As some of you might be aware, the Panasonic GH3's release date has been changed from November 30th to December 13th. B&H currently lists an earlier date, but the 13th is the official Panasonic release date -- though that could still change as the camera nears release. This slight delay is probably so that Panasonic can make needed improvements to the camera before it's released. You can see some of those improvements in new test footage shot on cameras with the 0.5 firmware, though as you might expect there are still some lingering issues. In addition, more in-depth reviews of the preproduction cameras are coming in, and we get to take a look at the structure of the menu interface:

New Preproduction GH3 Review

First off, is a pretty thorough review from The Camera Store. You can see footage samples at the beginning of the video and at 7:21 and 8:37.

While there was a lot of information in the video that we had posted about previously, I was happy to find out that the GH3 will have multiple programmable function buttons and will also possess fast auto focus. The MS2 Microphone also seems to produce some decent quality audio (although for me personally, I would go with dual system sound and use my Audio Technica shotgun mic). As for the white balance display issue, hopefully that will be fixed by the time the camera is released (or soon after).

GH3 Footage with the 0.5 Firmware Update

Vimeo user John Twigt got a chance to shoot on a GH3 with the updated 0.5 Firmware at an event Panasonic and Focus magazine held in the Netherlands.

Overall I was highly impressed with this footage. As with the first GH3 short Genesis, the color rendition is simply vibrant and beautiful. There is still the issue of crushed blacks, but these clips were displaying more detail in dark areas than I would've anticipated. The GH3's ability to handle fine detail also looks exceptional (I was particularly impressed with the shot of the spider web in between the rusty metal bars). As for color grading, the footage held up to a fair amount of manipulation, but definitely showed its limits in the noise that became rather apparent with the Magic Bullet Looks "Flat" setting, and the Final Cut Pro 3-Way Color Correction that pushed the mid tones up to 170.

But it also looks like we haven't completely escaped a couple of our old foes...

Moire and Aliasing

In addition to producing some beautiful test footage, John Twigt also ran across some moire issues.

As did EOSHD's Andrew Reid.

This might be a worrisome issue for some, but Andrew does a great job of putting the GH3's moire into a larger context:

Unlike the Sony and Canon moire which appears indiscriminately over all sorts of things like brick walls, roof tiles and asphalt, the GH3′s moire tends to limit itself to certain kinds of patterns involving very fine horizontal lines. That said, there’s also some unstable rendering of very fine textures such as grass and foliage on wide angle shots.


Whilst this is certainly not a desirable feature and a slight backwards step from the GH2, the GH3 has a better overall image because of improvements to colour, gradation and the codec.

Be sure to check out the link to the rest of Andrew's extensive review at the bottom of the post.

A Peek at the GH3 Menu

Lastly, gives us a brief overview of the GH3's menu. While this isn't as exciting as watching test footage, it does give you a general feel for what menu navigation is like on the GH3.

What do you think of the new test footage and reviews? Do the positive aspects of the image quality outweigh the negatives for you, or do you feel that the GH3 still needs some significant improvements?

Link: EOS HD: Panasonic GH3 real-world test (pre-production firmware)