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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old June 15th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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zooming with GH3

Could you let me know your experiences with zoom lenses on a GH3? how does it work compared to a rocker zoom on a standard camcorder for example?
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Old June 17th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: zooming with GH3

Hi Ian
I have two zoom lens the 14-140 and the 100-300 both are manually zoomed. If the lens is locked down on a tripod zooming is possible and with a little practice the end result is acceptable. The 100-300 is sticky at times. If zooming is a standard part of your shooting style I would advise buying one of Panasonic lens that has a zoom motor built in.

Cheers
Kent
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Old June 17th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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Re: zooming with GH3

If you are used to camcorder zooms and use them while filming then GH series lenses will be a big problem. The power zoom lenses are tough to control and are limited in their zoom. Plus the exposure changes radically in the course of the zoom. The manual zoom lenses are not par-focal and will not hold their focus during a zoom. There is one manual zoom Panasonic offers that behaves like a standard video zoom but it's almost $1000. You can get a very good video camera for that price. Generally the GH series is better used for filming beautiful set shots, not live zooming, although you can get away with it in bright daylight as the DOF is very wide in that situation. The camera, as all DSLR cameras, is a still camera modified for moving images and retains the behaviors of a camera designed for still taking.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: zooming with GH3

Here is a real video, using the 14-140mm manual zoom lens to shoot sports(!) with a GH1 at 72060p. Zooming works quite well:

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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: zooming with GH3

thank you guys for these replies. I use a Canon XF300 series so I am used to good easy zooming I suppose, but sometimes (on shoots which entail a long outdoor walk) a smaller form factor camera is desirable, especially with broadcast quality bitrate as the GH3 has.

I did try one, but the zoom 'issue' and the ND filter 'issue' are so far deterring me from buying a pair of GH3's.

Could I ask if you use the plastic device which straps onto the lens to aid smoother zooming? Is it a solution?

thanks

IC
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: zooming with GH3

I used the plastic device for the above basketball video. The manual zooming was easy and smooth, and the device helped a lot.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: zooming with GH3

I have one too (the $25 Panasonic version), but I would like to have the option of power zoom.

My hands aren't as steady as Mark's :)

Bill
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: zooming with GH3

DMC-GH2 | PRODUCTS | LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global

Panasonic makes a zoom lever that works well on the 14-140 zoom. I do live zooming with that lens all the time and it usually works well with the auto focus but there are times you will lose focus and the auto focus struggles to get back in line. A zoom of around 4 to 6x usually holds the focus even in manual focus but beyond that is likely to go out of focus. I have a 14-42 PZ lumix lens and I can assure you from experience that the exposure changes several stops during a zoom. Outside in daylight, this is barely noticeable if you are on auto exposure but inside on manual exposure, it's not good, especially in low light. The 14-42, however, does stay in focus throughout the zoom. I have a GH2, a GH3 and a JVC HM600 video camera and I will do things like set the GH2 on a wide shot, use the GH3 for close-ups and have the HM600 for smooth zooms. I did a dance concert this weekend and I chose the HM600 as the situation was going to be very chaotic in a public space and I wanted to be sure to be in focus as I was only using one camera. Later I will do interviews for the project with the GH3. In fact I prefer the GH3 for interviews but one client doesn't want to work with AVCHD so I use the JVC for them.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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Re: zooming with GH3

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
...I prefer the GH3 for interviews but one client doesn't want to work with AVCHD so I use the JVC for them...
William - a little off topic, but why not shoot the interviews with the GH3 and record to .MOV at 50mpbs IPB? Just wondering.

Personally, I agree with your client. One of the reasons I bought the camera was to get away from AVCHD.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old June 19th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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Re: zooming with GH3

One word - terrible. But the GH3 and accompanying lenses were adapted for use for video because of the large sensor and fast lenses giving you great pics with shallow DOF if you wanted. Zooming during shooting is the poor relation and is woeful compared to camcorders and prosumer cameras. Particularly bad is the ability to do creeping or slow zooms which are pretty well impossible to do smoothly.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #11
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Re: zooming with GH3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
William - a little off topic, but why not shoot the interviews with the GH3 and record to .MOV at 50mpbs IPB? Just wondering.

Personally, I agree with your client. One of the reasons I bought the camera was to get away from AVCHD.

Cheers,

Bill
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50mpbs IPB is still h264. I use it all the time and it looks great, at least equal to 35mbps MPEG2 of XDCam, probably better. Works fine if your computer has decent graphics card. Recently I sent B-Roll filmed in 50 IPB to a client and they had a very hard time with it in their computer until I convinced them to transcode to ProRes. Then the footage worked. Next time I'll transcode the footage myself before sending it. The HM600 is a real video camera with all the right controls in mostly the right place and built-in pro audio connectors so it gets used where it makes sense. The B-roll I sent was filmed in a location where the GH3 made more sense due to the wide angle lens I have for it, so I used it.

I recently worked on a pilot for a series (hopefully to be approved soon) and the channel will not accept programming filmed in AVCHD but XDCam is OK. 50 IPB hasn't been around long enough for it to get the broadcasters seal of approval although I'm sure it's been on the air all over already.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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Re: zooming with GH3

I have the 14-140 that came with my GH2.
Zooming is pretty much impossible with my lens. The focus shifts can be minimized to some degree with depth of field. But the sudden exposure jumps are totally unacceptable. I'm talking about 2 or 3 stop sudden jumps during zooming.

I've asked around many times here and elsewhere in the past if this can be avoided. I bought one of the power zoom lenses with the same results. No way around this.

But in the examples posted above, I don't see the jumpy exposure. What changed?
New versions of the 14-140?
A second firmware upgrade?

I don't need a lot of zoom capability but would like to have it sometimes.
Is there something I'm missing?
How about a list of zoom lenses that don't have jumpy exposures?
I'm good with manual controls but the power zoom would be nice.

Thanks
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