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Old April 5th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #1
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Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

I've been getting inquiries asking if I shoot portraits. Since the GH2 is the only still camera I own, I'm wondering how the GH2 would compare with the Canon 5Dmkii for taking portrait photographs. I know some of you own both.

Would the 5D offer a noticeable improvement in quality over the GH2 for still/portrait photography in a controlled studio environment ?

Advice appreciated,
Jeff Hinson
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Old April 5th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

I think you really want a MkII Jeff. <Grin>

To answer your question, yes it would make a big difference.
That's what the MKII is best at IMO.

I sold mine because I simply didn't use it enough to justify keeping it. IMO, the video out of it was softer than the 7D but the stills were much better.

You need good portrait glass and lighting is a must for good portrait work but the camera is the base unit.
This gets argued a little but the higher megapixels makes a much sharper image even at normal size portraits and it's a huge advantage for reception work where the images will need to be cropped, sometimes pretty hard.

It looks like weddings are your strong suit so I'd say if it's in your budget, go for it.

The price on the MkII is coming down now and it's probably a good time to buy a used one.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Litten View Post
I think you really want a MkII Jeff. <Grin>

To answer your question, yes it would make a big difference.
That's what the MKII is best at IMO.


It looks like weddings are your strong suit so I'd say if it's in your budget, go for it.

The price on the MkII is coming down now and it's probably a good time to buy a used one.
_______________________________________________________________________

haha....how did you know that ? Like we don't want every camera and accessory made. ha

Thanks for the info, I assumed it would be better. I purchased initially the Sony Nex 5N...took great pics, but over heated when taking video. Sold that to buy the GH2 for video...should have kept the 5N for stills. Oh well it's only money.
I will be looking for a "used" 5D...if you hear of one please let me know. Im always reluctant to buy used, but have always had good luck buying/selling to/from DVinfo forum members.

Jeff
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Old April 9th, 2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hinson View Post
Would the 5D offer a noticeable improvement in quality over the GH2 for still/portrait photography in a controlled studio environment?
Don has already answered this, but just to reiterate, these cameras are in different leagues for still performance (of course, video is another story, where as we all know the Gh2 punches well above its weight).

I love the convenience of the Gh2 as a lightweight camera you can take anywhere, but the 5D2 trounces it for still image quality, particularly portraiture, where there's a substantial gulf in all areas: colour accuracy, ISO/noise performance, resolving power, handling/build quality, depth of field control.

You will need a couple of good primes though - the 85 1.8 would be a great start, ideal for portraiture.

In short, yes, you will notice a very substantial improvement in image quality when shooting stills.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 03:36 AM   #5
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

thanks Josh....

I really want a 5D....the GH2 as you said, works great as a video cam. Im starting to enjoy portrait photography and have learned a lot using the GH2...my first experience since 35mm film days.

If you or anyone knows of someone wanting to move up to the 5Dmk3, I'd like to buy their old 5Dmk2.

Thanks for posting,
Jeff
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #6
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

The 5DII and Gh2 actually complement each other rather well - they have such different strengths.

For low light jobs or when you want a pretty full frame look, you'll find yourself using the 5DII for video. When moire is a potential issue, or when you want to capture detail, the Gh2 is the better choice.

And for stills, the 5DII is a professional camera with the potential to deliver truly spectacular results. But, there's a caveat: with a couple of lenses it can be a beast to carry around, so you have to consider whether you're going to use it before you leave the house... when I'm going for a walk to town I don't generally take the 5DII. Whereas the Gh2 (and m43 lenses especially!) is such a featherweight you end up putting it in your bag and using it opportunistically, just because it's there.

I hope you find yourself a good body. Good luck!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Yes...I agree Josh.
Coming from tugging large video cams around, I fell in love with using DSLRs...then got hooked on photos more than video....
My first experience was with the Sony 5N...I was so impressed I bought one and some lenses not knowing the "time limit" on shooting video. Sold it, bought the GH2 because of no video limitation. So, Ive had a very expensive learning curve....but this is not the first time. haha

With the advice of this forum I think Ive finally found what I want. My arsenal will include the Canon XA10, the GH2, and when I win the lottery, I will get the Canon 5Dmk2 or 3.

I may be divorced over this, but what the heck....we only go through once right. ha

Thanks for the comments,
Jeff
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

What sort of portraits? The GH2 can take amazing portraits, portraits generally don't look best super sharp, not everyone wants every pore showing. I have a really good DSLR (Nikon D3 S) but sometimes elect to use a GH2 with Nikon lenses for 1) really low light: my 85 1.8 Nikon is now a 170 @1.8 2) My 35 2.0 gives a beautiful image as a 70 equivalent.
GH2= a lot smaller and less intimidating, swing out LCD really handy at odd angles, much quieter
Big DSLR= Much quicker focusing and frame rate, better interaction with studio flash.
This is a series I did of jazz musicians all with a GH2 at high ISO's in dark places. Over 10,000 calendars were made and 16X20 prints made and sold. I recieved nothing but praise, not one "you should have used a different camera" Link: Detroit Michigan Jazz Musicians
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Old April 9th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Roy,
Im sure it's my lack of experience in using the GH2 that I havent arrived at pro level yet. That's why Im continuing to use it and will keep it even though I may pick up a used 5d2.

Ive taken what "I" consider good portrait here in the studio.

Thanks for the input,
Jeff
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Old April 10th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Question for those taking photographs with the GH2...

Im using Corel PaintShop Pro 4 to edit photos (cheaper than PhotoShop). I want to be able to shoot photos for 8x10, 5x7, and billfold size combo packages for schools churches etc.

Will the 16x9 ratio setting on the GH2 allow cropping to all formats, or should I use the "aspect bracket" function to cover them all ? Which do you suggest I use for each size photo?

PS4 is not real user friendly. It defaults to saving my high rez jpegs or raw to small jpeg files. Im assuming the larger the file, the better the photo will look when printed. Im thinking large file equals hi resolution ??

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old April 10th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Jeff, I think the end display should be a big factor in your decision making. Are the stills for billboards, or a high quality coffee table art book or large gallery prints. If not, the most important factor in a good still is "the moment" not the pixel count. Plenty of good stills around that don't have pin-sharp resolution. You have a GH2 that you're comfortable with, then stick with it and maybe buy an accessory or two for that. There are very few of us that could tell the difference between a 5D Mk2 print and a GH2, but plenty of us that can tell you whether the shot works on a creative level.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #12
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Chris
Money I don't got, but creative I is
Thanks for your post

Jeff
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Old April 11th, 2012, 03:40 AM   #13
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

You might be suffering from GAS!!! (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

:-)

i'd say the glass is much more important than the camera, i dont know what the crop factor is on this camera but if you can get, as already mentioned a lens that will be in or around the 85mm mark with the field of view factored in, this is a good range for portraits, I use a Canon 1DS Mk 3 with a 24 -70mm or sometimes a 70 - 200 mm and yes the full frame is a big difference but before i had FF i could get pretty good results from crop cameras.

If you could afford Adobe Lightroom 4, its really good for stills.

R
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Old April 11th, 2012, 04:43 AM   #14
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

I do have three lenses...zoom 14-140 kit, a 25mm 1.4(50mm equiv on the GH2) and an old 50mm 2.0 Pentax k lens (100mm equiv on the GH2). I find myself using the 25mm most of the time.

My GH2 attemps at portraits.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...portraits.html
thanks for the advice,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff Hinson; April 11th, 2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #15
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Re: Portraits: Use GH2 or purchase 5Dmkii ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
You might be suffering from GAS!!! (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

:-)
, I use a Canon 1DS Mk 3 with a 24 -70mm or sometimes a 70 - 200 mm and yes the full frame is a big difference but before i had FF i could get pretty good results from crop cameras.


R
Rob, I think I do have GAS!!
I just looked at your 1DS MkIII price on B&H...so I don't think Im the only one that has GAS. haha
Wow, looks like a great camera. If I win the lottery, Id like to have one.

Jeff
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