Noticeable difference in image quality between the Panasonic GX1 and the GH3?

Started Mar 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sgt_Strider
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Re: Noticeable difference in image quality between the Panasonic GX1 and the GH3?
In reply to Anders W, Mar 11, 2013

Anders W wrote:

Sgt_Strider wrote:

I've already read the reviews and seen the data from DXOMark. There is no doubt that the sensor on the GH3/E-M5 is better than the one on the GX1. Obviously the newer sensor will have better technology. However, is the difference actually perceptible especially with the GH3's better noise performance and capable of handling higher dynamic range?

Right now I have the GX1 and I'm thinking of adding another one to my setup given the value that it provides over the GH3 at the moment. In real world situations and assuming I stick with ISO160 or ISO 200 on the GH3 and go no higher than ISO 1600, will I be able to actually perceive the actual performance enhancement of the GH3 sensor in more than 50% of the time? Or the actual advantage of the GH3 is more subtle and be noticeable under more extreme situations? If that's the case, then perhaps I'm better off buying another GX1 instead of ordering the GH3?

Thx!

I think how much of a difference you are likely to see strongly depends on your post-processing habits. The GH3 sensor has noticeably better dynamic range at base ISO than the GX1 (close to two EV better). But if you shoot out-of-camera jpegs, that advantage will hardly be visible because the standard jpeg tone curve does little to take advantage of the better base-ISO DR of the GH3. If, on the other hand, you shoot RAW, expose your images so as to avoid highlight clipping and then raise/push the shadows at the PP stage, the shadows will be significantly less noisy with the GH3 than with the GX1.

At higher ISOs, the difference between the two sensors is less pronounced. The GH3 is better here too, but the difference amounts to only half an EV or so. In this case, you can get a good idea of how much of a difference you can actually see by checking out the studio scene samples here on DPR (where at this time you have to substitute the E-M5 for the GH3 since samples for the GH3 are not yet available) or at Imaging Resource (which already has samples for the GH3 although the review is not completed yet).

2 EV at base ISO? Really? IIRC, DXO said at base ISO is about 1 EV? I shoot exclusively in RAW. That's good to know. Now the part is deciding.

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