PANASONIC ANNOUNCES ITS FLAGSHIP DIGITAL SINGLE-LENS MIRRORLESS CAMERA – THE LUMIX DMC-GH3
Engineered for the Multimedia Photographer
September 17, 2012 (Mississauga, ON) – Panasonic Canada is proud to announce its flagship digital single-lens mirrorless camera, the LUMIX DMC-GH3. The GH3 is an attractive, top-of-the-line mirrorless single lens system camera that is tough enough to withstand the extreme conditions of heavy field use.
The new Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution images with minimum noise, while the new Venus Engine attains high-speed, high-quality signal processing. These features combine to maximize shooting fun and operating ease. The GH3 has a tough body that is rugged enough to stand up to professional use and features a magnesium alloy full diecast body and advanced splash / dustproof construction achieved by sealing the sections of the camera body to enable shooting under extreme conditions. Although loaded with advanced features, the GH3 is still compact when compared with an SLR camera featuring equivalent performance and functions. The body has enabled a new control layout with three dials on the front and back as well as single-function buttons.
The GH3 allows users to capture images in extreme environments and provides superb mobility because of its compact and lightweight weight body. It also records still images consecutively at a rate of about 6 fps, allowing action shots to be captured with ease.
The highly acclaimed video recording capability featured in the GH3’s predecessor, the LUMIX DMC-GH2, now comes with a variety of options in its format and bit rate to meet wide-ranging needs. It is packed with advanced technologies developed by Panasonic for professional video creation.
The GH3 features OLED displays both in its viewfinder and in the rear free-angle monitor. Panasonic has also developed optional accessories, a first of their kind for the brand, to expand the shooting capabilities of the DMC-GH3. A detachable battery grip, the DMW-BGGH3, helps photographers obtain a vertical viewing angle, by integrating a control with a splash / dustproof design. The external TTL flash DMW-FL360L comes with wireless function and even integrates LED for video recording. A Stereo Shotgun microphone, the DMW-MS2, is also available.
Panasonic also offers a full line-up of lenses that complement the GH3. The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) is currently on the market. In addition, Panasonic is releasing a new fast F2.8 telephoto zoom lens LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S. (H-HS35100) to introduce with the GH3. These two lenses achieve high resistance performance against splashes and dust when used in conjunction with the GH3.
The LUMIX G lens line-up includes a variety of models with superb image rendering; including, high-performance Leica lenses, and smooth, silent power zoom lenses suitable for video recording. Panasonic is pleased to offer Canadian consumers the largest line-up of interchangeable lenses for digital single lens mirrorless cameras[i] and is committed to continuing to develop new lenses with distinctive features.
The LUMIX DMC-GH3 features the following improvements:
- New Live MOS sensor delivers high picture quality
The GH3 realizes high-quality images with real-to-life details due to its excellent resolution, image rendering and colour reproduction; its high-grade lens and precision AF achieves high resolution, optimal balance of resolution and noise reduction achieves life-like images, and high precision auto exposure and white balance with live light metering results in faithful colour reproduction.The newly developed 16.05 effective megapixel Live MOS sensor boasts wide dynamic range and high sensitivity image recording even at ISO 12,800 or ISO 25,600 in extended mode.
To reduce noise and improve processing speed, Panasonic focused on the following three areas: (1) minimizing noise in the sensor, (2) preventing sensor noise from entering the output signal, and (3) preventing noise from entering the signal processing circuit, power supply line and grounding line. Standard sensitivity is from ISO 200 to ISO 12,800, but the user can set sensitivity to ISO 125 or ISO 25,600 by using an extension function. The LPF (Low Pass Filter) has also been designed to minimize generation of moiré while drawing maximum resolution of the image out of the sensor.
The image processor Venus Engine is also refined to achieve superior noise reduction. With a combination of 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction), both bright and dark areas are faithfully reproduced with minimum noise across the entire focusing range in high sensitivity image recording.
The built-in flash is enhanced to feature more power and flexibility. The new built-in flash of GN12 equivalent (ISO 100 •m) / GN17 equivalent (ISO 200 •m) covers a 24mm wide angle field of view. Synchronization for flash dimming and exposure compensation is available with adjustment of 1/3EV Step ±3EV. Manual control and a sync terminal are added to increase the versatility of an external flash.
The GH3 also integrates HDR (High Dynamic Range) to cope with the extreme bright and dark contrast that you get, for example, with backlighting, or when consecutive photos are taken with different exposure levels and overlapped. Blown highlights and blocked shadows are then deleted and a single photo is composed. All processing is done in the background, so the camera is ready to take another shot and no photo opportunities are missed.
The GH3 also includes other practical shooting functions including Time Lapse Shot or Multiple Exposure. The electronic shutter with silent operation prevents pixel declination which is undesirable when photographing commercial products.
- Excellent video quality – versatile recording formats, bitrate and frame rates
Panasonic defies the conventional boundaries of a digital camera, further elevating the GH3’s video recording capabilities. Users can freely choose the format from AVCHD, AVCHD Progressive, MP4 or MOV with the frame rate at 60p(NTSC), 30p(NTSC) or 24p according to the usage.[ii] The GH3 is capable of recording ultra-high bit rate video recorded at 72 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 50 Mbps (IPB). And it is capable [iii]Heat generated during continuous recording can cause problems with internal components and degrade image quality so effective thermal diffusion is essential. To combat overheating, Panasonic carefully designed the internal structure of the GH3 to achieve the optimum layout and eliminate heat problems.
When recording video in MOV, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD, the GH3 automatically generates multiple seamless files for continuous recording. During playback, the AVCHD Progressive / AVCHD files are reproduced with seamless, interruption-free continuity. The GH3 also embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code either in Rec Run or Free Run count-up methods, which makes it easy to synchronize the multiple video footage or sound source in the post production workflow. Time Code Value can be started at any point of [Reset], [Manual Input] and [Current Time]. Drop frame or Non Drop Frame time code is selectable.[iv]
For high quality sound recording, the GH3 adopts Dolby Digital® for AVCHD Progressive /AVCHD videos and linear PCM (LPCM) for non-compressed video recorded in MOV. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, the GH3 is equipped with two 3.5mm terminals for an external microphone and headphones to facilitate sound recording.
The GH3 also features Creative Video mode, Exposure mode and Slow/Fast-Motion mode. In the Exposure mode, four manual video modes: Program AE / Aperture-Priority / Shutter-Priority / Manual Exposure can be selected to provide a wide range of video image options. The Slow/Fast-Motion mode enables slow-motion (40% / 48% / 80%) and fast–motion (160% / 200% / 300%), all in Full HD.
In addition to full-time AF, AF Tracking and Face Recognition AF are also available. The Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing; by pointing at the subject on the OLED view screen, the focus shifts automatically.
- Intuitive response when capturing fast moving subjects
All cameras in the LUMIX G line-up use Contrast AF for their focus system. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, the Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy when shooting with a bright lens and a wide open aperture.The GH3 features ultra-high-speed AF which makes it possible to capture fast-moving subjects clearly. Both accuracy and speed are improved over high-end DSLRs with Phase difference AF, with the GH3’s advanced Contrast AF system. The camera and the lens exchange the digital signal at 240 fps to minimize the time to focus. Together with the quick start-up and short release time lag, the GH3 never lets photographers miss fleeting shooting opportunities.
The GH3 boasts high-precision, high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays for both the LVF (Live View Finder) and rear monitor. Increasing the resolution of the display area to 1,744K-dot equivalent, the new 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts approx.1.34x / 0.67x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification, 100 per cent field of view, and eye point of approximately 21 mm. By adopting the OLED display, the time lag is minimized dramatically compared with the predecessor GH2. The image output between the LVF and the rear monitor is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features options of sensitivity – high, low and off – to reduce accidental activation of the rear monitor.The 3.0-inch 614K-dot free-angle OLED rear monitor (3:2 aspect) with wide-viewing angle rotates 180-degrees to the side, and tilts 270-degrees up and down, to offer approximately 100 percent of field of view. The OLED rear monitor adopts static touch control for smoother operation either in shooting or in playback.
The GH3 captures moving subjects clearly with the burst shooting at 6 fps in full resolution (max. 18 consecutive shots of RAW+JPEG) and 20 fps in 4-megapixel recording using an electronic shutter (max. 80 consecutive shots of JPEG).
The GH3 comes with a level gauge, which lets the camera detect the horizontal / vertical angle of view. Photos shot in a portrait aspect will be automatically displayed vertically whichever lens is used.
- Superb controllability and rugged design
With its ergonomic grip and optimum control button and dial layout, Panasonic developed the GH3 in pursuit of the best balanced-body design possible. Each button has a single function to allow intuitive operation. Major controls such as shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO and white balance settings can be quickly adjusted with the front / rear dials and rear jog dial. Users can customize a total of seven buttons (five in buttons and two in the touch menu tab) for easy access to often used functions. The control panel is fully redesigned enabling even more intuitive operation. Using the LUMIX G Series’ first detachable battery grip with integrated controls for vertical shooting angle, which was developed concurrently with the GH3, the user can operate the dials and buttons easily in virtually the same way when shooting horizontally.The new GH3 is tough enough to withstand heavy field use. The main structural features of the GH3 are its magnesium alloy full diecast frame and splash / dustproof construction.
Like previous models, the GH3 has many moving parts, such as the free-angle OLED rear monitor. Thus, ensuring a high level of splash / dust resistance was not an easy task. In particular, careful attention was given to the pop-up flash. To prevent vignetting caused by the lens, the pop-up flash incorporates a sliding mechanism that raises the flash to its operating position. Panasonic has taken thorough measures to prevent the entry of dust and water from this location. There are also splash / dust-proof interchangeable lenses (LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. and LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.) and the new Battery Grip DMW-BGGH3 to secure its high resistance.
- A variety of interfaces
The GH3 features numerous connection terminals for more flexible shooting options. The newly added 3.5mm microphone jack allows high quality audio recording using an external microphone. It also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack enabling monitoring the recorded audio while shooting video real-time.The GH3 is also capable of real-time image output not only on the OLED display (LVF or the rear monitor) but also on the external monitor via an optional HDMI mini cable simultaneously while recording video. It is suitable for professional video that requires serious monitoring of the imagery. Users can choose to output only the recording content or the content with the setting menus individually depending on the display.
In addition to these, the GH3 offers remote control with optional Remote Shutter DMW-RSL1 and AV output (Audio 2ch, Composite). The compatibility with the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed I) SDXC/SDHC Memory Card allows faster data writing even in RAW recording mode.
- Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi®
The GH3 integrates a built-in Wi-Fi® module for wireless connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) to expand shooting possibilities. A smartphone or a tablet can be used as a remote control and a remote monitor. What the camera is seeing is displayed live on the smartphone / tablet, and it’s possible to set various controls including focus, exposure compensation, ISO, WB and Photo Style in addition to shutter release via live view using Wi-Fi.After shooting, images including RAW files can be transferred to a smartphone or tablet immediately, at which time users can choose to upload images to the LUMIX CLUB Cloud Sync service via Wi-Fi-tethering and to send them to DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-compliant AV equipment via a wireless router at home. In addition, it is possible to tag location information to the image by utilizing the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone / tablet. All these flexible shooting / browsing / sharing styles are made possible with the GH3 and Panasonic’s dedicated application software “LUMIX LINK” for Android / iOS smartphones and tablets.
Users can archive images wirelessly with the GH3 by saving them to Panasonic’s exclusive “LUMIX CLUB Cloud Sync Service”, where a personal folder is allotted to the GH3 user to upload image data , which can then be transferred to Facebook™, Flickr™, Picasa™, Twitter™ or YouTube™. With the LUMIX CLUB Cloud Sync Service, not only full-resolution photos but also HD quality videos can be synchronized to compliant electronic devices (e.g. PC, smartphone and AV equipment) or transferred to various websites. The Wi-Fi function also allows playback of images on the DLNA-compliant VIERA HDTV for viewing.[v]
- Creative Expression
The GH3 incorporates Photo Style and Creative Control for more unique expression tailored for the photographer.With Photo Style, users can manually choose from six colour types to get even more detailed image settings. In addition, the contrast, sharpness, saturation or noise reduction for each mode parameter can be customized and stored in memory. In Custom Mode, finely customized settings can be stored for easy recall and use.
The Creative Control lets provides users with a total of 14 creative filters including; Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter and One Point Color. Most of the filters can be used in video recording, too. With the new GUI and menu tabs, switching filter effect is extremely easy and is possible to preview via the Live View. Effect parameter, defocusing area and exposure compensation are also adjustable.
- Rich options for further expandability
Micro Four Thirds System products provide digital interchangeable lens camera users with the tools to generate even higher levels of performance. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the GH3 can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via DMW-MA2M or MA3R. This gives the user access to an unlimited number of lens properties. Also, the LUMIX GH3 offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.
- New Battery Grip DMW-BGGH3 – The ergonomically designed Battery Grip DMW-BGGH3 enables the GH3 to offer a longer battery life of more than 1,000 pictures. It offers comfortable grip and easy handling even when shooting vertically.[vi]
- New External Microphone DMW-MS2 – The new plug-in power type External Microphone DMW-MS2 with windjammer enables high quality audio recording. Directional control Stereo / Shotgun is switchable in the menu. The holder is designed with a vibration absorption mechanism. This advanced external mic suppresses the camera’s motor noise and handling noise, to capture the sound that you’re aiming for.
- New External Flash DMW-FL360L – The new GN36 (ISO100･m) flash complies with useful bounce lighting. A wireless capability is handy for multiple-flash shooting. The LED light is especially useful for video shooting. Charging is fast at only about two seconds, to provide comfortable and easy flash shots.
[i] As of 17, September 2012
[ii] 60p (NTSC) video recording is not available in AVCHD and MP4 video recording
[iii] In the model for PAL areas, motion image can be recorded up to 29 min 59 seconds
[iv] Available in the model for NTSC regions
[v] The wireless access point (router) is required
[vi] When using LVF and the battery inside the body
• “AVCHD Progressive”, “AVCHD”, the “AVCHD Progressive” Logo and the “AVCHD” Logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
• Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
• HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.
• All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
•This unit is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. You can only use SDHC Memory Cards on devices that are compatible with them. You cannot use SDHC Memory Cards on devices that are only compatible with SD Memory Cards. (When using an SDHC Memory Card on another device, be sure to read the operating instructions for that device.)
• Some accessories are not available in some countries.
• The use of recorded or printed materials that are protected by copyright for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is prohibited, as it would infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder.
• Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Panasonic products are marketed in Canada by Panasonic Canada Inc. (PCI). PCI is an affiliate of Panasonic Corporation (PC) of Japan, one of the world’s largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business, and industrial use. Consumers seeking more information on the company’s products can call Panasonic’s Customer Care Centre at 1-800-561-5505 or access Panasonic’s home page at www.panasonic.ca.