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Panasonic GH3 Tips and Tricks Setup Guide Video
  • I finally created the first of several Panasonic GH3 tips and tricks videos. I will create more of these as time allows. For now this video goes over the items below. Make sure you watch it all the way through. At the end I discuss some of the issues that the GH3 currently has. If anyone discovers any workarounds for these issues please let us know.

    1. Moire really is not a deal breaker with the GH3. It can appear. However, you can make it happen in the GH2 as well. You just have to try to avoid it if you are using sharp m4/3s lenses. It really isn’t as big an issue as we originally thought.

    2. Auto and Intelligent ISO can now be set to as high as ISO 12,800 instead of just ISO 3200. This is a big improvement for the Program priority mode which wouldn’t use a fast enough shutter speed on the GH2.

    3. The extra two custom function dial settings that the GH3 has is a big improvement over the 3 in the GH2. I setup C1 with Program Priority for stills. C2 with Shutter Priority for stills, C3-1 with Shutter priority for video, C3-2 with Full manual control for astro photography, and C2-3 with the high dynamic color mode just for fun.

    4. All of the new color modes are actually pretty good. Portrait has the most dynamic range. However, Vivid gives the lowest shadow noise and Scenery looked be the most natural to my eyes. This is all subjective though. Color choice is all up to preference.

    5. I love how you can customize what settings appear and in what order on the quick menu. That is a fantastic new feature.

    6. ISO 6400 is completely usable on the GH3 just like it is on the OMD. In addition ISO 12,800 is now usable for web delivery and maybe small sized prints when you are in desperate conditions.

    7. The new AFF single box auto focus is very good. In addition the face detection auto focus works well when there is only a single person in the frame. If there are multiple people it is hard for the camera to know which one to focus on.

    8. You can setup a Function button to change the Auto Focus. In manual focus mode it automatically will bring up the new focus assist zoom preview. I like the new center zoom with normal outside edge for focusing.

    9. The 35-100mm F2.8 is not parfocal. If you zoom in manual focus mode it will go in and out of focus. However, in Auto Focus mode it will correct for these little errors.

    10. 1080p @ 60 FPS is excellent for almost any video situation except for when you need to match film frame rate.

    11. 1080p @ 24 FPS all I and 50 mb/sec are both great. I find it hard to tell the difference between them.

    12. ETC will not work in any of the 60 FPS modes. You must use the 1080p @ 30/24 FPS or 720p @ 30 FPS modes to use ETC.

    13. The AVC-HD modes are useless to me because the .mov modes offer higher bit rates and are easier to find the files. However, AVC-HD might be useful for those that need native compatibility with another device.

    14. The electronic shutter mode cannot use over ISO 1600 or more than 1 second of shutter duration. It also can show skew when there is subject motion. It is not quite as useful as I thought it would be.

    15. The burst mode buffer clearing is probably the single biggest improvement over the GH2. Burst mode is now very useful even in JPG+RAW mode.

    16. Focus tracking is enabled in video mode. However, it still isn’t reliable enough to depend on it.

    GH3 Issues 1. The flash sensor is too sensitive and it can be confused and think the flash is open when it is not. It can actually fire the flash when it is closed and it will partially pop itself up when this happens. This needs to be resolved. I hope a firmware fix can change the way the sensor acts. I don’t want to have to send my camera in for repairs.

    1. Without a doubt the GH3 has a halo issue with the EVF. If you turn your eye slightly the edges will form halos. I don’t use the EVF so it doesn’t bother me. However, if you do use it a lot you should definitely have a look at the video and see if this will be an issue for you.

    2. The single exposure JPG mode blacks out the screen way too long if your ISO is at or above ISO 3200. If you shoot single RAW images instead it will not black out the screen for as much time. Also if you shoot in burst mode it will not have this issue.

    3. The flash exposure cannot be set with a Function button. You must navigate through the menu to change this setting.

  • 21 Replies sorted by
  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    I understand if you want it in that topic. However, it might be good to have it all in one place where we talk about strictly optimizing it and fixing issues instead of mixing it in with other content as well?

  • Zeoff on dpreview pointed out that "if you have "Auto Exposure Comp" set to ON in the flash menu you can use the top scroll wheel to adjust the flash output relative to the metered amount after pressing the exposure comp button (The back scroll wheel adjusts the regular exposure comp). In manual mode however the top scroll wheel doesn't change the flash output in any way and you really do have to delve into a sub-sub-menu just to change the output which is just silly."

  • @mpgxsvcd Thank you very much for you effort.

  • About #2 issue, all panasonic m43 bodies I used had the same issue. I presume it's something to do with automatic noise reduction in high iso setting.

  • @mpgxsvcd Thanks for the video and explanations. I have a resolution for your flash issue. When you have the flash open and are in "A","S" or "P" mode (does not work in "M" mode) and you pres the "+-" button on top, the thumb wheel will change the for example the aperture and the index finger whell adjusts the power of the flash from -3 to +3 in 1/3 steps. I hope that helps.

  • @AKED

    Great tip. That is a good partial resolution for the issue. It would be nice if they just put it back into the function buttons though. I have a feeling that a firmware update will show up early next year.

  • Glad that I could help. I think it belongs where it is. You control the exposition there and the flash as well. Makes sense.

  • @stonebat

    I double checked and the GH2 does not exhibit this behavior at ISO 3200. It really is specific to the GH3. In fact I ran some more tests to day and it is applying noise reduction when it blacks out the screen for so long. I hope they issue a firmware update to change this behavior.

    If I turn noise reduction off. I want it to always be off. The GH2 applied NR to RAW files before firmware update 1.1. I hope the first GH3 firmware update corrects this NR issue. Along with fixing other things.

  • The GH3 viewfinder is an OLED instead of LCD screen. The manual states that it is subject to burn in. Just make sure you don't leave it on with the same bright thing on it for a long period of time.

  • Any advice how to set up for video timelapse filming (PAL) ? Also when I use 40% for slow motion i can't get shutter speed below 60, this makes the video flickering (50hz lights in EU) ...

  • @feha

    I would never use the in-camera slow motion. The 1080p @ 60 FPS mode can accomplish the exact same thing and if you don't need slow motion you will still have audio in the 1080p @ 60 FPS mode.

  • @feha 1/100 shutter should be used for slow motion captured in 50P and conformed to 25P. 1/125th for 60P conformed to 24P or 30P.

  • @Tron

    I actually subscribe to the theory that you should use a shutter duration that is approximately the ratio of your initial frame rate to the final frame rate multiplied by initial Frame rate.

    For example if you are slowing 60p down to 30p then you should use 1/120th. That is 60/30 = 2, 2 * 60 FPS = 1/120th shutter duration. 1/125th is the next fastest shutter duration that the GH3 will allow.

    Or if you are slowing 60p down to 24 FPS then you should use 1/150th or the next fastest shutter duration that the camera will allow. That is 60/24 = 2.5, 2.5 * 60 FPS = 1/150th shutter duration. 1/160th is the next fastest shutter duration that the GH3 will allow.

    Or if you are slowing 60p down to 6 FPS then you should use 1/600th or the next fastest shutter duration that the camera will allow. That is 60/6 = 10, 10 * 60 FPS = 1/600th. 1/640 is the next fastest shutter duration that the GH3 will allow.

    However, this all goes out the window if you are under fluorescent lighting that will definitely show banding at shutter durations less than 1/120th of a second because of the rolling shutter.

    In reality using 1/(2x frame rate) for your shutter duration is just a myth. It depends more on what you want it to look like and what final frame rate you are pulling it to than it does a scientific premise.

  • @mpgxsvcd

    I'm not sure about that. Then conforming to 24p would have less motion blur than conforming to 30p.

    I'd use 1/125 SS for both cases. Then 24p would have same motion blur as 30p.

  • If I wanna slow it down further using software, I'd use higher SS. Sharper images help software generate new frames.

    e.g. 1/250 SS if I wanna use 50% speed reduction after conforming to 24p.

  • @stonebat

    Yes it really depends on what you want it to look like. The other aspect of this is how fast is the motion. If the motion is moderate then 60 FPS will allow you to do extreme slow downs with faster shutter speeds.

    If the motion really is that fast then it can get choppy with fast shutter speeds. However, slower shutter speeds are going to have motion blur. So what looks better to you? Motion Blur or Choppiness? You can correct the choppiness with frame interpolation. You can't do anything about the motion blurring.

  • I concur with you. I differ from you only one thing. I use same SS whether conforming 60p to 24p or 30p.

    The motion blur or choppiness is already determined when you capture at 60p. If it's complied to the 180-degree rule, conforming 60p to 24p or 30p wouldn't change the blur or the choppiness characteristics from the original footage.

    BTW I'd use 1/60 SS for 60p if I don't want any slowdown.

  • moved to the DIY Gear Videos

  • @igorek7

    Certainly not in GH3 topic. As it is gear.

  • I have GH3 for a year now but I still did not determine best AF settings. I finally got 35-100 lens 2 days age and I will appreciate if you share what settings (AFF/AFS/AFC with Face/track/spot) do you use with this lens for optimal results in situations below:

    1. Low light-target focus by screen touch or half shutter press and I want to focus stay there without hunting - no matter if subject in frame moves. AFS/square-dot icon option??

    2 Low light like before target focus by screen touch or half shutter press but Id like to auto focus on the targeted place on the screen (square) does no have to be the same object like in tracking but the same place on the frame. AFC or AFF with spot option? what is the difference?

    I know low light is a challenge and and I expect to much. What settings you use in day light for best performance?

    I hope i was clear enough here