PANASONIC! WHY MUST YOU BE SO AWESOME (or GH3 and 35-100mm f/2.8)

Panasonic GH3 with Vario G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens
Panasonic GH3 with Vario G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens

When the GH3 was delayed, I was wondering if Panasonic was going to work on something that would be higher specified than the GH2. Well, it looks like they did, and the new camera? It’s something I would want. Everything about it, from the new weather-resistant magnesium alloy body, to the layout of dials and buttons, the implications of the user interface (FIVE custom function buttons, three dials) and all the little pro features are making it look really good on paper. Oh, and for video people? 1080p at 60 FPS with up to 72 Mbps bitrate. That is just amazing. The GH1 had a so-so LCD but decent EVF, and this time, the new OLED screen and new OLED EVF look set to be winners. If the 16 megapixel sensor and AF speeds live up to their respective claims, well, this is going to be one hell of a camera. Even with the US pre-order price of US$1300. Even at S$1650, it’s still cheaper than the top end APS-C DSLRs. Then there’s that new lens…

The new 35-100mm f/2.8 lens is another amazing thing. It’s 10 cm long, and 360g in weight. Given it’s supposed to replicated a 70-200mm f/2.8, which normally weights 1.5kg, it’s quite a feat. No word on price, but given the surprisingly lower-than-expected price of the 12-35mm f/2.8, it should cost less than S$2000. One of the rare Micro Four Thirds lens that is not terribly overpriced.

Panasonic also pulled the “pre-announcement” rubbish. I’m not a fan of those things, simply because they look like a desperate grab for attention. Announce it when things are ready, people. (Note: That also means once announced, stick to your announced shipping times) The 42.5/1.2 and 150/2.8 are slated to be out in 2013 or 2014. More likely to be 2014, if you ask me.

(Image Credit: Panasonic Press Image)

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