GH3....Panasonic's vs Oly's views of the M43 market

Started Sep 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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jalywol
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GH3....Panasonic's vs Oly's views of the M43 market
Sep 17, 2012

The GH3 announcement clearly marks a design and marketing strategy from Panasonic for its M43 cameras that is significantly different than where Olympus seems to be headed, and which I personally find somewhat disappointing.

As DPR noted, this is a videographer's camera; with the size and weight changes, it is not geared to the stills photographer who bought into M43 to have a competent yet smaller than DSLR system. I am sure they have targeted that market extremely well (except for the loss of the true Multi-Aspect sensor), and I suspect this camera will sell like hotcakes to the videographers looking for an inexpensive (in terms of video equipment) yet very competent video camera.

This decision makes a lot of sense for Panasonic: Video users seem to be willing to spend more on gear than the consumer photographic community, and the market niche that the GH3 will fill is unoccupied at the moment. Capturing this market gives the GH3 and advantage that no other camera has, and I think Panasonic wanted to go where the money was, so to speak.

Unfortunately, it leaves those of us who wanted an updated sensor, compact bodied top-of-the-line M43s stills camera with only one choice; the EM5. Not a bad choice to have, but if you happen to prefer the Panasonic UI, it's an unfortunate narrowing of options.

Yes, the G5 is another option, but I already have the GH2, and honestly, I do not see a reason to move to the G5 since it just essentially uses a slightly tweaked GH2 sensor and image processor.

I am not unhappy with the GH2, by the way. It does what it does extremely well, and I was just hoping for a couple of improvements in the new flagship; better higher ISO performance and better native color rendition, while retaining the fine gradation and detail that the GH2 is already capable of, all in a nicer equally compact body.

Perhaps Panasonic will introduce a rangefinder-type camera which will do what I am hoping for, in between the G5 and the GH2. (GX2 anyone??) I would be interested in that for sure...a nicely designed alloy body with good ergonomics in a small package, that uses the Panny UI, with an updated sensor....THAT would be appealing, now that the GH series has outgrown the M43 size advantage for me.

I am SURE I will get a lot of flack for this, but honestly, the GH3 is pretty close in size to the D90 that I got rid of a few years ago (and at 570g with battery, it's no lightweight, either), and it is just not the right product for me. Sure the lenses are still small, but so are my hands, and I do not think that that large grip, or the placement of the top wheel, are going to work for me. Others may disagree, but I think this is the wrong direction for M43s to go...at least for the photographic market vs video.

-J

Nikon D90 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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