Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Mirrorless Camera, Body Only

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79% Gold Award
The GH3 isn't simply a stills camera and, if you have any interest in shooting video at all, its quality and feature set help it stand apart from the competition.”

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Key Features

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds-format CMOS sensor
  • Contrast-detection AF system with claimed 0.07-second speed
  • ISO 100-12800, extendable to ISO 25600
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080/60p video with maximum bit rate of 72Mbps
  • 3" OLED display with 614,000 dots
  • Built-in 1.7m-dot OLED viewfinder

Product Description

The Lumix DMC-GH3 is Panasonic's largest and most enthusiast-friendly Micro Four Thirds camera yet, and features a weather-sealed (dust/splash proof) magnesium alloy body, include 6 fps shooting (or 4fps with live view) and five customizable function buttons. Video professionals will be pleased to see that the GH3 offers timecode-supported broadcast quality video capable of bit rates as high as 72Mbps.

The GH3 has a new (not multi-aspect) Live MOS sensor, three-core Venus 7 FHD processing engine and a new low pass filter. Panasonic claims improvements in high ISO shadow detail, color reproduction and white balance over its predecessor. The GH3 also offers in-camera HDR and multiple exposure image modes, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity.

Specs

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Other resolutions 4608x3072, 3264x2448, 2336x1752, 4608x3072, 3264x2176, 2336x1560, 4608x2592, 3264x1840, 1920x1080, 3456x3456, 2448x2448, 1744x1744, 1712x1712
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Venus Engine VII FHD
Image
ISO Auto, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes (2)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2x, 4x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 23
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3
Screen dots 614,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type OLED Monitor with static touch control
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 1.34×
Viewfinder resolution 1,744,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 12.00 m
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Continuous drive 20 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10 sec (3 images))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±1 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25 24 fps) 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25fps
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini HDMI Type C)
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2412MHz - 2462MHz (11ch), Wi-Fi / WPA / WPA2, Infrastructure mode
Remote control Yes (Optional DMW-RSL1)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 540
Weight (inc. batteries) 550 g (1.21 lb / 19.40 oz)
Dimensions 133 x 93 x 82 mm (5.24 x 3.66 x 3.23)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
Gold Award
Gold Award
79 %
Overall Score

The GH3 offers the best video quality of any camera we've ever seen and does a pretty good job of making it available to a wide range of users. This footage is available without external recorders, making it ideal for in-the-field shooting as well as more formal rigged-up setups. It's also a pretty handy stills camera with plenty of external controls, making it an impressively flexible package, overall.

Good For

Anyone looking for top-quality video as well as stills.

Not So Good For

As a solely stills camera there are better options, both in terms of size and quality.

User Reviews

4.39324 out of 5 stars
  • Ribo, Feb 20, 2013 GMT:
    Excellent video

    Excellent camera for video recording with all the variable parameters. Real images with low-noise, high-speed camera with a full spectrum of colors. It has all the functions of profi appliances, excellent ergometry. Completely satisfied with this purchase camere! Problems: Insufficient pixsel and 8bit converter!

    Continue Reading

  • Esa Tuunanen, Dec 30, 2012 GMT:
    Excellent ergonomics overhaul

    Instead of fashionable image quality comparison I'll concentrate on aspect which has been badly neglected in mirrorless systems and literally treated as sacrificial lamb on altar of fashion: Ergonomics as utilitarian tool. While preceeding models GH1 and GH2 were well below even the worst entry level DSLRs Panasonic has clearly this time listened serious photographers instead of fashion magazines. Grip housing now also much needed front wheel is vastly improved and in size almost equal to ...

    Continue Reading

  • mortyski, Mar 21, 2013 GMT:
    Panasonic GH3 Review from a Sports Photographer

    In my opinion the Panasonic GH3 is the best m4/3 camera on the market to date.  It is a joy to carry, takes great photos, and has the added bonus of a formidable video camera.  I don't find the size an issue, in fact I like the solid feel in my hands and particularly like being able to use gloves to work the camera. I have tried and tried and cannot see an EVF issue so I wonder what that was all about. I take a lot of sports skiing photos and if you use S-AF the percentage of keepers is as ...

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  • Aleo Veuliah, Mar 22, 2013 GMT:
    Panasonic Lumix GH3. My first impressions.

    I said before that I was going to try the GH3 with my friend at Panasonic Portugal, he said it is a later prototype. The finish was already the same as on the final camera. I don't know where to start but maybe the ergonomics is a good place to start writing my first impressions. I went to Park of the Nations here in Lisbon, it is near to the river and have modern buildings surrounding and nice bars and coffee shops to be there looking at the camera, then I went to his office again to look ...

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

GX1 softness ???

Hi, I have a GX1+12-42PZ lens, overall performance of this combination is quite soft focus, I find a lot of customers having blurr issue with this lens and decided to buy another zoom and a primer...But testing another 12-42 PZ, G VARIO 14-42 and even a G 20mm f/1.7 still have filling of softness. Finally, I tried my lenz on another GX1 body and GH3. GX1 produced similar/bit better result as my body, GH3 mechanical and electronic shutter both perform much better. I desperately need an advise: does my camera is a bad copy or I just have too big expectations from this system? Here are some tests and sample photos, can anybody give me his opinion? Same PZ lens on GX1 and GH3 Common blurr issue Some photos look OK But mostly are soft for me More images here   http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1699238821/albums/gx1 Thanks,

Wizli asked
7 months ago

ANSWERS

Aren't all those shots above the supposedly shutter-shock-prone shutter speeds being talked about? Continue Reading

agentlossing answered
5 months ago

There is nothing ambiguous about it. You either cannot understand my point -- in which case your rather condescending approach to the argument is unwarranted -- or you are choosing to not understand my point, which is obviously the same point others have tried to get you to acknowledge. My money is on the latter. You are asserting that there is some method that you are choosing to withhold by which a shutter can shake the camera and render buildings perfectly crisp while changing the direction of moving water droplets. Sorry, but that sounds more like something dreamed up on Mescaline than a useful theory explaining one manifestation of shutter shock. So why not take a different tack and explain how such a mechanism works? Instead of condescendingly suggesting that it would require a discussion at an intellectual level above this forum. Continue Reading

Kim Letkeman answered
5 months ago

As to the PZ-X, that particular lens is a well known failure on lightweight bodies that do not feature electronic first curtain shutters.  The GH3 with PZ-X result that you attained is not unusual, the combination of heavier body wit the PZ-X seems to get better results.  The difference between the PZ-X blur on your GX-1 and the blur on the second GX-1 body is one of sample variance - individual bodies seem to have different results. I tried the PZ-X...and returned it.  IMHO it is a terribly designed lens, as much as I wish it wasn't due to its size; a lens that vibrates to the extent that it causes image blur on most of the bodies that it is designed to fit is not a "success" in my book.  You want to love it, really you do, but then you take pictures with it... Have you confirmed the settings on your GX-1?  For example, "Focus Priority" to make the camera confirm focus before allowing the shutter to operate (Menu / Custom / (page 3) / Focus Priority = On)?  This might simply be a ... Continue Reading

dinoSnake answered
7 months ago

QUESTION

GH3 or OM-D, that is the question...

I am a GH1 owner and I have been waiting for GH3 to be announced. I was disappointed with the fact that GH3 is much larger than GH1. Now, I am not sure if I should get the OM-D or the GH3. Any advice? I am an amateur photographer and a videographer. I own the following lenses (1) Voigtlander 25mm (2) Panasonic 20mm (3) Oly 45mm (4) Panasonic 7-14mm (5) Panasonic 14-140mm (6) Voigtlander 40mm (1) I mainly take photos of food, family and landscape. (2) I love GH1's swivel screen. It is very useful. (3) As I use manual lenses, OM-D's image stabilization sounds very attractive (I hear that the new firmware will add IS to legacy lenses). (4) Compactness of camera is important.

yotes asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

While I think the OM-D is the best thing since the EOS-1 (and 20D, 30D, 40D, 5D, 5D2. . . ), I think you'd be more satisfied in the long run sticking with Panasonic.  Those seeped in Panasonic µ4/3 and having bonded with them often find Oly's way's confounding.   As I found Panasonic to be, never could enjoy using the GH2 as fine a camera as it is. Just one thought to consider. Continue Reading

Bob Tullis answered
1 year ago

Seems like you have already summarized things pretty well based on your requirements. The E-M5 has the advantage of being smaller/lighter and having IBIS. One might add that it is less expensive. The GH3 has the advantage of a built-in flash and fully articulated screen. You might want to add that its video specs are better (IBIS aside). Your call when it comes to weighing these pros and cons against each other. Noone else can do that for you. Regardless of how you end up weighing them, my advice would be to wait just a little bit. The GH3 hasn't really been put through the paces of the review machinery yet and so we have less of an idea of what it is actually good for, e.g., when it comes to sensor performance (which might be just the same as the E-M5 but, again, might not). Continue Reading

Anders W answered
1 year ago

Talk about fanboyism: tjuster1 wrote: That's nice. I own a GH2 and an OM-D, and have shot extensively with both. My wife has a G3, and I've previously used a G2. I have some basis for comparison. Says you. The few controlled tests I've seen show little difference between OIS and IBIS. One showed IBIS perhaps a tiny bit better at short FLs, and another showed OIS better when using the 100-300. I've never missed IS on my 7-14; at FLs that short it's simply not needed very often. I suppose if you frequently shoot non-moving subjects in really dim light, it's a big advantage. Not all of us do. Um, first, learn to read. We're not talking about the GH2, we're talking about the GH3. How will it perform?  We don't know yet, but using a 2+ year old camera as a comparison point is a red herring. Something I would expect from a fan boy.  Second, learn to read. If you actually look at DXO tests in detail, rather than comparing the meaningless "overall" score, you'll see that at most ISOs the ... Continue Reading

Bob Meyer answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

What features does the G6 have that the GH3 does not.

Thinking of buying a GH3 but think I might miss some features like focus peaking. Thanks for any help.

j.m.young asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

Continue Reading

Grobb answered
1 year ago

I have both cameras. The GH2 image quality is as good as most people need. Nonetheless, the GH3 is much better (as is my E-PL5 Olympus). But I am amazed that the centre of discussion for anyone between the GH2 and the GH3 should be the sensor. The ergonomics of the GH3 are better than the GH2 to such an extent that you will find yourself wanting to use the GH3 just for the pleasure of it. That means more pictures taken with more pleasure in ownership. Pixel peepers ought to just by FF cameras and be done with it. Continue Reading

bluelemmy answered
1 year ago

ETC mode at 50p/60p - GH3 is limited at 25p/30p Continue Reading

gaman answered
1 year ago

Warranty Information

"If your product does not work properly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company or Panasonic Puerto Rico, Inc. (collectively referred to as “the warrantor”) will, for the length of the period indicated on the chart below, which starts with the date of original purchase (“warranty period”), at its option either (a) repair your product with new or refurbished parts, or (b) replace it with a new or refurbished product. The decision to repair or replace will be made by the warrantor."

PRODUCT OR PART NAME PARTS LABOR
DIGITAL STILL CAMERA 1 (ONE) YEAR 1 (ONE) YEAR
CCD 6 (SIX) MONTHS 90 (NINETY) DAYS
RECHARGEABLE BATTERY PACK (IN EXCHANGE FOR DEFECTIVE BATTERY PACK) 90 (NINETY) DAYS NOT APPLICABLE


Go to Panasonic's warranty page for more information or register your product here. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Panasonic dealer in the United States.

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