Panasonic GH3: the mirrorless camera for video pros, previewed


posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM EDT


Panasonic's GH series cameras have had video recording as their main focus from day one. The GH1 saw good pickup among amateur video enthusiasts, and with the GH2, quite a few pros began using them as inexpensive alternatives to full-frame SLRs. This was aided by the GH2's excellent video quality, as well as Panasonic's broad line of excellent optics.

With the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, though, the company is very explicitly addressing the needs of professional video shooters, and throwing down the gauntlet to heavyweights Canon, Nikon, and Sony in the process. Previous background discussions with Panasonic product planners and engineers certainly showed us that this was a market Panasonic was interested in pursuing, but we have to admit we were happily surprised by just how much they managed to pack into the new GH3. This is truly a serious video production tool.

Alongside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, the company is launching several new accessories including the detachable battery grip shown mounted on the camera above.

The improvements aren't all video-related, though. There's plenty of goodness here for the still shooter as well, including what Panasonic is claiming as their best sensor yet, a radically overhauled user interface, gorgeous OLED rear screen and EVF, more powerful built-in flash (compatible with a new wireless external flash system), and a rugged Magnesium-alloy body with dust- and splash-proofing.

The Lumix GH3's body is now crafted from die-cast magnesium alloy, and fully weather-sealed.

Panasonic will offer several new accessories alongside the Lumix GH3. These include the weather-sealed DMW-BGGH3 detachable battery grip, the DMW-FL360L flash strobe (guide number 36 meters @ ISO 100; two-second fast charge; bounce head; wireless-capable; includes LED video light function), and the DMW-MS2 stereo shotgun microphone (plug-in power type; stereo / shotgun directional control switchable in menu; has shock mount to suppress camera / handling noise; includes windjammer).

No information on pricing and availability for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 or the new accessories had been disclosed at press time.

For more details on the most impressive Panasonic Lumix mirrorless yet for the videography market, read our hands-on preview of the brand-new Panasonic GH3!