Panasonic GH3 firmware brings faster shooting and focusing, plus some surprises


posted Friday, March 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM EDT

At the start of the month, we told readers about new firmware on the way for the Panasonic GH3 compact system camera, and several compatible lens models. Right on schedule, that firmware's just dropped on Panasonic's global website -- and it includes a few surprise tweaks beyond those we were expecting.

We already knew from the company's earlier statement that the new firmware would allow the computer name (or NetBIOS name, for Macs) of a specific computer you'd like to connect with to be entered when connecting via Wi-Fi. And Panasonic had also revealed that it was planning to add another video capture option, plus better autofocusing with three lenses, leading to swifter burst shooting for the trio as well.

All that is in the just-released Lumix GH3 firmware version 1.1, but there are four other changes, as well. Perhaps most significantly, Panasonic says that the interval shooting function is now more precise, where previously the interval varied slightly. And if you're using Pinpoint AF, the GH3 will no longer enable its AF point zoom function when the shutter button is half pressed, unless the Shutter AF function is enabled.

With the latest firmware installed, Panasonic GH3 owners can look forward to a faster shooting experience with some lenses, among other changes.

Panasonic also says that it has improved performance during video playback in-camera, and if an HDMI cable is connected, the GH3 will now continue to remain active even if the Auto LVF / Monitor setting is set to Off.

Along with the body firmware, there's new firmware for three lenses -- the H-FS45150, H-PS14042, and H-PS45175 -- that allows the faster contrast detection autofocusing and improved burst shooting performance mentioned previously.

More details and the firmware updates can be found on the following pages:

Alongside all the new firmware is an updated version of Panasonic's PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.5 PE application that comes bundled with the Lumix DMC-GH3. This makes but one change, merely adding support for the new 28Mbps 1080p60 MPEG-4 shooting mode in the latest camera firmware. PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.5 PE version L746 can be found here.