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Author Topic: GH2 video discoveries report  (Read 7219 times)
Pelao
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« on: December 29, 2010, 11:03:53 AM »
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Thanks for the report so far. This is the practical stuff that I find so valuable in making decisions. Of course it's always a matter of priorities and preferences, but I really appreciate knowing how stuff works, rather than just a list of features.

I was especially curious about this point:

"This works, but it's a bit fiddly when trying to work quickly. There is an undocumented method for magnified focusing of manual lenses that we have not seen mentioned anywhere else as yet. Simply press in on the thumb wheel. This magnifies the image, and then a touch of the shutter release returns the screen to normal magnification for composition and shooting."

This is exactly the method I use for my GF1 for lenses that do not AF. It is simple and very effective. In fact it is one reason why I prefer the GF1 to the EP2 for this type of work. Much less fiddly etc.

I am pretty certain that I learned this from the GF1 manual. Odd they would leave it out of the GH2 manual.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 11:14:27 AM by Pelao » Logged
billh
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 06:54:09 PM »
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I’m delighted to learn you are planning a Cinematography for Photographers tutorial.
I just tried video a little over a year ago, and ended up buying an EXIR, which I love (except for its weight). It is an entirely different world, but opens some fascinating doors.
My GH2 does not magnify the image when I touch the left arrow. This did work to magnify the image on my GH1, but neither that or hitting the set/menu button or the left arrow will magnify the image on my GH2. It is one thing I find frustrating. The only way I can do this on the GH2 is to touch the LCD screen where I want the focus point to be. I have tried the left arrow and the Menu/set left arrow with the GH2 in A,S and the movie symbol setting, with the AF on M, AFC and AFS. What settings are you using that make this work for you?
How about some pics of your dog?
Thanks,
Bill
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billh
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 07:22:55 AM »
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OK, I read the instruction book (page 84). Press and hold the Q.Menu button until the little yellow square appears, then press the Menu/Set button, and Presto, It works! Apparently other GH2 cameras work like the GH1? I have firmware 1.0, but still, I wonder if these changes are different in some cameras than in others? I ordered one for my daughter, and when it arrives later this afternoon, I’ll check it to see the the GH1 method works in it.
Bill
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jamh
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 06:14:28 PM »
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I just got my GH2 too, and I'm pleased so far.  I wanted to comment on something you said in your latest GH2 report on the need to quickly engage the 24P mode for shooting video.  I have assigned by C3 to this task, and my C1 and C2 for BW and color photography.  So from a fast action photo session to go to video I switch from C1 or C2 into C3 and then use the red button.
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CJRodgers
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 06:35:38 AM »
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Very excited to hear that your planning to release the cinematography for photographers book, especially using the GH2 for the example work. I am wanting purchase a camera to make videos for bands so i want quite a bit of filmic and arty shots with slow motion etc. I was very excited about the GH2 on release but now i cant find many examples of the gh2 being used to create a really cinematic look like say the 5dmk2 achieves in the countless short films people have made. Is the GH2 the wrong camera for me or could this book show me what i am after? Also has anyone else seen the gh2 being used an a cinematic way. I understand the quality of the shots is outstanding, im only talking about that arty look. I recently seen talk about the nostalgia setting? Does this give a filmic look?

Thanks, Craig
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michael
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 07:37:31 AM »
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The "film look" is created primarily by the use of 24P along with a 189 degree shutter. This means a shutter speed of 1/48 sec. This provides the motion blur that looks like film. 30 FPS and especially 60 FPS less so.

The second price of the puzzle is shallow depth of field. All large sensor cameras offer this. The GH2's sensor is very close to the size of the Acadamy 35mm frame this produces dof similar to the Hollywood movies that we are used to.

The 5DMKII has even shallower dof because of the full frame sensor, which can be difficult to work with in some situations, but it's still highly regarded because of the popularity and ubiquity of Canon cameras.

Michael

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CJRodgers
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 09:31:43 AM »
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Thanks for the reply! So I should be able to achieve a cool artistic feel with this camera and correct lighting etc (once my skills are as good as what the camera can offer).

Is the lack of 'filmic' short films or clips on the internet regarding the gh2 in comparison to the 5dmk2 more likely to be because its so new that it just literally isn't that many people messing about with it and using it in this way yet rather than it not being capable of the cinematographic look. However there are some nice clips shot with the voigtlander 25mm 0.95 lens which look excellent.

I'm definitely set on getting a camera this year, so im just looking at any available examples i can find. I think the cinematography for photographers book is an excellent idea. Im sure it will fill me with all the inspiration i need to go buy the GH2!
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 10:31:50 AM »
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The 5DMKII has been shipping for two years. The GH2 for only a few weeks.

Good luck.

Michael
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jamh
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 01:09:29 PM »
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Re: depth of field of GH2 vs 5DMarkII.  How much shallower could you possibly want?  I'm using a Zeiss T* 50 1.7 lens on the GH2 and with it wide open the depth of field is not even 1/4 inch at 6ft!  And we're not even talking about an 1.4 or faster lens.
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CJRodgers
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 03:14:39 AM »
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Yea with the right lens i have seen that the brokeh is lovely on this. So i have decided im definitely upgrading asap. If i was to go for this which i probably will, can anyone recommend if the 14-140 kit lens is good. I also decided to treat myself to one nice fast lens also. Something along the lines of the voigtlander 25mm 0.95. Is that about as good as i could get for that sort of price or is there anything else i should consider?

thanks
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billh
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 07:41:28 AM »
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Yea with the right lens i have seen that the brokeh is lovely on this. So i have decided im definitely upgrading asap. If i was to go for this which i probably will, can anyone recommend if the 14-140 kit lens is good. I also decided to treat myself to one nice fast lens also. Something along the lines of the voigtlander 25mm 0.95. Is that about as good as i could get for that sort of price or is there anything else i should consider?

thanks

I checked three 14-140s, three 100-300s and one each 20 f1.7, 45-200, and 14-42mm lens, as well as the Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 and several Leica M lenses. I used a variety of subjects, and the same lighting. I tried to find something around the house that would eliminate differences due to focus variability, and something where I could look at 100 percent at small detail to see where one lens had more resolution than another. I have 12 pages of notes, which I have tried to condense below. I did recheck (reshoot) when there was any question, and I also used AF and focused manually.
The 14-140s, all of them, generally had noticeably poorer image quality than the other lenses. The 100-300 lenses were the best, as far as image quality goes. There is some variability between the 14-140 lenses. One is better than the other from 14-100mm, but less good at 140mm. The 14-140s focused quickly and were smooth to zoom. All of the 100-300 lenses had areas where they bind, especially coming from 300mm back to 100mm, making a smooth zoom in video almost impossible.

The difference between the image quality of the 100-300 and 14-140, at least in the three samples I checked, is striking. At 140mm, at f5.0, the 100-300 is better than the best 14-140 at f8.0, its best aperture. The 100-300 image quality does improve a bit as you stop down, but is so good (at least relatively) that I would usually choose the wider aperture to get a higher shutter speed.
no. 3507 100-300, 136mm f4.4 is so much better than the best 14-140 at 140mm (at f8.0 which is the best aperture showing the most detail in the 140mm lenses) that it is just amazing (this was true using two different GH2 bodies). Here are a couple of examples that are representative - the image size of the 100-300 at 136mm is larger than that of the 14-140 at 140mm, despite the fact they were on the same camera body, on the same tripod. (In the Tifs, these differences are a lot easier to see than in small web jpegs):

100-300, 136mm, f4.4
http://gallery.me.com/billh96007/100323/New-GH2%2C3507%2C136mm%2Cf4.4-53_1/web.jpg?ver=12940992730001
14-140, 140mm, f8.0
http://gallery.me.com/billh96007/100323/New-GH2%2C1690%2C140mm%2Cf8.0-051_1/web.jpg?ver=12940992680001
14-42 compared to 14-140: 14-42 at 25mm, f4.6 and 14-140, 25mm at f4.7 look about the same. At f5.0 the 14-42 is clearly better than the 14-140. At f5.6, the 14-42 is a LOT better than the 14-140. and the same at f6.3, but perhaps the difference is not quite as great as the faster apertures. AT f7.1 the difference is so great it is crazy (the 14-42 is FAR better).

25mm Voigtlander, at f1.4 is is pretty close to the 14-42 at f4.6 and the 14-140 at f4.7. At f2.0 the Voigtlander is better than both of the zooms at f4.6 and f4.7. At f2.0 the Voigtlander 25mm lens is better than the 14-140 at f5.0, and maybe just a tad better than the 14-42 at f5.0. At f2.8 it is better than both of them at f5.0. At f2.8 it is equal to the 14-42 at f5.6, and a lot better than the 14-140 at f5.6. At f6.3 the 14-42 may be a touch better. At f6.3 the 14-42 is very close to the Voigtlander at f2.0 and f2.8.

14-140, 41mm at f5.3 - fairly close to the 14-42 at 42mm, f5.6, although you can see the difference (the 14-42 is better, just not glaringly so). Af f5.6 they are also really close - no reason to choose one over the other here. I think at f6.3, the 14-42 is a little better than the 14-140 at f6.3, but not a huge difference. At 41mm, f7.1, the 14-42 is better than the 14-140.

My understanding, from reading various web sites, is the older 14-45 mm lens is better than the 14-42mm lens. The 14-140 is such a handy focal length range, albeit too darn slow, and it focuses quickly and zooms smoothly. I hope someone steps in and offers a better, faster lens in this range with image quality more in line with the 100-300 zoom that works in AFC on the GH2.

Bill
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michael
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 08:10:00 AM »
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Your findings are almost exactly in line with my experience. The 14-140mm isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it is so versatile and convenient that it is my go-to lens for outdoor use and non-demanding situations.

The 100-300mm is a terrific lens, and much better than the 14-140 in their overlapping range.

The f/0.95 Voigtlander is simply remarkable. Unique when used wide open, and matching just about anything else in its focal range, including Leica M glass.

Michael
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CJRodgers
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 05:24:08 AM »
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Excellent, thanks for that reply! From what you have found then would you be confident in using the gh2 with appropriate lens in any situation. Or are the some things it might not handle as well such as low light event or wedding photography? Or once a larger range of fast lenses with af are available would this also be possible.

Thanks again, great insight here.
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michael
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 08:27:50 AM »
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The GH2 is absolutely not a universal camera. It is a terrific compromise camera though.

I can think of any number of cameras that have advantages over it in almost every area, but none that handle just about every aspect of features and IQ in as well rounded a way.

That's why, if I were heading out for a two hour shooting walk (which I am just about to do) it would be (and is) my go-to camera.

Michael
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Peter_DL
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 10:10:53 AM »
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The GH2 is absolutely not a universal camera. It is a terrific compromise camera though.
I can think of any number of cameras that have advantages over it in almost every area, but none that handle just about every aspect of features and IQ in as well rounded a way.

Would the GH2 be a good choice when I'm not interested in Video ?

Actually, I was somehow waiting for Canon (Powershot) to react on the m4/3 challenge,
but since the G12 I think I'm losing patience...

Peter

..
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 10:16:51 AM by DPL » Logged
billh
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 08:28:55 AM »
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Hi CJ,
The GH2 would not be my choice for low light event photography, or for wedding photography, although I think it may be useful as a second camera to record video - assuming you have a fast lens, and not the 14-140, which seems to extend its f5.8 maximum aperture well down into its wider focal length range. I used to use Canons with a 50mm and 85mm f1.2 lenses (I loved that 85 f1.2), but switched when the Nikon D3 became available. I switched (back) to Nikon because for me their AF tracking was far more effective. I really missed the fast Canon primes, but soon discovered the seemingly impossible ISOs really were usable, so the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 became my standard lenses. The D3s has extended this envelope even further. If your low light event photography involves motion requiring faster shutter speeds, good high ISO rendering becomes even more important. Canon and Nikon (and others) have released a variety of new models, so you might look for information about them. Sometimes the only way to be sure is to try a camera and/or lens for a week, and for that this company is good to work with, http://www.lensrentals.com/ . As for wedding photography, and trustworthy equipment reviews, you might consider looking at Sean Reid’s very thorough testing site, http://www.reidreviews.com/reidreviews/ . He does wedding photography, and also publishes extremely thorough reports. There is a very nominal annual fee to access it, but it is well worth the cost of a couple of camera magazines to join and learn from him. The type of testing Sean does is very intensive and time consuming, and I don’t know of any other venue offering the information he publishes. In the past I have photographed a couple of weddings at the request (pleading) of good friends, and when I have to go to a wedding (always on a beautiful summer weekend afternoon), I bring a camera along to stave off boredom. The receptions always seem to be practically dark. I remember using a 200 f2.0 lens at ISO6400 at the last one I attended.

Bill
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billh
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2011, 09:27:22 AM »
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Hi Peter,
For what it’s worth, My sense of the GH2 is Panasonic’s focus was more on video than stills for this camera - but perhaps that is because video was the primary motivator for me to buy it. I really wanted it because it is reasonably capable in both areas, and also small and lightweight. I can share the areas I wish were a bit better - one is AF tracking. I hoped the GH2 would be at least moderately successful with AF tracking, particularly with fast moving subjects. I sent one to a friend in France to use for dog sports, both for video and for some stills I could send to editors here. While it is not great, here are the settings I found that work best (“best” is a very low success rate) for the GH2 and AF tracking. Obviously set the camera on AFC. Do not use the focus release priority. Set the camera on M (3 frames per second). At H, 5fsp, all you see in the viewfinder is the image the camera took, NOT the actual subject, which has by now moved out of the frame. I am not sure this issue can be overcome in these small, mirror-less cameras.  Use the single AF point, and place it where the face of your subject will be most of the time. Experiment with changing the size of the single focus point - if a subject is difficult to follow while keeping the AF square centered on the face, increasing the size can help. Also depress the shutter button half way down to activate the AF before the action starts (to allow the AF to begin working) and keep the shutter release half way down to keep the AF activated while following the subject. If a person is walking, it works fine, but for fast motion I would look elsewhere.
Perhaps because it is winter and seeming dark and overcast most of the time, but also because the maximum aperture of the 14-140 is most f5.8, but I constantly find myself needing higher ISOs than I would like. Image quality seems good up through ISO800, and OK at ISO1600 - and oddly enough, for video I used ISO2500 at my granddaughter’s high school basketball game with the 14-140, and it looks fine to me. I can post the link if you want to see it.
For me the image quality and small maximum aperture of the 14-140 is something I would love to see improved because it covers a perfect focal length range. The image quality from the GH2 with the 100-300 and Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 is really quite good.
I tried a rental Sony a55 before I bought the GH2 (I have a GH1), and the lenses, while faster and better than the 14-140, are a good bit larger (this from someone who has just complained about the slowness and quality of the small Panasonic 14-140).
Don’t give up on video. Sometimes it is far better at telling a story or conveying a point than stills, and still images can be gracefully incorporated into video using the “Ken Burns” effect. I was delighted to learn Michel plans to make a tutorial on the GH2 for video. More and more photographers (like me) are discovering it, and while there is some commonality between video and still photography, quite a bit is different and new to us. I know I spent many hours watching instructional video on the EX1 and FCP, and have really just skimmed the surface of the capabilities both offer. I think Michael’s tutorials, created by a photographer skilled in both areas will be a great hit. It sure looks like this dual capability is the wave of the future.
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Peter_DL
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2011, 02:16:57 PM »
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.... My sense of the GH2 is Panasonic’s focus was more on video than stills for this camera - but perhaps that is because video was the primary motivator for me to buy it. I really wanted it because it is reasonably capable in both areas, and also small and lightweight. ...

For me the image quality and small maximum aperture of the 14-140 is something I would love to see improved because it covers a perfect focal length range. The image quality from the GH2 with the 100-300 and Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 is really quite good. I tried a rental Sony a55 before I bought the GH2 (I have a GH1), and the lenses, while faster and better than the 14-140, are a good bit larger ...

Don’t give up on video. Sometimes it is far better at telling a story or conveying a point than stills, ... More and more photographers (like me) are discovering it, ...

Billh, - many thanks for your detailed respose !
It is food for thoughts (or just trying it).

Best regards, Peter

--
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billh
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2011, 05:35:55 PM »
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Michael,

Are you planning to try this adapter (and report on it), This is the official text from Birger: http://www.birger.com/ “The rumors are true!  Birger is coming out with a lens control system for EF mount lenses on the Panasonic AF100. Control for the iris, both auto and manual, will be from the camera.  Continuous (video-style) auto-focus will be supported on most Canon “L-series” lenses.  Power is provided by the camera for most lenses.  Image stabilization is supported on “IS” lenses, and this feature can be turned on or off from the lens.  Ships 14 February 2011.  MSRP $700 for the adapter.  Optional cinema-style remote control, available at additional cost, to be announced January 2011.  Sign up for the “General News” email list to receive updated announcements.  Photo (on top) is a prototype on an engineering sample of the AF100, and a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 lens.“
(When do you get your AF100?)

Also, I noticed this information, “Panasonic is about to launch the new 12-50mm f2.5-3.3 zoom, a video optimized lens!
http://www.43rumors.com/ft4-panasonic-is-preparing-a-12-50mm-f2-5-3-3-zoom/

Thanks,

Bill
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michael
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2011, 06:44:05 PM »
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Not sure yet. Let's see when it comes out.

Michael
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