The Panasonic Lumix GH series is known for its great video recording capabilities, the GH2 in particular being a fan favorite, especially when you start doing things with it more than what Panasonic intended. And with the mirrorless Lumix GH3 Panasonic have gone for a no holds barred approach in order to appeal to the film enthusiast community.
The Lumix GH3 advances the GH lineup in a very meaningful way thanks to the high-end specs, along with some additional features, so let’s have a looks at them.
Starting with the build, we see that the magnesium alloy body doesn’t have any gaps, keeping it safe from dust and water splashes. . Even the external flash port is screwed tightly with a plastic cap. There are rubber flaps for the HDMI, A/V & Data, and 3.5mm headphones and mic ports on the left, while the right houses the SD card slot and the remote plug
You’ll notice the two dials on the top; the one on the left is for frame selection (single, multiple, timer, etc.) while the one on the right is for mode selection. Here we get the regular P/A/S/M, intelligent auto, scene selection, creative effects, movie and three custom settings mode. Speaking of custom, there are 5 customizable buttons on the body of the GH3, each one conveniently located with pre-defined settings already.
I like that the white balance, exposure compensation and ISO buttons are next to the shutter release button, while the two control dials are placed for easy accessibility via the right thumb. And you don’t have to go to the Movie mode in the wheel select menu, you can just hit the big record button near the viewfinder.
The electronic viewfinder itself has 1.7 million dots and is presented in a 16:9 ratio, hinting at the video focused nature of the Lumix GH3. It’s sad that despite looking so good the edges of the EVF is blurred out that no amount of tweaking can fix. The 3-inch fully rotatable screen comprises of 614k dots, although the lower than average resolution is compensated by the brilliant OLED touchscreen which presents excellent black levels and high contrast colors.
Getting into the nitty gritty, Panasonic presents us with an updated 16MP Live MOS sensor for the Lumix GH3 with their latest multi-core Venus processor. This thing is now capable of recording videos at an incredible 72Mbps bitrate at 1080p at 24fps! Of course, there are other formats and variations between resolutions (720p & 480p), frame rates (25fps, 30fps, 50fps & 60fps) and bitrates (50Mbps, 10Mbps & 4Mbps) as well as recording formats (MOV, MP4, AVCHD). Timecoding is also available in MOV and AVCHD formats in free-run and recording modes, with drop frame available for NTSC versions.
Lastly there’s a built-in WiFi adapter that allows you to connect to PCs over a wireless connection to transfer pictures, furthermore an Android and iOS app allows you to use your smartphone with Live View, capable of taking pictures remotely.
Picture & Video Quality
When it comes to picture quality, there’s very little to complaint about the Lumix GH3, with high-speed continuous shooting available at 4fps using Live View, or 6fps through the EVF. The 23-point autofocus system is very quick, as you’d expect from mirrorless cameras, while ISO capabilities at 25,600 aren’t bad either. The smaller micro 3/4th sensor size does mean that images come out grainy in very low light though, even in videos.
Note: The above pictures were resized to 1920×1080 and nothing else was touched.
The videos themselves, as must be obvious by now, are exceptional in quality. The little bit of noise that creeps into low light videos is offset simply by the amount of detail captured in the videos. In daylight you can literally take any frame in a video and it will be perfectly viable as a still image. And the amount of extra features included means that the GH3 is as serious a camera for professional videos as is the Canon 5D Mark III, which is priced almost twice as much.
Of course, the Panasonic Lumix GH3 has a large body, but nothing compared to other high-end DSLRs, and the simple fact that it’s Micro Four Thirds also means that not only are the compact lens selection great, but not matter where you shoot, the package will always remain small.
And that really is the beauty of the Panasonic Lumix GH3, as it has taken proper advantage of its Micro Four Thirds body, you get a brilliantly fast camera capable of recording great JPEG images with rich contrast, and more impressive yet are the features available for videos and the detail with which it captures data. With the Lumix GH3 Panasonic have firmly placed themselves in the professional video DSLR market, where this mirrorless camera easily takes on industry behemoths.
A day before the launch of the iPhone 5, Etislalat, the largest telco in the region is releasing the Samsung Galaxy S3 in an LTE flavor. Priced at AED 2,400, the 4G capable Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE will be able to download data at speeds of 100Mbps. Priced at AED 2,400, consumers signing up with a pre-paid plan will receive 1GB free data for their first month while post-paid consumers can get a bundle of 4GB data, 800 local / 200 international minutes and 200 SMS for AED 249 per month.
Etisalat welcomes the UAE to a new era of 4G LTE mobile experience as Etisalat announces the exclusive availability of ‘Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE’ on the country’s widest, high speed Etisalat 4G LTE network.
Etisalat’s customers can enjoy 4G LTE super speeds of up to 100Mbps on this new Samsung smartphone that is priced at AED 2,499. Offering AED2400 of the device value back as free talk time, data and SMS over 12 months, Etisalat gives customers attractive options of contract-free pre-paid and post-paid bundled packages, starting 12 December 2012.
Pre-paid customers will receive 1GB data free for the first month and AED99 monthly rental from second month onwards. Post-paid customers can get a bundle of 4GB data, 800 local minutes or 200 international minutes of voice calls and 200 SMS (worth AED449) for only AED249 per month. Over a period of twelve months, customers get the device value of AED2400 back as talk time, data and SMS included in the bundle. Customers enjoy the flexibility to switch their preference between receiving free local or international talk time, bundled with their Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE plan.
The new Samsung smartphone will have speeds of up to 100 Mbps which will allow customers to enjoy high speed apps such as video-streaming, online gaming and many other facilities on the nation’s first and widest 4G LTE network. Etisalat’s 4G LTE network has the capability to support speeds of up to 150Mbps and has recently conducted the world’s first 300Mbps speed test on its LTE network.
Chief Marketing Officer at Etisalat, Khaled ElKhouly is excited about the far reaching potential of the new smartphone device. He said, “Etisalat was the first in the region to launch its widest 4G LTE network across the UAE in September 2011. While our customers have thoroughly enjoyed LTE super speeds through data devices available in the market, there has been a great demand for LTE-enabled voice devices. We are excited to be first in the region once again to introduce the Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE smartphone, allowing our customers to explore the unlimited possibilities of 4G LTE 100Mbps speeds, that too at an amazing price-back advantage of AED2400.”
The 4G LTE network provides coverage to 80% of the UAE’s populated areas and allows full mobility and smooth transition between LTE and HSPA+. Customers outside 4G network areas will automatically connect to Etisalat’s 3G network ensuring their access to reliable and high speed internet wherever they go. Etisalat’s 3G network has the widest coverage in the country covering 99% of the populated area and is the most reliable high-speed data network in the country.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE was created to compliment the lifestyle of the social media savvy individual. Featured as the intelligent phone for humans, it includes various innovative smart features such as Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart alert, Social tag and S voice which promise to enhance the customer user experience. The operating system of choice here is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is beautifully accompanied by Samsung’s user friendly TouchWiz interface. The phone is equipped with an 8 megapixel digital camera, a 4.8 inch screen and offers 16,384 MB of internal storage. In addition to this the S3 is also equipped with Additional Display Support, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor and scratch resistant glass surface.
Customers can subscribe to the new Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE plans and receive their devices from any of Etisalat’s Business Centers and Outlets across the UAE. For more information on price plans for Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, customers can visit www.etisalat.ae.
Etisalat is holding a midnight launch event on the 12th of December to celebrate the arrival of iPhone 5 in the UAE with thirteen of it’s locations staying open past midnight to get the iPhone 5 into fan’s hands. In the Abu Dhabi region, the Main Business Centre and the Al Ain Business Centre, as well as the Deira and Al Wasel Business Centres in Dubai will open for the midnight sale. In the Northern Emirates, the Musharif Business Centre in Ajman, and the Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Business Centres will open for this event. The iPhone 5 will also be available for purchase at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at the Dubai Airport, the Al Samha petrol station in Abu Dhabi, the Al Manakh and Al Nouf Business Centres in Sharjah and the Sharjah Airport, all of which are operational 24 hrs.
As disclosed earlier, the upfront price for iPhone 5 is AED 2749 for 16GB, AED 3149 for 32GB and AED 3549 for 64GB devices. However, Pre-paid plans offer customers 1GB data allowance for free the first 3 months. From the fourth month onward, the 1GB data will be available for as low as AED99. Etisalat’s iPhone 5 bundled post-paid plan also provides customers great value with three attractive options that includes a contract-free package with 8GB data allowance; 800 local minutes or 200 international minutes of voice calls; and 200 SMS for a monthly rental of AED225. The package offers customers double the data for half the rental as compared to post-paid packages on a 12-month contract basis.
Post-paid packages and data plans on contract basis offer customers FREE or discounted iPhone 5 devices along with applicable data allowance, local or international talk-time and national SMS. However, these plans have yet to be disclosed by Etisalat. For more information on packages and rentals for business plans, customers can visit www.etisalat.ae/iphone.
RIM has released v7.0 of it’s highly popular Instant Messaging service for BlackBerry devices on BlackBerry App World. The biggest feature of the new version is voice chatting- you will now be able to voice chat with your BBM contacts as long as they are also running v7.0 of BBM and both of you are connected to Wi-Fi. This will certainly help BlackBerry users that have generally not been able to use popular VoIP services like Skype or Viber.
Other new features of BBM7 include:
- Multi-tasking with Split-screen feature – Customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call. They can start a call in an instant, and switch between texting and talking, or text and talk at the same time. They can also for example, send a picture to a contact while they are talking with them.
- Clear Visual Indicator – Customers can see when contacts are available for a voice call.
- Convenient Compatibility with Accessories – Customers can use their favorite accessories, such as a Bluetooth or wired headset, or use the BlackBerry smartphone’s speakerphone.
- 16 New Emoticons – Available in the final software released today, customers will see a slate of new emoticons offer them fresh, fun ways to express themselves in text chats.
- Direct BBM Update Notification – BBM will now notify a customer when there is an update from within the app, and allow them to download it immediately from inside the app.
- Simple BlackBerry ID Synchronization – A customer’s BBM profile, Groups and Contacts are now linked to their BBID for easy backup and restore. The data will also carry over when they move to BlackBerry 10.
BBM 7.0 should be available soon in the UAE BlackBerry App World as it is going through final stages of verification.