We get hands on with the replacement to the Panasonic GH2 compact system camers – the Panasonic GH3.
What is it?
The GH3 is the long awaited follow–up to the popular GH2 high-end compact system camera from Panasonic.
Panasonic is promoting the GH3 as a hybrid that combines great still images with great video capability and one that will suit outdoor photographers with its weatherproof credentials.
It has an all new 16Mp micro four thirds sensor, can capture stills at up to 6 frames per second and is aimed firmly at serious hobbyists and semi-professionals – unsurprising given the £2000 price tag when sold with the kit lens.
Video developments on this latest model in the Panasonic G range include MP4, MOV and AVCHD outputs and the ability to shoot full HD video at 1080p at broadcast standard. It’s also equipped with a mic input and headphone jack – essential if you want to shoot movies with decent audio – as well as almost silent zooming in movie mode.
Find out more about the Panasonic GH3 in our first look video review:
Below are our first impressions based on a short time with the product, not a full review. Read our Digital SLR reviews for full reviews of the latest DSLRs and Compact system cameras and to see which produce the sharpest shots and sport the quickest speeds. Read about how we test digital SLRs for an in-depth breakdown of all our DSLR and compact system camera tests.
Katie’s first impressions of the Panasonic GH3
The GH3 is bulky, but not particularly heavy and certainly smaller than your average DSLR. The combination of touchscreen and physical controls works quite well. I’m not a big fan of touchscreens, but with the GH3 you’re not reliant on it – most settings can be adjusted quickly with the buttons and scroll wheels, but if you’re using the control panel view the touchscreen comes in handy.
I didn’t have the opportunity to delve into the GH3s wi-fi capabilities as the model we shot our video with was a pre-launch sample of the GH3 and the remote control smartphone app hasn’t launched yet. The inclusion of wi-fi is welcome though, as it means you can wirelessly back up your shots.
Panasonic says it’s also improved battery life, but if you’re looking to shoot 4hours of video or more there’s the option to purchase an additional battery for around £250. It fits to the base of the camera.
The GH3 looks like a capable camera, but it also has a relatively high price tag. There’s plenty of competition in this price bracket including the Canon 6D which was also annouched at Photokina.
When can I buy it?
The Panasonic GH3 is due to start shipping from 19th November.
Price starts at £1000 for the body only, £2000 with the 12-35mm kit lens, or £1700 with a 14-140 zoom lens.
Click to view pictures of the GH3 and shots taken on the GH3: