Sunday, December 30, 2012

WiFi export to Mac - works but not really

Today I spent another 3 hours trying to make GH3 to export images to a Mac. At the end it has worked but with some reservations:

  • First of all export works with Windows shares only (SMB/CIFS), no other protocols are supported.
  • Second, a complete NETBIOS implementation is required for GH3 can find the sharing hosts. That means that you need a running Windows computer at any time you want to export images from GH3 to your Mac or to an Airport Extreme-connected hard drive (or Time Capsule). Even if you have had successfully transmitted files before, but turned the Windows machine off and now press "Select a destination from History" on GH3, it tells you "No destination found" - same as if you try to setup a connection from scratch. Another implication is that PC wifi export works only inside of a single LAN. E.g. if, for example, you have 2 LANs connected by a router netbios traffic will not survive at that router boundary and export will not work.
  • On Airport Extreme set up disk sharing security to "With accounts". If you set it to "Disk password" or "Device password" GH3 will crash completely so that you will have to pull the battery to reset it. When security set to "With accounts" GH3 will ask you for the user name and password as required.
  • I also tried the NAS4FREE FreeBSD based NAS server. It does contain NETBIOS implementation - so GH3 shows the list of servers when NAS4FREE is turned on (that's why I'm pretty confident that it should lie on netbios). However, its implementation seem to be incomplete, or possibly GH3 implementation relies on some quite specific Windows features not supported here. Anyway after you select a server GH3 hangs and you have to pull the battery again.

For me, though I made it running, the requirement to have a Windows machine running at all times when I want to export images render PC export option completely useless. I only hope that Panasonic will catch up at some point and make it working also for Mac. They state in the GH3 User Guide that it shall work for Mac, so we have hope.


  1. I too have had issues trying to connect to a Mac. It seems that Panasonic WiFi implementation is by no means "professional". If you look how Nikon and Canon use WiFi you will see what I mean. On Nikon and Canon cameras you can specify all of the IP addresses manually and by running an FTP server on the Mac or PC this works. Panasonic implementation is poor at best and IMHO shows lack of understanding how these devices are used professionally. Hopefully a firmware upgrade will fix this. Also missing is the ability to change the image name prefix which is a must on multiple camera setups. It seems whilst the camera is a great device some professional features are lacking.

    1. Well, actually I'm optimistic that they will solve all the issues at some point in time. GH3 is the first camera they market as "professional". I'm sure both Canon and Nikon had their issues too as they started. And though GH3 is not cheap it still costs less than were introductory prices for last intermediate Canon and Nikon bodies (60D and D7000). I agree, that should have worked from the beginning, but I'm fine to give Panasonic a few time to get things right. Despite it may sound a little bit negative as I report all the issues on this blog, I actually love this camera.

  2. Hey,
    Anyone had any success in making it work?
    I am very interested.