Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review
Thanks to its healthy selection of external controls, very little of the GH3 has to be controlled by interacting with the camera's software interface. Many secondary settings (such as image size and AF point mode) can be changed using the camera's Q.Menu, rather than delving into the main menus.
By default the Q.Menu button brings up a compact-camera-like user interface which has 13 parameters ranged across the top and bottom of the screen. You can either scroll through these options using the front control dial or simply press directly on them if you're using the rear screen. Rotating the rear dial then changes the selected setting.
|The 'Preset' Q.Menu offers access to a range of shooting parameters - most of them fairly top-level choices.|
Alternatively, an option on page 6 of the Custom menu allows you to switch from this 'Preset' Q.Menu to a customizable version. This alternate version provides access to ten parameters, arranges ten large buttons spread over two screens. The advantage of this system is that pressing the small 'wrench' button at the bottom left of the menu allows you to populate the menu with your most-changed parameters.
|The 'Custom' Q.Menu offers up to ten of your most-used settings, including more specialized options such as enabling HDR and histograms.
Pressing the Q/wrench button at the bottom left allows you to drag-and-drop your favoured options from a list of 24.
The Q.Menu always begins with the last option you chose, so you can choose to cluster related settings together, to make access as fast as possible
|In a significant upgrade over the GH2, the GH3's viewfinder is an OLED 1.7 million dot equivalent unit. Directly beneath the eyepiece you can see a sensor for automatic switching between the EVF and rear panel display. A diopter adjustment knob juts out slightly from the right edge of the rubber eyepiece cover.|
The GH3 features a new viewfinder panel. Panasonic describes it as 1.7m dot equivalent, which suggests it doesn't use a simple three dot-per-pixel relationship. We know it has a resolution of 853x500 pixels, however.
The EVF gives 100% field-of-view coverage but you only fine yourself using the entire display when shooting in the 16:9 ratio. In other aspect ratios, you end using only a crop of the screen.
|Panasonic claims 0.67x magnification, making the GH3 one of the larger viewfinders in its class - a touch taller than that in the D7100.|
However, we found the viewfinder optics to be disappointing - it's difficult to ever see the whole panel and the corners are fuzzy unless you look straight at them (a problem that gets even worse if you wear glasses). We also found a distinct color cast to the EVF panel, meaning it gave a different (and apparently less accurate) color rendition to the rear screen. No amount of tweaking the fine tune settings in the menu could get the EVF to render greens the way they appear in the final output.
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