Panasonic GH3 - Review and User Experience - Part 6 - Raw raw files and the f/2.8 zooms

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

Whenever I have a new camera I like to see what the basic files look like with as little interference from maufacturers "corrections" as possible. This is sometimes difficult since raw development software, including Photoshop and Lightroom have these included. There are other programmes such as the dcraw converters which can give something that can be seen as a "Raw" raw file. One such is the Mac programme Rawker, which has unfortunately been discontinued, and there is no website any more.

However, it does open the GH3 files, which considering it hasn't been updated for a while shows that it recognises the files with no problem. In fact as you can see above and below its not that different from the Photoshop ACR conversion. Slight colour balance difference but thats it.

In Photoshop I have a "flat" preset, which turns all sharpening, CA removal etc. off and basically zeros all parameters. So I looked at a couple of files from two days ago. One taken with the 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom (above) and one taken with the 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom (below)

Both were shot using the ISO 125 setting and when examined at 100% and "pixel-peeped" both are extremely impressive. Very sharp, free of distortion and CA / fringing and with excellent dynamic range. In short, everything I'd hoped to see. A refreshing change after the "horrors" of the Sony 16-50mm lens.

The two f/2.8 "pro" spec.lenses are presumably intended as a set to go with the GH3 to give a versatile high quality outfit which can be seen as Panasonics attempt at a scaled down version of the standard DSLR "workhorse pro zoom" pairing, which in 35mm terms is 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. From what I've seen so far, this is actually pretty good. Bypassing any software compensation, processing the raw files in Rawker shows very little (if any) difference to processing them in Photoshop. leading me to believe that the lens / sensor / camera combination is a very good one, in fact a really excellent match-up with nothing that needs "fixing" either in camera or via software. 

You may say considering the price of the camera and the lenses at £3000+ so it should be. And I would agree with that. However, just because something is relatively expensive and seems to be a quality offering, doesn't always mean that is the case. However, with these two excellent lenses, Panasonic have delivered something quite special.

I really like the 35-100mm. I was unsure as to whether to buy it since the Olympus 75mm is such an excellent lens, but I'm glad I did. Its relatively small and light, I appreciate the internal zooming meaning no "tromboning" and its a lovely sharp lens, slightly sharper I believe than the 12-35mm. It also works well wide open, focuses like lightning on the GH3 and feels beautifully balanced on the camera.

So an excellent twin lens outfit and one that I'm sure I'll be using a lot. I can't think of anything better currently available in m4/3 nor in any other CSC / Mirrorless / E.V.I.L system for that matter. We currently have a situation in which Panasonic and Olympus seem to be leapfrogging each other and continually coming up with quality additions to the format. Olympus with their prime lenses and the OM-D and Panasonic with the GH3 and these zooms. "Pro" m4/3? Well the answer to that is probably yes, but the term is actually pretty meaningless. I prefer to think of it in other terms, such as quality, versatility and top class engineering and build quality, which of cause are just the things that you would expect from a "pro" system. 

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

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