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GH3 vs. GH2 and initial thoughts

I’ve shot video with the GH2 extensively over the past few years on loads of projects ranging from commercials to independent films to music videos and more. This amazing little camera has given me incredible images that I have at times intercut seamlessly with RED and Alexa footage. Coming out of a $700 body that is pretty amazing. That’s not to say the GH2 doesn’t have its quirks – in fact it has many. But all in all it has been a workhorse.

On Friday, my GH3 arrived and I’ve already put it to use on a television commercial where I pushed its limits quite hard. Specifically the 1080/60p mode. All in all my experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive. There was a lot of hype surrounding this camera and that kind of hype is seldom lived up to, but in this case the GH3 truly exceeded my expectations.

Since many current GH2 users will likely be adopters of the GH3 down the line, I wanted to share my thoughts on how the cameras compare to each other. For some, the choice will be clear that the GH3 is a definite necessity, while for others – the GH2 may still be more than enough. It really comes down to what you want to use it for and what your needs are.

An important thing to note is that this comparison is currently only based on the video functionality. I rarely shoot stills and my primary usage with this camera is video as will be the case will many that purchase this product. With that said, down the line I would like to add a stills comparison as well.

I have shot a bunch of small test shots and they are embedded throughout this post. These videos will likely be updated as the weeks go on and I have time to shoot more footage. Today it was quite rainy and I was unable to get some of the shots I was looking for (specifically slow motion with people). But for now, these have provided some valuable insight already into the new camera and how it stacks up to the GH2.

For the test shots the GH3 was set to it’s Standard color profile with all settings at -5, except saturation which was at 0. The GH2 (which is hacked with Flowmotion v2), was set to Smooth with all settings at -2.

I’ll start by breaking down some of the basics and most relevant functionality of the camera. There is a lot to cover so some details and features will likely be left out. If anyone has specific questions about the camera that aren’t presented here, please add a comment and I will be happy to address any questions.

The Build

Unboxing the GH3 reveals a camera that feels truly refined, more professional and robust. The magnesium alloy exterior of the camera and larger size make it feel strong in your hands. The body is weather sealed which is a huge deal for many shooters that need to take this camera on location. I also really like how clean everything looks. It’s all black. No chrome trim. No gimmicky “Full HD” badge. Just black metal, rubber and plastic sealed together in an ergonomically sound package.

The metal dial and on off switch both feel solid and require a bit of a push to get them set just right. Which is good as it prevents you from accidentally turning on or off the camera or changing other important settings. A lot of other smaller details go a long way as well. One example is the locking function on the battery door. Little changes like this are important as they allow this camera to function that extra bit more securely on a professional shoot. The GH2 often (especially on rigs) would have issues with the battery door popping open, so this change was a nice added touch.

One of the biggest issues I had with the GH2 was it’s build quality. The camera feels a bit dinky and because it isn’t weather sealed, it is hard to trust it in sub-optimal weather conditions. The buttons and dials always felt a bit delicate for my taste. Not so much that it would be a deal breaker for anyone, but it does add a sense of worry when handling the camera in some on set environments. When shooting with the GH3 in the freezing cold all day yesterday, the camera was functioning perfectly. This wouldn’t be the case with the GH2. Any time I’ve tried to shoot with it in the cold the screen suffers from a delay and it doesn’t operate properly.

The GH3 is obviously a massive improvement over the GH2 in this department. Does this directly translate to a better image? Of course not. But it is very important for many shooters – especially if you are using it day in and day out. Only time will tell, but I can only assume these cameras will have a longer average lifespan than the GH2’s.

Battery

There is a new battery on the GH3 which was no big surprise. Initially, I had hoped for the same battery as the GH2 as that would mean I would already have a few spares. In the end I’m happy Panasonic changed it.

The new battery is better. Hands down. It charges in approximately the same time as the previous battery, but seems to have a much longer lasting charge. I haven’t timed how long it lasts from start to finish, nor would it be an accurate test if I compared with my current GH2 battery as those have been used many times. With that said though, the battery life has been improved to some degree. When I first got the camera there was a 1/3 charge on the battery. I let it continuously record to drain it and even that took a couple of hours.

Again, an improvement in this department but not necessarily the most important change in comparison to some of the other updates.

Menus

The menu on the GH3 is slicker than the GH2, although the GH2’s menu wasn’t too horrible to begin with.

My main problem with the GH2 menu was that the terminology and short form used to label resolution and quality settings didn’t really make any sense. You have to step into several different menu items if you want 720/60p vs 1080/24p for example, and once there you are presented by “FSH’, “FH”, etc. All I ever wanted was for the camera to say – 1080/24p – high quality, 720/60p, etc.

On the GH3 this is exactly what it does. All of the frame rate and quality options are clear and it even states what mbps the camera will record at. This is great as there is no room for confusion. Also on the topic of changing frame rates – on the GH2 it is not possible to monitor video externally at 720/60p. On the GH3 you can monitor video with an external monitor using any setting.

The rest of the menu is just as functional. It’s really intuitive and clean looking. A pleasure to work with in comparison to the old menu, and in fact in comparison to most other cameras. Panasonic really seemed to get it right this time.

EVF/LCD/OLED

On the GH2 the EVF is very nice and crisp. The LCD, not so much. I always found the LCD on the GH2 to be very soft (low resolution) and have inaccurate colours. On the GH3 the OLED is once again vastly improved. It has a glossy finish which I was initially worried about – but it somehow seems more visible in daylight than the GH2’s matte finished LCD. The touch sensitivity on the new OLED is also improved. It is extremely accurate and perfectly sensitive.

A really great feature is the focus/zoom area. Either by using one of the function keys or touching the screen you can magnify an area of the image to focus on. The GH2 does have this functionality as well but it is much more primitive. On the GH2, your only option is to fill the entire screen with the punched in image, and when plugged into an external monitor this function is disabled. On the GH3 you have the option of either punching in all the way or just displaying a small zoom window that is overlaid over the regular sized image.

Most importantly to me though, the punched in image on the GH3 appears on an external monitor just as it does on the camera. This is great as I often use an external monitor as a framing reference but due to their low-ish resolution it is not ideal to use them for pulling focus (at least the particular monitors I own).

The EVF is really crisp on the GH3 as well. Side by side with the GH2 there wouldn’t be a gigantic difference in quality, but again there is an improvement there.

ISO Settings

The GH2 has a well documented bug that makes certain ISO’s very grainy, unless they are selected from an ISO value higher than them. For example, ISO 320 is very grainy if you select it right away when powering up the camera. But if you step down to it from ISO 400, it is okay. Panasonic seem to have avoided this problem with the GH2 by defaulting to base ISO multiples for shooting video.

Out of the box, the ISO options on the GH3 are: 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200. Only 5 of them. But if you dig deeper into the photo menu, there is an option to turn on 1/3 increments for ISO’s that will open up all the intermediate ranges.

Personally, I am happy to mainly stick with the 5 base ISO’s. They all work as they should. No bugs and no workarounds. And I rarely (if ever) used any non base ISO’s on the GH2 anyways. With that said, it is good to know the 1/3 step increments are there if you need them in a pinch. I’d like to do a full ISO test down the road and see how the non-base ISO’s compare to the base ISO’s, but to my eye there doesn’t seem to be any sort of bug as there was in the GH2, which is a nice relief.

Frame Rates & Image Quality

If I had to name the single reason why I was compelled to purchase the GH3, it would have to be the ability to shoot 1080/60p. With the exception of a couple of other DSLR’s, for the most part you’re only going to get 720/60p from the majority of DSLR’s out there.

On the GH2, the 720/60p mode is quite nice. In fact I’ve always found 720p on the GH2 to be as sharp as some other cameras at 1080p. With that said though, the 1080/60p on the GH3 is a welcome addition and a feature that I will surely be utilizing often. I was hoping for a 720/120fps mode, but that didn’t happen – perhaps down the line with a firmware hack. Just yesterday I shot all day with the GH3 in 1080/60p mode and the footage coming out of the camera was truly excellent. Here is a very rough edit of a couple shots. It’s all 60p except for the first shot which is 24:

Also, here is a quick comparison test between the two cameras in 60p (GH3 in 1080 and GH2 in 720). As you would imagine, the 1080 is of course sharper, but the 720p still holds up quite well. I shot a lot of 720p on the GH2 on my recent feature and have no regrets. It all looks great.

Also, the GH3 now has the ability to shoot in All-I (Intra Frame), which means each frame is being created from scratch. With the exception of the 5D MKIII On any other DSLR as far as I know (not including the hacked GH2), you can not record in All-I. This allows for a much higher quality final image as the motion is rendered more smoothly and other variations in the shot are more true to form.

The bit rates have been upped significantly as well. The stock GH2 shoots a max of 24mbps at 1080p (without the hack). The GH3 shoots 72mbps. A huge jump. I have been shooting with my GH2 hacked to allow for a higher bit rate, but the image quality from the un-hacked GH3 is better. It isn’t a night and day difference, but the difference is there. And comparing to the hacked GH2, the file sizes are actually smaller while the image quality is better.

Here is a wide shot comparison of the two cameras. Note the more defined detail on the trees when punched in to 400%. There is definitely a difference here. Not gigantic, and in all honestly not a reason worth switching cameras over in my opinion. But it is there and it’s nice to know that there is at least a small step up in this department.

The other revelation I had when watching much of today’s footage was the fact that I had grown accustomed to the green cast the GH2 puts on everything. I white balanced both cameras manually to either 3200 or 5600, but the GH3 is much more neutral coming off the card. This is something I noticed long ago but was never too concerned with as it can be reversed easily by color correcting. It will be a nice change though to not have to take that into account anymore.

Moire

As far as moire goes, this has never been a huge concern for me as I rarely have had issues with moire on the GH2 unless I am looking for it. With that said, the GH3 actually seems to exhibit slightly more moire in certain scenarios but not in others. I will need to test in more depth, but for now here is a side by side test. It should be noted that I was completely unable to get either camera to exhibit moire with any of my usual lenses. It was only with the Panasonic lens that I had any issue, and even then I really had to look for it.With that said though, I do still believe the GH2 comes out on top here:

Rolling Shutter

Here is a side by side comparison. As expected, the rolling shutter is noticeable and not much different from that of the GH2, although I sense a slight reduction in it’s effect. Where I really seem to notice a positive difference in the GH3 is in the micro jitters. Here is a comparison between the two:

Ex. Tele Conversion

I haven’t spent a great deal of time with this feature, as I never really used it with the GH2. It never seemed to look right to me and was always grainy, even at low ISO’s. Nevertheless, I did a test comparing it with the GH3 and the GH3 does again come out on top. There were some issues with the GH2 during this test in that the micro jitters really had a bad effect on the GH2’s footage when shooting on that long of a lens (I had on a Nikon 300mm telephoto). It is hard to tell if the Ex. Tele Conversion feature on the GH3 is that much better, or if it is more of a combination of better overall IQ/resolution and slightly less rolling shutter. Here is the comparison:

As you can see in the shot below, I was able to get in really tight on a 300mm lens. These are the scenarios where the crop factor is great. The car I was shooting was on the roof of the building on the left of this image.

Low Light

The low light capability of the GH3 surpasses the GH2.

On the GH2, ISO 800 is the max that I will use unless I plan on doing some heavy noise reduction in post. With the GH3, even ISO 1600 material looks fantastic. In fact to my eye it seems like it has about the same amount of grain as it does at ISO 800, which is very minimal. By ISO 3200 the grain is there in full force and I would rarely, if ever use it at this setting.

The grain coming off of this camera is quite pleasing. It resembles a film grain that is refined and adds a beautiful character and texture to the image. It almost looks like the grain you see when 4K sensors are down sampled to 1080p  (such as in the case of the Canon c300).

I’ve now actually found myself cranking up the ISO to 800 and stopping the iris down a bit to bring some of that grain into shots that otherwise may almost look too clean. On the GH2, this isn’t a technique I would employ as the grain (although better than many other DSLRs), still didn’t quite look right to me.

What I found interesting when testing the high ISO’s on both cameras was how little compression appears on the GH3 footage. Even at ISO 6400 which is quite grainy, the grain structure is quite easy to remove with neat video. Because the GH2 has more heavy in camera noise reduction, even with the hack it gets pretty blotchy at high ISO’s. It also seems to exhibit a lot of color shifting with high ISO shots. Here is a small comparison video:

Dynamic Range

Possibly the largest issue that most GH2 users have with the camera is the lack of Dynamic range. The camera is known to produce fairly contrasty images that blow out quite easily. As long as you light for it and work around its limitations, things are always fine – but there are sometimes those scenarios where you just don’t have the time to light the way you need to, and extra DR is essential.

On the GH3 the DR is a step up. I’m sure there will be some more “scientific” tests done in the near future that should yield some specific numbers in regards to how many stops of DR we are actually getting with this camera, but for now here is a small clip that compares the two. Same lens, settings, etc:

It is quite apparent that the GH3 maintains more highlight and shadow detail. While it’s still in the DSLR category and not going to have the DR of a Blackmagic Camera or an Alexa, it is certainly still nice to have that extra bit of stretch that it is giving us.

Image Profiles

Both the GH3 and GH2 have similar types of image profiles, although they have different names. The GH3 does not have any sort of cinestyle or log setting, which I was hoping for. Regardless though, it does give you more detailed control over contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. Where the GH2 would only let you set the contrast for example from – 2 to +2, the GH3 will range from -5 to + 5. This is nice as it gives the user more control over their own custom settings.

24p Judder

I’ve alway felt the GH2 had a more noticeable motion judder when panning in 24p mode as compared to most other DSLR’s. This was one of my biggest disappointments with the camera. The issue was never so bad that it prevented me from getting a shot I needed, but it was just something else to be aware of on a shoot. After comparing the two cameras panning it looks like they both have a very similar amount of judder, which was a bit of a let down.

Audio

The GH3 has a headphone jack. Enough said! This alone makes the camera a worthy investment for many shooters that want to avoid going to a dual system.

The audio input is a standard 3.5mm size as opposed to the GH2’s 2.5mm size. Again I appreciate this small detail as 2.5mm is a much rarer size and therefore requires a small adapter to be used with a regular sized 3.5mm input. Not a huge deal, but it’s nice to not worry about that.

Another improved feature on the GH3 is the ability to fine tune audio input levels in a much more detailed way than with the GH2.

Wi-Fi

This has to be one of the best features of the GH3 (not available on the GH2).

You can now remotely control your camera from your tablet or smartphone. By downloading the Lumix Link app on your mobile device and transmitting a Wi-Fi signal from your GH3, you can instantly use your phone, tablet, etc. as a wireless monitor, hit the record button, change focus by tapping (on electronic lenses) and much more! I will personally be using this function soon for an underwater shoot, where I will operate the camera from above ground… That is if the app that is required starts to work properly.

Currently, the Lumix Link app (which is required to connect to the camera on your smartphone) is quite buggy and the functionality is not there yet. But I’m certain once it does get where it needs to be that this will be a big selling point for some people.

The Wi-Fi function can also be used to transfer your files wirelessly from the card to your device, amongst other things.

Other Improvements

I have found that there are a lot of little hidden features in the GH3 that are really useful:

The new layout of the buttons is more user friendly and makes the camera quicker to operate.

The camera now records timecode which is a huge plus for many users.

While on the touchscreen you can pull out a little menu from the right side of the screen that allows you to toggle on or off a histogram and virtual level. The level I find particularly useful, especially if you are using a tripod without a built in level.

On the GH2 there is a big color shift that appears once you hit the record button which sometimes can make it hard to get the right lighting set up unless you do it while the camera is recording and use the live recording as your preview. This has been completely eliminated with the GH3 thankfully!

There are loads of other small improvements too. It is only my second day with the camera and am still discovering new things, but it truly feels like so much has been packed in and added to this camera.

Summary

All in all the GH3 is an incredible successor to the GH2 and a better camera in most ways – even when compared to a hacked GH2. With that said it does potentially suffer from more moire than the GH2 and the jump in image quality isn’t drastically different.

The biggest and most notable improvements are: a stronger body, slightly better image all round, 1080/60p, ability to record proper timecode, better audio control and usability, added dynamic range, and Wi-Fi remote controlling.

It feels likePanasonic have actually listened to what their customers wanted and came through with a great product. The camera is not perfect, but no camera is.

The price of the camera is significantly higher than the GH2. Currently you can purchase a GH2 body with a kit lens for as low as $600 – $700 online, which is an absolute steal. The GH3’s body alone goes for $1299.

So is it for everyone that owns a GH2? I don’t think so. Although the camera is a great improvement over the GH2 in many ways, the GH2 is still a remarkable little camera that produces beautiful images. For those that may prefer the slightly smaller body, lower cost and other positives on the GH2 side, I wouldn’t be surprised if many people still stick with the GH2. Many of the noticeable improvements on the GH3 are in the construction and functionality of the camera. The differences in image quality are there, but they are not overwhelmingly different from the GH2. A well composed shot will look great on either camera and they will both do the job well.

I wouldn’t be surprised with the drop in GH2 cost, many opt to purchase two GH2’s rather than a single GH3 body ( for the same cost). For some, having two cameras for events or multi-cam low budget narrative, etc. may be more beneficial than the added quality from a single camera.

As a long term investment, I think the GH3 does have more longevity especially with new features such as Wi-Fi that really bring it into the next generation of cameras. It really feels like Panasonic have officially hit their stride with this one and understand who they are making it for.

If you’re in the market for a DSLR that shoots great video, but don’t know where to start – check out my article on the top 5 DSLRs for video today.

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

98 Comments

  • dadix
    December 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Very good review with side by side comparation. Please post your television commercial.

    Reply
  • Taha
    December 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Good review 🙂

    Reply
  • labalbi
    December 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Oh…I cant express my gratitude for this long, well written , detailed , deep review !!!
    Thanks very much …
    I am a GH13 hacked owner and I am planning to buy the GH3 in my next visit in USA (january ) .
    I think I ll have a heck of upgrade from GH1 (which I love for videos , but can rely on high ISO for stills )
    Again …thanks
    a hug from Rio , Brazil ….

    Reply
  • aa
    December 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Really Helpful..

    Thanks !!

    Reply
  • aa
    December 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    side by side comparation.. very good

    now i can decide to buy or not

    Reply
  • aa
    December 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    test Gh2 is hacked 24p ?

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Yes it is hacked with Flowmotion v2

      Reply
  • rumi
    December 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Great write up, thank you. well don.
    Although the Dynamic Range dos not seem
    different between the two just a shift in exposure
    and color.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you. I find the DR is more noticeable when grading… There is a slight improvement right out of the camera, but once you start pushing the colors around it is more apparent.

      Reply
  • Mike Lorushe
    December 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Noam, thanks for taking the time out to share your opinions. Very helpful!

    Reply
  • Noam
    December 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for the response! I’m glad this has been so helpful.

    Reply
  • Szmajdzik
    December 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Geat review and comparison. The one I`ve been looking for 🙂

    Reply
  • Todd
    December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Excellent review!! You hit on all the relevant points while also keeping a neutral perspective on how this upgrade relates to different people’s needs. The GH3 isn’t perfect, but it’s feature set is interesting enough to make me very excited about what future products Panasonic may have in store that compliment their vision of a professional system. The GH3 is a great start – and a worthy successor to the GH2.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Many thanks, I’m looking forward to see what they bring next and how this camera improves with firmware updates as well as hopefully a hack down the road!

      Reply
  • Paul Chen
    December 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Great job and thanks for doing this.
    Question: what lens and setting did you use to shoot the first clip 60p B&W music/dance with?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you Paul. A lot of that was shot on the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, but some of the longer lensed stuff was on a Nikon 105mm 2.8. Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • mikael_bllina
        February 4, 2013 at 1:45 am

        Hello can you give us some advise for an adapter, because I’ve got some canon lens, and don’t want to sell it … Thanks

        Reply
        • Noam
          February 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm

          Hi mikael, please check out my writeup here: http://www.noamkroll.com/breakdown-of-eos-to-m43-adapter-types-and-review-on-the-fotodiox/

          Generally, you have many options with adapters and I tend to choose the “middle of the road” adapters that have a built in iris ring but no electronic control. The electronic ones are great but not worth it for me as I don’t own a lot of EOS glass and don’t like the hassle of having to power them on a small shoot.

          Reply
  • Louis
    December 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Very interesting read… I’m waiting for the GH3 to arrive in South Africa and after reading this blog have made my decision. Thank you for the effort.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Glad it helped! I’m sure you’ll be thrilled when it arrives.

      Reply
  • rod
    December 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    you used a canon lens on your gh3, will all canon lenses fit? and did you use an adaptor. I have canon lenses and to use them on the gh3 would be a great bonus

    Reply
  • Kob
    December 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Very educational review. Helps to solidify my positive opinion about the GH3. Thank you.

    One thing that I found rather disturbing is the GH3’s moire test results with the Leica lens (the right pillow case at 0:06). I wonder why you say that you have moire issues only with Panasonic lenses – am I the only one is annoyed by the bands in the sample shot?

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      It is definitely a bit disappointing.. I sense it is a combination of the sharp lens and the fact that the GH3 is sharper than the GH2… In real life scenarios this is really not an issue as most users will not use Lumix glass for cinematic work and those that do will hopefully not encounter this issue often. I really had to stress it to make it as noticeable as it was in the video!

      Reply
  • Nima
    December 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks for the review. I’m receiving my GH3 tomorrow and very excited about it. I’m really curious to see how your underwater shoot comes out as I have one coming up soon and really curious about housing, as well as working via wifi. Looking forward to seeing how that turns out for you.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Thanks! Check back in the next couple of weeks for some footage.

      Reply
  • aa
    December 4, 2012 at 12:04 am

    What is the lens of GH2 in title photo

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 1:16 am

      On the top is a Nikon 70 – 300 F4-5.6 and the bottom (on the GH3) is a Canon 50mm 1.4.

      Reply
  • Mark
    December 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Noam,

    First off, great review! You persuaded me to buy this camera based on your comments. For cinematic work, I would love to get your thoughts on lenses.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 1:15 am

      Thank you very much. I typically use a pretty wide variety of primes ranging from vintage Nikon/Nikkor lenses to Zeiss, SLR Magic and more. I will do a blog post soon on some of my favorite lenses, so please check back soon for that. I am waiting to get my hands on some Rokinon Cine lenses before that blog post as I have heard some great things about them.

      Reply
      • Mark
        December 4, 2012 at 3:22 am

        Great. I look forward to it. I just found your website via the Vimeo videos. I appreciate your voice and vision.

        Reply
  • Gal Rumbak
    December 4, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Thank you very much for the detailed tests and thoughts.
    I am a film school student and thinking seriously on buying this camera for cinematic work. Your blog is a step forward in making that Decision.
    The price is an issue, but it seems this camera could be a good investment for several years, and with a big supportive users (&hacking) community (Like you).
    Could you please advise on a starter glass? I was thinking on the Lumix Panasonic kit lens – 12-35 f2.8, but it cost as the whole body. This will be my first camera and I don’t own other lenses, and won’t buy a new one for a while, so I am looking for a good quality, versatile zoom lens. and mybe I shold investin an EOS to M43 Adapter, as you wrote above (There are many cannon glass for rent).
    Another Q, I read in several places that the GH3 is PAL/NTSC limited – according to the country in which it was bought. But B&H costumer service told me otherwise and also Panasonic web site specs implies otherwise. So is it?

    Thank you again. (sorry for any English glitches)
    Gal

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Gal, yes the GH3 is definitely a good investment in my opinion for what you are doing. In terms of glass, have you considered getting some used primes? A nice zoom will work well, but you may be able to get 3 or 4 used primes that cover what you are looking for and traditionally primes are used most in cinematic work. For example a lens like this is good quality and cheap (even new):

      In terms of zooms, I haven’t used the 12 – 35 myself but many people say that it is too sharp and can cause aliasing in some scenarios.

      Reply
      • Gal Rumbak
        December 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm

        Noam,
        thanks for the replay.

        I decided on buying it. (Hooray!) I can get it from USA – but we (Israel) use PAL and i’m afriad on geting a only NTSC body.

        mybe i didnt understood, but on which prime lens were you reffering? (after the ” : “)
        A M43 Prime serias or a EOS with adapter.

        thanks also for the heads up on the 12-35 sharppnes issue. I wasn’t aware of that.

        Reply
        • Noam
          December 5, 2012 at 1:23 am

          Hi Gal, congrats on your purchase! If you are doing a lot of cinematic work, the NTSC version should work well for you still and you can always convert to pal using software such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder (although its a bit of a process).

          You might not be able to view my link, but try searching for “Nikon 35mm 1.8” on Amazon. The lens I shared with you is only $200 new and nice one!

          Good to hear my blog is reaching Israel, after all I was born in Yerushalim! Hope this helps with your decision on the lenses.

          Reply
          • Gal Rumbak
            December 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

            Hi Noam,

            I sitting now in my apparment in Yerushalim, My film school is 10 min walk from here. So, With your premission I’ll give your regared to this crazy, beautifull, dirty, confliced inspairing city.

            Lens – Nikon / Canon, through an adaptor – requaires a manual ring for controlling focus / Apruture for a deccent work flaw, Or an iris ring on the Adapter. is it right?

            I am wondering how much this Pal/NTSC thing is a deal breaker. Transcoding NTSC -> PAL sounds like a lot of hustle.
            But the price diffrence UK US is unbelivible.

          • Noam
            December 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

            Yes you are right, you either need an adapter that can control the electronic iris, or one with built in aperture blades. You’re best off just buying manual lenses though with an aperture ring built in! If you are mainly shooting film work, 24p is the way to go anyways in my opinion. Whereas if you plan to shoot for television and need PAL, it would probably be worth just getting the PAL version – really depends on your usage!

  • George
    December 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Nice comparison. I still very much like the look of the GH2. Also the wide shots are wider. Is this due to the multi-aspect sensor? If so, what is the effective crop factor on the GH3 in video mode? I suspect it will be difficult to get panoramic filed of view.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. And yes due to the GH3’s lack of a multi-aspect sensor, it has a 2x crop factor whereas the GH2 is a 1.86x crop. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  • rumi
    December 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I have a question regarding punch in focus that maybe you could answer. on the gh2 when using manual lenses I can push the rotating dial and punch in, is this feature carried over in the gh3?
    And thank you for your response about DR.

    Rumi.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Yes this is carried over, but the wheel no longer acts as a button, there is a separate function key that will punch in for you, or you can use the touch screen. I much prefer the way it is implemented on the GH3 as you have different options for how you want to view the focus area.

      Reply
  • Xiong
    December 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Great review!
    Im going to be picking up a GH2 this month because I am relatively new to using a dlsr as a film tool, I always follow blogs and news so I dont think it’ll be to difficult since im starting with the GH2. Some enticing features from the GH3 is the weather seal and the body, that and improved iso noise, but since im starting out im going to test with the gh2 first.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Definitely not a bad idea! The image quality off of the GH2 is still superb, so I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. Congrats!

      Reply
  • Phil
    December 6, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Great review

    I already have Gh2. But I was thinking of trading my Sony a77 for Gh3. It is a good idea?

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks Phil. The GH3 is a great camera and if you already have a GH2, it would make for an excellent companion if you do a lot of multi-cam shoots. I haven’t shot with the a77 myself, but if it is working for you and you like it, than stick with it. After all it is what is in front of and behind the camera that makes the real difference. If you find you want a camera to match your GH2 or share lenses with and prefer to m43 format, than you might want to consider the switch. With that said, on paper the a77 seems to have a lot of the same benefits as the GH3 – magnesium alloy body, 1080/60p, etc. So depending on how you plan to use it and how satisfied you are with the a77, it may be worth it to stick with the Sony.

      I do have a feeling that this is the generation of Panasonic’s GH line that will hit the mainstream as Canon’s did with the 5D/7D. So that is something to consider down the line if clients start to request this camera.

      Reply
  • […] Source: http://www.noamkroll.com/gh3-vs-gh2-and-initial-thoughts/ Tweet (function() { var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0]; s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true; s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); TAGS » gh-3, gh-3 review, gh3, GH3 DMC, GH3 DMC review, gh3 lumix, GH3 Lumix review, gh3 panasonic, GH3 Panasonic review, GH3 review, panasonic gh-3, panasonic gh-3 review, panasonic gh3, Panasonic GH3 review, panasonic lumix dmc-gh3, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 review, panasonic lumix gh3, Panasonic Lumix GH3 review POSTED IN » Panasonic GH3 […]

    Reply
  • Nima
    December 7, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Hi Noam. So got mine on Tuesday. Loving all the new features. I’m leaving for Hong Kong in a couple of days and will be shooting a lot and wondering if you’ve had more time to use it and the standard color profile with everything at -5 except for saturation is working out well for you. Since there’s no cinestyle option for this cam yet, I want to shoot as flat as possible. Thanks again.

    Loving the wifi app by the way.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Nima, congrats on the new cam! Yes I have found those settings to work very well so far, although I haven’t tested the other modes extensively. The most important things to have set to -5 are going to be contrast and Noise reduction from my experience. I would leave them all at -5 except for saturation… I’m always weary of pulling out too much color information in camera as you can do that easily in post, but you can’t put it back in as easily if it isn’t there to begin with.

      Reply
  • Chris R.
    December 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks Noam- Your review has given me the “mental ammo” to make an informed decision!
    I’m currently visiting NYC and spent a few hours yesterday drooling, er..-rather, browsing around B&H. While they did not have a GH3 in-stock to look at, I did have a chance to mess around with a GH2. (I live out on the prairie – so I don’t get much chance to physically shop for gear)
    Anyway, with your review and actually playing with the GH2 for a few, I’m convinced that my smart money is on a GH2 and decent lenses for a guy like me. (I’m an advanced-novice at-best)
    Thanks again for the great work!

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Hey Chris, great to hear this has helped you make a decision. The GH2 is an amazing camera, and if nothing else one of the best things about the GH3 is that it has driven down the price of the GH2’s. I’m sure you’ll get some great footage with it, and you’re right – lenses are always the best investment. After all, the GH3 will be outdated before we know it, but those lenses can last a lifetime. Congrats on your purchase.

      Reply
  • Etienne Jacquemart
    December 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Hi Noam,
    Thanks for this comprehensive review! But I have clarify a point that I find very puzzling. Actually Inreceived my GH3 a few days ago, and was very excited about all the features, until… I put my eyes to the viewfinder. My instant reaction was “what is that crap, what happened to the fantastic GH1/GH2 EVF? True, they were not very acurante in termed of colour and contrast, but they were very sharp, due to,the sequential technology, using alternatively all pixels (kind of DLP). Now, this is a traditional screen, that I could compare with the EVF of the cheap Sony camcorder I had in 2007. My evaluation is that the definition is reduced at least by half (yes, 1/2!). In the GH2, it was impossible to distinguish the pixels. With the GH3, I see them clearly, disticinctively. It’s like an Apple retina screen vs non retina. My main concern is that I used the EFV all, he time, for manual focusing with my Voigtlander and its very shallow DOP. With that low resolution, it becomes almost impossible , unless you use the magnifying function, which is a hassle.
    So when you say that the GH3 EVF has better sharpness, I wonder how you can come with this feeling as for me the huge drop in sharpness was so obvious (to the point I’m thinking of returning the camera). So could you please compare again, and tell me if you confirm your opinion on that particular point? I begin to wonder my I’m the only one complaining…
    Cheers,

    Etienne (Belgium)

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Etienne,

      I’m sorry to hear you aren’t having good results with the EVF. If it is as bad as you describe, I wonder if it might be a defect in your particular camera. I have heard some users complain about the edges of the new EVF being a bit softer than the center, but personally I never have found this to be an issue.

      Reply
    • Tim
      February 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I noticed the same thing. The GH3 viewfinder isn’t nearly as good as the GH2 viewfinder. I tried it side by side with my GH2 and found the viewfinder image not only softer but slightly smaller as well. In fact when shooting stills in 4:3 aspect ratio, it’s like looking down a tunnel, the image is so small. Very disappointing as I really wanted to like the GH3!

      I use the GH2 almost always to follow focus whilst recording and find it very accurate. There is even slight aliasing in the viewfinder image (doesn’t appear in recording) that acts as a sort of peaking which makes pulling focus whilst recording really much easier.

      It’s worth noting that you do not have a defective viewfinder because I checked 3 different cameras at 3 different stores around my city. They all appeared the same. Shame!

      Reply
      • Noam
        February 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        The more I’ve used the GH3, the more I do notice that it isn’t as refined as the one on the GH2. I too used the GH2 viewfinder to pull focus and also would look for aliasing on hair or clothing to check focus. With that said though, I don’t find it to be a deal breaker, the GH3 viewfinder is still useable but it would have been ideal to have seen an upgrade in that department.

        Reply
  • Gerry
    December 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Noam, thanks for the excellent review. It’s the only one I will ever refer to, and as far as i can see, you missed nothing. Greetings from Ireland.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Many thanks Gerry. I’m glad to have been of such help to you!

      Reply
  • Geoy
    December 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I’ve been sitting on the fence about GH2 vs GH3 and your interesting comparison gave me the reason for leaning to the GH2, especially with the current price cut. I do have one question to ask:
    is the GH2 good enough to shoot ice-hockey games ( the lighting can be very different from rink to rink) and do you have an opinion on which lens would work well with the GH2, in this sport?
    Thank you for your practical, ‘let’s get down to business’ comparison.
    Geoy.

    Reply
    • Noam
      December 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Geoy, Thank you for visiting. I have actually shot a couple of commercials on a hockey rink (using natural light from the rink) with the GH2 and it looked great. With that said, my experience was different in that I wasn’t covering a live event (as you will be) and therefore my choice in lenses would be different than yours. It might be worth while for you to invest in a nice zoom lens like the Lumix 35 – 100mm lens. That should work well for your needs!

      Reply
  • Nima
    January 2, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Hi Noam. So had a chance to use the GH3 extensively in Hong Kong and here is a little video from it.

    http://youtu.be/9ozhfBmeCI8

    I didn’t have much time to learn about the camera before I started shooting. So there are some operator errors, mainly the flickering lights which I’m assuming are from setting the shutter speeds too high. But overall I loved the camera. Plus, I used the neat video plugin which I learned about from your site and man, what a powerful plugin!

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Tom
    January 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for this . It is nice to find someone else who thinks of ISO the same as I do. Unless its almost completely clean its not useable! I find the GH2 can get to 640 ISO clean but starts to fall sharply after that. I have a question about the SLR Magic 12mm 1.6 however as I have just bought it. Did you buy the SLR Magic step up before you put ND or UV filters on it or have you just put 58 ones on the lens as it came? I ask because I’m hearing you need a step up ring to 77 size filter. But as this will be mainly a lens for shooting video and the 16:9 aspect ratio cuts the corners anyway i thought i might get away with it! Your experience with this would be valued.

    Thanks

    Tom

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Tom, Thanks for the feedback. I did use a step up ring. I typically buy filters that are 77mm so they fit on any of my lenses with a step up ring. That helps to keep costs down and minimizes the amount of filters I need to travel with.

      Reply
  • Tom
    January 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    FYI , My ISO comment relates to stills really as for some reason I find a little bit of noise on video much more acceptable.

    Reply
  • Marius Ilioaea
    January 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I believe you’ll not be able to use WiFi with camera under water (submersed).

    Reply
  • emonty
    February 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you for the review. I got myself one along with the 12-35 and the 35-100 F2.8 lenses. Really dig this unit big time!!

    Here is an example of the quality, really amazing IMHO!
    Test footage = MOV 1920×1080, 50p 50 Mbps @ 40% Frame Rate

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ACVWF4l9hI

    no editing done at all, straight copy from the camera.

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Cool snake. And yes it is a great camera! Just FYI – if you’re shooting at 50p (for PAL) you will want to slow it down to 50% not 40%. You would slow down to 40% if you were converting 60p to 23.98.

      Reply
  • George
    February 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the detailed comparison! Precisely what I wanted to know as a GH2 owner. I learn more from your review than from any other views for video part of it. I do stills most of the time but have found video more and more interesting starting with GH2. Do you use manual focus or auto focus for video? I found that auto focus will cause the view move back and forth a bit and ruin the video (When used pana 25mm f1.4 fixed length). I am wondering lens like 35-100mm will be better

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks a lot George. To answer your question – I only use manual focus when shooting video because I primarily shoot narrative, but if you’re shooting events than autofocus could be a great tool to use, depending on your camera. Also, FYI – although I didn’t write up about the stills quality on this camera, I will say that the stills on the GH3 are FAR better than on the GH2. There is a much more noticeable jump in quality in stills than video between the two cameras.

      Reply
  • Jeff
    February 18, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Thx so much for this. I frequently do run and gun docu style shooting. I have had great success using old olympus om primes but sometimes I don’t have time to switch and have to resort to pan 14-45mm. Was thinking about pan 12-35 as an upgrade. Do you know of any other alternatives? I guess if meta bones comes out with speed adaptor for m 4/3’s that would put more vintage zoom lenses in play.

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Yes, it would be great if the speedbooster comes out for MFT. I’m certain it will, especially with the MFT blackmagic camera on the way. If you’re looking for a lumix/mft lens that will natively work on your camera, the 12-35 may be your best bet. With that said, I personally would look out for some older manual Nikon lenses that likely cover the same range but may give you a more vintage/cinematic feel.

      Reply
  • […] The most well thought out and organized comparison of the GH2 and GH3 to date: http://www.noamkroll.com/gh3-vs-gh2-and-initial-thoughts/ […]

    Reply
  • Varek
    April 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I realize this thread is pretty old but still wanted to express appreciation for your review. I’ve been going back and forth on GH2 or GH3 for my first digital film making camera. Your comparison is quite neutral and helpful. For me it’s basically going to come down to how much I can save up I think.

    Also, you’ve probably already found this out but you’re unlikely to be able to use the wifi feature in your underwater shoot. Water tends to absorb radio signals.

    Reply
    • Noam
      April 14, 2013 at 1:31 am

      Hi Varek, I’m glad to hear this review has been helpful for you. The two cameras are both capable of great things, but if you do have an extra bit to spend on the GH3, I would say it is worth it. Not necessary by any means, but that extra bit of quality and knowing that you don’t have to hack it is always a good thing. I also like the physical feel of the camera a lot better. None of these are deal breakers for the GH2, but I don’t think you’d regret going GH3 if you decided to. Plus if you take stills – the GH3 far outshines the GH2. Good luck with your purchase!

      Reply
  • Scot
    April 29, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Hey Noam, thanks so much for your thoughtful info and answers. I am a GH2 owner and neophyte cinematographer. I am thinking to get a GH3. This is pretty basic, but will all of my canon and panasonic lenses work with the GH3? I am thinking yes. Do I need any extra adapter or anything? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam
      May 6, 2013 at 4:24 am

      Hi Scot, Your Canon lenses will not work right off the bat without the use of an adapter. You can either use a dumb adapter that will be cheap but only allow for you to mount the lens on the GH3 (not control iris or focus), however if your Canon lenses are fully manual, that you’ll be fine. Alternatively, you could buy a fairly expensive RedRock adapter for it, but that will require additional power and they are in the $500 range.

      Your Panasonic lenses should work perfectly assuming they were for the MFT mount. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Rod Lundstrom
    April 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Nice objective review. I just shot with the Gh 3 yesterday, and agree with everything you said. I own the Gh 2, and am fond of it, just as it seems you are. I did like the battery life of the gh 3, and it does seem to be cleaner in higher ISO’s. I run the Gh 2, in the hacked 66mb mode, using a San Disc Extreme Pro card, which has a read/write of 95mb. Wonder if the Gh 3 needs the better card to keep up? Was using a 45 mb card without issue?

    Reply
    • Noam
      May 6, 2013 at 4:26 am

      Thanks Rod. I find the GH3 can use just about any card I’ve thrown at it. The hacked GH2 definitely can not handle anything below 95mb if you’re shooting at a high bit rate, but I regularly shoot on 45mb cards with the GH3 without ever having an issue.

      Reply
  • […] you’re interested in the Gh3, be sure to check out my comparison between the GH2 and GH3 as well as my article on shooting a feature film on the […]

    Reply
  • David
    August 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Noam – Thanks for your detailed review and excellent video samples. I have been overall pleased with my GH2, but recently acquired a GH3. I echo all your views on these two cameras, and think the GH3 is a worthy successor to the GH2. While not perfect for a “flagship” model clearly aimed at video shooters (no focus peaking, and I prefer the GH2’s EVF), I am still pleased with my choice to upgrade. Having the GH2 as a B camera and for backups is also nice, but its not getting any attention since the GH3 arrived!

    Reply
  • Name*Jane G
    August 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Message*Hi Noam, Thanks so much for the detailed GH2 /GH3 comparison. Contemplating next purchase of GH3 (or nxt generation) Vs. camcorder.
    I have a GH2 w. 14-140 lens, I’ve used it on many video projects, and have enjoyed beautiful but varied results. I’m wondering when it’s best to use a regular camcorder because of focusing issues.
    I’ve set my GH2 at 1080 @. 24p cinema mode and find it a bit soft and when there is movement of characters whether a small body movement or larger, a bit of what I think you refer to as “judder”.
    When I shot at 720p @ 60p, the video is sharper, tho less “filmic”. I also found the Varavon Loupe Very helpful for focusing- it attaches to the screen (when pulled out) via camera plate, and also folds back if you need to touch the screen!
    Questions:
    What settings do you use to keep things sharpest ( res. &fps) when there’s multiple characters and movement? Do you use the AF and touch screen for events? Is shooting 30fps (80%) sharper?
    Is there a problem with Cinema Mode and movement (judder)?
    What situations would you switch to a video camcorder?
    I Really Appreciate your experienced opinion! Need Feedback! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam
      August 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Jane, Thanks for visiting.

      To answer some of your questions:
      1 – I typically would shoot at the highest bitrate setting in 24p for my projects. 60p or 30p won’t be any sharper, but they may appear much sharper as there is significantly less motion blur when panning or having a subject run move through the frame quickly. Part of the cinematic look is having some motion blur, and if you watch any movie shot on film and step through frame by frame, you will quickly see that the footage has motion blur in any action moment. I don’t usually shoot events, but if I were to I wouldn’t use the touch AF at all. I don’t find it to be particularly accurate.
      2 – I do find that this camera has more judder than other cameras (at 24p), however all cameras, even film cameras will have judder at 24fps. My recommendation is just work around it. Avoid medium pans on shots with pronounced vertical lines.
      3 – For certain events or documentary projects I think a camcorder would work be a better choice than an SLR. That isn’t always the case though. For example you may want to shoot a more cinematic looking wedding that has lots of planned out shots. Or a documentary that is mainly shot in controlled environments. But there are certainly some scenarios where you are better off using a traditional camcorder as it will save you time and make your shoot more efficient.

      Hope this is a help!

      Reply
  • john flores
    August 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Good stuff! Thanks for taking the time to put this comparison together!

    Reply
    • Noam
      August 23, 2013 at 1:49 am

      My pleasure!

      Reply
  • Li
    September 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Hi there,
    Does the HDMI out work while in EXT mode? I know it doesn’t for the GH2, hoping Panasonic changed that.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam
      September 27, 2013 at 12:50 am

      It sure does, I was very happy to see that!

      Reply
  • Keng
    September 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Noam, this is one great write wrte-up! Just what I needed! But with all that information, I still don’t trust myself to decide on what to get =)

    Here’s the gist:
    – I have a $1,600 budget (I know, not much)
    – Choosing between GH3 + 20mm f1.7 or GH2 + 14-140mm f4.0-5.6 + 20mm f1.7
    – I would like to get into wedding videography (currently shooting amateur model and product shoots)
    – I am also running a travel website that’s why I need the hybrid capability of the GH cameras.

    I am hoping you could help me out. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam
      September 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Keng,

      Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad to help.

      In regards to your budget – I would personally opt for the GH3 with the 20mm f1.7. I love the combination of that lens with the camera and have seen some fantastic results by using that set up. As far as shooting weddings, you would likely need a zoom lens, so eventually you’ll want to consider a second lens. But with that said the 14-140 (while it is a great lens) is quite slow – f4 I believe, and not ideal for wedding venues without a lot of light. I would save up for the Lumix 12-35 or 35-100 which would be perfect for your needs.

      Also, the GH3 is probably a better choice for you since you also want to take stills. The still photos are much better on the GH3 in my opinion.

      Reply
  • D
    October 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

    How are you getting work? I love my GH2, but every producer wants someone with a RED or 5D.I’m sure I’d love a GH3, but I cant invest in one knowing its not going to get me work.

    Reply
    • Noam
      October 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Most producers definitely prefer the familiarity of a 5D or RED, there’s no question about that. So if you’re strictly a shooter, the GH2/GH3 could be tough to work with in that regard. But, if you’re producing your own stuff (as I mainly do) than you have the freedom to use whatever you choose!

      Reply
  • Peter Price
    November 17, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Hi Naom,

    Very cool comparison. I rented a GH3 this weekend, to try out. I’m normally a 5D Mark II user and have always preferred the Canon Color to the Panasonic, and have been having trouble getting the right look from the GH3. Do you have any advice on how to get more flexible color out of the GH3, so I’m not spending twice the amount of time grading on the GH3 footage?
    I can grade on 5D footage no problems, and also on the BMPCC, of course, but I just can’t seem to get the right look with the GH3, and wondering if I can set it up on the Panasonic settings side, either getting a flat look or something that matches the Canon color.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 19, 2013 at 4:20 am

      Hi Peter,

      I have to agree – Canon colors have an edge over the GH3 straight out of the camera, but the GH3 can be matched quite easily. A lot of what you do in post is dependent on the settings that you use in camera, but assuming you’re shooting on a relatively flat color profile with contrast set to -5, try to crush the blacks just slightly in post, bring up the mid tones and push some warmth into the highlights and mids. That should get you in the right zone.

      Reply
  • Vineet Bhalla
    December 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Noam,

    Thanks for the great and informative articles. I would love to get your advice on a couple of things.

    I’m looking to purchase a camera for run and gun style documentary work. I’m wondering how the GH2 holds up compared to the GH3 in this situation as budget is an issue for me.

    I’m going to be following some people in India in an urban environment. So I need to be able to shoot fast, be able to take long takes and be mobile.

    My main concern with the GH2 will be focussing. After a lot of research I’m thinking of the Panasonic 12-35mm because of the AF and image stablisatuon features. Can you tell me in your experience what the optimal solution might be for this situation? I’m most likely going to mount the GH2 on a shoulder rig. I will have a tripod as well and a friend will record the audio separately. Will I be able to maintain focus in this way? What about the 14-42 kit lens? There is plenty of natural light but I know it’s not fast at 3.5. Again price is a concern as I can’t really afford the GH3 and the 12-35 on top of that. The G6 seems like a nice middle ground option as well.

    in terms of cost going with a GH2 gives me a lot more space for other stuff I need to buy to complete the kit like lenses etc while the GH3 is quite a drain on the budget. Second hand GH2s are going for under 300 British pounds on eBay right now. So I can get a GH and a 12-35 lens for less than the price of the GH3 body alone.

    I’m also buying the 20 mm Panasonic f1.7 for interviews etc.

    Would be grateful for your thoughts.

    Regards,

    Vineet.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Vineet,

      Thanks for visiting. In terms of the GH2 vs GH3 for run n gun, I believe they are both going to be just about equal. You won’t experience any major difference in autofocus or rolling shutter, so I wouldn’t recommend one over the other based on that factor alone. Generally, I don’t recommend using autofocus on the GH cameras in any circumstance, as the results won’t be ideal… The same goes for most DSLR’s, although some (like the Canon 70D) are a bit better in this department. What I would recommend doing though is getting a nice, relatively wide lens (the 20mm F1.7 you mentioned for example) and stop down on it. You can get a fairly deep DOF, and in many cases may be able to just focus to infinity and stay 5 – 7 feet away from your subject.

      The 12 – 35 is a great option as well, and I would recommend keeping it on the wide end when doing any run n gun footage.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • z
    March 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Have you heard of the camera stopping the recording if there is no interaction with it after record has been pressed? I intend to film monologues and will be using my phone to initiate the record but do not want it to stop because I’m not behind it viewing the process. I have heard that people are going with external displays to manage the camera while they are being recorded and an issue with the lcd display on the gh3 going black after 10 seconds. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Hey z,

      This has never happened when I have shot with the camera, so I can’t speak to it specifically, but I can say that I’ve also shot very long takes of scenes and interviews and it’s always gone off without a hitch!

      Reply
  • Werner
    May 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Dear Noam,

    More than 5 years ago I bought the Sony HDR FX1. That was a huge step forward. I was impressed by the quality of video. Now two years ago I bought the Panasonic GH2. I bought the camera for making pictures and discovered that video is a very strong point of this camera
    After reading your article I was so curious. of the performance of the GH3 that I bought it recently as well. I have some questions……….In the first place the menu is confusing me. I do not know what to choose to get best video quality. Secondly I am using Adobe Premiere CS5 and would like to know which mode I have to choose. 1080i ??? Can this Program deal with the material ??
    In advance thanks for your answer.

    Reply
  • Kai Liu(The food photographer in New York)
    March 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Does GH3 has more moire/aliasing in 60p mode?
    I find they are quite pronounced.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 19, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Hard to say – I think they both have around the same amount… That’s just based on memory though, as I haven’t shot with either in a few years!

      Reply
  • Travis Johansen - Minneapolis MN
    January 21, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    It seems like we’re still asking (and answering) the same questions with minor improvements between 2 generations older cameras and the GH5 to the new GH5S!

    Noise structure (better)?
    Sharper image?

    I came to the GH series from the Canon C100 – and it’s incredible how Panasonic punches above it’s weight class on these little cameras.

    Change a few details, and your review could be a template for today’s reviews – ha!

    The thing that shocks me is that when viewing those sample clips now years later, the slow motion still looks great – and on mobile devices, you could totally rock those old cameras depending on your client’s needs.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 1, 2018 at 3:46 am

      Haha! So true. As much as we all go crazy about new gear every year, nothing really changes in some respects… And these “old” cameras are still capable of incredible things in the right hands. Thanks for the note…

      Reply
  • Gerald
    April 8, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Good morning No am,

    I enjoy your comparison, and detailed use of both cameras. I’m been using the GH3 for a few years and still learning the many features.

    Just wanted to say “Thank You”.

    I’ll be looking at your site or blog for more informative goodie if the GH series.

    All the best.

    Gerald.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Really appreciate the kind words, Gerald. Thanks!

      Reply

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