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GH-3..... my impressions

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Kiwi Paul, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    My GH-3 arrived on Mon 24th Dec.
    First impression was "It's BIG", about the size of the E30. Not big in real terms but big compared to other mFT cameras. It's also heavy in comparison to mft cameras so it seems initially to defeat the ideology of the mFT criteria.
    But the handling, ergonomics, button layout and program-ability are very good and the lenses are still compact.

    I've not used it extensively but my impressions are very good, excellent IQ, handling and focus is instantaneous.

    The EVF however has in my view taken a step back, it has higher resolution than the excellent G3 and G5 EVF's but is smaller in viewing size as a result and brings back memories of the "tunnel" view finder of the E520, maybe not quite as extreme but still not a step forward :-(

    The screen is fine, high resolution and great response for a touch screen.

    They let you select the max auto ISO to 12500 now (the G3 and G5 are limited to 3200) so that's a good move.

    The ETC (Extra Tele Convertor) has had me thinking long and hard, there is no free lunch and Pany's claims that the ETC can offer up to 2x magnification with no image quality loss seems too good to be true. I have played about with it and it works as it says on the box....BUT it only works when using jpg's and not full rez ones either. Let me explain. If you take a shot using RAW or full size jpg's the whole sensor is used and the resolution is 4608 x 3456 (16 Mp), with this resolution the ETC can't be deployed.
    You have to select jpg with a resolution of either 3264 x 2448 (8Mp) 1.4 x tele conversion or 2336 x 1752 (4Mp) 2x tele conversion. At these resolutions it uses the center part of the sensor that equates to either 4 or 8 Mp and creates a 4 or 8 Mp image.
    So if you shoot jpg's with 8Mp resolution or jpg's with 4Mp resolution and then employ the ETC then yes you get 1.4 or 2x magnification with no IQ loss, but if you shoot RAW or full size jpg's then the ETC offers you nothing as the center resolution of your full size image is still the same, at least that's my view of it, if someone can offer me a better explanation I'm all ears.

    So the GH-3 is a great camera, big and heavy in mFT terms, horses for courses, I got mine for a really good price so I'm happy with it.

    Images to come soon.

    • Like Like x 10
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    thanks Paul, let's see some pix :p 
  3. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    On the pro videographers forum, DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking
    GH3 owners are raving about it's video output (saying it's superior to even a Canon 5DMarkIII):

    Here are some spectacular GH3 video samples (not mine) that were NOT post processed and everything shown was all accomplished with in-camera adjustment settings + a polarizer fitted over the lens when shooting outdoors:


    The GH3 is not exceptional as a still camera, however, so potential buyers might want to think twice before spending $1300 on the GH3 unless they plan to shoot alot of video.
  4. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    What makes you say that? It performs very well as a still camera in my view, there is no reason it doesn't match the OMD performance, since they are reported to use the same sensor it's unlikely to exceed it though.
    Alongside the OMD it's the best mFT camera to date and most reviews I've read say the stills IQ is excellent.

  5. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    I don't agree with the comment about the still IQ of GH3 because in my limited usage I have found it to be just as good, if not better than OM-D. I even did some comparison with D600 and found GH3 to be great against a giant competitor.

    Sent from my RM-820_nam_att_100 using Board Express
  6. Congratulations!

    Nothing new here Paul, ETC of the GH2 is exactly the same :smile: It works different for video where you keep the end resolution.

    Look forward to read more of your experience with the GH3
  7. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    You always get killed for the throwaway statements:smile:, but... I do beg to differ. I find a touch more sharpness in the output of the GH3 compared to the E-M5. Nothing I couldn't replicate with some sharpening of E-M5 files, but that plus the automatic correction of the GH3 means I'm a very happy stills shooter.

    Try this for size...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoldswo/8302398440/" title="P1010042 by sgoldswo, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "800" height="600" alt="P1010042"></a>
    • Like Like x 2
  8. marchill

    marchill New to Mu-43

    Dec 28, 2012
    That's a great still above and really shows up its dynamic range. Just got a GH3 and keeping my G2. I tend to be 50/50 stills/video. Very early days yet but a few things are starting to stand out.
    As above it seems a bit sharper with a significantly greater dynamic range. Panasonic engineers talked about raising the electron count on the photo sensors as opposed to enlarging the pixel number and this seems to have payed off. A Nat Geographic photographer successfully enlarges to 5 feet on the GH3.
    Good solid controls and the SD card side entry makes a big difference
    Weather proofing - I love shooting in the damp and live near the coast so this is important.
    Lumix wifi connect on my Galaxy Note 2 doesn't work - yet
    The video is amazing and its a true hybrid between stills and video.
    Frame rate is useful and smooth giving some real pro level possibilities in AE.
    Feels solid and similar size to my G2.
    AF trackings very usable. The G2 used to hunt a bit but the GH3 seems more precise and on to it.
    Much depends on lenses. Currently have the 20mm f17 and 45-200 and awaiting a 100-300 which will be interesting. There will be the 12-35 and Voightlander 25mm 0.95 coming once my CC recovers a bit.
    Got a lot to learn on this beastie.
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