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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.

camera

The Panasonic GH3 has a Camera Elo of 2026. 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 falls among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GH3
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 200-12800 (125-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (1746k dots)
3.0" LCD, 614k dots
Swivel touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
540 shots per battery charge
133 x 93 x 82 mm, 550 g


badge

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.

Panasonic GH3 vs credit card front
GH3 versus credit card top view
GH3 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GH3 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 23.3 oz 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2

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.

Panasonic GH3:
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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.

Panasonic GH3 sensor measures

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 comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2

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.

Feature comparison

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.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH31746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2

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.

 

Connection comparison

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.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2

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.

 

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3++79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »++81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »++84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« »++80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« »++84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« »++85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »++-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« »++79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
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.

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?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLF19 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GH3
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012
    Launch Price USD 1299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125-25600 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
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.67x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1746k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 614k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    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
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type DMW-BLF19 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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