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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Hello, Everyone

I've been asked to record a speech presentation on a well lit stage. Would the GH1 be good to use?

Any comments for using this camera in this situation?

Thanks!
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Old November 30th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

I would say no. I do not think the Gh1 has an external mic input and in any ambient area like a banquet hall or assembly area, getting the mic as close to the speaker as possible is imperative to avoid poor audio quality (hall echo).

I also want to think the GH1 may stop recording after 30 min or so (depending on country), so you may want to verify beforehand.

As far as video goes, I think it would look fine, but as Douglas Spotted Eagle says, sound is 80% of what you see.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

I think that would be the last thing I'd use for a stage presentation. Don't get me wrong, the DSLRs have their place but IMHO not in the stage presentation arena especially if you need to record audio.
Get ahold of a good old video camera (your choice of flavors) shoot away. If need be and the access is there, pull an audio feed from the sound board, if not sound board, then you need to figure out a way to get good clean useable audio.
Again, I don't have anything against DSLRs but I do know if I walked in to do a seminar for one of my clients with one, they would be quite unhappy with me.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Hi Jaime - the http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH1K-12-1MP-Thirds-Interchangeable/dp/B00404D39M will work just fine, depending on how fast your lenses are, how good your lighting is and how clean you want the sound.

Speaking from first hand experience (I own one), the camera does have an external mic jack and, unlike DSLRs, it does not have a video clip length recording limit in North America (I notice you're in the City - I'm over in the East Bay).

That said, it has automatic audio gain control, so you won't be able to set your sound levels, so I suggest you complement it with an inexpensive external recorder with XLR inputs like the http://www.amazon.com/DR-40-4-Track-Portable-Digital-Recorder/dp/B005NACC6M. If you do use the GH1's mic input, the mic jack is a non-standard 2.5mm - so you'll need a http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-GPM-467-Analog-Audio-Adaptor/dp/B000QU3JN4.

In decent light, you will get cinematic shallow depth of field images that no small chip camcorder in its price range can match.

Here it is doing a local TV news promo:

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
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Old December 1st, 2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Bill, that was a nice clip. Tell me something...was the entire piece shot with the GH1, or just the on camera "talking head" in the studio? And was the studio shot actually a greenscreen or was that the actual background? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

~TRW
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Old December 1st, 2012, 12:42 PM   #6
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
Hi Jaime - the GH1 ($468 body-only from Amazon Warehouse Deals) will work just fine, depending on how fast your lenses are, how good your lighting is and how clean you want the sound.

Speaking from first hand experience (I own one), the camera does have an external mic jack and, unlike DSLRs, it does not have a video clip length recording limit in North America (I notice you're in the City - I'm over in the East Bay).
Thanks, Bill. I have two GH1s but I was thinking of these two options:

1. Renting a lens a fast lens for the GH1 + using H4n to record sound and then sync later.
2. To cover myself, use another H4n at the soundboard for audio.
2. Renting a camcorder from borrowlenses.


For presentations, wouldn't that have a smearing effect if you panned when the presenter moves?

I have the GH13 hack...
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Wall View Post
Bill, that was a nice clip. Tell me something...was the entire piece shot with the GH1, or just the on camera "talking head" in the studio? And was the studio shot actually a greenscreen or was that the actual background? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

~TRW
Hi Terry - I didn't shoot the piece, but the GH1 doesn't key that well, so my educated guess is that it is actual background.

Bill
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:14 AM   #8
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime Espiritu View Post
Thanks, Bill. I have two GH1s but I was thinking of these two options:

1. Renting a lens a fast lens for the GH1 + using H4n to record sound and then sync later.
2. To cover myself, use another H4n at the soundboard for audio.
2. Renting a camcorder from borrowlenses.


For presentations, wouldn't that have a smearing effect if you panned when the presenter moves?

I have the GH13 hack...

Hi Jaime, slow, steady pans with your GH13 should be fine. But you want to avoid "whip pans" to prevent skew.

I would choose whichever option is cheaper. Either one will give you high quality results. The camcorder may be easier to deal with from a focus and sound monitoring perspective. If you do rent a camcorder from borrowlenses, I recommend the Sony VG20. I rented this camera from them a few months ago. Good camera in low light.

Good luck!

Bill
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime Espiritu View Post
Thanks, Bill. I have two GH1s but I was thinking of these two options:

1. Renting a lens a fast lens for the GH1 + using H4n to record sound and then sync later.
2. To cover myself, use another H4n at the soundboard for audio.
2. Renting a camcorder from borrowlenses.


For presentations, wouldn't that have a smearing effect if you panned when the presenter moves?

I have the GH13 hack...
Jaime:

I plan/run meetings and conventions for a living and here are a few things to consider as an owner of a hacked GH1 and unhacked GH2:

Determine where you will be allowed to set up to record the presentation. This will help you determine what lens you will need. Also determine if you'll be allowed to use a tripod.

If there is an audio engineer who will be present and using a mixer, find out what type of audio outputs the mixer has, and what the signal strength is. You might be able to buy the appropriate cable from Sescom and use the on board audio in the camera. Also see if you can set up near the mixer if the presenter will be facing that direction. The camera uses what is called line level and you won't be able to run a long cable without converting it to low impedance and then back to line level.

I am assuming an audience will be present so you may want to use your second camera to capture audience reactions or wide shots of the room.

I just happened to have my GH2 with the 20mm 1.7 lens at a meeting in a large hotel ballroom and from the back of the room I got a fairly good image which I know I could not have gotten if I had tried to use my hacked GH1 with a 14-42mm lens.

Good luck!
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime Espiritu View Post
Thanks, Bill. I have two GH1s but I was thinking of these two options:

1. Renting a lens a fast lens for the GH1 + using H4n to record sound and then sync later.
2. To cover myself, use another H4n at the soundboard for audio.
I do understand the concerns from some videographers here that would use a real videocamera, one being able to live capture, adjust and monitor sound through a live feed from the soundboard mixer.

But using a zoom 4h will just do fine as well if you don't mind synching it up later, I do it all the time with my tascam dr40, it also allows me to monitor the sound and levels live and gives great sound.

One thing I would be concerned about, a fast lens is all nice for getting a shallow dof but I would not like to be in your shoes if the presenters start moving around. With a fast lens you"ll be hunting for the right focus all the time and that will be a lot more distracting then a recording with a very deep dof.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

I recently shot a presentation for a private university with two GH2's. The wireless handheld mics' receivers were in another room as part of a big stack of modern audio equipment with an XLR cable coming from the back. I hooked up my H4n to it and recorded audio separately. The presenter didn't move from her podium, so I had no issues there. At the next one, however, I will use my Canon XHA1 for filming questions from the audience. The unpredictability of who will be chosen to ask a question made it difficult to zoom, (switch on/off ETC), and focus in time. Plus, even with the 12-35mm lens I was using, I couldn't get a good closeup of someone on the opposite side of the room.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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Re: Panasonic GH1 for Speech Presentations

I shoot weddings with GH1's - speech's included.

Always record seperate audio and use the on board audio to sync, 1 camera on the speaker, 1 wide on the crowd, if the lighting is good you can use the lumix zoom lenses and if it's not I use canon FD primes.
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