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 20.0 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

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 ...

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  • 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

12-35mm F2.8 lens or LX100 fixed lens camera?

I have the GH4 and the 35-100mm F2.8 already. I also have the 25mm F1.4 lens and the 14mm F2.5 lens. However, I shoot mostly video and so I really need image stabilization even with the wider angles. I had considered buying the 12-35mm F2.8 lens but now the LX100 is giving me pause. Its multi-aspect ratio sensor will give me a wider field of view in the 16:9 video mode. It will also give me a more compact wide to medium solution. In fact I could fit the GH4, 35-100mm, 25mm F1.4, and the LX100 in a small camera bag. If the LX100 is about $1000 then it will be close to the price of the 12-35mm F2.8 lens. So what do you all think? Will the LX100 be a good alternative to buying a new wide angle zoom lens?

mpgxsvcd asked
2 months ago

ANSWERS

Whatever the LX100 will mean to anyone is yet to be seen.   I wouldn't make any plans just yet, either way. Continue Reading

Bob Tullis answered
2 months ago

As in life, bodies tend to die well before glass. Some other points worth considering: (1) The LX100 will be 1+ stop faster at wide angle. Do you need this? (2) The LX100 will be a great B-cam, when you need to switch glass fast, multiple angles footage or when mixing photo + video. Do you need this? (3) The 12-35mm is weather sealed. Do you need this? (4) The LX100 will be a spectacular carry around machine. Will you benefit from this? (5) A B-cam needs additional batteries, SD Cards, workflow, maintenance. Do you mind about it? (6) Beware that manual video control ... Continue Reading

duartix answered
2 months ago

Continue Reading

mpgxsvcd answered
2 months ago

QUESTION

Using wide open for a subject far away?

Hi I'm looking for some advice. I will be going to London next week to see England play against Samoa at Rugby. The kick is going to be very late and there isn't going to be any natural light. So it look like I will need to be using either fast primes or fast zooms. My question is can I get the subject in focus if he is far away and the lens is wide open? The popular belief is to get a distant subject in focus, the lens need to be stopped down to either F16 or F22(Full Frame). Sadly due to a lack of light I don't think it will be possible for me to get F8. The final thing I'm not sure what I will be taking with me. It would be nice if I take my GH3 + 35-100mm next week but I'm going with one of my brothers and he isn't fond of me taking 'bulky' equipment with to outings. So I may take the GM1 with 15mm 1.7 and the 45-150mm just in case the light is good enough. Thanks for your time. P.S I have limited experience with fast zooms and fast wide angle primes.

C Sean asked
8 days ago

ANSWERS

That is not correct. It applies to landscapes where you may want the maximum DOF to get foreground and distant objects in focus, but it is not a general principle. You won't need it, and anyway if you are shooting sports you are very concerned about shutter speed, and less concerned about DOF - in fact less DOF may help the subject to stand out. I think it would be a great experience to just watch the game without the distraction of photography, and don't forget there will be lots happening around the game, not just the game itself - an ideal situation for street photography and portraits. Enjoy the game. Continue Reading

hindesite answered
8 days ago

In fact, I rather like wide apertures for distant subjects.  For example (mFT equivalents are given): 75mm f/1.4 50mm f/1: 100mm f/1.4: 35mm f/1.4: In short, I would think that you'd be fine with the 35-100 / 2.8 with distant subjects, even wide open. Continue Reading

Great Bustard answered
8 days ago

I assume we are talking about autofocus. Any of you lenses will focus on whatever you put your AF focus point on. The depth of field will determine how much around that point will be in focus. If you take one of your lenses, stop it down to its smallest aperture, and focus on something between 1meter and 1.5 meters, everything from that point to infinity should be in sharp focus; just about the entire stadium. Take the same lens and open it wide up and you will have the narrowest DOF the lens can produce. I just got the 35-100mm f2.8 and it is a great lens. With the hood, it is pretty large on my E-M10, but is lighter than my 12-40mm f/2.8 and easy to manage. I don't have either of the other two lenses but shooting sports is all about speed and you are going to be more concerned about shutter speed to get good results. So, I would leave the 45-150mm home and take the other two. If you decide on the GM1, try the 35-100mm without the hood Or take the GH3 and if your brother finds it ... Continue Reading

bs1946 answered
8 days 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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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