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Panasonic GH3 review

Better image quality, handling and video features

Panasonic is clearly going for the serious filmmaker market with the Panasonic GH3. The compact system camera doesn't have a few key features, such as zebras to highlight over- and underexposure or focusing peaking to indicate the sharpest areas of the image. But it has much to attract videographers who want to capture HD footage with a relatively compact camera.

The company has also said that it may add such features at a later date with a firmware upgrade.

The Panasonic GH3 also feels and looks like a much more serious and robust camera than the Panasonic GH2, which will give it extra appeal to enthusiast stills photographers who are used to holding DSLR cameras.

There are direct controls to all the key features, and the touchscreen is very responsive.

We liked

The capacitive touchscreen is wonderfully responsive, and settings changes can be made quickly and easily via it or the healthy crop of direct controls. Although it's not perfect, the Wi-Fi system is a useful bonus, particularly the ability to control the camera remotely.

We disliked

Like Panasonic's other recent G-series cameras, the Panasonic GH3 has a customisable quick menu that gives quick access to key features. It would be helpful, however, if there was also a customisable screen for the main menu to enable speedy access to features such as memory card formatting and the Multiple Exposure controls.

The Wi-Fi system could also do with a little more polishing. The ability to upload images to Twitter and Facebook is nice, but it's annoying that they aren't correctly orientated and there's no option to provide a caption or comment.

Panasonic has said that focus peaking (highlights that show the sharpest areas of the scene) could be added with a firmware upgrade if there is enough demand for it. We think this would be a good move that would bring the Panasonic GH3 into line with offerings from Sony.

We'd also like to see a virtual button added to enable you to rate images as they are reviewed. This rating could then be stored in the image EXIF data to speed up image processing.

Final verdict

The Panasonic GH3 offers all modern conveniences we want in a digital compact system camera these days; a decent EVF, an articulating capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity and a fast autofocus system.

It may be a little larger than most compact system cameras, but it has a superb featureset in a very well-made body that is compatible with a wide variety of lenses. This makes it more versatile than most CSCs on the market and it turns out high quality images in most situations.

While it cannot compete with a top-end DSLR when it comes to shooting sport and action, it is more than a match for most other CSCs.

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