Panasonic Goes Light And Basic With The New GF3

Panasonic’s compact micro four-thirds GF series has received an update, and yes, it’s the one we saw last week. The GF3 is lighter, smaller, and simpler than its predecessor. It also forgoes a hot shoe in favor of a pop-up flash, something which may anger serious photographers but makes sense given the direction in which they’ve taken the camera line.

The new camera is ~16% smaller and lighter than the GF2, but should take pictures of the same quality; it actually uses the same sensor and image processor. There’s a 3″, 320×480 touchscreen on the back that you can tap to magnify and focus, or of course change settings. It’s 12 megapixels and will do 1080i video (like the GF2 before it).

It’s getting a stepped release depending on which lens you want; pick the 14mm F/2.5 and you can have it in July for $600, but if you wait till August you can get a 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 with it, for a total of $600. Not sure what the 35mm equivalents are on those.

Seems like it doesn’t so much obsolete the GF2 as offer an alternate body. The functionality is largely the same and with the same lenses and settings, it should take identical pictures. If you like hot shoes or just don’t care about that 16% difference in weight, you’ll probably save some money if you go with the old model.

More info over at Panasonic.