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on 9 May 2013
I borrowed this camera to use, recently, at a wedding shoot. I was pleased with the results I achieved, overall image quality more or less on a par with image quality from a cheaper Olympus OM-DEM-5, and of semi professional quality. While this camera will greatly appeal to videographers ( at this price point there's little competition ), I must point out that the EVF ( electronic viewfinder ) was terrible, and focussing in low light was erratic. The EVF I found worse than the EVF on a £450 Fujiflm XS-1, and worse than the EVF on a £280 Fujifilm HS30exr. It just flickered. For this reason I can only award the camera 3 stars. Since it's release Nikon have launched the D7100, also cheaper and, with a larger sensor,capable of producing better results especially at high iso settings. the D7100 is a DSLR with a pentaprism. The viewfinder is therefore optical. Focussing is faster too, but video is poor by comparison with the GH3. So avoid the GH3 unless you've tried the EVF and know you can live with it, or unless you're specifically purchasing as a videographer. But then why would you not prefer to use a dedicated video camera? Still not sure? Compare the EVF with the one on a Fujifilm X100, or later X100S to see what I'm getting at. The EVF on the X100/X100S can be switched to optical, so you can directly compare the difference between an electronic and an optical viewfinder on the same camera. Then have another look at the EVF on the GH3. It's simply not up to standard in the experience of this reviewer.
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on 4 September 2013
I find myself in a strange position here because according to most reviews this is pretty much *the* top m4/3 camera. I bought a G5 last year to try out the m4/3 system with the full intention of upgrading to the GH3 when it came down from its ludicrous launch price. So when I finally came to buy one recently I was staggered by the poor quality of the viewfinder. There was the widely reported smearing around the edges but much worse than that were two other things: the plane of the image wasn't optically perfect all the way across so it was impossible to tell whether the image was sharp or not (some parts were, some parts fuzzy), and the OLED struture somehow makes the resolution very low, so even if you are looking at a sharp image it appears coarse and blocky. The G5 viewfinder, by contrast, suffers from NO edge smearing, is perfectly sharp right across and is apparently much higher resolution. But you'll be *very* hard pressed to find that out from the usual review sites, some of which claim the EVF the best they have ever used. If I were a tinfoil hat wearer I'd be crying conspiracy!

So I returned the camera and got a replacement from a different batch. It had exactly the same problems. I thus declare that the emporer has no clothes. This is clearly a very desirable camera that takes beautiful pictures but Panasonic have completely cocked up the viewfinder, thus rendering the camera unusable by anyone expecting to use the viewfinder. Note that this excludes a lot of videographers who are perhaps used to looking through crappy viewfinders or who use the back display or an external monitor. But if you're hoping to use the viewfinder for focussing and having a pleasant time composing photos, forget it.

Furthermore, the EVF has great trouble showing purple and as soon as you start videoing, all the colours in the EVF go wonky, as if someone's holding a magnet next to the screen (for our older viewers ;-)). Finally, the EVF image is a bit on the small side, making the blurry, wonky, coarse image even more difficult to see.

My greatest puzzle though is that the EVF on the G5 is absolutely fine. So how come they put this POS on their flagship camera?

So while I'm waiting for the GH5, I've kind of been forced to go for a G6 (I already sold the G5!!). This has the same kind of OLED viewfinder so suffers from the same blockiness but the optics are better and the EVF image is larger and so it is useable. Still not as clear as the G5's was! (Though the G6 as a whole is better than the G5. TBH it's probably better than the GH3 but whisper that quietly ;-)).

In summary the GH3 is a 5 star camera with an appalling viewfinder. Which is a great shame.
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VINE VOICEon 3 July 2013
Style: 14-140mm Lens|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The GH3 is the updated version of the extremely popular GH2 from Panasonic's much lauded Lumix range. The GH2 was well received although it did find more preference from the videographers than the photographers, who seem to be purists that if it's not Canon or Nikon they don't want to know. However, the GH3 has really come on leaps and bounds and their four-thirds sensor system is really coming into it's own to the point it can start to take on true DSLRS. Firstly, some technical details:

16MP Live MOS sensor with three-core Venus 7 FHD engine
Magnesium alloy body with weather sealing (dust and splash proof)
ISO 200-12800 (extended range of ISO 125-25600)
6 frames per second continuous-shooting
Auto Focus speed of 0.07 seconds - this is very quick and I have never had to wait for it to focus.
1.7 million dot equiv. 16:9 ratio OLED viewfinder (873 x 500 pixels)
614k dot 3" OLED rear screen (640 x 480 pixels)- hinged on the side and can be rotated.
Full HD 60p/50p video with 30p/25p option
MOV (h.264), MP4 and AVCHD formats
Video bit rates of 50Mbps in IPB and 72Mbps in All-I compression modes
Timecode support in MOV(H.264) and AVCHD formats
3.5mm mic socket and headphone socket
Four channel wireless control for the optional DMW-FL360L external flash
iOS and Android app control via Wi-Fi - You can set this up and control it remotely, seeing what the camera sees.

This is a little bigger than the GH2 but the increase has allowed a completely new button configuration; there are 5 programmable function buttons that apply your presets to a shot on the fly at the touch of single button, so if you set-up a mode for low-light shooting or a specific fixed lens and save it to a function, a single press will allow you to move between normal and low light conditions or switch lens and apply your preferred pre-sets - very handy. Of course the Lumix still has the range's famous iA function - Intelligent Auto - that sets up the F-dot, ISO and focal settings for you this is very handy and only adds the smallest of delays on to the capture - I use it for when there isn't time to plan a shot and have come to call it Idiot-Assist. Whilst professional photographers might not need this assisted set up, you can use it to get the computer's best guess at the settings quickly and then fine-tune it to your own preference which may only be a couple of minor tweaks from where the iA has put the settings.

My favourite aspect of the processing is the High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) photo mode, which is excellent for capturing images in high contrast or challenging environments. It takes three photos on the fly with different aperture settings and combines the highest detail components from each image into a composite. This ensures you get great images even when the subject is back-lit (by a bright sky for example) and would usually result in silhouetting. This is all displayed on the fantastic rear touch-screen; which you don't have to touch if you don't want to as all the settings are equally accessible through the menu system, but sometimes using a sliding bar to control the ISO is a lot easier than flicking through the modes.

The video capture is unparalleled and I really feel that Panasonic have played into that strength, knowing how many videographers were using the GH2 and breaking the software to allow modes that weren't initially supported. As a result, the 72mbps frame-rate is largely unmatched and you have to go up to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III to get a higher frame rate and that is a £2,275 camera - body only. Panasonic have also hinted that their compression is better too, I can't really comment on the veracity of that claim.

I have the G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 lens for this camera and that won the EISA 2012-2013 best product award for it's unparalleled build quality and it's extremely quick Optical Image Stabiliser their thoughts were: "Ultra High Refractive (UHR) glass to minimise chromatic aberrations, retaining a high image quality right across the image area" and the "metal-barrelled construction". Nice.

I own the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Compact System (not a true SLR) as well - the lenses are fully interchangeable, despite the huge difference in body size. All in all, I recommend the Lumix range thoroughly and even more so, the GH3. A fantastic camera for a respectable price that can hold it's own with some of the much more expensive SLRs.
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on 25 August 2013
I hardly ever write reviews but had to take a little moment to express how delighted I am with this camera. I had looked at so many other cameras including the Canon 5D mk iiii and so glad I went with the panasonic GH3 with 12-35mm kit lens..... Sorry 5D mk iii users!!

So why did I purchase this camera over the 5D mk iii I am sure you're asking? Well it had to come down to a few factors. Firstly I am a full-time videographer and so I knew that both the GH3 and Canon had superior video capabilities but everyone has told me that the 5D mk iii wins hands down when it comes to photography. My answer - this is true in a serious professional photography setting. As you noticed, yes I am a pro videographer rather than photographer but therefore I still understand composition, "quality", SDOF, focal rang, exposure etc. and I am blown away by the results of a quick photo shoot with my wife yesterday. We only went for a short walk and I have to say that if I had bought the 5D mkiii instead I would have left it at home - yes seriously! I used to own a Nikon D90, and after the excitement of having a new camera had worn off it stayed in its bag due to its size and mainly weight of the lenses, it was just so cumbersome to carry around to places to take photos. I tried a friend's 5D mkiii and its even heavier and bulkier than my old D90 and the benefit of the micro 4/3 design is that it is smaller and much lighter than the 5D mk iii.

The one benefit (for me) that the 5D mkiii has over the GH3 is its low light capabilities. I mean, it is simply stunning and I very nearly bought the camera just based on this factor alone. However when I decided to do my own user comparison chart before I splashed the cash, the GH3 came out on top. Why? Well I need a camera that is superb for video (to supplement my 2 broadcast TV cameras), but a camera that is also great for photography, light weight, and a reasonable size.

However, I must add that after purchase and getting to know the camera really well, both the photographic images and video totally blow me away. After the short walk with my wife yesterday she even commented that she hated ALL of my 'old' Nikon lenses for my D90 but loves the look of the micro 4/3 kit lens (12-35mm) that came with the camera. In her words, she said it "the image looks sharper but more natural and professional". Personally, I agree but also add that I didn't expect to be getting much in the way of SDOF at all with the 12-35mm kit lens but I have to say at a fixed 2.8 it blows my old Nikon 60mm prime out the water! Again, as the Nikon lens was more than twice the size compared to the micro 4/3 lens, and meant carrying this extra lens around in a camera bag.

As for low light capabilities I really wasn't expecting much but after deciding to meet a friend in a dimly lit pub for a drink at the end of our walk, I had an opportunity to test out the ISO and I was again so impressed. Agreeably it's not as good in the highest ranges compared to the 5D mk iii but it was still far better than the light seen by the human eye and for that reason I felt once again I had made the right choice. I mean, it would be such a rare circumstance for me to ever have the need to shoot anything in a darker place than a dimly lit pub anyway, both video or photo, and so at almost half the price of a 5D mkiii (with 12-35mm kit lens) I had to share how delighted I am with my purchase.

I hope others of you who were stuck like me in choosing your next camera, find this review helpful.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 July 2013
Style: 14-140mm Lens|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First a little about my camera history. Many years ago I had a really nice manual 35mm SLR and a nice collection of lenses - not really expensive stuff, but still pretty good. I really enjoyed the creative side of photography.

Then.. I was seduced by the dark side and I became an early adopter of digital cameras - and hence I have several years worth of rather terrible low resolution photos. As digital cameras got better though, I bought progressively better models until a couple of years ago I bought myself a Canon EOS 600D, a selection of lenses and was pretty much back to where I was twenty odd years ago.

On to this camera:

The first thing you notice about this camera is that for a MFT camera it is quite large. In fact it is pretty much identical in size to my EOS 600D and with a similar lens fitted it actually weighs more than the 600D. This is not all a bad thing though as I think the GH3 feels better and more substantial in the hand.

Build quality seems terrific - it really does feel solid and well made with every control having a nice positive action. Even the mount for the tilt/turn/swivel rear screen feels solid and secure.

Speaking of the rear screen - this is gorgeous when compared to my 600D. It is brighter, more saturated, easier to see outdoors and of course it is fully touch enabled. This really does make such a difference when navigating through menus. And of course it is foldable and tiltable etc. and can be reversed to close it securely for transport.

Next - the viewfinder. Some reviews I have read have criticised the EVF on this camera as being out of focus or blurry. I did not find this at all. It did take a little bit of trial and error to set the focus for the viewfinder correctly though and I did find it was very sensitive to focal adjustment. I found that a tiny turn either way of the focusing wheel next to the viewfinder was enough to put it out of focus - after spending a bit of time setting it up though I actually forgot that I was looking through an electronic viewfinder rather than looking through the actual lens of the camera.

The EVF display itself gives all the information you would expect, and a couple of things I have not seen before in the shape of an artificial horizon/inclinometer.

I played with the camera for a few days just getting accustomed to the controls and settings and found that nothing was really difficult to get the hang of. A few of the settings seemed to be in slightly obscure locations, but after turning them on and off a few times, you soon remember where they are.

And there are a LOT of controls and settings! This camera really is very feature rich indeed when compared to my EOS 600D. Some of the things I really liked were:

The in camera HDR processing - this is such a great feature as long as what you are photographing is not moving (or does not have anything moving in the shot). The results though are brilliant - the bright areas are not over blown and the dark areas are illuminated and colours become richer and more vibrant giving the whole picture an almost 3D feel in some cases.

The in camera time lapse facility - this lets you set up a whole time lapse sequence. You select how many pictures you want to take in the sequence and how long the delay between pictures - you then select the start time (and it calculates the end time) or just click "start now". I did a test sample 250 shot sequence looking out of the window at work over the London skyline with a 5 second delay per picture. This produced a lovely 10 second clip (when replayed at 25 fps) of clouds over the London Skyline.

Video - Some reviews say that this is where this camera excels, and I really can't dispute that. On my first serious outing with the camera I went to Colchester Zoo with my niece and her children and I took about 30 minutes of video. The quality of the video this camera can produce is really quite astonishing. I am far from being an expert at videography, but even my poor efforts came out really well. The camera just dealt with whatever I pointed it at. Indoors, outdoors, bright sunshine, dark building interiors, movement, water, fish tanks, it just coped with it all. Video of this quality though really does eat up memory card space. Oh I should mention the stereo sound too which was terrific! The camera also has an external microphone input socket too if you wish to use it.

Photographic Image Quality. As I said above, some reviews I read on this camera concentrated on the video quality of this camera. Personally I think the still image quality is at least as good. It really is significantly better than my EOS 600D. Images are sharper, have better colour balance and just in general look better.

Possibly my favourite thing about the whole camera though is just how fast and responsive it is. The supplied f2.8 12-35mm lens is just astonishingly quick. Auto focus is almost instantaneous - on the rather wonderful Intelligent Auto setting it really was just a case of point and shoot. I don't think I missed a shot all day due to the camera not responding fast enough. The burst modes are truly wonderful. Whilst at the zoo they had some seals performing various tricks - point click, click, click, click, click, click - done; a perfect sequence of the seal jumping to reach a ball with all the water droplets frozen perfectly. Indoors, outdoors, bright sunshine, low light, night time, it just dealt with whatever I threw at it and produced absolutely superb pictures.

What else is there to mention - Oh yes - the remote control via smartphone. This was very simple to set up. There are apps for both Android and Apple IOS smartphones. Download and install the app - connect the camera to the router, connect the phone to the router and the app will find and connect to the camera. It will then show you a live view of what the camera is seeing and let you chose the focus point, make various adjustments, and of course take pictures remotely.

One thing I did not really try was the wireless capability (other than to use it to connect to the remote smartphone application). This lets you upload pictures to the internet, but is limited in that it cannot connect to public wifi hotspots that require a landing page sign-in (as it has no web browser capability). You can only connect directly to a wifi router.

I have had a great time reviewing this camera. A few years ago a friend of mine bought a new Mercedes - When I asked him what he thought of his new car he said that it "totally redefined his expectations of what a car should do" - I feel the same way about this camera. I absolutely love it! I just have to find the money to buy myself a couple of extra lenses now!
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on 9 October 2013
I have had this camera for a little while and it produces fantastic results. It has a very good intelligent auto mode and other PASM modes as well as shooting extremely good video. The images are generally very sharp and although the high ISO has slightly more noise than a comparably priced DSLR - in real terms it is barely noticeable unless you regularly produce very large prints. For a lot of people it won't be an issue at all and the video quality alone warrants the price as its probably better quality than just about any sub-£1,000 video camera. The big bonus for me is that unlike Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras that tend to only be able to shoot a single 'take' of around 10-12 mins this camera can shoot a single file that is 29min59sec. and is only limited to that by silly uk tax laws regarding video cameras.
The other big advantage is that it really is almost as good as my Canon 7D but a LOT lighter - especially in a camera bag with a couple of lenses and other odds and ends. This camera is very definately capable of fully professional results.
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on 26 July 2016
Quite simply ... excellent all round ! Top product, fast despatch, spot on description and good friendly communications.
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on 20 June 2016
amazing caera
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on 4 January 2015
Bought to replace my G5 which I found difficult to use in a camera club situation due to everything being contained in menus. With various options being available on buttons on the camera I have found the GH3 to be much easier to use and I have taken more photos with it than the G5 and made adjustments using the external dials. Having bought on Black Friday the GH3 body was very competitively priced taking into account the Amazon discount and the doubled cash back from Panasonic.
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on 2 September 2013
This camera has a very annoying bug where you will set your settings to ones that look good, but as soon as you start recording, the image will change completely, making your settings useless! This is especially evident in low light.

This was a problem on the Panasonic GH2 too (search GH2 gamma shift on Google) and I don't understand why Panasonic haven't fixed it.

I cannot recommend this camera until this problem is fixed.
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