Pros -Super Compact
-Built in flash
-Easy to use
-Touchscreen easy to navigate
-High Precision AF
Cons -Video isn't great
-Touchscreen is a fingerprint magnet
-LCD doesn't tilt
Summary This is a fantastic little camera that is the perfect balance between point and shoot upgrade and SLR. Let me start off by saying that I got this camera to take as something I can take hiking and traveling. I was looking for something that gave me the versatility of interchangeable lenses in a size small enough so that I wouldn't need to lug around 10 pounds of equipment. Not to mention I wanted something that wouldn't break the bank. With this criteria, it is like Panasonic designed a camera to fit my needs: the GF3. People need to stop complaining about this not having the features of an SLR, because it's not an SLR! Adding on a hotshoe to provide an EVF or add-on flash just makes it bulky, heavy, and therefore defeats the whole point. It's as arbitrary as complaining that a point and shoot doesn't have these features. That's why there are different styles. With the GF3, Panasonic chose to go with something where size and weight are the biggest factors. If you want something with more ability and are okay with more size, they also have cameras like the GH2.
Now for the price. I bought this camera on Crutchfield with both the 14mm and 14-42mm lenses for $499. And if you don't want the 14mm prime, you can pick it up for $380! If we're going off just that, I dare you to show me a better camera than the GF3 at that price. Sure the Olympus and Sony ILC's are great cameras as well, but you're going to pay almost double.
As for picture quality, it's right up there with any other ILC. The biggest factors in my opinion are sensor size and lens quality. If you've gone with the micro four thirds format, then you've already decided to sacrifice the full-frame or APS-C sensor (unless you went with Sony) for compactness. As for lenses, Panasonic and Olympus both make very quality lenses to complement this camera. The 14mm and 20mm pancakes especially are tiny and take brilliant photos. If you went Sony, then you're stuck with only Sony lenses, which are great, but bulky and there's not as much of a free market.
Now for one of the biggest factors of the ILC's: portability. Like I mentioned earlier, if you want an SLR and don't mind the size, then nothing's going to beat SLR and you should probably get one. Just be advised that you're going to have to carry around a backpack filled with your gear if you want to tote everything around. With the GF3, I can shove it in my pocket. Add a few lenses? I can still fit everything in a small pouch and take it hiking. Sure the LCD is more difficult to view in the sun compared to an EVF, but the sun would have to be pretty darn intense to render the LCD unusable. Of course the integrated flash isn't as good as a hotshoe flash, but then you've got another piece of equipment you have to lug around. I personally think the flash on the GF3 is good enough, and it has the clever design that lets you tilt it back to bounce it off the ceiling. You know what an ILC looks like with an add-on flash and EVF? It looks like that SLR that was too bulky which is why you probably went with an ILC in the first place. Seeing a trend here?
Now for the drawbacks. Most of them I or someone else has already mentioned. No hotshoe, no EVF, video isn't great, LCD doesn't tilt. I guess the only one that really bothers me is the tilting LCD. I don't think it would have added any more bulk to make it tilt, which would allow for more easily holding the camera at non-eye level. The touchscreen gets fingerprints all over it, but hey, it's a touchscreen. Video isn't fantastic, but I didn't buy a video camera, I bought a camera for stills.
All in all, it's a great product if it's what you're looking for. It's the size of a point and shoot, but offers so much more. Just be careful, because once you get this camera, you'll be obsessed. Also, keep in mind that lenses aren't cheap. If you get the 14mm, 20mm, and 45mm (which makes for an excellent kit), you're going to end up spending $300-400 per lens. If you want to get fancier, it's even more! So figure out what you're looking for, and if you find what you want is a small, affordable, high quality interchangeable lens camera, then you can stop searching and buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.
Pros Faster FPS, more user-friendly.
Cons Loss of almost all manual features, including hot shoe, optional viewfinder, and stereo audio.
Summary It's a huge step down from the GF2 in manual features, and usability. I'd personally even go with the GF1, if you're looking for all the manual features. But if you're one that craves only the basics, and extreme usability, then go with this camera. I can confidently tell you the pictures/lens are both very sharp, and AF is insanely fast.
Pros Form factor is wonderful. Lightweight but feels solid. First pictures are showing excellent quality under a variety of light conditions. RAW images need little if any work in LR4. LCD usable in sunny daylight conditions.
Cons Built-in flash is just okay, but what built-in flash ever is really any good? Controls take a bit getting used to after my Nikons. Touch screen has a learning curve. User guide is lousy. Wish 14-42mm kit lens had a bit more zoom reach.
Summary Wavered on whether to go with the GF3 or spend another $200 on the GX1. Saw the GF3 at a good price and went for it.
As a complement to my 4-year-old Nikon D60 dslr, the GF3 is going to be a wonderful travel camera and already a joy to use. Just learning the controls, but already can see that manual controls and special settings will allow this camera to deal with a variety of shooting conditions.
The new GF5 is just announced, so GF3 is on sale. Saved enough to buy the matching 45-200 zoom which is also on sale. That made me happy!
The Micro 4/3 mount opens up a wide assortment of accessory lenses.
The GF3 won't do everything my dslr does, but it will come pretty close. So far, the image quality right out of the camera easily matches often beats my old dslr.
"Awesome camera"on by bonvivant22
Pros Fast! logical interphase. Sharp photos
Cons difficult to hold
Summary Who needs a hot shoe and stereo speakers etc on a camera this small?? Coupled with the Leica branded 24mm lens, this camera takes amazing photos and still fits into my jacket pockets. The kit lenses aren't so great but are functional. The learning curve with this camera is pretty small and the menu interphase is logical and easy to use after a little memorization. This is a very simple camera to use and great for street and portrait shooting when you're on the move and I imagine it can take great epic shots as well. This camera is the lowest price in it's class and the best as far as I can see.
Pros I've had _very_ good luck with Panasonic Lumix cameras - people with other small cameras often comment on the quality of the photos I've taken with them.
Cons The removal of a hot shoe is pretty much a deal killer for me.
As it stands, this camera doesn't have as large a sensor as the Sony, or the hot shoe that the Olympus PEN E-PL3 (or Panasonic Lumix GF2) have.
Btw, I disagree that camers of this ty
Summary A missed opportunity to compete with / beat compact 'enthusiast' cameras due to the removal of the hot shoe.
If you are looking for the (greatly enhanced) lighting control that a hotshoe mounted flash can provide, in a travel friendly format, consider a Panasonic DMC-GF2 of Olympus PEN E-PL3 instead.