OMD vs GH3

Started Sep 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
razorfish
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My reasons for choosing the GH3
In reply to Aaron Hvidston, Jan 9, 2013

In november I was looking at getting the OMD for our christmas vacation to the Canaries. Then one of the big stores suddenly in early december had the GH3 in stock. Body only the GH3 was €400 more, but as I wanted the 12-35mm that's heavily discounted in the GH3 kit, the price difference came out to almost none. I love the way Panasonic sponsors high-end lenses in kits, and I did the exact same thing with the GH2 and 14-140mm back in the day.

So why the GH3 over the OMD? There are a few reasons:

1. Video. I'm primarily a stills photographer, but I've become better at making videos and enjoying it more and more. With the GH3 I can shoot 1080p60 high quality videos. Further, autofocus, OIS and aperture stepping are optimized for video. The OMD shoots ok videos, certainly the best ever from Olympus, but looking at samples it is clearly a stills camera with video features, not a true hybrid.

Of course video is the big thing here, but for me there are a few more reasons for choosing the GH3:

2. Ergonomics and build. I find the GH3 without grip is just big enough to feel like a serious photographic tool. So really for me it's as small as it can possibly become without losing that distinction. I can fit my Camdapter hand strap comfortably, which would be impossible on any other mirrorless except for the OMD with grip (but then I guess you'd rather fit Olympus' own hand strap). Also, I find buttons are a necessity for serious shooting. I will not use a touch screen for this. The GH3 has a lot of buttons.

I owned the GH2, and while it was an excellent video tool, the amateur-like build and lack of photographic features turned me off it. The GH3 is a lot more inspiring to use with its buttons, magnesium body and soft, grippy exterior. With the new fast zooms coming out (finally) you need some body heft anyway. I actually compare the GH3 to the full-frame Nikons, Canons and Sonys, not so much the OMD. Even though the sensor is smaller, it feels very much like using a serious DSLR. Putting f2.8 zooms on a full-frame, the GH3 in comparison is ultra portable.

3. Speed. I owned the NEX-7, and while sensor quality was outstanding, it had serious issues handling large amounts of data. Raw buffer was only so-so, and it regularly overheated shooting HD video, shutting down completely for several minutes. The GH3 has never overheated on me, in fact doesn't even feel warm filling SDXC cards with 500mb per minute video. I keep continuous shooting at 4 fps to maintain live view, and the GH3 can keep going with this for 25-30 seconds shooting raw+jpg. Even more impressive, you can turn on a lot of image processing options and it won't affect shooting speed much at all. I regularly use i.dynamic, i.resolution as well as the various looks offered, and I fire away never filling up the buffer. Of course the OMD is fast too (what I see from reviews) but not up to GH3 level.

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