Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review
Since the introduction of the Lumix DMC-GH1 back in 2009, the GH-series' place in Panasonic's Lumix lineup has been clear; a flagship stills and video model designed for enthusiasts who demand a well-handling, responsive and customizable camera with all the latest technology the company has to offer. The goal was to show that a camera did not need to be the size of a DSLR to perform like one. The enthusiastic and largely unanticipated response to the GH2's movie capabilities by working videographers (Google 'GH2 video hack' to get an idea for how keenly its capabilities are being exploited) has meant that Panasonic must now also consider that its camera is being integrated into professional video rigs.
With the announcement of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, it's clear that Panasonic believes accessible manual camera controls, durable build and video capability can sell a camera, without depending on the Micro Four Thirds advantage of smaller body sizes. If that sounds like a description of a mid-range DSLR then it probably should - this is the most DSLR-like Micro Four Thirds model yet, with dimensions that essentially match those of the APS-C Sony SLT-A65.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 key features
- 16MP Live MOS sensor with three-core Venus 7 FHD engine
- Magnesium alloy body with weather sealing (dust and splash proof)
- ISO 200-12800 (extended range of ISO 125-25600)
- 6 fps continuous shooting
- AF speed of 0.07 seconds
- 1.7 million dot equiv. 16:9 ratio OLED viewfinder (1024 x 576 pixels)
- 614k dot 3" OLED rear screen (640 x 480 pixels)
- Full HD 60p/50p video with 30p/25p option
- MOV (h.264), MP4 and AVCHD formats
- Video bit rates of 50Mbps in IPB and 72Mbps in All-I compression modes
- Timecode support in MOV(H.264) and AVCHD formats
- 3.5mm mic socket and headphone socket
- Four channel wireless control for the optional DMW-FL360L external flash
- PC socket
- iOS and Android app control via Wi-Fi
Key differences from the DMC-GH2
- Improved sensor and latest Venus image processor
- Weather sealed magnesium alloy body
- OLED EVF and rear display (versus LCD)
- Capacitive touch screen (rather than pressure-sensitive)
- 60p video capture (versus 60i /30p)
- 72Mbps bit rate maximum (versus 24Mbps)
- 3.5mm mic socket (rather than 2.5mm)
- Headphone socket
- 6 fps continuous shooting (versus 5)
- Five custom Fn buttons (versus three) and a second control dial
- Compatible with new DMW-BGGH3 battery grip
- PC socket for external flash
- Interval shooting
- HDR and multiple exposure modes
The GH3 gains a weather sealed (dust/splash proof) magnesium alloy body which now gives Panasonic a camera body to match their moisture- and dust-sealed Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH OIS lens and Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 ASPH OIS fast zooms. Additional highlights include 6 fps shooting (or 4fps with updating live view) and five customizable function buttons. While the camera's still image resolution remains at 16MP, the GH3 has a new Live MOS sensor, three-core Venus 7 FHD processing engine and a new low pass filter.
Panasonic claims improvements in high ISO shadow detail, color reproduction and white balance over its predecessor. The GH3 also offers in-camera HDR and multiple exposure image modes, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity that Panasonic hopes to leverage with its remote triggering and image transfer apps for iOS and Android phones. One thing the GH3 loses, however, is the multi-aspect ratio sensor size found on its predecessor, with 3:2 and 16:9 format images being a crop from the camera's 4:3 ratio chip.
There are pro-focused additions to the GH3's video capabilities, with timecode-supported broadcast quality video that is capable of bit rates as high as 72Mbps (for 1080p at 30, 25 or 24fps, depending on region). Only the US $3500 Canon EOS 5D Mark III offers higher bit rates (and Panasonic suggests its compression might offer better quality), though Blackmagic is promising compressed CinemaRaw from its newly-announced $1000 Pocket Cinema Camera.
The GH3 gains the ability to shoot in MOV (h.264) format, freeing it from the restrictive frame- and bit-rates laid out in the AVCHD standard. This means the camera can capture files natively as 30p, as well as 60i. There is also the choice of All-I or IPB compression, which Panasonic is hoping will further endear it to videographers currently using GH2s.
The GH3's new EVF is a 1.7 million dot equivalent OLED panel with a 16:9 ratio of 873 x 500 pixels. Panasonic lists a robust 1.34x magnification (equivalent to 0.67x on a full frame SLR), and says that because information is transmitted to the panel 8x faster than the GH2, the on-screen image will remain smooth and natural even while panning quickly across a scene.
The rear display panel is a 3" 614k dot resolution (640 x 480 pixels) OLED unit that, like that of its predecessor, is touch-sensitive, though it's now capacitive, rather than pressure-sensitive. For both stills and video shooters looking to extend the camera's abilities, the GH3 offers a 3.5mm mic input (GH2 users had to resort to a 2.5 - 3.5mm adapter), headphone jack, PC sync socket and a new optional battery grip that attaches to base plate providing the option for additional power.
Compared to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
With the GH2 having gained such a strong following among enthusiasts and videographers, Panasonic has clearly prioritized external controls and accessory compatibility. As such, the GH3 is a noticeably more bulky camera than its predecessor, comparable in size to the Sony SLT-A57. As you'll see in the image below, control points have been redesigned and much of the camera's layout has been re-adjusted for the larger body.
*In this review we've worked with Andrew Reid of EOSHD.com to get a videographer's perspective on the video quality and movie behaviour of the GH3.
|DSC_9643 by NOWHITELENS|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Thailand Sunrise by ozziebadger|
from Ships and Boats
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear ain't fly? You gotta hit us up and read our treat yo' self guide.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.