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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).


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Old January 12th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #16
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The low light comparison sounds very promising. Sorry John, I didn't mean fast zoom, I meant a fast lens that zooms.

I had a Canon 40D and had no lens that was above 1.8, my photos were amazing. I never used a zoom lens, however, all primes. But I see using the GH2 I would need a zoom lens for sure.

I seem to recall a zoom lens under 2.0 was very pricey.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #17
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The Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8, 28-280mm (35mm equivalent) kit lens might be worthwhile. It costs $729 separately, $500 as part of the camera kit. Of course you did say anything faster than f/4.0, and it is not....

I really want auto focus ability. I'd hate to get the lens and not like it though. I'll troll around and see who's using it out there or what some alternatives, if any, are out there.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #18
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The Panasonic might give different results but I just spent the last 3 days editing a video shot by 2 highly regarded pro videographers. It was a day in the life video shot with an EX-1 and a Canon 5D MK II. It seemed pretty obvious that the Canon was poorly suited for run and gun style shooting that you will typically have at a wedding. In an effort to keep up with the non-stop action, the Canon shooter never seemed to nail the correct white balance and sometimes he missed the exposure as well. Plus it was obvious that he just plain missed some shots. You can only fix so much in post. The Canon footage created a lot more work for the editor. FYI, this 5D was rigged with a Zacuto eyepiece and a follow focus and the shooter has a lot of experience with the 5D.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #19
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Appreciate your report Greg. Glad I'm not editing that shoot.

Well, with the Canon there are two disadvantages off the bat. A 12 minute recording limit, and lack of a hi-rez LCD. The GH2 does address these issues, at least.

I haven't used the Zacuto, never even seen one. Are they pretty accurate in how they present the image? I've wondered about them as I considered one when I had a DSLR...

Actually, since you mentioned white balance: I have been wondering about white balance and how you would change it on the fly with this cam. Or could you? More to investigate, for sure.

I'm hoping, at this early stage of my considering this venture, that the two issues addressed by the Panasonic would be significant enough to allow better results in a wedding situation.

I can tell you I just finished looking at cards, and I'd be looking at $500 just for cards. Pricey, eh?
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:41 PM   #20
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The Panasonic might give different results but I just spent the last 3 days editing a video shot by 2 highly regarded pro videographers. It was a day in the life video shot with an EX-1 and a Canon 5D MK II. It seemed pretty obvious that the Canon was poorly suited for run and gun style shooting that you will typically have at a wedding. In an effort to keep up with the non-stop action, the Canon shooter never seemed to nail the correct white balance and sometimes he missed the exposure as well. Plus it was obvious that he just plain missed some shots. You can only fix so much in post. The Canon footage created a lot more work for the editor. FYI, this 5D was rigged with a Zacuto eyepiece and a follow focus and the shooter has a lot of experience with the 5D.
Hey Jeff,

Just a heads up, Greg is right about the potential pitfalls of DSLR for weddings, and run and gun footage in general. I've shot about 8 weddings with mine now in the last 1 1/2 years but tons of other stuff. It's not easy, but in my mind worthwhile. When I jump back on to my XLH1 to shoot something, it's like taking a day off - it's so easy (relatively speaking).

I mix the 5d footage with the HDV when cutting a wedding, but my highlights and montage stuff is almost exclusively DSLR. HDV footage mixes fairly well in the timeline but looks soft by comparison. For the last couple of weddings, I've used a second camera op to run the H1 during the ceremony, then I use the DSLR almost the entire rest of the way.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:15 AM   #21
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Ken, would having an LCD such as the GH2 has make focusing, adjustments on the fly, etc easier, in your estimation?

For anyone interested, as I research the GH2 I see it has been tested on countless forums against other cameras. It is impressive, especially for the price.

Features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRCt6...ayer_embedded#!

One thing I feel good about with this possible transition is I'm accustomed to shooting almost exclusively with a tripod, which is probably the best way to shoot with these cameras, correct?

Is that the case with you Ken? Do you go handheld? Merlin or Glidecam?

I can't imagine what is coming down the pike. Canon and Nikon will have to respond to the Panasonic GH2, and I would imagine whatever they whip up will be impressive. I love Canon lenses, and would love to wait and see, but I don't know.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #22
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Hey Jeff,

I've seen some of the Panny stuff and it looks really good. Focusing is the biggest issue, especially with fast lenses shooting wide open. If that GH2 autofocus is reliable, that's a big thing. Seems pretty cheap too relatively speaking. But then I paid 11k for an XLH1 HDV camera back in '06. So even a 5d looks pretty cheap by comparison. But even the H1 is cheap if you compare it to the old Betacam SP units from the 90's.

I shoot mostly from a tripod. I'm not at all a 'DSLR rig' kind of guy and I rarely shoot handheld. I do shoot from on a Glidecam 2000 with wider lenses. I recently picked up a shoe mount 7" LCD, which articulates (which is the biggest problem with the 5d LCD) I see that the GH2 lcd flips out and tilts which is nice.

Definitely the GH2 is going to attract a lot of buyers.

Work flow is a big thing for me and working off of cards is nice. Even just reviewing footage on the back of the camera is so much nicer. It's scary as hell sometimes to reformat and I find I store multiple copies of different drives. One thing about tapes is that you can just throw the tape on a shelf and let it collect duct for a few years...

This is the first footage I shot with the 5d 18 months ago. It's from a family wedding and so I wasn't worried. I had my hv30 there that I used for the ceremony, but I absolutely couldn't use it for the reception as the lighting was so bad. I had a 50mm f1.4 wide open on the 5d. It was all handheld too, but relatively speaking it turned out ok...

I have some more recent stuff at Love Stories On Film

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Old January 14th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #23
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Some really good replies here and lots of potential pitfalls explored. Ken's 5D2 video shows the unavoidable flash banding (ug) but shooting at f/1.4 would suggest his video makes the room look floodlit rather than candlelit. Is this how the couple want it remembered we ask?

I've used the GH1 and as Greg says - even that camera's no run 'n' gun tool. It's stock 10x zoom is so slow and the chips are (in 35mm terms) so small that a lot of the differential focus opportunities are lost simply because you're down the wide end to make sure you cover its auto-focus failings.

Two cameraperson shoots is where the DSLR/GH excels. The conventional camcorder doesn't bat an eyelid at long ceremonies or speeches and captures excellent audio with ease. Weddings are real-time happenings, you can't edit what you didn't get because of DSLR time-outs, white balance, ND fitting, focus issues, short zooms, no iris changes and cumbersome audio contraptions.

DSLRs are wonderful for the preps, the wedding breakfast, the evening. Even better if you're allowed to fit the fast prime and gather/experiment at will, knowing the proper videocam man is capturing the unfolding day.

The couple just love the arty footage as they won't have seen anything like this from their dad's camcorder but there's a break-even point to all this - most couples have employed you to capture everything that happens right throughout their special day. The more artily you do it the better of course, but miss anything out and there'll be some explaining to do.

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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #24
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I can tell you I just finished looking at cards, and I'd be looking at $500 just for cards. Pricey, eh?
What cards are you looking at? Class 4 from SanDisk have never failed in any camera I've shot video with including experimenting with a hacked GH1 at 30+ mbps.

One of the reasons the AVCHD standard was introduced was so that you don't have to buy class 10 cards like people are doing with the high-bitrate Canon DSLR's.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #25
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As you said Tom, great replies, including yours. This conversation is priceless.

Regarding autofocus on the GH1 you mention, the GH2 is reportedly much (2X) faster, but still the pitfalls of using a hybrid are still pretty obvious when reading your posts.

I still want to think that I could pull it off with these cameras if I could get 5-10 weddings under my belt with them, which I can, if I take it along as an extra piece of equipment.

I keep coming back to the Live view on the LCD for shooting video, I can't use viewfinders, my vision is too bad. Even on a videocamera I use only the LCD.

I found a 32GB Class 10 for $54, and figured I would need 10 for 5 hours of footage. Actually, I just looked at 32GB cards, and there's nothing much under $50...the class 4 aren't any cheaper, which makes no sense. The pricing on the 32GB cards is strange to me.

John, doesn't the GH2 require a 32GB card in order to get 30 minutes? That's what I've read, but I could be wrong.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #26
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Hi Jeff
I don't do weddings strictly wildlife stuff. But on my GH1 I get an hour on a 8GB card shooting 720p60. The GH2 at 1080 is a higher bit rate but I would think you would get at least 2.5 hours on a 32GB card.

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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #27
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Gordon, thanks for your respons....I have NO idea...I've researched a bit and just vaguely recall reading about 30minutes at 1080i...that was at the beginning of my reading. I've found nothing since then, and I might have been mistaken. 32GB sounds like a LOT of space for 30 minutes of footage.

If you are correct 2.5 hour would be nice, but a double edged sword. If something happened to a card, what a loss. But what a convenience to not have to concern yourself with changing cards for over 2 hours.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #28
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90% of my shootings are weddings and my main camera is EX1, but along with it I use Canon 1/5 and 7D,
I chose Canon because it was the first one to offer great video and f2.8 zooms with IS were available; to me non IS lens DSLR hand held footage is not acceptable, and I like to mix nice fixed shots with decent moving shots, either hand held or steadicam/slider footage. I love DSLR footage look and feel, it puts to shame any camcorder including my favourite EX1, but I wouldn't risk to film a live event like wedding with DSLR exclusively, I need to have that piece of mind that I have one camera rolling with wide shot, all in focus, good sound :)
But for creative shots DSLRs, considering price of the setup, are just incredible deal; sound - is not a problem, I don't use sound from DSLRs, 12 min single clip limit - is not a problem, as long as you're familiar with multiple cameras shooting concept.
I am replacing my EX1 with the RED Scarlet or maybe even Epic this year, but my 5D and 1D stay with me for a long time, no matter what.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #29
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doesn't the GH2 require a 32GB card in order to get 30 minutes? That's what I've read, but I could be wrong.
You may be thinking of the GH1/2 imported into Britain. They have to have a 29 min, 59 second cut-off point for any video shot, otherwise the camera attracts more import duty (tax). Crazy, huh? It's bad enough the camera's crippled by not having a silent zoom, without the government hurting it some more.

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Old January 14th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #30
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Ahhh, that must be it Tom. Still curious as to how much space video takes up on a card, but what you say resolves the 30 minute thing I've been stuck on.
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