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Old November 10th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #16
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

Setup & use AF & continuous AF is confusing on the GH2. We had a discussion on this a while ago as I was looking for the ability that I have on my camcorders to have manual focus but then push a button to hit focus & then for the AF to get out of your way. I don't believe that I ever got it working with the GH2 & have just relied on manual focus now http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...push-auto.html
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #17
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

Ahhh, those early days of confusion, Nigel. I am completely comfortable with turning CAF off, but running in auto focus, and using the shutter button as needed. And with the 12mm you can go into manual focus by extending the focus ring and adjusting as needed, very cool feature, though I don't use it much, as the auto focus is so spot on and instant it's not needed often.

I would tell anyone to just turn off Continuous Focus off in the camera menu settings, and run in auto focus. I use the touch screen a lot to select my focus area, it's a great feature.

I had forgotten till you mentioned the old thread of yours how confusing it was to learn these cameras. God it was awful. I'm editing a wedding now shot months ago and some of the footage was SO off.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #18
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

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Originally Posted by Federico Perale View Post
in general terms when is it really mandatory to shoot 25p in PAL land, apart from broadcasting (which certainly doesn't apply to me)?
...
so I guess the only real annoyance in shooting 24p in Europe is a possible flickering due to the 50/60Hz thing isn't it?
It's never been mandatory to shoot 25p in PAL land, even for broadcast. For TV delivery in the UK, 50i has always been and still is compulsory (though shooting at 25p and converting to 50i has always been the norm for high-end drama).

Nor is there any issue with 24p and lighting flicker - feature films have always been shot at 24fps in the UK and across Europe. If the shutter duration is 1/50th of a second (or a multiple thereof), there will never be any issue in a country with a 50Hz mains supply, regardless of the frame rate.

The real issue, as you have already identified, is that 25p is a setting commonly found on recent camcorders, and without it on the GH2, your options are limited in multiple camera scenarios. For example, I have a GH2 and a Canon XH-A1. Their only common frame rate is 50i. Nevertheless, while this isn't ideal, I find 50i-originated TV dramas and documentaries more than acceptable.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 03:52 AM   #19
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

The problem with the GH2 is that 24Mbps higher quality recording is only available with 24p. Even if I wanted to record 50i (which I don't) the maximum bit rate available is only 17Mbps.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #20
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

Jeff, I have been following this thread and the wedding setup thread even though I haven't posted. I am moving over to all GH2 setups for my weddings and had a few questions.

You mentioned the 20mm 1.7 lens is a great lens if you only had one to use on a wedding. Just curious are you shooting reception footage with no external lighting or supplemental off camera lighting? I have also been intrigued by the 17mm 2.0 and the 14mm 2.5. The little extra WA seems it would be handy to have but is the slower iris on those a deal breaker?

I have 2 GH2 setups already just using the kit lenses (one of each) and I used them on my last wedding of the season. Overall they were pretty good even with the slow lenses but I do have a small light on a light stand near a DJ light and also a 35W light on the camera for a little extra punch on closeups of main dances. My footage at 1250 ISO and 1600 ISO was a big improvement over the Canon A1s I normally shoot with even at 6db. Of course because they are slow lenses I don't get as much of the shallow DOF I wanted for the main formal dances but the footage was good.

Just curious with the 20mm 1.7 what ISO are you using as your max. For me the 1600 was my limit unless it was real bad at which content is more important. :-). Do you have a max ISO you won't go over in most situations?

I have been using a single T2i in my setup for b-roll shots so I am comfy with the whole DSLR environment and plan to get one more GH2 to round out the setup. Just trying to figure out what lenses I will want for each camera. I have some manual focus lenses from the T2i that can be used as needed as well. I am also planning to get that 45mm 2.0 you have mentioned. That will be my dance close up lens for the reception and maybe a little prep time closeups too.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #21
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

Phillip, thanks for posting, and I'll try and help you based on my limited experience.

For the reception I run the 12mm F/2.0, the 45mm F/1.8, and the 20mm. I only came up with this system my last wedding. This is because it was pitch black, and my XA10 looked pretty bad compared to the GH2s. Those three lenses cover things pretty well. However, some guys use the Rokinon 85mm F/1.8 or F/1.4 to great effect. On a larger dance floor it would provide the nice closeups that give your video the emotional impact we need for a more effective wedding video. The 45mm is quite nice, but will not be as long as you might want in many situations. The 45mm has a nearly instant auto focus that helps make up for the lack of length, as you can almost always be in sharp focus with it.

For the ceremony I really need a real videocamera. Shooting the processional with all DSLR style cameras, or hybrids, is a true pain and not worth it to me. I am actually going to add a second XA10 or G10 for next year for ceremony work, if not two. I like three cameras at all times for everything when possible, and for the ceremony I really don't care if I use the GH2s or not.

For the processional nothing better than a videocamera, for me.

F/2.0 is plenty fast enough for virtually anything, especially when the lens is as sharp as the 12mm F/2.0.

As for ISO, I often run in shutter priority for receptions and let the auto iso fly, works out ok. For your highest ISO, I think 1600 is a good max, but since I run in shutter priority with auto iso, I often don't know what ISO i'm running at. ISO is limited to how high it will go in the semi manual modes, I think, but don't quote me on that.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #22
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

If you're used to the 5D and are in the market for something new I would maybe hold off to see what comes of this. Should be a huge game changer. Coolest feature is it's fully iPad controllable:

Canon Develops Full-Frame DSLR Capable of Shooting 4K Video | PhotographyBLOG
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:19 PM   #23
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

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Phillip, thanks for posting, and I'll try and help you based on my limited experience.

For the reception I run the 12mm F/2.0, the 45mm F/1.8, and the 20mm. I only came up with this system my last wedding. This is because it was pitch black, and my XA10 looked pretty bad compared to the GH2s. Those three lenses cover things pretty well. However, some guys use the Rokinon 85mm F/1.8 or F/1.4 to great effect. On a larger dance floor it would provide the nice closeups that give your video the emotional impact we need for a more effective wedding video. The 45mm is quite nice, but will not be as long as you might want in many situations. The 45mm has a nearly instant auto focus that helps make up for the lack of length, as you can almost always be in sharp focus with it.

For the ceremony I really need a real videocamera. Shooting the processional with all DSLR style cameras, or hybrids, is a true pain and not worth it to me. I am actually going to add a second XA10 or G10 for next year for ceremony work, if not two. I like three cameras at all times for everything when possible, and for the ceremony I really don't care if I use the GH2s or not.

For the processional nothing better than a videocamera, for me.

F/2.0 is plenty fast enough for virtually anything, especially when the lens is as sharp as the 12mm F/2.0.

As for ISO, I often run in shutter priority for receptions and let the auto iso fly, works out ok. For your highest ISO, I think 1600 is a good max, but since I run in shutter priority with auto iso, I often don't know what ISO i'm running at. ISO is limited to how high it will go in the semi manual modes, I think, but don't quote me on that.
Thanks for the info Jeff. I am going to play around with Shutter Priority and auto ISO while shooting video. I just may like that for a reception.

I have shot a few processionals with a DSLR and just bump up the ISO a little and set the iris to a larger number like 5.6 or slightly higher. This gives me a fairly large area of infocus area and I just let them walk through the shot without trying to pull focus or zoom. At 5.6 you can usually get a nice spot of a good 15 feet or more in length in good focus to let them walk through. It has worked well for me for those times I have done DSLR for the processional.

Here is the plan I have in my head for how I would be working with the GH2 for a wedding day. For the preps I would use either the 20mm or the 45mm (maybe have 2 cams with different lenses with me) I could would then use the 20mm for wider shots. I can get in closer at times and if I need to quick change zoom length use the TeleConv option quickly from a function button. That would allow me 2 focal lengths from one lens without having to switch cams or lenses. With my T2i I had vintage primes and was constantly changing between the 28 and 58 lenses. Was a pain. This will be quicker and essentially give me both focal lengths I am used to shooting with for prep. With the 45mm on a second cam I would have 2 more options to quickly use if needed.

For the ceremony I would shoot the processional with one of the kit lenses like I mentioned above or use one of my vintage lenses on a monopod. I have a 70-210 3.5 Vivitar that would be my broll lense for the closeups of the ceremony. My second cam would be setup with one of the kit lenses to the side and unmanned. I would check the camera from time to time to set it up for a shot. My third would be manned in the back center by my other shooter probably using a 14-140 kit lens. That cam is usually on a medium shot for most of the ceremony so it could be put in TeleConv mode and be able to get a few closeups at the alter when needed.

For the reception it would be the 20mm (or other WA) for the wide shot of dancing and the 45 for the closeups of the dancing during first and parent dances. After that I can cover it all with a WA lens pretty easy. For the speeches I can get somewhat close for the speaker and use the 45 or in TeleConv mode if needed. The other manned cam for reaction shots would probably have a 20mm or maybe one of the kit lenses if a big zoom is needed....or course the ISO would be bumped up to compensate but they are mostly cutaway quick shots. If the faster lenses allow me to keep the ISO around 800 the noise is not too bad so the TeleConv could be used to give extra options.

That is my plan but I know there are a few holes in it I need to figure out. Those holes will probably be covered with a manual focus lense that I have or can get easily. I plan to be full GH2 with no regular video camera because I am comfy shooting those moving shots of the processional and recessional with a DSLR.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #24
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

Sounds like a plan.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #25
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The problem with the GH2 is that 24Mbps higher quality recording is only available with 24p. Even if I wanted to record 50i (which I don't) the maximum bit rate available is only 17Mbps.
weren't there talks that the much announced firmware upgrade due I think in a couple of weeks, will bring the 24Mbps bitrate also to 50i? and maybe even introduce 25p?
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Old November 16th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #26
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

There are working patches available to bump up bitrates in every video mode, not just 24H... of course, you have to go through the whole frame rate headache to get it.

Still, the GH2's stock 720p mode is miles better than the 7D's 720p.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #27
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

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Originally Posted by Federico Perale View Post
weren't there talks that the much announced firmware upgrade due I think in a couple of weeks, will bring the 24Mbps bitrate also to 50i? and maybe even introduce 25p?
Panasonic did indeed announce new firmware is coming in December. (This is not to be confused with the amazing amount of work that's already being done with hacked firmware.)

Here is the Panasonic announcement:
Information of firmware update service for DMC-GH2 | Digital Camera | Digital AV | Consumer Products | Support | Panasonic Global

It mentions new video modes and 24Mbps, but it isn't specific as to what those modes are going to be, so we'll just have to wait and see.

(Because you can currently record 24Mbps ONLY in the 24P fine mode, speculation is that this might now be applied to other modes which are currently limited to 17Mbps.)
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:52 AM   #28
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

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There are working patches available to bump up bitrates in every video mode, not just 24H... of course, you have to go through the whole frame rate headache to get it.

Still, the GH2's stock 720p mode is miles better than the 7D's 720p.
how is the GH2 720 50p for slow-mo? how does it look upscaled?
thanks
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Old November 17th, 2011, 10:05 AM   #29
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Re: about to buy GH2: couple of quick question

720 upscales fine. How it looks is dependent on the quality of the footage. Upscaling is a non-issue, it looks like Bluray should look. Ideally 1080 is better, but the advantages of higher frames rate handling motion so well can help make up for the lack of resolution. There are networks that shoot in 720 60p, don't know about 50p.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 17th, 2011 at 12:55 PM.
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