Panasonic G5 vs GH3
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2012 and September 2012. Both the G5 and the GH3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GH3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the GH3 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH3 is notably larger (24 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the GH3 is substantially heavier (39 percent) than the G5. It is noteworthy in this context that the GH3 is splash and dust-proof, while the G5 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M1||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the GH3, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G5 and the GH3 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-25600.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GH3 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G5 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|2.||Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
|3.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|4.||Olympus E-M1||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|6.||Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|9.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|10.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|11.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.5||10.0||573||50|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|14.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH3 offers a higher resolution than the one in the G5 (1746k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G5 and Panasonic GH3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Panasonic GH3||1746||n||3.0 / 614||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-M1||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic GH4||2359||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0 / 1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||1534||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the GH3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic GH3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G5 and the GH3 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic GH3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Olympus E-M1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic GH4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic GM1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the GH3 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the G5 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Panasonic GH3 (unlike the G5) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the G5 and the GH3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G5 was replaced by the Panasonic G6, while the GH3 was followed by the Panasonic GH4. Further information on the features and operation of the G5 and GH3 can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic G5 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GH3 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G5 or the Panasonic GH3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.67x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 614k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (120x83mm vs 133x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 154g or 28 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1746k vs 1440k dots).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH3 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GH3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G5 or the GH3 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH3||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M1||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GH4||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||..||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Panasonic GH3
- Canon D30 vs Panasonic G5
- Canon G12 vs Panasonic G5
- Canon T6 vs Panasonic G5
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Panasonic G5
- Leica S3 vs Panasonic GH3
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic G5
- Nikon Z6 vs Panasonic GH3
- OM System OM-1 vs Panasonic GH3
- Panasonic FZ1000 vs Panasonic GH3
- Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GF2
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony RX10
Specifications: Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GH3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||125 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||Venus VII FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||61||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.4||22.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||618||812|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||1746k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic G5||Panasonic GH3|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
120 x 83 x 71 mm
(4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
133 x 93 x 82 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||396 g (14.0 oz)||550 g (19.4 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.