Panasonic GH3 review published

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions
PhotoKhan
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Re: Image quality / On the other way.
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Apr 16, 2013

Aleo Veuliah wrote:

PhotoKhan wrote:

Mushy definition. Mute and/or odd colors. Crunched contrast.

That's what I see in the samples gallery...Didn't know this could be done at this time in digital camera development history.

PK

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From the review.


Resolution

Neither Adobe Camera Raw nor Silkypix (at its default settings) quite match the camera's JPEG output in terms of fine detail rendering. Impressively, the GH3 shows this detail without its sharpening going too far and showing obvious halos.


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Unfortunately for the camera or the reviewer (...or both...) the review also includes a gallery.

What I see in my calibrated Eizo CG243W from the samples available in that gallery is what I reported above.

PK

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Val030456
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Re: Time Lag & Clipping with Video
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Apr 16, 2013

Stephen McDonald wrote:

I was surprised to see so much time lag (1 sec.) in video start-up and clipping of 1.5 to 2-sec. off the end of each shot. ... You could learn to change your shooting habits to accommodate this, but it would be annoying.

Well, if you have ever worked with tape camcorders, you must have such habits:) The time lag really exist on GH3, but it's essentially shorter than the same on GH2.

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sea_dragon
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Re: ...and OK for some who wear glasses...
In reply to Just Having Fun, Apr 16, 2013

Just Having Fun wrote:

I wear glasses, reading glasses.   Any camera with a diopter on the VF works for me.

I was confused at first when people started claiming the GH3 VF does not work well for those who wear glasses because I fond no issues with mine.

So let's just say that anyone who chooses to wear glasses and not use the diopter may have issues.

Unfortunately, no amount of diopter adjustment improves the optical distortion on the GH3s I've looked at, including my own.

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Anders W
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Dr_Jon, Apr 16, 2013

Dr_Jon wrote:

Just an assumption based on Canon having several relevant patents, although Sony might have got round them in some way but I think it would be tricky as it's a simple theory. No great insight.

As I pointed out, it's just a matter of how quickly the sensor can be reset. Presumably, Canon can't patent the reset speed itself, just a particular way of accomplishing it. If Sony has accomplished the same by some other means, they wouldn't have to license it.

I am not even sure Canon was first in using an electronic first curtain (in cameras with a mechanical shutter). Do you have any information about this? I just remember reading about the fact that recent Canons and recent NEX models both have it.

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Pixnat2
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Nice review, Gold Award, kudos to Panasonic!
In reply to Richard Butler, Apr 16, 2013

Nice and complete review, thank you DPreview team!

The GH3 gets a Gold Award, which is the highest DPR distinction. Kudos to Panasonic to produce such a great camera that can takes both fantastic stills and videos.

Rejoice, GH3 users, and go taking pictures that do justice to this marvellous camera!

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Nice review, Gold Award, kudos to Panasonic!
In reply to Pixnat2, Apr 16, 2013

Pixnat2 wrote:

Nice and complete review, thank you DPreview team!

The GH3 gets a Gold Award, which is the highest DPR distinction. Kudos to Panasonic to produce such a great camera that can takes both fantastic stills and videos.

Rejoice, GH3 users, and go taking pictures that do justice to this marvellous camera!

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Yes that is the most important with any camera, taking pictures.


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God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.
Aleo Photo Site

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gregs4163
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Re: About the EVF.
In reply to rrr_hhh, Apr 16, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

gregs4163 wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

gregs4163 wrote:

I agree with you 100% I can't for the life of me see any of the problems they are talking about? color or focus mine seems to be perfectly fine in my eyes???? Another thing too is they seem to agree that the GH3 is a step up from the GH2 in image quality, ergonomics, video etc... the list goes on, yet they give it the same exact score (79%) as the GH2???? shouldn't it get points for moving forward and building on an already great camera!

My understanding is that cameras are scored based on current state of the art and technology. If scores were relative to older cameras, they would eventually end up over 100%.

This is common practice. IQ tests and college admission tests (SAT, ACT) are recalibrated every few years. If the same IQ scale was used that was used 50 years ago, the average IQ today would be about 120 instead of 100.

Then that makes no sense "current state of technology" what is your baseline? which camera do you compare it to? what makes any of the scores relative? if this is there rational then the numerical score is meaningless, you never shoot at a moving target because you never have a baseline to compare?

The numerical score isn't everything in a review. You have the comments and the comparator widget of the studio scene and you ave sample pictures which you could download. Would it make more sense to you if the GH3 got five points better than the GH2, but then three points less than the E-M5 which is on parr with it if not better.

BTW, the score corresponds quite well with what users are sharing here : many GH2 owners are reluctant to upgrade the GH3 or went over to the E-M5.

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rrr_hhh

You know that and I know that but most people view the the score as the final culmination of everything put together, and if it doesn't reflect what the rest of the review points to or a base comparison to other cameras then it shouldn't be used at all because it has no worth. I think their old review stile was better where you would read the review and then they would conclude with a recommendation instead of this arbitrary score.

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Pixnat2
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Re: Nice review, Gold Award, kudos to Panasonic!
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Apr 16, 2013

Aleo Veuliah wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

Nice and complete review, thank you DPreview team!

The GH3 gets a Gold Award, which is the highest DPR distinction. Kudos to Panasonic to produce such a great camera that can takes both fantastic stills and videos.

Rejoice, GH3 users, and go taking pictures that do justice to this marvellous camera!

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Yes that is the most important with any camera, taking pictures.

Fully agree Aleo! But it seems that some people have forgotten what a camera is for

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Dr_Jon
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Anders W, Apr 16, 2013

I know it first appeared in the 40D and a quick search turned up this:
http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html

Here's a patent from 2008 (filed in May 2007):
http://www.patentstorm.us/applications/20080304820/description.html

40D review talking about it (from August 2007):
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E40D/E40DA.HTM
(Search for curtain)

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Alan_W1
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review published
In reply to Richard Butler, Apr 16, 2013

Good extensive review....thanks for that,

It sort of confirms my reluctant decision to "get off the fence", regarding this camera.....and remain with my gh2 for video.

Oh well....maybe the next incarnation will tempt me away from my gh2 and dslr {although I am running out of years now}.

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RicksAstro
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Anders W, Apr 16, 2013

Anders W wrote:

As I pointed out, it's just a matter of how quickly the sensor can be reset. Presumably, Canon can't patent the reset speed itself, just a particular way of accomplishing it. If Sony has accomplished the same by some other means, they wouldn't have to license it.

I thought it wasn't just how fast it can be reset, but a matter of syncing the resetting of each row with the mechanical shutter (same speed and direction) so no mechanical shutter is needed.    That may be patentable.

I suppose speed is still the limiting factor since the GH3's electronic shutter's speed is only 0.1s.

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Anders W
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Dr_Jon, Apr 16, 2013

Dr_Jon wrote:

I know it first appeared in the 40D and a quick search turned up this:
http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html

Here's a patent from 2008 (filed in May 2007):
http://www.patentstorm.us/applications/20080304820/description.html

40D review talking about it (from August 2007):
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E40D/E40DA.HTM
(Search for curtain)

Thanks. That's well before the Sony's that have it. If I recall correctly, it first appeared on one of the NEXs, but I am not sure which.

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Anders W
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to RicksAstro, Apr 16, 2013

RicksAstro wrote:

Anders W wrote:

As I pointed out, it's just a matter of how quickly the sensor can be reset. Presumably, Canon can't patent the reset speed itself, just a particular way of accomplishing it. If Sony has accomplished the same by some other means, they wouldn't have to license it.

I thought it wasn't just how fast it can be reset, but a matter of syncing the resetting of each row with the mechanical shutter (same speed and direction) so no mechanical shutter is needed.    That may be patentable.

I doubt that this makes a difference with regard to patentability. If you have a reset mechanism, no matter which, it should be addressable by row (if the sensor is read by row). And if it is addressable by row, it is of course a simple matter to sync it with the shutter curtain.

I suppose speed is still the limiting factor since the GH3's electronic shutter's speed is only 0.1s.

Yes, reset speed is surely the limiting factor. The electronic shutter on the G5 and GH3 takes 0.1s to finish the entire sensor because the read-out speed is limited. In all likelihood, the sensor in these cameras can be reset (i.e., the wells emptied without being read or read in a sloppy fashion with more noise or read only partially) at a faster pace than that. How could we otherwise have EVF/LCD and AF rates far faster than 10 Hz? But presumably, the process is not yet fast enough for an electronic first curtain.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review published
In reply to Richard Butler, Apr 16, 2013

R Butler wrote:

I know it's taken a while (even after we got a camera to work on), but our GH3 review is finally ready.

We worked with Andrew Reid at EOSHD to make sure we really did justice to the camera's video capabilities, so we hope you find something useful or interesting in there:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 review

Richard - dpreview.com

Richard,

It would be helpful if DPR could make it clear how the dimensions coincide with the weightings.  For example, you have a movie/video dimension but this is not a separate category in your weightings pie chart.  Thus, we have no idea if it is considered part of "features" or "other" or something else.

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4416254604/camera-scores-ratings-explained

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amtberg
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Anders W, Apr 16, 2013

Anders W wrote:

amtberg wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Alexis D wrote:

and the best IBIS around (stabilsing any lens that is mounted on it)

and shutter shock because of that

You got that wrong. Shutters cause shutter shock. Stabilization systems don't.

no, my friend... IBIS can't handle shutter shock caused by shutter... that's why GH3 does not have it... sensor is one mass w/ body.

Cameras without IBIS, including the GH3, suffer from shutter shock, too.  I wish Panny would incorporate Oly's anti-shock controls.  Electronic shutter is the ultimate solution, but it isn't always useable.

I think we are largely in agreement here. I think pretty much all MFT bodies (and other cameras with a mechanical shutter too) suffer from shutter shock to at least some degree if you look at the matter with sufficient care and precision. Different users may see the problem more or less clearly depending on how carefully they have looked for it and how picky they are. On top of that, there may well be slight variations from one copy of a body to another.

When talking about the GH3 in this regard, is what you say based on your own experiences with the camera (I know you have one)? If so, I'd be interested in hearing more. And if you have links to other sources of information, I'd be interested in those too. I am asking just out of curiousity. As you might be aware, I have taken a certain interest in the shutter-shock issue due to my own experiences with the E-M5 and the discussions about the shutter-shock problems with that camera here.

Yes, I've done a few tripod tests at various shutter speeds with the GH3, lenses with and w/o IS, and with and w/o electronic shutter.  It was clear from my tests that the GH3 suffers from shutter shock at the usual speeds, as the electronic shutter pics are always slightly sharper when viewed at 100% or above.

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tgutgu
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Re: About the EVF.
In reply to rrr_hhh, Apr 16, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

Aleo Veuliah wrote:

gregs4163 wrote:

Actually I went back and looked at the final scores for both the GH2 & GH3 and under the Ergonomics & Handling category they scored the GH2 higher????? doesn't that contradict what they were saying throughout the review????

Yes a bit, the GH3 is larger but ergonomics are better.

the VF is probably what brings the number of point down : it is a very important aspect of ergonomics which disn't limited to the number of buttons and the way it feels in your hands.

I think that he scoring is right : the E-M5 is just a ad better camera with two ground breaking features, the new sensor and the fabulous IBIS.

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rrr_hhh

Is the ergonomics of the GH3, a small system camera really that better? I was impressed with the G1 and GH2 ergonomics, because I could do the photographic operations mostly with my right hand while framing through the view finder. The GH3 layout is too big for that already. And the three buttons near the shutter release are as bad positioned (finger acrobatics) as the infamous play and Fn1 buttons of the E-M5. The back wheel of the GH3 isn't that comfortable to use either and some of the rear buttons interfere with the display frame.

So, just because it is bigger, the GH3 isn't more ergonomic. The E-M5 and the GH3 both have its quibbles. However, as you said, the GH3 has this inferior view finder, does not have live hightlight/shadow markings (as far as I know), and no IBIS. Thus, I would regard the ergonomics / usability of the E-M5 significantly higher.

This leaves video as the main point for the GH3, irrelevant for a vast number of stills photographers.

The problem with Panasonic is that they often replace successful designs, with completely new ones, which are not a substitute of the predecessor for many customers.

I am not saying that Olympus was better with its PEN only strategy before the OM-D.

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Thomas

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Anders W, Apr 16, 2013

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Alexis D wrote:

and the best IBIS around (stabilsing any lens that is mounted on it)

and shutter shock because of that

You got that wrong. Shutters cause shutter shock. Stabilization systems don't.

no, my friend... IBIS can't handle shutter shock caused by shutter... that's why GH3 does not have it... sensor is one mass w/ body.

If you'd remember earlier discussions between us about this matter, you'd know that there is little in the way of evidence to support this theory of yours.

Does the E-M5 IBIS cause shutter shock? Clearly not. The shutter causes it.\

yes of course - at no point I was stating that IBIS is the source of shock, but it is the reason why shutter shock effect is in place (because Olympus IBIS by design does not make sensor one mass w/ a body + body is light itself)... IBIS can handle low freq hands movements, not shutter shock vibrations... why do you think Olympus included an antishock delay options in its firmware... there is no mirror... there is only shutter and Olympus has to do this because their IBIS was making the effect to pronounced at certain exposure durations

Does the E-M5 IBIS significantly exacerbate the shock caused by the shutter? Not that I know. What evidence for that proposition would you point to?

the mere fact that Olympus was forced to include a special antishock delay in EM5 firmware for users to use is a profound acknowledgment from a manufacturer (and as you perfectly know they don't do this easily).

Does the E-M5 IBIS counteract the shutter shock? Regrettably not.

true, that was the whole point - shutter shock exists because of IBIS... remove IBIS, make a body w/ a proper grip and weight and you have no such pronounced effects @ the same exposure times... that is the price you pay for IBIS

Unfortunately, this makes the E-M5 IBIS close to useless (in my personal experience) with certain lenses at certain shutter speeds.

true

But IBIS doesn't make things worse than they would otherwise have been

it does, exactly because sensor is not one mass w/ a body

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to amtberg, Apr 16, 2013

amtberg wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Alexis D wrote:

and the best IBIS around (stabilsing any lens that is mounted on it)

and shutter shock because of that

You got that wrong. Shutters cause shutter shock. Stabilization systems don't.

no, my friend... IBIS can't handle shutter shock caused by shutter... that's why GH3 does not have it... sensor is one mass w/ body.

Cameras without IBIS, including the GH3, suffer from shutter shock, too.  I wish Panny would incorporate Oly's anti-shock controls.  Electronic shutter is the ultimate solution, but it isn't always useable.

true, but the effect is much less because of a greater mass and sensor fixed to the body and does not require a special antishock delay.

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review published
In reply to Richard Butler, Apr 16, 2013

R Butler wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

tgutgu wrote:

Thanks for the good review. You have confirmed my concerns about the view finder, which is indeed disappointing for a flagship camera.

it does not confirm you allegations... it just says that visually impaired people like you (those who need to wear glasses ) do not see all the image sharp - "you'll rarely see the whole screen as sharp if you wear glasses"... you were alleging that everybody doesn't... just compare what is written in review w/ your previous musings.

So here is what is actually written in the review for comparison with what you say is written (and not):

However, we found the viewfinder optics to be disappointing - it's difficult to ever see the whole panel

indeed, because Butler wears glasses... the issue is his eyesight, for people w/ 20/20 there is no problem.

I can't believe I didn't ask people in the office who don't wear glasses to check whether they still had problems.

but did they adjust the diopter (which I doubt because otherwise you'd mention that) ? or may be you can illustrate that w/ a picture ? did you really see something like this in GH3 EVF as somebody claims ?

Oh, hang on, I did. Maybe that's what gave me confidence to state that it is a problem (and a bigger one for glasses wearers).

Richard - dpreview.com

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review published
In reply to Pete Berry, Apr 16, 2013

Pete Berry wrote:

R Butler wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

tgutgu wrote:

Thanks for the good review. You have confirmed my concerns about the view finder, which is indeed disappointing for a flagship camera.

it does not confirm you allegations... it just says that visually impaired people like you (those who need to wear glasses ) do not see all the image sharp - "you'll rarely see the whole screen as sharp if you wear glasses"... you were alleging that everybody doesn't... just compare what is written in review w/ your previous musings.

So here is what is actually written in the review for comparison with what you say is written (and not):

However, we found the viewfinder optics to be disappointing - it's difficult to ever see the whole panel

indeed, because Butler wears glasses... the issue is his eyesight, for people w/ 20/20 there is no problem.

I can't believe I didn't ask people in the office who don't wear glasses to check whether they still had problems.

Oh, hang on, I did. Maybe that's what gave me confidence to state that it is a problem (and a bigger one for glasses wearers).

Richard - dpreview.com

As a fellow glasses wearer who found my EVF unsmeared but restricted in view of 4:3 corners

and as a fellow no glasses wearer I am surprised because I can see a lot of area around the full EVF LCD itself... I can see beyond pictograms displayed in all 4 corners of EVF LCD - but then I keep the camera as it should be kept - eye to EVF (not at a distance) and I look straight into EVF (not at an angle)...

and 16:9 edges (as well as disappointingly smaller and less sharp than my GH2's 4:3 view), I simply removed the rubber/plastic EVF surround and got a significantly better view - without any eyeglass damage so far.

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