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Author Topic: GH2 video discoveries report  (Read 7089 times)
DesertCruiser
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 05:35:18 PM »
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Michael:  Along with a lot of others, I'm sure, making a decision about a camera is daunting. I've looked all over your site and can't find anything written up about the Canon T2i and it's video qualities. That camera interests me because of the large investment in lenses, familiarity with Canon, low light capabilities, and image quality. On the other hand the new GH2 with the 14-140mm lens is very appealing. Probably the best for video if this was your major concern. Mine is only for decent video for articles on our site, not major productions like you produce for tutorials. Have you written anything up on the T2i that I can't find? Have you used the camera? Any opinion would be great.

I do wish that Panasonic had a GH2 with a 14-42mm lens that was optimized for video like the 14-140 is.

Thanks,
Don...
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michael
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 08:37:39 PM »
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Since this is not an equipment review site per-se, I am only able to look at a very small percentage of the models on the market at any one time. Basically, those models that interest me at any given moment.

No, I haven't looked at the T2i, nor any of the current Nikon models either. I find what Panasonic is doing with the Micro Four Thirds format, and Sony (potentially) with the NEX format, the most interesting area at the moment. That's why I'm working with these tools and covering them here.

Michael
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DesertCruiser
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 10:23:49 PM »
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Thanks Michael:  I think Panasonic has been doing a great job with their tools also. I respect your opinion, that's why I asked. I really like the video options available on the GH2 and the image quality that I've seen looks to be good for I would use it for. It is time to upgrade again. Have a good year!

Don....
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CJRodgers
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2011, 03:03:07 AM »
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@BillH

Thanks for the reply! Do you think the 5dmkii would be more suited to doing low light events. Im wanting to shoot stills of low light event photography and stills of bands posing for photo shoots and film for music videos of bands. Also want to do some arty short films as i have a very creative writer to hand.

Eventurally if i get good enough id like to start trying out weddings ( as second shooter to start). Do you think FF would be better for me?

Thanks for your insight!

Craig
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billh
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2011, 06:30:11 PM »
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Hi CJ,

I don’t know much about the 5DII. I tried one for a week to see how it worked for video, and found it almost impossible to use for that purpose. Those who do press it into service for video, do so for the very shallow depth of field they can get from a full frame sensor, but to even make video possible with this camera, an extensive cottage industry has sprung up to supply ancillary bits to make the camera workable. My understanding is, for video, the best DSLR is generally thought to be the GH2. There are some excellent examples to look at, among them is, http://vimeo.com/18155086  (shot with GH2), his blog, http://pampuri.net/ There's a less-compressed 425MB version of the edit that you can download from Emmanuel's Vimeo page.
A couple of others I really like are, http://vimeo.com/14725884 and the one Michael posted, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kD_M50-V6s&feature=player_embedded Also this video with the GH2 and 25mm f0.95, in what appears to be available indoor light, gives us a sense of how good the Gh2 is when used like this, http://vimeo.com/17062701

The son of good friends uses Canons for wedding and magazine photography. I think he uses the 5D series, although he may now also be using the 1Ds series Canons. I’m mostly familiar with Nathan’s magazine photography, some of which you can find on these sites, http://www.nathanweltonphoto.com/outdoor-photographer/
http://www.nathanweltonphoto.com/  (look around the rock climbing, adventure sports, etc.)
But I know he also has an excellent reputation as a wedding photographer, enough so that he also does weddings outside of the USA. Look around at featured weddings and other favorites.
http://www.dreamtimeimages.com/fullscreen/index2quiet.html
http://www.dreamtimeimages.com/blog/

My feeling, for what it is worth, is the best dual purpose (for both video and stills) is currently the GH2. But a proper video camera like the EX1R is  easier to use for video, and a camera like the D3s is a better tool for the stills you have in mind. That is not to say the Canon isn’t, it’s just that I have been using the Nikons  lately, so I am familiar with them.

One possible disadvantage you may have with the GH2 is the perception it is not a “professional” camera. I actually like this because people by and large ignore it, but when you are there in an official capacity, people’s perceptions can be important.

Probably the most important thing you can do is try the kind of photography you like, read, look at your images and those from others and see what you do and do not like, and figure out out to do the things that appeal to you. A lot is done in post processing, more than most people realize. People lighten and color the iris of eyes with Wacom tablets, they remove weight and wrinkles and blemishes with portrait plug ins, selectively blur backgrounds and other areas of the image to focus attention on a specific area...There is so much like this at work with most of the images you see that you really like. You can download the Lightroom tutorial available on this site L-L Guide to Lightroom 3 , and join (for example) http://www.photoshopuser.com. It really is not all about which camera is “best”, but rather a combination of many things. Good luck!

Bill
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NigelC
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2011, 06:41:02 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

Hope this isn't considered a hijack of the thread, but I'm struggling with lens choice having settled on GH2 as just the thing, particularly for travel/hiking, where 5D2 is too intrusive/heavy and LX3 is too limited. Also, don't want another "system" - just to cover most opportunities. In UK, only available with 14-140 or 14-42. Only way to get body only is to jettison the 14-42 on ebay. Older 14-45 doesn't sound much better than 14-42, so, although 40-150 sounds OK, that 2 lens combination not viable. I thought of Oly 9-18 + Panny Leica 45, but then no real tele-option and would like something up to 135/200 (35mm equivalent). So notwithstanding your comments about 14-140 (which has some quite good reviews in SLR gear and DP Review) it looks like only option for  a minimalist set up., probably with a 20mm pancake for low light/low visual impact.
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michael
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2011, 09:12:51 AM »
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Agreed, the 14-140mm together with the 20mm pancake are the ideal minimalist setup with the GH2.

Michael
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NigelC
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2011, 05:13:17 AM »
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Correction, the GH2 is "available" (i.e. not in stock!) at one UK retailer, Camera World, even if not officially. That said, my "minimalist" choice would be 14mm and 20mm pancakes + 45-200. In fact the 100-300 has got me thinking - for travel and wildlife it looks a no-brainer in preference to 5D2 and I could more than pay for it by selling little used 300/4LIS on ebay, maybe with enough over to pay for upgrade from LX3 to LX5. I'm hugely impressed with Panasonic ability to come up with new products that really hit the spot. 
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2011, 12:35:26 PM »
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Park cameras in the UK have the GH2 body only for £700 - I just had mine arrive today.

Jim
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billh
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2011, 08:06:32 AM »
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I made a 9 1/2 minute Blu Ray disk of various clips I shot in different film modes, and watched it on the large Sony TV. These are a few of the clips in the Blu Ray, http://www.vimeo.com/19066379
 
I watched it three times and made notes the last time.

But first, before the notes on the film modes, I have a question. I was amazed at the detail I was seeing in the rocks. I remember being disappointed at previous shots with the EX1R,  This was also true for the video of this area I made when I tried a Canon 5D, http://www.vimeo.com/6186358. I then watched a Blu Ray I shot in the fall with the EX1R, http://www.youtube.com/user/billh96007#p/u/11/ew5DsDOivGc  and there is lots of detail in the people (at 3:28) and Blue Heron (4:25). The rocks are in this EX1R video, http://www.vimeo.com/8769320 at 2:05, and while the I see impressive detail in the GH2 video, the same rocks look almost smeary here in the EX1R video. The birds are great though. What is the difference? Is it something about the larger sensor in the GH2? I would love to understand why the GH2 is so good here, and the Canon 5D and Sony EX1R comparatively so bad in this one area.

Notes on film modes I made while watching the Blu Ray:

Cinema: Darks too dark, no detail. Water highlights good, retained lots of detail. Darker area, (zone 3 - 4 ) flat and dull.

Standard: Like Cinema, Blacks have no detail. Cinema may look a bit better in the dark areas.

Dynamic: Maybe a bit better detail in the blacks? Overall I like Cinema best of these three.

Nature: Blacks crunched here too, but held some detail in the blacks.

Vibrant, no detail in blacks, whites holds detail.

Nostalgic: I hate the yellow. I left it in for the short examples I posted on Vimeo, but removed most of it for the Blu ray clips. On the Blu Ray I can see I could have tweaked it a bit more in the whites, but on the computer monitor, if I removed any more yellow from the mid tones, some of the rocks became an unnatural steel blue. I think this is the most interesting of the modes. I used these clips, http://www.vimeo.com/18937528  as the opening clip in each of the modes in the Blu Ray. My notes say, “best by far in the opening blacks, good detail in middle tones, whites OK. My wife commented on the beautiful colors in the rocks in some of the clips. They did look natural and appealing, and held a lot of detail, but I am not sure they are really representative of what you would see if you were there looking at them. I’ll have to check that.
These notes were written while watching a Blu Ray. I output a ProRes HQ copy and watched it on the computer monitor, and it is pretty much what you see in the Vimeo clips.

My Blu Ray notes say Nostalgic and Smooth are best, probably Nostalgic no. 1 and Smooth no. 2, but get all of the yellow out of the Nostalgic clips. I wonder if I can do this in the WB menu?
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NigelC
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2011, 06:15:36 PM »
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Local dealers didn't have a GH2, so got to handle a GH1 with 14-42 and also tried a 100-300. For me, size, shape and ergonomics are excellent - probably as small as you can go and still be able use without fumbling. But the electronic viewfinder was not as good as expected and maybe not so much better than that in the Olympus 8080 I used to own - is the GH2 an advance on the GH1 EVF? - I hope so. OTOH, the articulated LCD is excellent. Just waiting now for dealer to get in GH2, 14-140 and 20mm to try.

Just an observation on where we have drifted with camera sizes over the last 40 years. Miniature marvel the GH2 - is it any smaller than the Pentax MX of c.30 years ago? My 5D2 is bigger, I think, than the Fs and F1s of past decades and the "uber-cameras", the 1d and D3 are as big or bigger than most MF of that vintage. But that's not really the point - the benefit of M43 is in the lenses - having a 600mm/5.6 you can hold in the palm of your hand is trully mind-boggling!
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tho_mas
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2011, 10:22:14 AM »
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RE What you see is not what you get ...

Shooting 24p the screen downsizes the images a bit... that's okay.
Shooting 1080/50i the screen upsizes a bit. Also not a problem as far as the screen is concerned. But also the actual video files are uprezzed (vertically). In other words: shooting 24p or 1080/50i results in a slightly different scaling of the footage.
The 1080/50i uprezzed files look quite soft therefore... very odd.
Is that a problem with my camera or has some else discovered the same issue?

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