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Panasonic UK launches a 'Try Before You Buy' service for DMC-GH3

By dpreview staff on Feb 14, 2013 at 20:02 GMT

Panasonic UK has announced a 'Try Before You Buy' service for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds camera allowing customers to borrow it as a kit along with the 12-35mm for 48 hours. This offer is available across a number of UK retailers with no obligation to purchase. The company says the scheme lets customers 'road test' the camera before committing to such a big purchase.


Press Release:

Panasonic Offers a ‘Try Before You Buy’ Service for the LUMIX DMC-GH3

Continuing to push the boundaries, Panasonic is pleased to offer a ‘Try Before You Buy’ service for the multiple award winning LUMIX DMC-GH3 with 12-35mm lens. This ingenious service allows customers to borrow the GH3 kit for 48 hours (excluding delivery and collection time) from a number of retailers with no obligation to purchase. A real plus for Panasonic customers, this opportunity allows them to explore and try the camera in their own setting before deciding to purchase.

Barney Sykes, Lumix G Camera Product & Marketing Manager says "The GH3 is by far the most advanced system camera we have ever launched and we recognise customers may want to road test this product before committing to such as high value purchase, therefore we are delighted to be able to offer this scheme to our key retail partners to help increase their sales opportunities"

The ‘Try Before You Buy’ service, new this month, has been extremely well received and has now been extended to many other Panasonic stockists who also wish to offer this service to customers.

  • Annings, Ilkley, Yorkshire
  • Bradford CE
  • Cambrian
  • Camerabox Kettering
  • Cameraland / Stanbrook Cardiff
  • Camera Solutions
  • Carmarthen Camera Centre, Camarthan
  • Castle Cameras Bournemouth
  • Chas Eagles
  • Chas Norman Cameras Sevenoaks
  • Chris Goodhead
  • Clifton Cameras Dursley
  • Comleys
  • Frank Wilkinsons
  • Harrison Cameras
  • Mathers
  • Mifsuds Brixham
  • Park Cameras
  • Peter Rogers
  • Photo Express
  • Photosound Vantage, Bishops Stortford
  • Richards (Bass & Bligh)
  • S R S Microsystems Ltd Watford
  • T4 Cameras Swindon
  • Williams
  • York Camera Mart
  • Conns Camera, Ireland
  • Bermingham Camera, Ireland

Customers wishing to take part in the ‘Try Before You Buy’ service should please contact their preferred retailer directly who will arrange the loan and delivery details *1 

*1 Full terms and conditions can be found at the participating retailers 
192
I own it
52
I want it
16
I had it
Discuss in the forums
240
I own it
60
I want it
17
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 147
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Feb 19, 2013)

Excellent Idea!

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 18, 2013)

Interesting to see for some it's too big for others too small.

Looks like we have reached a point where it's obvious
manufacturers should offer different grip sizes,
or include them in the package or make it adjustable.

A modular camera will be nice too: exchangeable
bodies, sensors, stabilisers, processors, lens mounts, lenses,
displays, viewfinders, batteries, flashes and cards,
connectors, wireless, bluetooth and GPS modules, software.
Just like desktop computers today, but portable now.

Would make it easy to switch to infrared for a night, for example.
Or for optimising price, quality, size, weight and look
to our evolving possibilities, needs and tastes.
Also good for repairs and the environment.

0 upvotes
revio
By revio (Feb 19, 2013)

And exactly what has those remarks to do with Panasonic´s lending program of a certain camera, the DMC-GH3???

0 upvotes
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (Feb 18, 2013)

So Panasonic realized that purposefully building a large camera for the m43 format is stupid, when the whole purpose of m43 was to make smaller cameras with smaller lenses. On the wrong assumption that people think "larger is better" in the year 2013...

Now they want you to try the camera, to see that it's good. I'm sure it's great but almost any DSLR is good, but this is not what people wanted. They wanted m43 because they wanted smaller cameras.

What they should really do is to quickly build a GH5 that is as small as possible (maybe as small or even smaller than the GH2) while having all the internals, features and quality of the GH3.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 18, 2013)

This camera might be the right size to use with the 35-100mm lens.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 18, 2013)

they have a strategy.

they want to cheat the users that their half-half-size sensor camera is as good as others, and their small-small aperture lenses are as good as others of the same f-number (but can do only 1/4 of the work).

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Feb 20, 2013)

small sensors have their own advantages .. i am not worried for 4/3 sensor size. IQ wise its good enough for my needs .. gh3 size is still very usable and feel good in small hands .. its still smaller than nikon d90/d7000. probably thats what pany is trying to prove, with this promotion. my disappointment is not of camera size or sensor size .. but the fact that pany dropped a very good feature (multi-aspect) to support the great sony sensor. I hope they will put this feature back on their excellent gh series soon!

0 upvotes
Marko Laurits
By Marko Laurits (Feb 25, 2013)

As I understand, GH3 is better video camera than most DSLRs
http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Panasonic-Lumix-GH3-Digital-Camera-Review.htm

0 upvotes
RogerCooke
By RogerCooke (Feb 17, 2013)

Its so easy to return items bought from Amazon that the practice is effectively already there.

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 18, 2013)

Amazon will permanently block you if you have around 10% returns.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/forum/cd/discussion.html?cdForum=Fx20DX5GEB7TUX8&cdThread=Tx28SRJZ47K2W24

1 upvote
RogerCooke
By RogerCooke (Feb 19, 2013)

thanks for the thread, good to know

0 upvotes
photorudhra
By photorudhra (Feb 17, 2013)

These offers must be made available on Nikon and Canon , would make life much easier :)

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

it's user's own fault not comparing before buying. and if one does want to compare, little effort is needed compared with the money to built a system.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Feb 16, 2013)

Nothing like having a go yourself as reviews can only give you an idea of what compromises ownership might inevitably entail.

If only my local shop could lend me a 6D and a D600 for the weekend, I could finally settle my own debate about which new camera (or not) to buy. But what if I get my new FF shots next to my DX ones and don't think it's a good enough Improvement? This scheme could backfire.....

1 upvote
razorfish
By razorfish (Feb 16, 2013)

Maybe sales are not what they expected, but the camera itself is fantastic. I was never in doubt, and got it the moment is became available. Fully professional m43 is something I've wanted for years. Compared to professional dslr's, the GH3 is tiny and lenses even more so. The GH3 is for people who think the 5d, a99 and accompanying lenses are too large.

6 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Feb 16, 2013)

"The GH3 is for people who think the 5d, a99 and accompanying lenses are too large." - And the picture quality too good.

3 upvotes
razorfish
By razorfish (Feb 16, 2013)

Well, the picture quality isn't that much better. Of course there are some advantages to a larger sensor, and each user must decide whether those advantages outweigh the size and weight penalties.

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

there are not much advantages using a larger sensor. just think the God made us with only two small sensors and they work quite well.

it's the lenses that make difference. that most if not all of 4/3" lenses got very small apertures and thus are optically challenged to collect enough light to produce a high quality image.

look at nocturnal animals, they all chose large aperture lenses over large format sensors. actually the sensor size is irrelevant at a certain aperture.

but if you want a lightweight system, there is no way but to choose small apertures = lower image quality (SNR). with one stop smaller aperture, one stop lower quality of image, the glasses fall half-price, an extra bonus of the lightweight system.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Feb 17, 2013)

The 6D and D600 cost twice as much as the GH3, but it's unlikely they are twice better in image quality.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

> unlikely they are twice better in image quality.

definitely not.

but they are four times as better at a certain f-number.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 18, 2013)

ManuelVilardeMacedo they might cost twice as much where you live but they are nowhere near as twice as much in the UK. An example:

£1450 D600 body
£1199 GH3 body

Nikon D600 Digital SLR with 24-85mm Lens £1823
Panasonic GH3 Black Digital Camera with 12-35mm £1979

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Feb 18, 2013)

And don't forget the larger viewfinder which makes picture taking so much more pleasant.

1 upvote
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (Feb 19, 2013)

@Stu (and Hugo)

Between the D600 with the 24-85mm and the GH3 with the 12-35mm I'd chose the latter w/o hesitating.

The nikkor 24-85mm on full frame cameras has got very soft corners if not stopped down to (at least) f5.6 and a good amount of CA (even stopped down). Plus the GH3 makes better video than the D600.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
s.seng
By s.seng (Feb 16, 2013)

I just contacted T4 Camera Swindon and they said they never heard about this. They said I could try it in the shop only. Anyone here managed to borrow one? Is it a hoax promotion where no one can borrow i?. May be to contact Panasonic to verify the offer.

2 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Feb 16, 2013)

There's only one reason to do this: sales must be sucking.

3 upvotes
Zoltan Csuka
By Zoltan Csuka (Feb 16, 2013)

Just as expected when announced:
too expensive, too heavy, lacks multi aspect ratio sensor, lacks phase detect autofocus, very expensive f2.8 lenses.
There are just too many much more exciting products right now (NEX-6, new cheap full frame cams, rx1...)
GH3 has no buzz factor at all - it should have had at least a global shutter, instead you get a metal body as the "biggest" news after 2 years of development?
And now Panasonic must get creative to sell this thing...

2 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Feb 20, 2013)

i aggeee on most of your points Zoltan!

however the competition you mentioned lacks features and specs too.. rx1 is completely different market, and so are smaller FF cameras. i liked nikon 600d initially but then its famous bug made me very disappointed..

NEX6 is a great camera .. but again it will compete easily and will kill pany gx maybe .. but gh is .. aaa man .. come on! compare the two at camerlabs.com latest review and you will see what i mean!

0 upvotes
thygocanberra
By thygocanberra (Feb 16, 2013)

Of course Panasonic may be so confident that the camera is so good that almost everyone will hang on to it.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 16, 2013)

... and, in all the excitement, not even come back to pay for it.

1 upvote
georgehudetz
By georgehudetz (Feb 15, 2013)

It all depends on how good the out-of-the-box experience is. If you can pick up a GH-3 turn it on, and get pleasing shots right away, this should work great. But if it requires even a few tweaks before you get good jpegs, it could backfire.

0 upvotes
thygocanberra
By thygocanberra (Feb 15, 2013)

Wow - this generated a lot of comments!!

At first I thought - that would be nice (for me, nothing like this in Australia) but the implications are problematic.

A good start would be for stores to carry more cameras with charged batteries so you can actually get to do more than hold them. This is especially true for EVF cameras.

And I wish Panasonic would actually put some FZ200s in stores ...

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Feb 15, 2013)

why don't dpreview borrow it for two days and complete its review then :))

14 upvotes
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (Feb 15, 2013)

HAHAHA!!! yes.

4 upvotes
Adrian Harris
By Adrian Harris (Feb 18, 2013)

Brilliant Naveed, I think its disgusting how long DpReview take to finish a review. A few weeks I could understand, but 4 or 5 months?

- It always makes me think there must be something basically wrong with the camera, and I never buy until they do finish reviews.

I do hope they read your coment.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 15, 2013)

To be honest, I think they need to figure out how to stop prices from dropping so quickly. It's kind of scary plopping down $1300 for a camera that will be worth less than half in only 18-24 months. Plus then your are constantly competing with your own half-price previous versions.

Today at Adorama: GH3 $1300. GH2 $600. That's going to be a hard sell.

.

0 upvotes
chiumeister
By chiumeister (Feb 15, 2013)

That's about what happens to a new car.

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 15, 2013)

A used 2 year old car might be almost half the price, but not a new, never-driven 2011 model that is sitting unsold.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 16, 2013)

better the price drop instantly to 1/2 and move slowly from there to 1/3, like MSRP $1,299, MRSP (reference street price) $699 in their press release.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Feb 16, 2013)

The prices drop so quickly because a new model (claimed by the manufacturer to be better in all respects) is guaranteed to come out every two years. And worse, we've all learned to expect a superior in every way, new model every two years!

It isn't like the old days when your only chance of improved image quality was someone selling a new type of film, which really didn't happen often.

1 upvote
australopithecus
By australopithecus (Feb 15, 2013)

If it is made in China, as the G5 is, then they'd better extend the trial period to two months !

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 15, 2013)

Very bad idea. Well, maybe it will work in the UK. I was involved in some Leitz/Leica tryouts. People who were inclined to buy found reasons not to and the people who didn't want to spend the money, still didn't.

This was also tried with a "refurb" selling price, since after the trial, the items were no longer new. Still didn't work. But it did create a lot of used inventory.

3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 15, 2013)

True, but it would work if they were renting them out at say $5/day rate, that would cover depreciation, and cut off those who aren't really interested.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Feb 15, 2013)

This is actually a pretty good idea.

The same concept has been used for decades in the auto selling business. The salesmen call it "take home the puppy" because most times the customer ends up falling in love with the puppy, and wanting to keep it. And then it becomes an easy sale.

Someone at Panasonic is thinking creatively.

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 15, 2013)

It's actually a bad idea for the manufacturer. That only works with very desirable but expensive products to overcome customer reluctance spending money. Same goes for a test ride they offer you at a dealership, the desire to buy is a given, the hurdle is the price. Not so with the cameras, people testing them out aren't even sure they want them, and may end up being even even less sure after trying them. I haven't seen a camera yet, which wouldn't have been disappointing in some areas after trying, expectations are usually higher than reality. It will backfire, soon Panasonic finds out large % of returns and nukes the camera altogether.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 15, 2013)

@forpetessake And who's to say that the people trying won't be so blown away that they buy GH3 on the spot? I know tons of cinematographers on a budget who were huge fans of the GH2, and are dying to try this camera to see the improvements.

And why on earth would Panasonic "nuke this camera altogether"? It's the best performing camera Panasonic has ever produced and is going to be a big hit for them once it starts shipping more regularly and once all the on special GH2s sell out. This is an excellent program with very few downside AT ALL for Panasonic.

4 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 17, 2013)

marike6 it already is shipping regularly in the UK. You can buy it off the shelf today and that's the problem. It's not selling well hence Panasonic having to do this. Hard enough problem trying to get dealers to take it on. With a lens it is too close in price to the D600 and 6D and too large compared to the OMD EM-5. The market they have aimed it for is too small. In the UK I know cinematographers and here they are not dying to try it.

0 upvotes
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Feb 15, 2013)

Fantastic! Then customers will be able to experience the MAJOR key shortcomings of the GH3 first hand, in addition to testing the 12-35 for that annoying vibration phenomenon.
PANASONIC GH3 WISH LIST (Includes Gripes)
please add your new wishes and I shall update the original post.
__
FROM DVX USER.COM and MORE
1) Stop screen info from disappearing
2) Focus Peaking
3) Zebras
4) Improved Wifi video features (even just basic full control via wifi would be great)
5) pro picture profiles for video. Optimized for flattest reasonable 8 bit profile
6) Panasonic official bitrate improvement on All-I modes. HQ mode warning for certain cards. 150mb/s bitrate. Let the codec breath for pro users. Lots of warnings but make it standard.
7) A lock on the media card door
8) A lock of User Interface Buttons that are too closely situated near camera body grip points.
9) Elimination of micro shaking in the 12-35 f2.8 Lumix zoom even when IS is off

2 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 15, 2013)

LOL, what?

10) Its inability to make tea...

1 upvote
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Feb 15, 2013)

Either this will be enormously successful and (a) every other manufacturer will pile in with a similar scheme or (b)it will prove to be a short-lived PR wheeze that's nothing but a flash in the pan.
I'm betting on (b).

1 upvote
fmian
By fmian (Feb 15, 2013)

Does anyone know what kind of deposit is required? I would imagine it's at the full price of the camera in case the 'borrower' does not come back.
Why cannot one just find a retailer with a good return policy instead?
Paxtons in Sydney offers a 45 day return policy. No questions asked.
Surely 45 days is better than 48 hours?
Also, not sure about the UK, but in Australia it's within a consumers rights to return a product they are not satisfied with. I believe the allowed time is 1-2 weeks.
At least, that is the rules we abided by when I was working for HN.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 15, 2013)

a family member is required to remain in the store until you return the camera. you also have to prove that it's a family member that you actually care about.

10 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Feb 15, 2013)

Seriously, would you like to get "used" cameras (or whatever) most of the time because some wackos randomly gather (buy ?) stuff they can't afford but are fond of to try and play with ?

After 2 weeks of utilization a consumer good can hardly be called new anymore while 48h of careful handling hopefully doesn't do too much harm.

I personally though would prefer a return policy that immediately returns cash to the customer if the device is flawed from the very beginning. In most EU countries this is not possible. Once bought you have to live with it.

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Feb 15, 2013)

The problem with a "good return policy" is you end up creating hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of used cameras that you can't sell as new anymore. So they would have to be sold as open box items and discounted.

It really works out better for Panasonic to give each store a couple of loaners.... and if you want to buy the camera, then you return the loaner and get a brand new one. Then the loaner gets loaned out again.

When the dust settles you have fewer cameras you have to discount....

3 upvotes
David Rosser
By David Rosser (Feb 15, 2013)

In UK once you have examined the goods in the shop and decided to buy then once you have paid and walked out of the shop with the goods they are yours. There is no legal requirement on the shop to accept returns unless the goods are faulty or not as described at the time of sale (the salesman told you the goods were compatible with your old lenses but it was not for instance.). Of course some retailers will exchange goods but as I say there is no legal obligation.
The situation is different if you buy mail order or on-line etc. In this case distance selling regulations apply and you have a week to examine the goods and return if they don't want them. The thinking here is that you did not have the opportunity to examine the goods before ordering them
There has been mention in this thread of deposit, I imagine a credit card swipe will be required, return the camera in one piece and the swipe will be cancelled

0 upvotes
revio
By revio (Feb 19, 2013)

I think psychologically it´s much easier to loan something, even if you know very well its price if you like to follow up bying it, than buying it first then return it if not satisfied. It feels better to "just" loan it if you are not 99% sure you´ll like it, than do the outlay of money and then have to get back and try some explanation to "why you´d not keep it".

This psochological reason, I believe, is valid even though there surely are many "no questions asked" return policies around...even then, some will feel awkward coming back and having to "ask" for his/her money back.

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Feb 15, 2013)

This is what the average Amazon customer anyway does.
According to many posts @dpreview this is almost standard procedure in the US ... lol
But definitely a novelty in the EU ... err UK.

1 upvote
David Rosser
By David Rosser (Feb 16, 2013)

See my reply above. If you go into a shop you have every opportunity to handle the goods and question the seller. If you then decide to buy then once you leave the shop there is no legal obligation on the seller to refund or exchange except if the goods are faulty or not as described. The situation is quite different if you buy from Amazon, you have had no opportunity to examine the goods so distance selling regulations apply and you have a week to examine the goods and return if you don't want them.

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Feb 15, 2013)

This is a great feature.

Well done.

8 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (Feb 15, 2013)

Agreed. A great chance to try it out!

1 upvote
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (Feb 15, 2013)

For what it will do, the GH3 is worth full list if you are a serious videographer. If you also need great stills, it's worth more.

It is important to explain how this is a HYBRID camera. The term means "a blend of different media." Not even dxo understands that.

Those of us who use photography, video, audio, and computers to create content for training, advertising, and inspirational purposes will love this camera. It can handle all our image and video capture needs.

I can see having a complete m43 system based around a couple of these (for multi-camera video jobs), the 7-14mm, 12-35mm, and 35-100mm zooms, plus perhaps the 14-140 zoom for video, a 100-300 zoom for nature, sports, and wildlife, and a couple of fast primes for low light work.

I used Canon and Nikon gear from my teenage years thru adult life, and a pro career. I could use the GH3 for everything now. A kit weighs about 1/3 as much or less than the equivalent capability from Nikon or Canon, and costs about 40% less.

12 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

BurkPhoto

For what it will do, the GH3 is worth full list if you are a serious videographer.

No it's not. It's close to the Blackmagic m43 camera in price and the image quality is nowhere near as good. Noise level is much worse as well as dynamic range. Plus the Blackmagic is 2.5k. Even on standard HD resolution it's nowhere near as good. On top of all that Blackmagic throw in a full copy of DaVinci Resolve colour grading software that is worth $995.

0 upvotes
RFC1925
By RFC1925 (Feb 15, 2013)

It's not worth the 1.3k retail price because there is a camera that handles totally differently and costs almost twice as much?

Blackmagic is a revolutionary camera but you're not making a great counter argument here.

11 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

RFC1925 when you are looking at this price level the difference is relatively small for a video camera when you consider you need to spend 10k plus to get something better image quality than the Blackmagic. Plus there is the DaVinci software thrown in which you don't get with the GH-3.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Feb 15, 2013)

@ Stu 5 - And what sort of stills can you take with the BMCC? The BMCC is NOT a hybrid, which was Burkphoto's point. The BMCC is an amazing cinema camera for the money, no doubt about it. These two aren't really competing with one another... I will give you a clue: It's in the first 'C' of BMCC ;)

The GH3 makes for a far better run and gun camera that the BMCC, also doesn't need the same level of add-ons, memory, processing power, post production etc. Both brilliant cameras designed for different use cases.

And yes you can be 'serious about video' without making cinematic productions.

11 upvotes
Shirozina
By Shirozina (Feb 15, 2013)

I'll be buying a BMCC when they are available in M43 but until they are available to buy the GH3 is arguably the best Video camera in the price range + it does very good stills

3 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Feb 15, 2013)

"Wobblyvision"....

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 15, 2013)

if you want (or need) high quality video you should probably just buy a video camera. they can also take pictures these days.

i like the GH2, it shoots great video, but if I were to need to film very often I would get something that has power zoom and a different shape. and, before anyone says anything, the 14-42mm PZ lens only offers 3x magnification. dedicated video cameras can do a lot better.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

abortabort

BurkPhoto's first sentence was:

"For what it will do, the GH3 is worth full list if you are a serious videographer."

That was what I am revering to. A serious videographer will not consider the GH3 to be an option. If they are shooting stills as well fair enough then it is worth considering. But if you are shooting just video and you are serious then the Blackmagic is what you will be looking at. Infact it is what people are looking at. Towards the end of last year one single shop in London had over 240 Blackmagic cameras on order all with deposits paid from their new owners to be. Even a director of photographer friend of mine has a deposit paid. The GH3 if you are serious about video only does not even come onto the radar of DOPs and filmmakers. People who want a DSLR shaped camera like the GH3 are now looking at the new Canon's. People serious about video and wanting a large sensor camera are all talking about the Blackmagic and the new Canon.

0 upvotes
SteveV4D
By SteveV4D (Feb 15, 2013)

Well I'm serious into Video as I have a small video production company and contrary to your views I own a GH3. The BlackMagic produces superb video from what I've seen but the inability to change the battery makes it useless for me. Not to mention the longer post processing would play havoc with my deadlines. For the majority of use I need 5-6 hours recording time with no down time in between. Ideally if I had the money I would go for the C300. However the GH3 has 1 big advantage in that the m43 lens are much smaller and lighter than Canon equivalent and I really like the quality of the m43 lens. I've met some with a Blackmagic on order since last year - they admit they don't shoot much video but it's the latest gimmick they have to have. Now I'm not knocking the Blackmagic - I may well own one before the year is out, but image quality isn't the only issue for me. GH3 balances between good image quality and ease of use; others will disagree, but to each their own I say.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Feb 15, 2013)

PANASONIC GH3 WISH LIST (Includes Gripes)
please add your new wishes and I shall update the original post.
__
FROM DVX USER.COM and MORE
1) Stop screen info from disappearing
2) Focus Peaking
3) Zebras
4) Improved Wifi video features (even just basic full control via wifi would be great)
5) pro picture profiles for video. Optimized for flattest reasonable 8 bit profile
6) Panasonic official bitrate improvement on All-I modes. HQ mode warning for certain cards. 150mb/s bitrate. Let the codec breath for pro users. Lots of warnings but make it standard.
7) A lock on the media card door
8) A lock of User Interface Buttons that are too closely situated near camera body grip points.
9) Elimination of micro shaking in the 12-35 f2.8 Lumix zoom even when IS is off

0 upvotes
SteveV4D
By SteveV4D (Feb 15, 2013)

No 6 doesn't bother me, but the rest are definitely on my wish list.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 15, 2013)

Blackmagic got a smaller sensor.
the lens factor is about 2.48, compared to 1.96 of 4/3".

1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 15, 2013)

Try-before-you-buy is a great tool for consumers, but it also, whether it's GM or Panasonic, reveals weak interest in the marketplace, which isn't surprising at all.

3 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Feb 15, 2013)

And stores not being able to keep one on the shelves for more than two days is proof of that, right?

5 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

the reason

You can buy it off the shelves in the UK. I could order one now if I wanted to. That's why Panasonic have got this offer on. They can't get enough dealers to take it on. The small list shows that.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Feb 15, 2013)

Not in the US you cant. And if I were you Id buy them and resell them, I know plenty of people on the UK that cant get their hands on one

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 15, 2013)

To which we infer that, 6 months into its lifecycle, this camera is not exactly on fire.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (Feb 15, 2013)

And from your comment I'm going to infer that you have quite the talent for establishing a fallacious argument.

Maybe it's a different story in the UK, but demand has far and away exceeded supply is most other markets. I placed my order mid Jan and have been given an expected delivery date of 4 March. So it's with a degree of bemusement that I read about this "try before you buy" caper.

1 upvote
MrTaikitso
By MrTaikitso (Feb 14, 2013)

John Lewis (UK) stocked the GH2 and always had them on display, so I'm sure they will feature the GH3 in due course. They have a bunch of high end Nikon and Canon's in some stores at over a £1000 and I bought my GH2 when it was about £1200 inc the 14-140 zoom. (FYI, I bought my GH2 two hours before the quake struck Japan, and there were no more for months as Panasonic's factory got knocked out.) Anyway, If the GH3 falls to under £1500 inc the kit lens, some larger John Lewis stores may stock it, where all their cameras are available for a hands on.

0 upvotes
BryMills
By BryMills (Feb 14, 2013)

Talking to the guys in London Camera Exchange late last year, they were saying that Panasonic wouldn't supply it unless the staff in store had been on a training course to be able to support it - might answer why it's only a select few dealers. It's interesting to see a list of independent camera stores - but it would be useful if the list included the location as well as the store name.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

If that is still true that is a huge mistake by Panasonic as that is 28 shops which would have doubled the list. Perhaps they were banking on Jessops taking some on before they went under. Panasonic need LCE much more than LCE need the GH-3. I can easily check that out with the staff.

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 15, 2013)

so, wait, there's a company that actually believes salespeople are supposed to know accurate information about their merchandise?

i don't like saying this, but it looks like this approach is a bit pointless. as far as i'm concerned, i spent at least a couple of months researching which camera to buy, reading reviews from different sources, comparing 100% image crops... and that was on a 500 USD budget. the GH3 is a lot more expensive (although, if you consider the price of the lens, then the whole kit is actually a very good deal), so unless you've got a LOT of disposable income or it's a present there's a lot more information on the internet to read and assimilate than you can possibly obtain from a sales person in a reasonable amount of time. unless people fancy spending 4 hours in a store looking at a single product.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 14, 2013)

Good news! DXOmark just tested the GH3. It seems to have the same sensor as the OMD or at the very least as good as the OMD.

Good to see Panasonic has moved on from the terrible sensor in most m4/3 cameras.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH3

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 14, 2013)

Yes, it matches the EM5 in every IQ category and even has slightly better DR. AND it has the added bonus of being a professional level video camera. I'd be very surprised it this camera got anything less than Gold from DPR. It really is a home run for Panasonic and should get more publicity as the best all-around m43 camera ever made.

4 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 15, 2013)

GH3 and metabones would be a great combo. I hear the MFT version of the adapter is better than the nex version.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 15, 2013)

This DXOmark score is the best thing that could happen for Panasonic. I bet they will sell out next week.

1 upvote
mpix345
By mpix345 (Feb 14, 2013)

I think it's great to see this approach from Panasonic. Hopefully it will help drive GH3 sales and more manufacturers will adopt the policy.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 14, 2013)

The other brands don't need to do this. The problem Panasonic have is getting this camera into shops in the first place in the UK. Dealers are just not interested. This is a very small list of dealers considering the amount of camera shops and it is not even in Panasonic stores. Not even available in the largest chain of camera shops either.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

@Stu 5 That's funny - the people who weren't stocking it were the likes of jessops et al. They obviously had a good business plan considering their insolvency.

The independents couldn't get enough in to satisfy demand. It's one of the best cameras I've come across (and yes, I have owned a FF DLSR).

I think Panasonic know they have a good (nay, excellent camera) that stands up well to road testing. Many potential customers have doubts based on shilling and trolling about the EVF on the M43s forum - if they are able to road test on a no obligation basis I'm sure a panasonic will sell plenty

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

sgoldswo do you see any of the 28 London Camera Exchange branches on that list, ie the largest chain of independent camera shops in the UK... no. That is a complete fail on Panasonic's part. There are far to many cities and towns not listed where there are lots of camera shops. That means the deal for shops to stock it are not good enough. Not even Panasonic shops are on the list.

0 upvotes
neroangelo
By neroangelo (Feb 14, 2013)

Not one in Scotland?! The quicker Scotland gets independence and gets out of this 'UK' that never includes us the better!

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

You are blaming the UK government for not having Panasonic shops in your area?

5 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

Independence won't sort this one for you...

4 upvotes
illy
By illy (Feb 14, 2013)

you can take our freedom....but you'll never take our cameras

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Feb 15, 2013)

The thing is in Scotland they would have to be given away free like everything else or there would be no interest. The idea of having to give them back would not be a concept understood in Scotland.

0 upvotes
match14
By match14 (Feb 15, 2013)

I too am a bit miffed that there are no stores in Scotland that are signed up to this, but independence will not sort this in fact if Scotland gets independence then, as will likely happpen, sink into a third world country then there will be no cameras for sale here.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

This is a great idea and I wish more camera manufacturers did this. I bet it will drive sales. The GH3 is a cracking camera - probably the best all round camera I've ever used.

I have never changed my first impression of it which is ultra positive.

Also: It is cool that Panasonic is running through specialist camera shops. They are all that are left after the demise of jacobs and jessops and I recognise many names on that list who could teach a few things about customer service

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 14, 2013)

Sgoldswo the list is incredibly small. Not even in the largest chain of camera specialist stores is on it. There are huge areas of the country not covered. I read this and thought it might give it a go and then saw by the time I collected the camera and dropped it back I would have travelled 140 miles. I can think of 6 camera shops where I would only need to travel 28 miles in total not on the list and a whole load more in between not on the list. Panasonic need to get it into far more dealers in the UK but there is no good reason for them to take it on unless they offer sale or return to the shops. Otherwise it is not worth the risk. The price is putting dealers off as it is so much more than the camera it replaced. Panasonic are trying to get into a area of the market that they have not been in before and don't seem to realise there is more to it than just making a camera and range of lenses. Canon and Nikon can get away with it but not Panasonic.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

@Stu 5 - I live in London and I've purchased cameras and lenses from at least 7 of these stores on a regular basis. As to the camera it's more expensive than the GH2 because it's (much) better as a camera for stills and video. It's also better built.

Rather than moaning about travel time and the camera why don't you ask the stores what the conditions are? If you ask them they may even post it to you if you cover postage? Just a thought...

1 upvote
Peter Del
By Peter Del (Feb 14, 2013)

A great idea. I would like to try an OMD before buying as it is a big outlay for an OAP. I thought I would see it at the NEC, but they have chosen not to be there. Some people buy cameras on the web, play with them for a couple of days and return them, leaving the retailer with a secondhand 'new' camera. I cannot bring myself to do that. I hope Panasonic are the beginning of a useful trend.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 15, 2013)

sgoldswo I am aware it is better built but the price point is too high. Basically we have a camera with little market appeal. It's alright adding all these features and build quality but the first thing you do when producing a new product is ask the question is there a market for it and how large is it? This is going to sell nowhere near the amount of units of the OM-5 because at this price it is up against stiff competition. The image quality is no better than the OM-5. OM-5 is weather sealed as well. Handling is different yes and that will appeal to a few but not many. Video is no better than the GH-2 and nowhere near as good as the Blackmagic. Panasonic seem to think they can produce a camera for the semi pro market and it will sell. There is more to it than that. They have no experience in selling in this area and it shows by the list of dealers. Offering a free try this early on shows they now already know they have a problem on the marketing front in the UK.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 15, 2013)

Apparently the problem was it couldn't compete with the (semi mythical and much more expensive) BMCC above. Some might take from that that you are simply trolling or shilling. Me, I just think you'll pick on anything, contradictory or not, to justify a negative point of view on this camera.

Ps it is worth every penny. I paid £839 for mine but I wouldn't have been upset if I had paid full list. It's that good.

0 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 14, 2013)

At $750, the world spat on the Pentax K-01 and five people bought it. At $300, giggly impulse buyers fell over themselves to sing its praises, and of course, the design wasn't so bad after all.

When the GH3 comes down to $899, it should be able to resurrect the dead and steal Angelina Jolie away from Brad Pitt.

3 upvotes
mpix345
By mpix345 (Feb 14, 2013)

The design is still bad. Even for $1.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

Of course. Value is always a function of price vs performance. Once the price drops, the value increases as performance stays the same.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 15, 2013)

@mpix345

The design of the K-01 may not suit everyone, but the IQ from it is superb, as good some of the best APS-C DSLRs. It's basically a K-5/K-30 without the VF. And a $300 K-01 with 40 2.8 KS Pancake lens is a no-brainer.

0 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 15, 2013)

I wasn't criticizing the K-01 design... I was speaking in the voice of those who did when it was announced, then softened their position after the price dropped. C'mon, don't you guys read any fiction? Step away from those tech manuals!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tbaker
By tbaker (Feb 14, 2013)

Make sense, since it an over priced camera with no real redeeming features.

2 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 14, 2013)

Go ahead, give us a list of what you consider to be redeeming features in a camera, so we can compare it to the feature list of the GH3. I dare you.

10 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Feb 15, 2013)

I double dare you.

1 upvote
yslee1
By yslee1 (Feb 15, 2013)

Say what again mo- oh wait, wrong movie.

1 upvote
the reason
By the reason (Feb 15, 2013)

canon does a mild upgrade from mk2 to mk3 in 3 years and charge 800$ more and you dont see anybody complaining like this...

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 14, 2013)

If you just want it for the video part, the GH2 is still in many ways superior, at least IQ-wise. I'm sure handling is better with the GH3, but the GH2 with the flow motion hack is superb. For photography, the GH3 performs better.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Feb 15, 2013)

You would know for sure with this program. Also, I am sure a hacked GH-3 is only a matter of time if it isn't here already. (I wouldn't know, don't follow the field)

0 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (Feb 14, 2013)

I like the idea!
Wish this tryout will NOT add to the purchase cost for the actual buyers.

1 upvote
tjbates
By tjbates (Feb 14, 2013)

First thing I'd be checking out is the reported 12-35mm lens image stabilisation problem.
http://vimeo.com/59358100

1 upvote
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

oh I've had so many problems with the 12-35, it's been impossible to take blurry photos... :-)

3 upvotes
tjbates
By tjbates (Feb 15, 2013)

The problem is with video
http://vimeo.com/59358100

0 upvotes
Jerodequin
By Jerodequin (Feb 14, 2013)

How is one supposed to know where most of these are based? Many are just names with no location. And why is there no link to the source article at Panasonic UK???

1 upvote
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (Feb 14, 2013)

Just what I thought. The GH3 has not created sufficient buzz. There is very little mention of exciting consumer articles on Pana GH3 here or elsewhere. And overall the world has been very lukewarm to this camera, versus for example the huge publicity and buzz that was create for the OM-D.

Also MF3 is a gigantic failure as a pro camera, no Pro (ok just a couple of guys) uses it for photo, only for video.

Also I believe that the future of photography does not include MF3. In another 5 years this format will disappear.

As the price of FF sensors drop, we'll go back to the time of film when all SLR cameras cheap or expensive shot 35/mm film. Also as our phone cameras become better every year, there would be no need to have a small camera in the next 5 years. The phone camera will take care of it.

So the not so distance future will see only FF DSLRs and Phone cams. And for those who whine about size, FF can be made small and light, just look at what Sony did with the RX1.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

Cool story.

7 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 14, 2013)

bro, you should, like, totally tell it again.

2 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 14, 2013)

I hope MF3 doesn't disappear, half of my music is in that format.

10 upvotes
Shirozina
By Shirozina (Feb 14, 2013)

The future is full frame sensors in phone cams with 4 K video and 10x F1.4 zooms - all standalone camera systems will be obsolete;-)

1 upvote
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

Yeah, there were so few people buying it I had to practically fight to get mine...!

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

Someday the future will be the past. Mind = blown.

1 upvote
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (Feb 15, 2013)

some cool replies. the MF3 music format made me laugh. Look I use a GH1 so I drank the cool aid, but after a few years the affects have worn off. Amazing comparison between the massive buzz of OMD and lackluster GH3. I think once the price of GH3 will drop to 1000 and below (ideally 800) it will move a lot quicker. Of course by then the GH5 will be out. :)

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Feb 15, 2013)

It doesn't need to move any faster, no store has been able to keep them in stock for more than two days. Amazon usa got 300 in stock and they were sold out in 4 days. Panasonic said they sold 3 stock quantities just in the pre order, so no, I dont think they need to do anything.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 15, 2013)

somehow, is suspect that the GH3 is supposed to be targeted at a different group of people than the OMD.

1 upvote
NumberOne
By NumberOne (Feb 14, 2013)

...Maybe now the review will be published!
Sorry - team-guys - just couldn't resist... :-)

Hope you have sense of humour...

Best regards,
Pedro

6 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Feb 14, 2013)

Too late now.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Feb 14, 2013)

Great indeed - but somehow I thought that the 14 (sometimes even 30) no-questions-asked return policy for the goods bought online applies to whole EU (it definitely does in Germany).

Indeed the good has to be payed for and then the purchase will be reimbursed if one decides to return it, but one has 2 weeks, not 2 days.

Or I am missing something?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

Only the ethics of buying something you don't intend to keep.

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 14, 2013)

That's why I only ever return cameras if they are defective. If you don't care for a camera I've purchased, I sell it on Ebay or here. It's just don't believe in "test driving" cameras. I don't want to be the one who buys someone else's return, so I don't do it.

3 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Feb 14, 2013)

OK - so getting the camera from Panasonic, using it for 2 days and then returning is OK, but doing the same (with a camera you already payed for) for a few days more (so you do not have to be late for work because you have to go to post office mid-week) is not?

The question is - do you do it just because you can without any intend to actually buy it - or you just need the chance to get your hands on one before you make the final decision?

Surely - if you plan a week long vacation and you 'borrow' a camera for the trip in this manner - that is NOT ok in my book.

However - if there was a camera that I can not get my hands on in a shop (because of availability of a camera or a shop in my area) - and I am actually interested in buying it - than I do not see any ethical problem there.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Feb 14, 2013)

It does apply to the whole EU (though I believe the relevant period is 7 days) and I've certainly returned cameras I've found weak or substandard in the past. However, the mandatory return legislation is one reason that cameras are more expensive in the EU - people who abuse it are on a par with people who make dodgy insurance claims (morally if not legally) as it increases the costs for everyone else.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

If you buy a product with the intention to keep it and decide it does not perform as advertised, then I see no problem returning it. If you buy a product knowing you will likely return it, then you are gaming the system and stealing money from stores. That cost gets passed on to all of us.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Meuh
By Meuh (Feb 14, 2013)

None in scotland?

3 upvotes
noyo
By noyo (Feb 15, 2013)

Yes. None in Scotland.

With the demise of Jacobs and Jessops there are no longer any significant specialist photographic high street retailers in any main Scottish town or city, which I find very sad.

The internet is great but I like to go into a store to handle and try things before I buy in a non pressured environment, everything from cameras to clothes & shoes, etc.

Of course there is Ffords of Beauly but they are far away in the Highlands and there are also some Calumets but I feel more pressured to buy in them. The concept of 'just looking' is viewed with suspicion and I get the feeling they can't be bothered if they think you are not going to buy straight away. I have bought some gear from them but they are also harder to get to.

And there are the sheds like PCWorld, Argos etc but the variety of stock and accessories they carry is limited.

Some enterprising entrepreneur should wake up to the fact that Scotland is a camera gear desert right now and jump into the void.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Feb 14, 2013)

Nice.

0 upvotes
Banhmi
By Banhmi (Feb 14, 2013)

I'd much prefer a "Hack It Before You Buy" service.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

You wonder why these companies don't just consult with Magic lantern on features before hand.

"Hey what should we do so you don't have any desire to hack our cameras?"

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 14, 2013)

next week: massive amounts of of "slightly used, like new" GH3 cameras being sold on Amazon.co.uk and ebay.

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

Great marketing idea that gives brick and mortar stores a selling advantage.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 15, 2013)

i don't know. on such an expensive item, i would try it in the store, but if the price on the internet would be better i would probably buy online, especially if the difference would mean buying a memory card or an extra battery.

0 upvotes
CLEANSHOT
By CLEANSHOT (Feb 14, 2013)

I have often wondered why consumers could not have this type of service. It makes me think that the manufacturer is putting their money where their mouth is.. So good to see! Well done Panasonic!

8 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Feb 14, 2013)

Here in the Netherlands Olympus sometimes has a 30 day try period. If you don't like the product you can return it to your local store and get your money back.

3 upvotes
Total comments: 147