Panasonic GH3 test at EosHD (Global shutter GHx in two years?)


Example of moire on the Panasonic GH3 from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.

Our friend Andrew from EosHD had the chance to test a pre-production GH3 camera. He met Panasonic manager Uematsu-san and the first interetsing news is that he “hinted at a weaker anti-aliasing filter in our conversations. This results in sharper stills but more aliasing in video mode“. On the other side the weaker AA filter allows to have a “better overall image because of improvements to colour, gradation and the codec“. And the GH3 “resolves as much detail as the $15,000 Canon C300 and at a higher bitrate in 24p.

A look into the future: Uematsu-san said that Panasonic could bring global shutter to the GH line in 2 years.

If you want to read more about the GH3 I invite you to read the article at Luminous Landscape.

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.

UPDATE: 60mm macro lens in Stock at BHphoto (Click here).

  • mpgxsvcd

    A global electronic shutter will be nice. However, the GH3 already has an electronic shutter mode that will work for my needs. Global electronic shutter would be cool but I doubt people are going to be willing to pay the price for it when they realize how expensive it is right now.

  • TempTag

    It seems like the GH line has been 2 years from a global shutter since the GH1.. ..given that we do not see this on other cameras are people really missing this feature?

    • ozymandias

      I believe the Black Magic Cinema Camera is capable of global shutter, but it isn’t utilized. And yes global shutter would be a big deal, other cameras don’t have it because the technology isn’t at that point yet. Global Shutter would mean, just two examples, no actuation limit for photography, no rolling shutter for video.

      • Duarte Bruno

        You already have no actuation limit for photography with electronic shutter.
        The only real benefit from Global Shutter that I can think of is Rolling Shutter elimination, which is rarely a problem for my video use.

      • David

        Nope, the BMD camera has a rolling shutter. The Sony F5 will however have a global shutter.

  • Sounds like the weaker AA filter is the same one as on the E-M5, so this is not really news. It’s probably the same sensor and the same AA filter.

    • Tom

      Olympus has been using weaker AA filters — compared to its competitors — for a long time now, I wouldn’t assume that the GH3 is using the same E-M5 sensor et al just because Panasonic have hinted at doing the same i.e, using a weaker low-pass filter for greater stills performance: definition/resolution.
      Given the paradigm shift between GH2/3 sensors I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Panasonic have outsourced a sensor but thus far the only tangible evidence is that it’s not multi-aspect, is a step backwards regards speed and possibly line-skips for video… oh and they haven’t announced it as there own!

  • Samuel Cabral

    The moiré and aliasing are very disappointing.
    I don’t know if worth a upgrade from gh2 just because it has a better color and ergonomics. The only advantage that i really saw its the precision to focus….

    I think that i stay with my GH2 or will buy a EM5 if Olympus add some improvemments on a new firmware…like 24p and peaking. I’m really tempted by IBIS on legacy lenses.

    • Agent00soul

      For video, moiré should’t be a problem, as long as the camera oversamples. And if it doesn’t, an AA filter wouldn’t help, since it would ruin the stills quality completely (it has to blur all details above video resolution).

    • agachart

      GH2 for still 40%/video 60%
      GH3 for still 50%/video 50%

  • OneEyed

    Buying another GH2 is looking very attractive right now.

    • Yeah no kidding. It is remarkable how cameras are never good enough, how the competition is so much ahead…

      Oh, mine is not broken either ;)

      • Mr. Reeee

        I tend to agree. The GH2 is such a great camera and while the GH3 seems compelling on some levels, I wonder if the new set of trade-offs are worth it.

        I’ve been seriously considering picking up a NEX-6 body to augment it.

        • NEX-6?, what by wait on GX2, so hopefully come next year.

          • Mr. Reeee

            Yeah, NEX-6. I’d adapt all my 135 format lenses. Mainly, I want a built-in EVF and something I’ll be able to get sooner, rather than whenever. There’s no guarantee that the GX2 will have an integrated EVF, either.

            Rumors are a great distraction, but nothing to count on for building a system.

  • tomas

    sorry could somebody shortly explain what is global shutter?

    • MikeH

      Global shutter basically means the entire image frame is sampled at the same time before the sensor is reset to sample another frame.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Here you go:

      Actually that’s very good reading for everyone to cool down their cravings until technical downsides have been mitigated/solved.

      • spam

        Interesting, confirms most claims about global shutter I’ve seen in discussions on the net, but without source references. Thanks for the link.

      • tomas

        thanks guys interesting reading

  • One snafu about announcing a product 3-4 months before delivery is the distinct possibility of losing interest and/or assessing options. Two months ago the GH3 specs seemed stellar, less now. Holding my cash until early buyers report their findings in December. No corporate moles, please, only solid users from the real world.

    • MDavid

      My concern is that the video quality appears to be inferior to the previous generation in some important ways.

      Makes me wonder if it’s not better to spend half as much on a GH2 and wait for a genuine advance in sensor technology instead of spending twice as much on what seems to be at best a lateral move with a sensor that just isn’t impressing- and at this point firmware should show most of what to expect in the final product.

      It’s making the decision harder to make, not easier, the more that’s revealed about this sensor compromise.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      It’s twofold thing.
      On one hand lots of competitor products are announced/released in fall and they might loose sales to others if they don’t say anything concretic. Simply saying that we have announcement coming in near future wouldn’t count much.

      I think question comes more to thing if they actually this time make enough of cameras for shops to have more than few samples to sell when deliveries start.

  • smileblog

    >Panasonic could bring global shutter to the GH line in 2 years

    You mean we better avoid to buy GH3 and wait a successor?

  • homer

    yeah go ahead and wait two more years for the next cycle…smart

    • smileblog

      Sorry Ive already preordered one.

  • darkblue

    The Canon and Nikon cameras’ moire is fixed by replacing the original AA filter with a stronger third party AA filter. It’s specially made for optimal removal of video moire while preserving the 1080p detail. I guess for video-only users it wouldn’t be such a big problem losing the sharpness of stills. It would be even better if Panasonic themselves released a video optimized version of the GH3 with a stronger AA filter, there will be a market for that.

  • Mike Fix

    I was going to skip the GH3 due to it’s lack of global shutter. That was going to be the reason for me to buy. I can wait 2 years. I have a GH2 that I’m very happy with, and if I need a better camera for a shoot, I’ll rent.

  • That moire and aliasing thing on the gh3 is quite an issue for every “already owner of gh2” to update.

  • Rick

    Yawn, eoshd endlessly goes on about details and always leaves out the fact that the GH has such poor DR, noisy shadows and posterization of the highlights. The C300 still produces a more pleasing image because its DR is clearly superior – same goes for the various FF offerings. An image can be sharpened in post, but the DR cannot be added – that’s why 5d2 footage looks so good despite a much lower bitrate compared to hacked GH2’s. DR, DR, DR….

  • anon

    Just wanted to say that global shutter also means that there will be no digital look&feel in movies/pictures shoot at high ISO. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. With GS pictures will have analog look, i.e. *pleasing* and not irritating noise.

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