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Panasonic GH3: Stymied with 1 Second Shutter Speed Limit

I’ve done the RTFM (“read the fun manual”?) exercise. I’ve gone through every setting in every menu: I cannot get the new Panasonic Lumix GH3 Mirrorless camera to use a shutter speed longer than 1 second. Not in manual mode and not in A mode with exposure comp. Never have I encountered any camera with such a baffling hard limit on shutter speed. It must be some obscure setting causing this “you lose, ha-ha-ha” mode , but which one? Clearly it’s some kind of limit imposed by the camera, but the specs say up to 60 second exposures.

UPDATE: it’s the “electronic shutter” setting, which is limited to 1 second exposures.

The GH3 also has a destructive behavior: when the camera is turned off, the lens is sent a reset signal— so focus gets whacked to beyond infinity, my careful focus setup is destroyed (mind you this is with the camera set to manual focus). Now this is with an Olympus SHG 35-100mm f/2 zoom. Still, manual focus is manual focus.

Focusing accurately by eye is problematic even at 10X magnification. I can't focus better then ±2 cm at a distance of four feet with a top grade lens; what looks to be in focus ends up slightly blurred. It’s giving me fits trying to make any valid comparison. To be fair, the E-M5 has similar limitations.

Half an hour spent trying to do some basic things and I cannot get it to perform. The camera is very nice in theory, but also very complex to operate, and the manual is written for beginners to explain what does not need explaining: basic operation. The multiple problems I’ve run into are not even alluded to in the manual.

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