Panasonic Lumix GH3 and the New 12-35mm and 35-100mm f/2.8 Lenses – Are They Ready for Prime Time?

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SoundImagePlus continue their evaluation of the new Panasonic Lumix GH3, this time pairing it with the fantastic new f/2.8 Zoom Lenses, the 12-35 and the 35-100. Is this powerful camera and lens combo ready to tagle with the big boys of the DSLR world?

Here’s what SoundImagePlus have to say:  The two f/2.8 “pro” spec.lenses are presumably intended as a set to go with the GH3 to give a versatile high quality outfit which can be seen as Panasonics attempt at a scaled down version of the standard DSLR “workhorse pro zoom” pairing, which in 35mm terms is 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. From what I’ve seen so far, this is actually pretty good. Bypassing any software compensation, processing the raw files in Rawker shows very little (if any) difference to processing them in Photoshop. leading me to believe that the lens / sensor / camera combination is a very good one, in fact a really excellent match-up with nothing that needs “fixing” either in camera or via software.   With these two excellent lenses, Panasonic have delivered something quite special.

I really like the 35-100mm. I was unsure as to whether to buy it since the Olympus 75mm is such an excellent lens, but I’m glad I did. Its relatively small and light, I appreciate the internal zooming meaning no “tromboning” and its a lovely sharp lens, slightly sharper I believe than the 12-35mm. It also works well wide open, focuses like lightning on the GH3 and feels beautifully balanced on the camera.

So an excellent twin lens outfit and one that I’m sure I’ll be using a lot. I can’t think of anything better currently available in m4/3 nor in any other CSC / Mirrorless / E.V.I.L system for that matter. We currently have a situation in which Panasonic and Olympus seem to be leapfrogging each other and continually coming up with quality additions to the format. Olympus with their prime lenses and the OM-D and Panasonic with the GH3 and these zooms. “Pro” m4/3? Well the answer to that is probably yes, but the term is actually pretty meaningless. I prefer to think of it in other terms, such as quality, versatility and top class engineering and build quality, which of cause are just the things that you would expect from a “pro” system.  (Read full article on SoundImagePlus – Video above is Panasonic’s intro of the GH3 and the new zoom lenses)

Our Take:  When considering whether or not this camera and lens combo is pro caliber, the word “probably” does not apply.  The answer is “definitely”.  I agree with SIP that Panasonic and Olympus have been leapfrogging each other, continually raising the bar for micro 43 cameras.  When the Olympus OM-D E-M5 came out, it got a lot of pro photographers to take a serious look.  Some even added an OMD to their system as a second kit, and a few even went all in (like our friend and MC Contributor Giulio Sciorio).

The OMD is a great camera and it’s worthy of all the attention that it gets.  However, the GH3 is a transformational camera.  It is without question, the best “Hybrid” camera on the planet today, and every pro photographer we know who has gotten their hands on this little beast has been blown away.  Make no mistake about it, this combination of camera and lenses is the real deal, and it’s the one that will not only get pro photogs to look, it’ll get them to leap.  Anyone who’s in the market for used DSLR gear can start watching ebay…

Check out the Panasonic Lumix GH3, the Lumix 12-35mm Lens f/2.8, and the Lumix 35-100mm Lens f/2.8 Here

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