Conclusion: Panasonic's flagship GH-series cameras have been widely praised for their video capabilities, and have long been in demand from professional videographers and filmmakers. However, the product engineers behind the company's latest compact system camera, the Panasonic GH3, didn't focus solely on upgrading its movie mojo. They developed a brand new 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, and added an advanced optical low-pass filter.
Pros: Newly designed 16-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor with new optical low pass filter delivers very good image quality with excellent detail for a mirrorless camera, Premium video features and quality in a compact body, including a range of professional tools with everything from Full HD (1080p) movies at 60fps; to bit rates as high as 72 Mbps; and an SMPTE Time Code option, Tough, rugged, and fully weatherized body built from a die-cast, magnesium alloy chas...
Cons: Newly designed 16-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor with new optical low pass filter delivers very good image quality with excellent detail for a mirrorless camera, Premium video features and quality in a compact body, including a range of professional tools with everything from Full HD (1080p) movies at 60fps; to bit rates as high as 72 Mbps; and an SMPTE Time Code option, Tough, rugged, and fully weatherized body built from a die-cast, magnesium alloy chas...
Summary: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 takes over the GH2 as Panasonic's flagship mirrorless camera. Its large body is weather-sealed and features triple control-dials among a plethora of buttons to make it efficient in use. The built-in EVF has been upgraded to 1.7 MP and the LCD to 610K pixels to improve viewing. Inside there is a new 16 MP LiveMOS sensor which delivers very low image noise and relatively good DR. Colors and rendition of details can be nice with some tweaking.
Pros: Very low image-noise until ISO 800, Excellent retention of details even at high ISO, Good metering system, Very fast autofocus, Short shutter-lag, Excellent EVF with Eye-Start sensor, Instant video recording start and stop, Highly customizable function buttons, Comfortable ergonomics, Generally well built, Excellent battery-life
Cons: Below average white-balance system, Below average shot-to-shot speeds, Modal WB, ISO and EC, Long, Wrong, Exposure-Priority, Lower-rear control-dial too recessed, Weak LCD hinge and memory door, Bulky and heavy compared to peers
Summary: The Lumix GH3 is Panasonic's flagship compact system camera and the successor to the GH2, a model that has gained a huge following in the professional video industry for its excellent video quality and versatility. But it's also one of the most capable compact systems cameras around for stills shooting. It's not the most compact of compact system cameras though, with dimensions that almost match those of the smaller consumer DSLRs.
Pros: Weatherproof construction and great controls., Wide range of movie formats with high bit rate encoding up to 72Mbps., Big, bright, stable 16:9 1,744k dot OLED EVF., External mic and headphone sockets., Interval shooting and HDR modes., Excellent still image quality., Extended battery life to 540 shots., Built-in Wifi with excellent smartphone remote control.
Cons: Not weather proof when flash is in use., Wi-Fi slow and unreliable for image transfer in my tests., Average continuous shooting for a semi-pro body., Rear control wheel difficult to operate.
Excerpt: The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH3 offers the best video quality of any combined still and movie camera in this price segment – and actually in some higher segments as well. It offers full manual as well as completely automatic video recording, making it ideal for in-the-field shooting as well as more formal situations. It’s also a pretty handy stills camera with a full range of controls, making it an impressively flexible package.
Conclusion: And that really is the beauty of the Panasonic Lumix GH3, as it has taken proper advantage of its Micro Four Thirds body, you get a brilliantly fast camera capable of recording great JPEG images with rich contrast, and more impressive yet are the features available for videos and the detail with which it captures data.
Summary: The GH3 offers the best video quality of any camera we've ever seen and does a pretty good job of making it available to a wide range of users. This footage is available without external recorders, making it ideal for in-the-field shooting as well as more formal rigged-up setups. It's also a pretty handy stills camera with plenty of external controls, making it an impressively flexible package, overall.
Pros: Sensational video quality, Good stills image quality, Solid, sealed metal construction without the camera becoming too heavy, Lots of external control points, Plenty of customization, Caters well to both videographers and stills shooters, Good choice of framerates, bitrates and codecs, Comprehensive Wi-Fi settings and extensive control, Big battery with the option of battery grip for long shoots, Fast autofocus system for stills, Useful autofocus modes for video shooting
Cons: No focus aids available when shooting video, Electronic viewfinder has distinct color cast and disappointing optics, Noise reduction at high ISO rather clumsy, JPEG color response a little underwhelming, Wi-Fi can be awkward to set up
The Panasonic GH3 is the biggest, most ambitious Micro Four Thirds camera yet
13 November 2012
Conclusion: Our time with the Panasonic GH3 convinced us that it's the best mirrorless system camera to date. Bodies like the Sony NEX-7 have shown excellent performance, and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has incredible styling and control, but the GH3 brings it all together—with high-quality video to boot. Compact system cameras have always been born of compromise; smaller sensors yield smaller cameras, but smaller sensors are usually not as capable as larger ones.