Panasonic GH3 Comparison Review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in September 2012 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.
Is the Panasonic GH3 a good camera? The GH3 has a Camera Elo of 1951. This rating puts the GH3 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GH3 ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 12 800 (125 - 25 600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1746k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 614k dots|
|6 shutter flaps per second|
|540 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 93 x 82 mm, 550 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Panasonic GH3 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GH3 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399||ebay.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M5||122 mm||89 mm||43 mm||425 g||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GH5s||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Panasonic G85||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic GX8||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|11.||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.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GH3 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,299. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Panasonic GH3 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GH3 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
|2.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|4.||Olympus E-M5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71|
|5.||Panasonic GH5s||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||23.1||12.8||1154||74|
|6.||Panasonic G85||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|7.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|8.||Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|9.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|11.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GH3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GH3 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GH3 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1746k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.67x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GH3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GH3||1746||n||3.0 / 614||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-M5||1440||n||3.0 / 610||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Panasonic GH5s||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||n|
|6.||Panasonic G85||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Panasonic GH4||2359||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0 / 1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||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 LCD screen on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.
One convenient feature of the GH3 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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-GH3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GH3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Olympus E-M5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GH5s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Panasonic G85||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic GH4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the GH3 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GH3. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Panasonic GH3||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399||ebay.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M5||4/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GH5s||..||..||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Panasonic G85||..||+ +||..||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic GX8||5/5||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GH4||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||..||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Panasonic GH3 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GH3.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the GH3?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Panasonic equipped the GH3 with the Venus VII FHD image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GH3?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the GH3 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3?
Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GH3. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 200 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 200 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my GH3?
Panasonic embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your GH3 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Panasonic GH3 shutter count page.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic GH3?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Does the Panasonic GH3 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The GH3's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.
Does the Panasonic GH3 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).
Which battery does the GH3 use?
Is there a vertical grip available for the GH3?
Yes, Panasonic offers the DMW-BGGH3 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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 G7 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH3
- Hasselblad X1D vs Panasonic GH3
- Leica D-LUX 7 vs Panasonic GH3
- Leica V-LUX Typ 114 vs Panasonic GH3
- Nikon D610 vs Panasonic GH3
- Olympus E-M1X vs Panasonic GH3
- Panasonic GF1 vs Panasonic GH3
- Panasonic GH3 vs Panasonic GH5
- Panasonic GH3 vs Samsung NX500
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony A7 II
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony RX100 VI
|Camera Model||Panasonic GH3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1 299|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 608 x 3 456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||812|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1746k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||Front-flip possible|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLF19 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge|
133 x 93 x 82 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||550 g (19.4 oz)|
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