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Video capability of GH3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rossi46, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hi All,

    This time posting a new thread is just for the sake of curiosity and nothing more. I had read abit here and there, but could not get to grips what they are about.

    Can someone be kind enough to explain the following -

    - In what way is GH3 video even better than Full Framers like 5D Mark III?
    Their frames per seconds?
    Slow motion ability?
    Better dynamic range and color? Is that possible when the FF cameras produce better DR in still pictures?
    It has better tolerance to overheating?

    - What kind of professionals use GH3? Normal news reporters? Events videographer?
    I assume movie makers do not use them

    - What are the advantage of GH3 video ability vs GH2?
  2. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Here is a videographers forum that has alot of GH2/GH3/5DMkIII users and detailed information in regard to their video capabilities:
    Panasonic GH Cameras

    The videographers seem to think the GH3 is substantially more advanced than the 5DMkIII for video and is almost as good as an EM-5 for stills and is a substantial improvement compared to the GH2 for video and far better in regard to stills.
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There is a sensor size advantage in that m4/3 is almost the same size as 35mm movie film. So if you use any particular lens it will come very close to matching the look as it would if shooting 35mm. This smaller sensor also means that the camera has less to compress when converting to video.

    You can use many more lenses on a m4/3 camera than you can on any brand of DSLR. This opens up opportunities for different focal lengths and effects. And the GH series has a zoom feature that can either be used for a telephoto effect or allow the use of c-mount lenses without vignetting.

    The GH3 viewfinder will work for shooting video but a DSLR will have to use the rear LCD or an external monitor. The reason is that DSLR have a mirror and that mirror has to be locked up for it to shoot video.

    You have greater DOF with m4/3 than you do with an APS or FF sensor. In the world of video DOF can be your friend or your enemy. M4/3 allows for usable DOF without going overboard.

    Not sure about overheating but it is possible. A larger sensor running for 30 minutes straight would generate more heat than a smaller one running for the same time.

    There is a slight size and weight advantage of using a GH3 over a DSLR. Used to be a bigger gap with the GH2 - the GH3 is now almost as big as an APS DSLR.

    There is a cost advantage to using a GH3 over FF and even some APS models. The cost of lenses is also cheaper to a certain degree.

    Yes the GH series has been used for some Hollywood movies as well as commercial and music video production. Even the Olympus PEN has been used for big budget feature films. One was used in the filming of the movie Secretariat.

  4. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Although I haven't done serious video in a while... Some answers:

    1) The main obvious advantage probably comes in the form of the codec, which is quite superior on the GH3 compared to that of the 5d Cameras(higher bitrate, better compression). The New Canon 1DC, however will very likely produce better video, but at a MUCH higher cost.

    2) Slow motion ability is essentially the same.

    3) See, the thing is video inherently will reduce the potential quality of the sensor(unless it shoots video RAW, which very few "affordable" cameras can do) Think of how shooting JPEG never fully explores the RAW dynamic range of a camera due to the necessary loss of information through heavy compression. In a sense, video is like a moving jpeg. Because the GH3 has better and higher bitrate codecs, it is able to contain more information than most FF cameras usually would in it's video. In any case, according to DXO(and my personal experience), the GH3's sensor(assuming an equal or similar sensor to the OM-D) actually has slightly better dynamic range than any of Canon's cameras at their lowest ISO settings. Kinda cool, no? They'd basically have the same dynamic range as all of Sony's/Nikons new cams if they could just go below ISO 200 natively. Color wise, the GH3 is only slightly behind(according to DXO), and likely not noticeable due to codec differences.

    4) Besides everything that speedandstyle said, the other thing to keep in mind are certain qualities that usually can't be found on any spec sheets, such as the fact that the GH3 produced sharper video than any Canons(which usually require sharpening in post). I once heard someone mention that the GH2's "real" resolution at 720p was about equal to the Canon's at 1080p. Additionally it has less moire and aliasing than any of the Sony's or Nikons. These artifacts can severely damage a video in certain situations and are very annoying to fix in post.

    5) At this point I've started to see more and more professionals switch the the GH cameras, particularly given that Canon, the old main player, has shifted focused on their prosumer products like the 1DC and whatnot, which is a shame because they started this whole HDSLR craze.

    6)Full frame definitely gives you certain advantages. You're not going to have the potential of shallow DoF of FF anywhere with M4/3. There are some hyper-fast lenses out there that can bring you close, but for most of these you can find a lens just as fast on FF that will give you even shallower DoF. Thing is, and speedandstyle mentioned, the uber-shallow DoF of FF can be more detrimental than helpful. For stills, you usually have more time to set up a shot, or can take many shots in sequence to select the best one. Not quite with video. M4/3, at a similar imaging area size to Super35, gives you a similar useful balance of shallow and wide DoF by default. You can match this with FF by stopping down, but then you'll essentially lose it's sensor's low light performance advantage(which is already mitigated by the GH3s superior codec).

    FF's advantage in the video space comes from shallow DoF, particularly at wider angles, and better low light performance. But the combination of practicality of the GH3 and great stock output make it a very formidable hybrid.

    Great summary overall, but just wanted to point out that for this particular point, I think in video application the size difference would be very noticeable when it comes to lenses. Try comparing a kit full of M4/3 or 35mm film lenses vs ones that cover the equivalent angle of view at full frame. Huge volumetric and weight difference. For some videographers, this won't matter. They have to carry a ton of gear anyways. For other than need to do handheld shots and travel on their feet a lot, it can make a big difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You are right for a full kit the size and weight of m4/3 over APS or FF would be huge even if you only had half a dozen lenses. Of coarse just hire a grip to carry all your gear!:smile:
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