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Panasonic GH3 review

Better image quality, handling and video features

Our Verdict

For

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Quick and easy controls
  • Wi-Fi system
  • Remote control

Against

  • Social integration isn't great
  • No focus peaking
  • No image rating button

There are no major surprises with the images from the Panasonic GH3. In most situations the camera correctly exposes the scene and records natural-looking colours.

Panasonic GH3 review

That said, we found that the automatic white balance setting produced rather cool looking images in warm sunlight. Turning to the Cloudy and Shade options warmed the scene up a little bit too far, and we preferred the results captured using the Sunny white balance setting.

Panasonic GH3 review

As usual there are three metering modes available on the Panasonic GH3 - Intelligent Multiple (making maximum use of the 144-zone system), Centreweighted and Spot. We found that the Multiple metering can be relied on in most situations, with the occasional need to dial in a little exposure compensation, for example to brighten the image when the scene contains large bright areas.

Panasonic GH3 review

In addition to Panasonic's iDynamic (intelligent dynamic range optimisation) system, which automatically brightens shadows, the Panasonic GH3 has an HDR mode. Unfortunately this only works when shooting JPEG files, and the composite image is the only one saved.

Panasonic GH3 review

Although there is an option to align images automatically, some of our handheld HDR shots are a little misaligned. Consequently, we think experienced photographers are better off bracketing their shots and creating HDR images themselves.

Panasonic GH3 review

However, where the images do align well the results are good, with a subtle increase in shadow and highlight detail.

Panasonic GH3 review

Although it uses contrast detection autofocusing, the Panasonic GH3 gets subjects sharp very quickly in most situations, even in quite low light. It only really struggles with fast moving subjects, and the AF-Tracking option can only keep up with objects moving at around a walking pace.

Panasonic GH3 review

Noise is generally well controlled in images from the Panasonic GH3, and they have plenty of sharp detail up to around ISO 3200. When the in-camera noise reduction is in its standard setting, JPEG files have very little sign of chroma noise, even in the shadows.

Panasonic GH3 review

Luminance noise is, however, visible in high-sensitivity images viewed at 100%. Where possible we recommend keeping the sensitivity setting below ISO 6400, because at this value the impact of the noise reduction system becomes more evident, with some smoothing and loss of detail.

Panasonic GH3 review

Naturally, better results are possible if you are prepared to process the raw files - and owners of a camera of this level are most likely to go down this route.

Panasonic GH3 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom2.9x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Time Lapse Function, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, MOV, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)470 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Minimum Focus Distance250 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeOLED
Image Sensor TypeLive MOS
Total Camera Resolution17.2 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Height93.5 mm
Width132.8 mm
Depth82 mm
Autofocus Points23
Focal Length12 mm to 35 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-GH3
Product NameDMC-GH3 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCGH3AEBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

LUMIX G Compact System Camera GH3 - The All New Highly Evolved Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with Breathtaking Quality in Photo & Video

The DMC-GH3 features a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor with wide dynamic range that produces flowing gradation from shadows to highlights.The Venus Engine has an unprecedented ability to process both still and video signals with razor-sharp clarity. The 3DNR and MNR work together to attain superb noise-reducing. High-sensitivity ISO 12800 (extended: ISO 25600) and extensive noise reduction give you remarkable images even in dim lighting. The newly designed low-pass filter suppresses moire while maintining high resolution.

The DMC-GH3 handles the wide range of recording formats, frame rates, and high bit rates (72 Mbps/50Mbps) that are used by broadcasting stations and production studios. It is capable of recording Full HD videos in AVCHD, AVCHD Progressive and MOV with seamless file generation, or MP4. Time Code function that includes Rec. Run / Free Run and Drop Frame / Non Drop Frame codes are also provided. The heat-dispersing design enhances video shooting and enables extended recording time.

Battery Life540 Shot
Package Contents
  • DMC-GH3 Compact System Camera
  • H-HS12035E Interchangeable Lens
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Rear Cap
  • Body Cap
  • Battery Charger (AC Cable Included)
  • Battery Pack
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution614000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker