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GH3 user reviews and opinions
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  • 720p hdmi out monitoring while recording?

  • got my GH3 today together with the 12-35mm. First impression:

    • the display and its touch interface is top notch
    • the interface design is also much improved
    • button ergonomy is better but my expectations had been very high after bloggers compared it with a Canon 7D. Its getting there but buttons and this click wheel are still cheap and fiddly - not 7D (the overall size and wight is also not 7D and that's a big plus for me. I rather fiddle with those buttons than carry bulk ...)
    • I still notice a gamma shift between preview and record
    • the internal color processing/demosaicing has changed for good. No green tint no blue/magenta banding so far
    • there is no "miss behavior" of the 12-35 lens while attached to the GH3. Aperture clicking whilst zooming only happens on the GH2
    • the 12-35mm f2.8 feels and operates much better than the 14-140mm. Way less plastic.
  • @Alex

    Good to know about the 12-35mm. Where did you get your GH3 from?

  • Got it from Wexcameras ...

  • @Alex Yep, the 12-35mm is working very well with the GH3.

  • @driftwood Trying to figure out whether to get GH3 or instead get a GH2 for video use. Any info on moiré/alias issues w/ 12-35mm lens in video? Do I need to get manual lenses to avoid issues with moiré/aliasing in video? How do things compare (12-35mm lens, vs. manual lens with regards to moiré and aliasing, respectively)? Better/worse than GH2? Thanks!

  • 720p50 Test (and in ALL-I tests) of Sequence Parameter Sets of GH2 versus GH3 for full range.

    The GH3 displays;-

    if (video_signal_type_present_flag) {
          video_format                             = 5
          video_full_range_flag                    = 1 (true)
          colour_description_present_flag          = 1 (true)
          if (colour_description_present_flag) {
            colour_primaries                       = 1
            transfer_characteristics               = 1
            matrix_coefficients                    = 1

    The GH2 as we know is n/a (not applicable) ie not using full range flag.

  • Getting excited! :) My order is about a week away..!

  • All things are looking defintely better according to my comparable tests (which incidentally Im still doing). Though some of my GH2 intra settings run the GH3 very close in terms of encoding. The 8x8 adaptive transform is effeciently providing excellent results.

    I think the GH3 isnt a giant leap, but a natural step in the right direction.

    720p50 All Intra Test:

    Here's a quick test shot of a GH2 (left) utilising the GH3 matrix and bitrates against the real GH3 (on the right). The GH3 with its adaptive 8x8 transform shows QP range is tighter, transform percentage and larger mb/picture size overall. But the GH2 hack does very well. :-)

    Notice the GH3 colour difference (both are using 14-140mm lens, 0,0,0,0, 50 shutter, f4.5, Std profile. lit room WB, the GH2 edited to one of my Intra 720p settings)

    Edit: Actually Elecard handles mts files different to Quicktime .mov files. Here's the same pics in Quicktime on the Mac - Left is MTS wrapped to Quicktime without re-sample versus GH3 raw .mov on right. Full Range probs probably.

    Left - GH2 with GH3Matrix and similar bitrate settings VERSUS the GH3 on the right.png
    2559 x 1311 - 2M
    Quant Overview of same test.png
    2527 x 1311 - 199K
    GH2 mts Clipwraped to .Mov LEFT versus GH3 raw .Mov RIGHT.png
    2523 x 737 - 3M
  • @driftwood, a move in the right direction is good IMO. Too often many of us have overhyped expectations. The GH2 was already an impressive image maker considering the price and now it's structurally improved and the image is improved as well. That sounds like a worthwhile product upgrade to me. Imagine what it will be able to do with a hack?

    @driftwood, do you think the GH3 will need a flatter picture profile or can we tweak it enough already with the current firmware? I remember many complaints about the GH2 being too contrasty and the color not being the best.

  • @Aria Still experimenting with pic profiles to see what is the flatest.

  • Interesting difference on that picture, maybe I'm the weird one- but I like something about the GH2's less intense color, it feels slightly more organic. But in post you can always make it as intense as you want of course. I really like to start with an image a bit flatter like in that example.

    You should post the same pic again driftwood once you find which profile & settings combo appears the flattest to you.

  • @driftwood, you label the GH3 as "I think the GH3 isnt a giant leap, but a natural step in the right direction."

    Do you really think panasonic will give us a "giant leap" though? Yes it is hard to compete with blackmagic on the cinema market at that price range, but if they market a more compressed camcorder that has similar image quality, there is a niche for that.

    So honestly, i think this is the best we will see out of a GHx line, due to panasonic not wanting to step on the toes of its "pro video" division. Or, at least, not without a major price increase.

  • L1N3ARX, I agree. The Picture on the left looks nicer to me as well. The colors look more natural.

  • @driftwwod, thx for your test. For me, as far as detail is concerned for 720p gh3 here is a slight winner ! I did some PP, that is my conclusion, I don t know yours. Some alias there both side on par. We knew gh2 in 720p is not so good...

    We are now longing for a test in 1080p :-)

  • @driftwood

    Look how much more detail there is in the Orange cat's tail. That can't be done simply with sharpening. There is a lot more actual resolution there.

    Also look at the transition between the left side of the chicken's neck and the background. On the GH2 it is a very hard transition with what looks like over sharpening. With the GH3 it is a very smooth transition.

    I also like the fact that the Monkey is purple in the GH3 image instead of the Gray in the GH2 image. I can only assume that the monkey really is purple.

  • My eyes tell me the GH3 has higher color accuracy, as the GH2 definitely shows a slight tint toward green. In my experience the greenish tint tends to get worse at higher ISOs. Detail is definitely superior on the GH3, though I suppose this is only important to me should Panasonic decide to release 120fps 720P in a future firmware upgrade. I do not plan to shoot at 720P-60 after waiting over 2 years to get 1080P-60 :)

  • @Tron +1

    @mpgxvcd, +1

    But I would say : On the GH3 it is a very hard transition with what looks like over sharpening.

    While Pixel Peeping I tried to see details taking in consideration the difference of sharpening between the 2 photos. my point of view is that gh3 gives more information here in 720p. Be aware : it is 720p guys :-)

    I am quite happy for PANA. They did a good job !

    Happily ND is here !!!

  • Have a look at the number tag bottom of the tiger. 1465 (zoom in). Much clearer in the GH3 compared to the GH2 in both picture sets.

  • @AKED

    +1 That 720p looks great. However, we really want to see what 1080p brings.

  • @driftwood

    your test showing the Creative Controls is very good to perceive the difference among them.

    It seems the GH3 Natural picture profile combined with the High Dynamic creative control will deliver the best dynamic range.

    It would be great to see a comparison between GH3 in this mode and GH2 in Smooth, both cameras showing a sunlight image with blue sky, clouds and a deep shadow in the frame like under a tree, or if its raining, an artificial light image indoors with highlights and shadows in the frame.

    This way DR answer will be solved.

  • Guys, the UK weather has been terrible all week and I have to pay the bills too! Hopefully daytime test for DR will be available tomoz or Sat. Ill have some more interior comparisons up tonight.

    You must also remember, the GH2 at 72Mbps 720p50 all -Intra is perilously close to failing. Only 45mbps cards and above will get beyond 15 seconds for that picture.

  • @driftwood

    That is why what Panasonic has done with the GH3 is so special. You couldn't shoot a wedding or live event with a GH2 and those settings. With the GH3 it is guaranteed to work even with a simple class 10 card. Have you seen any write failures yet? Even a stock GH2 would have write failures on occasion with slower cards.

  • @driftwood Wich card did you used for GH3 at 72Mbps?

  • GH2: HD Video Extreme 20mbps Sandisk (10 sec duration before stop), Extreme Pro 45MB/s 32Gb card - lasted forever) ditto 64Gb 95MB/s. The picture was recorded with the 45MB/s.

    GH3: 64Gb 95MB/s card. No problems.

    I'll experiment with slower cards on GH3 soon.