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(FT3) a first short Panasonic GH3 user impression report.


Shape of the current Panasonic GH2.

An anonymous sources sent me a short text about the GH3 handling. He had a short time “experience” with the camera. He asked me to rewrite the text he has written so enjoy my usual childish English rewritten report :)

The camera feels more solid in your hands than it was with the GH2. It gives you a more “pro” feeling…think at the 12-35mm X “feeling” as an example. The shape changed a bit, more rounded and camera feels a bit heavier. The real first change you notice when switching on the camera is the quality of the viewfinder. Hugely improved over the GH2. Makes feel like GH2 was crap. Can’t talk about specs and image quality yet (firmware is not not finalized). But I have been told image quality is very close to the best APS-C DSLR while image quality surpass what current DSLR can offer. As I said, can’t talk about image quality yet but the first impression is that this is the most “Pro” m43 camera ever made“.

This sounds nice but I hope to get some real more detailed specs soon too! Sources can send me anonymous info through the contact form on the right sidebar or at Thanks!

Meantime here are the specs we have got until now:

FT5: similar GH2 design, weather sealed, no global shutter, major improvements in AF speed and EVF quality, GH3X kit with 12-35mm X lens.
FT3: 15.5 mega-pixel sensor, Iso 160-12800 (extends to 80-51200), 6.7fps, 3.2″ inch LCD with 1050k-dots, EVF with 2.06 mega-dots, double SDXC slots, in-camera GPS, external battery grip.

  • nik

    how about IBIS?

    • jyjyj

      Why would the make the body IBIS when their lens range is in lens

      • peevee

        Not all of them. How about Pana 7-14mm, 14mm, 20mm, 25mm? Not to mention all other lenses (from Olympus, Sigma, Tokina etc) a Panasonic camera user would love to use with stabilization, and the possibility for Panasonic to make their own future lenses cheaper and lighter.
        And if they would manage to make a hybrid system, using BOTH IBIS and OIS at the same time to get even better stabilization effect, that would be a bomb!

        • JF

          “using BOTH IBIS and OIS”
          Usually it produces very bad behaviour because they don’t comunicate so they try to compensate each other which can, in the worse case, produce oscillation…using both means redesigning both the systems and means that OIS is controlled by the body like IBIS

        • JimD

          Yes you got it right it would be a bomb. One or the other is the manufacturers recommendation irrespective of brand or type.

    • James

      Panasonic cameras are never going to have IBIS. Buy an Olympus.

  • JF

    Is it a Sony sensor ?? Lol !

    • Documensony

      Hmmm … it says: “I have been told image quality is very close to the best APS-C DSLR while image quality surpass what current DSLR can offer”

      So, is IQ close to or does it surpass DSLRs? Some kind of spelling mistake here???

    • Darryl

      Image stabilization isn’t really neccessary for short lenses like the 25 or 7-14 unless one is doing dark available light shots with shutter times between 1/30 and 1/5. Shorter than that and a steady hand is enough, longer than that and even EM-5 IBIS can’t cope. It’s with longer lenses like the Oly 75mm or Oly tele zooms that IBIS is neccesary.

      Panasonic is committed to optical IS, Oly (& Pentax,Sony alpha) are the only interchangeable lens cameras with IBIS.

      • Dave123

        For video? Yes.

  • jyjyj

    Panasonic higher end sensors are pretty close to the Sony models. The main problem was giving Olympus the long in the tooth 12mp sensor , causing Olympus to look elesewhere. Good for all us mFT users as it forces them to up the game

  • solar

    Competition is great for the continual improvement of M43 category. One hopes they have finally implemented the RC flash function to use with all compatible flash units. IBIS would be great, but not expected.

    One wonders what the price will be in the increasing competitive mirrorless market.

    • MichaelKJ

      My guess is that the body will be approximately $1,200 (US). A GH3 + 12-35 kit for $2,000 would be very attractive, but probably wishful thinking.

      • caver3d

        Nope, it will be more in line with the E-M5 and GH2 pricing at release. So, should be about $995 for the body only. If it’s priced higher, the E-M5 will win out easily.

  • Mar

    I don’t care much about Panasonic cameras, but I must admit I find the multi aspect sensor very nice idea, although it should be possible to use the entire sensor, even if the IQ is not optimal.

    • I hope the next issue (GH5?) will be released with a square sensor. The stupid thing named portrait grip will become useless from this point.

      • Mr. Reeee

        I shoot 1:1 with my GH2 quite a bit and like it a lot.

        It would be cool if there were a higher-res M4/3 camera with a 1:1 sensor, but it would probably be niche only. A niche within a niche.

        I’m glad we’re finally starting to hear a few GH3 rumors! More solid sounds good. After my Nikon FM2 and CoolPix 4500, the GH2 is probably my favorite camera ever.

      • Or a round sensor with stepless ratio adjustment. :)

      • Martin

        I am afraid a square sensor would only fit at the expense of a higher crop factor. Look into the lense mount and you’ll immediately notice that a square sensor with the side length of the longer side of the 43 format won’t fit behind the opening w/o vignetting. At the top corners, the problem could perhaps be resolved by cutting a bit off the blind, but at the bottom, the electric contacts are in the way.

        • Don’t understand my point of view at all. Square sensor would fit just 16/9 portrait and 16/9 landscape and nothing outside this value which would cause wignetting.

  • BuyBuy$$$

    >…Makes feel like GH2 was crap…<

    Repeat the mantra after me : "the newest technology is always the best, the newest technology is always the best,…" buy, buy, buy, buy….

  • matt

    bring it on panny!

    • Gabb3r

      Well, not that the GH2 is crap image-wise (I love the video and it makes pretty decent photos), but from a build-quality point, the GH2 is kinda crap. Mine had it’s flash bracket break neatly with only a yongnuo flash on it, and I never bumped into anything ; the weight of the flash broke it. I’ve had other plastic bodies camera but the GH2 really is not on par with any other I’ve had. And the lcd cable broke not long after, making me realize that Panasonic better step up its build quality else I’m gonna go Olympus or go back to Nikon. It’s the first time I ever broke a camera from light use and it kinda ticked me off.

      It’s good news to hear that the GH3 feels a bit heavier and more robust that the GH2.

  • But I have been told image quality is very close to the best APS-C DSLR while image quality surpass what current DSLR can offer.

    Do you mean that the quality surpasses the average consumer DSLRs and is very close to the best top (semi-pro) APS-C DLSRs? Your phrasing is a bit ambiguous…

    • Duarte Bruno

      You are lucky… I couldn’t make any sense at all out of that sentence.

    • Maley

      I guess it should be video quality which surpasses the dslr.

      • Duarte Bruno

        Now, that would make perfect sense…

      • matt

        the gh2 allready surpases all dslrs.

        • Bobby

          Ridiculous: GH2 image quality is worse than Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III image quality (just talking about quality and not price!).

          • The Real Stig

            He was talking about video quality.

            • matt

              yup, I was talking about video

    • Anonymoose

      How did you do this gray italic thing???

      • Documensony

        I’d like to know too. Stylish :)

        • Boooo!

          I figured it out – surround the text with blockquote HTML tags.

      • try to surround portions of text with <blockquote>text</blockquote>, <em>text</em>, <strong>text</strong> and see what happens:


        , text, text

        You may try other HTML formatting tags.

  • st3v4nt

    this is the most “Pro” m43 camera ever made…..:-)

    • peevee

      Except it is not yet “made” in any significant quantity… ;)

    • Esa Tuunanen

      I leave deciding if it’s any more pro than other m4/3 bodies to until there’s firm data from its design features.

  • TempTag

    Interested in hearing more about this camera but (so far) I do not plan on buying it. This is not a negative by any means – I still find the GH2 to be a great combo camera!

    IBIS might make a GH3 a more likely buy but cannot see IBIS appearing in a Panasonic. (Happy to be wrong!). Focus peaking would be a “nice to have” as well assuming viewfinder was good enough to make it worthwhile.

    Still looking for one of the new lenses to better the old 43 25mm Panny/Leica as my go to lens.

  • Yun

    How about the new sensor patent from Pana ?
    Any idea what model Pana is going to install ?

    • Narretz

      Patents are rarely realized exactly as they appear when they are disclosed.

      • JimD

        In that case they are not covered by the patent.
        Unless they are American, where an idea or thought or finger can be patented, if it means they can sue someone over it. (greed is good?)

  • wayne wong

    1080 30/60/120P 10bit 4:2:2 plz

    • Duarte Bruno

      Completely unrealistic.
      Given that 1080p60 is granted, we’ll be very lucky to have 720p120 since it’s not in AVCHD 2.0 specifications.

    • Rinaldo

      Include 24p and give me two bodies, please.. ;)

  • DingieM

    I am expecting quite a high price point, and a little price drop for the E-M5

  • The global shutter seems to be a bête noire, even when designing high-end models. Surely something else than a mechanical shutter can be engineered to break after a while? :-P

    The G5 looks ever more interesting. Inexpensive, well-featured, it’s almost like an m4/3 E-620 that Oly decided not to make. If only there were a decent wide to longish zoom that failry fast…

    • come on pana

      remember the G5 is called the GH2.5 ;) imagine the GH3 :o

    • > If only there were a decent wide to longish zoom that failry fast…

      In all fairness. Go to any Oly 43 forum and ask opinions about 12-60. What you would get is a rather divided picture. On one side it has very versatile range and good IQ. On the other side, the IQ and range is gained sacrificing the weigh and physical dimensions and price. Many people strongly recommend instead the cheaper and lighter sibling – 14-54mk2.

      What I’m trying to tell here. There is already longish zoom – 12-50. There is already bright zoom – 12-35. But combining them, would result in a monster lens which is the 12-60. But 12-60 balances well only on the E-x/E-xx bodies – any smaller camera simply doesn’t provide sufficient grip to hold it comfortably, forcing you to use both hands for pretty much any action with the camera.

      As much as I like my 12-60, I also understand that we are very long way off of seeing its m43 analogue. Otherwise, I think E-M5+12-50 should be pretty usable combo: darkish lens is compensated by the good high ISO. (And the high ISO is something we lack on the cameras which can effectively mount the good old 12-60. That’s also why 43’s 12-60 has to be brighter than the m43’s 12-50.)

      • I don’t have to ask about the 12-60. It’s been my my bread-and butter lens for over 3 years. Unless m4/3 gets a very similar lens, or unless the 12-60 will perform adequately on at least one m/4/3 body, m4/3 isn’t “there yet,” at least for me.

        The slightly increased size of the 12-60 is offset by the small size and light weight of a camera like the E-620. I really don’t want a smaller body anyway, which is why I hope the next OM body will be a tad more beefy than that of the current model.

        • E-620+12-60 here too. My comment was more for the argument’s completeness. Though E-620+12-60 is my usual (and by far favorite) combination, honestly, every time I use it on E-620 I have the buyer remorse: “couldn’t I have bought any lighter lens?!” (It handled notably better on the E-520.) But I found it impossible to part with it. Best part: I pretty much never have to think which lens to pack. :)

          • Since I come from carrying two 35mm SLR bodies and at least three lenses, I am not complaining about the E-620/12-60 combo. I also carry a 40-150 (the older and faster one). I’m not trying to stuff my gear in a shirt pocket… ;-)

      • Esa Tuunanen

        If mirrorless ever intends to claim its place as camera of the future and successor to (d)SLR it needs to offer bodies with real ergonomics.
        And really the sooner Olympus and Panasonic do that the better position they have against Canon and Nikon in future.

        Everyone should remember that replacing Point&Shoots isn’t any success in long term for m4/3.
        It’s real success only when m4/3 eats market share from Canon and Nikon DSLR achieving similar market share.

        • Gh2gang

          as far as video quality goes eating market of the canon by pannasonic(gh2) is reality (look at the intra patches) the image the canon produces is so soft it’s ridiculous(not cinematic;) so m43 in video already has a steady spot and growing.

  • anteportas

    Viral Marketing!

  • Farrukh

    If it has Olympus’s funky IBIS, I’m sold ;) Though given that it isn’t Olympus making the GH3 I’ll hold my breath on this one ;)

  • Crossing fingers that some of it is true.

    I’m definitely looking to buy a new camera this autumn and GH3 is on the watch list. Though GH3 potentially could be in tight fight for my money – with the G5. (G5 appears to become the new darling of the DPReview. It (and the G3) was mentioned in several articles. In recent D650 review it was used for the AF comparison, what provoked rather unflattering comments from the Canon aficionados and/or large sensor believers.)

  • Gadge

    Does it blend?

  • Mike Fix

    All I care about is global shutter… the jello must go!

    • peter

      They could be using a CCD sensor…that would have no problems with rolling shutter.(most Panasonic pro film cameras use 3xCCD.)

  • ED

    Finally some gh3 news :))))) Thanks.. Can’t wait, it sounds like a great camera . I have been postponing my purchase (EM5 or NEX..gh2?) until there is enough info to make my final choice.. I hope it doesn’t let down..

    I know u said it wont have global shutter, but I am sure it will bring something equally grand bcoz if I understood correctly from ur previous posts the GH3 will be Panasonic’s ONLY new camera announced at Photokina, and about 6 months (or more) ago I read about a Panny spokesperson saying that this year Photokina will be VERY important to them.. Unless he was referring to lenses, my bet is the gh3 is going to be a monster!

  • Bronica

    No IBIS no buy…

    • The Real Stig

      No IBIS is a certainty. No doubt the E-M5 falls short in some critical way. So neither Panasonic or Olympus make anything you want, so what are you going to buy?

      • Bronica

        I have already bought a OMD – for that reason. But I like the Lumix-Cameras pretty much. A G3/G5 is really a bargain. For my work absolutely ok. But I use old lenses and three of my Lumix-lenses are without OIS.

        Video is not so important for me. But I think it’s an interestiong option.

        And – well: I used many cameras in my life – Leica R5, Canon EOS1n – the OMD is really another stage of evolution. The IQ – no joke – can compete with a small Medium Format Camera like a Bronica ETR or Mamiya 645.

        The OMD is very fast and as silent as an Leica M and even more comapct.

        It has some flaws – but I can live with them. Focus-Peaking would be nice. Or real HDR.

        Overall – the OMD is the best camera for me. But I would be happy, if there is an strong competitor from Panasonic. That means for me: This camera should have a IBIS.

  • Interesting. I personally look forward to seeing what Panasonic comes up with. I use a Sony CX550 as well as Nikon DSLR with Zeiss glass. Maybe the Panasonic could complement or substitute the two? Time will show.

  • Kris

    Nothing new to read. All this thread is just a science fiction writting. I want to see real stuff. We are less than a month before Photokina and we still read ghost’s writtings…

  • david

    The IQ claim is the usual meaningless BS. Much better viewfinder is a realistic and specific detail (and a very welcome improvement).

  • Bobby

    I should send in such a meaningless text too. Everyone of us could do this based on what is assumed commonly…

  • Krys

    I really hate the “LUMIX” brand.
    Give me a OMD with PDAF on sensor + hdl6 grip. That’s what i could call PRO cam.

    • joe

      OM-D Pro is mean GH series for Oly.

    • peter

      Considering that the ”LUMIX” brand has made some of the best m43rd and sharpest lens, I feel that you are somewhat missing out.

  • CuriousBenjamin

    I will be interested in knowing how it compares to the image quality of EM-5 considering that it is currently the m43 camera to beat. Assuming that GH3 is using the Pana sensors, this would also show how the Pana sensors are faring against the Sony sensors. Comparing the image quality to APSC is a bit moot I think when there is already a m43 camera with image quality to beat.

  • Incessant Troll

    ibis would be nice; so would a body flash and lens hoods that don’t cost $80. i guess we can continue crying silently on the interwebs

  • piero

    Hi Admin,
    No more news about the news pen???

  • Someguy

    Please use gh2 batteries.

  • samshootsall

    isnt panasonic’s color not as good as Olymous? too much purple fringing and CAa…

    • spam

      Interesting sentence.

    • Bob

      No. Purple fringing (CA) has nothing to do with the camera, and everything to do with the lens. And since Panasonic cameras and lenses automatically correct for lateral CA, and olympus cameras and lenses do not, the truth is the opposite of what you wrote.

      But CA has nothing to do with what people mean when they say Oly has better “color” than Panasonic. They’re talking about in-camera jpeg output. Panasonic’s newer cameras (G3, GX1, GF5, and probably the G5) have much better jpeg output than older ones. Whether Oly or Panasonic is “better” is a matter of taste.

    • agachart

      what is len has no CA(purple fringing)?
      do you know CA?

      CA correction is on Panasonic camera ,it processed on jpeg only not RAW.
      CA in RAW can remove by Adobe LightRoom ,Adobe PS and other software.

  • wreckless

    “In camera GPS”? Why? I mean I understand what it does and what you can do with it, but doesn’t that seem a little gimmicky for a “pro” type DSLR. A waste of product development, in camera processing (chip), and battery resources IMHO.

    One more question/comment: I understand that IQ does not directly relate to MP count, but why would they have a 16MP in the G3/G5/GX1 and a 15MP in the “new hottness” (for everyone who’s not a naturally English speaking person, that means the “latest and greatest thing”) when the 16MP sensor is already over a year old?


  • pn

    Regardless of “how finished” the firmware might have been – anyone really interested in obtaining useful information would have had at least a look into available menu options (like e.g. video modes etc.). This “experience report” really does not reveal anything.

    Until there is a non-crippled / hacked firmware, the GH3 is anyway not likely to surpass the video qualities of the GH2 that are most relevant to me.

  • Bob

    Sounds promising, but that’s about all one can say. A better EVF is high on my list of wants, but by itself not enough. Can’t wait to hear more.

  • aqasem

    I hope that the GH3 will have improved high ISO quality that match the old NEX-5n :) and IBIS 5-axes that match the current EM-5 and what else 1/8000 in stills shutter speed with no rolling shutter for perfection in Video performance and quality.

    you know what I hope for a new technology not enhanced model but all manufacturing companies are same they convince the customer that they provided a new and better staff that deserve the extra money over the older model price, I am sure that most companies do have the tomorrow’s technologies but marketing is ruling at the end.

  • tio


    when it goes out to buy
    I GET A GH2 for 500 GRANTS….. DEAL

  • wreckless

    why is my comment still awaiting moderation?

  • DJS


    GPS allows you to automatically tag the location of your images. Lightroom 4 has a google map link function which shows your images by location. This is a really useful feature, as you can usually remember where a picture was taken; helping to find images in future.

  • Max

    I hope they don’t play the ISO trick, showing less noise at 200,000 ISO by means of jacking up noise reduction.

    They have had 2 years now, so I do expect some great new features. Otherwise the GH-4 will be announced in 2014.

    • Gary

      I can almost guarantee you will never see a “GH-4”, just like there was no “4” in any of the G line model numbers. They skipped from 3 to 5. (I’m a little surorised they aren’t going directly to 5 with GH, as well, to keep up.)

      The Japanese word for “four” sounds similar to their word for “death”, and is thus considered unlucky, much the way 13 is in the West. They don’t even use the official word for four, “shi”, when saying the number out loud in everyday use. That say “yon” instead.

  • Max

    Strange then, There is the Canon 1D Mark IV, And the Nikon D4? I guess Nikon and Canon are fearless.

    • Gary

      Maybe because using a 1D/IV or D4 is like dying, and going to heaven? ;-)

      It’s not a hard and fast rule, of course. But, since the rest of the G line has skipped the number 4, you’d have to assume it is likely the GH will, as well.

  • Can’t wait to know about the GH3
    I might buy sony hdr cx740 before…

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