I had almost gave up on using this camera for photography

Started 3 months ago | User reviews thread
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Michael Ma
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I had almost gave up on using this camera for photography
3 months ago

Being a loyal Canon user, and doing more videography than photography these days, and not being able to afford the 5D3, I bought the GH3 for videography, but also read comments how it is sufficient for photography.

For videography, it definitely shines. For photos though, it was a very disappointing experience. Working with Adobe Camera Raw, the colors on people's faces seemed pasty, saturated, and unnatural. The midtones had no range.

I later discovered that the GH3's raw files, although compatible with ACR, are compatible only by technical definition. Sure the MFT raw files know how to deal with distortion automatically, but that's a very small piece of what's required for it to fully work in ACR. It doesn't have any lens profiles to deal with vignetting. But that's only a minor problem. The major problem is the color interpretation. It hasn't been color calibrated. In short, the colors are off. Some people will be fine with that, but for trying to do something like portraits, it is unacceptable.

For people doing abstract work, the GH3 produces abstract tones for people might a certain je ne se quois that differs from what they get from a Canon or Nikon. However, I like to start off as accurately as possible, then work from there.

What has saved this camera is that I bought a plugin that lets me force other camera profiles in Adobe Camera Raw that is specifically calibrated to the GH3. And I discovered that if I force the 5D3 Neutral/Natural profile on my GH3 raw file and bump up the exposure by 1/3 stop, it is absolutely perfect.  It has since become the first step in my workflow.

The GH3 is very capable for photography, but Panasonic needs to get on the phone with Adobe and work on an agreement to make camera profiles for the GH3.  Until then I share this information for people who are dissatisfied with the results they are getting with the GH3.

 Michael Ma's gear list:Michael Ma's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS
Michael Ma's score
4.0
Average community score
4.5
bad for good for
Kids / pets
great
Action / sports
great
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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