GH3 best camera at Stiftung Warentest.


Yesterday I reported that Consumerreports said the “GH3 scored higher than all the SLRs tested in this group”. Some of you didn’t trust their report. So if you need one more proof than check out today’s news at Panasonic Germany (found via Photoscala). They proudly announced that the German Institut “Stiftung Warentest” gave them the best rating of all DSLR or DSLM (mirrorless) cameras! I speak German and know Stiftung Warentest very well and I know that we can 100% trust them. They judged the overall quality of the camera (image quality, features and so on) and gave them the best note with 1.8 (the lower the score the better). And guess who came second….come one you will not believe it…the Panasonic G5!

That’s a truly remarkable result for Panasonic! And with $499 the G5 is a total bargain and with merit the hotseller at Amazon (Click here to see the ranking). The GH3 is in Stock at Samys (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).

One more curiosity: The camera with the best image quality was the Canon 6D and the camera with the worse image quality was the Canon EOS-M! Canon really can’t do serious mirrorless stuff :)

One more deal: Panasonic SZ7 for $89 as deal of the day on eBay (Click here).


  • sergey

    “and I know that we can 100% trust them.”

    • Probably bad wording. They publish their test methodologies. They publish how they test particular gear. They publish intermediate scores. They publish how from the intermediate scores the final score is calculated.

      Something getting a 1.x score in Stiftung Warentest is very high praise. Even 2.x scores are seen as guarantee of quality. The test score would bear a lot of weight in Germany/Switzerland/Austria: lots of goods are sold with the Stiftung Warentest stickers here.

      P.S. They use German school score system: 1.0 is the highest mark, 5.0 is the lowest.

      • rrr_hhh

        Believe me : I’m living in Switzerland and won’t buy a camera only reading their tests. I will look here if I need to replace the coffee machine or the dishwasher, but not if I need a hone or a camera.

        • I would buy a camera based on a Swiss magazine report, because the Swiss are neutral. ;-)

        • Hey, where you from in Switzerland? I’m from Dietikon, Kanton Zurich.
          Are there any other people from Swiss here?(wir könnten hier auch deutsch schreiben. Oder sogar schwiizerdütsch, aber das verstaht denn niemmert.)

      • “1.0 to 5.0”? Germany the score system is from 1 to 6:

        1 (very good)
        2 (good)
        3 (average)
        4 (sufficient)
        5 (insifficient)
        6 (fail)

        At upper level schools a point system is used:

        15, 14, 13 points (very good)
        12, 11, 10 points (good)
        9, 8, 7 points (average)
        6, 5, 4 points (sufficient)
        3, 2, 1 points (insufficient)

        • Never seen the 6. Thanks for the info.

          • If a kid gets one 6 for just one course, or two 5 for any two courses, the poor wretch won’t advance to the next grade but has to repeat the whole year and all courses in a so-called “lap of honor” (Ehrenrunde).

        • a!

          But in university we had 1 to 5, no 6. 5 is failed, everything else is passed. And in the old times in my 1st class in old east German GDR, there was as well 1 to 5, no 6. So, not completely wrong, since it only differs between failed and very much failed…

          • Before 12th grade we had 1-6, and in 12th and 13th grade we had the point system, just like we did later at university. That’s in West Germany. I have no idea what you guys did in East Germany.

            • a!

              We had this point system 15->0 (or 1?) in the last 2 years as well, 11th & 12th year (wasn’t a 13th year there, already 12 years ago here, much before they skipped it in the west). but yes, at uni back to 1->5.

              whatever, doesn’t really matter in the end. more confusing were danish university scales: old scale was the “13 scale” with 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 3, 0, higher is better, 5 and lower is failed. They changed it into the “7 scale”: 12, 10, 7, 4, 2, 0, -3, higher is better, 0 and -3 is failed. much easier :-D

          • Just to clarify: 5 was “mangelhaft” (defective) and 6 was “ungenügend” (insufficient). I got the explanation of “5” wrong in my previous post. Two fives or one six in your report card at year’s end, and you had to repeat the whole grade.

        • An in Switzerland, the numbers 1-6 are exact oposite.
          6 is the best, 1 the worst.

  • And here come the GH3 haters… hahaha

    • true homer

      But when random sites say the OM D is awesometastic guess how the comments look like..

  • krixoff

    greats prices g5

  • Henry

    Let every owner or potential owner be the judge of that. My body will be arriving next week, so I’ll see for myself.

    • Henry

      do you have one? Or are one of those imaginary GH3 keyboard owners?

  • Joerg

    I remember it was a Four Thirds camera (the legendary E-1) that was the very first digital camera to get a “very good” general rating from Stiftung Warentest.

    They constantly try to do serious tests, but I would not 100% trust them.

  • Panasonic could have been nice and put out the whole test report on-line. They can buy rights from the Stiftung Warentest. That would have given their German web-site lots of traffic from users of all camera systems.

  • rrr_hhh

    Ach Ja ! Stiftung Warentest : they are famous for testing teeth cleaning past, washing powder and what not. Indeed, they tested the teeth cleaning past in the same issue as the cameras :

    They don’t even tell you which cameras were tested along with the GH3.
    If you are ready to pay 2.5€ for it, you can get access to their results :

    And if you want details for each camera, that is 1€ each one :!IC10007-3709

  • gfdsj

    The Canon EOS-M may well be a dog but its image quality is easily the match of any mFT

    • Dave

      Yes, the EOS-M can take a nice photograph, when the AF works (s-l-o-w-l-y), and you can actually see the screen to compose on a sunny day. Them the photos look pretty good.

      • Dave

        You mean Oly’s camera from several years ago and not Canon’s introductory flagship mirrorless from last summer?

  • Happy to see reviews come out that are not so heavily based on a sensor. There’s so much more to a camera then just one part and for goodness sakes cameras have had sensors that are more then good enough for some years now especially when you consider that most users shoot for the web anyways.

  • Oliver

    Wether one lives in Switzerland, UK, France, Germany or any other country …
    From one I know Stiftung Warentest does a serious and professional job.
    And I am not german ;-)

    • true homer

      youd trust a random street person over a review site? smart

  • Bob B.

    It’s win Prize. not price.(just trying to help out…not criticize)

  • Stiftung Warentest is not an expert on testing digital cameras. They have more expertise in testing washing machines, fridges, microwaves etc.

    Plus 1.8 is not a very good result, there have been a lot of cameras with better test results during the last years ….

    • endlos

      But not this year. :-)

      Good for Panasonic! Hopefully the Stiftung Warentest “Testsieger” sticker on packaging (they should change their German packaging instantly) and some strong promotion should help grow the m43 system.

      If you like Panasonic or Olympus bodies more shouldn’t matter. What matters is that the system continues to grow. Can’t wait to see the release of a Black Magic Cinema Camera with an active m43 mount now that they have joined the consortium.

    • Tomtom

      Stiftung Warentest is funded by the German goverment. For their tests they work together with external specialists, because no organisation kan have the know how for testing dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, shampoos, body lotions etc.

  • Dan

    Read the Consumer Reports article before making a judgement. I’m sure that the GH3 is a great camera. However, a camera is a system that includes a lens. Consumer Reports really screwed up here. They tested the GH3 with the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens. That lens alone costs $1,000, without a body. Then, they compare the images to other cameras with their cheap kit lenses. What they should have done is put that same lens on all of the m4/3 bodies and then the comparison would have been realistic. As it is, it’s worthless because of the huge difference in quality that the GH3 gained through the use of that lens.

    • It is a consumer magazine test. It is therefore very appropriate that the camera be tested as a purchaser would buy it.
      So, No, to the swapping of lenses. for consumer reports.
      For pixel peeping yes. But pixel peeping is measuring. That’s not what real users do. They take photographs to hang on walls not charts of measurements.

  • All the stuff and nonsense pixel peepers are getting worried here. The non pixel peepers are taking over. So the should.

    It seems that Panasonic is getting marketing traction where it wants it. At consumer level. At the mass purchaser level. The pixel peeping dslr guys are loosing their lustre. So they should.

    Well done Panasonic, get the consumer traction rolling. Users not measurers.

  • DonParrot

    I’m German and I tell you: Forget Stiftung Warentest. They use very strict testing methods and if it comes to testing bicycles, children seat, coffee machines and the likes – things where you don’t need a lot of expertise for – their test results use to be spot on. But when it comes to high-tech – no way. Although they must have done something right this time, as mFT products have secured so good result, they have produced the weirdest results in their high-tech product tests, in the recent past.

    At the end of the day, trying hard just isn’t enough. You got to know what you’re doing.

    • Only camera testing takes expertise. Something like a car seat for a child can be tested by any layman, or it doesn’t need any testing to begin with. ;-)

      I do agree on Stiftung Warentest being useless – about as useless and flawed as Consumer Reports.

      • Nice and appropriate sarky.

      • GermanReader

        ROFL…regarding layman testing child seats, sure if the layman is still in the age, he could win his layman-dad for an double testing. everybody in the car and at full throttle against the next car/wall/whateverobsatcleisbigandhardenough… what? you dont trust laymans for car crash test? :-)
        just for your information: they do this tests every 2 years together with ADAC (biggest automobile club in europe), thats combined german engineering at a lets break some child seats party ;-)
        Stiftung Warentest beeing useless… german government funded it as a trust (thats what Stiftung means) & supports this trust every year when needed, the only goal is to do independent test of consumer goods. Its not usedless, its a good starting point, critical reading is needed for every test, but very few describe what & how they have tested (as Stiftung Warentest does).
        So, if you understand german, its a good starting point. If you don’t understand german, well, then it’s useless (for you)

        • Hey German Reader, you didn’t understand my sarcastic reply to Jim. He undestood just fine.

          Vielen Dank für Deinen Kommentar. Das nächste Mal mach Dir die Mühe auch zu verstehen was Du ließt. ;-)

          • Mein Finger zuckte und da ist jetzt ein scharfes “s” wo es nicht sein darf.

    • Beautemps

      It is foolish to thing one would need no expertise to scrutinize a children seat.
      And it is even more foolish to think you need a expertise beyond their external Foto-Engineers to test a camera.
      How stupid is it to believe same engineers test children seats and cameras? No they don’t!

  • Red rider

    Kamera tests form Stiftung Warentest are as useless as test results from “Chip” a German computer magazin. In know that perfectly as I am a neutral Swiss man ;-)

  • henrik

    I do consider Stiftung Warentest when i buy a shaving machine, new tyres or some such. I found that with photo or computer gear i don’t like their methods and they don’t get results that a relevant for me. In any case i will not only look at the final note, but will consider ratings in individual disciplines and sub-disciplines like handling, energy-consumption, complicatedness etc. (depending on product category tested).

  • pete

    1st of April, 43rumors says:
    I speak German and know Stiftung Warentest very well and I know that we can 100% trust them.

  • Cameras. Pixel peepers v users.
    Camera forums must be the only forums in the world where 500,000 people say they are quite happy with the pictures they get from their cameras. Only to be over ruled by 10 pixel peepers who invent all sorts of issues and charts to show the 500,000 that they are WRONG. That the lovely pictures they have. are really all rubbish and have faults. “Here look at this 1000 x magnification,the edge sharpness is 0.00000001% different to the center” and ‘what lens did you use it has 0.000002% distortion” and even “your iso 100 is not iso 100” now what is all that supposed to mean to a happy snapper? Trouble is some join the 10 as they think it makes them ‘look good’ and lets them “talk with authority”, often without reading it all, or knowing what they are talking about.
    Then on top of that is the fact that talking crap with authority does not change what it is crap to start with.
    Leave the 500,000 happy users in their delusional ignorance, and let them continue enjoying what they are doing, taking photos.
    If Panasonic is getting consumer advocates and magazines supporting their product in the wide market place. Then good. Just ignore the measurers. I think I have said all that before.

  • Vitruvius

    What is most interesting is that the G5 came second. I always thought this looked like a pretty good camera. DPReview hasn’t even bothered to review it or even shoot their test scene with it. What other camera has full HD at 60p (not 60i) and focus peaking? Not a lot. A real sleeper and great bang for your buck. Glad soeone else sees that.

    • The G5 is to m4/3 what the E-620 is to 4/3 – plus video plus optional electronic shutter, minus IBIS.

    • MdB

      All the Sony’s from the 5n up?

  • MdB

    I love the specsperts how they say ‘I trust these guys when it comes to a baby seat or washing machine, but not when it comes to cameras’ – typical enthusiast response. You trust them with your babies lives, but won’t trust them to be able to test a camera? It is ONLY because you consider yourself an ‘expert’ when it comes to cameras that you feel you are in a position to disagree with their test results. Where you may know very little about baby seats so trust them implicitly.

    This is absolutely fine, because it seems to me to be a consumer report. So those who DON’T know about cameras will trust them implicitly, as you do with a baby seat. The report isn’t aimed at you and is largely based around the product holistically, not the individual measures that enthusiasts will base a product on, especially things such as how well it will fit into YOUR existing gear.

    I’m sure all the baby seat enthusiasts will mock their test results as well, if there is such a thing. Problem is they are testing something for consumers, not enthusiasts, so their results will vary from your own.

    It is like the Canon enthusiast that every single time someone asks them advice about which camera to buy, a Canon seems to always be the perfect choice. People ask them because ‘they know about cameras’, they are an enthusiast after all – but a hugely biased one at that. The problem that exists is that a lot of people who work in camera stores are exactly this kind of enthusiast, so they recommend a Canon (or whatever their particular preference) to everyone that walks through the door. It is very very difficult to get non-biased camera assistance for the average layman – so that is where these consumer reports are actually very very good things to have.

    Not giving anyone a hard time for disagreeing with what has been published, but it should be seen for what it is and what it is is not for the readers of FT rumors :)

  • maxter

    just to give you an idea about their rankings:
    in their last mirrorless test (march 2012) the nikon v1 scored highest, trailed by the G3 while e-pl3 finished in 6th place (behind nikon j1). Sony Nex system scored even worse with the Nex 5n second to last and the C3 only one place better.
    You can make up your own mind about this, but after this test it was pretty obvious for me that their camera tests are nothing I would consider serious testing.

  • Anonymous

    For a brief overview of all tested cameras have a look here:

    To my eyes the overall test result is not meaningful enough. If you really want to make up your mind you will have to read the complete test in detail.
    So for example they have tested the Panasonic GH3 with 12-35 F2.8 Kit which makes the GH3 also the second most expensive camera in this test after Canon EOS 6D and it is not really a surprise to me that the GH3 will score higher in image quality as the EM5 with the tested mediocre 12-50 kit zoom.
    The Fuji X-E1 with its sophisticated button and menu design scores lower for handling than even Nikon 1J2, so I wonder how they came to their results here. GH3 has won this test due to its superb video quality and the very good Panasonic 12-35 lens.
    It all depends on your preferences, so for example if you are a still shooter and don’t need video or if you simply don’t have a budget of 2000+ EUR every other camera can win this test for you.

  • Oliver

    … so trusting a street person is better … right.
    … given a damn on user reviews … alright.

    why the hell are these guys paying attention to a website that is – by serious intention – based on rumors, speculations and user reviews ?

    such discussion is nothing but theft of time for me.
    over and out.

  • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xang

    Anyways, to a good share of Germans (mainly well-off middle class) Stiftung Warentest is like a consumer bible.
    So no matter what you think about the ranking (personally I think it’s ridiculous because it covers a far too large price range) it will bring a lot of attention to m43 and is likely to boost Panasonic’s sales. And that is good, because my impression is that Germany is Canikon country and m43 still needs more love here.

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    Why people can’t simply take nice photos with the gear they have, post some link and talk about what’s good or bad about their experience?

  • alexander

    at least: it is a very good signe for m4/3 especially for Panasonic!

  • Oh Boy

    Oh dear, my parents used to have a subscription for this magazine.
    Ever since I was 13 and got computer savvy, I realized how stupid it is.

    It might have a reason to exist for checking food for traces of poisenous substances and similar issues but for electronics it’s so bad that you really should just ignore it. Trust me. Please ignore it from now on.

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    Why can’t people simply take photos, post some links and write something about their experience, what they liked and what not?

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto

      It’s not my fault if they get stuck into moderation and then they disappear. When I posted it for the second time, the first post appeared. I’m using an iPad, I don’t know if I’m the only one having this “troubles”. You should be a little more patience.

  • mark h.

    sorry, but stiftung warentest has not the best reputation concerning fototests in germany. we have seen very often results which are inbeleavable, for example a few years ago they had a beginner dslr like the nikon d40x better than a fullframe 5d II.
    and everybody knows that that the g5 isn’t as good as the pl5 or omd, check dpreview or dxo for example… so do not take the results too serious.

    beste grüsse aus deutschland

  • Newbie Here

    Oh god people. A person from a few decades ago could grab a Zorki, Fed, Kiev, Yashica, or whatever, and shoot great photos with it. They didn’t care about charts or whatever. They knew that their cameras weren’t the best. What made images great was the photographer’s knowledge and technical skill, and THOSE DO NOT COME WITH THE CAMERA. They also chose that over a Rollei or a Hassy because they were happy with their unique cameras and the images that the cameras can produce.

    All these debates over which camera is the best just simply sucks, and all the trolling and hate is so immature. I feel that these are all unnecessary. There is no such thing as a perfect camera that comes out of a box. There’s only a perfect camera for YOU.

    Olympus and Panasonic share the same passion for the m4/3 format and BOTH OF THEM SHOULD BE SUPPORTED for doing so.

    Come on guys. Too much frustration and disappointment going on here.

  • Bob B.


  • simon

    stiftung warentest is very good for home appliances and stuff like that but their camera tests are not what I read when considering a new camera.

    the gh3 is a very good camera, but if you want a camera to take photos and not video then the om-d is much much better in my opinon.

  • So, let’s see: We should have a tester-test before we accept any testing result. People testing cameras should be dragged before the “sancta rota” of pixel peeping popes and there shall be an inquiry to make sure they are no camera heretics. Amen.

    • ZOID

      Amen, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea, for the testers to actually use cameras on a daily basis, rather than people you put stuff on the shelf to admire and pick up and play with every now and then gleaming the merits and faults to everyone of such product.

      • “put stuff on the shelf to admire and pick up and play with every now and then gleaming the merits and faults to everyone of such product.”
        You forgot their study. Their private sanctum where there are no pictures no photographs but lots of charts from OXO, DiOXin or whatever framed in all their glory on the walls. With soft lighting and glow effects.

        • Yep. They need to purify themselves and never ever let reality interfere. How dare we wanting just a working camera, fitting our hands, fitting our budgets, fitting our needs – when out there is the dream of THE CAMERA, a codec heavy chimera sprinkled with raw pixel-dust that lives in HDR-heaven…. ;-)

          I like my GH3. It works for me. I miss focus-peeking. Some smaller glitches firmware-wise. But overall good to very good. Next month the next company will bring out the next camera. And if somebody likes this or his camera more than I like mine and it works better for him – the better it is that the other camera can be bought.

    • beautemps

      Amen. Pixel peeping popes would be terrible for the next conclave. What stiftung warentest did is testing a consumer produkt with an overall score. And GH3 meets best the consumer requirements.
      It is not the overall best still fotocamera for sure. Nobody claimed that.
      These testers are experts in cameratechnologie. And people that trust stiftung warentest for their babie’s seat, now stand up from their pub tabels as the biggest experts…

  • true homer

    its a site post that doesnt say the OMD is amazing. Thats all it takes

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