The Panasonic GH3 Official – How do the specs. compare to the GH2? What questions remain?

Gh3head

Today the GH3 specifications went official at Photokina 2012 – which explains why I got up circa 4AM PST just to start scouring the data.

Update 1: 8:18AM Igor from Personal-View has posted a picture of the back of the GH2 next to the GH3 in use

Update 2: 8:37AM Added HDMI note and corrected comment on video frame rates. Also added note on extended shutter speeds for video.

Update 3: 8:41AM Class 10 or higher SD cards are required for .MOV modes. Other modes support Class 4 cards.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/igor29768/7996112233/in/photostream/

So after looking at the online spec sheets, photos from the presentation and reading notes from a couple people that worked with a pre-production camera, I have done my best to both compile a list of new features and answer questions about old ones people were worried about.

My friends at www.personal-view.com will be interviewing Panasonic tomorrow and I provided them with a large array of questions to ask, including several that only experienced GH2 users would know to worry about. I will update the information here when that happens.

Video Mode:

- Addition of 1080 60P and 50P (50mbps IPB)
- Addition of new 1080P slow-motion modes. 40% (60P>24P) and 48% (50P>24P) join existing 80% (30P>24P).
- High quality modes are now h.264 in MOV container
- 3.5mm audio input jack and 3.5 mm audio output jack. Both added in addition to the 2.5mm jack for remote control that previously performed double-duty.
- Flicker reduction shutter speeds (1/60 and 1/120 join existing 1/50 and 1/100)
- Timecode support
- linear PCM in the high quality .MOV modes
- Clean HDMI support – output supported while recording to internal card (unlike Nikon D800).
- UHS-I memory card compatible
- Native ISO 200-12,800. Extended ISO up to 25,600. ISO may extended down to 125. Exact wording in specs is “Extended ISO125 – less under 200″.

- Shutter speeds expanded for video mode (as fast as 1/16,000 of a second) while still shutter speeds remain 1/4,000 of a second to 60 seconds or Bulb.

* ETC 1:1 crop mode has been maintained!

Additional Functionality:
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi allows smartphone and tablet linking and control (auto-backup; remote browsing and sharing; remote exposure control, shutter and focusing)
- Optional official battery grip
- Improved flash control and support
- Level gauge

Control changes:
- More buttons and changed placements
- Additional control wheel

Other Changes:
- Splash and dustproof magnesium design
- Battery has been changed and capacity increased from 1200 mAH, 8.7Wh to 1860 mAH, 13.4 Wh. Remains 7.2V. New part # is DMW-BLF19. Old one was DMC-BLC12E.
- New quad-core CPU

The dissappointments:
- No more multi-aspect sensor (crop modes now used for several aspect ratios)
- Reduced max resolution 16×9 photos (4608X3456)
- Very slightly smaller sensor area used compared to GH2 (focal length crop ratio higher)
- MSRP $1,299 (body) only is a 44% increase in the body only launch MSRP of the GH2 in 2010.
- The GH2 required an AC adapter and a DC coupler to wall-power. The DC coupler has been replaced with the DMW-DCC12, which means having to buy a new one.
Missed opportunities:
- AE Bracket remains the same.
- Shutter speeds remain the same.
- Mic level still only allows 4 steps of adjustment.
- No 48P support mentioned in spec. sheet.

Lingering Questions:
- What exactly is meant by the line “Extended ISO125 – less under 200″ in the specifications? Is the minimum extended ISO 125?
- Bulb mode limit remains the same?
- Will external power solutions that connect to the DC coupler still be able to power the GH3?
- How is the dynamic range on the new “wide dynamic range” sensor?
- How does the noise pattern compare to the GH2? How are the artifacts?
- What is the HDMI mode like?
- No peaking?
- Will PAL and NTSC framerates be selectable in all bodies or will they bey region limited?

If you want to look at the official specifications sheet, go to http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/gh3/specifications.html

Here are some quotes by Bruce Logan and Phillip Bloom after shooting the short-film  “Genesis” with the GH3.

Philip Bloom: “It is more expensive for sure and it’s a shame the price couldn’t have been kept closer to that of the GH2 as this camera is exceptional for the low budget crowd…but it’s still cheap for what it does, just look at how much more is on offer both in stills and video.”

Bruce Logan: “One of the most amazing things about the camera was it’s ability to shoot night exteriors with existing natural light outside. We have a scene where our hero is busted by the cops. I had planned for us to light this exterior sequence, but when we got there and put on the F 0.90 25mm lens, we found that we could shoot in the natural city street lighting and with the flashing police car light. Amazing stuff. This of course is very liberating for the filmmaker and greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to shoot a scene.”

Source: http://philipbloom.net/2012/09/15/genesis/

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