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Old 11-10-2012, 12:33 AM   #1
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Default Passing up the opportunity to buy a D600 for the GH3...

Well, I've been wanting a full frame camera for years now. Despite being a professional, all of my amateur friends have much better cameras than I do, reason being I've had to equip 3 photographers, so there's nothing left for my own gear.

But now I've saved up money and I was about to order the D600... but now I'm thinking about the GH3.

The D600 is a great photo taking machine but I'm sick and tired of "1080p" video that's actually 720 or below. The difference in video detail between the GH2/GH3 and D600 is absolute night and day. If I'm going to be traveling around the world, shooting things that I may never see again, I sure as hell want that full 1080p of detail.

So some questions, because I know new to nothing about the GH3 and 4/3rds systems. How's the dynamic range and ISO performance? It seems from reading reviews that the ISO is at least as good as my Nikon D300 (ISO 1600 is usable. ISO 3200... not so much.)

And the dynamic range? This is super important for landscapes and shooting interiors. GH3 only brackets 7 images, which may not be enough (I usually bracket 9 images 1EV apart). The D600 seems to have so much dynamic range in a single RAW that bracketing may not be necessary.

Basically, is the GH3 just as capable of a photo taking machine as my D300, at least?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #2
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I would get a GH2 and invest the difference in lenses, rather than get a GH3, unless you need the features with the GH3. You can also hack the GH2 to give video performance rivaling a Canon 5DII. The GH2 is also a very competent stills (photo) taker as well, on par with Canon APS-C DSLRs, with similar dynamic range and ISO performance. The Nikon/Sony APS-C/DX DSLRs are a cut above, of course. I haven't seen anything definitive about the GH3, but if it's anything like the OM-D (E-M5) by Oly, then it should give performance slightly better than a Canon APS-C DSLR.

D300 sensor was basically the same as D90. I had a D90. I would say that the GH2's performance is slightly worse than a D90/D300 when it comes to stills, due to slightly trailing in dynamic range. The OM-D (EM-5) is at least as good as a D90/D300, if not better.

RE: Auto-bracket: 7EVs is massive already. You can always manually bracket if necessary.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by blastingcap View Post
I would get a GH2 and invest the difference in lenses, rather than get a GH3, unless you need the features with the GH3. You can also hack the GH2 to give video performance rivaling a Canon 5DII. The GH2 is also a very competent stills (photo) taker as well, on par with Canon APS-C DSLRs, with similar dynamic range and ISO performance. The Nikon/Sony APS-C/DX DSLRs are a cut above, of course. I haven't seen anything definitive about the GH3, but if it's anything like the OM-D (E-M5) by Oly, then it should give performance slightly better than a Canon APS-C DSLR.

D300 sensor was basically the same as D90. I had a D90. I would say that the GH2's performance is slightly worse than a D90/D300 when it comes to stills, due to slightly trailing in dynamic range. The OM-D (EM-5) is at least as good as a D90/D300, if not better.

RE: Auto-bracket: 7EVs is massive already. You can always manually bracket if necessary.
What I'm really looking for in the GH3 is 60FPS 1080p and weathersealing. I've had too may cameras die due to exposure.

In this sense, the GH3 fits my needs.

Will the viewfinder size be just as big as a FF viewfinder? I find the prospects of EVFs extremely interesting. There's just so many things that can be done with them without being limited by optics! Live histogram, "retina" display viewfinders, WYSIWYG, able to be projected to a FF's viewfinder size or larger, automatic zooming in when manually focusing, not to mention shooting video at 1080p and recording pixels at 1:1 means effectively a huge teleconverter without any loss in light.

And not needing to use any mirrors - the positives are amazing. No shutter noise needed, FPS is not mechanically limited anymore, autofocus can be anywhere on the sensor, autofocus points can theoretically be infinite. Not like this Nikon D600 shit where there's tons of AF points but they're all packed super tightly in the center.

Fascinating.

Any idea if Canon or Nikon will do something like this?

Or at the very, very least, shoot 1080p video that's actually 1080p? In my opinion their 1080p video is the biggest lie that's been allowed to perpetuate.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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If video is really important to you then anything by Canon and Nikon is going to be lackluster. I'd look at Sony too and not just the GH3.

What about the D600 is not 1080p though? Are you looking to do slow motion? If you want that kind of video quality and fps options I wouldn't be looking at any of these cameras but would instead get these new cameras that do 960fps like the FS700.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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If video is really important to you then anything by Canon and Nikon is going to be lackluster. I'd look at Sony too and not just the GH3.

What about the D600 is not 1080p though? Are you looking to do slow motion? If you want that kind of video quality and fps options I wouldn't be looking at any of these cameras but would instead get these new cameras that do 960fps like the FS700.
Do SONY DSLRs actually shoot 1080p video with 1080 worth of detail?

I'm not looking to shoot slow motion. I just prefer the fluid, real life look of 60fps. That combined with actual 1080p worth of detail makes for great video.

The D600 and any of Canon's and Nikon's DSLRs don't actually produce video with 1080p worth of detail. Shoot a photo and downsize it to 1080p. Then shoot a video at "1080p" of the same thing and the video will have NO WHERE near the level of detail as the 1080p photo, despite being the same resolution. The actual detail is going to be around 700.

The GH2/GH3, by contrast, actually show 1080p-worth of detail. Blades are grass and individual leaves are resolved beautifully. Textures are so crisp. Canon or Nikon DSLRs are slush in comparison.

Compare:

Nikon D600:
http://vimeo.com/49436646

Panasonic GH3:
http://vimeo.com/49420579
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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GH3 w/ weathersealing is going to blow away anything comparably priced with weathersealing. If you need it, then you need it. And Sony NEX's have had overheating issues whereas a GH* can record forever, in theory.

Been a while since I used a GH1 or GH2 camera but IIRC they have sufficiently good EVFs for most video work and the GH3 has an upgraded viewfinder anyway. Are you talking about magnification or something? If so, I think they are supposed to have very good specs as to size, but I think you may want to simply test one out at a store to see if you like the viewfinder's dynamic range. And yes, having live histo and other things is a major bonus.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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I think your real issue with the D600 is the lack of high-bitrate video recording (in comparison to the GH3 at least which is remarkably high for an SLR). At quick look the D600 appears to max out at 24mb, whereas the GH3 will do 50 and even 80 in one mode. Note that neither of these is all that impressive compared to pro video formats, but the GH3 is at least in the ballpark. For comparison the sports network I work for uses 50mb 720p.

If you want the best of both worlds get the D600 and use the uncompressed HDMI output to a dedicated recorder (which will provide 2-3x the bitrate of the GH3 if you want it).

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:36 PM   #8
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"retina" display viewfinder
that's not an improvement over optical.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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that's not an improvement over optical.
There are pros and cons but from what I've read at pro photog blogs, the newest EVFs are on par with DX/APS-C optical viewfinders, though still behind full-frame (FX) optical viewfinders. But more importantly to some people is how you can have what's essential a heads-up display (HUD) on an EVF displaying live histogram, etc. You can't do that with an optical viewfinder. Also, autofocus during video recording tends to be faster on GH* designs than DSLRs.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper GTS View Post
I think your real issue with the D600 is the lack of high-bitrate video recording (in comparison to the GH3 at least which is remarkably high for an SLR). At quick look the D600 appears to max out at 24mb, whereas the GH3 will do 50 and even 80 in one mode. Note that neither of these is all that impressive compared to pro video formats, but the GH3 is at least in the ballpark. For comparison the sports network I work for uses 50mb 720p.

If you want the best of both worlds get the D600 and use the uncompressed HDMI output to a dedicated recorder (which will provide 2-3x the bitrate of the GH3 if you want it).

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No, it's not the bitrate. The D600 simply doesn't record the full 1080p worth of detail. As in, it's impossible no matter how high the bitrate is. The detail simply isn't there in the uncompressed stream.

The image gets projected onto a 24MP sensor. And it somehow needs to get downsized into 2MP (1080p). The D600 loses a LOT of detail along the way during this conversion. The GH3/GH2 do not.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElFenix View Post
that's not an improvement over optical.
It is.

Compared to a APS-C or 4/3 optical viewfinder, a EVF is:

1. Brighter.
2. Larger.
3. *Can* be clearer sometimes.
4. Much easier/faster to focus with (unlimited AF points?)
5. Much easier to manually focus with (automatically zooms in to 10x when you manually focus)
6. Can show a histogram and other useful HUD elements.

Compared to a full frame viewfinder, 1-3 might not be true, but 4-6 certainly is.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by blastingcap View Post
There are pros and cons but from what I've read at pro photog blogs, the newest EVFs are on par with DX/APS-C optical viewfinders, though still behind full-frame (FX) optical viewfinders. But more importantly to some people is how you can have what's essential a heads-up display (HUD) on an EVF displaying live histogram, etc. You can't do that with an optical viewfinder. Also, autofocus during video recording tends to be faster on GH* designs than DSLRs.
you completely missed the 'retina' part. 'retina' refers to resolution, you're not going to improve that going with an electronic path over optical path.

and you can do HUD with an optical viewfinder with an LCD projection.

sensor autofocus on the GH is better because panasonic has put way more resources in it. because that's all they've had.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
It is.

Compared to a APS-C or 4/3 optical viewfinder, a EVF is:

1. Brighter.
2. Larger.
3. *Can* be clearer sometimes.
4. Much easier/faster to focus with (unlimited AF points?)
5. Much easier to manually focus with (automatically zooms in to 10x when you manually focus)
6. Can show a histogram and other useful HUD elements.

Compared to a full frame viewfinder, 1-3 might not be true, but 4-6 certainly is.
all those things are other than 'retina' other than *maybe clearer*, but i'm trying to figure out when that would be. dirt stuck somewhere that you can't clean it?
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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Well, I've been wanting a full frame camera for years now.
If I where in your shoes, wanting a FX camera and earn my keep using stills, it would be a no brainier, D600 all the way.

Do you earn money off of your videos?
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
No, it's not the bitrate. The D600 simply doesn't record the full 1080p worth of detail. As in, it's impossible no matter how high the bitrate is. The detail simply isn't there in the uncompressed stream.

The image gets projected onto a 24MP sensor. And it somehow needs to get downsized into 2MP (1080p). The D600 loses a LOT of detail along the way during this conversion. The GH3/GH2 do not.
Aside from the apparent 5% black border on HDMI issue that has been reported to Nikon I don't see anything out there to suggest you are correct in this.

The 'lack of detail' is a bitrate problem, and if you are going to rely on internal recording the GH3 is far superior. No argument there. But considering you make your living as a photographer IMO you're making the wrong choice here.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper GTS View Post
Aside from the apparent 5% black border on HDMI issue that has been reported to Nikon I don't see anything out there to suggest you are correct in this.

The 'lack of detail' is a bitrate problem, and if you are going to rely on internal recording the GH3 is far superior. No argument there. But considering you make your living as a photographer IMO you're making the wrong choice here.

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I make my living by having other photographers shoot for me.

The lack of detail and lack of resolution is a big problem with Canon and Nikon DSLRs. You'll see it everywhere if you do some research.

Like I said, it's not a bitrate issue. It has everything to do with how Canon/Nikon downsizes their sensor data to 1080p.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Produc...4092&PageNum=4

"to compare them on a more level playing field, I shot the same scene with both cameras, in 1080p30, shutter of 1/60, using the stock 24 Mbitps each camera offers."

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Produc...4092&PageNum=2

For an even more dramatic comparison, Canon vs. GH2

http://www.43rumors.com/video-qualit...e-new-markiii/
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:49 AM   #16
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you completely missed the 'retina' part. 'retina' refers to resolution, you're not going to improve that going with an electronic path over optical path.

An EVF at a high enough dpi with respect to viewing distance is going to be just as sharp as an optical viewfinder.

and you can do HUD with an optical viewfinder with an LCD projection.

How do I do this on the D600? Where do I enable the LCD projection that displays a live histogram and zoomed in picture in picture as I manually focus?

sensor autofocus on the GH is better because panasonic has put way more resources in it. because that's all they've had.

So the takeaway is that it's better.

all those things are other than 'retina' other than *maybe clearer*, but i'm trying to figure out when that would be. dirt stuck somewhere that you can't clean it?

Huh?
See bolded.

My definition of a Retina display is a display with a sufficiently high DPI in which the human eye cannot resolve the difference between it and the real world when seen at the same distance.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:59 AM   #17
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I suspect that some people here haven't actually tried using an EVF before. The newer ones are quite good enough for photography and can compete with anything less than full frame optical viewfinders.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news...s-are-numbered

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...d_report.shtml

The point was not to pick a winner (though in the EVF category we thought that the Olympus was superior in terms of clarity and refresh rate) but we wanted to particularly compare the A900 DSLR's traditional prism and mirror against the A99's EVF. In the end it wasn't that the A900 optics were all that much larger and brighter (indoors they were in fact less bright, though the A99's was more noisy), but that the clarity and accuracy of a really good OVF system was missed. It's as simple as that. I would say that if you're new to photography within the past 5-8 years this won't bother you. If you've shot with a full frame DSLR (film or digital) in the past, you may want to visit a Sony Style store or other retailer before jumping into an A99, just to be sure that it's what you expect, and that you think that you can find happiness with for the next few years.

That said, I don't think anyone is disputing the D600's stills prowess. I guess if video is important enough to you, you could get a GH3 which I suspect is on par with Canon's APS-C DSLRs. I mean there have been plenty of award-winning photos shot with Canon APS-C DSLRs, and if a GH3 is on par with that, well, it can't be THAT bad. The only real weakness of the GH3 is lack of PDAF for tracking fast-moving subjects continuously.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:25 AM   #18
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From the Luminous Landscape review:

"Holding up the A99 side by side with a camera like the D800, or new Nikon D600 or Canon 6D, brings the matter to light – so to speak. As good as it is, the Sony EVF just can't compete in terms of realistic contrast, brightness and overall clarity to a full frame glass prism viewfinder."

Why don't you just rent a GH3 for a week and see if you like it? Then maybe the D600 afterwards to compare.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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I went from shooting film (Nikon f3 and canon eos 3) to the Olympus OM-D. The EVF have the “EVF look” it is not as pleasant as an OVF but I think the advantages largely outweigh the disadvantages. Besides the “EVF look” doesn’t interfere with composing which is that main purpose of the vf.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #20
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I whet from shooting film (Nikon f3 and canon eos 3) to the Olympus OM-D. The EVF have the “EVF look” it is not as pleasant as an OVF but I think the advantages largely outweigh the disadvantages. Besides the “EVF look” doesn’t interfere with composing which is that main purpose of the vf.
+ 1 ...... composing.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:33 PM   #21
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See bolded.

My definition of a Retina display is a display with a sufficiently high DPI in which the human eye cannot resolve the difference between it and the real world when seen at the same distance.
a) that's not available nor technically possible so might as well just wish for a slice of pie on mars because that's not going to happen either

b) the other stuff is technically possible (projecting histograms into the VF, that sort of thing). i didn't say it was available on your particular camera, instead i was responding to a poster stating it couldn't be done (fuji is doing it).

c) you're the one who was claiming an EVF might be clearer, and now you're saying 'huh?'
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:54 AM   #22
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The G3 has that very useful free rotating display.
The over all 'kit' is smaller and lighter.
Panasonic will not have the dynamic range nor the same quality of color reproduction.
The EVF is bright, informative and lets you review your still shots with out pulling the camera away from your eye - Lets see an optical system do that!
Tough choice, the Nikon will give you better stills and you'll have more choices with the depth of field.
Sounds like you have made up your mind on the GH3!

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Old 12-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I make my living by having other photographers shoot for me.

The lack of detail and lack of resolution is a big problem with Canon and Nikon DSLRs. You'll see it everywhere if you do some research.

Like I said, it's not a bitrate issue. It has everything to do with how Canon/Nikon downsizes their sensor data to 1080p.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Produc...4092&PageNum=4

"to compare them on a more level playing field, I shot the same scene with both cameras, in 1080p30, shutter of 1/60, using the stock 24 Mbitps each camera offers."

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Produc...4092&PageNum=2

For an even more dramatic comparison, Canon vs. GH2

http://www.43rumors.com/video-qualit...e-new-markiii/
So this comparo wasn't a sharpness test, it was a dynamic range test, which the Nikon clearly wins IMHO. You're taking this test and judging it on some different criteria than was its intent. You assume they were running the same apeture, and were focused on the same point at the exact same distance from the subject. I don't believe it was.

Also...unless you use the exact same glass...

Also, you're saying you're not a professional? You don't shoot yourself so...how's that make you a pro?

Last edited by Railgun; 12-01-2012 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:38 PM   #24
PixelSquish
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i shot a canon dslr kit for years (30D & 40D) and switched to an OM-D setup because quite simply, carrying around my dslr kit started ruining my enjoyment of the hobby and my time out and about trying to also have fun.

there are some things taht were harder to adjust to and still make me a bit wistful such as the ergonomics, but getting used to the OM-D EVF was never an issue actually.

images here www.pixelsquish.com
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:08 AM   #25
finbarqs
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http://nofilmschool.com/2012/12/9-ne...3-test-videos/
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