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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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GH2 audio quality

I'd like to get a few insights from users as to the actual audio quality of the GH2, using any external mic (and factoring in the obvious...that the mic will be affecting the quality).
Specifically, what is the background noise like from the pre-amps?
What's heard when its AGC is trying to record distant, low-level audio? Just a wall of "hiss?"
In a pinch could this audio be used for a sound track or is it strictly a scratch track needing audio to be recorded separately?
Thanks...
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Re: GH2 audio quality

Lynne - here are a couple of examples of GH2 audio set to level "1" (the lowest level), with an Azden VHF wireless mic.

Please forgive me for looking/sounding like 'death warmed over' in this video, I had a cold:


The second half of the second video was shot with a GH1, with an internal mic and AGC. The difference in the level of hiss is significant.

Internal audio is good enough for 99% of what I do. For the other 1%, I use a Tascam DR-40 with the output piped into the GH2 with a Sescom impedance matching cable to lay down a scratch/backup track.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Re: GH2 audio quality

Bill, thanks for posting. I realize this is a tough question to answer because it depends so much on the quality of the mics. Without a mic "standard," the hiss could be all over the map, not knowing exactly where it was coming from.
In the 2nd video, were you talking into the GH1's internal mic the entire time? I could hear a hiss in the background all the way through the video.
Your first video reminds me of one I posted a while back. I was testing a GoPro for audio, never imagining at the time I'd be needing to put it up on youtube. Let's just say I was certainly my plain self with no posing.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 03:44 AM   #4
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Re: GH2 audio quality

I was using the GH2 with the wireless mic in the first half of the "ETC Comparison" video - introducing another variable in addition to the lavalier - the VHF link.

Re-reading my earlier post, I mis-spoke when I said "here are a couple of examples...shot w an Azden VHF wireless mic".

I did use the http://www.amazon.com/AZDEN-EX503-Omni-Directional-Lavaliere-Microphones/dp/B000BSMKPY both times, but in the "Lavalier Sound Check" video, the lav was plugged directly into the camera (using the http://www.amazon.com/Cables-40634-Stereo-Adapter-Metallic/dp/B000O7AW98 and http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-GPM-467-Analog-Audio-Adaptor/dp/B000QU3JN4 adapters mentioned in the video) with no wireless link.

Apologies for the confusion, hope this is helpful.

Bill
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #5
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Re: GH2 audio quality

Lynn you asked about auto, with an external mic there is no auto gain with gh2.

Sound quality is fine, mic choice is key, that is obvious.

Audio quality overall is not great, but it is certainly good enough for small commercial/business videos and weddings, providing you use a high quality mic.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Re: GH2 audio quality

Bill...thanks for clearing up the direct vs. wireless connection. I bet adding the VHF dimension is what introduced the hiss.
Jeff...thanks for the note about the AGC absence with ext. mics. So AGC is only present with its internal mic?

The ultimate test would be to put the camera, using its internal mic, into a very quiet room and see how much hiss is present. Next add a good ext. mic, put it in the same quiet room and keep turning up the volume until the hiss level is the same. (Or if you had many mics to choose from, compare hiss levels at any given volume setting.) Obviously a time-consuming and equipment-intensive test which most people wouldn't even be interested in doing because they've opted for a 2nd recorder instead.

Do you know if the short mic that Panasonic sells as an accessory is considered a "good" mic?
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Old August 24th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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Re: GH2 audio quality

No it's not a good mic, I have it, used it once. The rode videomic pro is a good mic, and is the right size for a DSLR style camera such as this, in fact it is designed for DSLR form factor type cameras.
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