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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Hello,

I'm considering purchasing either a GH1 or GH2 in the upcoming weeks. I have no experience with DSLR video and am looking to get my "feet wet" and wasn't sure which camera would suit my needs best as a beginner. Is the GH2 worth waiting for and spending the extra money? Or should I just grab a used GH1? I have a couple of Nikon lenses but no other photo equipment. I currently shoot with a Canon XH-A1 HDV cam and edit on Sony Vegas.

Thanks,

Jerry
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Old March 29th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

GH1 is available for $400 and is a great value, but the GH2 is definitely worth having. You can run a high gain as needed in low light situations with the GH2 and still get good looking footage. That is not true with the GH1.

I have both, and while my experience is limited with them, the GH2 is worth every penny, IMO. Avoid the GH2 kit with the 14-42mm lens, get the 14-45mm version and you'll be fine.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

I forgot to mention... I have a Nikon 24-85mm lens f 2.8. Can I use this lens for shooting video with the GH2. I know that I'll need to purchase an adapter but I'm curious if this lens would be well-suited for video work. If not, is there a "must-have" lens for the gh2 that is ideal for weddings and run and gun shooting?

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Jerry
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Your Nikon lens would work well, but it might be a little long at times for general purposes. A wider zoom would be nice also. I would consider a wider zoom to be of more use, as the 2x crop factor of your lens will translate to 54mm-170mm, I believe. I don't know, it might work just right, you'll want to try the lens out and see.

2.8 is nice and fast for a zoom, that is for sure. A zoom starting out a bit wider say at 11mm or 14mm might be better for you, but I can't be sure as I still haven't shot much with mine.

Yes there is a must have lens for the camera, it is the 20mm f/1.7 by Panasonic.

Your Nikon might be perfect for shooting closeups during the ceremony from down front, on those occasions when you can be down front. For cake cutting you might want the 20mm. For the first dance the Nikon would probably be ideal, in conjunction with a second camera shooting wide. That is where a GH1 with the 20mm would come in. It is great in low light. You would use your fast lens on the GH1, and run your Nikon on the GH2, ad you'd have it covered pretty well, I would think.

Just spitballing here.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

You will not have AF or iris control with the Nikon lens but it will work if you have the adaptor. You can find them on eBay fairly cheap.
Don't think you can go wrong with the panasonic 20mm pancake and the 14to140mm.
I would go with the GH2, it is more versatile .
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

The 14-140 is a great lens and works seamlessly with the camera, full auto features available with it. But I'm no so sure for wedding ceremonies. Mine is available in the classifieds if you become interested.

It is a great lens for outdoors. Outdoor portraits, group shots, landscape stuff, really nice.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #7
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Thanks for your replies... Is the 14-140mm too dark for ceremony use?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #8
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Too dark? I don't know. I keep getting told it's fine by everyone, and it might be, I haven't tried it. I just want something faster, but that will come at a hefty price. A faster zoom compatible with the GH2 will be pricey. I found a Zuiko for $2K.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Sorry... still thinking in videography terms. By "dark" I meant that this lens doesn't let in enough light for ceremony use. It's too slow? Still trying to wrap my brain around these photography terms... Looks like the kit lens 14-45mm and the 20mm will get me headed down the right path. I'll probably pick up the apdaptor for my Nikon lens as well. Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #10
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

The 14-140mm lens' aperture does not stay constant, meaning that as you zoom in to your subject the scene gets darker because the aperture (iris) closes automatically. Even at its brightest setting it's only f/4, which is pretty dark indoors. "Slow" = dark/doesn't let in much light. "Fast" = bright/lets in lots of light. Fast lenses are usually in the range from f/0.95-f/2.8. The 14-42mm kit lens starts at f/3.5, so at wide angles it's a bit brighter than the more expensive kit lens. Ideally you want your zoom lens to maintain a constant aperture so there are no shifts in exposure as you adjust your focal length. Your other option is to buy a handful of prime lenses at staggered focal lengths to cover all your bases. This is beneficial because it's easier to find fast primes than fast zooms, and in many cases can be chaper. I suggest you check out this article: Which lenses for your GH1/ GH2/ AF100/ AF101 etc…? | Philip Bloom
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Patrick, Jerry shoots weddings, so a bunch of primes will only be of use if he runs multiple cameras, at least three, and he will still need a zoom to rely on for his primary camera for the day. His Nikon will work fine for most of the day. Of course everything you say is essentially correct.

As Patrick says, fast means good in low light, usually f/2.8 or better. Slow is relative to what your needs are. A Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 may sound slow but can capture amazing shots with some added ISO.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #12
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

There's no reason he can't use his Canon XHA1 as his wide camera. It has a great zoom lens on it. My other camera is an XHA1.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #13
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Re: New to DSLR Video (GH1 or GH2?)

Yes, and I'm sure he will, at least he better! My first shoot with three of these cameras was a nightmare. My FX1 saved me.
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