Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Nikon D3100 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Winner
Nikon D3100

52

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

34

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Autofocuses shooting video
Badge
Contrast detection
Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Size
Really small
Mid size 113x68x33 mm
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Thickness
Thin
1.3"

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Overall image quality
Better image quality
67.0 vs 54.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
205 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 5x more lenses available
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.3 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
1 f-stop more dynamic range
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 300 shots
Help
More than 80% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 1000 ms
Help
2.5x less delay when turning on
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
279 ms vs 337 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 506 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.9 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14.2 MP vs 12 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF2

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Size
Significantly smaller
113x68x33 mm vs 124x96x73 mm
Help
3.5x smaller
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.3" vs 2.9"
Help
2.2x thinner
Weight
Lighter
310 g vs 505 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
23 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The DMC-GF2's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 52
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        34 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D3100400 ms
              DMC-GF21000 ms
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Common Weaknesses
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              D310011.3 EV
              DMC-GF210.3 EV
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D31001
              DMC-GF20
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D31003 fps
              DMC-GF23.2 fps
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D3100230k dots
              DMC-GF2460k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $279 - $547 body only

              $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $419 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $354 body only

              $591 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Size Slightly larger
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $627 body only

              $480 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 body only

              $549 - $615 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 body only

              $261 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $342 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $419 body only

              $497 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Shutter lag Less shutter lag
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $260 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Nikon D3100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Lumix DMC-GF2
              Panasonic

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