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Looking to buy A DSLR for video but I am skeptical

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Micah Wolf
Looking to buy A DSLR for video but I am skeptical
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:16:33 pm

Hello everyone,

So I have a few questions and was hoping for some input from all of you. So I am a small business owner and I am about to buy a new camera. I am a little old school and don't consider DSLRs professional for the purposes of video production. With that being said I currently have a HVX-200a but need to buy a second camera as a b-cam. I do all types of work, commercials, weddings, documentaries ect.... but with a limited amount of cash flow I am looking to buy a DSLR Panasonic GH2. As much as I would love to buy the Af100 right now I have a limited budget and for the price of the GH2 I can buy that and a Ziess CP.2 and upgrade to an Af100 in the future.

I have never shot video on a DSLR and I guess I am a little "scared" (for a lack of better words) to buy one and waste my money. I am well educated in video having both a BA in Television Production and a MFA in Film Production.

How hard is this camera to learn? Does this sound like a good road to go down? any advise or input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Micah Wolf


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Looking to buy A DSLR for video but I am skeptical
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:44:57 pm

It takes practice to get good with the GH2, and for simplicity sake you can start with just the stock camera without using any of the "hacks".

There are a few big issues that you need to keep in mind when shooting with this camera...

1- There are no real video zoom lenses for this camera, but that is about to change with the introduction of the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 lenses. These are image stabilized lenses and are optically first rate.

Panasonic 12-35mm Lens Review is about half way down the page

2- This camera records very high resolution 1080 HD video, and with shallow depth-of-field your focusing has to be dead-on. This takes practice, as this is a digital-cine video camera and not a run-and-gun ENG style camera.

3- It's a contrasty camera, so you have to tame the contrast with camera settings, post-processing settings in your editor, and getting the exposure dead-on as much as possible. There is very little room for mistakes with this camera.

That said, when you get everything right the results can be extremely good.

Here's a sample frame-grab from an Indie film I shot last March using the GH2 with the Quantum 100 ( 100 Mbps I-Frame ) patch. This patch requires extremely fast SDXC memory cards. ( I used SanDisk 64 GB 95MB/sec SDXC UHS-I cards )

GH2 Quantum 100 - 400 ISO Frame Grab

...You can see a little aliasing on the top edge of the fake magazine, which is a limitation of the GH2 sensor, but otherwise I am very happy with the image the camera captures.


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Micah Wolf
Re: Looking to buy A DSLR for video but I am skeptical
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29:16 pm

Guy,

Thank you so much for your input. I think I will be ordering the camera later this evening. It was nice getting some reassurance from some one who uses this camera.

Micah


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