Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review

October 25, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a new weather-proof Micro Four Thirds compact system camera with a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and 1080 60/50p Full HD recording, including AVCHD video with a bitrate of 28Mbps or MOV movies with 72Mbps in ALL-I. Successor to the DMC-GH2 model, the GH3 features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, 0.07 second contrast-detect autofocus, a 1,744K OLED electronic viewfinder, a 3-inch swivelling and tilting OLED screen, a touchscreen control system with touch-based functions like Touch AF/AE and Touch Shutter, Optical Image Stabilisation to help combat camera-shake, ISO range of 125-25600, a completely silent electronic shutter, 6fps burst shooting and a Supersonic Wave Filter to remove unwanted dust. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is available in black and costs £1100 / $1299 body only, £1600 in a kit with the 14-140mm lens and £2000 in a bundle with the Lumix G X 12-35mm f/2.8 high-performance standard zoom lens. A new battery grip (DMW-BGGH3) is also available for £249.

Ease of Use

Measuring 132.9 x 93.4 x 82.0mm and weighing 470g without a lens attached, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is larger and heavier than the previous GH2 model that it replaces, mainly thanks to being the first LUMIX G camera to use a magnesium alloy frame, thereby signaling its intent as a more serious camera. Panasonic have wisely resisted the temptation to shrink the DMC-GH3 and make it as small as possible in order, instead doing the opposite to make it easier to handle for those with average to large sized hands.

On the front of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a small focus-assist and self-timer indicator lamp, lens release button, metal lens mount, flash sync socket and a sculpted, rubberised hand-grip. The majority of the GH3's exterior, with the right-hand and left-hand edges helpfully finished in a more tactile rubberised coating. T The DMC-GH3 continues the usual Panasonic approach of being extremely well-built, with a high quality metal chassis, lens mount and tripod socket that's in-line with the centre of the lens mount.

The GH3 ships either body only, with the 14-140mm kit lens, or the recently released 12-35mm lens. We predominantly reviewed the GH3 with the supplied 14-140mm lens. While the body of the GH3 is comparable in size and weight to other DSLR cameras, the lenses are where Panasonic have really shrunk the overall system. Given the 10x focal length on offer, the 14-140mm optic is relatively small and light, although it is almost as heavy as the GH3. The optional DMW-BGGH3 battery grip allows the Panasonic DMC-GH3 to shoot in excess of 1000 shots. There are three dedicated buttons for exposure, ISO and WB, a shutter release button on the top as well as front / rear control dials. The battery grip shares the same splash / dustproof design as the GH3 body.

The lens does extend a long way when zoomed to its maximum telephoto setting, making it a little conspicuous, but that's a small price to pay for such an overall compact package. The real downside from a specification point of view are the relatively slow maximum apertures of f/4-5.6, which limits the GH3's use in low-light conditions and makes it more difficult to effectively blur the background to help emphasise the main subject. If money was less of an issue, we'd probably opt for the excellent Lumix G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens instead, although the 14-140mm is very well suited to video work.

Unlike a conventional DSLR camera which uses a phase detection auto-focus system, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 employs the same Contrast AF that is commonly used by compact cameras. The GH3 has one of the fastest AF systems of any interchangeable lens camera, be that a compact system camera or a DSLR, with a claimed speed of just 0.07 seconds when used with certain lenses. This is incredibly quick, and there were also almost no occasions when the GH3 failed to lock onto the subject, especially when using the centre AF point, resulting in a very quick and importantly reliable AF system. There are a wide range of AF modes on offer, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, AF Tracking and the new Pinpoint AF mode. The GH3 also has a useful Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as you point the camera.

As with all Panasonic compact system cameras, optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lens, rather than being built-in to the camera body. On the 14-140mm lens it can be turned on and off via the Mega O.I.S switch on the lens barrel, with three different modes accessible through the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3's menu system. When enabled, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. There are three different modes, Mode 1 is on all the time including image composition, Mode 2 is only on when you press the shutter button, and Mode 3 compensates for up and down movements only (which in turn allows you to pan the camera).

In practice we found that it does make a big difference. You don't notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Thankfully leaving the anti-shake system on didn't negatively affect the battery life, with the GH3 managing nearly 500 shots using the supplied rechargeable Li-ion battery, a big improvement on the GH2's battery life.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has a different image sensor to the GH2, utilising a new 17.20 megapixel sensor that provides 16.05 effective megapixels. The GH3 offers four different aspect ratios for still photos (4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 and 1:1 square modes), but sadly the sensor is no longer multi-aspect as on the previous GH2, so the 3:2 and 16:9 format images are achieved by cropping down from a 4:3 aspect ratio picture, thereby reducing the overall resolution.

Found on top of the Panasonic DMC-GH3 are the burst mode/bracketing/self-timer dial, external flash hotshoe, stereo microphones, built-in pop-up flash, shooting mode dial surrounded by the on/off switch, shutter release button, new front control dial, handy white balance, ISO and exposure compensation buttons, and a customisable Fn1 button. There's also a tiny LED to indicate if wi-fi is on or off. The GH3 has both a traditional mechanical shuuter and a silent electronic shutter, which as well as not spooking your subject ensures that your subject is completely sharp by avoiding pixel shifting. The To new Delay Shutter option helps to remove the effect of hand-shake by releasing the shutter after a specified time (8, 4, 2 or 1 second).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3


A traditional shooting mode dial lets you choose from the different exposure modes. The usual selection of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual are available for the more experienced photographers. The more beginner-friendly Scene modes are also accessed via this dial. Additionally there are 3 custom modes, marked C1, C2 and C3, which allow you to configure your favourite settings and quickly access them, Intelligent Auto and a range of Scene modes for less experienced users, and the Creative Movie mode which provides access to all of the camera's extensive range of video options.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3's Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette on the shooting mode dial, offers 14 different options. Some are more useful than others, and I'm not quite sure why these modes deserve their own special place on the shooting mode dial, rather than being grouped together with the Photo Styles in the Main Menu. It's presumably because you lose control of the exposure and other key settings when using the Creative Controls, whereas the 6 available Photo Styles still allow full control of the camera's settings.

The clever Intelligent Auto mode tries to make things as easy as possible for the complete beginner, allowing them to point and shoot the camera without having to worry about choosing the right scene mode or settings. Intelligent Auto Mode automatically determines a number of key criteria when taking a picture, including selecting the most appropriate scene mode (from 5 commonly used presets) and ISO speed, and turning face detection (up to 15 faces), image stabilization and quick auto-focus on.

The Intelligent Auto Plus Mode also includes Intelligent Exposure, which increases exposure only in the under-exposed areas of the image, Digital Red-eye, which automatically detects and removes red-eye, and AF Tracking, which continually tracks a moving subject and keeps it in focus, without you having to hold the shutter button halfway down as on most other cameras. Intelligent D-range continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows, while Intelligent Resolution mode makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one.

In practice the Intelligent Auto Mode system works very well, with the GH3 seamlessly choosing the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. The 5 available scene modes are Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night Portrait and Night Scenery, so obviously not all situations are covered by Intelligent Auto Mode, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera.

The Function1 button, which as with the other four Function buttons on the rear of the camera and the two soft Function buttons on the touchscreen, can be configured to activate one of 38 settings, allowing the camera to truly be customised to suit your way of working (there are "only" 10 options available for the Fn4 button). The new row of white balance, ISO and exposure compensation buttons make it extremely easy to access the camera's key exposure controls, while the new front control dial makes it easier to use the fully Manual shooting mode than the previous GH2 which only had a read dial.

The relocated Motion Picture button, as you'd expect, allows you to start recording a movie with a single push of a button, and then stop recording by pressing the same button, regardless of which shooting mode is currently selected. This is a lot more intuitive than having to select the movie mode then press the shutter button, as on some cameras.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has a plethora of movie options, making it the most full-featured interchangeable lens camera on the market in terms of video. It principally offers Full HD 60p/50p (NTSC/PAL) with 30p/25p/24p options, bit rates of 50Mbps in the IPB and 72Mbps in the All-I compression modes, support for MOV (h.264), MP4 and AVCHD formats, and Timecode support in the MOV and AVCHD formats. It's capable of recording continuously for an unlimited time, or for 29 min 59 sec in PAL areas. The SMPTE-compliant Time Code makes it easy to synchronize multiple video footage or sound source in your post-production workflow.

The Creative Movie shooting mode, accessed via the mode dial on top of the GH3, allows you to set the shutter speed, aperture or both settings manually during recording (a Program option is also available). Changing the shutter speed is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects, whilst the ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances. In practice this system works well, allowing some really creative effects, but there are a couple of drawbacks. Firstly the operating sound of the control dials is very audible in the movie, so you'll need to edit the soundtrack later to remove it or use the new Silent Operation mode which operates the zoom, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity and mic level adjustments via the touch-screen. Secondly, you can't set the shutter speed to below 1/30th second, instantly ruling out more creative slow shutter-speed effects.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Front Vari-angle LCD Screen

The Frame Rate option allows the frame rate of the movie to be slowed down or speeded up (-40%, -48%, -80%, +160%, +200%, +300%). Available for both JPEG photos and movies, the EX Tele Conversion option extends the zoom by 2x for still images and 2.4x / 3.6x / 4.8x in video recording. This extends the 14-140mm lens from 10x to 24x for 1080p movies, 10x to 36x for 720p, and 10x to 48x for VGA. The DMC-GH3 can also take a 12 megapixel photo in the 16:9 ratio whilst recording a movie, and you can save a specific frame of a movie as a still image during playback.

The Panasonic GH3's Intelligent Auto mode also works in movies as well as for still photos. Simply select the iA icon on the mode dial and press the movie record button on the rear. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically determines the most suitable Scene mode from five options - Portrait, Scenery, Low Light and Close-up or Normal modes. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. The Optical Image Stabilizer helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using a compatible lens.

Stereo sound is recorded during video capture via the internal mics on top of the camera, which is a big improvement on the rather muffled noises recorded by most digital cameras, helped by the wind cut function which blocks out most of the noise from background wind. You can also add an optional external stereo microphone (DMW-MS2) to enhance the sound further. The HDMI port allows you to connect the GH3 to a high-def TV set even during a video recording and pass through an uncompressed feed.

The new Wi-Fi function (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) lets you use your smartphone to change the camera settings (focus setting, exposure compensation, ISO, WB and Photo Styles) and even fire the shutter button remotely (including interval video recordings), while the auto transfer function automatically backs up your photos onto a tablet. You can also use GPS data from your smartphone to record the shooting location onto your images. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 also has a time lapse function in which you can set the time interval and the number of images to take, plus a multi-exposure option that lets you combine up to four exposures in a single frame.

The rear of the Lumix DMC-GH3 is dominated by the large 3 inch OLED screen with 100% scene coverage. The rotating, free-angle monitor, which is hinged on the left side of the camera (looking from the rear), can be flipped out and twisted through 270 degrees. You can use the screen as a waist-level viewfinder, holding the camera overhead, and even for turning the GH3 on yourself for arm-length self-portraits. There's also the added benefit of folding the screen away against the camera body to protect it when stored in a camera bag, preventing it from becoming marked or scratched.

The 614K pixel, high-resolution screen coped admirably with the majority of lighting conditions. This screen is a great improvement on cameras with the usual 230K dot resolution, even being nice to use in low-light. The Auto Power LCD function automatically detects the current lighting conditions and boosts the LCD backlighting by up to 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, helping to keep the screen visible. The handy new level gauge indicates the two directions of horizontal lean and front/rear tilt. The high-res, free-angle OLED screen is much more than just a novelty - it's a lot more versatile than the usual combination of optical viewfinder and fixed LCD, providing new angles of view and enhancing your overall creativity. Above all, it's a fun way of composing your images.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 inherits the G3's clever touchscreen interface. Panasonic have wisely restricted the amount of things that you can do by interacting with the screen, and indeed you can still operate everything on the camera without having to push and prod the LCD at all. You would be missing out on a lot of genuinely useful functionality, though, which really improves the overall shooting experience. New to the GH3 is a feature called Touchpad AF which allows you to move the focus point area with your finger on the LCD while you're looking through the EVF.

The most immediately noticeable function is the ability to use the 1-area AF mode to focus on your main subject simply by touching it on the LCD. If the subject then moves, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 cleverly follows it around the screen using the the AF tracking function. If the subject exits the frame entirely, simply recompose and tap it again to start focusing. Impressive stuff that makes focusing on off-center subjects fast and intuitive. It is a little too easy to accidentally press the screen and set the focus point to the wrong area for the current subject, but a simple tap in the middle of the LCD will center the AF point (or you can turn this feature off altogether).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Side Top

The size of the AF point itself can also be changed via an interactive onscreen slider. If Face Detection is enabled, the 1-area AF point can be manually set to a person's eye to help ensure that the most important part of a portrait is in focus. If Multi-area AF rather than 1-area AF is enabled, then you can select a group of 4, 5 or 6 AF points from 9 different areas, again providing some manual control over what is traditionally a rather hit and miss affair.

When Intelligent Auto is switched on, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 changes the scene mode used when you touch the subject, for example selecting portrait mode if you touch a face and macro mode if you touch a close-up flower. If you prefer to manually focus rather than use the snappy AF, you can magnify any part of the subject by 1x, 5x or 10x by simply dragging the image around the screen. The final touchscreen ability from an image composition point of view is the ability to release the shutter, with a small icon on the right hand screen enabling this functionality, and then a single on-screen tap all that's required to take the picture.

Most of the menu options can be changed via the touchscreen interface, notably the Quick Menu and the Info Display menu - the main exception to this rule is the Main Menu, which is still mostly controlled via the navigation buttons. You can also control image playback by touching the screen, with the ability to tap a thumbnail to see the full-size version, scroll through your images by dragging them from side to side, and magnifying them up to 16x.

Instead of the bulky optical viewfinder of a conventional DSLR, the Panasonic DMC-GH3 has a smaller electronic viewfinder. The OLED unit has a large 1.34x (0.67x on 35mm equiv.) magnification, 100% field of view, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 1,744K dot equivalent resolution, resulting in a very usable display that won't leave you cursing. The EVF (and also the main LCD screen) operates at a native rate of 60fps, twice the usual speed, which helps make it flicker-free.

As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information - for example, you can view and operate the GH3's Quick Menu, giving quick access to all the key camera settings while it's held up to your eye. The icing on the viewing cake is the clever built-in eye sensor, which automatically switches on the viewfinder when you look into it, then switches it off and turns on the LCD monitor when you look away. The electronic viewfinder on the GH3 is the equal of and in many areas better than a DSLR's optical viewfinder, particularly those found on entry-level models which are typically dim and offer limited scene coverage. The truest testament to the GH3 is that we mostly used it by holding it up to eye-level, something that we wouldn't do unless the EVF was of sufficient quality.

On the rear of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, from left to right, is a Playback button, an LVF button for manually switching between the two viewing methods (useful if you turn the eye sensor off) which can also be configured as the Fn5 button, conveniently located AF/AE Lock button which is surrounded by the AF Type switch, the one-touch Movie record button and the rear control dial. This is used for, amongst other things, changing the aperture and shutter speed by turning from left to right and back again.

underneath are the Quick Menu/Fn2, Fn3/AF Mode and Display buttons. In shooting mode, the Display button alternates between turning the display off, the main camera settings as icons, no settings at all, and an Info Display which shows the current key settings in a clear graphical format. You can additionally press the Q.Menu button and then use the navigation pad to move between the onscreen options. The Q.Menu button provides quick access to most of the principal controls, including ISO speed, image size, image quality and white balance (there are 16 settings in total, depending upon the shooting mode selected). You can still access all of these options from the main menu system too.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has a traditional 4-way navigation pad system with a circular scroll wheel and Menu/Set button in the centre. Unlike other G-series cameras, the four directions on the d-pad don't have a specific function, other than to move through and select options, playback images etc. The new circular scroll wheel can also accomplish many of the same things, although we found it a little too soft and recessed into the camera body to be used precisely.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The Delete button underneath the navigation pad intriguingly has a second function - it doubles up as the Preview button. This cleverly toggles between showing a live preview of the effects of the current aperture (effectively a digital version of Depth of Field Preview) and the current shutter speed. The latter will prove especially useful for beginners, providing a visible way of checking how different shutter speeds will affect the capture of different subjects - running water is a good example.

The main menu system on the DMC-GH3 is straight-forward to use and is accessed by pressing the Menu/Set button in the middle of the navigation pad. There are five main menus, Record, Motion Picture, Custom, Setup, and Playback. Most of the camera's main options, such as white balance, image quality, auto-focus mode and ISO speed, are accessed here, so the Record menu has 27 options spread over 6 screens, the Motion Picture menu has 21 options over 5 screens, and the Setup menu has 26 options over 6 screens. As an indication of how configurable the GH3 is, the Custom menu has 36 different options, allowing you fine-tune this camera to suit your way of working.

The Panasonic Lumix GH3's Intelligent Resolution mode makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high - and an Extended option which increase the zoom range. Despite all the clever behind-the-scenes processing, it's fairly easy to tell which image was taken with Intelligent Resolution turned on and which one with it turned off due to unwanted artifacts appearing, particularly if viewing onscreen at 100% magnification. While the difference isn't quite so apparent on a print up to A3 in size, we're not convinced enough to recommend regularly using it.

Intelligent Dynamic adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high. It's actually very effective for high-contrast scenes when the camera tends to blow-out the highlights and block-up the shadows. You can see some examples for both Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Dynamic on the Image Quality page. The HDR feature achieves the still fashionable high dynamic range look, although there's only an On or Off setting with no scope to tone down the effect.

The start-up time from turning the Lumix DMC-GH3 on to being ready to take a photo is impressively quick at around 1 second. The Contrast Auto-Focusing system is amazingly quick in good light and the camera achieves focus almost all of the time indoors or in low-light situations, helped by the AF assist lamp. The GH3 also doesn't have any notable problems locking onto the subject in low-light situations. The visibility and refresh rate of the 3 inch OLED screen are very good, with virtually no visible grain.

It takes about 1 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card - there is a barely perceptible LCD blackout between each image. Storing a single RAW image takes around 2 seconds, but thankfully it doesn't lock up the camera in any way - you can use the menu system or shoot another image while the first file is being written to memory. The Panasonic Lumix GH3 has a good Burst mode which enables you to take 6 frames per second for an unlimited number of JPEG images at the highest image quality, or 6fps for up to 18 RAW images. There's also a slower 20fps mode for up to 80 4-megapixel JPEG images, which takes advantage of the camera's electronic shutter.

Once you have captured a photo, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has an average range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 30 onscreen at the same time and in a Calendar view), zoom in and out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows, delete, protect, trim, resize, copy and rotate an image. You can also select favourite images, change an image's aspect ratio, add a sound clip to an image, delete Face Recognition data, and set the print order. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, and there is a small brightness histogram available during shooting and RGBY histogram during playback.

On the bottom of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a metal tripod socket, importantly in-line with the middle of the lens barrel, and the battery compartment, and on the right side is the Remote port and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot. On the left is the Remote/Mic socket for use with the optional remote shutter release or 3.5mm external microphone, and three connection ports, including a port for external headphones (again 3.5mm in size), HDMI port for connecting the GH3 to a HD television or monitor and an AV Out/Digital port.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16M Fine JPEG image size option, which gives an average image size of around 6.5Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 produced images of outstanding quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 125 to 1600, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 and 12800 exhibit quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, while the fastest setting of 25600 looks much better on paper than in reality.

The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening level and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The various Photo Styles and Creative Controls allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images before you take them, while Intelligent D-range extracts a little more detail out of the shadow and highlight areas.

The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light.


There are 9 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 which you can select at any time if the camera is in one of the creative shooting modes. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:



ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 125 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)


ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)


ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (6.92Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (3.05Mb) (100% Crop)


RAW (18.7Mb) (100% Crop)



Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level by tweaking the Film Mode, with five different settings available.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)



The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction (when iA, iA+), Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., and Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (280mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (280mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 25 seconds at ISO 160. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.


Night (100% Crop)

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3's Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high.

Off (100% Crop)

Low (100% Crop)


Standard (100% Crop)

High (100% Crop)

Extended (100% Crop)  

Intelligent D-Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3's Intelligent D-range feature adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.






Photo Styles

Panasonic's Photo Styles, similar to Nikon's Picture Styles, Canon's Picture Controls and Olympus' Picture Modes, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. The six available Photo Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There is also a Custom option so that you can create your own look.









Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has a range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette in the shooting mode menu, with 14 different options on offer.




High Key

Low Key



Dynamic Monochrome


Impressive Art

High Dynamic


Cross Process

Toy Effect


Miniature Effect

Soft Focus


Star Filter

One Point Color

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Panasonic RAW (RW2) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 14 second movie is 124Mb in size.

Product Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Front of the Camera / Pop-Up Flash

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Front of the Camera / Lens Removed

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Quick Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Effects Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Rear of the Camera / Wi-fi Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Vari-angle LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Vari-angle LCD Screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Top of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Bottom of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Memory Card Slot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

Battery Compartment


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is the most complete mirrorless camera to date in terms of features, performance, customisability and image quality, and in terms of video capability it has a clear lead over both its compact system and DSLR rivals. At £1100 / $1299 body only, though, it is currently the most expensive mirrorless camera on the market.

The new GH3 builds on the surprise success of its popular predecessor by improving on all aspects of its still and video image quality, feature-set, handling and performance. Panasonic's engineers have clearly taken user feedback on-board to improve their flagship model in almost too many ways to mention, resulting in an intuitive, responsive camera that produces outstanding video and stills.

Apart from the price, the GH3 has very few flaws - the circular control wheel on the rear isn't particularly responsive, the wi-fi functionality is a little limited and the sheer number of options available is initially confusing, but there's really nothing major to moan about. This is the most complete interchangeable lens camera currently available for people who want to shoot in both still and video formats.

The GH3's still image quality is much improved, especially the high ISO performance. Images shot at ISO 125-1600 are clean, with a little noise appearing at 3200 and more at the still very usable setting of 6400. ISO 12800 is best reserved for resizing and smaller prints, while the top speed of 25600 is only for emergency use, but overall the GH3 offers the best still image quality of any G-series camera to date, whilst videographers will surely be salivating at the vast array of options on offer. Panasonic are pitching the GH3 as a video camera for everyone from the family user to professional film-maker, and indeed it can be as simple or as advanced as you require.

Overall the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a fantastic camera in its own right, transcending the boundaries of mirrorless, DSLR, Micro Four Thirds, stills and video. The compelling mix of outstanding image quality, ease-of-use, intuitive design and a rich feature-set makes it very easy for us to highly recommend the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 - only that eye-watering price prevents us from awarding it our highest Essential rating...

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 from around the web. »

The Panasonic Lumix GH3 is Panasonic's flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, updating the Panasonic Lumix GH2, and with weather sealing and an SLR like styling, Panasonic are keen to emphasis this is a new DSLM (Digital - Single - Lens - Mirrorless) Camera, rather than just a "Mirrorless" camera. They will even sell you a £250 vertical battery grip with the camera that also includes weather sealing to match the body.
Read the full review » »

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is the current flagship Micro Four-Thirds Panasonic mirrorless. This digital camera is built around a 16 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor with an maximum ISO of 25600, 6 FPS full-resolution output and full 1080p HD video capability. The GH3 is built DSLR-style with a good hand-grip and a viewfinder hump covering a large high-resolution EVF.
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Type Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera
Recording media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card (Compatible with UHS-I standard SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards)
Image sensor size 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount


Type Live MOS Sensor
Total pixels 17.20 Megapixels
Camera effective pixels 16.05 Megapixels
Colour filter Primary color filter
Dust reduction system Supersonic wave filter


Recording file format Still Image: JPEG(DCF, Exif 2.3), RAW, MPO (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds standard) / Motion Image: AVCHD Ver2.0 compliant (AVCHD Progressive), MPEG4-AVC(H.264). (MOV, MP4)
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard, / MPO+Fine / MPO+Standard (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
File size(Pixels)
Still Image [4:3] 4608x3456(L) / 3264x2448(M) / 2336x1752(S) / 1824x1368 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard) / [3:2] 4608x3072(L) / 3264x2176(M) / 2336x1560(S) / 1824x1216 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard) / [16:9] 4608x2592(L) / 3264x1840(M) / 1920x1080(S) / 1824x1024 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard) / [1:1] 3456x3456(L) / 2448x2448(M) / 1744x1744(S) / 1712x1712 (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Motion Image (MOV*1 : NTSC) [Full HD]1920×1080, 30p (sensor output is 30p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra)) / [Full HD]1920×1080, 24p (sensor output is 24p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra)) / [HD]1280x720, 60p (sensor output is 60p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra)) / [Full HD]1920×1080, 60p (sensor output is 60p, 50Mbps(IPB)) / [Full HD]1920×1080, 30p (sensor output is 30p, 50Mbps(IPB)) / [Full HD]1920×1080, 24p (sensor output is 24p, 50Mbps(IPB))
Motion Image (MOV*1 : PAL) [Full HD]1920×1080, 25p (sensor output is 25p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra))*3 / [Full HD]1920×1080, 24p (sensor output is 24p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra))*3 / [HD]1280x720, 50p (sensor output is 50p, 72Mbps(ALL-Intra))*3 / [Full HD]1920×1080, 50p (sensor output is 50p, 50Mbps(IPB))*3 / [Full HD]1920×1080, 25p (sensor output is 25p, 50Mbps(IPB))*3 / [Full HD]1920×1080, 24p (sensor output is 24p, 50Mbps(IPB))*3
Motion Image (MP4*2 : NTSC) [Full HD]1920×1080, 30fps (sensor output is 30p, 20Mbps) / [HD]1280x720, 30fps (sensor output is 30p, 10Mbps) / [VGA] 640x480, 30fps (sensor output is 30p, 4Mbps)
Motion Image (MP4*2 : PAL) [Full HD]1920×1080, 25fps (sensor output is 25p, 20Mbps)*3 / [HD]1280x720, 25fps (sensor output is 25p, 10Mbps)*3 / [VGA] 640x480, 25fps (sensor output is 25p, 4Mbps) *3
Motion Image (AVCHD Progressive*2:NTSC) [Full HD]1920×1080, 60p (sensor output is 60p, 28Mbps)
Motion Image (AVCHD*2 : NTSC) [Full HD] 1920×1080, 24p ?sensor output is 24p, 24Mbps? / [Full HD] 1920×1080, 60i (sensor output is 30p, 24Mbps) / [Full HD] 1920×1080, 60i (sensor output is 60p, 17Mbps)
Motion Image (AVCHD Progressive*2:PAL) [Full HD]1920×1080, 50p (sensor output is 50p, 28Mbps)*3
Motion Image (AVCND*2 : PAL) [Full HD] 1920×1080, 24p ?sensor output is 24p, 24Mbps?*3 / [Full HD] 1920×1080, 50i (sensor output is 25p, 24Mbps)*3 / [Full HD] 1920×1080, 50i (sensor output is 50p, 17Mbps)*3
Continuous recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD with picture quality set to Approx. 240 min with H-HS12035 / Approx. 220 min with H-VS014140
Actual recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD with picture quality set to Approx. 120 min with H-HS12035 / Approx. 110 min with H-VS014140
Flicker reduction (Motion images) [1/50] / [1/60] / [1/100] / [1/120] / OFF
Time Code (Motion images) (except MP4) ON/OFF, Count Up : Rec Run/Free Run selectable, Time Code Mode : Drop frame/Non-drop frame selectable(NTSC only)
WiFi IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2412MHz - 2462MHz (11ch), Wi-Fi / WPA / WPA2, Infrastructure mode


Type OLED Live View Finder (1,744K dots equivalent)
Field of view Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 1.34x / 0.67x (35mm camera equivalent)
Eye point Approx. 21 mm from eyepiece lens
Diopter adjustment -4.0~+4.0?dpt?
Auto eye sensor Yes


Type Contrast AF system
Focus mode AFS (Single) / AFF (Flexible) / AFC (Continuous) / MF
AF assist lamp Yes (ON / OFF)
AF lock Yes (AF/AE LOCK button)
Others Quick AF, Continuous AF (during motion image recording), AF+MF, Eye Sensor AF, Touch Pad AF, Touch AF, Touch shutter, Touch MF Assist, Shutter AF, / Half Press Release
AF mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Pinpoint / (Full area touch is available)


Light metering system 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light metering mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Metering range EV0-18 ?F2.0 lens, ISO100 equivalent?
Exposure mode Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
ISO sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity) Auto / Intelligent ISO / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 (Changeable to 1/3, 1EV step) / (Extended ISO125-less under 200, ISO more over 12800-25600 Available) (Up to ISO3200 in Auto)
Exposure compensation 1/3 Step ±5EV (±3EV for motion image)
AE lock AF/AE LOCK button
AE bracket 3,5,7 frame in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV Step, single/burst


White balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / incandescent / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting
White balance adjustment Blue/amber bias, Magenta/green bias
Color temperature setting 2500-10000K in 100K
White balance bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis


Remote control Remote control with Bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)
Type Focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed Still Images: 1/4000-60 and Bulb, Motion image: 1/16,000 ~ 1/30 (NTSC), 1/16,000 ~ 1/25 (PAL)
Self timer 10sec, 3 images after 10sec, 2sec


Burst speed SH: 20 frames/sec, H: 6 frames/sec, M: 4 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2 frames/sec (with Live View)


Still image Clear Portrait / Silky Skin / Backlit Softness / Clear in Backlight / Relaxing Tone / Sweet Child's Face / Distinct Scenery / Bright Blue Sky / Romantic Sunset Glow / Vivid Sunset Glow / Glistening Water / Clear Nightscape / Cool Night Sky / / Warm Glowing Nightscape / Artistic Nightscape / Glittering Illuminations / Clear Night Portrait / Soft Image of a Flower / Appetizing Food / Cute Dessert / Freeze Animal Motion / Clear Sports Shot / Monochrome
Motion Picture Clear Portrait / Silky Skin / Backlit Softness / Clear in Backlight / Relaxing Tone / Sweet Child's Face / Distinct Scenery / Bright Blue Sky / Romantic Sunset Glow / Vivid Sunset Glow / Clear Nightscape / Cool Night Sky / / Warm Glowing Nightscape / Artistic Nightscape / Clear Night Portrait / Appetizing Food / Cute Dessert / Freeze Animal Motion / Clear Sports Shot / Monochrome


Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction (when iA, iA+), Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Synchronization speed Less than 1/160 second
Flash synchronization 1st. Curtain Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync.
Flash output adjustment 1/3EV Step ±3EV
Synchronization for flash dimming and exposure compensation Yes (ON/OFF)
Flash sync socket Yes


Type OLED Monitor with static touch control
Monitor size Free-angle 3.0inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle
Pixels 614K dots
Field of view Approx. 100%
Monitor adjustment Brightness (7 levels), Color (7 levels), Red-Green(11 levels), Blue-Yellow(11 levels)


Digital zoom 2x, 4x
Extra Tele Conversion Still image: Max.2x (Not effective with L size recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio.) / Motion image: 2.4x, 3.6x, 4.8x (Magnification ratio depends on the recording quality and aspect ratio.)
Other functions Guide Lines (3 patterns) / Real-time Histogram


Level Gauge Yes




Still image and Video Standard / Vivid / Natural / Monochrome / Scenery / Portrait / Custom


Motion Picture Expressive / Retro / High Key / Low Key / Sepia / Dynamic Monochrome / Impressive Art / High Dynamic / Cross Process / Toy Effect / Miniature Effect / One Point Color
Still image Expressive / Retro / High Key / Low Key / Sepia / Dynamic Monochrome / Impressive Art / High Dynamic / Cross Process / Toy Effect / Miniature Effect / Soft Focus / Star Filter / One Point Color


Exposure Mode Program AE/ Aperture-Priority / Sutter-Priority / Manual Exposure
Slow and fast motion 40% / 48% / 80% (Records 0.4 times, 0.48 times, 0.8 times slower) / 160% / 200% / 300% (Records 1.6 times, 2.0 times, 3.0 times faster) / (1920x1080, 24p, 24Mbps in MOV, MP4, AVCHD)


Playback mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (Max.16x), Slide Show (All / Picture Only / Video Only / 3D / Category Selection / Favorite, duration & effect is selectable), / Playback Mode (Normal Play / Picture Only / Video Play / 3D Play / Category Play / Favorite Play), Title Edit, Text Stamp, Video Divide, Resize, Cropping, Rotate, Favorite, Print Set, Protect, Face Recognition Edit


Protection Single / Multi or Cancel
Erase Single / Multi / All / Except Favorite


Direct Print PictBridge compatible


USB USB 2.0 High Speed
HDMI miniHDMI TypeC / Video: Auto / 1080p / 1080i / 720p / 480p (576p in PAL system) / Audio: Dolby® Digital
Audio video output Monaural Type, NTSC/PAL, NTSC only for North America / *Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.
Microphone Stereo, Wind-cut: Off / Low / Standard / High / AUTO
Speaker Monaural
Remote input φ2.5mm for Remote
External microphone input φ3.5mm for External microphone
Headphone output φ3.5mm for Headphone


OSD language Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish(English)


Battery Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1860mAh) (Included)
Battery life (CIPA standard) Approx. 540 images with H-HS12035 / Approx. 500 images with H-VS014140

Dimensions/ Weight

Dimensions (W x H x D) 132.9 x 93.4 x 82.0mm / 5.23 x 3.68 x 3.23 in (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 550g/ 19.40 oz (SD card, Battery, Body) / Approx. 470g / 16.58 oz (Body only) / Approx. 855g / 30.16 oz (SD card, Battery, H-HS12035 lens included)


Operating temperature 0? to 40? (32°F to 104°F)
Operating humidity 10% to 80?


Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.5 PE / SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE / LoiloScope (trial version)
Standard accessories Body, / Body Cap, / LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035), / Lens Cap, / Lens Hood, / Lens Rear Cap, / Battery Charger (AC Cable included), / Battery Pack, / USB Connection Cable, / Shoulder Strap, / CD-ROM


Maximum Aperture F2.8
Lens Name LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.
Lens Construction 14 elements in 9 groups (4 aspherical lenses , 1 UED lens, 1 UHR lens)
Nano Surface Coating Yes
Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Optical Image Stabilizer Yes (POWER O.I.S.)
Focal Length f=12-35mm (35mm camera equivalent 24-70mm)
Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
Minimum Aperture F22
Closest Focusing Distance 0.25m / 0.82ft
Maximum magnification Approx. 0.17x / 0.34x (35mm camera equivalent)
Diagonal Angle of View 84°(Wide) to 34°(TELE)
Filter Size φ58mm / 2.3in
Max. Diameter φ67.6mm / 2.7in
Overall Length Approx. 73.8mm / 2.9in (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
Weight [g] Approx. 305g (excluding lens cap and lens rear cap)
Weight [oz] Approx. 10.8oz (excluding lens cap and lens rear cap)


External Flash (optional) DMW-FL360L (optional), Wireless Channel: 1ch/2ch/3ch/4ch
External Microphone (optional) DMW-MS2 (optional), Gun/Stereo selectable
Battery Grip (optional) DMW-BGGH3 (optional)

Further Specifications

NOTE *1 Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class10" / *2 Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class4" or higher / *3 Motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 29 min 59 sec in European PAL areas.

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