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GH3 user reviews and opinions
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  • @RottenCarcass Congrats on your decision! You won't be disappointed. Attached is the GH3 Advanced Owner's Manual. The only printed manual that comes with the GH3 is the Basic User Manual unfortunately. (Had to use Acrobat to reduce the PDF size to get it under the 8MB limit here on PV. Looks OK though...original was only 10.9MB)


  • @maddog15

    Really no need to upload manuals to PV. Provide link. I remember such links (to GH3 manuals) provided on this site few times.

  • @VK. Got it... thanks for the head's up

  • Thank you, maddog15, and again, thank you Vitaliy for this amazing community. When I get the camera and lens, I hope to become a contributor to this great place.

  • I have the Varavon LoupeEX for the GH3 and it's a big difference towards successful live focusing. The EVF is not easy at all to focus while shooting compared to the GH2 EVF despite the improved color image. The LCD is very sharp but too small for my eyes to use for focusing while shooting, plus I would need to take my glasses off, the LoupeEX with its diaopter fixes that. Plus you'll be surprised how much easier the camera is to hand hold once the loupe is on. And since this loupe is situated to the left of the camera as the LCD is folded out to attach the loupe, the button controls are easier to access without colliding with your face. The drawback with the loupe is that the LCD's movement is restricted to about 80 degrees from normal to facing up, so if you want to shoot over your head with the LCD facing down you have to remove the loupe which takes a couple of minutes. I recommend it as an essential for hand held filming.

  • This my first test with the 40% slowmotion mode of the GH3.

  • Well I've uploaded the new firmware. Very anticlimactic I must say.

    One touch silent mode: Cool especially if you're a ninja or a stalker. (I suppose good for intimate moments... Weddings etc.) Low light auto focus: "Focusing may take longer than usual" on the spec sheet. Great! Longer auto focus hunting! Exposure comp reset: OK, thanks.

    So how do you keep info up on the screen continuously? Where's the peaking focus? Can't we "sharpen" the viewfinder image?

    As far as updates go this seems like items left off the last update by mistake. "Oops...lets just wait a bit and release a new update to include the items we forgot about." ...."Wow great idea Bob!...That's creative PR thinking!"

    Boooo Panasonic.

    All joking and bitching aside... It is a powerful indicator to whether a company is listening to their pro customers (the ones being milked per VK's comment below) OR just deciding on random "cool feature" firmware updates via closed door "executive brainstorming" meetings.

    It was said on many review sites before the GH3 launch, "Panasonic seems to be listening to the professional photographer/videographer market."

    Uhhhh... I respectfully beg to differ.

  • This firmware is such a failure . Features we dont need/want . Sad ...Panasonic dont care about us .

  • This firmware is such a failure . Features we dont need/want . Sad ...Panasonic dont care about us .

    You have your parents to care about you. And you have corporations to milk your money :-)

  • At least we have VK to care about us. He listens when Panasonic doesn't.

  • he he guys are dawn right ....anyway...a minor firmware ...I bet we ll see the GH5 early then we thought...

  • Here's an Opinion... The "VitaliyDriftwood RipDrift V1.0" 150Mb/s All intra for the first GH3 hack.

    That would constitute a good firmware update... in my opinion!

  • What's the rumpus? No major features were announced, and none we got. Where's the problem?

  • "What's the rumpus? No major features were announced, and none we got. Where's the problem?"

    No major features were announced.

  • That would be Firmware v2.0...

  • Had fun going back and forth between 60p and 24p on this aerial shoot:

  • Q: How are GH3 owners achieving reliable manual focus?

    I spent my lunch break looking at the GH3, and although I am impressed with (and want) many of the GH3 features, the EVF is a major disappointment. In a brightly lit camera store, I was unable to verify if the camera was in focus with or without the MF assist. I brought my GH2 for comparison, and just couldn't adapt to the GH3's EVF. BTW, this GH3 had the 12-35mm Lumix lens, and it focused fine with auto focus. Also, I did tweak the diopter, but it didn't resolve the mush into something reliable for focusing. I've read many comments here about the soft focus of the EVF, but I never imagined it would be so bad. I even wondered if the GH3 I was reviewing was faulty, but the salesman claimed that all the GH3's he has tried suffered from this.

    The OLED screen is nice, but I much prefer using the EVF for focus, especially in bright light. I have seen plenty of well focused footage from the GH3, so I'm curious to know how GH3 users are dealing with the manual focus. The Varavon attachment would help, but adds bulk and conflicts with some of the side mounted connections.

    Is this issue something Panasonic can improve with firmware upgrades, or is it a limitation of the sensor?

  • @davidp158 The best answer I can give is I've had to get used to the GH3's sweet "soft" spot. Like anything else practice, practice, practice. It's not as big an issue as I've kinda learned when things are in focus through the view finder. But as I've mentioned in previous posts - when I use my GH2 for a shoot, and go back to my GH3.... I'm once again baffled and irritated beyond belief.

    To be honest it took me a few days of constant thinking when I first got my GH3 and experienced its view finder. "If I return it quickly I'll get my money back." "OK... I've got one more week for a full return, no questions asked."

    As you mentioned and my research has shown - there are alternatives, external viewfinders, loupes etc. But everything that has to be attached to the camera for this remedy ends up limiting or flat out denying access to other features we use OFTEN. (Inputs, outputs, OLED screen buttons etc.)

    The best way I've achieved perfect manual focus with my GH3 is on a video tripod, with a Fotga DP500 Fallow Focus and my 5" Ruige external field monitor. It's not an answer to your question I know. But it's what I do.

    I absolutely love so much about this camera BUT the GH3's viewfinder issue is a simply tragic pre-production oversight... poor thinking... mess.

  • I've given up on the EVF for critical manual focus for live work. For situations when I have more time to set up shot I use the EVF and magnification prior to recording. I have ordered a varavon loupe and will give that a go. But in the mean time I will use the GH2 for live documentation work requiring manual focus.
    I hope that the Varavon will fix this but I agree it is a pity to have one more bit to carry. I have narrowed down my kit to a light version which has GH3, and three lenses & 2 batteries. To have the added varavon bulk means new bag :-)

  • Oh come on, give me a break. There is nothing difficult about finding manual focus with the GH3. This is going into the category of... "if it's really this hard for you... you shouldn't be doing it."

    The inane nit-picking of these cameras is starting to get crazy. If you're really finding things this difficult to use, or you're not putting out good material with these tools... it ain't the cameras fault!

  • Sorry bwhitz, but as an advertising TV professional of 25 years - I humbly, respectfully and professionally choose to disagree.

    BTW: Folks like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Joan of Arc to name a few didn't quit when it got "hard." They voiced an opinion, kept on, searched for solutions to the inadequate or insane ... and changed things. (Also kinda like Vitaliy Kiselev and Nick Driftwood in my humble opinion :^)

  • I've had the camera for several months and USED IT intensively; I'm very happy with overall performance and IQ, specially in video. There exists some very stupid quirks I'm not going to talk about and furthermore they've been covered in the "Issues topic". I've never complained about EVF, actually I use it quite a lot... found my way intuitively... but like @whynot says

    for critical manual focus for live work

    it's far faraway from perfect which is, dear @bwhitz an euphemism for "shit". With the money I, well we, paid for the body only and in a topic which reads GH3 user reviews and opinions I think we're entitled to share this kinda stuff.

    sorry for offtopic deviation, but I can't stand certain selfrighteousness fashion pululating in so many forums

    peace brothers

  • BTW: Folks like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Joan of Arc to name a few didn't quit when it got "hard."

    There is a difference in ideas here... "hard situations" vs "lack of ability". Albert Einstein naturally had a mathematically mind, math wasn't "hard" for him. Sure he encountered difficult problems and equations, but if mathematics was really "difficult" for him, there is absolutely no way he could have discovered what he did. Same goes for Jobs and everyone else. Hard work is necessary, but not sufficient.

    Sorry bwhitz, but as an advertising TV professional of 25 years - I humbly, respectfully and professionally choose to disagree.

    Well, congrats, honestly. But I'm speaking more about Narrative-film directing/cinematography. So yea, maybe broadcasting/ENG have a different emphasis on the useability of focusing tools. This might be why so many are polarized on the use/useability of cameras like these.

    But still, even in ENG... how exactly is the lack of critical focus going to translate into something that really impacts the audience? At best, better focusing will maybe save 1 out of 30 shots in a face paced environment... and only "save them" from bad focus. It's not like a good EVF is holding you back from the visual/spacial skills and framing sensibilities of a great Director or DP. It will AT BEST again, make your job easier (which, you're right, has a place in some areas), but it won't make your "skills" any better per se. Which is why I feel this is still "scape-goat-ism" and not legitimate claims against the GH3.

  • @jul @mankus71-

    Two really extraordinary films.

    Very well done!

    @jul will you share your settings with us?

    I loved the color.


  • Thanks for the replies to my inquiry.

    I have zero manual focus problems with my GH2, so I expected the GH3 to be comparable. Some people have clearly stated that the EVF requires careful eye placement, and I recently read a post (sorry, can't find the link to it) that said the user spent a few days of constant diopter tweaking and adjusting settings for the EVF to make it work "almost" as good as his GH2. That is encouraging, so now I will go to a different camera dealer and test a second GH3.

    As enough people mention issues with the EVF, to the point of returning them, maybe the GH3 I tested today has a faulty EVF. Or, maybe I need to spend more time tweaking the diopter to get usable results. I'm willing to give it another try.

    bwhitz - I whole heartedly agree with you that there should be "nothing difficult about finding manual focus with the GH3". The one I tried, simply didn't give me remotely useable results. User error? Maybe. GH3 EVF issue? Maybe. Nit picking? Guilty as charged! I'm kind of nit picky about trying to shoot in focus.