New Panasonic GH3 update brings Silent Mode.

We just noticed a new Pana­sonic GH3 firmware update. As you already know this is one of the many cam­eras we have been using lately for still and video pro­duc­tions. Our orig­i­nal field test review, sam­ples images and links to pre­vi­ous lens and body firmware updates can be found here.

There are some inter­est­ing improve­ments on today’s ver­sion 1.2:

• “Low Light AF” is added that makes it pos­si­ble to set focus on the sub­ject in low-lit sit­u­a­tions (-3EV).
• “Silent Mode” is added which sup­presses elec­tronic shut­ter, shut­ter sound, oper­a­tion sound and flash emis­sion with a sin­gle set­ting.
• “Expo­sure Comp. Reset” is added which resets the set­ting of expo­sure com­pen­sa­tion to ±0 when­ever the cam­era is turned off or the shoot­ing mode is changed.
• Per­for­mance of AF is enhanced in use with H-PS14042 and H-PS45175.
• Con­nec­tion prob­lem with Apple Mac com­put­ers via Wi-Fi is fixed.

The steps to update the Pana­sonic GH3 firmware, while not too too dif­fi­cult, are a bit dif­fer­ent from the usual Canon and Nikon procedures.

1. Charge the bat­tery. The firmware update will NOT start if the bat­tery isn’t fully charged.

2. For­mat an SD mem­ory card.

3. Down­load the firmware update for Win­dows or Mac

4. Insert the SD Mem­ory Card

5. Turn on the power switch.

6. Press the Play but­ton to enter the Play mode.

7. After the mes­sage of “PLEASE WAIT …” is dis­played, the fol­low­ing dis­play will con­tin­u­ously be shown on the LCD.
If newer ver­sion or same ver­sion of firmware has already been installed, the ini­tial setup screen will not be dis­played.
If you get a “NO VALID PICTURE TO PLAY” sim­ply turn it off, turn it on, and hit play again. We usu­ally need to do this 3–4 times.

8. Press the Up but­ton to select YES. The update process will start (Fig. 4 and Fig. 5).
The cam­era body will start the update process. The firmware update will take about 2 to 3 min­utes.
Impor­tant: Do not even think about touch­ing the cam­era while the update is in progress.

9. Once the firmware update process is com­pleted, the cam­era body will turn off the power and turn on again then it will be ini­tial mode automatically.

10. Refor­mat the SD card, and go out­side to play.

FYI Just a cou­ple days ago, Ama­zon dropped the GH3 price by $250! The deal is still on accord­ing to this link.


UPDATE 20130716 I talked to a Pana­sonic Sr. Prod­uct Engi­neer  yes­ter­day and he offered a few addi­tional tips about the Firmware installation:

1. Dou­ble check if the FW ver­sion is shown as v1.1 or 1.2. The firmware may already be installed.

2. If you are on a Mac, do NOT drag the .bin to the SD card. Instead copy/paste the .bin to the SD card. Pana­sonic told me that more often than no the file is not rec­og­nized by the cam­era when you drag it in. Odd but worth a try.

3. As men­tioned above, triple check that the bat­tery is fully charged before you start the firmware update process.

4. For­mat the SD card in cam­era, not on the computer.

5. After for­mat­ting the card, take a cou­ple of ran­dom pic­ture before drag­ging the .bin file. That way the cam­era won’t dis­play the “‘no valid pic­ture’ message.