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Old August 22nd, 2011, 01:09 AM   #1
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Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

A little background here first.

While trying to do stills in my home, the 2X crop of the GHs has given me fits. Sure I can use the 20mm, or run the zooms all the way wide open. But other than that, getting "head to toe" of someone around 5-6' tall means shooting from the next room with most any other lens.

So I started looking at the other options for lower crop factors. I settled on the Nikon D5100 with its 1.5 crop and mostly because I have just always liked Nikon.

The kicker of all of this was, whatever I picked had to be able to be mixed in for any multicam video shoot I might do. I wasn't expecting a dead on match, but needed something that could at least be used for the locked down wide "insurance" shot. I found someone on another forum who had gone the same route and said he was pleased with using both. I wasn't really able to find much for cross comparison footage, so shot this for the next guy wondering the same thing.


The GH1 was hacked using the Blackout-Powell settings, the Nikon was " as shipped". Both cams had their kit lenses and both set to about 18mm. Both shot at 1080 24P. Both using pretty much "out of the box" settings. Not sure on shutter speeds or apertures, as both were set to P mode. I didn't go through the dance to lock down exposure as you can see around the :52 mark.

IMO, it ain't perfect. But I think it is definitely more than "just useable".
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 01:50 AM   #2
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Looks great Chip. Matches perfectly. Contratulations on your purchase.

I think it does so because you are using lenses made for the cameras, which I think makes a world of difference. And of course kit lenses are pretty much all the same, aren't they?

I've just avoided going to another brand of camera by changing out my lens kit. I am understanding the weaknesses inherent in using third party lenses with adapters and then trying to match footage using muliple cameras. It doesn't work so well.

If you haven't looked into the Zuiko 12-60mm zoom, it would go a long way into solving the "too long" issue for your GH1.

Also, the new 12mm F/2.0 is an amazing new lens that I'm excited to have ordered, it's fully compatible with the GH1/GH2 and you can maintain focus with it quite easily.

I do long for a camera that is larger and more substantial, and will likely hold out for the successor to the 60D. I am a fan of Canon lenses, and I've had a 40D, and I loved it.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; August 22nd, 2011 at 08:20 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Chip, I looked up your Nikon, and it does seem to be a great camera choice for the money. It would appear you made a great choice.

I thought about the possible benefits of having one, and I just can't see it for me, as I can cover most necessary focal lengths now, especially the wide end. My issue is now with the long end.

I might need to use my 50mm from down from during the ceremony, and also for the first dance until I find a suitable solution. I'm selling my 28-75 zoom to finance a new Olympus zoom that is not as long but is more compatible with my camera. But this also creates a void for me.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Thanks Jeff, so far I am at least "good" with the Nikon, trying to see if I can get all the way up to "thrilled" with it.

Earlier this year with a bunch of cash in my Paypal, I started buying some pristine legacy glass. I found quite a bit that was purchased and hardly ever used, then put on Ebay 20-30 years later. Nothing was the most sought after, all just nice sweet lenses. It was a lot of fun and didn't spend much money, but there's no rhyme or reason to my pile. The closest thing I have going to a theme is they are in pristine condition and for some reason I liked the brand name Tokina. Well since getting that first Tokina AT-X, I SWEAR the colors pop more when using it. I haven't done any comparison, so it could be true or just my wishful thinking. After viewing your thoughts here and in other threads discussing colors, I am noe more inclined to think the Tokina does make colors pop more. But I digress.

It just plain "bugged the crap outta me" that the 2X crop had me locked into using 20mm or less in my home. These are a pair of images using my standard Nikon 50mm in my living room. The opposing wall is 18' away. The piano is 42" high and about 56" across. The picture on the wall is 58" off the floor and the legs of the chairs are about 6.5' apart. One image is from the GH1 and one from the Nikon. Two cameras, one lens. Forget the settings etc, these are to show the difference in crop. Now the 50 is still too much if I wanted to get "head to toe" of someone in that room. But I probably could with a 35, giving me a little more room to play with.

I thought about the Canon, but its crop is 1.63, which I felt wouldn't gain me enough for this specific purpose. Full frame cameras were just so expensive they weren't even considered.

Now conversely, I was downtown on Sat. night and the 2X crop worked in the Panny's favor. I had the 18-55 on the Nikon and the 14-45 on the Panny. For one shot, the Nikon almost "didn't get there" where the Panny had "room to spare".

I have been invited to sit in on a group photo shoot tonight, so hopefully can do some across the board comparisons between the Nikon and Panny and lenses. Tonight's goal is to learn the routine of one of these and also to look for quality/color variations.
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Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100-2crop_small.jpg   Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100-1_5crop_small.jpg  

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Old August 22nd, 2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Well for one thing, your Nikon will take much better photos, period, the GH2 is not so great for photos, not when compared to the cameras like the 60d and up, and the Nikons.

And all kit lenses are not the same, are they. That was a mis-statement on my part. The 14-45 is not a great lens by any stretch, and neither is the 14-42. For video in good light you can get by with them, that's about it. Your Nikon will run circles around the GH2 for photos, for sure. It should do pretty darned well for video as well. I'm interested to see some low light footage shot with your Nikon.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:53 AM   #6
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Chip -- Thanks for the side-by-side comparison of these two cameras. I love my GH1/GH2 for video, but have a soft spot for Nikon. Still have my old Nikon D50.

I'm looking at your sample video on a low res screen, but there seems to be moire on the roof in the Nikon shots. Is that real or simply a result of compression for Vimeo?

Cheers,

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Old August 31st, 2011, 08:35 AM   #7
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

Bill, you asked Chip, but I'll chime in and submit that what we see is definitely not moire, but compression artiffacts. For some reason the Nilkon footage held up better. I'm going to guess it is because the kit lens on the Nikon may provide better detail. Otherwise, he is running in P mode and that means we have no way of knowing what shutter speed was being used, nor exposure. I'm going to guess again and say I bet the GH2 was using a smaller aperture.

As a side note, the jerkiness of the pans looks exactly how mine look after I upload to Vimeo also, no matter how perfect the original footage is. I am researching the cause of that, I wonder what it is I can do to eiliminate it.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

I just looked at the original clip that came form the cam and if you are talking about along the white gutter area, yup, that's moire. That is one of the downfalls of the Nikon vs Panny. Now I can't disagree with Jeff and that it didn't also pick up artifacts in the render or the upload too.

Before I bought the Nikon I posted to another board in the Nikon section and laid out what I was thinking and what it had to do. I had Nikon owners and users point blank tell me that for video, going to Nikon was going backwards from the Pannys. That helped as I then set out to find its shortcomings. Once I knew them all, I decided I could probably "make it work". This was the last test to make sure they would be "close enough". What I gained by adding the Nikon was an ok third video cam and a fantastic stills cam with a 1.5X crop. For me, this rounded out my gear nicely for right now.

I went on a photo shoot and saw the D5100 with the articulating screen really is the only way to go. I had one shot where I had the cam above my head aimed almost straight down. I had the screen flipped around and down, and was able to get the shot. The guy who was shooting with me had a fixed screen Canon. He got on a chair to try and get the same shot.... didn't happen. :-) So I am really happen I didn't get the fixed screen D7000 as I almost forgot how handy a fli around screen can be. :-)
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Re: Quickie Test Hacked GH1 and Nikon D5100

I guess I had it backwards, I thought it was the GH2 that had the issue. So it was moire, I called that wrong also, didn't I?

I don't think it's an issue, very minor, IMO. The Nikon is great, as they all really are. We are dealing here with such small issues, I don't see how anyone could go wrong with any of these cameras, other than ergomomics and feature sets setting them apart from each other.
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