Holy cow this camera is good (initial thoughts on the GH3)…


This is shaping up to be a very impressive camera. It’s a beast – size wise it’s as big width wise as a APS-C DSLR (though it is thinner). Grip is the most comfortable I’ve had in M43s including the G5. I can imagine holding this for hours without it being uncomfortable.


The viewfinder is good – the image seems small, but doesn’t smear at the edges since I adjusted the diopter adjustment wheel.. I have a feeling that the issue (which doesn’t seem very important to me in real world use) maybe down to a users own eyesight. It isn’t material in use anyway.



The GH3 screams quality. It isn’t heavy, like a Leica or a D4, but it feels solid and (much, much) better screwed together than a similarly sized DSLR. It’s like Panny took the accountant who insisted that they use materials that made the G5 seem cheap, gagged him and tied him up…


Predictably it is very good to hold and shoot with. I don’t have much bad to say about it at all. About the only things I can think of are that I cannot use some of my Oly lenses (like the 45 and 75) stabilised, I can’t work out where some stuff on the menus is and the wifi makes no sense. I can probably live with all of those.


The screen is really very good indeed and must qualify as one of the best I’ve come across to use in bright sunlight. I can chimp to my heart’s content…


The electronic shutter implementation is very good indeed and is incredibly handy for street shooting (though I knew that having owned a G5).


It was bright (winter) sunlight today but something tells me the AA filter isn’t quite the same as the E-M5. The images feel sharper but are also (very slightly) noisier on editing (all of that may be due to the lenses/conditions so don’t go crazy about it!)…


In any event, the image quality is excellent. It helps that I was using three of the best lenses for m43s but the output was very sharp, the dynamic range was really good (and is an improvement compared to the G5/GH2 sensor). I haven’t shown an example here but my impression of high ISO performance is that output is fine up to ISO1600 and useable at ISO3200 (at least).



So who should get this camera? Not point and shoot upgraders, it would be total overkill. Those looking for a small carry everywhere camera should look elsewhere too. It happens to be great for street photography but I wouldn’t use it for that as a first choice. I suspect this should really only be bought by those who have a stack of M43s lenses who really want to have much more controllability. However, it is such a good camera that I can see that it’s appeal will go beyond that group.


I’ll be honest, while I actually enjoy juggling primes on and off my E-M5, there was a degree of relief (at least from my back) in picking up only 3 lenses that covered the vast majority of focal lengths.


Still to be tested are video, continuous AF and wifi (to follow in another post)…


Taken with the GH3 and 7-14mm, 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses

13 thoughts

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures from the 45mm and the C-AF.
    Good pics, they appear smaller here on the blog than over at mu4/3rds.

  2. Simon,

    I agree with almost all you say about the the GH3, except for the viewfinder. On my copy of the camera the EVF is distinctly inferior to the LVF2 I have on my GX1. The colour and contrast are good but it is not possible to achieve an edge-to-edge sharp image whatever dioptre adjustment is made. Eyesight is not a factor as I can get a very clear sharp image on the GX1/LVF2 combination..

    Of course, users may accept the lower quality of the GH3 EVF if they have not been used to something better, such as the Fuji X E1 or indeed Pentax OVFs, but the one on my GH£ is nowhere near as good as it should be, bearing in mind it is an OLED unit and of higher resolution the the LVF2. I hope Panasonic will produce a fix for the one weak point in an excellent camera..

    • Just wondering if you do have any issues with your eyesight? That’s not me saying the camera is fine by the way, I wear glasses. All I would say is that on my version I find the viewfinder fine. My pet theory at the minute is that particular combinations of prescription and the GH3 viewfinder can exaggerate the blurring.

      I’m pretty well aquainted with EVFs, owning or having owned a X-Pro1, NEX-7, E-M5 and G5. I also have a VF2 that I used with my E-P3. The only issue I find with mine is that the image seems small, relative to the EVF in the E-M5, for example, but it is perfectly useable.

      • Simon,

        Sorry for the typos!

        I agree that the EVF on the GH3 is useable, and better in 3:2 ratio oddly, but it should have been a lot better than the current crop of Panasonic EVFs, which it isn’t, at least not on my GH3. As I said, the LVF2 on my GX1 gives excellent rendering so eyesight is not a factor.

        I don’t hold much hope that Panasonic will produce a fix, in spite of a number of early adopters and trade reviewers reporting the same problem.

        Consider yourself lucky with your copy!



      • Patrick,

        I’m not suggesting that you have a bad copy or that your eyesight is fundamentally flawed, rather that there is something peculiar to the design of the EVF of the GH3 which means some people find it fine (I actually think it’s better than that in the E-M5 having used it a little more) and others find it blurry at the edges.

        The only thing I can think of that would cause that is if somehow there is a particular prescription of eyesight that doesn’t cope well with the EVF (20-20 vision? 😉 ). I understand that you didn’t find an issue with your LVF2, but that was a different design.

        There has to be a reason why a lot of people say they have a problem and others say it’s great…



  3. Pingback: Duda para comprar equipo de FOTO y VIDEO; 5d mark iii? d800? d600? 7d? 5d mark ii?

  4. Pingback: Anonymous

  5. Dear DMC-GH3 User
    Your photos are very beautiful, very successful. I really like your Talent.
    However, I think, you make an error by post treating your photos. With your processing, you do not show your photographer’s qualities or of those of the DMC-GH3 but your qualities of Photoshoper. After treatment, your photos would have been able to arise from any Camera.
    My film with the DMC-GH3. No Correction. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knH9Jc5Tg70
    Best Regards.


    • Pier-Yves,
      Thank you for your comment and I’m not going to be upset because you disagree with the way I process photos.

      Personally I disagree though with your main point. I want to post what I can achieve through post processing rather than limit myself to what happens to come out of the camera. Personally I prefer the grainy B&W look with colour toner. I agree it doesn’t always come off but that’s life and I prefer to do it like that. I also think its wrong to say that after treatment pictures could come from any camera – I confess I cannot get a GH3 picture to look like an M9 picture whether I use Lightroom or not!

      I do always try to post colour shots on any kind of review or impressions piece, which in general reflect the output from the camera. In this case the shot of Big Ben is the prime example of that.

      Thanks for looking,


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