Latest Panasonic Lumix For Consumer And Professional Snappers

  • Diecast splash-proof body
  • Noise reduction increased
  • Due in January 2013

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH3 new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera offers a rugged design for field use and OLED displays; and a compact size.

  • Diecast splash-proof body
  • Noise reduction increased
  • Due in January 2013

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH3 new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera offers a rugged design for field use and OLED displays; and a compact size.

It features a magnesium alloy full diecast body and advanced splash and dustproof construction, achieved by tightly sealing the sections of the camera body to enable shooting under extreme conditions. The body has a new control layout with three dials on the front and back as well as single-function buttons. It records still images consecutively at around 6 fps. The video recording capability, which was highly acclaimed in the GH2, now has a greater variety of options in its format and bitrate.

The DMC-GH3 will be available in Australia in January 2013, with pricing and lens kits to be announced closer to the release date.

The new 16.05 megapixel Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution images with minimum noise, while the new Venus Engine attains high-speed, high-quality signal processing.

The camera uses OLED displays both in its viewfinder and in the rear free-angle monitor. Panasonic has also developed new optional accessories to expand shooting possibilities. They include a detachable battery grip (DMW-BGGH3) with integrated controls for a vertical viewing angle, and splash/dustproof design; external wireless TTL flash (DMW-FL360L) with an LED, ideal for video recording; and a stereo shotgun microphone (DMW-MS2). They are a first of their kind for Panasonic cameras.

The newly developed 16.05 effective megapixels Live MOS sensor has a wide dynamic range and high sensitivity image recording even at ISO 12800 or ISO 25600 in extended mode.

Noise reduction measures have focused on the following three areas: minimising noise in the sensor, preventing sensor noise from entering the output signal, and preventing noise from entering the signal processing circuit, power supply line and grounding line. To reduce noise, it is also important to design the power supply wiring and the signal wiring connected to the engine to be as close to the same length as possible. These measures not only suppress noise but also help to improve processing speed. Standard sensitivity is from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, but the user can set sensitivity to ISO 125 or ISO 25600 by using an extension function.

The Venus Engine image processor is also enhanced to achieve superior noise reduction. With a combination of 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction), both bright areas and dark areas are faithfully reproduced with minimum noise across the entire focusing range in high sensitivity image recording.

The DMC-GH3 also incorporates Panasonic’s HDR (High Dynamic Range). When photographing scenes with very high contrast such as a bright landscapes on a sunny day, detail can be lost in the highlights and shadows. In HDR mode, the camera takes several shots at different exposure levels and automatically combines them to produce an image that faithfully represents the scene and preserves details in the highlights, mid-tones and shadows for a clear, sharp shot.  Other practical shooting functions include Time Lapse Shot and Multiple Exposure.

Videographers will know that heat generated during long continuous recording can cause problems. It not only affects internal components but can also degrade image quality. Effective thermal diffusion is an essential design challenge. By drawing on the expertise accumulated through its many years of developing camcorders, Panasonic has revamped and redesigned the electronic parts arrangement and internal structure to achieve the optimum layout. This has eliminated heat problems in the LUMIX DMC-GH3.

For high quality sound recording, the DMC-GH3 offers 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 DMC-GH3 is equipped with two 3.5mm terminals for an external microphone and headphone to meet professional sound recording needs.

Like previous models, the Lumix DMC-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 into this area. There are also splash/dust-proof interchangeable lenses.

The DMC-GH3 comes with a variety of connection terminals including a newly added 3.5mm microphone jack allows high quality audio recording using an external microphone. A 3.5mm headphone jack enables monitoring of the audio recording while shooting video real-time.

The DMC-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. When using an external monitor, users can choose for the output feed to display the recording content with or without the setting menus on-screen.

In addition to these, the DMC-GH3 offers remote control with the optional Remote Shutter (DMW-RSL1) and AV output (Audio 2ch, Composite). Compatibility with the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed I) SDXC/SDHC Memory Card allows faster data writing even in RAW recording mode.

The DMC-GH3 integrates a built-in wifi module for wireless connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n). With the Lumix Link application for Android/iOS smartphones and tablets, these devices can be used as a remote control/monitor. What the camera is seeing is displayed live on the smartphone/tablet, and it is possible to set controls including focus, exposure compensation, ISO, WB and Photo Style in addition to shutter release via Live View.

Images including RAW files can be transferred directly to a smartphone or tablet. Users can save photos to the Panasonic exclusive cloud service ‘LUMIX CLUB’ and easily transfer images to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter or YouTube; and also play back images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) -compliant AV equipment via a wireless router at home. Users can tag location information to images using the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone/tablet.

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