Feeds

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 MFT compact unveiled

This week's 'world's smallest' system camera

High performance access to file storage

Sure, the touchscreen assists in the poking around for ISO settings and the like, but apart from one quick menu/function key, the lack of prod and twist instant gratification rather discourages it. This is getting to be standard fare for compact system cameras fighting out for the ‘smallest’ moniker, with Sony’s NEX range delivering a similar paucity of pushbutton pleasure.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Menu driven: the touchscreen performs a range of duties

Along with the Samsung NX100, Olympus PEN models hold fast to the idea of enabling users to make tactile tweaks, and time will tell whether these companies will be rewarded for it. The situation seems akin to the menu driven digital synthesizers – such as Yamaha’s classic DX7 – that appeared in the early 1980s, that wiped out the knob laden analogue instruments. Yet, these new models were so fatiguing to program, that users relied on preset sounds and soon got bored. It was only a matter of time before another wave of synths and controllers began to emerge to reinstate what had been lost.

With retro cameras gaining ground, and a price premium too (Fujifilm Finepix X100, anyone?), one can only hope that, as the bodies continue to shrink, there may be room for some useful dedicated controls. Perhaps then, the phrase ‘most accessible’ will replace ‘smallest’ in the quest for some world title.

Snapping with the 14mm wide-angle pancake lens on the front of the GF3 makes it so compact that it’s easy to forget it’s a system camera. Lightweight, unimposing and with 25fps AVCHD 1080i video recording under its belt too, the camera does inspire confidence, even if creativity is slightly hindered by the necessities of on-screen trawling. Add to that, you then have to remember what the display icons mean afterwards, so you know what settings are active. Yup, a lot of people will use this in the auto modes and be perfectly happy with the results.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

The world's smallest compact system camera, apparently

No doubt Panasonic would argue that there’s always the G3 alternative, if fast access to modes is what you need. And I have to say, if you’re anticipating expanding your lens count – which is the raison d’être of buying a CSC after all – and going to all the trouble of carrying around additional glass, then the compact form factor almost becomes irrelevant. You might as well get a G3 and have the EVF, articulating screen and the 16.1Mp sensor. That said, if you’re likely to build up the system slowly or have a ‘lens of the day’ approach to shooting, then have a look at the sample shots – where the megapixel count meets compact convenience – and see where your loyalties lie.

Available soon, the DMC-GF3 with the 14-42mm kit lens costs £499, with the 14mm pancake lens £549, and with both lenses £629. The DMC-G3 costs £549 (body only) and £629 with the 14-42 lens kit. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.