My Panasonic GH3 Experience (Previous Nikon Shooter)

Started Nov 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Drew83076
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My Panasonic GH3 Experience (Previous Nikon Shooter)
Nov 3, 2013

I've been shooting Nikon predominantly for 14 years, starting with the Nikon Coolpix 5700, D200 and D700. I shoot a variety of subjects from landscapes, nature, and sports, but more importantly my children. I'm not adverse to trying other brands, but Nikon has been my main system. In 2007, I injured my lower back and found it difficult to carry my D700 plus lenses and eventually stop using my gear completely. Despite the obvious limitations, I carried my reliable point & shoot with me everywhere until it died while on family vacation in Spain last April.

Fast-forward a few months... I now own a GH3, which I purchased after selling my Nikon gear. I've had the GH3 since June and found it easy to use thanks to the simple (subjective) menu layout and physical buttons. I also purchased the 7-14, 20, 12-35, 35-100, and 100-300 lenses. The size and weight of the GH3 is fantastic and the video capabilities are much more than I need. The lenses are unbelievably sharp and light compared to Nikon’s “holy trio” equivalents. I like the idea of the EVF, being able to see the final image before you press the shutter is awesome, especially in good lighting. However, the EVF on my GH3 suffers from smearing if my eye isn't centered directly in the middle of the EVF. In low light situations, I find the EVF resolution (possibly refresh rate) less than desirable, but I can live with it.

I am not sure if anyone one else has experienced this, but I've noticed a change in exposure when shooting in burst modes as low as medium burst. The first image in the series is brighter while the rest get progressively darker for some reason. Also, the amount of physical buttons on the GH3 has been both rewarding and annoying. Yesterday, I was taking pictures of my daughter's first basketball game with the GH3 and 35-100mm f/2.8. Yes, I understand the GH3 isn't ideal for sports, so I managed expectations before I arrived to the gym. I don't have big hands, but I found my palm changing the focus point accidentally while handling the camera by pressing the omni directional wheel. I pressed the display button accidentally quiet often too. I never noticed any of my settings changing before, but I think I know why. When I'm shooting casual stationary or slow moving subjects, I'm not maneuvering the camera as fast to capture my shot. But when the pressure is on, and I'm quickly composing from landscape to portrait, it’s very easy to accidentally change settings in the process due to the close button layout. At the moment, I don’t feel I confidently grab-and-shoot with the GH3 as I did with the D700 without fear of changing settings accidentally. I now have to think about my hand placement and that lack of confidence makes the GH3 feels foreign instead of an extended body part. Maybe that felling will change over time.

The overall image quality of the GH3 is good – great, depending conditions (like all cameras). That being said, the files produced between the GH3 and previously owned D700 look very different. To my wife and me, the GH3 images look “digital” – sometimes rendering the subjects with a plastic look (for a lack of a better description). Whereas, my Nikon images look more pleasing to the both of us. Again, I know the look a of photo is subjective, so I’m simply stating my impression. To compare the image quality of the GH3 to the D700 is useless. Hands down, the D700 wins IMHO. I admit I’ve been shooting Nikon for so long, that I may be accustomed to (favor) Nikon images more, but I had the same impression about the GH3 images when compared to my Canon S100. The auto white balance capability of the GH3 is impressively accurate compared to my Nikon D700.

I don’t want to give the impression that the GH3 is a bad camera in any way. In fact, I think it’s a very capable camera that’s at the forefront of the photography evolution to include the Olympus’ EM1 and Sony’s recently announced A7 and A7R full frame mirror less models. The GH3 is a pleasure to carry and the optional battery grip balances the camera well when using longer telephoto lenses. The video quality is great and exceeds my needs and expectations. I‘m now a fan of mirror-less cameras and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all camera brands.

The GH3 is the perfect solution for me in some ways, but not so perfect in others. Do I regret my decision to sell my Nikon gear for the new Panasonic micro 4/3 system, well… hell yeah and no. As much as I loved my Nikon and premium lenses, it was the Panasonic GH3 that got me shooting again. Needless to say, I’ve got my eye on the soon to be announced Nikon DF

Drew83076

 Drew83076's gear list:Drew83076's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +11 more
Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7R
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