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Old March 16th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Hey, I've been using the GH2 since it was released. The lenses I have are the Lumix 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4, and Canon FDn 100mm f/2.8.

My big problem is with lenses. I was thinking of selling all of my lenses and getting the Olympus 12mm f/2, Lumix 25mm f/1.4, and Lumix 45mm f/2.8. Here are my issues. I use a shoulder rig to shoot a good chunk of my work, and the FDn lenses don't have IS, which makes the 100mm pretty much useless and the 50mm difficult to work with. I was looking at the Lumix and Olympus 45mm lenses, and it appears the Olympus doesn't have IS, so that leaves me with just the Lumix. The problem with the Lumix is it's not as fast at 2.8. Next, I use a follow focus on my shoulder rig, and both the Lumix 25mm and 45mm use the focus by wire system, which I've read is not very well suited for follow focus devices. Lastly, the Olympus 12 is pretty expensive, but the cheaper Lumix 14mm f/2.5 is a bit slower, and being a pancake, useless with my follow focus. I'd like a decent zoom for run and gun, but they're all either crazy expensive or crazy slow. Lastly, the reason why I'm looking at Lumix and Olympus lenses is because I'd like the autofocus option, especially when I need to quickly grab focus of something rather than spinning the focus wheel and losing the shot.

I like the GH2, and it still seems to be the best DSLR in terms of resolution and weight and whatnot, but the unavailability of lenses is severely detrimental. I'd also like my camera to double as a good still camera. I'm primarily a video guy, but get gigs offered to shoot photos, and I've never been very impressed with the photo quality of the GH2. I'm thinking the 5D mkiii might be a better solution in that I can get a great video and still camera in one, and have a much better selection of lenses (they have some great zooms at f/2.8, which, one a full frame camera is an equivalent dof of f/1.4 on the Panny).

The downsides to the mkiii are the increased weight, the increased cost, resolution not as good as the Panny, and no swivel screen. I figured if I keep the GH2 as a video camera that maybe I'd pick up a used 5D mkii for photos, but I don't think I have the money for two different systems and two sets of lenses. Comments, suggestions?
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Old March 16th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Look at the 45mm F/1.8 while you're considering lenses, very nice lens.

The 12mm 25mm and 45mm pretty much cover a lot, they are all I use, but I do have a F/2.8 zoom also for use as needed, but it rarely goes on the camera.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 16th, 2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

What about the Panny 20mm 1.7? I myself am looking at that one, as B&H has them in stock at the moment...

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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

If you need IS and want faster lenses I think you should go for a Canon. The fast Panasonic IS zooms are supposed to be out eventually. 43 rumors mentioned that they won't be out before the beginning of summer....that is a rumor site so just know that may or may not be correct.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

For wedding work and IS, the Canons are the way to go, for sure. None of the Panasonic lenses I have has it, and this really affects photo taking for me. While I'm not going Canon anytime soon, a 60D or something comparable is definitely on my radar. I had the 30D and my photos were fantastic when used with a nice lens, the IS really makes a differences when you're in a hurry.

20mm is a good choice too Steven. Not my favorite lens, but not a bad one. I don't care for the color rendition in low light, nor it's auto focus, which tends to hunt a lot at times. Decent lens, decent price, but for a couple hundred more the 25mm F/1.4 is a great lens and destroys the 20mm, IMO. As an added bonus it has a lens hood and looks and feels like a real lens, albeit is a bit light and plastiky. 20mm will get the job done though, for sure.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Look at the 45mm F/1.8 while you're considering lenses, very nice lens.

The 12mm 25mm and 45mm pretty much cover a lot, they are all I use, but I do have a F/2.8 zoom also for use as needed, but it rarely goes on the camera.
Jeff, as I mentioned the 45mm is useless because it doesn't have IS. I don't need IS for photo taking. I don't know why you said that. You just need to up the shutter a bit and you're fine, unless it's a telephoto lens you're trying to keep steady to frame a shot.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

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What about the Panny 20mm 1.7? I myself am looking at that one, as B&H has them in stock at the moment...

SB
As I said, the pancake lenses won't allow me to use my follow focus because the focus ring is too close to the camera, AND the focus by wire isn't consistent.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Jeff, for weddings don't you think zoom lenses are the way to go? Changing primes constantly must be a pain.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

The 45mm F/1.8 is amazing and shoots fantastic video, if you cannot use it, sorry. I mentioned photos because I shoot photos as well as video with all my lenses for use in my wedding videos, if you don't that's fine, I couldn't know that. Despite what I said, photos are fine as long as I'm on a tripod, or using the 12mm or 25mm which turn out fine handheld, as long as I'm very steady.

For zoom I use video cameras and I have a 18-50mm F/2.8 that has full electronic control with the camera if I want it. Shot dozens of weddings last year using primes, I run 3-4 cameras, so I rarely change lenses, I just change cameras, not lenses. I will on occasion change lenses, it's so easy I never thought of it as a hassle. While not recommended, I change lenses sometimes while the camera's running to avoid breaking continuity. Works fine, I just don't do it with bright light pointed toward the camera.

The trick is to know your subject and plan accordingly. I run 4 cameras by myself, so I can attest it is not a big deal. Just a lot of running around, but that can't be avoided doing multicamera solo.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Jeff, do you use the 45mm handheld when shooting video? That's my big concern is that it's not stable enough handheld. The big tradeoff is if I go with the Lumix 45, which has IS, I lose the lower f stop. I used to think I didn't need autofocus, but I feel it'd really help grabbing quick focus. I wouldn't use constant autofocus, because that's when you get that "hunting" annoyance, but it'd also help when taking photos. People think as soon as you point a camera towards them you're ready to take a picture, but I have to keep telling them to hold on as I adjust settings and grab focus. The autofocus would help with that.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Patrick,

If you're not in a big rush to make a change, sometime in April the new Olympus OMD E-M5 will be released. Do a Google search on it, look at the released sample images (high ISO looks fantastic - early testers are talking CLEAN up to 6400). The one video I've seen was done handheld so I'm waiting to see more.

This camera will use all the MFT lenses and will have in body IS the likes of which we haven't seen yet. This won't solve your follow focus problem but I've had good luck turning the ring. I shoot with both the Lumix 14mm f2.5 "pancake" and the 20mm f1.7 (using an Olympus Pen to test out the MFT concept) and I love what they do in situations without supplemental lighting.

It's worth a look and won't require the kind of major changes going to Canon 5D Mk(whatever) will.

I'm in the process of going from Canon to MFT, just sold off a 7D body and a T3i (I had too many Canons). I'm about to list my 2 "L" series lenses and when the OMD is released I'll be watching "early adopters" reviews.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #12
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

The Olympus looks nice, but as I recall the video modes are very limited and I ruled it out immediately, but I can't remember why. Maybe what I saw wasn't accurate, don't know, but it didn't seem suitable for me.

Patrick, no the 45mm is no good handheld, sorry. I shoot almost always from a tripod, but such is the nature of wedding work with multiple cameras, always at least two stationary cameras. I love the lens for first dances, as in the dark it is amazing, with instant auto focus, lens does not hunt.

Edit: found this: "Pens can now record up 29 minutes worth of full-HD (1080 30p or 60i)", so it would appear the camera might have a 29 minute limit, and is restricted to 30p or 60i. While I'm not a huge fan of 24p for a variety of reasons, I still would like the option, as all my other cameras have it. Bruce, it does appear to be a very nice camera based on previews, and it is a very cool, retro look as well. If I had $1K to toss around I'd like to have one just for the cool factor. I think the 60D or something like it will be my next DSLR purchase, as I do love Canon DSLR. I played with a 60D a couple of weeks ago and I really like it, the IS works for video, which is huge, I think.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 17th, 2012 at 06:46 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #13
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Not to throw a monkey in the sausage here or anything, but if you're having trouble shooting steady from a shoulder rig, then maybe the problem isn't so much your lenses as it is your shoulder rig?

Far as I know, no ENG or cine camera, not PDWs, Arris, Varicams, Aatons, REDs, none of them, have image stabilization. They're all often shot with shoulder-mounted. One might deduce, then, that IS isn't necessary on a proper shoulder mounted camera. Rethink your rig's design, consider its balance (center of balance should be right above your shoulder), consider where your hands control it most naturally, adjust accordingly, reduce your caffeine intake, and practice yourself into greater steadiosity.


As to alternate OIS lenses, I'm developing a wonderfully loving relationship with a Leica D 14-50 2.8-3.5 these days. Every documentation I've read says the OIS won't work, but somehow, it does. That's not to say it doesn't have other "issues," but it's the best compromise lens I've been able to afford thus far.

Your dilemma about auto vs. follow-focus is just that... generally (except for the Oly 12, I think), if it autofocuses on m43, it's focus-by-wire, and if it mechanically focuses, it won't auto-focus (or do much of anything else automatically). Kind of have to pick your poison or pay for both.

Switching to Canon or Nikon full-frame is also a dilemma, IMO... on the plus side, the DOF is much shallower, and on the negative side, the DOF is much shallower. Plus there's the economics of it: at the 5D3 and D800 price point, you can get a used AF100 which is a heck of a lot better at video than either, and a small in-body-IS Oly like the EPL1 or such which is pretty darned good for stills... but of course neither has that full-frame mojo.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 09:10 PM   #14
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

Good points, Kevin. My rig is definitely not center balanced over the shoulder. I'm not sure how that's even possible when you throw a monitor, Zoom, mics, lights, etc. onto the end of the thing. I'm not saying I'm not steady, but I'm a lot steadier with the 25mm than the 50mm, so IS would be handy. As far as the pros, they have much better (read: expensive) stabilizing rigs than my Jag35.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #15
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Re: Sell my GH2 for 5D mkiii or change lenses or what?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
The Olympus looks nice, but as I recall the video modes are very limited and I ruled it out immediately, but I can't remember why. Maybe what I saw wasn't accurate, don't know, but it didn't seem suitable for me.
It looks like the reviewers are so entranced and enchanted with the other features none of them are really "reviewing" video, and that's a shame. I've been searching and searching and can find no definitive comments on frame rates available. The Pen e-pl1 I've been testing for almost a month has only 720 line video, I don't know if it's 720p or not, I assume so. I find no mention of PAL versions either (while I don't need it, Canon's allowing both in one model is reassuring).

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Edit: found this: "Pens can now record up 29 minutes worth of full-HD (1080 30p or 60i)", so it would appear the camera might have a 29 minute limit, and is restricted to 30p or 60i.
I think it's the same ball game the Canon's have, maybe about 12 minutes per 4GB file. I'm retired, not in business and don't do events so this isn't important to me like it would be for others.

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While I'm not a huge fan of 24p for a variety of reasons, I still would like the option, as all my other cameras have it.
I can see that, but I, on the other hand, don't chase the 24p "will-o-the wisp". I view it as an archaic holdover from the days when 24fps was the best compromise between economy of film consumption and the slowest rate persistence of vision could be counted on to work for most people.

Just me, I suppose.

Quote:
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Bruce, it does appear to be a very nice camera based on previews, and it is a very cool, retro look as well. If I had $1K to toss around I'd like to have one just for the cool factor. I think the 60D or something like it will be my next DSLR purchase, as I do love Canon DSLR. I played with a 60D a couple of weeks ago and I really like it, the IS works for video, which is huge, I think.
While I've gone ahead and pre-ordered the Olympus, I'm keeping my 60D.
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