Excellent ergonomics overhaul
Instead of fashionable image quality comparison I'll concentrate on aspect which has been badly neglected in mirrorless systems and literally treated as sacrificial lamb on altar of fashion: Ergonomics as utilitarian tool.
While preceeding models GH1 and GH2 were well below even the worst entry level DSLRs Panasonic has clearly this time listened serious photographers instead of fashion magazines.
Grip housing now also much needed front wheel is vastly improved and in size almost equal to grip of enthusiast DSLRs with just enough height to fit all fingers. That and more space in rear allows gripping camera without thumb accidentally pressing buttons when your concentration is on elsewhere (like it should be) than keeping thumb from pressing those. The most welcome change from GH2.
Also size of all controls has been increased and they're now lot less cramped. And there are no tiny levers under knobs except power switch with good sized lever.
That's the kind of ergonomics and controls which make controlling camera and photography fun and just what high end model of line up needs.
Time of the year doesn't give anything inspiring to shoot with most of the day being dark and rest grey. But with less cloudy -26C (-15F) weather in Sunday week ago I did some quick testing before daily work to see if GH3 can be used with thinner gloves and controls are just big enough to be used reasonably well.
Sure you'll need also thick outer gloves for regular warming of hands in long run in that weather, but being able to operate camera for some five minutes before fingers freeze is lot better than few seconds without gloves.
Despite of these huge improvements and magnesium alloy body Panasonic has still managed to keep weight similar to worser ergonomics entry level DSLRs and also overall size is close to them. Lack of mirror chamber's bulk also puts more of the weight closer to grip hand making balance better, so with small lenses shots could be taken one handed without any problems.
In short GH3 is the first mirrorless camera which truly challenges enthusiast DSLRs in ergonomics.
And hence will no doubt get heavily disparaged as "too big" by clearly paid trolls to keep digital age mirrorless from competing and endangering future market domination of film era legacy based Canon&Nikon systems.
|Esa Tuunanen's score||
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|Dec 30, 2012||8|