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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 July 14th, 2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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911 GH2 Emergency

I was on an airplane yesterday and I pulled out my GH2 to take a picture of the full moon. I snapped a few shots, and then put it away. An hour or so later, I went to take a couple more shots, and the camera read "Please Turn off Camera, And then Turn back on." I didn't think much of it, and just put it away.

Today I go to use it and the error is still there. Also the Shutter is in the closed position. When I turn it on, I here a slight click of the shutter, but see no movement. Iv'e tried different lenses, batteries, and SD cards. I've also tried turning it off and on hold down various buttons. Now I'm out of ideas. I called Panasonic and they want me to send it in. The problem is, I'm on location shooting a wedding and I don't have time for all that ( 3-4 weeks downtime). I went to Best Buy and bought a T3i and all the accessories as a back up, but man I hope I can get the GH2 working before tomorrow evening.

If any of you have any ideas, please let me know. In the mean time, I'm going to try and learn how to use a Canon. I'm sooooo Bummed.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

Evan, you've tried everything most anyone could recommend. We're very sorry to hear about this. Using a T3i? I would focus on using the new camera and forget the GH2, except for downtime when you need a break. This way, you'll have a great shoot.

Remember, the T3i is a great camera, shoots wonderful images, and you're a skilled shooter, this is NO big deal, you will get through it fine.

Let us know how you did on the other side of this. Don't let 'em see you sweat, you'll do great!
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #3
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

I wouldn't necessarily take my advice, but if the camera is already broken, and the shutter is in the closed position I would try to manually move it down. Not saying to do that since it could be a bad idea, but this is what I would do if it happened to me.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #4
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

Eric, doing this would void your warranty and is a very bad idea.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 12:23 AM   #5
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

I think I'm out of luck. I'll be fine with the T3i. It's a fine camera. I'm going to keep it simple and just try and capture some beautiful footage without doing anything too fancy. I've had the GH2 since December and I have become one with it. I have loads of lenses and I'm very sad I won't be able to use them for this shoot.

I'll send the GH2 off on Monday, and when I get it back the T3i will be a good backup camera. Or I'll just sell it to get another GH2.

Darn you Murphy's Law.

:-)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

A long shot - take the battery out of the GH2 and leave it overnight. If the fault is in the electronics, that might do it.

But it sounds more like a mechanical glitch, hence "long shot"
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Old July 15th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
Eric, doing this would void your warranty and is a very bad idea.
Why do you think I wrote "Not saying to do that since it could be a bad idea" in my original post?

Does the manual say not to touch the shutter or are you just assuming that (It very well could say it since I have read very little of it, but if it doesn't specifically say it I wouldn't assume it would void the warranty).

Even after your advice I would do the same thing. It's already broken, it''s not like any extra possible damage is suddenly going to make the camera more unusable for this particular shoot. When sending it back I also wouldn't mention I messed with the shutter.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

Well so far this experience has had a happy ending. Thanks to Barrow Lenses in San Francisco, I was able to rent a GH2 and a couple of lenses I don't have. I also shipped my GH2 off for repair and they are estimating 10 days instead of 4 weeks. We'll see how that plays out.

The lenses I rented were the 7-14 and the 8mm fish. Both are a lot of fun to shoot with, and I think I'm going to have to buy a 7-14mm. It's an amazing lens. The fish is really great as well, but kind of limited in its scope. At least for what I'm shooting.

Additionally, I was super impressed with the T3i. I have never used a Canon DLSR for video and it did not disappoint. The thought I kept having while shooting with it was, " Man this camera is so simple." I'm sure I haven't unlocked its potential, but right out of the box the T3i is good to go. I've decided to keep it as a 2nd camera and I look forward to exploring some Canon Glass. I love how fast you can rack focus the Canon lenses. My Pani 20mm 1.7 is a nightmare to rack focus from one end of the focal length to the other. Is there a way to decrease how many rotations it takes to manually focus? Anyway, I am super happy with how everything turned out.

The funny thing was, the wedding I shot had a theme of "Lemons". I definitely was able to turn lemons into lemonade on this project. Thanks to all of you who offered suggestions.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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Originally Posted by Evan Lloyd View Post
Additionally, I was super impressed with the T3i. I have never used a Canon DLSR for video and it did not disappoint. The thought I kept having while shooting with it was, " Man this camera is so simple."
I have been shooting video with a 5D Mk II for more than two years now & a few months ago got a GH2. Eventually I gave up in frustration with the fiddly complexity of it despite the fact that it can shoot better video than the 5DII. I bought a 600D (as the T3i is called outside North America) & it is like a baby 5DII but is even better set up for video use. The quality of video is similar & I love the 3X HD crop mode (like the ETC on the GH2). The Canon DSLRs really are simple to use as you have far fewer choices. All you need to do is set the shutter & adjust ISO &/or aperture as required not forgetting white balance. On the 600D you half press the shutter button to use AF & then hit the video record button. Use the onscreen exposure meter to gauge exposure & take a a still photo or short video clip & look at the histogram to confirm. Learn to focus manually & practice until good at it. That's it.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #10
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

Images from the GH2 have some advantages, such as less moire, but I came close to going with the T3i, the lack of cointinuous video was the only thing that stopped me.

I have heard the other cameras knocked by GH2 fans, but never understood it. I've seen footage online of most of the DSLRs being used, and it all looks pretty darned good to me.

It just comes down to what fills your needs. I am envious of Canon users, with the selection of lenses, and I hate the 2X effect of lenses with M4/3, it's too much. Some see it as an advantage, but I don't like that aspect at all.

Congratulations Evan, glad things turned out!
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Old July 21st, 2011, 04:34 PM   #11
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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I also shipped my GH2 off for repair and they are estimating 10 days instead of 4 weeks. We'll see how that plays out.
LOL...
You sent it to Texas, right?

With all due respect, don't count on 10 days. It's been over three weeks for me!
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Old July 21st, 2011, 04:40 PM   #12
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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I have heard the other cameras knocked by GH2 fans, but never understood it.
Well like you mentioned about the GH2 2X crop factor, I hear the same rap from other DSLR (Canon, NIkon) users.

I really never cared who makes it. Good is good.
I thing some of the Canon stuff is excellent. As you mentioned, I'm not a fan of the excessive moire. Also, due to how Canon is extracting the video (line skipping, binning..whatever), it does make for wondering if you've nailed focus. The images can sure appear soft.

Nonetheless, I've seen some excellent looking 5D stuff and the upcoming 5D MKIII could be a game changer if Canon so chooses to venture that way.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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LOL...
You sent it to Texas, right?

With all due respect, don't count on 10 days. It's been over three weeks for me!
Just curious, what did you end your GH2 in for? I have heard nothing but bad things about Panasonic when it comes to customer service. I can't imagine their repair department is any different. I hope I'm wrong.

In the mean time, I've invested in a couple of Canon lenses, and the T3i is getting the job done. I wish I had time to learn the camera better, but I'm much too busy to study the manual right now. I rely on forums and google searches to get me through. So far so good. I do miss a lot of features that the GH2 has. But I do like the fast canon lenses.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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In the mean time, I've invested in a couple of Canon lenses, and the T3i is getting the job done. I wish I had time to learn the camera better, but I'm much too busy to study the manual right now.
Evan, Look in the "Canon EOS 60D / Rebel T2i / EOS 550D for HD" forum in the "Canon EOS Systems" section for an article I wrote on Manual Settings for the Canon EOS cameras in video mode. I'll have to get over there and "paste" it from the file on my hard drive so give me about 15 minutes or so.

I've taken each control in a systematic but easy to "grasp" manner with simple logic behind what I recommend and I've had positive feedback from some I've sent it to.

BTW you are now using what must be the two top video DSLR systems going. Both the GH2 and the T3i are top notch all the way.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 03:02 AM   #15
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Re: 911 GH2 Emergency

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In the mean time, I've invested in a couple of Canon lenses, and the T3i is getting the job done. I wish I had time to learn the camera better, but I'm much too busy to study the manual right now. I rely on forums and google searches to get me through. So far so good. I do miss a lot of features that the GH2 has. But I do like the fast canon lenses.
The http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-Rebel-600D-Dummies-Computers/dp/1118094980/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311321570&sr=8-1 is an excellent book & I thoroughly recommend it to all T3i/600D owners. Unlike many titles in the 'Dummies' range it's not too jokey & is very well illustrated with screenshots etc. It of course concentrates on still photography as that is what the camera is designed for but does cover everything that you need to know about shooting video with this camera.
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