Panasonic GH3 review published

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions
exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: About the EVF.
In reply to tgutgu, Apr 16, 2013

tgutgu wrote:

Aleo Veuliah wrote:

I have used two GH3, one for a few hours, and other for a full day, they were different cameras, and I have not found any issues with the EVF.

Is it possible that some cameras have faulty EVF's and others not ?

Is not the EVF made by Epson ?


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If so, there must be a huge number of faulty GH3 samples, because I haven't found one single one, witch had a good finder with no issues.

or there is a one faulty user on a mission here... who refuses to take a single shot to illustrate what he sees (yet he has, allegedly, time to go and try 8 different cameras during 3 month)

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Anway you look at it
In reply to Jorginho, Apr 16, 2013

Jorginho wrote:

or through it. The EVF is a failure. You cannothave an EVF that causes a lot of people to have problems with it.

we can count 3-4 people (same ones) on dpreview... that is not a huge number of it.

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

Anders W wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

I'd rather they had licensed Canon's Electronic First Curtain Shutter patents and used that, but also needs the sensor designed to do it so non-trivial. (You have to be able to enable the rows at exactly the speed the second curtain will pass over them.)

Recent NEX models have an electronic first curtain too. Certainly valuable I would think but I don't think it's complicated. It's just a matter of making the sensor capable of resetting quickly enough, which it seems both Canon and Sony can do

and w/ this 16mp sensor being from Sony Semiconductor....

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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.

+1

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

exdeejjjaaaa 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.

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.

There's logic to your argument, but I'm not sure if it works that way in the real world.  I'd have to see some side-by-side tests between, e.g., the GH3 and OMD using the same lenses before I could conclude that this was true.  I have a GF-3, GH2, and GH3 and they are all affected by shutter shock to varying degrees.  I've not tested to see how they compare, but my subjective impression is that the GF-3 is the worst of the bunch.

IMO Panasonic *should* include a shutter shock setting like Olympus has done, because shutter shock does degrade Panasonic photos in some circumstances.  For that reason I use the GH3's electronic shutter when possible.

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sgoldswo
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Good review with one reservation
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,

Thanks for the review. I was particularly glad to see the serious treatment of the video capabilities of the camera which have been under-reported in other reviews.

I can't comment on the jpeg quality because I've never used the jpegs!

The only thing I would actively disagree with is the EVF aspect, where my model seems bright and clear to me. In terms of blurring when the EVF is off centre (or even not being representative of the final image)  it's certainly no worse than the NEX-7 or X-E1 EVFs which are based on similar technology.

Best

Simon

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

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

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)

No. Shutter shock is well-known to cause blur even with cameras where the sensor is fixed to the body, e.g., the GH2

http://cameraergonomics.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/micro-four-thirds-shutter-shake.html

... IBIS can handle low freq hands movements, not shutter shock vibrations...

Correct, except that I am not sure that shutter shock takes the form of a vibration or that this vibration is the culprit. We might as well be talking about a single shock or impact.

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

There is no mirror, no. But instead there is something else that SLRs don't have: A dual shutter cycle. The shutter has to close before it opens for exposure and the shock caused by closing it is perfectly analogous to shock caused by the mirror flap on an SLR.

In line with what amtberg said here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51298312

I think Oly included the antishock setting because, unlike Panasonic, they were smart enough to realize that the first phase of shutter action (shutter closing prior to exposure) might cause blur for exactly the same reason as the mirror flap on SLRs, and that it would be a good idea to give users a way to avoid that impact, just as SLR makers have with regard to the mirror flap.

As a nice bonus, the anti-shock setting additionally gives you time-lapse functionality.

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).

The mere fact that Olympus gave users the option of anti-shock delay tells me that, unlike Panasonic, they were smart enough to recognize the need for it.

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

No that's not the whole point. As I pointed out above, we agree that IBIS does not successfully counteract the shutter shock. That, however, does not make the situation any worse than it would be on a body without IBIS.

What you are implicitly arguing all the time is something else, i.e., that IBIS exacerbates the shock and that the shock wouldn't cause any blur unless the body had IBIS.

So I ask again: What evidence can you point to in support of that particular hypothesis. And by evidence I mean systematic tests, not speculations about manufacturer doings or sayings. We know from prior discussions about sensor tech how treacherous that can be, don't we?

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

See my question above.

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

amtberg wrote:

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.

Thanks. That's what I thought but as usual, it's nice to have the facts documented.

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tt321
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to Anders W, Apr 16, 2013

Anders W wrote:

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.

The patent reads to me like they are mainly claiming the fundamental concept, i.e. syncing the electronic reset scanning to the mechanical shutter coming behind to replace the mechanical first shutter, so others may have trouble implementing the same effect with different reset mechanisms or any implementation differences?

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

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Dr_Jon wrote:

I'd rather they had licensed Canon's Electronic First Curtain Shutter patents and used that, but also needs the sensor designed to do it so non-trivial. (You have to be able to enable the rows at exactly the speed the second curtain will pass over them.)

Recent NEX models have an electronic first curtain too. Certainly valuable I would think but I don't think it's complicated. It's just a matter of making the sensor capable of resetting quickly enough, which it seems both Canon and Sony can do

and w/ this 16mp sensor being from Sony Semiconductor....

they should have asked Sony to include an electronic first curtain.

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

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????

As I recall the reviews were two years apart, and perhaps the reviewers were different. I owned the GH2 and find my GH3 ergonomics far superior -- but the reasons may be subjective:

  • I have rather large hands, even though I am small -- long fingers -- and the GH2 grip was just too small.
  • The base of my thumb tended to make unexpected WB button touches on the GH2, so I missed shots.

Similarly, the GH3 review really lauds its video capabilities -- but the GH2 and GH3 "bars" are exactly the same. Clearly a difference in reviewers and standards (and we know the video reviewer was different for the GH3)

I find it interesting, too, that the GX1 scores better than the GH3 "Low light / high ISO performance" category . I have a GH3 and a GX1 (paid $1000 less for the GX1), a fine camera and my short-trip carry-on body). My experience is that my GH3 does somewhat better at ISO 3200 and 6400 than my GX1. But there was roughly a year between those reviews. The GX1 also scores a tad higher than the GH3 in "Ergonomics & handling". That is truly mind boggling, at least in my opinion. Etc. Etc.

I think numerical comparisons of reviews separated by as long as even six months can be misleading because standards, at least subjective ones, do change

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

I assume the second curtain on a GH3 travels at 1.8us/row (or probably a bit faster), so you'd need the timing done in hardware not by a processor (I don't think you could just bodge it on).

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

tgutgu wrote:

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.

Everyone has their opinion but for my hands the GH3 is light years better ergonomically!! and then add the grip and the thing practically molds to my hand!! And to say it has an "inferior view finder" is just false,  I have used both and can say that the GH3 is better IMO and I can point to several other reviews that praise the EVF as a step up from the GH2's so I am very confused?

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Anders W
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Re: Panasonic GH3 review
In reply to tt321, Apr 16, 2013

tt321 wrote:

Anders W wrote:

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.

The patent reads to me like they are mainly claiming the fundamental concept, i.e. syncing the electronic reset scanning to the mechanical shutter coming behind to replace the mechanical first shutter, so others may have trouble implementing the same effect with different reset mechanisms or any implementation differences?

I do not know enough about patent law to really tell. But one complication I overlooked is that the syncing should be done slightly differently depending on the lens used. The fact that the technology (and theory) to do this is included might conceivably make the whole idea easier to patent.

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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 assume the second curtain on a GH3 travels at 1.8us/row (or probably a bit faster), so you'd need the timing done in hardware not by a processor (I don't think you could just bodge it on).

Not sure how you are reasoning here. Could you please elaborate a bit.

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PC Wheeler
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Re: Fully agree, a very good review to help people decide.
In reply to Paul De Bra, Apr 16, 2013

Paul De Bra wrote:

it is now clear that when you want the best video with still good stills you should get the GH3 and when you want the best stills camera with still good video you should get the E-M5.

Unless you: a) Really dislike the handling of the E-M5 with long lenses; or b) Are baffled by Oly's approach to menus. Alas, I love the OM-D's jpegs but cannot abide a) and b). So I have the GH3 and really like it. Maybe someday I'll shoot videos

Heck, if it weren't for often using longer lenses like the 14-140 and the 100-300 (even the 35-100) my GX1 would probably do good enough for my still shooting. It is a fine digicam (and a bargain recently), but using long lenses on it is awkward, about like using the OM-D with such lenses sans the add-on handgrip.

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

PC Wheeler 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????

As I recall the reviews were two years apart, and perhaps the reviewers were different. I owned the GH2 and find my GH3 ergonomics far superior -- but the reasons may be subjective:

  • I have rather large hands, even though I am small -- long fingers -- and the GH2 grip was just too small.
  • The base of my thumb tended to make unexpected WB button touches on the GH2, so I missed shots.

Similarly, the GH3 review really lauds its video capabilities -- but the GH2 and GH3 "bars" are exactly the same. Clearly a difference in reviewers and standards (and we know the video reviewer was different for the GH3)

I find it interesting, too, that the GX1 scores better than the GH3 "Low light / high ISO performance" category . I have a GH3 and a GX1 (paid $1000 less for the GX1), a fine camera and my short-trip carry-on body). My experience is that my GH3 does somewhat better at ISO 3200 and 6400 than my GX1. But there was roughly a year between those reviews. The GX1 also scores a tad higher than the GH3 in "Ergonomics & handling". That is truly mind boggling, at least in my opinion. Etc. Etc.

I think numerical comparisons of reviews separated by as long as even six months can be misleading because standards, at least subjective ones, do change

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Phil

Thank You Phil, finally someone seeing my point! I agree with you 100% I'm glad it got a Gold Award but these inconsistencies in the reviews really bug me, and this thing with the EVF I just dont understand! I hate seeing an awesome camera being bashed for things that I can't see. And yes I believe that these numeric ratings are more misleading than helpful.

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

Flash sync speed (if the curtain could move over the sensor reliably at 1/200 of a sec they would have specified that not 1/160) and the number of rows.

On the CPU side it's a pain getting a processor to address stuff (row resets) and do reliable and consistent timing at those speeds (although I know no details of the working of the Venus engine). Interrupts can be a tricky and dedicating a CPU to nothing else is unlikely to be an option when something exciting like taking a photo is happening (especially in an existing design). You ideally want it done on-sensor or at least having a dedicated timer in the CPU connected up to some circuitry on the sensor to make it easier. IMHO of course.

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

rrr_hhh wrote:

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 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.

Yes you can do that, but in situation where the sun is coming from the side, you will get stray light on he VF. By contrast I got the bigger eyecup for the E-M5 and the image I see in the VF is perfect and no sidelights can disturb me.

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rrr_hhh

Well, that's pretty easy with the tiny little 4/3 image apparent size in the OM-D!

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-gh3/4

A month or so ago I switched cameras with an OM-D shooter and was surprised with the size difference - reminding me of my Oly E-30's view.

PB

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

gregs4163 wrote:

.. and this thing with the EVF I just dont understand! I hate seeing an awesome camera being bashed for things that I can't see. And yes I believe that these numeric ratings are more misleading than helpful.

Greg, I didn't mention the EVF because I did so up-thread -- but I really like the GH3 EVF even though I'm one of those unfortunates who wears glasses. If I try hard I can make it inferior, but why should I bother?  Guess I'm just "unencumbered by reality" (my description of the financial acumen of a girlfriend of long ago!)

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Phil

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