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

Nikon D3100

Winner
Nikon D3100

54

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Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
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Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
 

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
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Overall image quality Better image quality 67.0 vs 54.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Lens availability Much more lenses available 205 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 5x more lenses available
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
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More than 80% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay Less startup delay 400 ms vs 1000 ms
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2.5x less delay when turning on
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.1x15.4mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
Help
Around 60% larger sensor
Viewfinder Has a viewfinder Pentamirror vs None
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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
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 279 ms vs 337 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
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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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
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Thickness Significantly thinner 1.3" vs 2.9"
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2.2x thinner
Weight Lighter 310 g vs 505 g
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Around 40% lighter
Focus points Slightly more focus points 23 vs 11
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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
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recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 54
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        36 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Support external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              Better in low light
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              D3100:11.3 EV
              DMC-GF2:10.3 EV
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D3100:1
              DMC-GF2:0
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D3100:3 fps
              DMC-GF2:3.2 fps
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D3100:230k dots
              DMC-GF2:460k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $575 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $567 body only

              $389 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $549 - $700 body only

              $489 - $820 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 - $418 body only

              $399 - $539 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $378 - $469 body only

              $490 - $669 with 18-55mm lens

              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

              $439 - $547 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $397 body only

              $570 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $584 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $419 body only

              $276 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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