OT - Any opinions on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

dibbkd wrote on 9/30/2012, 7:40 PM
I've heard a few good things about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, been thinking about getting one.

Wanted to hear from anyone here who has one what they thought about it. I've also read about the hacks available, wanted to know what you thought of those as well.

And of course, does the video it creates work well with Vegas?

Comments

NickHope wrote on 9/30/2012, 9:12 PM
Bear in mind that the GH3 has already been announced and will probably ship around November, and has a lot of improvements. But the body is something like twice as expensive as the GH2.
Jerry K wrote on 10/1/2012, 6:10 AM
Here are a few reasons why i would wait for the GH-3

GH-2
Battery (7.2V, 1200mAh) 
Remote or External microphone input 2.5mm. stereo mini jack
No earphone jack

GH-3
Battery  (7.2V, 1860mAh) 
Remote input 2.5mm for Remote
External microphone input 3.5mm for External microphone
Headphone output 3.5mm for Headphone

Jerry K
Laurence wrote on 10/1/2012, 7:44 AM
Just my opinion, but there is no camera that I would rather have than a GH-3.
NickHope wrote on 10/1/2012, 8:06 AM
Also, in favour of the GH-3, weatherproofed magnesium body, higher framerates, higher bitrates without hacking, more dynamic range, wifi connection to Android app.. I will probably get one.

The main possible downsides are no peaking or zebras, although this may be added in a firmware update, and there was more moire/aliasing present on footage from the sample at Photokina, than had been present on the GH2. Pundits are attributing it to possible use of a Sony sensor rather than their own sensor, and of course it may be fixed before production. It's probably not as bad as pre-5Dmk3 Canons anyway.
dibbkd wrote on 10/1/2012, 8:21 AM
As cool as the GH3 sounds, the GH2 would still be a big step up for me, so I was thinking since the GH3 was coming out soon that I may be able to find a good deal on a GH2, or find someone who was looking to upgrade to the GH3 wanting to sell their GH2.

Just kinda worried about getting a used one and it being out of warranty though.

One review I read said something along the lines of "This $900 camera outperforms some of the $20,000 cameras out there". Sounded like a bunch of hype but I hadn't read anything negative about the GH2 either.
BruceUSA wrote on 10/1/2012, 9:27 AM
GH3 is definately in my mind but I really prefered to stay with Canon. I just wished Canon will release a 6D II with Vari-angle screen and 1080 60P that some I am dreaming of. But don't know when it gonna happen
NickHope wrote on 10/1/2012, 1:14 PM
I think there will be a successor to the 60D/7D/EOS-M that will have those features, but it will be probably be APS-C or some other cropped sensor, not the full frame of the 6D. And I guess it will be well into 2013. But they have to do it surely to hit back at what Panasonic and Sony are coming out with. I think with the full frame you've now got all that Canon are going to give you for a good while yet.
Byron K wrote on 10/1/2012, 1:15 PM
I'm also considering the GH3, Just curious to know how would you compensate for the auto aperture in movie mode?

I've been just cranking the frame rate up on my TM700 to the point where I "think" the aperture is opened up all the way and go back and check the dB level. Kind of a pita but seems to work. Will this technique work w/ the GH2 and GH3.

Thanks in advance.
Byron
Laurence wrote on 10/1/2012, 1:31 PM
Just wanted to mention a couple of things here.

1/ There is a new Panasonic camera called a G5 which is very similar to the older GH2:

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-G5KK

2/ If you want to stay with Canon, be aware of the T4i:

http://www.canon.ca/inetCA/products?m=gp&pid=16866
NickHope wrote on 10/1/2012, 2:02 PM
Byron, I can't answer your question since I have zero experience of shooting video on a stills/hybrid camera, but I think you mean "shutter speed", not "frame rate"?
Guy S. wrote on 10/1/2012, 4:12 PM
I sold our Sony HVR-V1U camera ($~5k with HDD recorder) after shooting our first video on the GH1. When the GH2 was released we purchased that and it's even better, especially in low light. I can absolutely recommend the GH2 for use with Vegas, I edit the files natively (no conversion to another format) MOST of the time. Vegas 11 does occasionally crash with certain files created by the GH2; this is very infrequent, perhaps 1/300, and I simply render the offending file to another format (.mxf) and the problem is solved.

In addition to videos I also do product photography and frankly I do not care for the way the GH2 renders images. We have a Nikon D7000 and that is MUCH better for stills, with less noise & better colors.

I also don't care for the way the GH2 renders skin tones. I can get a decent look with the MagicBullet Looks 2 plugin, but right out of the camera I just don't like the skin tones. When it comes to brands I'm Switzerland. I like whatever works, and I have to say that you should at least look at the Sony Alpha series cameras before buying a GH2. I recommended the A35 to a co-worker (~$700 body and lens) and he and his wife both love the camera. I had a chance to shoot both product photos and video with the camera and was very impressed.

The Alpha cameras are not getting much attention but that doesn't mean they're not worth looking at - they are. Image stabilization is in the body, so you can buy a used Minolta lens and it will image stabilized. Minolta has made some nice glass and used lenses are downright cheap - I use them on my GH1 and GH2, but they are not image stabilized.
Laurence wrote on 10/1/2012, 7:32 PM
My big complaint with the Sony Alphas is that they are automatic gain levels only. This is so frustrating because Sony has been doing this long enough that they should know better than to absolutely hobble a camera with something so simple.
flacnvinyl wrote on 10/1/2012, 8:58 PM
I use a small army of GH2s for everything that I do. I have been in love with the hack since I first tried Driftwood's patches, and I love the little camera. There are issues to work around, but honestly I wouldn't want to have anything else at the moment, for the price.

What everyone is saying about the GH3 is completely correct. The GH2 with its all Iframe codec will be a beast, and I plan on picking up several of them when it goes on sale in a few months.

So in short, the GH2 is fantastic. It doesn't do everything, but what it does is fantastic.

One thing to keep in mind is glass... Do you want to invest in M43 glass? If so, cool, welcome aboard. If not, you should consider other options. Also keep in mind that some M43 Panny glass (and Olympus and probably others I haven't investigated) have servo zoom built in. I have a 45-175 X lens with servo zoom that works beautifully for concerts!

Best lens for it is the 20mm Panasonic pancake. There are higher end lens but for a 1.7 at 20mm it just can't be beat. Gorgeous footage and it can see in the dark at that speed.
fldave wrote on 10/1/2012, 10:57 PM
Got a GH2 in July, have been doing some testing so far. I will wait to hack until out of warranty, or until I can afford a GH3. Saving up for good glass now, using some old Canon/Sigma lenses. It is replacing my Sony FX1 as my main cam.

Some test stills/footage has been stunning. But mainly focusing on getting use to an SLR type cam after using the FX1 for so long.
Jerry K wrote on 10/2/2012, 4:29 PM
I have a few question about the Panasonic GH-2 for people that own it.

When monitoring the HDMI output and going in and out of record mode does the resolution or the picture change in any way.  

When recording avchd 1920x1080 60i or 60p at the best bit rate  how much time can you record on to a 32gb card? 

Can you record continuesly until you fill the card?

When recording video how much time will the battery give you?

Does the camera have an D/C jack?
Can you run the GH-2 on external ac or dc power?

Jerry K
fldave wrote on 10/2/2012, 5:53 PM
A few answers:

When recording avchd 1920x1080 60i or 60p at the best bit rate how much time can you record on to a 32gb card?
It's 60i or 30p, not 60p. At the new HBR High Bit Rate in the 1.1 firmware, they say it's about 3hrs on 32GB. I bought 3 class 10 32GB cards.
Hacked higher bit rates will eat that much faster.

Can you record continuesly until you fill the card?
Splits every 4GB, but I think it is a clean split, haven't tested that yet.

When recording video how much time will the battery give you?
It says about 100 minutes. I recorded an hour with no problem.
I bought 3 of those also. Very important to use Panasonic batteries if you are going to hack it. Supposedly you can turn it into a brick if you don't. I stuck with Pana everything.

Does the camera have an D/C jack?
Optional adapter that plugs into the battery slot.

Can you run the GH-2 on external ac or dc power?
Jerry K wrote on 10/2/2012, 8:28 PM
Fidave thanks for the reply.

Do you know the answer to my HDMI question?
When monitoring the HDMI output and going in and out of record mode does the resolution or the picture change in any way.  

Jerry K
fldave wrote on 10/2/2012, 9:15 PM
Haven't tried HDMI yet, will experiment within the next month, though. Sorry many irons in the fire right now.
musicvid10 wrote on 10/2/2012, 9:26 PM
With the introduction of the GH3, we could expect to see some deep discounting (maybe some used) GH2 outfits in the near future.
Byron K wrote on 10/13/2012, 1:22 PM
Though I'm personally interested in the new GH3, the new Consumer Reports has the Panny DMC-GH2 at the top of the list for advanced non dslr cameras!
MarkHolmes wrote on 10/13/2012, 2:34 PM
Been using the GH2 (two of them) for event videography (mostly theatrical) for a couple years. Love them.

They will record continuously til the card fills. If you use Vegas to import the clips, they are brought in as seamless clips no matter the length. The longest I've recorded are just over two hours.

Looking forward to seeing some samples of the production GH3 - I'm sure I'll eventually replace both of my GH2s with them. Hats off to Panasonic for giving us the camera that Sony, Canon, Nikon etc. refuse (or can't?) to bring us.
fldave wrote on 10/13/2012, 3:43 PM
"If you use Vegas to import the clips, they are brought in as seamless clips no matter the length."

Mark, care to elaborate on this? Do you mean import directly from the card into the project media, or the camera via USB?
MarkHolmes wrote on 10/13/2012, 6:01 PM
I use the Vegas Device Explorer to import the clips directly from the camera with the SD card still in it.
Laurence wrote on 10/13/2012, 7:00 PM
I just got a little Panasonic GF3 for $259. It runs. The same hack as the GH1 and GH2 except that it doesn't do 24p. I bumped up the bitrate to 45Mbps, then backed it off to 25 when my class 10 SD card couldn't keep up. The video looks great and touchscreen focusing is just awesome. You can do things like touch somebody's face and and have it track them as they move. You can also se it so that in manual focus, it will automatically digitally zoom in for checking focus as soon as you twist the focus ring. Amazingly fast to shoot with and just tiny. I love this little thing!