I received the GH3 last week and did some quick shooting with it this weekend. This is the first time I’ve ever pre-ordered a camera, and I’ll just say I’m not at all disappointed. It’s everything from the hacked GH2 and then some.

I’m not going to write about how great the expected features are, because they were obviously expected (audio in and out, timecode, iOS control, QuickTime files). But they are great.

The unexpected: The feel is solid. It feels more like a professional camera. And overall it’s a bigger body. Ergonomics are vastly improved. Now there are two toggle wheels and better placed buttons for quick access to settings. There’s also seven function buttons customizing controls to your preference. Well, actually there’s five real buttons. Two are on the touch screen. There’s actually room for two more on the touch screen but for whatever reason it’s just empty space.

Speaking of the touch screen, I actually want to touch this one. With the GH2 I’d usually forget I could touch menu options because it was hard to be accurate. Part of the problem was a border around the screen. The GH3 did away with that and is completely flat, making it easier to touch the controls that are on the edge. The menu has been redesigned as well to make changing settings much quicker.

For example, before to adjust audio levels you’d have to go deep into the menus. Now there’s a quick setting right from the screen. And before you only had 4 levels to choose from. Now there’s 13.

The video is a quick collection of initial thoughts and some sample footage shot in different conditions. At the end I blow some up to 200% and 400%. I think it really holds together.

Here’s how I sum up DSLRs: Nikon and Canon are still cameras that can shoot video. The GH2 and GH3 are still and video cameras.

Technical specs for footage in the film:

Coffee footage shot at ISO 200, Nikon 50mm 1.8
Axis & Allies footage shot at ISO 6400 3.5 – 5.6
Basel footage ISO varies
All shot at 1080 24p MOV 50mbps

If you have any questions about the camera or would like to see something specific, let me know.

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