GH3 field report by Luminous Landscape.

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GH3 shots – no post adjustments, selected for banding and moire check from John @ Workstation • Amsterdam on Vimeo.

Luminous Landscape (Click here) posted their first GH3 field report. It contains many interesting info and I am highlighting only two of the many positive statements:

– The fact that the GH3, like the GH2 before it is designed with many features for the videographer, does not in any way reduce or restrict the camera’s stills capabilities. If anything they enhance them, because the powerful processors required for high bandwidth video only make the stills recording ability that much faster and robust.

– Speaking of the sensor, there is lots of speculation that this is essentially the same sensor that’s in the new Olympus OM-D EM-5. It may well be, but no one in-the-know is saying. This would be no-bad-thing because that sensor is excellent. Indeed I did some side-by-side shooting with the two cameras, and while there is a slightly different look to the files, it’s de-minimis. I wouldn’t chose one over the other for its stills quality. (Though the GH3’s video quality is far superior to that of the Olumpus).

All the testing has been done with firmware version 0.5 and that’s why you don’t see a full review yet. But I am sure the GH3 will score impressive results when final reviews will be out. Panasonic did almost everything right on this camera. And what it’s missed now may will be added later by our beloved hackers :)

Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.

 

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  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/duncan/ duncan

    -“If anything they enhance them, because the powerful processors required for high bandwidth video only make the stills recording ability that much faster and robust.”

    GH3’s recording speed may be fast, but burst shooting speed is slow. GH3’s burst rate is only 6 fps, but OM-D EM-5, which is a much smaller camera, shoots at 9 fps at full resolution. Moreover, he says he wouldn’t choose one over the other for its stills quality.

    • Anonymous

      Then again, the OM-D doesn’t AF beyond 4 (or is it 4.5) fps. I’m pretty sure the GH3 still AFs at 6. So it a question of trade-offs. Before moving mostly to m43, I used DSLRs with burst rates of 5.5 fps and 8 fps. I rarely found the faster rate made any significant difference. A nice to have, yes, but not something that would make me choose one camera over another.

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/duncan/ duncan

        As an action shooter, high speed shooting at full resolution makes a big difference for me. In many cases I shoot an subject at a fixed distance, so AF becomes unnecessary. Even without AF, 9fps like OMD, or 10fps like Nex-7 would be a big plus.
        One of biggest weaknesses of GH2 was that it was not so good for action/sport shooting. Dpreview’s GH2 review says “Not so good for: Fans of fast action” and “It wouldn’t be our first choice for shooting fast action”. Also, I had problems with burst shooting of GH2, like freezing during buffer clearence. Even though GH3’s burst speed is not improved much (only 1 fps) over GH2, I hope that it will be more responsive.

  • http://www.underexposed.us Mark James

    I prefer the slightly slower burst rate. With a 18 shot buffer in RAW that gives me a 3 second burst and that is better for what I do to then 9fps and a less then 2 second burst.

    • Fred

      True. But what if you have the option to decrease the speed from 9fps to 6 fps? Can’t answer that, since I don’t have the OMD.

      • Martin-K

        of course you can always lower the burst rate on the OM-D if you need that.. like 6fps, 7 fps.. whatever. this can easily be configured on the OM-D.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/marsupial2go/ marsupial2go

    The Luminous review is video-weighted. The writer said HDMI output is clean and (implied) Ninja 2 can record progressive off the GH3. Hopefully that’s accurate, because when I recorded GH2 HDMI to Ninja 1 the footage was interlaced even if the camera was set to 24p, since it recorded off the sensor. Hence, I wonder if Luminous really did record progressive footage off the GH3 sensor via HDMI.

    I’m confused by this sentence: “…. that due to using FAT32 no one file can be more than 4GB and no one shot can be more than 8GB (two automatically linked files).” Files are spanned on USA models and can shoot video nonstop until the card is full, creating a sequence of 4gb files, so I don’t quite fathom what the reviewer means about the 8gb limit. Anyway, although not a “world camera”, Panasonic’s approach benefits USA/Canada users by not limiting video to 30 minutes (29:59). Other companies make a “world camera” with the 29:59 stipulation to elude creating two models.

    Another good thing is the All Intra video recording inside a mov wrapper, meaning no transcoding in FCP/FCPX as AVCHD does. Although I’ve been using Premiere Pro (native AVCHD editing), FCPX has some features and functionality surpassing Premiere. Hence, the GH3’s All Intra goes beyond the AF100 and just about every other DSLR and consumer camcorder.

    • Renato S.

      I think that all of that is explained in the GH3 website, I remember reading something about that.

  • Andrew

    @marsupal2go

    My understanding is that it’s continuous recording until the card is full in AVCHD mode. When it’s in the .mov modes, it will create up to two 4gb files before forcing the camera to stop recording. I could be wrong, but that’s what I gathered from previous info.

    • http://www.dandrfilms.com Michael D&RFilms

      I believe (and I could be wrong) that when recording AVCHD it’ll record multiple linked files until the card if full in NTSC standard formats. When recording .mov (h.264 non AVCHD) it’s limited to two 4GB files. Because standard h.264 .mov files don’t include the directory structure and files necessary to span multiple clips like AVCHD then in that format it’s limited to two files.
      I’ve said this many times… AVCHD is good for long record times like a video camera. Thank God Panasonic kept it and added non-standard h.264 for higher bitrate shorter shoots on the GH3. We get the best of both worlds.

  • Bob

    Hurrah! At last, a blogger who’s smart enough to do the logical thing, and compare image quality to the OM-D. This camera sounds very promising.

    This is the first review that talks about how well the EVF performs while panning, which is apparently very well indeed. Nothing about how well it performs in dim light, though, nor whether it still lags badly in high speed burst mode. I guess as a landscape photographer he doesn’t care about burst mode. Also nothing about C-AF or focus tracking.

    And I’m curious that he says he couldn’t test at ISO’s about 1600. Everyone else with firmware 0.5 cameras has, so I don’t where he’s coming from.

    Nonetheless, a very promising camera. I’m looking forward to full reviews of the final production camera. Unless there turns out to be a December surprise, I’ll probably buy one next year. Hopefully the price will have dropped a little bit by spring (in the Northern hemisphere).

    • avid

      He also said in a comment below his video that the video ISO is limited to 3200. Something to ponder- is this a pre-production limit or a design restriction?

      I can’t imagine that will stick around… much of my intended use of this camera will be low-light video- I remain pleased with what I see so far otherwise.

  • Emil Travemat

    IMHO, to carry and to publish reviews done with non final units —firmware 0.5, for God’s sake!— is ridiculous and in a way, a kind of fraud to readers…

    • MikeH

      Carrying field reports and reviews that clearly state they are based on pre-production hardware is a fraud how? You may want to look up the definition of fraud because you must be thinking of a different word.

      More information about a camera is better, not worse, for potential consumers.

      • ssgreenley

        +1. Also, if Panasonic expected the quality of the product to greatly improve before release, they wouldn’t be allowing these guys to publish reviews at all.

        • Renato S.

          some reviewers already said that Panasonic told that the IQ is final in the 0.5 firmware.

      • Emil Travemat

        Maybe, since german, non english, is my first language. By the way, y suppose you can’t be aware that Panasonic is recalling all the press samples? And there are hardware issues too. You never know enough in each matter…
        Wait and see.

  • Le frog

    It’s horses for courses, of course, but I wonder whether this video ability is just as much responsible as the marketing department’s diktat to pamper the “huger is better” crowd for the bloated size of the GH3, which is just as big as a Nikon 3200 (a bit slimmer) and bigger than a Pentax.
    I also wonder why go m4/3 if you still have to carry around this behemoth. Unless, that is, it is good enough for professional video work, in which case the proper size comparison is with professional video cameras. If that were the case, it would be a truly revolutionary product, but, somehow, I doubt it.

    • ArKersaint

      @ Le frog : When talking size, never forget the lens size ! It’s clearly there that m43 is smaller than… any other IL camera !

      There was a comparison between GH3 and MK2 with equiv 70-200 some days ago and the whole GH3+lens size looked a third of the latter.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Exactly. I shoot with primes maybe 90% of the time, probably more. I have a few small Leica M mount rangefinder lenses, which are perfectly suited to the GH2, so it’ll be interesting to see how the handling of the GH3 will be different.

        I do a good chunk of night shooting, too, so how the new EVF works in near darkness will be important. The GH2 refresh rate is kind of slow, so often I have to wait for the EVF to settle down and catch up to what I’m shooting. If the GH3 is a big improvement in those conditions it would mean a lot.

    • Antoine

      A monster? I worked 10 years with cameras more than 10 kilos. Why M4/3 should be plastic toys ridiculous? The GH2 is far too small for serious work. Especially when it comes to follow someone and maintain stability. GH3 is still tiny, it just will finally have a good grip and a more robust design.

      A monster.

      • Mdavid

        Stop being reasonable 😉

        • Shenan

          Agreed. The GH2 was way too small for my big hands – the grip felt like I was holding a little shot glass or something, by the tips of my fingers, and constantly pressing buttons without meaning to. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to the improved ergonomics.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jules/ jules

      Jesus.. Get a smaller m43 body and be happy! You have plenty of choices and that won’t change with the novelties to come.

      • bart

        Jules, I completely agree, if people want something smaller, there is enough choice, and while I’m not in the market for it (I prefer small), the GH3 is a welcome addition to the line of m4/3 cameras.

        That said, whenever m4/3 cameras are being discussed, regardless of which camera, we always get a horde of people who have to repeatedly scream “NO ERGONOMICS!!!”.

        In that light it isn’t very surprising that a bigger camera then gets comments about being TOO BIG!!!

        Maybe if Esa and all would stop their totally annoying whining about each and every camera that isn’t large, we could also see less complaining about the GH3 being a monster?

  • Ben

    Le frog, the GH2 is good enough for professional video work, and so I can assure you that the GH3 will be, too (though I’ve never used it). You’d be amazed by how often pros at many different budget levels shoot with Canon DSLRs and the GH1 and GH2 mirrorless cameras. So yes, the size is unfortunate, but as a videographer, I’ll happily take a somewhat larger camera in exchange for the improvements this offers.

  • Anonymous

    MikeH, ssgreenley…. Panasonic Japan is recalling all press samples. There are hardware issues too. Those are reasons final cameras can’t be on the stores until mid december… If
    Maybe “fraud” is not the best word (english is only my third language) but be sure…you don’t know it all.
    Best.
    E.

  • Emil Travemat

    MikeH, ssgreenley…. Panasonic Japan is recalling all press samples. There are hardware issues too. Those are reasons final cameras can’t be on the stores until mid december… If
    Maybe “fraud” is not the best word (english is only my third language) but be sure…you don’t know it all.
    Best.
    E.

  • Dphotog

    Thos has come to light from the manual…no Extra Tele Converter for video… Is this because of the new sensor?

    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/ipsgx

    This other Article even talks about this feature on the Gh3 I was semi excited for this feature since I’m moving from Canon to mirror less…. Can anyone explain or have tried

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/panasonic_gh3_field_review.shtml

  • http://pospotime.wordpress.com Pospotime

    ETC mode does work on video. I’ve tried in 1.0 firmware (final release). Still have to try about its quality, but it is nice to have a built-in 2x tele.

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