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Old June 4th, 2013, 08:31 AM   #1
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How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

I have to say I fully appreciate all the features of a proper ENG camera and have tolerated the deficiencies of HDSLR for video in some productions using a 5DM2 + ML + DP4 as a b-camera. However, for traveling I need a b-camera that doesn't require an external monitor to get well exposed and properly focused shots.

The GH3 looks interesting with it's Wifi, new CODEC and flip out LCD but from what I can tell, it still lacks such things as peaking for focus assist and zebras for exposure assist. Also, from what I can tell, you basically are left to rely on the camera's auto focus and auto exposure (histograms don't count in my book). It also looks like the equivalent to the Magic Window (1:1 PIP) disappears during recording.

For those who've actually made some productions with this camera, how would you evaluate the GH3 without the aid of an external monitor for focus and exposure?
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Old June 4th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

It's workable with some practice. A loupe helps with manual live focusing and there is a form of blinking exposure assist that's very irritating but it works. It really depends on what you are shooting.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

It's not a camera you can use quickly like ENG cameras. But I like it for more contained shooting inside and for interviews. You can get really creative with fast primes and shallow DOF. I've tried using it handheld for quick location stuff in daylight and it really is pretty difficult with focus, exposure and just seeing your subject in the LCD. A good loupe or EVF is a must.
Having said all that I love the camera and what it does...and of course what you get for the price is sensational.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #4
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
...there is a form of blinking exposure assist that's very irritating but it works. It really depends on what you are shooting.
Is that basically hard coded 100% brightness or can you adjust the value like zebras?

I want to use it a couple ways with a Panny 14mm f2.5:
1) Locked down B camera in manual focus and exposure for interviews
2) POV in cars and tight interiors on AE and AF controlled via WiFi
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Old June 5th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Varavon has a "Loupe for the GH3" that works fairly well for focus.

Varavon Loupe for GH3 - Personal View Talks

AFAIK they are only available thru Personal-View at this time & only on certain days. If your registered there you can follow the "Catch-It" thread & receive daily emails about the rotating deals. Seems the Loupe comes up every week, or so, & sells for about $170 with USPS shipping to the USA.

CatchIt Deals - Personal View Talks

Although I primarily use EVFs on larger cameras, I bought a pair of Varavon's loupes for my GH3(s), & so far have been relatively happy with them. The GH3s are mostly used for B-Roll (stills & motion), backup for other cameras when traveling, & documentary work where a small package is desirable. They rarely get too dressed up before I decide to switch to a more full featured camera, & at most I'll slap on a loupe, Rode VideoMic Pro, & small CF monopod with ballhead (doubling as a shoulder rig when needed).

The only downsides I've noted so far:

-Not sure how well the baseplate would hold against a follow focus.

-The Loupe can't be rotated upwards if headphones are plugged in.

-The spacing is a bit off, so about 1mm of the right hand side of the LCD is cutoff (Been meaning to contact Varavon about this, but at worst it seems a bit of Dremeling of the L-bracket would bring it into alignment).

If you do pickup the Loupe note Zacuto's Z-Finder 16:9 Sun Mask & Anti-Fog Shield fits below the eye-cup & will likely reduce the risk of a burnt LCD. While the loupe could just be flipped up when not in use, it's lens would still point at something, so I also use a Fotodiox 37mm lens cap (& a retainer strap) attached to the eyecup. And a bit of Velcro keeps the cap out-of-the-way when not in use.

http://store.zacuto.com/z-finder-16x9-sun-mask/

http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Snap-...odiox+37mm+cap

Best,
Bern

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Last edited by Bern Caughey; June 5th, 2013 at 07:52 PM.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Seems we have similar usage for this camera. If the Black Magic camera shipped in time, I'd get it since it's clearly a filmmaker feature set.

But instead, with a GH3 and no zebras, are you guys able to judge exposure from the LCD well enough to avoid over exposed skin tones and bad white balance?
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Old June 6th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #7
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Les, call me simple, but I don't use Zebras - I find them annoying. My simple tip is switch the camera to auto to gauge a reference exposure and then I usually stop up/down 1/2 or 1 stop. Same with WB. Check it against Auto then hit the Kelvin temp menu and warm up or down. Mind you, grading and colour correction in post takes care of WB unless you are way, way off, so auto is usually pretty close. I think the Varavon is a good, cheap and reliable supplement to what is a very ordinary LCD in daylight.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Right. I have a z-finder pro and can adapt it to the flip out screen myself. But for a minimal b-camera kit in the field without an external monitor and times when loupes aren't practical, a decent LCD can get you "b-camera" close enough. My ex1r is like that. I can see when I ought to be at 4100K instead of 3200K or whatever. With 70% zebras, I can reliably expose faces compensating with my eyes and brain. That's what I'm asking about the GH3. Are you able to get adequately close focus, exposure and white balance using just the LCD?
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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #9
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

GH3 Z-Finder Frame Kit: Zacuto Filmmaking Accessories
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Old June 6th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Has anybody seen or have any interview footage done with this camera?
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Old June 6th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

The expanded focus is very good for close focus, the histogram is very good and white balance has plenty of manual settings, but in bright daylight everything on the LCD is compromised. I've never had a problem using the LCD, but of course it's easier with a loupe or EVF - is that what you're asking ??
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Old June 6th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Gardner View Post
Has anybody seen or have any interview footage done with this camera?



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Old June 6th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Nice stuff Bill - great light and an amazing looking guitar. He is giving that 1.3 DOF a workout by moving backwards and forwards - don't they kill you when they do that - but nicely held !!

Here's one of mine - most 100% interviews are start and end. GH3 with olympus 45mm F1.8 and 12mm F2, natural light

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Old June 10th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Chris,

I found that a very moving and human story, filmed in a very interesting manner. I feel it would have been essentially the same emotionally involved experience with anything you used (due to your sense of vision and your touch), but seeing the GH3 used to this effect is very motivating to me.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #15
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Re: How would you evaluate the GH3 for filmmaking?

Found this review of the GH3 for video written by the producer of the Deborah Rushton piece:
In-Depth Review of the Panasonic GH3 for Video: Episode 1 – Chaos&Cosmos | MirrorLessons – The Best Mirrorless Camera Reviews 2013
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