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Old July 18th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #1
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GH1 & 5DMk2 - Two Different Markets

I hear a lot of people griping about the limitations of the GH1 and comparing it unfavorably to the Canon 5DMk2.

I think one of the problems is that the GH1 and the 5DMk2 are built for two entirely different markets.

The 5DMk2, arguably, gives a better, cleaner picture, and does so with more control over DOF. With the Magic Lantern firmware, it also has good, clean audio control. And it records at 1080p (nevermind the 30 vs. 24 argument right now.)

But it costs $4000, and has a 12 minute filming limit.

The GH1, however, gives a picture with twice the DOF. Way better than most consumer and prosumer cams, but when you compare the two - no contest.

But it can film up to 90 minutes - 180 minutes if you go with a 32GB SDHC card.

To me, the choice is obvious.

The 5DMk2 is a better choice for narrative and commercial work, where you have time to set up your shots, where you have full control over the situation. This is a cam for movies, as professional movie stock reels only come at about 10 minutes at a time.

The GH1, on the other hand, allows for 90 minutes of recording at a time - which is good for documentary filming and event/wedding filming, when you don't want to constantly interrupt the event happening in order to kill the scene.

Plus, it's much lower price point of $1500 means you can buy two GH1 cameras for the price of 1 5DMk2.

I think that we should treat the two cameras the way that you would treat 35mm film and 16mm film - 16mm film can create an "acceptable" image, but it's mostly relegated to indie movies and documentaries. 35mm is the format for "Hollywood."

Would I like a 5DMk2? Yes - in a perfect world, I'd get both, but in a perfect world, the 5DMk2 wouldn't have a 12 minute filming limit and would cost $3.99 +tax.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
The 5DMk2 is a better choice for narrative and commercial work, where you have time to set up your shots, where you have full control over the situation. This is a cam for movies, as professional movie stock reels only come at about 10 minutes at a time.

The GH1, on the other hand, allows for 90 minutes of recording at a time - which is good for documentary filming and event/wedding filming, when you don't want to constantly interrupt the event happening in order to kill the scene.
Interesting points Brian. I'm going to disagree.

While I really enjoy the Canon 5Dmk2, for me (and many other professionals) the lack of 24p in the Canon makes it inclusion for narrative or commercial work extremely limiting. Also, a simple search on Google reveals what I expected- the 5Dmk2 is EXTREMELY popular for weddings, google Canon 5D II Wedding, you'll see... endless list of Photographers sites like this Blog Archive Canon EOS 5d mark II Wedding

On the other hand, the GH1 has 23.98p and it has already been used for a feature film and I know of 2x others in production now using the Lumix GH1 camera either in whole (A camera) or part (B camera). The camera also can use real cinema optics, which makes working with the camera a breeze for professional DPs and AC.

The ability to shoot longer than 10-minutes without a reload is a bonus for the GH1 and makes the camera more flexible, it does not define it or relegate the GH1 to event/photography. OTOH the frame rate of the Canon, regardless of recording time is not an issue for Wedding Videographers/photographers. The camera serves as a flexible multi-use tool for their kit. It makes perfect sense. Canon Wedding shooters who have not yet purchased a 5Dmk2, likely will. As they now have the ability to share their Canon auto-lenses already in their kit, it makes the 5Dmk2 a natural upgrade choice.

My prediction is, at this time next year, there will be many, many, more narrative and commercial projects utilizing a Lumix GH1, or other 4/3-sized sensor for production, and there will be countless Weddings shot with the 5Dmk2.

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Old July 18th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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Illya:

What about the GHI blocking and codec issues ?
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Old July 18th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Illya Friedman View Post

My prediction is, at this time next year, there will be many, many, more narrative and commercial projects utilizing a Lumix GH1, or other 4/3-sized sensor for production, and there will be countless Weddings shot with the 5Dmk2.
Actually I think this time next year there will be nearly 10 more brand new VDSLR options from Nikon, Canon, Red, etc. out there that both the GH1 and 5D will be quickly passed over for newer better technology at their respective price points. With the mistakes and missed opportunities of this first round of products it would be unbelievable for these companies not to make the right adjustments and produce the product that everyone is asking for. The 5D has enjoyed a pretty long run but I think the GH1 will barely be able to get its feet on the ground before new products sweep in and become the new best thing. It maybe even as early as August 4th and Nikon's rumored D300s announcement.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Illya:

What about the GHI blocking and codec issues ?
What about it (this is one in the same complaint)?

It would be great to have a better codec, but so far this is a non-issue in experienced hands. There's been some amateur shooters, especially early on, posting continuous whip pans and extended tight shots of side scrolling foliage, but this is hardly what is considered the norm for production.

There's some really good/really clean material being posted lately on Vimeo, I recommend taking a look.

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Old July 19th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nathan Troutman View Post
Actually I think this time next year there will be nearly 10 more brand new VDSLR options from Nikon, Canon, Red, etc. out there that both the GH1 and 5D will be quickly passed over for newer better technology at their respective price points.
If that were true it would be good for everyone. However, I don't think it will happen that fast (I have no inside information, so I could be wrong).

I think that every DSLR manufacturer is going to be releasing an HDSLR in he next 12-14 months, but I haven't seen any signs that the 1st gen from all the "new" HDSLR manufacturers will be better than the GH1/5Dmk2, and following usual product timelines, I think it's unlikely we'll have true Canon/Panasonic 2nd gens before this time next year. I think it's possible there would be a revisions, but no true 2nd gens. So no big jumps in quality.

Regardless, I'm more and more impressed by the GH1 everyday. There's nothing that can touch the quality of this little camera (it is the smallest/lightest HDSLR) at this price. I just purchased my 2nd GH1.

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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
I hear a lot of people griping about the limitations of the GH1 and comparing it unfavorably to the Canon 5DMk2.

I think one of the problems is that the GH1 and the 5DMk2 are built for two entirely different markets.

The 5DMk2, arguably, gives a better, cleaner picture, and does so with more control over DOF. With the Magic Lantern firmware, it also has good, clean audio control. And it records at 1080p (nevermind the 30 vs. 24 argument right now.)

But it costs $4000, and has a 12 minute filming limit.

The GH1, however, gives a picture with twice the DOF. Way better than most consumer and prosumer cams, but when you compare the two - no contest.

But it can film up to 90 minutes - 180 minutes if you go with a 32GB SDHC card.

To me, the choice is obvious.

The 5DMk2 is a better choice for narrative and commercial work, where you have time to set up your shots, where you have full control over the situation. This is a cam for movies, as professional movie stock reels only come at about 10 minutes at a time.

The GH1, on the other hand, allows for 90 minutes of recording at a time - which is good for documentary filming and event/wedding filming, when you don't want to constantly interrupt the event happening in order to kill the scene.

Plus, it's much lower price point of $1500 means you can buy two GH1 cameras for the price of 1 5DMk2.

I think that we should treat the two cameras the way that you would treat 35mm film and 16mm film - 16mm film can create an "acceptable" image, but it's mostly relegated to indie movies and documentaries. 35mm is the format for "Hollywood."

Would I like a 5DMk2? Yes - in a perfect world, I'd get both, but in a perfect world, the 5DMk2 wouldn't have a 12 minute filming limit and would cost $3.99 +tax.
The 5DMKII kit can currently be had for $2579 - includes basic tripod, cheap lenses, ally case, card reader, etc, etc, etc.
CANON EOS 5D MARK II &28-80 3 LENS 4GB HUGE KIT NEW USA - eBay (item 390063479877 end time Jul-31-09 14:24:19 PDT)

A GH1 kit can be had for $2100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 12.1 Megapixel lens kit Japan - eBay (item 180384706797 end time Jul-25-09 00:49:35 PDT)

So, the GH1 is a only little cheaper. I would suggest that once you price in the extra lighting you will need for the GH1, then the GH1 will probably work out to be more expensive.

The 5DMKII is also usually compared to the RED one, but I have not yet seen a GH1 vs RedOne comparison.

For some people, price was more important than image quality, and they may be satisfied with sticking with their mobile phones.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #8
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Caveat Empor

[QUOTE=Peter Burke;1173815]The 5DMKII kit can currently be had for $2579 - includes basic tripod, cheap lenses, ally case, card reader, etc, etc, etc.
CANON EOS 5D MARK II &28-80 3 LENS 4GB HUGE KIT NEW USA - eBay (item 390063479877 end time Jul-31-09 14:24:19 PDT)

A GH1 kit can be had for $2100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 12.1 Megapixel lens kit Japan - eBay (item 180384706797 end time Jul-25-09 00:49:35 PDT)

Unfortunately, the ebay link above is for an auction from Jersey Photo, a well-known bait and switch operation/grey market operation. Just google Jersey Photo and fumfie.com, or if you prefer, order the 5dMKII kit from them and find out for yourself. These kind of operations prey on people's hopes of finding a killer deal---ends up being a killer headache instead.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #9
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Agreed. Stick with B&H
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #10
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bait-switch ? Thanks for the heads up.

The 5D2 body is however widely available for $2500. Then use your existing Canon or Nikon (+adapter) lenses. Cheap Cheap.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 05:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Illya:

What about the GHI blocking and codec issues ?
What about the Vertical banding and streaks can be found at all ISOs on the GH1?
Read this entire thread:
Low Light Streaks - Is my camera faulty? - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking
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Old July 20th, 2009, 05:41 AM   #12
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So, the GH1 is a only little cheaper. I would suggest that once you price in the extra lighting you will need for the GH1, then the GH1 will probably work out to be more expensive.
You're delusional, Peter. The lenses in that Ebay listing are a joke. Getting the proper glass for the Canon and you're talking 4-5K easily.

It's ok to spin things your way. But give an accurate (and fair) assessment next time and folks might just pay attention.

For many of us, we don't need a Bentley when a Lexus will do just fine.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 11:20 PM   #13
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You're delusional, Peter. The lenses in that Ebay listing are a joke. Getting the proper glass for the Canon and you're talking 4-5K easily.

It's ok to spin things your way. But give an accurate (and fair) assessment next time and folks might just pay attention.

For many of us, we don't need a Bentley when a Lexus will do just fine.
This is not my opinion, but the gist from many GH1 owners on this thread
Low Light Streaks - Is my camera faulty? - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking

It would appear that vertical streaking on all ISOs and other artifacts are causing a lot of angst amongst some GH1 owners and there seems to be a prevailing feeling that they have been deceived. There is even talk on this thread from GH1 owners of class action against Panasonic for knowingly selling a defective product. According to one poster, prior to release, Panasonic pledged to fix these vertical streaks, but didn't.

It is only fair to other potential GH1 users to alert them of this issue.

I cannot think of a clever car analogy right now, but perhaps the GH1 is a Lexus with crook suspension ?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 11:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Burke View Post
This is not my opinion, but the gist from many GH1 owners on this thread
Low Light Streaks - Is my camera faulty? - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking

It would appear that vertical streaking on all ISOs and other artifacts are causing a lot of angst amongst some GH1 owners and there seems to be a prevailing feeling that they have been deceived. There is even talk on this thread from GH1 owners of class action against Panasonic for knowingly selling a defective product. According to one poster, prior to release, Panasonic pledged to fix these vertical streaks, but didn't.

It is only fair to other potential GH1 users to alert them of this issue.

I cannot think of a clever car analogy right now, but perhaps the GH1 is a Lexus with crook suspension ?
Weirdly, they say that the vertical streaks go away after a few hours of shooting. I don't know why that is...

There's also this quote:

Quote:
Have new information about the banding issue.

On my two Japanese cameras, one on factory settings, one I'd used on a shoot, they had radically different noise issues. I tested this by leaving ISO on Auto and putting the shutter speed ridiculously high in a day light lit room.

In shadow areas of the room, the GH1 I'd had with me since May had awful red banding and streaks of noise.

The factory settings GH1 was much better, displaying very little visible noise and the noise wasn't bright red.

At first I thought maybe the sensors were different, one being better than the other.

But after comparing the camera settings I found iContrast was enabled 'full' on one, whilst it was off on the other.

Enabling iContrast resulted in the same noisy streaking on the other camera.

It seems to boost the sensor ISO output in dark areas of the image in an attempt to bring out more dynamic range and detail in the shadows, but of course this also results in the noise and banding issues we have seen here.

So... if you are still concerned about banding, turn off Intelligent Contrast, at least in movie mode when shooting at high ISOs.
He may have been talking about "I.Exposure" (Intelligent Exposure) as I.Contrast is not available on the GH1 as an option. I think it's just nomenclature confusion.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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That is problematic.

But CMOS is a bitch, no matter what camera you're using.
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