The Panasonic Lumix GF3 has been available for about a month now, but it does not seem to be having the desired affect that the camera maker had hoped. It is not the fault of the GF3; it’s just that the bar was set too high by the GF1 last year. Those who have written a review or purchased the new model are being left disappointed, as it has been coming up short due to large expectations.
The price and the design of the GF3 was always going to be a worry for Panasonic, as $600 is a lot to pay for those who are not that adapt at the world of photography, and those who feel that the camera does not have that much to offer – so Panasonic are in a catch 22. So there is nothing that they can do about the features, or lack of them, so the easiest thing for them to fix is the price.
DPReview has given the Panasonic Lumix GF3 an in-depth review and it has not fared that well, but is it really as bad as they make out? There is still a market for the new camera, but it is a very limited one. However, the target market will love the GF3, as it does offer a number of enhancements over its predecessors. However, when compared to a Sony NEX-C3 it was left felling a little inadequate.
As with all reviews there are always pros and cons, and there seems to be a fine balance between the two. DPReview loved the high quality sensor and improved ISO performance when compared to the previous model, along with an improved touchscreen interface. Other good points include Picture-in-Picture manual focus, Fast-focusing AF system and improved skin tone rendering to name a few.
However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, as there are more than enough bad points to counteract these, such as no Rear Click Dial, EVF Port or Flash Hotshoe. The biggest issue has to be with the size of the body itself, as when it comes to putting on a larger lens the whole thing feels a little awkward. Red-eye looks to be a huge issue with the GF3, as the flash it just too close to the lens, which seems to be a common problem with a number of other cameras on the market today.
Panasonic has certainly gone backwards with the GF3, so it looks as though they will now have to rethink their strategy when it comes to the GF4.