When you think Micro Four Thirds, most people think Olympus, but did you know that Panasonic is also a partner with the Micro Four Thirds standard? In fact, Panasonic has been producing Micro Four Thirds cameras for just as long as Olympus has. While they both use the Micro Four Thirds standard, Panasonic approaches their Lumix cameras in a different way than Olympus does with their PEN series. Two of their latest Micro Four Thirds cameras are seen below, the Lumix DMC-GF3 and the Lumix DMC-G3. These two cameras are much differently styled than the retro PEN series and if you’ve noticed the markings on the lens, Panasonic does not use Olympus’s M.Zuiko Digital lenses. Instead, Panasonic makes it own line of Lumix lenses with Leica designed optics. In fact, from what I’ve heard, some people prefer the Lumix lenses over the Olympus M. Zuiko ones.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3X

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3X would be comparable to the Olympus PEN E-pM1 in features. Like the PEN-E-PM1, the DMC-GF3X takes a significant directional change from the previous generation camera. The DMC-GF3X has gone through a slimming process and has also lost a few buttons and features along the way. The biggest things seem to be the removal of the rear click dial as well as the removal of the hot shoe and accessory port. It however still retains an integrated pop-up flash and features much cleaner lines than its predecessor. The DMC-GF3 also gains several new features and also shares these features with the higher end, DMC-G3.

“Panasonic continues to innovate in digital photography by offering advanced features in small and compact bodies, thus addressing the consumer’s need for camera equipment to be lightweight and easy to carry,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “With the new LUMIX X Series of premium lenses, we do not sacrifice size for quality and Panasonic still offers top-of-the-line image quality for our G Series, but in a smaller design that makes it extremely mobile.” 

Hopefully we’ll get a chance to look at one of these in the future as I am quite curious how using a camera of this nature with such limited buttons will be like although the addition of a touch screen out back might alleviate that fact.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 retails for $749.99 [although you can find it much cheaper than that now] and comes with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

Panasonic Lumic DMC-G3

The Lumix DMC-G3 is the other Micro Four Thirds camera in Panasonic’s lineup. Unlike the Lumix DMC-GF3, the DMC-G3 is more DSLR like and offers a more traditional layout and number of buttons than the simplified DMC-GF3. The DMC-G3 is an elegant evolution of the previous cameras and features a smaller, smoother body. The camera still retains its built in electronic viewfinder as well as it’s articulating touch-LCD screen. The DMC-G3 however does now feature a new 16mp sensor, up from it’s previous 12.

“With the LUMIX G3, Panasonic offers an extremely light compact system camera that is easy to use, thanks to a touch-control LCD, yet still maintains powerful and creative features to appease the more advanced photographer,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “With new features that enhance photo and video quality, the LUMIX G3 offers exceptional image quality that a photographer at any level would be excited about using to capture their experiences.”

This camera is a great fit for more traditional photographers who want a more DSLR like experience but want a much smaller package. The DMC-G3 has many of the same advanced features you’d expect from a camera of this nature and doesn’t skimp on any of them.


  • an eye-level electronic viewfinder that projects a high resolution 1.44m-dot image with 100% field of view (800×600, 0.7x magnification)
  • touch-control shooting, which lets photographers focus on the subject by simply touching it
  • Auto Focus (AF) tracking
  • 23 Area Auto Focusing Points
  • Intelligent LCD has a bright 460K dot-resolution and rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down offering approximately 100% of field of view
  • newly developed 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor, combined with the powerful Venus Engine FHD image processor, contribute to the high-quality photo and video images

These are just some of the features that make the DMC-G3 one of the most advanced Micro Four Thirds cameras in their lineup. The Lumic DMC-G3 retails for $699.99 and includes the 14-42mm Zoom Lens Kit.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance in the future to test out this camera as well so stay tuned.


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