Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 2nd, 2014, 07:34 PM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 189
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

I think Don is right on about the XL-H1. I still have mine fitted with a nanoFlash, but almost never use it and use the Panasonic GH2, GH3, and the Canon 70D instead for wildlife filming. These cameras are so much more portable than the XL-H1 and they perform beyond all expectation for their price point. There may be a bit more latitude in post processing with the mxf files from the H1 and nanoFlash, but on the whole the small cameras hold up well and they seem to take sharper video than the H1.

In addition the auto-focus works quite well with these cameras and it did not with the XL-H1 and the adapters required to use the big telephotos. On the downside one must use an adapter to use the big Canon/Nikon, etc telephotos on the Panasonic cameras , which results in the loss of auto-focus, but the cameras auto-focus quite well with lenses such as the 14-140mm Lumix and 100-300mm Lumix lens and they retain this ability when using ETC mode. The 70-D gives excellent auto-focus with EF lenses, but the microphone picks up focusing motor noise unless one uses the STM lenses, or uses an off-board mike. The 70D does not auto-focus as well as the Panasonic cameras when one uses the advanced movie digital zoom feature, which seems to be the same as the 3x crop mode on the T3i, and is the Canon equivalent of ETC mode. When using it the 70D employs the old method of focusing in video mode, which results in a lot of focus hunting unless one uses manual focus.
__________________
Willard
http://pawildlifephotographer.blogspot.com/
Willard Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2014, 12:28 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 385
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Thanks Willard, I find that I was able to use AF to track flying Northern Gannets last year in Bonaventure with the GH3 + 100-300, and I've tracked shorebirds with the GH2 + 100-300.
Kin Lau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 8th, 2014, 07:19 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 811
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Hey Don,

I always enjoy your clean, no-nonsense bird footage. I know how long it takes you to get that stuff, but you make it look easy. One question about your DSLR. Birds shot with them often seem to have a blurriness with rapid motion that doesn't appear using a regular camcorder (the EX3, for example). Examples are the heads of the Red-breasted Sapsucker at 2:03 in your video, and the Semipalmated Plover at 2:07. Do you think it is an artifact of the camera, or are you shooting at a really slow shutter speed?

Thanks,

Steve Siegel
Raven On The Mountain Video
Steve Siegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 9th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 243
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Hello Steve,
Thanks for you kind words, and it is easy when your having fun in the process, which doesn't happen all the time which I can assure you. I can't really answer your question, since I don't know that much about the way the GH3 records video in the different modes. Most all the video I shoot of birds is FHD 1920x1080 30p .mov at 50Mbps with the shutter speed always at 1/60th. It's pretty much standard that your shutter speed is 2x the frame rate your using. I looked at some dowitcher sewing machine foraging footage shot with the XL H1 shot at 1080i 1/60th, and I didn't notice much or even any difference in blur. It is what it is, and I think what your seeing is fairly close to what you would see with your eyes. Just a side note, using the GH3 with a lite tripod and fluid head has been a joy over lugging around the XL H1 and a heavy tripod rig. I sold the XL H1 as fast as I could after I got the GH3 and never looked back......Don
__________________
Don DesJardin
Don DesJardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 12th, 2014, 05:32 AM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

I am impressed by Don's results here - no sign of any of the artefacts that I had been led to believe were inevitable when using DSLR or other still cameras with their large sensors with huge numbers of pixels. I assume this is down to using the ETC mode.

ETC mode is mentioned on p163 in the user guide for the GH4. Does this work in 4k mode, or only in 1080 mode?

Presumably cropping in Premiere is done using the Transform effect?

I am looking at the GH4 as a possible replacement for an ancient Sony V1e system. I already have some MFT lenses which gives me a start.

I am accustomed to using XLR connections for microphones, so I would need some kind of adaptor here? The expensive DMW-YAGH looks perfect for the job, but the Beechtek DXA SLR PRO is a fraction of the price!

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Last edited by Alan Craven; June 12th, 2014 at 06:01 AM. Reason: realised there was an error
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 12th, 2014, 11:16 PM   #21
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 243
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Alan,
Interesting in that you can only use the ETC function on the GH3 in video mode for only 1080 30p and 24p. It looks like in the GH4 you can use it in 1080 mode for everything not exceeding 60fps. There are a few other restrictions, but you can see those in the manual. Also, you cannot use it with any of the 4K video settings. If you want audio XLR connections, your suggestions would be the most cost effective solution. I really love shooting with the GH3, but if I had the extra money, I would go with the GH4 and keep the GH3 as a backup. There is absolutely no loss of video quality using the ETC function. All the footage in my video was shot using the ETC function.....Don
__________________
Don DesJardin
Don DesJardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13th, 2014, 01:48 AM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Thanks for that, Don. Since I posted I have located a download of the GH4 User guide, and can now see my options - I reached the same conclusion as you regarding ETC. Though the 4K would offer the alternative of cropping in post to 1920x1080 with (I assume) no loss of quality.

Studying this I have come up with a couple of other points. You talk about your sessions lasting several hours - what do you so for battery power? The basic camera has only the small battery of a DSLR, and would not last long? The DMW-YAGH has a standard 4-pin power socket (and apparently needs external power). Is this also possible with the basic camera, or do you have to keep swapping batteries.

Are you able to use the camera's own LCD in the field, or do you use an third-party add-on?

I always admire the style of your videos - you show bird behaviour, rather than just a quick shot, as though to tick that bird off your list. Many of your birds are familiar to me as they are present in NW Europe too.

I am sorry to be so full of questions, but you clearly work in the way that I would wish to!
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 243
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Alan,
I may be out in the field from just a few hours to all day. Most of that time is either traveling from one location to another, just walking, or sitting in one spot for hours waiting for something to come in front of the lens. I have had the camera a year and 3 months and can only remember one time I had to switch batteries. I could be out all day and come home with 0 to 60+ minutes of unedited footage, and I only have the camera on when I have something in front of me. I rarely even get down past 2 bars on the battery indicator, and that all depends on if I had a good or really bad day. I also have 12VDC to 115VAC converter in the car when I know that I'll be out for a long time, and I have my battery charger plugged into that, so I'm able the charge batteries if necessary while driving around. I never go out without an extra battery and extra card. Also, when I'm sitting waiting for a bird, I always have the LCD display set to sleep after 5 minutes. If something about to happen, I just tap the screen or give the shutter button a lite tap to wake it up, and I haven't missed any shots because of it. The LCD screen is your greatest power drain.

I use the LCD screen for framing and focus with no problem, for now. Always new stuff coming onto the market, so I just keep my eyes open for something that will make it easier.

Yes, I like to document behavior and not just get a quick shot to tick it off my list. I appreciate your kind words, thanks. I don't know if you have visited my website or not, but if you haven't, feel free to at Birds DesJardin . I hope my comments help.....Don
__________________
Don DesJardin
Don DesJardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2014, 12:53 PM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rossland, British Columbia
Posts: 966
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Hello Don,
I'm thinking of going down the path of a GH4 & was wondering how you go about dealing without built in ND filters? I am thinking specifically when using longer lenses with long lens hoods. Do you use a variable ND filter to control exposure & if so, how do you adjust it with your lens hood on (i'm thinking your 80-400mm)?
Also, is there a way of starting & stopping the camera remotely from say the pan handle?
Thanks,
Bryce
__________________
There's never enough hours in the day!
Bryce Comer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2014, 02:21 PM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 243
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Hello Bryce,
I use a front of the lens screw on 2 stop ND filter, and I don't have any problems with removing the lens hood to install or removing it. Make sure that you spend the money and buy a quality one. For my Nikon 80-400m I use a Toyo Optics ND 2X 77mm. I wouldn't recommend a variable ND filter, but that's just me. I use a Hoyo HMC series for my Panasonic 100-300mm lens, and would recommend this one first over the Toyo. Expect to spend money for it, but it's worth it.

There are many shutter releases on the market for the GH3 and GH4 at all prices. Here is the wired Panasonic release, and it's only an example that will work on both the GH3 and GH4.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMW-.../dp/B000GBVA34

You can Google GH3 shutter release and see many more at different prices and questionable qualities. I hope this helps.....Don
__________________
Don DesJardin
Don DesJardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2014, 02:47 PM   #26
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rossland, British Columbia
Posts: 966
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Thank you Don,
I was wondering if i should be looking for a variable ND filter to be able to adjust the exposure within the range of the filter & still keep a certain aperture on the lens.
Do you make adjustments to your exposure with shutter speed too, or just use the ND filter when necessary & adjust the aperture to get exposure where you want it?
Handy that all that is needed is a shutter release cable. Nice & simple & very cheap!
Thanks,
Bryce
__________________
There's never enough hours in the day!
Bryce Comer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2014, 05:05 PM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 243
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Bryce,
I assume you are going to be shooting video and might use the ND filter. If you are shooting with the 80-400mm, your ISO should be at 200 for normal daytime shooting. If your shooting 30p, your shutter should be at 1/60th, 60p should be at 1/120th, and 24p should be at 1/48th, but there is no 1/48th so 1/50th is the closest. When I use my 80-400mm, I always use MANUAL mode and adjust the iris for the given light conditions. If you are in low light, even after taking the ND filter off and you are already wide open as far as you can go, just start bumping the ISO up. I have gone up to 400 and there is still no noise. Also, I found that shooting at f8 is the sweet spot, and I always try to keep within f11 and f5.6 when using the 80-400mm. I only use the ND filter to try and keep within that f11 and f5.6 range. Most of the time in the summer here on Southern California around mid-day the light is just to harsh, and that's when I decide to hang it up and wait for a better time of day......Don.
__________________
Don DesJardin
Don DesJardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2014, 05:59 PM   #28
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rossland, British Columbia
Posts: 966
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Thanks Don,
You have been invaluable with your advice. While my funds will be a little stretched, i think i will just get the 14-140mm Pana lens with the camera to start. Then slowly over time, i will add the 7-14mm wide angle & whatever other lenses i feel will work well in between. The 80-400 will definitely be one i will be using regularly. I have the older version with the aperture ring on the lens which i have de-clicked so i will just pick up a plain adaptor to go between.
I downloaded some 4k footage the other day & put it on the timeline with some footage from my EX-3 & Canon XA20. When rendered out, it looked a lot better than the XA20 footage, but surprisingly, i didn't see much of a difference between the 4k downrezzed footage & the EX-3 footage. Maybe it is the way i rendered it out?? Either way, it will be fantastic to have a camera this capable that is so much smaller & lighter than my current set up.
Looks like i have lots to learn, but i am looking forward to it.
Thanks again for your advice.
Bryce
__________________
There's never enough hours in the day!
Bryce Comer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2014, 07:07 PM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 811
Re: Wild Birds with the Panasonic GH3

Hey Don,

I'm just curious, having read your recent post. I'm pretty sure that the digiscopers using the GH4 for video are setting the ISO at several thousand, while you recommend 200 for the Nikon 80-400. Do you know if the light transmission through a (very expensive) spotting scope is so low that huge ISO is necessary?
Steve Siegel is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:46 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network