Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › DSLR’s › Panasonic GH3
January 5, 2013 at 9:07 PM #53151
January 6, 2013 at 7:37 AM #205548
Hi VideoMarker – I pre-ordered the GH3 from Adorama in September and it was delivered last month. I absolutely love it. It is the only still/video camera below $2000 with a headphone jack, 1080/60p, a viewfinder that keeps working when you switch to video, essentially no limit on video clip length, a fully articulated LCD for unusual angles and self-portraits, a robust weathersealed body, your choice of video codecs (AVCHD, Quicktime/.mov, etc.), lots of buttons and physical controls instead of menus.
The camera is not perfect – but for $1300, you can't beat this camera for ergonomics or video image quality. Here are a few examples, in case you missed them:
Daytime mood piece: http://vimeo.com/54756641
Low light/anamorphic mood piece: http://vimeo.com/54266780
Sadly, the supply of cameras is very tight and online retailers such as Amazon ($1298 body only) and Adorama ($1299 body only) are out of stock and don't expect new shipments until later this month. You can always pre-order from an online retailer – or, if you need the camera right now, there are a few listings on eBay.
Hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision!
January 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM #205549
Good luck if you can find one in stock. I've been using the GH2 and it is great for shooting long 1 hour video's, before the battery get to a low point. Swap out the old one and your ready to go another hour. You can increse the record time with all kinds of options, just search on google.
Got the GH2 Grip # MIG-PGH2RB from China will hold 2 batteries but it is an extra piece of stuff to carry around and really haven't had the option to use it in production yet.
You can go ahead and hack the GH2?, I like the 24Mps, it is steady in my editor no problems producing beautiful Blu-rays. The GH3 is a little heavier and bigger? If you are carying it around hand held for a long time, lighter is better the GH2 meets that requirement. Now if you are going to be an Independent Film maker? I guess you should get the GH3 to help with the elements as you shoot on the steets in all kinds of weather.
Sidenote: Canon Mark2 or Mark3. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to a camera that may overheat! after 30 min or have to hit the stop then start when it reacher the 4gig mark 30min. max record. Then mayber put cold packs around the side of the camera to keep it cool? Not woth the time or energy for a marginally better picture? maybe in the eye of the beholder. The GH2 will run and run for all your Kids plays, or Weddings or birthday parties non stop, and no problems and beautiful Image. I would try the GH3 because of it's Video Bitrate 50Mbps (72Mbps ALL-I) record option for the better detail.
January 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM #205560
I too was considering the GH3, but I'm only a "serious" amateur and have to justify every penny. So, after much consideration, I went with a used GH2. 1) GH3 is $1,299 PLUS lenses!! That puts it over $2K for a new kit (with preferred 14-140mm lens). 2) Got used GH2 for $500; got used 14-42 lens for $100; plus Lumix 45-200mm lens for $180; plus Canon cinema lens for $159; add adapter for Canon lens; add adapter for my Canon FD lenses, now I have essentially 2 "new" Lumix lenses, the cinema lens, and can use my 4 FD lenses (which I could also use with GH3), and total with adapters is the same as GH3 body only. I have already hacked the GH2 and get video that rivals any existing camera at any price, including GH3. Is the GH3 a better camera? Yes, for environmental protection, build quality, etc, but NO for image quality and moire, from what I've seen so far, compared to a hacked GH2. One thing that helped make decision is apparently Panasonic changed to a Sony sensor in GH3, whereas the Panasonic sensor in GH2 is tried and true and easy to hack and allows 2X crop with full 1080 HD, extending any telephoto lens. For image quality, support from 3rd party, hacks, my $$ went to GH2. The only down side is it uses much more SDXC flash card space. Instead of 13gig/hr with 24Mbps, I'm getting only 1.5 hrs on a 64g card. I'm OK with that. And maybe GH3 is bettter for low light than GH2; but that isn't a primary consideration for my type shoots. I delayed for months as I really wanted the GH3, but a hacked GH2 has incredible video image quality and the GH3 is not much, if any, better. The slight difference just isn't worth it to me.
January 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM #205562
Hi Scubajam, You seem to have all the bases covered. I was wondering if you are able to view your shots using the in camera view finder? I think I read that with the Hack you can’t see what you shot until you load it into the computer? How much of a Hack did you put on? and what are you planning to use it for, an Independent Film? For Plays and birthday parties I find the normal 24Mps works fine again as long as you place enough light on the subject. Again I can’t worry about the camera doing a freeze because some ceremonies run well over and hour non stop. I usually shoot my Childs School Graduation ceremony's.
January 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM #205563
I installed FlowMotion hack. Up to 140mbps. Must separate mega bits from mega bytes. Both are used. It's 8 bits per byte. The Flow Motion hack does allow viewing on the LCD screen, and I have a 7" HDMI monitor to view. I had not tried the viewfinder, but just did and it works fine while recording hacked video. Low light works fine also, with 14-42 Lumix lens, but not so well with other non-Lumix lenses; but I haven't had much time to play around. So far no freezes. I went with Flow Motion as they buffer so I can use any Class 10 SDXC card, which might only be 30Mbps instead of requiring a 95Mbps, as those cards are well over $100 for a 64G card. A normal Class 10 starts at under $50. I have not shot any long time, but from what I've read the Flow Motion hack is not subject to freezes. There are hundreds of hacks for GH2, and I have about 3 in my computer. I plan on loading each one on separate cheap flash cards (under 1G capacity), so I can change if needed. I've only had camera a short time, so I'm learning as I go. Very, very happy with it so far. I was VERY interested in GH3 Wi-Fi connection as I remote control 3 video cameras with pan/tilt/zoom/stop/start during my event shoots. Seems GH3 can be started video via WiFi, but not stopped?? During video can't control the camera remotely. I can set up the GH2 as semi-static and put it on a remote pan/tilt and just start it on video and let it run for length of event, moving for medium or close-up depending on how I zoom when start shooting. Before purchasing this camera I have 4 other video cameras and use one static wide shot, then remote control 3 others from up to 50 ft away and have monitors to see what cameras see. I use Lanc for the 2 Sony, and a remote cable for one Canon to use that cameras remote for zoom/stop/start (converted wireless remote to wired). Now I have to add GH2 into the mix. Not sure if I'll add it as a 5th camera, or replace one. About half my videos are family stuff and I leave one video camera, the Canon HV30 tape, set up with video light in the house all set up with charged battery and ready for anyone to grab and shoot (new grandbaby gives lots of opportunties). The other half of my work is divided between scuba underwater (looking into housing for GH2), and event shooting with multi-camera set up. One operator, 4 cameras works cool!! I also bought components and have set up a 15mm rail matte box system for both shoulder and tripod shots. Haven't used that on a shoot yet. Sure looks impressive, however. My last event was a school choir and band concert, using the 4 camera remote set-up. That was before getting GH2.
January 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM #205565
Great comments Nick and scubajam. Personally, I never hacked my GH2 because I have always been little concerned about the possibility of freeze-ups and crashes (maybe because I have been burned every time I fool around with modifying the software on my computer :)).
So, because I'm not smart enough to hack my GH2, I went ahead and bought the GH3.
January 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM #205566
I completely understand!! I too was a bit concerned about making a door stop out of my new-to-me $500 GH2. The first hacks were – the first ones. Since then I think the hackers have learned a lot. There are videos showing exactly how, and don't forget, Panasonic has issued Version 1.1 that is a firmware update (my GH2 came with 1.0), so the process is factory authorized. Can always return the camera to V1.1 without hacks if desired, or change hacks, etc. Forgot to mention, the Flow Motion hack also removes the GH2 30 minute limit on video. Actually, the biggest issue is having the battery quit during the 2-3 minute firmware change. That's why ALL updates and changes require a fully, newly charged battery before beginning. It's all explained very well. Well, enuf for now. This is really a GH3 thread, not a hack GH2 thread.
January 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM #205569
January 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM #205570
I’m going to wait until the GH3 becomes readily available. However where did you find out about the Sony chip replacing the Panasonic in the GH3?
Well you sound like you are an accomplished film maker. Looks like you also have a quandary of cameras to look after. Again I have to get the shot the first time because there are no do over’s during the wedding vows. I personally have a AG-HMC40 and piggy back a TM300 on top and run both start to stop. I placed the GH2 next to it on a parallel mount just to see how it would do. It was breathtaking plus it had the wider field of view. I have 14-140, 14-42 stock lens. My Buddy who has a Photography studio has a lot of Canon Lenses with very low F=Stops. I’ll try out for Depth of Field when I get the conversion mount for Canon. I guess we all can agree on one thing the GH3 and GH2 are cameras to be reckoned with in the future. Plus they don’t have a mirror, which as my friend told me came off during a wedding shoot and jammed the shutter. Canon made good on the repair something to do with the glue. Thanks for all the information you sound like you are wired in.
January 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM #205572
There has been much discussion of this in forums. No definitive answer and Panasonic is mum.
For one, the Sony chips haven't been hacked, maybe not possible. Panasonic learned a lot from hacks and what was wanted better in GH2 and incorporated much in GH3. In many respects, GH3 = hacked GH2. Sony chips still have moire issues.
January 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM #205573
In Sept I shot 2 weddings same weekend, each with at least 3 cameras. Both were outside with wind issues, and in both cases I had minimum information on where everyone was going to stand, etc. So I supplemented with a hand-held 4th camera. I'm still editing. They are gratis for friends and they were 100+ miles apart; one on an island in BC Canada, one is US, Seattle. I told them it wouldn't come out quickly. I have about 50 hrs editing into each, and only about half way. As a hobby and favors for friends I'm still developing resume and wondering if I should change careers and do video. I make a fair amount on day job, but leaves minimal time for editing. Just not sure if I can equal or better with video. Might enjoy more, if there aren't equp issues, which often come up. I use Zoom H4 for audio backup, and use wireless mics and add-on camera mics. Using several cameras gives redundancy there. Still, as said, weddings and such only give one chance to get "the shot."
January 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM #205575
January 8, 2013 at 6:30 AM #205580
VM – it is brand new – introduced at Photokina in Berlin in September 2012. There were so many pre-orders in Sept/Oct, that when the initial stocks hit dealers in late Nov/early Dec, they sold out immediately. Panasonic has to ramp up production to meet the demand.
Same thing happened two years ago with the GH2. I am in the States, but ended up scouring retail sites in Canada to find one. I finally found one at The Camera Store in Calgary in late December 2010.
This time, there were a few GH3s in Canada as late as mid-December 2012, but they are now sold out north of the border too.
If you absolutely need a GH3 now and can afford to spend a few extra $, you can get one of these listings from eBay – but if you can wait, they should be in stock at Amazon and Adorama later this month.
Good luck – and let us know how it goes.
January 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM #205608
Thanks again for the info!
January 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM #205718
January 17, 2013 at 8:15 PM #205719
Totally depends on type of shooting you plan to do. If not sure, get minimum, like a zoom lens and go from there. How much video vs stills? Mostly family stuff, indoors or out, commercial shoots for $$, weddings, events or sports, etc, etc. Will you want macro tubes for ultra close-ups of coins, flowers and inanimate objects? Wide angle lens for inside family events, landscape panoramas, or telephoto to bring faces into full frame? Wildlife video, etc. Will you need a lighting kit? An external microphone is one of the first things, but that depends on type of shots. A wireless lav mic, a handheld, a mic and stand, etc. Maybe a headset to monitor sound? You can go silly and broke with lenses; one of my first purchases was an adapter to use all my Canon FD lenses sitting around for 15 years from film days. Now I can use them. They will be double effective mm (a 50 mm Canon prime lens will become a 100mm on the GH3), but can be used. Now my 100-300 zoom becomes a 600 mm max telephoto. Of course, light is cut in half also; a fast1.8 lens becomes a moderate 3.6, etc. Certainly you want a case or bag (hard side or soft), extra batteries, UV filter to protect lens, lens cleaning kit, good sturdy tripod, and extra high-capacity, fast SDXC flash cards.
Have a fast computer to edit the video? How are you going to deliver content? Via online as youtube and Vimeo; or via DVD or BluRay discs? Do you have a good video editor (NLE program)? How about a program to modify your still photos? Books for leaning the lots of new stuff? Register for different forums (like this) and websites to provide good info.
Careful – it will never end. Making videos is extremely time consuming to do it right. AFTER the shoot, just for family or events, I spend 2 to 6 hours for every minute of finished video. Edit out the crap, re-arrange clips (don't need to present in original time order), adjust volume and sound, voice over, music, titles and captions, credits, burn DVD, create DVD label (don't forget printer to printer directly on label, I use Epson Artison 730), DVD cases, make case wrapper (and insert?), and maybe even a duplicator for making many copies. If you wan to look pro or even pro-sumer, please don't burn a DVD, write on it with a felt tip and hand it out. Cheesey!!! I was tempted to do this yesterday making a one minute DVD for a kid's class presentation. I couldn't do it. I had to capture a couple stills from the video, print a nice looking label, put it into a DVD case similar to commercial movies, design and print case wrapper, and finally done. I just could not bring myself to hand out a cheesey DVD. But that's just me. I'm not anal or super organized on other stuff, but video production is in my blood. You'll soon find out if it's in yours. Do you look forward to spending 20 hours of your precious off-work time to edit a family video of Thansgiving to give to uncles, relatives, and friends?
January 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM #205720
Hi Depends on what you want to do? If you plan to do basic shooting of school plays, graduations, and Weddings.
I would start with good basics like a nice Tripod maybe with wheels and a quick release so you can move freely. Also a Mono Pod.
Another small Camera which can shoot HD like a Canon HFS10 type or Panasonic any 3MOS.
A nice LED light I have the Bescor Led-70 does a great job for the dance floor.
If you want to complicate things you can get a wireless lavalier mic, have one hardly ever use it.
Just get a good recording device like Olympus a lapel mic and place it on the person of interest then dub the sound in at Post. Don’t know how many times the wireless system has a buss of some kind going right into the camera recorded sound. That’s why it’s not worth the trouble. You can get the Panasonic Mic for the camera or just use the Gh3 built in mic if its like my GH2 it will be fine.
Also extra battery for GH3 like if you do the Church wedding and it’s going to be close to an hour you want to swap it out for the reception and charge it up
Please have back up batteries for the Lights I have a bunch. The LED 160 works great too and it’s like 50 bucks.
I’ll give you a trick to put yourself at ease while recording important things. Place the small camera on top of the GH3, they have VariZoom VZ-Shoe Swivel Shoe Camera Mount. Align the cameras then start the top camera and just let it run don’t stop it. Concentrate on the Main GH3 for zooming and framing the subjects. If you have to add the light and a mic you may have to purchase a sturdy L bracket.
Also get a good wired or wireless mic to get the interviews from the guests.
Keep it simple don’t go overboard lugging all that extra stuff, if your a one man show like me you want to travel light. Concentrate on the subjects not worrying if someone is taking all you extra stuff. However make sure you place it close to the DJ, away from doors. I also have the Epson 730 for label printing right on the DVD or Blu-ray get the to the Hub printable disk they have a smaller hole more surface area to place a picture on. Also an i7 computer to do the heavy editing with a blu-ray burner.
Good luck you will figure it out in time.
January 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM #205777
…duly noted! Thanks all.
February 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM #206047NickdcParticipant
Hi, I just bought a GH3 in UK (already have the GH2 plus the AF101). But I have experienced a problem that has me worried and I am wondering whether anyone can shed light on it – or whether I have found a fundamental problem with the camera. If I am doing something stupid, feel free to tell me! Details:
I recently covered an event shooting with my new GH3 in PAL, .MOV, 1920 x 1080 50 mbps 25p. Shutter speed 50. When I transferred these clips to my Dual Quad Core Macpro I got the following results:
1. Just trying to play the clips in Quicktime was stuttery and the lip synch was way off
2. When trying to import the files into FCP 6 it would crash the program with any clips much over 250Mb. EVERY TIME. Multiple file import was out of the question.
3. The only way I got round this was to first export every single clip using QT to Apple Prop Res 422 (which incidentally reported the GH3 .MOVs as 'medium' quality). Took AGES, but these then imported fine, but I am massively disappointed, since the .MOV capability was a big draw. I can't face converting my files this way every time.
Something, somewhere, isn't quite right. (And yes, my Mac has more than enough grunt since it handles RAW Arri Alexa files fine and handles the 50mbps files from my Canon XF 300 without a glitch). I am wiondering whether the Panasonic implementation of H264 has some flaws…?
I will now run some tests trying the higher 70 mbps bit rate and the ACHD settings and see what happens. Have written to Panasonic and am waiting to hear.
February 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM #206048
I know I was worried about the Editor not handling the MOV files also. So I tested them for about a min on each setting. The most stable playing on my HP provided software were all the AVCHD recordings I only used the 30P and 60P which all played fine lips in sync. However on all the MOV files the lips and sound were out of sync when playing the clips? This got me a little upset because I also got the GH3 for that Higher Bit rate quality AVCHD 28Mbps was also stable.
I then just dropped all the clips into the Pinnacle 14 Ultimate time line placed some wipes and a menu with about 12 motion chapters, ( I doubled up the clips to make it about 12 min long. When it all came out on an AVCHD DVD disk it played perfect? I just let the software do the Worrying for me. Still I may just ease myself into the 60P and stick with the 30P back down to 24 Mbps
I also noticed when I loaded the clips into Pinnacle they took longer to load in, I guess it's because of double the Mbps I'm use to.
March 23, 2013 at 4:44 PM #206616CINEMA24PParticipant
I READ IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS THAT YOU CAN PUT THE GH2 BACK TO ORIGINAL CAMERA FROM THE HACKED FORMAT??WELL HOW DO YOU PUT THE HACKS ON CARDS AND CHANGE HACKS?DOES THAT MEAN YOU CAN HACK OVER ANOTHER HACK?IF YOUR CAMERA IS HACKED,,CAN YOU ADD ANOTHER HACK OVER THE HACK OR DO YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE PANASONIC ORIGINAL FIRMWARE??I DONT UNDERSTAND,,IF I HACK THE CAM,,CAN I PUT ANOTHER HACK ON THE CAM OVER THE ORIGINAL HACK?/HOW THEN DO YOU SAVE HACKS TO THE CARD AND CHANGE HACKS??NO ONE EVER TELLS HOW TO CHANGE THE HACKS,,I HAVE LOOKED AT MANY FORUMS,,I KNOW HOW TO HACK THE CAM,,BUT I DONT KNOW HOW TO CHANGE HACKS,,,CAN SOMEONE TELL ME IF YOU HAVE TO GET THE CAM BACK TO ORIGINAL FIRMWARE BEFORE YOU PUT ANOTHER HACK ON CAM OR CAN YOU PUT HACK OVER ANOTHER HACK??NO ONE GIVES DETAILS,,,I EVEN ASKED THE RUSSIAN IN FORUMS,,BUT NO ANSWER,,,,LOL.PLEASE ANSWER THIS FOR ME SOMEONE,,,THNX. ALSO,,,THE GH1 IS THE FORGOTTEN CAM,,BUT IT IS ALMOST THE SAME PICTURE QUALITY THAN THE GH2,,IT LOOKS AMAZING ON MY HACKED GH1S,,,,THE GH1 IS SOLD FOR 300 TO 350,,,WHAT A DEAL,,,IF YOU CAN FILM AROUND THE CAMERAS LACK OF MONITOR OUT AND OTHER SMALL DETAILS,,,GH1 IS A SUPER CAMERA WITH THE HACKS. THNX
March 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM #206650
You should have a separate flash card for each hack. Very small capacity cards are fine; some people carry several cards for different firware changes for different types of shots. Or you can change the hack on one card on your computer; but only have one on a card at a time. Basically the camera reads the flash card for a firmware change, asks for confirmation, then loads the change. Just save each hack to a different folder on your main computer. Save the original 1.0 or 1.1 firware in your main computer also so you can always go back to factory settings. Make sure your battery is fully charged before each firmware change or you'll have a fancy doorstop if the battery gives out during a firmware change. Other than that, it's a very simple procedure. Once you load a hack or firmware, you can format the card and use it for clips and photos. Only load a firmware card into camera if you want to change; only need to do it once.
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