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Panasonic Lumix GH3 professional micro-four-thirds compact system camera official, video enthusiasts rejoice

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Panasonic’s GH2 has been one of the most popular cameras for video enthusiasts, and with good reason. It offered such yummies as high-bitrate 1080p video recording at 60fps, a tilt-and-swivel touchscreen, video-capable high-resolution EFV, and came bundled with a quiet lens optimised for shooting footage. We gave it a very well-deserved 9/10 at the time.

Since then the Lumix G series has gone from strength to strength, with the Lumix G3 and Lumix G5 taking Panasonic’s compact system camera to new levels of quality and usability. However, the lack of a microphone jack and other features meant that many were eagerly awaiting the GH2’s successor, the GH3. It has come at last, and it is good.

As far as styling goes, the Lumix GH3 maintains the professional look of its predecessor while updating its style to a more modern, curvy aesthetic. Frankly, we’re loving the design. But that body doesn’t just look pretty, the GH3 is dust and splash-proof, and the body is magnesium alloy rather than ‘mere’ plastic.

Other goodness includes a 16MP ‘wide dynamic range’ Live CMOS sensor offering better ISO shadow detail, colour reproduction and white balance - paired with the new Venus 7 engine. These are good for an ISO range of 200 – 12,800 (extendable to 125 – 25,600), up to 6fps 94fps with ‘live view’), and the fastest AF on the market.

Video hasn’t been neglected either with 1080p at up to 60fps with a high 50Mbp/s bitrate (72Mbp/s All-I). There’s even a range of in-camera slow motion modes and dual 3.5mm jacks for audio recording and monitoring.

All this can be viewed on the GH3’s gloriously high-pixel 1.7 million dot OLED EVF which is eight times quicker than that on the GH2, or the 614K OLED swivel-out touchscreen, both of which provide 100 percent frame coverage. You can share or upload it with the built-in Wi-Fi, or use you smartphone to setup shots. Nice, no?

The only downside is that this is Panasonic’s heaviest and biggest Lumix G camera yet, both taller and wider than the GH2. The price has also increased, though an exact figure has not been released yet.

Accessories galore will be available for the Lumix GH3, including a vertical battery grip, shotgun mic, and new weather-proofed Vario X lenses. The first of these will be a 35-100mm f/2.8, while the other is a 12-35mm f/2.8 which we’re pretty excited about, especially if it’s one of the kit options.

So will you be buying the new Panasonic Lumix GH3 or has one of the other new cameras caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.

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