Panasonic FZ200 vs GF3
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2012 and June 2011. The FZ200 is a fixed lens compact, while the GF3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ200) and a Four Thirds (GF3) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ200 and the Panasonic GF3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF3 can be obtained in five different colors (black, brown, pink, red, white), while the FZ200 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF3 is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Panasonic FZ200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ200 nor the GF3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ200 has a lens built in, whereas the GF3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GF3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|5.||Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|7.||Panasonic FZ300||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|8.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|13.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|15.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ200 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic GF3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF3 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Even though the GF3 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the GF3 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ200), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the FZ200 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the GF3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ200 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GF3 offers substantially better image quality than the FZ200 (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|5.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|14.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|15.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ200 provides a higher frame rate than the GF3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the GF3 is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ200 has an electronic viewfinder (1312k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ200 and Panasonic GF3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|5.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF3 has a touchscreen, while the FZ200 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The FZ200 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GF3 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the FZ200 and the GF3 write their files to SDXC cards. The FZ200 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GF3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|5.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the FZ200 has a hotshoe, while the GF3 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the FZ200 and the GF3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF3 was replaced by the Panasonic GF5, while the FZ200 was followed by the Panasonic FZ300. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic FZ200 better than the Panasonic GF3 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 3.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GF3 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (540 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the GF3).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 125x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2011).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ200 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ200 and the Panasonic GF3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the FZ200 or the GF3 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|5.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|7.||Panasonic FZ300||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|8.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|13.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|15.||Panasonic G2||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||3/5||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Panasonic FZ200 vs Panasonic GF3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||160 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||37||49|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.1||20.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||10.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||114||458|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1312k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||3.2 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Panasonic GF3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
108 x 67 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||588 g (20.7 oz)||264 g (9.3 oz)|
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