Panasonic GH3 (First Impression Review)

1 / 29 / 2013

Panasonic gh3

So I’ve been waiting for the Black Magic Cinema Camera to become available for close to a year now and I couldn’t wait any longer. I pulled the trigger on a Panasonic GH3, which is currently sold out everywhere. How did I get it? I got it by searching google for “panasonic gh3” in the last 24 hours for about 2 weeks straight as I scoured over reviews and footage every day. I stumbled on a post that an Ebay store (KenmoreCameras) had a few in stock. I purchased it within minutes and by the end of the day, the rest were sold out. Came out to 1,312 which is very low since it was priced $1,299 with only shipping and NO TAX. Amazon would have added an extra $100 for tax. I’m a lucky man.

Pros:

-Unlimited recording time (shame on you canon)

-Better codec (compared to the stock 60d is is alot better, compared to my magic lantern hack at 1.2% quality increase it is very close) Plus the 50mbps codec is edit ready, which is a huge timesaver compared to AVCHD. The All-I has weird macroblocking issues at the moment so I’ve been using the IPB setting.

-Less noise at ISO800 compared to Canon 60d (Canon 5d Mark iii is still ISO Noise king)

-The Metabones m43 with Speedbooster will be epic making my Canon glass just around 1.6 crop equivalent and a stop faster! (still in production)

-Easier to make my own low budget anamorphic lens

-Clean HDMI out (can provide super clean captures when paired with a Atomos Ninja or Black Magic Card)

Cons:

-Focus on the 2.0 crop factor is harder to eyeball and the firmware update of focus peaking is much needed (panasonic is working on it)

-While the monitor is OLED, it does look better in high light situations, but the resolution of this screen is actually lower than my 60d making rack focusing even more difficult

-Bokeh is more football shaped than round

-Requires a m43 adapter to use my Canon glass (I bought the Kipon one with aperture control)

-Batteries are $80 bucks! (no knockoffs available yet)

-RAW Codec requires a Lightroom workaround for me to edit them in PS (Canon is still better for stills)

Conclusion:

I’ve only used it for a few hours in San Francisco and I will share more as I use it more. As of right now, I feel it isn’t much better than a GH2 which is less than half the prive, but with the focus peaking and future firmware updates and hacks, I am confident that it will be a BEAST. Even with that said, I am still glad I made the purchase because the recording time limit of the Canon 60d (same with everything before 5dmk3) was getting too much to overlook with all these live shoots I’m doing now.

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