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- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
- The Panasonic GH3 is the biggest, most ambitious Micro Four Thirds camera yet
Panasonic Lumix GH3 Digital Camera Review$1,299.00
The GH3's video looked very sharp, with details that don't degrade even while moving around the frame. 1080/60p recording was similar to what we've seen from other AVCHD 2.0-compliant cameras, though the real strength of the GH3 is its higher bitrate recording. For that you can get 1080/60p only with the IPB compression format, which offers improved motion performance but is more difficult to edit. If you drop down to 1080/30p you can record in ALL-I at 72Mbps, though we actually found the 50Mbps IPB looked better in some of our sample shots. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
Besides dedicated camcorders, the GH3's only real comparison in terms of video quality is the Canon 5D Mark III. The GH3 outperforms the Mark III only slightly, with its superior sharpness showing through. In most real-world sample videos you'd hardly notice the difference, though the 5D Mark III's full frame sensor will provide shallower depth of field.
The GH3 rendered details at a frequency of roughly 850 lw/ph horizontally and 800 lw/ph vertically in our test footage. This is very good for an interchangeable lens camera and it puts it just above the Canon 5D Mark III as one of the sharpest cameras we've seen to date. It still falls behind what a dedicated camcorder can do, but its exceptional for a camera that costs much less than the Mark III and other competing cameras. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
In low light we did see a slight sharpness falloff with the GH3, likely due to the need for increased compression and a higher ISO speed. At 60 lux (typical of a normal indoor setting) we saw sharpness fall to 750 lw/ph both horizontally and vertically. It's a small falloff from the bright light testing, but it's still sharper footage than we've seen from most cameras in the GH3's price range.
Low Light Sensitivity
The GH3 required just 4 lux of light to produce an image that crossed 50 IRE on a waveform monitor. We use 50 IRE as it's a standard norm for broadcast brightness, and that result puts the GH3 in some solid company. While larger full-frame cameras perform well here as a matter of course, the GH3 holds its own, even if the final image is a bit of a noisy mess.