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.
|Saddle Bronc by Gerry Frederick|
from horsing around
|diamonds are forever by summicron|
|Reflections by Birdman50|
from No 6
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle from 'absurd' to 'ludicrous,' with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. So far, it's a fun camera to shoot with – if a bit over the top.
Like the LG V40 ThinQ the A9 combines a super-wide-angle, regular wide-angle and tele camera, but adds a depth-sensor to the mix as well.
The FAA has issued a warning to drone pilots in anticipation of disaster response following Hurricane Michael, noting that fines for interfering with emergency operations can exceed $20,000.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple acquired Danish masking technology startup Spektral in December 2017 for "more than $30 million."
Insta360's latest model comes with a range of features that allow for the creation of unique action cam footage.
The Photogrip can be used as a camera grip, mini tripod or phone stand and comes with a detachable remote.
At a time when manufacturers are adding triple and even quad-cameras to their flagship smartphones, Google is sticking with one main camera. But given the sophistication of the company's computational efforts, we think it's the right approach for now.
DPReview is hiring! We're seeking three Software Development Engineers at a range of experience levels to join our Seattle-based team.
The University of Dayton Research Institute created a video detailing what damage is caused when a drone strikes the wing of an airplane.
Lenovo's upcoming high-end smartphone will be the first model to feature four cameras on the back.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer a second front-facing camera and a host of improved computational features such as digital zoom based on super-resolution capture, better depth mapping and a fill-light effect for low light portraits.
Canon has ported a large chunk of its Digital Photo Professional (DPP) Raw processing software's feature set to iOS and launched the DPP Express app.
The Panasonic LX100 II offers a higher-resolution sensor over its predecessor, but it's the addition of a touchscreen that makes the Mark II so gosh-darn enjoyable to shoot with. We've got some fresh samples from Panasonic's new premium compact camera.
Sony has announced a new "Alpha Female" program, a creator-in-residence opportunity that will award six-month grants to five female filmmakers and photographers.
The new 490, 492 and 492LCD are targeted at amateur photographers and come with a 4kg/8.82lbs payload.