GH3 Manual Focus?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by tbonemain, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. tbonemain

    tbonemain New to Mu-43

    Mar 27, 2013
    I will preface this with:
    I am new to Panasonic. I have been using Canon and Nikon DSLR/ Film cameras for many

    Now the short of the long of it is:

    I received my new GH3 along with my HS12035 12-35mm F2 lens today and was very excited.
    Upon firing the camera up, I discover the manual focus ring is disabled on the lens
    unless the camera is set to MF mode (thus after reading manuals and contacting a
    Panasonic tech)

    I am confused how the focus ring can be disabled when auto focus functions are enabled.

    It's seems counter productive for a professional body/lens to remove manual control. I
    don't trust autofocus to always get it right (especially in lowlight or narrow DOF
    situations), and sometimes you need to make a slight adjustments while shooting, but with
    the ring disabled, you are now required to press the shutter release repeatedly to get
    the camera to to adjust the frame as I want it, remove a supporting hand and put a finger
    to the lcd or resort to a colored fader bar using a macro pop up screen, even if the
    adjustment is small. Something that would have taken me mere milliseconds previously
    would now possibly take minutes.

    This is especially odd to me with the added other high tech features to somehow miss
    basic manual override of the auto focus in the design.

    I am aware this is not a Canon or Nikon, however, with an interchangeable lens system, I
    would not have expected the inability to adjust focus manually at any time. It seems
    very "point and shoot" or "consumer" to have an 'either /or ' design.

    Is this a Panasonic / Lumix Lens common design?
    Is the a GH3 design issue?
    Is there a work around the MF only OR AF only?
    Since the ring works in MF, is there a software issue causing the glitch?

    I contacted Panasonic directly and was informed the focus ring only functions when the
    MF mode is on, they didn't know why it can not override the auto focus.

    I was not able to get my hands physically on one (GH3/lens) before I ordered mine online,
    and I did extensive research before investing my 3700$ (I also bought the HS35100)and
    this issue was not ever raised, so I am hoping there is something I am missing here or
    there is a simple work around. I do not feel this is expecting too much our of a
    semiprofessional platform (especially at this price point) and would really hate to have
    to return it.

    Thanks in advance for the help.


    *I am posting this on a few different forusm in effort to get as much input as possible. So if its a repeat for you, I apologize..
  2. deejayvee

    deejayvee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    I always do the initial focus with the AF, then switch to MF when I'm pretty close to where I want it.

    With the GH3, unlike my old G3, at least the AF/MF switch is an external control. On the G3, I had to switch via a Fn button.

    While it's slightly different to how you are used to working, switching to MF means you can do what you're after, and it is much quicker than taking "minutes". It's your camera, however, so you should return it if you aren't happy. However, with a small adjustment, you may find you can get used to it and enjoy the GH3.
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Custom Menu -> AF + MF -> On

    That will allow you to use AF and fine tune with MF as you're describing, unless I'm misunderstanding your question. I'm not sure why the Panasonic tech wouldn't have told you that, but that option's been there on every Panasonic I've used (GF2, G3, GX1, G5, and GH3).
  4. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    Yup, 3d item down on page 3 of the custom menu. The manual is unfortunately less than helpful, but MF Assist (pg 149), works with autofocus when set to on. The 4th item down allows you to adjust the parameters of MF assist.
  5. tbonemain

    tbonemain New to Mu-43

    Mar 27, 2013
    Thanks, this helped.