DSLRs. The DMC-GF3 now offers the new LUMIX Light Speed Auto Focus technology developed for the highly regarded GH2. LUMIX Light Speed AF locks onto a subject quickly so you wont suffer from shutter lag frustration. Contrast Auto Focusing also offers greater shot accuracy due to fewer hardware components needed vs. traditional DSLR phase difference systems, thus fewer pictures will suffer from system focusing errors (e.g., the accuracy of Contrast AF is approx. 90% at F1.4, while Phase Difference AF is approx. 60%). Manual control over focus is available in the DMC-GF3 and now features a quick 4x magnification feature. The DMC-GF3 now offers a large LCD touch-focus area, enabling touch-focus control from any part of the image as seen on the LCD.
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3KR Bright Red 12.1 MP 3.0" 460K Touch LCD Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera w/ 14-42mm Lens
Pros: Forgive any misspellings.
I'm not a camera expert at all (my last camera was a point and shoot 5 years old) so I don't know how this product ompares to similar CSC's, but it is LIGHTYEARS better than my old point and shoot. When reviewing the pictures I can zoom way in and crop and it still looks great. You can adjust the camera in any way you could adjust a bigger DSLR. The software it comes with (Silkypix) is good... it has saved several pictures that would have been garbage and made them excellent quality. The video quality is very good, and when watching it on the camera you can pause it and capture the image as a JPG. I love this camera.
Cons: The 14-42mm lens is plastic. You can buy other nicer lenses but they are very expensive. The zoom is a little clumbsy and if you zoom while taking videos it's all jerky.
Other Thoughts: Looking back, I wish I would have gone with the "pancake" lens instead of this one.
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