Some GH3 first impressions..

Started Jan 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 8,914
Some GH3 first impressions..
6

The good: This is one heck of a camera. IQ is notably better than the GH2's. Higher ISO performance (ISO 1600-3200) is a revelation vs the GH2 especially in JPGs. Color rendition seems much more accurate, but I can't evaluate that really well until tomorrow when there is hopefully some sunlight to work with. AWB seems to actually WORK on the GH3, also. It also feels like a really well made piece of equipment. It is quite well balanced to hold and use, and is very easy to hold steady in slow shutter speed situations.

The bad: Size. It's just a little heavier than I would optimally have it and the placement of the ISO and WB buttons on the top is awkward. I have very small hands, and the grip is just on the edge of what I am able to grip comfortably, although for anyone else I am quite sure it will feel very good. I am also so used to the click wheel, I am having a heck of a time reprogramming my brain to work with the dual wheel setup, especially when using manual mode to zoom in for focusing. However, that is a brain problem, not a camera problem

The equivocal: The LCD is MUCH clearer and touch functions much better implemented than on the GH2. However, usable area is a bit smaller in 4:3 ratio. The EVF, yes it does have blurring when you move off center, but it took me all of about 5 minutes to adjust how I look through the viewfinder and no longer even notice it at all (either with or without glasses). (To my eyes, this viewfinder behaves a lot like a microscope in how you have to orient your eye to see the field of view correctly...and since I have spent most of my adult life using microscopes at work, it just was not hard to get the hang of it.). I would consider it a non-issue for me  (YMMV, of course). The EVF on first look is brighter and yes you can see the pixels compared to the GH2. However, again, after a few minutes of use I started preferring the rendering in the GH3 EVF vs the GH2. It just seems cleaner and more detailed to me. The color renditon in the GH3 EVF is not as precise as that in the GH2. It's not a giant difference, but it is there. I will evaluate it more during daylight tomorrow. I have no trouble whatsoever using the magnification tool to manually focus with either the LCD or EVF on the GH3.

Of course, I have to post an initial photo of whatever subject I have around. This photo was taken on AWB in a TOUGH lighting situation...dim room, compact fluorescent lightbulb in front of the dog, incandescent lighting and LED TV lights behind her. ISO was 1600, and this is from a JPG not RAW. Very minor color balance adjustments, some minor sharpening, a crop of the edges and resizing to post here, was all of the PP that was done. The same photo taken on the GH2 would have required a LOT of PP to get rid of yellow blotches and adjust color balance. It would have been almost impossible to use a GH2 JPG of the same scene due to the ISO artifacts and skewed color balance from this kind of lower light, difficult lighting situation. (I didn't get one to compare, the dog decided to leave after having my camera in her face for longer than she cared to deal with...)

In summary: I was not expecting this camera to have that much of an IQ improvement from the GH2, from what some of the reviewers had said. I think they may have been underestimating it.

I will do more comparisons and post more in the next couple of days after I give it a good workout indoors and out. Too bad there are no flowers this time of year to work with.....

-J



Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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