Panasonic GH3 to focus, shoot faster; Wi-Fi support improves with new camera, lens firmware


posted Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM EST

The software folks at Panasonic are hard workers, it seems. The company today launched updated firmware for two of its compact camera models, and it's promised another four updates by month's end. Both compact camera updates improve wireless networking support, while an update for the Panasonic GH3 mirrorless and several compatible lenses will also bring improved focus performance and more.

First to receive their updates are the Panasonic SZ5 and SZ9. These two models now allow the computer name of a specific PC you'd like to connect with to be entered when connecting via Wi-Fi. (If you're using a Mac, you'll enter the NetBIOS name, instead.) No other changes are noted for these two cameras, which both now carry version number 1.1. Nab the updates at the links below:

Panasonic GH3 owners may not get their updates quite as soon as the compact camera shooters, but it should be worth the wait for better video and performance.

The Panasonic GH3 compact system camera is the one that will really be showered with love, though. Not only will it receive a similar update to its Wi-Fi networking connectivity; the company is also planning for another video capture option, plus better autofocusing and burst shooting. This will be achieved courtesy of a new MPEG-4 1080p60 Full HD video mode with a bitrate of 28Mbps, as well as improved autofocus performance with three lenses, and a simultaneous increase in burst-shooting performance for the trio. The lenses themselves -- the LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS45150), LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042), and LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175) -- will all need new firmware as well, specifically to allow this improved performance.

The GH3 body and all three lenses are expected to receive their firmware updates in late March 2013.