My first pictures taken with the Panasonic Lumix GH3. These are not an attempt at a review of the camera, simply some fun pictures taken in the first day or two having got the camera. Mostly taken with the Panny 12-35mm, but a few with the 7-14mm and the 45-175mm. Various ISOs, all details in the EXIF data.
A few people have asked about my thoughts and also comparison with my D700, and about the size/weight. Here are my first thoughts for now – I hope it is useful. Nothing scientific here, just my initial observations good and bad. I will say, however, that I am very pleased with the GH3 in terms of handling and IQ, and have no regrets buying it. It is a marked improvement over my earlier GH2, and that was not a bad camera. I will still keep my D700 though for when I want to do proper landscapes, and can be bothered to carry the weight !
The GH3 is an improvement over previous mirrorless cameras I have used in terms of image quality and I reckon I get 90% of the IQ of my D700 but in a much smaller and lighter package. The GH3 is not tiny, it is roughly the same size as the Nikon D3100 body, but the lenses are much smaller (especially compared to the Nikon pro range), so the system overall is much more portable.
As for weight, the GH3 and the 12-35mm (24-70mm equivalent) combined is 850g, which is less than the weight of the D700 body alone. And the Panny has VR. Then you can add, say, the 7-14mm (14-28mm equivalent) and 35-100mm f/2.8 (70-200mm equivalent) and each of these lenses is around 300g. So a whole professional kit can weight less than 1.5kg and fit into a small bag.
Where it is less good than the D700 is noise in very low light pictures (think dark pubs) but I wouldn't say it is bad, just not as good as the Nikon. I reckon at ISO 3200 or 6400 you might be a stop or two behind the D700. I am not sure there is any cropped sensor camera that matches the D700 at higher ISO’s anyway, so this is a price to pay for the smaller kit.
Also the GH3 is not great at tracking fast moving subjects, so not an ideal camera for fast sports. It is, however, very fast at initially locking focus on still or slow moving objects (almost instant, and faster than the 24-70mm on my D700). It just can't keep up with very fast or erratically moving objects to keep them in focus. All mirrorless cameras are the same due the AF system they use.
What I really like about the GH3 is the excellent OLED flip out and variable angle rear screen, which is ideal for low angle / ground level pictures (like my dogs at eye level) or for shooting in awkward places etc. The electronic viewfinder is great too. Some people have complained about colour smearing but I find it a non issue provided you keep your eye in line with the finder.
Also the GH3 has the option of using an electronic shutter, so is totally silent for places like inside a church, but also useful for reducing shutter vibration for long or macro lenses (there is no mirror slap obviously).
Lastly, all camera choices are a compromise, and there is no thing as a free lunch, but the GH3 gets pretty close to being my ideal for an everyday camera.