Panasonic-gh3-front-224x146Panasonic did finally announce the GH3 today, even though we already knew most of the details. One of the few that we didn't know about was the HDMI port, and sure enough, Panasonic has allowed the recording of the HDMI feed while also allowing the camera to record internally to the SD card -- doing Nikon one better. The great thing about this option is that you can have a simultaneous proxy or backup if you want it. Panasonic has put a lot of technology into this camera, and it's the most advanced video recording DSLR (mirrorless) camera under $1,500. There is also a behind-the-scenes of the Philip Bloom DP'ed short Genesis out now where both Bloom and Bruce Logan talk more about the camera. First, here is that short, which you should download in 1080p for better quality:


Here is a new sample that has appeared online using a pre-production model of the camera:

These are the final specs for the camera:

  • 16.05MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • Total Sensor area: 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • Magnesium Alloy, Weather Sealed Body
  • 1080/60p/50p - 50Mbps IPB and 24p 72Mbps ALL-I
  • MP4, MOV and AVCHD Record Formats (Up to 230 Minutes Clip-Length)
  • 610k OLED Monitor and 1740k OLED Live View Finder
  • ISO 200-12800 (Extended Mode: 125-25600)
  • Uncompressed HDMI
  • Tele Conversion Mode -- Stills: 2x // Video: 2.4x, 3.6x, 4.8x
  • Time Code Support -- Free Run, REC Run, Drop and ND
  • Slow Movie extension (40%, 50%, 80%) Fast 160/ 200 / 300%
  • Electronic Front & Rear Shutter -- 6 fps max
  • 60 - 1/4000 second // Max Sync Speed: 1/160 sec
  • 1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, AV Output, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0
  • Auto HDR for Still Photographs
  • Full application remote control through iOS and Android applications
  • New external vertical battery grip and Shotgun Microphone Attachment
  • Availability: November/December
  • Price: $1,300 Body Only

I would expect the HDMI to be 4:2:2 8-bit, as this has been the standard option for HDMI. Like Sony, Panasonic listened to what the market was asking for and has seemingly provided almost everything anyone could have wanted in a GH2 replacement. Of course, this comes at slightly added cost, but considering that there isn't another camera in this budget range with half of these features, I think, barring lens options, this camera is the best bang for the buck -- especially with the 60fps in 1080p and the high-bitrate recording options. Nikon, Canon, and Sony have interesting full frame options, but those camera are almost double in price at the least.

My biggest hope for the GH3 range is better color rendition and better low-light performance. It seems like we're getting both, but it will be hard to tell until cameras start getting into people's hands. There does not seem to be any sort of flat log gamma mode, but hopefully using the camera's contrast settings you will at least be able to partially simulate one. The addition of the battery grip and the new shotgun mic (optional purchases) mean that Panasonic is seriously looking at this camera as a video option. It's no longer the overachieving brother of the AF100 -- it's a fully-featured option with better internal recording in a smaller and cheaper body. While you're not getting ND filters and some of the other perks of a full video camera, the specs should more than make up for the money you're saving -- and if you really need those options, you'll have to be prepared to pay a bit more.

Panasonic also announced a new lens, the 35-100mm f/2.8, which translates to about a 70-200mm on full frame. Panasonic and Schneider have also announced that they are working on more lens options. Panasonic is looking at 2014 to release a 42.5mm f/1.2 and 150mm f/2.8, and Schneider is working on a 14 mm/2.0, Xenon 30 mm/1.4, and Macro-Symmar 60 mm/2.4. Those will not be cheap, as they will all be priced between $1,000 and $2,000, but expect them to be excellent performers when they are released sometime late next year.

While many of the lenses are not going to be released all that soon, there is no question Micro 4/3 is getting a ton of support. The format is not going to be as short-lived as some thought, and there is no question Panasonic and Olympus are both throwing a ton of weight behind it.

Pre-ordering should be available soon using the link below. You can also check out more information about the features of the camera at Panasonic's website.


[via 4/3 Rumors]