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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old April 19th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #16
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

The viewfinder is much easier to focus with than the LCD. Very sharp. My shoot required low light and close-ups of sparkly jewelry on moving hands. Even at 5.6 I had a time keeping the rings and bracelets in focus using the LCD. To save battery power I opted not to drive an HDMI monitor which would have made my job even easier. It didn't help that the hand models were not trained for this and would unconsciously move their arms out of the focal plain. All said, I very happy working this camera. The results where excellent and if I get permission I'll post some stills. I hope that some more video style lenses get released in the future.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #17
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Hi Jeff

I have been pondering for a while now about adding a GH2 to my two HMC82's but your comments about the stock Panny lenses are a little worrying!! As are the footage results walking with the camera.

At weddings I do tons of walking shots with my HMC's with great results and one cam is normally on my Stedicam during the photoshoot. It seems that even in the normal low light we have at receptions the Panny lenses are not that good????

Come on, convince me that a GH1 or GH2 would be worth adding to the two HMC's while shooting weddings!! Seriously, in your opinion, where in a wedding would the GH cameras outshine video or should I stop dreaming and stick with my current cameras only. I could maybe see the advantage of using a GH during an outdoor ceremony or during a photoshoot but on stedicam I would have to stop right down and rely on the GH autofocus as I haven't got 4 hands!!!

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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #18
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Chris, keep in mind a few things when reading my posts.

1. I whine when confronted with difficulties, it is my nature, not proud of it, but that is me.

2. I am 56 years old, so I adapt and learn as fast as I can, but I can be slow on the uptake at times.

3. Coming from a video background, these cameras are a challenge, period, probably for anyone but the quickest and brightest.

4. The results are fantastic, when used properly.

Someone around here asked about buying a GH2 for a b cam, and in the end he left much more confused after the mulititude of opinions, I'm sure. I even waffled at the time, first I recommended it, then I started to deal with the learning curve, and I backed off. It has not been easy to learn for me.

On the other hand, I am fully back in full recommendation mode for the cam, ESPECIALLY as a b camera. IMO, you must buy a panny 20mm f/1.7. Use it wide from the rear, and you really can't go wrong.

I am a very big proponent of buying a GH1 to start, with the 20mm lens. It is cheap, and for under $800 you have an excellent camera you can set and forget in most situations.

It is not the GH2, but the f/1.7 lens compensates for that.

Put it in shutter priority, with auto ISO, focus it, and forget it. Trust me, you'll have so much fun with the damned thing (if you're not using it as a primary camera) you will certainly fall in love with it.

My biggest struggle is focusing moving things, and this is true with anyone using DSLR form factor who is new to the game. However, if you use it from the rear in a church, you can just focus on the altar, get a beautiful wide shot, and you won't have to worry about focus. Same at the reception. Put it up high, like 8 feet, point it down on the dance floor, and turn it on and forget it.

You can do it. You are smart, experienced with video, and it will open up a whole new world. My opinion on the kit lenses is well known. They are not professional lenses, which no one can argue, but the 14-45 and 14-140 can be used professionally outdoors and will produce excellent results. They can also be used indoors with sufficient lighting. But my money is better spent on fast lenses that are useful everywhere in a wider range of conditions. A 14-140 at f/4-5.6 has such limited use for me I sold it and got a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 that works well everywhere, outdoor and indoor, and it cost 1/3 the price of the Panasonic, and it still has autofocus when I need it. The Sigma is not a pro lens either, but a decent quality zoom at 2.8 is close enough for me. It is still slower than I like but a 2.0 zoom costs over $2K, so there you have it.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #19
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Just got back from the park.
Boy, was I wrong. Absolutely unusable, by any standards!
However on stationary shots the park looked very nice, footage was really gorgeous.
Entirely agree with you Jeff. I'm the same with my 60D - soon as I move away from rest, however careful and controlled I am, the earth moves so2speak. Admittedly I'm not using IS Canon lenses, but everything seems to be against me.

Go do the same shots on my NX5 and although I seem to have infinite dof all the while, at least every shot is usable. I read about wedding shooters doing the whole day with DSLRs and I gawp in admiration and respect.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #20
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Hey Jeff

That certainly is a concise and accurate summary!! Don't feel left out at all!! I whine too and I'm a lot older (64) so I probably struggle even more than you!!!

I truely was expecting to use a GH as an "up front" camera with stunning closeups using a decent DOF rather than plonk it in the background as a "B" cam. I was under the impression that ONLY the kit lenses can be used for autofocus ....something like a Sigma zoom sounds more my style (coming from a photography background about 30 years back when we used film!!) So a 18-50 Sigma zoom on the correct adaptor will still allow the camera to run autofocus???? I really would use a GH during my photoshoots on the Stedicam but manual focus is not an option at all...my hands are too busy controlling the rig and yelling directions to the bride and groom!!!

I normally run a main camera (fixed) about 30' from the B&G and that also has the wireless mics and then I use the 2nd cam on my shoulder to shoot cutaways of the guests and closeups of the ceremony...it would be great to be able to grab a GH and shoot some rather nice shots of the rings, and more if you think that a GH would handle that... we are also talking hand held here too!!!! I'm watching the main camera's field of view..checking audio levels and also have the 2nd camera clamped between my legs grabbing it now and again to shoot the guests and any necessary closeups....if I added a GH to the mix it would definately have to be a run and gun with maybe aperture priority so I can achieve a shallow DOF but it still needs to autofocus if I don't have time to adjust it!!!

Too much for one person?????

Chris
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #21
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Come on, convince me that a GH1 or GH2 would be worth adding to the two HMC's while shooting weddings!! Seriously, in your opinion, where in a wedding would the GH cameras outshine video
I can't convince you Chris. I used the GH1 with its stock (slow) 10x zoom to make a short film and unless it's a tightly-scripted piece where actors hit their marks you'll be avoiding tele like the plague simply because of the focus issue.

OK, the GH1 has a continuous auto-focus mode but it's slow and noisy and cranky (GH2 must be better). And if you're after limited dof there must be better ways of getting this than by using the GH1's small 4/3rds chip in combination with a slow (f/6.3) lens. At least it's stabilised.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #22
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Good, Tom, it is not just me then! I was starting to wonder!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #23
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Chris, you don't need to worry about depth of field, it's plenty shallow even at f/6. Aperture priority is a pain, at least I found it so. You can buy a GH1 with no lens, and then buy then 20mm. You can shoot photos of the cake, do zooms in post, etc, same with rings, then flick a switch, pop in on the tripod and shoot more video.

I suggest the GH1 and 20mm because minimal investment. You can learn with that lens. It won't work for closeups of ceremony, but you'd have time to learn the camera then lens. When you have, you could add another lens. The 20mm is useful for SO many things, it is where I'd start, but that is just me.

The Sigma is hard to find, when I looked I found one in China, one down under, and lucked out and found one locally.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:49 AM   #24
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Thanks Jeff

My supplier here has the Sigma to fit Canons 17 - 50mm F2.8 and also the 18 - 70mm F2.8 ....they seem to be around the $700 mark here (GH adaptor is $50 on top) The GH1 body only here is close to $1200!!!

The GH1 (and GH2???) have crop factors of 2.0 ??? Is that correct???? So the 20mm lens would be much like a 35mm 40mm lens and the Sigma zoom would effectively be like using a 35 - 100 in the old format or 35 - 140 ..... Now, F3.5 lenses are WAY cheaper of course but then we are back to the kit lens specs!!

I'll look around on eBay and see what else is available!!! Your GH's are way cheaper than ours and our dollar is actually higher than the US $

The info is much appreciated ..it's bedtime for me !!!!

Chris
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #25
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Chris, go down the chart to Sigma and make sure the ones you're talking about are the same as on the chart for compatability.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #26
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Yes Chris - the 4/3rds chip has a 2x crop factor so wide wide-angles are scarce.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #27
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Oh yes, if you are going the 2.8, you will be better of with GH2, as you'll need to run higher iso with it, and the GH1 is poor above 400. With the 20mm lens you wouldn't need the GH2, with the Sigma I woud think you would.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #28
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Jeff,

Why do you only consider the GH2 a B-cam and not suited for the primary cam? I see many people using DSLR/EVILs as their main cam (or might even only have 3 DSLRs and nothing else)...

Granted, you're coming from a video background so it makes your usage of DSLRs/EVILs harder...but assuming you are comfortable with a Canon DSLR as a primary cam, would then GH2 serve well as a primary cam then? Would you recommend the GH2 as a primary cam then?

Thanks!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:25 PM   #29
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

I was thinking of still using my HMC as a primary cam and a GH2 as a "second" primary cam for the more creative shots as my main cam does all the audio as well.

The only problem is can I justify the purchase??? I would be happier with a DSLR on a shoulder mount rig and maybe even an extra LCD....take a GH2 body, a decent 2.8 lens or faster and a rig and monitor and over in Oz I'm looking at a cost of probably between $2500 and $3000 at least!!!! The body and a Sigma lens alone will cost be $2000!!!! A faster lens will be even more!!!

Still pondering!!!

Chris
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Old April 21st, 2011, 06:08 AM   #30
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Re: GH2 for run and gun work

Zhong, I don't know exactly what comment you're referring to. I use the GH2 as my primary camera.

Please do not focus so much on my perspective, there are too many others. I just comment a lot, I do not have the best or "correct" opinion on this issue.

You should get the camera and let us know what you think! I'm sure you will like it.
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