Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Info About The GH3 and Micro 4/3 In General

A few interviews with reps for both Oly and Panny have hit the webs and they provide some interesting, if not quite juicy, details.

First, Olympus is retarded. They denied any work on m4/3 versions of their Zuiko glass. Instead, they made some wan gesture toward a converter. I don't think that I can put to words how stupid this is. With Sony, the converter made perfect sense. Their Alpha lenses are a vibrant system, made only more vibrant with the exciting release of their SLT pro-level cameras. 4/3 does not have this advantage/limitation. 4/3 is dead. Drop the dead donkey.

But back to the good stuff, Panasonic. An interview over at EOSHD has given us some very cool bits of data. First, the sensor's readout time on the new GH3 is 100ms. I assume that means that it takes 1/10th of a second from the point the first pixel is read to the last pixel. This seems very slow to me. I don't know what other digital cinema cameras have, but considering what I've seen in rolling shutter tests from the likes of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Sony NEX 7, this read-out time is among the best.

Interestingly, the reason for the low bitrate recording on the GH2 was to keep internal temperatures within Japanese regulations. I suspect that there is some truth to this, but I also suspect that the bigger reason was that Panasonic didn't want to step on the AF100's toes, which was stupid. There is a brief mention in the interview of the AF100, where the rep claims that it was once popular, but now isn't. No. It was never popular. There's a big difference.

That point about temperature, though, is interesting. Temperature in chips has been a point of focus in the computer world for years. People all around the photography community were suddenly introduced to the problem when cameras like the EOD 5D Mark II started overheating like crazy during extended shoots. As pointed out in the interview, one of the reasons is that to get the sensor to read out at an acceptable speed requires powah, and that means heat. This gives me hope that future hacks of the GH3, when combined with  suitable heat sinks, could effectively be overclocked to increase the sensor readout. It's too bad that we are at least a generation away from a global shutter, though, specifically because of these issues.

The only video point that is very disappointing is the 4-2-0 HDMI out. Yes, it's uncompressed, but 4-2-2 is important for pixel-peeping. It's noticeable. Not terribly so, mind you, but enough to be a niggle. It's gonna' make one bad-ass webcam, though.

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