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Panasonic GH3 EVF - how bad is it?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rrobinson, May 26, 2014.

  1. rrobinson

    rrobinson Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2011
    I just bought a used GH3 and I am patiently waiting for the camera to arrive. While waiting, I have been reading many reviews on the GH3 and it seems that no one cares for the EVF. It is really that bad? I use and like the viewfinder on my G6 and GX7. I did not care that much for the EVF on the Olympus E-M1. After reading about the less than spectacular EVF on the GH3, I am wondering if I should made a mistake.

    Is the EVF usable? Or is it terrible??:confused: 
  2. gugarci

    gugarci Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Lyndhurst, NJ
    It's not bad at all. The EVF is use for framing. The E-M1 is better, but the XT-1's is better than the E-M1. The GH3 is great camera with great ergonomics. Where did you pick up your used GH3. I want one myself. If didn't prefer the smaller size of the GX7 I would of bought a GH3.
  3. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    I haven't use other cameras with evf much, so can't really compare, but I like it. Works great for me. Others say they have issues with the edges of it, but my technique doesn't really involve trying to focus anywhere but center of frame.
  4. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    It's certainly usable, but mediocre. The issue I saw is that you can get a bit of smearing at the edges if your eye isn't centered in the eyecup. I understand it's a bigger issue for people who wear glasses when they shoot, but I found it annoying as well. On the positive side, for me, it was one of the few flaws in an otherwise exceptional camera. Aside from the smearing, the EVF is quite good, but it's hard to call it anything but mediocre because of that.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  5. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    I hate GH3's EVF because of the smearing at corners and the 16:9 aspect ratio. It feels like a step back from GH2's EVF which I use to have and remember fondly. Even GH2's EVF seems bigger!

    I'll be getting GH4 too. I hope it's much better. It will be, because GH3's EVF is really quite unsatisfactory.
  6. jurgen

    jurgen Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2014
    Like others have said, it's okay. Not great, not bad, perfectly usable. Like all EVF (and OVFs, for that matter), it's something you get used to as you learn your camera and forget all about soon thereafter.

    If it's the only thing that would prevent you from purchasing a GH3, go ahead and buy a GH3.
  7. w7ox

    w7ox Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    Phil Wheeler
    The EVF in my GH3 was fine; and I wear glasses 100% of the time (not in bed!). The EVF in my GH4 seems better, but that's not why I replaced the GH3 with a GH4.
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    believe half or less of what you read. The EVF on the GH3 is fine (and I was just using one side by side with an E-M5). Anyway, do you use the camera to admire the EVF or do you look at the captured images more somewhere else (like printed)?

    I often wonder if people know how to use the diopter adjuster wheel ...
  9. w7ox

    w7ox Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    Phil Wheeler
  10. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    GH3 EVF is OK, as others have stated. I shot with it for days in France using the EVF and enjoyed shooting with the GH3 eventually. Coming from an EM5, I found the EVF a step backwards on the GH3, but it is definitely useable.

    I've also read that the GH4 is similar, but double the resolution. It's a shame that the EM1s EVF can't be replicated on the premium Panasonic offerings.

    At times, Pany and Olympus need to learn to share to boost micro four thirds further.

    But to answer your question: don't worry about it. As others have said, adjust the diopter and focus on your shooting. You may notice something now that you're aware of it - but ask yourself, would you have noticed this had you not read the reviews???

    I love my GH3 and will soon own a GH4, but it's all part of my ongoing move to video, rather than any affinity I feel towards shooting stills. If I was just shooting stills, I would go for the EM1 and 12-40mm. If I wasn't invested in Micro Four Thirds, I'd also look into Fuji's offerings.

    Whether the GH3 is a mistake is largely down to your requirements - there are lots of great cameras to choose from!
  11. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    How one reacts to any viewfinder can be subjective, we're all different. I had and used Nikon stuff with good bright prism finders, I had to have "eye level" viewfinders on my medium format (film) cams, Hasselblad and Mamiya RB67's. With digital I worked with Canons, the 7D had a bright prism finder but the rebels used a pentamirror design that was a bit dimmer.

    With the Olympus Pens, I knew I couldn't work with the LCD on the back out in daylight so I ordered the Oly VF2 external EVF with the first one. That was a nice clear relatively bright EVF and I adapted easily. I had the Panasonic LVF2 with the GX1 and that was about the best external EVF I've used. I liked it.

    The EVF on the Lumix GH2 took a few minutes of getting used to (for me) and I liked it. Then came the GH3.

    I guess in order to keep the "hump" on top down to a smooth contour they made the optics to the EVF smaller and therin lie most of the problems. I wore eyeglasses with somewhat heavy astigmatism correction and I found that there was a "sweet spot" area for the eye you needed to hit for best results. You had to have the eye centered and at just the right distance and then things worked pretty well. Using the diopter adjust for my right eye without glasses kind of worked but there was no adjustment for astigmatism so I was better off with glasses.

    After cataract surgery and astigmatism correcting lens implants things got easier, no eyeglass lens to potentially interfere with eye alignment.

    I'm the one the OP bought the GH3 from and I am aware of his concerns and understand them so I've let him know he can have a 10 day period to try it and decide what is best for him. If he doesn't like the EVF and wants to return it for a refund, I'll respect that. Respect and reputation on this forum mean more to me than the funds involved

    There have been very good comments in this discussion that reflect both sides of the issue and I enjoyed reading what you all have to say. How we experience quality usage of something like the GH3 viewfinder is a very individual thing.
    • Like Like x 5
  12. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    I've used a GH3 exclusively since December of 2013. I shoot landscapes primarily and at least 75% my of shots use manual focus; for the other quarter I use the single autofocus with the smallest center and move it around as needed. I tend to keep the screen folded against the back, hard side out.

    For my money, the viewfinder works perfectly well.

    I sold a couple of lenses and bought a Nocticron last month.

    I've continued using manual focus for most shots and it works great, even at f1.2. I gather that the EM1 viewfinder is better, and I would be happy for Panasonic to improve theirs, which they seem to have done with the GH4. But, as a stills shooter, I'm in no rush to trade up. Results may differ for other styles of photography.

    Needless to say, I am very pleased with the camera and remained amazed at the photos which it is capable of taking.

    Here's an example that I posted in the waterfall thread (I remember focusing on the near edge of the water):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Untitled by John Dana, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 6
  13. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013

    Since we're on the subject, have any of you had experience with the G6 VF?

    How would you compare it to the GH2, EM5 and GH3 VFs?

    Not so concerned about good vs bad, but more about characteristics,
    like some here talked about the GH3.

    Thanks for any discussion offered.
  14. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    P.S. It's sweltering here - I want to get under that waterfall! . . .
  15. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    It's 46 and drizzling here - I want to move to Hawaii!
  16. poopstick

    poopstick Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2013
    Burlington Ontario
    I recently upgraded to a G6 from a G5, and in my opinion, it's an upgrade in every way except the EVF.
    The image is dull and looks low-res compared to the G5, which is strange because the menu graphics and all the text superimposed over the image are very bright and sharp.
    To me it looks like the display in the EVF is very good quality, but the image it gets from the sensor is low resolution.
    I also find it strange that most people seem to really like the EVF in the G6, while I think it's a step backwards.
    I really do love everything else about the camera though.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    That is a VERY nice waterfall photo! Looks lush and clean! I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing.

    (Sitting here in dry West Texas...But we finally got some rain for a few days, our lakes were about to go bone dry)
  18. Van

    Van Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    I find the EVF on the GH3 to be one of the worst I've ever used. No matter what I do -- glasses, no glasses, no glasses and contacts -- the edges are very burry and impossible to use for judging focus. Diopter makes no difference. Never had this issue with the GH2's EVF and never had this problem with the OM-D or Sony NEX viewfinders.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    I just shot an outdoor reception with the G5/12-35 & GH3/45-150, switching between the two cameras all day.

    Both took excellent shots and I have no complaints, but looking in the GH3 viewfinder was useless for me, except for framing. I could not tell if the image was focused or not.

    A big issue may be that I wear progressive lenses, and it was almost impossible to find the 'sweet spot' in the GH3 viewfinder. No problem at all with the G5.
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