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Panasonic G10 vs GF3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2010 and June 2011. Both the G10 and the GF3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds 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.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G10
versus
Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10   Panasonic GF3
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP – Four Thirds sensor 12 MP – Four Thirds sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 160-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 460k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
2.6 shutter flaps per second 3.2 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
124 x 84 x 74 mm, 388 g 108 x 67 x 32 mm, 264 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G10 and the Panasonic GF3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF3 can be obtained in five different colors (black, brown, pink, red, white), while the G10 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic G10 vs Panasonic GF3
Compare G10 versus GF3 top
Comparison G10 or GF3 rear

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 (31 percent) than the Panasonic G10. Moreover, the GF3 is markedly lighter (32 percent) than the G10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G10 nor the GF3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the G10 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLB13 battery, while the GF3 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599ebay.com
5.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G10 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the GF3 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G10 and Panasonic GF3 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G10 and the GF3 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GF3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the G10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

G10 versus GF3 MP

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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
2.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
3.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
4.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
5.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
6.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
7.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
8.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
9.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
10.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
11.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GF3 provides a better video resolution than the G10. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the G10 is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G10, the Panasonic GF3, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
3.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
6.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
7.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
8.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
9.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF3 has a touchscreen, while the G10 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G10 and the GF3 write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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-G10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
4.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
5.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---mini2.0---

It is notable that the G10 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 G10 and the GF3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G10 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, while the GF3 was followed by the Panasonic GF5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G10 and the Panasonic GF3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2010).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.2 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 124g or 32 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G10 04:06 GF3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G10 and the Panasonic GF3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G10 or the GF3. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/100..71/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599ebay.com
5.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G10 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2010 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.33 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 5.34 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor Venus HD II Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 52 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.2 20.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.1 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 411 458
    Screen Specs Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.52x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.6 shutter flaps/s 3.2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic G10 Panasonic GF3
    Battery Type DMW-BLB13 DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    108 x 67 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 388 g (13.7 oz) 264 g (9.3 oz)
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