Panasonic GH3 Video with 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

Here's a few video clips from the new Panasonic GH3 camera taken while I was hanging out at the San Francisco Academy of Science. Most of the video clips were shot in high ISO due to low lighting, and everything was shot handheld (no tripods allowed in the building). I also took a few still images that I've posted in an earlier article (seen here).

The Image Stabilization on 12-35mm F/2.8 Lens proved to work very well even with some of the close up shots. Unfortunately, this video will not showcase the true abilities of the Panasonic GH3 camera as sharpness is lost when shooting through the thick plexiglass aquariums.

For the video, the only gear that was used is found below.

Panasonic GH3 Camera
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3K Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic 12-25mm
find-price-button Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8

31 thoughts on “Panasonic GH3 Video with 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Dmitri - I don't have a video to show you, but I can tell you this thing is 'fast'. You won't be disappointed with the GH3 auto focus especially with one of these lenses.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Jimmy - I am not finding the option to switch between PAL / NTSC. I believe they will be different cameras.

  3. Hello, thank you for the effort! very nice!

    Have you tried to mount the GH3 on the wieldy stabilizer or glidecam? what lens do you use in this case... this the crop factor of the camera...


  4. Emm

    Post author

    @filmersblog - Aperture is adjusted in camera, and you can switch the camera to Manual Focus. The lens actually focuses very well with a short throw unlike some other Panasonic lenses that need to rotate forever. It's all electronic similar to Canon EF glass.

  5. Emm

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    @Jerry also - Thanks! Was playing around with various settings, and the last shot was at 1/5th shutter that blurred all the motion. I later sped up to 800%.

  6. Emm

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    @Scott - I think there are some very scientific ISO noise tests out on the web. I would compare with those to see if your results are similar.

  7. Scott

    @emm - These look great, thanks for posting. I'm surprised at how little noise this footage has given the low light conditions. What ISO where you shooting at again? I just picked up this same GH3/12-35mm combo last week and I seem to be getting more noise than this in my low light tests, though, no more than I'm used to with APS-C Canons. I can always boost NR in the settings or remove in post, but just curious what your experience has been with noise so far. It's really apparent at 3200 (obviously) but even noticeable at 200. Hoping I don't have a bad sensor.

  8. Jerry also

    Lovely video Emm and I thought your final (wide) shot was brilliant -- the casual movings-about of the silhouetted people contrasting with those of the fish.

  9. Footage looks great and considering this is thru glass, it's even better.

    You say this is a nice lens for run 'n gun- does it do manual focus and manual iris? I'm about to start on a documentary style project where I'll be following someone around working, often visiting people in their homes. I'm very weary of focus hunting...
    If this is not the lens for the job, do you have any other suggestions?

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Martin - There were some color corrections in FCPX for this video clip, but no grading or plugins, or denoiser products. Just shifting of the white balance.

  11. Martin

    Yep ...I was teasing about the CheesyCam GH3 giveaway. I wish you had an inside-connection at Panasonic too, ha, ha.

    Did you perform any color grading in post production? If not, then WOW!!!

    I've been using a GH2 that I purchased back in March 2012. Couldn't handle the pressure ...had to upload the modified firmware settings provided by Works fantastic. You are correct the view finder is lacking on the GH2. I was thinking about one of Zacuto's view finders, but they're so expensive. I could just about purchase a GH3 for the cost of the Zacuto Z-finder EVF PRO. In a few more months the GH3 will be cheaper than Zacuto's EVF ...crazy.

    I'm just wondering if Panasonic will have any firmware updates of their own for the GH3, in the near future. It already looks pretty dang good.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @friscokid - The 5D Mark III still produces better shallow depth of field, and is a killer in low light. Still, the GH3 is amazing camera with many little details the 5D Mark III does not have, and there are solutions to bringing light to a scene. Portable LED setups are getting smaller and less expensive. Keep in mind I was also shooting at F/2.8 and there are many more stops to be had with an F/1.2 lens for very very low lit situations.

  13. friscokid

    Thanks for posting this, Emm! I was just at the Academy of Sciences the other day haha.

    I'm about to crossover from the traditional video camera world to the DSLR/DSLM/large sensor world. It's really helpful to see run and gun situations like these with no additional lighting. I typically shoot a mix of that type of run and gun b-roll mixed with lit interviews and have been considering the GH3 with all it's proper video features. I've been thinking about the GH3 or 5D3. I know they are very diff cams. While I like all the legit video features of the GH3, low light is a real concern. I imagine the 5D3 kills the GH3 in low light but haven't actually seen any side by side comparisons. Then again, low light performance from the GH3 is still prob miles ahead from any traditional video cam anyway that maybe we're splitting hairs? Any thoughts on GH3 v. 5D3 and low light and/or these cams in general for low light for someone coming from a traditional 3 chip small sensor vid cam?

    Thanks for all your work on this!

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Martin - I have no ties with Panasonic, so I don't think they'll give me anything for a giveaway. I wish!

    The tests were completely accidental. I just happened to have been carrying it with me in the car when I was taking my daughter out to the Academy of Science. Many other tests showcase the GH3 with external lighting, scripts, and a film crew. This test is real world examples of just me and the camera, the type of footage others could expect without any fancy rigs, tripods, lights, or a film crew. The conditions were not ideal, but the camera performed excellent. I'll upload a sample video I shot when I entered the rainforest exhibit and my lens was all jacked up!

  15. Martin

    Very nice! ...for handheld you did an excellent job with that OIS lens. If you hadn't said "handheld", then I would not have guessed.

    The high ISO didn't bother me at all ...quality was fine. I thought the GH3 performed very well in that particular setting. I'd bet the aquariums had full-spectrum lighting. How much color grading did you do in post-production?

    The focus issue through the aquarium glass and water ...not that big of a deal ...thought it looked good too. I'd imagine it would occur with pretty much all lenses/cameras ..especially if shooting in auto-focus mode. I believe I read where the GH3 uses contrast detection for auto-focus, so low light can make auto-focus tough as well.

    I don't know if you intentionally or accidentally meant to shoot in those conditions, but that was actually a "really good" test for the GH3 and lens. I enjoyed viewing and learned a lot from that bit of footage. Thanks for the hard work ...and nice job with the GH3 demo! I hope you keep shooting and posting more of your GH3 footage.

    Hey!? ...when's the CheesyCam GH3 giveaway prize going to occur?

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @vaitor - Actually I did some Time Lapse, but didn't include it in this clip. The end video I was experimenting with slow shutter speeds to capture some blurring. I shot at 1/5th shutter speed and then sped up 800%.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @svem - The F/2.8 is not the greatest for low light situations, but this one lens gives you a decent wide to zoom provides image stabilization. This means less equipment you need to carry around just to stabilize or to swap focal lengths. It really depends on the type of work you do, but for run & gun coverage I find the 12-35mm F/2.8 a great tool.

  18. Ron Baselice

    I'm sold, was this auto or manual focus....Thanks for posting this, answers a lot of questions.....

  19. MovieBuff

    That's beautiful! Did you do anything in post? What ISOs did you use? Please upload more videos.

    I'm still torn between this and the Sony a99.

  20. svem

    How do you find f2.8 on the GH3 sensor in low light? Is it adequate? How much do you have to raise the ISO to get good exposure and how does the GH3 handle high ISO noise?

    I can't decide between GH3 and Sony A99. One thing I am hung up on is the f2.8 of the 12-35mm and 35-100mm Panasonic lenses. Worried it won't be enough for quality low light shooting without having to really raise the ISO and getting a lot of ugly noise in the picture.

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