Panasonic GH2

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    • #49559
      AvatarVideoMarker
      Participant

      I have decided to purchase the Panasonic GH2. I’m new to the DSLR market, so just wondering, apart from the camera, what else should I purchase along with it?

      Is the3X Lens Kit (14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.) sufficient?

      Is it better to order directly from Panasonic.com or from somewhere like B&HPhoto.com?

      Is Final Cut X sufficient for dealing with the raw video files?

      Anything else?

    • #202845
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      VM -the camera with the 14-42 lens is $1000 at Panasonic Direct, and $899 at Adorama,Amazon, or B&H.

      All are great places to order the camera, but you can save a few dollars at Unique Photo, where the camera is $889.

      I have ordered from all of these retailers (except Panasonic Direct), and have had good experiences with all of them.

      That said, I recommend you spend a few $ more, and get the GH2 with the 14-140 lens. $1200 new at Amazon or $1049 used at Adorama. The 14-140mm was my first lens with the GH2. It is sharp throughout its range, the 10x zoom is very useful and the silent autofocus is great for video. It is a terrific piece of glass.

      The next thing you will want is an external mic. The in-camera mic is fine, but getting the mic away from the camera and closer to your subject makes a lot of difference in sound quality. There is a good Videomaker article on mic choices here. I use a ~$20wired lavalier for close ups and a ~$150wireless VHF lavalier for longer shots. Other people prefer an external mic mounted on top of the camera, such as the ~$150 Rode Video Mic. Note: the GH2 has a non-standard 2.5mm mic input, so you will need a ~$6 adapter, like this one, to plug a 3.5mm mic jack into it.

      After that, if you want to steady your shots, you will need some sort of ~$300shoulder rigand/or ~$200fluid head tripod.

      And yes, you should be able to edit your video straight out of the camera with FCP X.

      If you have other questions about the camera once it arrives, there are great GH2 forums at dvxuser, dvinfoand elsewhere. The experts on these camera-specific forums are eager to share their knowledge and can be very helpful.

      Good luck with your new camera, and welcome to the GH2!

      Cheers,

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #202846
      AvatarVideoMarker
      Participant

      Thanks! Big help.

      Are there any issues w/banding or the moire pattern?

      Any technical/mechanical problems with the camera I should be aware of?

    • #202847
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      VM – there is far less moire with the GH2 than with Canon/Nikon/Sony DSLRs DSLTs & DSLMs. Here are a couple of side-by-side comparisons between the GH2 and the Canon 60D which clearly demonstrate this:

      http://vimeo.com/20565849

      http://vimeo.com/21962491

      If you really try, you can get moire on the GH2 (venetian blinds will do it), but it’s very difficult.

      The GH1 had some banding problems at high ISOs, but the GH2 is better. I have not seen banding on either camera, though, since I avoid high ISOs.

      A few minor issues with the GH2:

      1) it has a 2.5mm mic jack instead of the standard 3.5mm, which I mentioned above. Solved with a $6 adapter.

      2) it doesn’t have manual audio control – instead, it has a 4 step auto gain. I turn it down to the lowest setting to get rid of the majority of the ‘room noise’ that you hear from most AGC cameras – but manual audio gain would be better.

      3) no headphone jack – but the only DSLR/DSLT/DSLM cameras with headphone jacks are the new $3000Nikon D800 and $3500Canon 5D Mk III, which cost 3 or 4 times more

      Most users love the GH2 – but some do not (too small for their big hands, previous large investment in Canon/Nikon lenses, etc.).

      In my view, even with its (minor) faults, it has the highest video performance/price ratio of any DSLR/DSLT/DSLM camera, period.

      Good luck with your decision,

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #202848
      AvatarVideoMarker
      Participant

      Thanks again!!!!

      One last question…does the camera come with a memory card or does it need to be ordered separately? The GH2 prefers a certain kind right?

    • #202849
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      You’d think, VideoM, that would be a simple question to answer, but after wading through Amazon, Samy’s Camera, J&R Music and Computer World and a host of other links via my search on Google, I couldn’t find ANYWHERE that assured, insured or stated the GH2 comes with or without a memory card. Well, after digging around the B&H Photo Video site I found this statement: “Memory is not included so be sure to have enough storage capacity.” Then they offer an 8GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 card for $29.95. That wouldn’t hold much video. I’d probably want to swing for a few 16’s or a couple of 32’s.

    • #202850
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      There is no built in memory in the camera, so you’ll have to order a memory card or buy one locally. It is usually cheaper to order one.

      The camera takes standard SDHC or SDXC cards. SDXC cards are higher capacity and are more expensive. SDHC cards are all you need to start with.

      I recommend a Class 10 SDHC card, although the stock camera records just fine on Class 6. Best value for money, in my opinion, is the Komputerbay 32GB SDHC Class 10 card, which is an unbelievable $25 at Amazon (with a USB reader included in case your computer doesn’t have an SD card slot!). I just ordered one of these myself.

      Again, hope this is helpful.

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #202851
      Avatardoublehamm
      Participant

      While I have had some issues with “off” brands, even after the first shoot – first 5 minutes even – I have 3 of these in 3 different cameras that I have used for over 2 years now and still work like a champ! Class 10 32 GB. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0349730

    • #202852
      AvatarVideoMarker
      Participant

      Thanks again for all your valuable advice.

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