Panasonic has announced its latest compact system camera (CSC): the mirror-free Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3, the company’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash.

It has a body size comparable to that of a smartphone and weighs 7.83 ounces (body only), less than a standard eight-ounce cup of coffee. The Panasonic’s Lumix GF3 realizes all the features desired from a traditional DSLR interchangeable lens camera, according to Darin Pepple, senior product manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

The camera not only provides 12.1-megapixel still photos and full-High Definition 1080/60i video, but is also capable of shooting 3D still photos. It has a 3.0-inch touch enabled LCD that allows for touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customized using drag-and-drop actions similar to those on some touch-enabled smartphones.

The Lumix GF3 will be available in black, white, red and brown bodies for a suggested retail prices of US$699.99 with the 14mm lens kit system starting in July 2011, and $599.99 with the 14-42mm lens kit system starting in late August  2011. For more info on Panasonic Lumix G Series compact system cameras, go to .