Snapshots with the Panasonic GF3

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens
All images - Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Ann and I have been using the Panasonic GF3 and its kit lens the 14mm f/2.5, in "snapshot" mode over the Christmas holiday. Ann is still seeing if it works for her as a carry everywhere camera, and she is much more comfortable with the size and the live view only way of working.
However I have persevered!!

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Looking at the results, its easy to see that the 12MP sensor on the GF3 is inferior to the GX1. Comparing like with like, the GX1 images look sharper, more saturated and definitely have more "pop". The GF3 also struggles with low light and has a more restricted dynamic range from what I can see. However it is VERY small!

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

It functions perfectly adequately as an outdoor camera, though the 14mm lens does have a fair amount of barrel distortion. In the end, as far as a camera for me is concerned, its not really something I would ever use, unless I had no alternative. While Ann seems to like it, I'm not sure that its that impressive when you put it up against either a Sony NEX-C3 or NEX-5n. Yes the kit lens is tiny, but using a wide-angle all the time is restricting. When you add a standard zoom to either camera, the size differences all but disappear, and the Sonys are much better in low light.

I don't really know how the GF3 has sold, but personally I think its Panasonics most disappointing camera. It is obviously aimed at a different market than me, but I'm not sure it hits the spot there either. Compared to a Sony NEX or the Samsung NX200, it strikes me as poor value alongside those cameras. Pansaonic obviously want a slice of this market and think they can compete. Personally I'd like to see them stick to what they do well, which is cameras like the GX1, which is very good indeed. The GX1 has a better sensor in almost every way, as far as I'm concerned. More pixels, better images and it seems better at high ISO's as well.

If whether it fits in a pocket is important, and every millimetre counts then you might find it of interest. Its not to me so I don't. It is pretty much how I thought it would be, and its most definitely not something I would use. Whether Ann feels differently, still remains to be seen. She is aware of the virtues of the NEX-5n, but is looking for a smaller camera / lens combination, hence this trial. Time will tell.

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens

Panasonic GF3 14mm f/2.5 lens