Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3
Weighs just 7.83 ounces and features smart touch-screen controls
"The Panasonic GF3 compact system camera is extremely small and its newly-designed rounded body is quite attractive, which we expect to be popular among those users wanting to step-up from a point-and-shoot, yet who view traditional DSLRs as bulky and overly complex," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "While the size and weight of the GF3 has been greatly reduced, Panasonic does not compromise what is at the core of every LUMIX, which is exceptional photo and video quality with an easy-to-use interface."
All models in Panasonic's LUMIX G Series of digital cameras feature Contrast AF for their focus system, as opposed to phase-difference AF systems, used in traditional DSLRs, which is susceptible to a mechanical margin of focus errors at wide apertures. With a Contrast AF system, focusing is controlled by the image sensor so that mechanical margin of error is reduced to achieve precise focusing, thus boosting higher number of in focus shots, especially when shooting in low light with wide open lens aperture. As a result, when the LUMIX GF3 is used with Panasonic's new wide aperture interchangeable lens, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH, also announced today, the performance of the Contrast AF system is optimally maximized.
The Panasonic LUMIX GF3 features a high-speed and extremely precise Contrast AF system that locks in approximately 0.18 seconds. Taking further advantage of Contrast AF, the LUMIX GF3 incorporates full-area focusing which makes it possible to set focus on any point in the field- of-view. The LUMIX GF3 also features Light Speed AF, an extremely fast AF which measures at approximately 0.1 seconds*2, which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by doubling the sensors drive speed from 60 fps to 120 fps. With the combination of touch-control shooting, focusing on close up macro or still life objects is evermore quick and accurate thanks to the newly adopted Pinpoint AF that unlike a DSLR, offers near pixel level touch control focusing.
Manual control over focus is available in the DMC-GF3 and now features a quick 4x magnification feature. By simply touching the subject, that subject is then enlarged in a small window, allowing you to keep the rest of the image in view as a framing reference. Beyond 4x, that small window fills the monitor so even more control over focus fine-tuning can be achieved. This handy feature is available from both the MF (Manual Focus) Assist and AF + MF focus modes.
At the heart of the LUMIX GF3's simplified functionality is a large 3.0-inch touch enabled LCD (460k- dot) that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customized using simple drag-and-drop actions similar to those on some touch-enabled smartphones. This allows for a custom user interface, giving Quick Menu access to functions that can be tailored to any user's expertise level. Users can also release the shutter using the touch-screen. Once locked onto a subject, the LUMIX GF3 tracks the subject with the AF Tracking feature and another touch allows the user to select the size of the AF area. In addition, Pinpoint AF function allows even more precise focus setting by further enlarging the focusing area. With increased customization, users can set the touch shutter and touch AF ON/OFF based on their preference. Touch-control also makes playback of photos and videos easy to flip through like pages in a book.