Monday, September 17, 2012

Backlash for the Panasonic DMC-GH3, why?

I've seen a lot of negative comments about Panasonic's new body, the DMC-GH3.  I'm taking them in the context that people just hate change.

The body is bigger for better handling of larger lenses and for better ergonomics, including 5 function buttons.  To me, being bigger is a benefit, not a problem.  That the weight has only mildly increased, including the magnesium alloy structure, is a plus also.  It's also weather-sealed, and that's great for me.

I've been looking at micro Four-Thirds since it burst onto the photographic scene and I've been somewhere between disappointment and laughter.  After the Olympus E-P2 was announced, I joked that it would be the E-P14 that would finally be the complete solution.  Today's announcements have resolved that--there is no E-P5, and given the proximity of the price to the E-M5, it's no wonder.  How do you justify the E-P3 when the E-M5 gives so much more?

Now that the E-M5 has changed things, the GH3 is changing things even more.  If the photographs from the GH3 are as good as the E-M5, that will really push back the APS-C set.  The E-M5 image quality is said to be so good that to step up, you'll need to go to 135 format-sized sensors, like those of the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D.  I hope that the GH3 will match that, but I'm skeptical of Panasonic's ability with still images.

I would like to move to the GH3 but I'm still noticing the lack of superior optics where I need them, and I'm not wanting an adapter to make my current lenses work.  Panasonic has a wonderful 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lens, except that it's not really wonderful, except in focal length.  It's a budget lens and if they made a similar focal length, higher quality X-series lens for double (maybe triple) the price, I'd be there with cash for both the 100-300mm and the GH3.

Getting light, high quality equipment for a reasonable price is never wrong.

Zeiss and Schneider are continuing to work on new micro Four-Thirds mount lenses with full control.  Unfortunately, what I've seen so far duplicate focal lengths that are already available.  Still, the lenses are being built, even if they're slow to arrive.

I'm still disappointed in how people have reacted to the GH3 today.  It reminds me of the 1960s when Detroit's car makers' plan to make faster cars was to increase the size of the engine, without thought to brakes, handling, or fuel economy.  You could buy a European car that could make a 2800 mile cross-country trip at higher speeds with much greater safety with much less fuel usage.  Does that make Canon or Nikon General Motors and the other Ford?

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