skip to Main Content

GH3 review at Digitalcamerainfo. GH3 and E-PL5 comparison and almost identical IQ.


Image courtesy: Digitfotopro.

Digitalcamerainfo posted their full GH3 review: “The Panasonic GH3 is the Micro Four Thirds system all grown up, and it’s hard to argue that it’s not the best mirrorless system camera to date. While we’ve seen impressive performance from other bodies like the Sony NEX-7, and incredible styling and control in the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the Panasonic GH3 brings all of that together with some exceptional video quality to boot.

The full conlcusion page can be read here and you can read good things about the GH3. But who made the Gh3 sensor? The Dutch website Digitfotopro (translation here) posted a short GH3 vs E-PL5 ISO comparison. They converted the RAW files via Lightroom 4.3 RC and the result is that they are pretty much delivering the same image quality suggesting that both camera may use the same Sony sensor. And before someone starts to say that the E-M5 isn’t using a Sony sensor just read what Hiroyuki Sasa CEO of Olympus said about it at :)

GH3 and PEN in Stock status check:
GH3 preorders at Amazon , Adorama, BhphotoPanasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.
E-PL5 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France and eBay (via Slidoo).
E-PM2 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France and eBay (via Slidoo).

Reminder: New Gariz case on eBay:
Black E-PL5 case (Click here).
Brown E-PL5 case (Click here).
Black E-PM2 case (Click here).
Brown E-PM2 case (Click here).

  • adriaantie


    • JF

      Lol !!! and you didn’t even take time to troll that it is same average IQ from tiny crappy sensor ? :D

  • Heat Legend

    best mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to mirrorless system camera to date.

    • Anonymous

      You kinda sound like a broken record…

  • Newbie Here

    I think the GH3’s 57th pixel from the left of the 33rd row is actually more orange than that of the E-PL5 at ISO 12800.

    Kiddiiiiiing. :D

  • That digital camera info site has some very bizarre data points. In the Dynamic Range section, they put the GH3 at 10 stops of DR. Now, that would be low considering what we’ve seen out of previous Panasonic bodies and from the samples we’ve seen out of the GH3. However, they then put the NEX-7 at like 9, the 5D III at 8 or so, and the OM-D at 6! Really? 6 stops of DR? First off, the OM-D has better DR than the 5D III, as per DxO. Second, the NEX-7 has 13 stops of DR (and the OM-D 12.5). How the heck can their measurements for ALL the cameras be THIS FAR OFF. After that, I couldn’t really trust anything they measured.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      JPEG is useless for telling anything conclusive about dynamic range because data is way too heavily mangled and mutilated to resemble original data coming from sensor.
      And in camera conversion can’t even use full dynamic range because that would make average shots dull and contrast lacking.

      • Tom

        Not to mention that sRGB colour space plus JPEG limits DR!

  • E-1

    I don’t think it is a good idea to have this fine details for ISO comparison. Yes, it shows how well detail is preserved, but it makes it really hard to see the noise coming when the noise looks just like the details.

  • Steve

    Definitely the same sensor design and manufacturer. Just the AA filter could be different.

    • Nickaboom

      But if they use the same sensor, why panasonic keep AA filter on GH3 if it is the advantage to not have one (for example; GXR D800E).

      • Dario

        Because of Moire and Aliasing for video.

    • Nawaf

      The GH3 has ISO 125 which helps in many situations. We are already limited to shutter speeds of 1/4000th so it would be great if Olympus follows Panasonic in this regard.

      • Steve

        ISO125 on the GH3 might also be closer to the true ISO in RAW. According to DXOMark ISO200 on the E-M5 was actually ISO100. It would be interesting to see the aperture and shutter speeds for the GH2 and E-PL5 in these ISO tests.

        • Anonymous

          While the measurements of dxomark are useful for certain comparisons, there is no such thing as ‘true iso’.

          • hsid

            The problem is that there are too many ways for companies to describe ISO at least with DXO everyone is playing on the same field, which is pretty important if any comparisons are to hold value.

            • Esa Tuunanen

              DxO isn’t playing in field of reality.
              They’re playing in theoretical world.

              • Anonymous

                DxO’s reality is selling their software.

            • Anonymous

              The problem is more one of not understanding what ISO is and what it is for. It only has any meaning in relation to an image that you can actually look at, so post raw conversion/development. Different conversions will result in a different iso level for the same ‘sensor iso’. Different sensors have different properties like dynamic range, sensitivity curves, color reproduction, noise level etc, hence each sensor requires its own raw conversion proces for optimal results.

              Consequently only measuring some specifics of the sensor with disregard for differences in processing is actually creating an uneven playing field.

  • tomm

    ..not reliable: the only tester who approved the em5 to have a Dynamic Range under 7 ev…

    more interesting would be, if Oly now is urged to improve their video, when Pana is starting to follow their better still image quality..

  • Somehow I’m sure these photos were made with the Super Mysterious Olympus Zoom Lens that admin will not leak for the second day already :)

    • admin

      Hi Avds, I am having one big ystery to sovle around that lens. Swear that I am trying to do my best. But I am using what I knwo about the lens to check if the rumors I get from others are correct. That’s the trick to get some more info…

      • No problem, I’m just teasing – take your time :)

    • GreyOwl

      Could it be that that Oly have got Sony to make it for them …. :-)

      • Bronica

        +1. Maybe a Sony-Oly 3,5-5,6 18-55mm-kit lens with E-Mount? Wow! Thats what I’m waiting for! :-)

  • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

    Very witty! Use a motive that looks like noise in the first place for evaluating noise of the sensor.
    But I agree, it looks very much the same.
    And look at the size of that GH3 in comparison to the E-PL5…

  • alexander

    GH3 is too big compared with OM-D & NEX 6&7.

    • Smelly Cat

      Do you have baby hands or lacking any strength? Or are you quickly impressed?

      • wrwr

        Agreed, there must be an awful lot of feeble bodied mFT users if the 550G {with battery} is included is too heavy.Unless you have hands like a Geisha girl the GH2 is neither huge nor heavy.

        • Anonymous

          Obviously it is impossible that someone has slightly different requirements then you eh?Y

      • Anonytrackball

        I have big hands. I take a fair time to assess things. I am the result of all my children being personal trainers. But I am quickly un-impressed.

        I like the e-m5 and I use one. So go take your obnoxious tom cat smell elsewhere.

  • vlad

    The “cheap” EPL5 gives the GH3 a run for its money!!!

    • deejjjaaaa

      true, if you can’t afford to buy GH3 and OK w/ small brick-body w/ tiny controls go for Olympus by any means…

      • Anonymous

        Not to mention the superior video on the GH3.

  • deejjjaaaa

    stop spreading false rumors about Sony sensor (“…Olympus did not reveal about the image sensor manufacturer of OM-D E-M5 ever…”)… it is simply not Sony, Sony and Olympus put the current Olympus cameras w/ Sony sensors in their presentation during press conference – only P&S cameras have Sony sensors… do you find it logical that both proudly displayed there (in presentation) latest P&S but were to shy to display EM5 :-) ?

    • Anonymous

      No they didn’t officially confirm it is a sony sensor indeed.

      However, the behavior of the e-m5 sensor is very similar to known sony sensors and both the d800 and the e-m5 sensor suffered from exactly the same initial qa issues.

    • deejjjaaaa

      and in addition you might want to reread Panasonic interview w/ Imaging Resource ( )

      1) “…Dave Etchells: Our first question comes from our editors and readers who all want to know: Are we correct in understanding that the GH3 no longer has a multi-aspect ratio sensor? What was the reason the GH1 and GH2 were multi-aspect? Why did you not go with that design for the GH3?

      Panasonic: Our main priority was image quality, both for stills and movies. For our former models, the GH1 and GH2, we developed a special sensor that was a little bigger than Four Thirds. However, because we wanted to make so many improvements with the GH3, we didn’t have a larger sensor available. The Four Thirds-size sensor was what was available from our sensor group…”

      does “our sensor group” sound like “Sony Semiconductor’s sensor group” ?


      “…DE: The press info we received said that the GH3’s all new sensor has an increased dynamic range. What changes were made to the sensor or the processing circuitry to achieve higher dynamic range?

      Panasonic: We don’t publish a specification for dynamic range, but yes, we increased the saturation electron number and also improved the signal-to-noise ratio…”

      does “we increased” sound to you like “Sony Semiconductor increased” ?


      that is a pretty direct wording “our” and “we” and it does not looke like it is a reference to Sony.

    • admin

      Please take time to click on the link. You did it?

      • Anonymous

        sure and you please take time to click and read what Panasonic said @

        and then take time again to click your link and reread “…Olympus did not reveal about the image sensor manufacturer of OM-D E-M5 ____ever____”

      • deejjjaaaa

        you assuming that nobody can replicate Sony’s noise handling with multiple ADC on die… however Panasonic was working on the same tech since GH2 sensor and there is no reason why they can’t…

        • admin

          Read the article at DC:watch and let me know if you still confirm your following sentence: “…Olympus did not reveal about the image sensor manufacturer of OM-D E-M5 ever…”

          P.S.: DC.Watch is the biggest photography news site in Japan.

          • Anyway the so is important, sensor to GH3 and E-PL5 is not a CMOS but a nMOS sensor, call Live-MOS of Panasonic and Olympus. ;-)

          • Jimpeters

            Hi Admin
            {is that your real name lol} , I know that one of the Olympus bosses is quoted as saying this . But, surely the recent presentation from Sony and Olympus giving all the blurb about working together, would have been an ideal time to mention what so far has been the best sensor in a mFT camera. Especially when they had a big banner talking about working together { P&S } no mention of Olympus’s best quality camera ever. I am not a conspiracy theorist but especially now that they are working together I don’t see why the E-M5 was not pushed forward , it’s not like they are shy about hyping it.

          • Anonymous


            “…Olympus did not reveal about the image sensor manufacturer of OM-D E-M5 ____ever____” = that was a direct quote from your dcwatch URL ( )… did you yourself actually read that text that you use as a “proof” of Sony’s origin ?

            and dcwatch refers to the removed info by Jiji Press =

            you know why it was removed – because it was false/incorrect quote and Jiji did not stand behind that posting… there is no original source, only references to something that was deleted and you still continue to repeat endlessly about Sony sensor… take a seat and reread Panasonic interview instead…

            • admin

              To be very correct…First Sasa said that in public in front of many journalists…and many reported this. After that Olympus denied it.

            • Anonytrackball

              Now look! Lets get this straight. There’s me and the misses sitting in my garage with magic wands and powders, next to the beer and cider fridge. I am making the sensors with dashing waves of my wand and a few words of encouragement. The Misses is boxing and sending them.
              Now let this be an end to it. Or you know where the magic wand is going next!

  • Tanngrisnir3

    While I appreciate the effort on their part for the review, what the hell were they shooting at f/22 for with ANY M4/3 lens?

  • jimbo

    interesting indeed.. did Panasonic just give up on their sensor division? Now we have reason to hope the GX2 will have this same sensor and be competitive with the new PENs. GX2 with rangefinder styled EVF and 3.0″ screen AND SONY sensor. I can only dream!

    • BoobyG

      I think anyone who believes Panasonic would use a Sony sensor in their top camera is dreaming.

  • thethirdcoast

    Honestly, and this is coming from someone who owns a GH2 and all Panny m43 lenses, I think the E-PL5 looks better to my eye on my monitor.

    That’s pretty disappointing to me since Panasonic is positioning the GH3 as their entry into the semi-pro/low-end pro category and as a direct shot at Canikon. The GH3 really needs to have a significant margin in still quality over every other m43 body to justify its price.

    • Heat Legend

      If you’re buying a GH3 for stills you’re doing it wrong. It’s a video camera people, it’s in direct competition with the 5D Mark III for video quality and features. Nothing on the market for the price range even comes close. Sp in regards to your post, the price is more than acceptable.

      • Anonymous

        Or, you know, maybe some people like the better ergonomics and controls on the GH3 because they shoot a LOT of stills professionally and they need something that handles better than these tiny little cameras with limited physical controls.

    • GH3 is the most pretty Panasonic camera (-L1) and is made for video use.

    • +1
      Olympus looks a bit better.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > The GH3 really needs to have a significant margin in still quality over every other m43 body to justify its price.

      So Canon 60D and 7D used by enthusiasts giving Canon lots of brand recognization are both overpriced because their sensor performance is essentially same as in 550D?
      Get you head out of your butt.
      Higher end bodies give more controls, better ergonomics and construction of body. Also max continuous shooting speed is faster and buffer memory is larger.

      • vlk

        Wow…You’re such a moron esa!

        • homer

          Why is he a moron again? Does the rebel t4 not have the EXACT same image quality as the 7D? Is the gh3 not miles better ergonomics wise than any pen? Does it not have a larger buffer? Did you mean to say “I’m a moron” instead of “youre a moron”?

  • hcn

    For me, E-PL5 seems to retain more details than GH3 on a 25600 ISO shot. I don’t think they have the same sensors.

    • admin

      E-PL5 has no AA filter…that may makes some difference…

    • Cellardoor

      Unless we see raw without any nr, it is impossible to tell. Besides, when you have to shoot with 25600 you don´t wanna do pixelpeeping with any camera ;-)

  • I really hope this is a Panasonic sensor and not Sony – regardless of who made it, the consensus seems to be its a darn good sensor. I would prefer Panasonic up their game to compete with Sony rather than give up and use Sony as a supplier – a lack of competition leads to stagnation.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. Competition is better than no competition. But at the end of the day, I really don’t care who made the sensor on any camera. I care about the output.

  • mahler

    Honestly, the E-PL5 IQ looks slightly better.

  • When one gets reviews such as this, reality starts to set in.
    For most users the top m43 cameras (Oly and Pany) are as good as the best APSC, the differences are mostly talk, not function.

    • hurwsrv

      if you look at the shadow noise in an em5 even at base the D7000 easily outperforms it , the dr of the sony 16mp aps sensor at low ISO is excellent . the difference now is that the olympus is as close to the d7000 as it should be given sensor size,wHeras the old12mp sensor was much poorer.

      • Anonytrackball

        Good link.

      • That does not detract from the article and my comment. No one takes shots in the dark as used in the sample, If such is in a shot then the rest will be mostly unusable. So it is an indicative exercise not a definitive one.

  • vanessa

    The epl-5 looks better to me.
    Im not into video so a OMD (or epl5) is a much better choice.

    • joe

      yeah,it for you but someone need video-serious they ‘ll look for GH camera.
      oly still not suitable to video in same/higher price as GH why??? oly cannot do it.

  • Diy

    When did Panasonic stop developing their own top sensor technology and use the competitions, and 43rumirs report this as fact, am I missing something.

    Sure you might get a big companies foundry to produce your top sensor for you, unless you are a big rival company yourself, probably with their own sensor foundry solution lined up. This gets a bit close for comfort, The truth is, barring some knock out punch, similar sensors are likely use similar top technology for similar performance. Sony has some interesting tech coming, but like Canon and Red, they are locked into who is upgrading in this period, as to who is ahead (except Canon is focused on stills at the expense of video).

  • AlexV

    If some peoples are interesting by a direct images comparison between GH3, E-PL5 and E-M5, check this fench website, just add these cameras and select one of their benchmark pictures:

  • homer

    Another round of fantastic comments!
    How is it that anyone who wants to buy the gh3 for stills is making a mistake and is a moron when it has the same stills quality as the omd/epl5?
    Same stills quality, better video, better ergonomics, weather sealed and yet its a bad choice for stills…
    And people say that there’s no fanboys here…

Back To Top

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.