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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old October 30th, 2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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Servo zoom for the GH4

A friend of mine is very interested in the GH4 but would like to be able to zoom in/out while recording using a lanc remote or "from the lens itself"

I seen this lens, Panasonic H-PS45175E-K Lumix G X VARIO 45-175mm

Panasonic H-PS45175E-K Lumix G X VARIO 45-175mm: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Those of you that would know, unlike me, how would this lens work with the GH4?
Is it a good lens?
Would a lanc control of some sort make this lens zoom in/out?

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 1st, 2015, 04:21 AM   #2
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Re: Servo zoom for the GH4

He has never used a DSLR before, was always used to shoulder mount cameras and thinks it odd not having a zoom rocker on a camera :)

From what he has seen he loves the GH4 and would buy one, if there was a way round this.
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Old November 1st, 2015, 08:50 AM   #3
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Re: Servo zoom for the GH4

Unfortunately your friend will probably not like the power zoom options on the LUMIX lenses. I use both types of cameras, DSLRs and pro video cameras and I can assure you that the wimpy lens control options on the GH cameras will aggravate anybody used to a pro servo rocker switch.

First of all the zoom control is on the left side of the lens towards the bottom not the right side toward the top of the lens. The switch is very small, uses up and down movements instead of forward backwards movements and is hard to get any sort of subtle zoom motion. There is also the question of holding focus thru the zoom range, these are not par-focal lenses as every video camera down to the cheapest consumer camera has. These are high quality lenses designed for still photography nominally adjusted for video use, not lenses designed for live continuous action recording in any situation.

A true par-focal zoom lens for a GH camera or any DSLR would be very expensive due to the larger imaging surface in the camera. Canon makes one for their DSLRs and the last I looked it cost $20,000 and rents for $400 per day in NYC. And it's big and heavy compared to the camera body, near impossible to use hand-held without some sort of camera rig.

This is not to say that the GH cameras don't have great qualities, I nearly always use mine for interviews and other situations where I have some time for set-up and have moderate control over lighting. I always use my pro video cameras for situations where quick set-up is required (recently I filmed a documentary where there was only me filming and an audio person, we had several on-camera narrator set-ups each miles away from each other, it all had to be done in one day during daylight) or I have no idea what filming situation I am walking into. Example: this week when I will shoot a post-film screening Q&A in a theater that I will not have more then fifteen minutes for me and the second camera person to set-up our equipment.
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Old November 1st, 2015, 02:05 PM   #4
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Re: Servo zoom for the GH4

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Unfortunately your friend will probably not like the power zoom options on the LUMIX lenses. I use both types of cameras, DSLRs and pro video cameras and I can assure you that the wimpy lens control options on the GH cameras will aggravate anybody used to a pro servo rocker switch.
Thank you William, that answers that question then :)

Thank you for your advice, I will pass it on.
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