Panasonic Announces the LUMIX DMC-GH3 DSLM Camera

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The LUMIX DMC-GH3 is Panasonic’s latest addition to the GH line of digital single lens mirrorless cameras and builds on the concept that  photography and video hold equal merit. The new model incorporates a 17.02 megapixel (16.05 effective) Live MOS micro four thirds sensor, coupled with a four-CPU Venus sensor that features a newly designed low-pass filter. Built around a magnesium-alloy frame, the camera is tightly sealed to resist splashes and dust for use in environments that are less than friendly. High-speed OLED displays are used for both the 1,744k dots Live View Finder (LVF) and the 610k dots static touch screen rear monitor. The displays provide 100% coverage and exhibit virtually no perceptible time lag. A sensor automatically switches between the viewfinder and the monitor.

The camera’s Contrast AF system is precise even with stopped-down lenses, and framing isn’t limited to specific measurement points. With Full-Area Focusing, the subject does not need to be in the center of the frame, and any point touched on the rear monitor becomes the focus point. Pinpoint AF allows for setting the focus point more precisely. Touching the monitor expands the surrounding area and a cross-shaped marker can then be dragged to wherever the focus point needs to be. When manually focusing, touching a part of the rear monitor enlarges the image by 4x, 5x or 10x. The 4x image is displayed in the framing screen, so focus can be achieved while viewing the entire composition.

The Venus Engine utilizes 3D Noise Reduction (3DNR) and Multiprocess Noise Reduction (MNR), and the low-pass filter on the surface of the sensor suppresses moiré while still maintaining resolution. Native ISO ranges can be set from 200 to 12800, with extensions of 125 below and 25600 above the native ranges. Both the front and rear curtains in the shutter system are driven electronically for reduced vibration operation. This ensures crisp still-life images and landscapes by limiting pixel shifting. Timer and remote control of the shutter are available. An HDR mode takes consecutive photos with different exposure levels, and then the blown highlights and blocked shadows are deleted, and a single photo generated, with all processing done in the background.

Shooting with the viewfinder has been enhanced by placing the exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity and white balance controls around the shutter button. Acceleration sensors inside the camera detect camera tilt and level, and a level gauge indicating the two directions of horizontal lean and front/rear tilt are displayed on the monitor. The camera's portrait/landscape orientation is also detected and photos are automatically displayed in the correct orientation, whatever lens is used.

Video performance has been enhanced with support for a wide range of high bit-rate recording formats and frame rates. Depending on the choice of format, the camera can record full HD 1920 × 1080, 24p video at 72 Mbps ALL-I Intra, or 1920 × 1080, 60p at 50 Mbps with IPB compression. Other frame and bit-rates are available to fit most video recording situations. Face Detection AF, Full-area Touch AF and AF Tracking, which automatically tracks moving subjects, can be used for shooting videos, just as they are for shooting stills. Four exposure modes are provided—Program AE, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority and Manual Exposure. Quick- and slow-motion video modes are included with three types of quick motion, and 80% slow motion is supplemented with 48% and 40% slow motion, all in full-HD.

A notable addition for video is the inclusion of Timecode recording that meets professional needs for post-production work (not available in MP4 recording) and features a count-up system with Rec Run and Free Run codes, and a choice of dropped or non-dropped frames. Other features include a 3.5mm headphone jack for monitoring audio directly off the camera, and a 3.5mm external microphone input. An HDMI terminal allows for connecting an external monitor or for hooking the camera up to a TV. When recording video in MOV, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD, the GH3 automatically generates multiple files for continuous recording which are then displayed interruption-free during playback. And since video recording generates heat, the sensor has a special heat-dispersing design so that recording is never suddenly interrupted due to sensor overheating, even when recording multiple-hour clips.

The camera can utilize a variety of recording media, including SDXC, SDHC and SD memory cards (Class 10 cards are required for high-bit rate video recording). The newly developed battery allows for shooting approximately 540 images (CIPA Standard), and an optional integrated battery grip doubles the amount of possible shots when using the EVF. A SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) mounted between the low-pass filter and the shutter vibrates approximately 80,000 times/second each time the camera is powered up to dislodge dust or other foreign matter that might enter the camera when changing lenses.

The built-in Wi-Fi function allows for the use of a Lumix Link App equipped smartphone to adjust settings or trigger the shutter release remotely. Timer interval video recordings can also be activated from the smartphone. An auto transfer function will back up photos to a tablet for monitoring on location or editing without a PC, and GPS data can be used to stamp the shooting location onto images.

Type Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera
Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card,
SDXC Memory Card (Compatible with UHS-I standard SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards)
Image Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Type Live MOS Sensor
Total Pixels 17.2 Megapixels
Camera Effective Pixels 16.05 Megapixels
Color Filter Primary color filter
Dust Reduction System Supersonic wave filter
Recording File Format Still Image: JPEG(DCF, Exif 2.3), RAW, MPO (when attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds standard)
Motion Image: AVCHD Ver2.0 compliant (AVCHD Progressive), MPEG4-AVC (H.264). (MOV, MP4)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image Quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard,
MPO+Fine / MPO+Standard (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Still Image File Size [4:3] 4608 x 3456 (L) - 3264 x 2448 (M) / 2336 x 1752 (S) - 1824 x 1368 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[3:2] 4608 x 3072 (L) - 3264 x 2176 (M) - 2336 x 1560 (S) - 1,824 x 1,216 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[16:9] 4608 x 2592 (L) - 3264 x 1840 (M) - 1920 x 1080 (S) - 1824 x 1024 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[1:1] 3456 x 3456 (L) - 2448 x 2448 (M) - 1744 x 1744 (S) - 1712 x 1712 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Motion Image File Size MOV(1) Full HD 1920 × 1080, 30p (sensor output is 30p, 72 Mbps (ALL-Intra))
Full HD 1920 ×1080, 24p (sensor output is 24p, 72 Mbps (ALL-Intra))
HD 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 60p, 72 Mbps (ALL-Intra))
Full HD 1920 × 1080, 60p [sensor output is 60p, 50 Mbps (IPB)]
Full HD 1920 × 1080, 30p [sensor output is 30p, 50 Mbps (IPB)]
Full HD 1920 × 1080, 24p [sensor output is 24p, 50 Mbps (IPB)]
Motion Image File Size MP4(2) Full HD 1920 × 1080, 30 fps [sensor output is 30p, 20 Mbps]
HD 1280 x 720, 30 fps [sensor output is 30p, 10 Mbps]
VGA 640 x 480, 30 fps [sensor output is 30p, 4 Mbps]
Motion Image File Size AVCHD Progressive(2) NTSC: [Full HD] 1,920 × 1,080, 60p [sensor output is 60p, 28Mbps]
Motion Image File Size AVCHD(2) Full HD 1920 × 1080, 24p [sensor output is 24p, 24 Mbps]
Full HD 1920 × 1080, 60i [sensor output is 30p, 24 Mbps]
Full HD 1920 × 1080, 60i [sensor output is 60p, 17 Mbps]
Continuous Recordable Time [Motion Images] AVCHD with picture quality set to Approx.
230 minutes with H-HS12035 / approx. 210 minutes with H-VS014140
Actual Recordable Time [Motion Images] AVCHD with picture quality set to Approx. 115 minutes with H-HS12035 / approx. 105 minutes with H-VS014140
Flicker Reduction [Motion Images] 1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/120, OFF
Time Code [Motion Images] [Except MP4] ON/OFF, Count Up : Rec Run/Free Run selectable, Time Code Mode : Drop frame/Non-drop frame selectable
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n, approx. 2412 - 2462 MHz [11ch], Wi-Fi / WPA / WPA2, Infrastructure mode
Type OLED Live View Finder [1,744k dots equivalent]
Field of View Approximately 100%
Magnification Approximately 1.34x / 0.67x [35mm camera equivalent]
Eye Point Approximately 21mm from eyepiece lens
Diopter Adjustment -4.0 to +4.0 [dpt]
Auto Eye Sensor Yes
FOCUS  
Type Contrast AF system
Focus Mode AFS [Single], AFF [Flexible], AFC [Continuous], MF
AF Mode Face detection, AF Tracking, 23-Area-focusing, 1-Area-focusing, Pinpoint (full area touch available)
AF Assist lamp Yes [ON/OFF]
AF Lock Yes [AF/AE LOCK button]
Other Quick AF, Continuous AF [during motion image recording], AF + MF, Eye Sensor AF, Touch Pad AF, Touch AF, Touch shutter, Touch MF Assist, Shutter AF, Half Press Release
Light Metering System 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light Metering Mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Metering Range EV0-18 [F2.0 lens, ISO 100 equivalent]
Exposure Mode Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
ISO Sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity Auto, Intelligent ISO, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (changeable to 1/3, 1EV step)
(Extended ISO 125-less under 200, ISO more over 12800-25600 available) (up to ISO3200 in Auto)
Exposure Compensation 1/3 Step ±5EV [±3EV for motion image]
AE Lock AF/AE LOCK button
AE Bracket 3, 5, 7 frame in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV step, single/burst
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1, 2 and Color temperature setting, 
White Balance Adjustment Blue/Amber bias, Magenta/Green bias
Color Temperature Setting 2,500 - 10,000K
White Balance Bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis
Type Focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Still Images:  1/4000-60 and Bulb
Motion Image:  1/16,000 1/30
Self Timer 10 sec, 3 images after 10 sec, 2.0 sec
Remote Control Remote control with Bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (optional, sold separately)
Still Image  Clear Portrait, Silky Skin, Backlit Softness, Clear in Backlight, Relaxing Tone, Sweet Child's Face, Distinct Scenery, Bright Blue Sky, Romantic Sunset Glow, Vivid Sunset Glow, Glistening Water, Clear Nightscape, Cool Night Sky, Warm Glowing Nightscape, Artistic Nightscape, Glittering Illuminations, Clear Night Portrait, Soft Image of a Flower, Appetizing Food, Cute Dessert, Freeze Animal Motion, Clear Sports Shot, Monochrome
Motion Picture Clear Portrait, Silky Skin, Backlit Softness, Clear in Backlight, Relaxing Tone,
Sweet Child's Face, Distinct Scenery, Bright Blue Sky, Romantic Sunset Glow, Vivid Sunset Glow, Clear Nightscape, Cool Night Sky, Warm Glowing Nightscape, Artistic Nightscape, Clear Night Portrait, Appetizing Food, Cute Dessert, Freeze Animal Motion, Clear Sports Shot, Monochrome
Burst Speed SH: 20 frames/sec, H: 6 frames/sec, M: 4 frames/sec [with Live View], L: 2 frames/sec [with Live View]
Built-In Flash Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN12 equivalent (ISO 100/m), GN17 equivalent (ISO 200/m) Built-in Pop-up (Reference)
Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-Eye Reduction when iA, iA+], Forced On, Forced On/Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction
Synchronization Speed Less than 1/160 sec
Flash Output Adjustment 1/3EV Step ±3EV
Flash Synchronization 1st Curtain Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync
Synchronization for Flash Dimming and Exposure Compensation Yes [ON/OFF]
Flash Sync Socket Yes
Type OLED Monitor with static touch control
Monitor Size Free-angle 3.0", 3:2 aspect, wide viewing angle
Pixels 610k dots
Field of View Approximately 100%
Monitor Adjustment Brightness [7 levels], Color [7 levels], Red-Green [11 levels], Blue-Yellow [11 levels]
Digital Zoom 2x, 4x
Extra Tele Conversation (ETC) Still Image: Maximum 2x [not effective with L size recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio]
Motion Image: 2.4x, 3.6x, 4.8x [magnification ratio depends on the recording quality and aspect ratio]
Other Functions Guide Lines (3 patterns), Real-time Histogram
Level Gauge Yes
Vertical Shooting Direction Yes
Still Image and Video Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom
Still Image Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter, One Point Color
Motion Picture Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, One Point Color
Exposure Mode Program AE, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority, Manual Exposure
Slow and Fast Motion 40%, 48%, 80% (records 0.4, 0.48 & 0.8 times slower)
160%, 200%, 300% (records 1.6, 2.0 & 3.0 times faster)
(1920 x 1080, 24p, 24 Mbps in MOV, MP4, AVCHD)
Playback Mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback [max. 16x], Slide Show [All, Picture Only, Video Only, 3D, Category Selection, Favorite, duration and effect selectable], Playback Mode [Normal Play, Picture Only, Video Play, 3D Play, Category Play, Favorite Play], Title Edit, Text Stamp, Video Divide, Resize, Cropping, Rotate, Favorite, Print Set, Protect, Face Recognition Edit
Protection Single, Multi or Cancel
Erase Single, Multi, All, Except Favorite
Direct Print PictBridge compatible
USB USB 2.0 High Speed
HDMI miniHDMI TypeC
Video: Auto, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
Audio Video Output Monaural Type, NTSC
Remote Input 2.5mm jack
External Microphone Input 3.5mm jack
Headphone Output 3.5mm jack
Microphone Stereo, Wind-Cut: Off, Low, Standard, High, AUTO
Speaker Monaural
OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese [Traditional], Chinese [Simplified], Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Vietnamese
Battery Li-ion Battery Pack [7.2V, 1860 mAh] included
Battery Life (CIPA Standard) Approx. 540 images with H-HS12035, Approx. 500 images with H-VS014140
Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Operating Humidity 10 to 80%
Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.5 PE
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE
LoiloScope (trial version)
Standard Accessories Battery charger (AC cable included), Battery pack, Body cap, USB connection cable, Shoulder strap, CD-ROM
Dimensions 5.2 x 3.7 x 3.2” (13.3 x 9.3 x 8.2 cm) excluding protrusions
Weight Approx. 16.6 oz (470 g) Body only
Approx. 19.4 oz (550 g) Body, Battery, SD card

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I have Canon lenses and m43s lenses, so how do I decide between the GH3 and the 6D? I want a vacation camera that I can also use to photograph jewelry that I make. I video jewelry making demonstrations

I would recommend the GH3 in this case, its a smaller camera which is nice when traveling and at a fraction of the price of the 6D it offers more overall control of your videos and photos, with its touchscreen focus ability you can have any area of the composition be your focus point.

Thank you. I will order one when they are available.

What lens is best for photographing jewelry? I put necklaces on a display and ear rings next to it. does this need a macro lens?

A macro lens would be ideal for the type of work you intend on doing. For the Micro 4/3rds system there are currently only 2 Macro lens options. Both are great but they are not so inexpensive. As an alternative we sell products called “Extension Tubes” which are hollow cylinders without optics designed to enable a camera's lens to focus closer than its minimum focusing distance and therefore provide more magnification. They are placed between the lens and body and are particularly useful in allowing lenses without macro capability to shoot macro, but in general, they offer increased magnification for whatever need.

They can be used with any lens and can also be mixed/matched for greater flexibility. These tubes will the autofocus/auto exposure meter to still work, however at closer focusing distances you are better off manually focusing as it may have you so close that the autofocus sensors in the camera will not be able to determine a focus point, and thus would have the lens “hunting” back and forth.

See the links below, the first is for the two macro lens options, the second is for the extension tube set available for the Micro 4/3rds system:

http://bhpho.to/QHNzCE

http://bhpho.to/JBbuiQ

You don't need a macro lens for jewelry. You need to be more concerned with keeping the camera steady and lighting and shadows. You could build a frame to hold the camera steady while it's pointing downward while using a timer. You want soft lighting that won't blow out highlights. You want to make sure shadows don't distort the way the pieces look.

You provide more in-depth info here than any report I've read so far. That's good. But I have a question: Is this report based on your hands-on experience, or is it based on what Panny says? If the latter, then shouldn't you sprinkle a few "according to/claimed by Panny" throughout this report to let readers know where the info comes from? If the former, then the user's name and qualification would be appreciated.
As for the poster enquiring about videoing jewelry, I would also suggest s/he take a look at the new Lumix G5. Reviews give it good marks for video; it is much smaller and lighter than the GH3; and of course it will take the m43 lenses. The price is a lot cheaper too!

An earlier spec sheet I saw suggested that the GH-3 shot movies in 60Hz and 50Hz standard. Here there is only 60Hz frame rates shown.
Does that mean there will be a separate PAL version?

I confirmed with Panasonic that the camera is NTSC only. No word on if they are releasing PAL specific models internationally or not.

When will this camera be available?

Panasonic has not stated a release date for the GH3 yet, sorry.

Does the camera have a built-in GPS receiver?

The camera does not have a standard type of GPS function per se, however the built-in Wi-Fi function allows for the use of a Lumix Link App equipped smartphone to adjust settings or trigger the shutter release remotely. Timer interval video recordings can also be activated from the smartphone. An auto transfer function will back up photos to a tablet for monitoring on location or editing without a PC, and GPS data can be used to stamp the shooting location onto images. The GPS data in this instance would be taken from the smartphone and imbedded in the images metadata.

Love the review, the 3 questions on lenses and HDMI. I currently have canon EOS for my 60D, are there adapters for canon to M4/3? Also I have mamiya 645pro lenses, I use them on canon with a fotodiox adapter, are there adapters to M4/3? And last but not least, is the HDMI out clean? I have an Atomos Ninja 2 and whantes to know if it would work with the GH3.

The LUMIX DMC-GH3 DSLM allows you to send a clean signal and apparently full HD via it's HDMI output. When we get it in our hands we can confirm this.

Here is an adapter for Canon EOS or EF lenses to Micro 4/3's.
http://bhpho.to/JyFnjP

There does not seem to be a 645pro to MFT at this time. My guess is it is not possible.

Question regarding this MFT to Canon lens adapter. Can this only be used with passive lenses? Meaning, only leases with manual aperture and focus? Or can this camera control iris and auto focus electronically with any lens?

Thanks.

The camera will not be able to control the lens in any way. They will be manually controlled for focus and aperture.

Great review/preview!
What would be a good "basic" atarter lens for this camera?
I'll be using it mostly indoors and will not need any major telephoto reaches. Looking for a good lens in low-light, but also not too expensive.

Hello,

Panasonic's Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black) is a super compact retractable pancake 3x zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35 mm and full-frame formats) for Lumix Micro 4/3 cameras that's only about the size and weight of the 20mm pancake lens. It's 2.4 x 1.87"/61 x 47.7mm (the short dimension shrinks to 1.05"/26.8mm when the power is off). It weighs just 3.35 oz/95 g. Not only is it small and light, this X lens has high performance specs like electric-powered zoom operation, autofocus during movie recording, nano surface coating that drastically reduces ghosting and flare, and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) for greatly improved image sharpness and blur reduction. Two ED lens elements compensate for chromatic aberration, and the silent design makes this an ideal lens for shooting video.

Your site indicates this lens has been "discontinued".

Is there a suitable replacement?

Hello,

The lens is still available in Silver. At this time a newer or replacement model has not been announced.

Panasonic's Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver) is a super compact retractable pancake 3x zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35 mm and full-frame formats) for Lumix Micro 4/3 cameras that's only about the size and weight of the 20mm pancake lens. It's 2.4 x 1.87"/61 x 47.7mm (the short dimension shrinks to 1.05"/26.8mm when the power is off). It weighs just 3.35 oz/95 g. Not only is it small and light, this X lens has high performance specs like electric-powered zoom operation, autofocus during movie recording, nano surface coating that drastically reduces ghosting and flare, and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) for greatly improved image sharpness and blur reduction. Two ED lens elements compensate for chromatic aberration, and the silent design makes this an ideal lens for shooting video.

I'm interested in purchasing this camera. I have a Canon 40D and i would like to get in to videography for my business, I'm torn between the Canon 60D and this camera what might be the deal breaker is the lens i see you recommended a adapter for canon lenses my question is will i have full autofocus if i use my canon lens on this camera with the adapter. THANKS

The adapter only allows the lens to mount to the camera. It does need to be manually controlled though. Both focus and aperture.

Anyone have an idea when the next batch of GH3's will ship? I ordered mine on December 19.

No, sorry we do not .

Here's another question about adapting non-Panasonic lenses to the gh3. I have a fx lens I love that allows manual focus and aperture but since the viewing is electronic and not optical will can the lens be focused through the viewfinder?

Hello,

You can, but EVF's are not meant to focus manual lens. I was using the Samsung NX20 with the pancake lens and while I was able to focus its not always on the money, especially at wide f/stops. I have many older Nikor's I use on a D5000 which has an optical VF and the focus is trial and error. I will say this, when you hit focus, its worth it :0).

If anyone is interested I recently returned from Kenya where I shot nearly 12,000 images with the new GH3. You can read my review the overall review as well as a couple of other updated reviews on my Blog at http://www.naturalexposures.com/corkboard/?s=testing+gh3&x=54&y=21

Daniel J. Cox
www.naturalexposures.com