More on the panasonic GH3 - Full specs. and press release from 43 rumors. (UPDATED)

From 43Rumors
As ever, well done Andrea.

The Panasonic DMC-GH3 Lumix Body (Black), is a new and highly evolved model from LUMIX, creator of the world’s first digital single lens mirrorless (DSLM) camera.
The body has been engineered to incorporate a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor, a 4-CPU Venus Engine, and a newly designed low-pass filter. The creative expression made possible by these innovations, render even the finest textures in intricate detail, breaking new ground in photographic realism. The new model also features Contrast AF with a high level of response. And its magnesium alloy frame is tightly sealed to resist splashes and dust, making the DMC-GH3 rugged enough to withstand the rigors of professional use.
  • 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Double OLED Display
  • Splash/Dustproof Design
  • Full-HD Progressive
  • Smartphone or Tablet Linking
In addition to supporting a wide range of recording formats, the DMC-GH3 features a special heat-dispersing design for extended high-quality recording. Its specifications match those of many professional cameras, ensuring that it meets the demands of video field work. The LUMIX GH3 was designed from the ground up to provide seamless multi-media performance for both stills and videos. It may well be the world’s first camera to please professional photographers by offering them the best of both.

The DMC-GH3 features a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor with a level of sensitivity that produces flowing gradation from shadows to highlights. High resolution and a wide dynamic range create truly stunning images that look like you could reach out and touch them. High-sensitivity ISO 12800 (extended: ISO 25600) and extensive noise reduction give you remarkable images even in dim lighting.

In the DMC-GH3′s Contrast AF system, the image sensor doubles as the AF sensor to resist any mechanical margin of error. Compared with Phase Difference AF, the focusing is precise even at small F-numbers. A faster sensor and engine also achieve a higher focus detection speed than most traditional DSLR models.

The DMC-GH3 gives you 1920 x 1080 60p [NTSC] / 50p [PAL] Full-HD recording. Progressive scanning records every frame, so the amount of data contained is twice that of interlace scanning, and the images have extremely high definition.

The Wi-Fi(R) function lets you use a smartphone* to make settings and press the shutter button remotely, a short distance from the camera. The auto transfer function is handy for automatically backing up photos onto a tablet. This lets you monitor them on the tablet without having to upload them to a PC. You can also start timer interval video recordings from a smartphone. And you can use GPS data to simultaneously record the shooting location onto your images.

Effective Megapixels 16.05 Megapixels
Megapixels 17.20 Megapixels
Image Sensor Live MOS/17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Sensitivity 200 – 12800
Storage Media SD Secure Digital
Compatible Memory Card SD, SDHC, SDXC
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Lcd Monitor Type OLED Monitor with static touch control
Lcd Screen Size 3.0 in.
Computer Interface USB 2.0 High Speed
Lens Focal Length Multiplier Micro Four Thirds (2x Crop Factor)
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000
Exposure Modes Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
Shutter Speeds 60 – 1/4000th
Builtin Flash Yes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction (when iA, iA+), Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Battery Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1860mAh)
Dimensions 132.9 x 93.4 x 82.0mm / 5.23 x 3.68 x 3.23 in
Weight Approx. 470g / 16.58 oz (Body only)
Auto Focus Contrast AF system
Flash Type TTL Built-in-Flash
Red Eye Reduction yes
Continuous Shooting Speed 6 fps
Weather Proof no
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1, 2, Color temperature setting
Video Resolution

1080 Full HD

This does look pretty much like the full press release, plus publicity shots so a fairly substantial leak once you add in the video as well. 

First things to notice are the weight - 470g which is slightly more than the GH2 - which obviously takes account of the sealing (which is claimed to be dust and splash proof, though it says weather proof - No) This weight figure looks like without battery, so its probably going over the 500g mark. ISO 200 base setting and it seems no multi-aspect sensor.

Interesting phrase - "newly designed low-pass filter" Hopefully this means thats its (very) weak.

No less than 5 function buttons plus two dials, Seperate WB, ISO and +/- buttons on the top. The video button however is situated just by the thumb rest so Michael Reichmann will keep switching it on!! Stereo microphones, fully tilting screen, smart phone wi-fi remote.

Fully professional m4/3?? Well no, and probably not intended to be. A very well-specified picture taking and video shooting camera, absolutely. We know its been out for testing because Phillip Bloom has already shot a video with it.

Consequently we should get some idea of what the IQ, performance etc. is like pretty soon. Price - already sitting on the Samy's Camera U.S. website at $1299 (probably be the same in £'s - Boo! Hiss!). So not cheap then, particularly if you factor in the cost of the grip + extra batteries.

I thought the Panasonic video and also the recent UK ads. for the camera gave some idea of where Panasonic are pitching this camera. For photographers and video makers they seem to see it as a travel / location / outdoors machine first and foremost and with the (improving but still) relatively poor high ISO performance as compared to larger sensor cameras, its always struck me that this is its niche. Since thats my niche too, it shows just how I've always thought of m4/3 as a good fit with what I do. 

I think looking at the specs, and also using the G5 that this is going to be a very fast camera in terms of AF speed. There is no mention above of an electronic shutter, but I'm assumiing it will have one. So silent as well. It will probably lay claim to being a great travel camera, both for stills and video.

Whats missing? I personally would have liked ISO 100 and the retention of the muti-aspect sensor. However, the newly designed sensor has probably ruled this out. The "official" announcement will be out soon, and since everything seems to be out there already, Panasonic may as well make it ASAP and lift the non-disclosure agreements. I doubt much else will be released today, so they may have the worlds photographic internet to themeselves. 

I think it shows the steady and constant improvement that m4/3 is making. The GH2 showed what a capable video camera it was, as I can testify with my nephew having shot several weddings and commercial jobs with one, and the GH3 with its improved bit rate will obviously take that forward. Astonishing, but this may well prove to be the best stills / video hybrid on the market and if true that will be a fine achievement for Panasonic. It will also dovetail nicely with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and these two cameras are exactly the way that I hoped m4/3 would go. I'm totally disinterested in pocketability and ridiculous miniturisation and this return to the well-specified small, light film SLR ethos of cameras like the Nikon FM2, Olympus OM-4 and Pentax MZ series is absolutely what is needed in this era of big bruising DSLR's and ludicrously small snapshot compact cameras. 

The commercial and critical success of the OM-D must have contributed to what Panasonic have done here. It shows that many photographers, including myself, are fed up with clunky, chunky DSLR's but are not willing to throw away handling and performance for a micro button glorified mobile phone, which is what many new cameras seem to aspire to. It looks to me like a serious camera for serious photographers and video makers.

Will I buy it? Well as mentioned in the previous post, it depends on whether a Leica M10 appears and how it performs. Since if I buy an M10, I doubt I'll be able to afford anything else! However, if that scenario doesn't happen then I will pre order and buy it in a heartbeat. I bought one of the first G1's available in the UK and loved using it. I have no doubt that a GH3 would get the same reaction.


There is possibly some doubt as to some of the details in the GH3 "press release" above. Mistranslation perhaps? It seems the camera may have the multi-aspect sensor and may indeed be weathersealed. This comes from E-P1 who also have a size comparison with the GH2. See below. 

However on the video, it didn't look this much bigger. Incidentally the video has now been removed because of Panasonic pressure. Humourless bunch. Or maybe the "leak" has achieved its purpose?

Camera will be announced "officially" tomorrow afternoon. European time.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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