Panasonic GH3 - Review and User Experience - Part 1 - This IS different.

For my full Panasonic GH3 Review and User Experience - CLICK HERE

While the first half of yesterdays post was meant to be both attention grabbing and (hopefully) entertaining, there was a very real point to it. The GH3 IS different. It looks different and feels different to every other Panasonic m4/3 camera I've ever used. Panasonic call it a DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) and I think its a good name and sums it up well. 

Thom Hogan in a think piece a while ago talked about DSLR's not necessarily dying, but evolving and this is surely an example of that. The above picture is of an outfit that gives many of the same options as a Canon or Nikon Pro camera with 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms. Yes the sensor size is different but this would allow you to work under many of the same circumstances. And yet the whole thing is a fraction of the weight of a CaNikon system.

Now I'm not going to pretend that this outfit is an alternative to a D4 or 1DX, it isn't. The low light capabilities are just not in the same league, but there are a few features that the GH3 has that these other cameras don't.

First and foremost is the electronic shutter. As in my discussions of the G5, I cannot speak highly enough of this. Now while this only operates at ISO 1600 or below, it does allow for completely silent operation. And I do mean completely silent. In fact I'm sometimes not sure I've taken the picture. 

Then there are other Panasonic goodies like the pinpoint focus, the ability to shoot video with only part of the lens that gives the HD frame, which means that a standard zoom doubles up as a telephoto zoom with no loss of quality, the blindingly fast AF, and the live view performance that DSLR's can only dream about. So in some areas the GH3 outperforms cameras like the D4 and 1DX and there are certain photographic situations where I believe it will do a better job. 

If you get the chance to pick one of these up, and I would suggest that you try it with the grip attached, I think you will be surprised. Firstly by how how good it feels and secondly by how light it is. The outfit in the picture at the top of the page handles like a DSLR, but just isn't anywhere near as as heavy. The 12-35mm is 305g The 35-200mm is 360g. The two lenses together weigh about 240g less than a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 on its own. 

The use of lightweight but tough materials and the sensor size allowing small light high specification lenses give this m4/3 camera its own unique position. A DSLR equivalent? Well not really. This is actually something different, and I will be arguing in my review posts, in many cases actually something better, and more useful than a DSLR. My Nikon D600 went off to a new home yesterday and will probably be followed by my D800E after Christmas. Plus the majority of my current cameras are about to get photographed for ebay. For me the GH3 makes most of them redundant overnight. 

As I run through this review I will explain why that is and why I think that it is a "revolutionary" camera. Stay tuned.

For my full Panasonic GH3 Review and User Experience - CLICK HERE

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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