TR Previews the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 – “Nikon and Canon should be watching their backs”

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Above is a video test of a pre-production Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 captured at a London Zoo Press Event.

Trusted Reviews previews the new Panasonic Lumix GH3 (watch their video preview here) and added to the chorus of positive reviews/previews/reports that we’ve been getting about this impressive new camera.

In a nutshell, they say that the GH3 is on par with top cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 for still photo quality, and it beats all comers for video.

Here are some highlights of their preview:

We’ve seen a steady improvement in the image quality provided by the micro four thirds sensors Panasonic uses, from its original Lumix DMC-G1 to the rather outstanding G5. The GH3’s 16 megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor has been designed to offer even better pictures than its predecessors.

The GH3 offers an ISO range of 200 (150 extended) to 12800 (25600 extended), and though we didn’t get enough time with the camera to give a definite verdict, image quality was at least as good as anything we’ve previously seen from the G-range. Unfortunately the new sensor is not multi-aspect as was the case with the GH2, but this is a small sacrifice for better image quality and performance.

The new Venus Engine VII offers superior and faster processing than ever thanks in no small part to running on a quad-core architecture. For stills you can now do 6fps (4fps with live view or 20fps at 4 megapixels), time-lapse and multiple exposure, and HDR has been much improved over the G5, as the GH3’s processing now happens in the background and lets you get on with taking more (HDR, if you like) pictures.

There are also more autofocus modes than ever, including Contrast Detect, 23-point Multi-area and Selective Single-point which can be controlled by the touch-screen – and Panasonic claims its contrast detect gives it faster focusing than most DSLRs. There’s also a very welcome electronic level gauge to help frame shots perfectly, and even art filters such as Sepia.

Last but not least we see a return of the silent electronic shutter mode found on the G5. This isn’t just handy for stealthy wildlife shooting but also avoids the ‘kick’ of a traditional mirror system.

Panasonic Lumix GH3 for Video

There are very few cameras on the market that can match the Lumix GH3 for video. You can shoot 1080p/Full HD progressive video at anything from 24fps to 50/60fps, in various formats including MOV, MP4 and AVCHD with individual frame compression.

Best of all, you can record these at incredibly high bit-rates of 50Mbps (IPB) or 72Mbps (ALL-I) when using MOV – that’s higher than broadcast quality. The Panasonic Lumix GH3 even has in-camera slow-motion video recording. Being able to record to UHS-I means you’ll never be slowed down by storage, and the GH3’s sensor is larger than the 2/3-inch affair found on many pro-level dedicated video cameras.

On the audio side of things, the GH3 has a directional stereo microphone with wind-cut built-in. The 3.5mm microphone input (XLR is possible using an adapter) comes with onscreen mic level indicator and adjustment, which combined with live or recorded (with slight lag) headphone/line-out monitoring makes for a comprehensive solution.

Trusted Review’s Final Thoughts on the Panasonic Lumix GH3:

It’s already clear that the Panasonic Lumix GH3 joins the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as the premiere compact system camera on the market for photography, and it pretty much beats all comers where video is concerned. The only DSLRs that come close to offering the video features and quality it offers cost significantly more. With all this goodness stuffed into a weatherproofed body that’s still smaller and lighter than most pro-level SLRs, Nikon and Canon should be watching their backs – though we’re sparing our final verdict till the full review.  (Read the Full Preview and See Sample Images on Trusted Reviews)

Check out the Panasonic Lumix GH3 below:

Comments

Kurt Gerster says:

Full HD please. Best on vimeo.com

59FRP says:

While the video is great to see (any test is welcome) obviously those of us who haven’t had your privilege would like to see the clip in full HD, could you please post 1080HD as soon as possible and any comments about the performance of the camera would be welcome.

MergeProduction says:

Thanks for the review. Very excited about this camera and have had it on order since the day it was announced, mainly for the video features. Did you feel that the impressive low light handling translated to the video side of things as well?

Tussi17 says:

Disliked because of the lack of 1080p on the youtube video

endotoxic says:

we want the full HD version please.

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