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2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice

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chris gruber
2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 25, 2013 at 3:00:28 am

Hello all,

I'm looking to spend $2.5-3k on a gh3 setup. Basically, I'm starting from scratch in the M4/3s department.

I need body, glass, zoom h4n (or similar), filters, tripod, the whole shebang.

I'm set on M4/3s here as I have a BMCC Pocket on Preorder, but need a camera long before I will receive this. I was told to expect a 6 months to 1 year wait.

Anyways, I'm wondering if anyone would be up for helping me out with a setup? I could really use help on fund allocations here as I'm relatively new to DSLRs.

I should note that one of my upcoming projects will require lower light conditions and I'm looking at something like a rokinon 35mm t1.5 cine lens for this. Any other recommendations?

Thanks!

Chris


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 27, 2013 at 3:03:40 am

[chris gruber] "I'm looking to spend $2.5-3k on a gh3 setup"

What do you want to shoot?

Do you own any other production gear?

i.e. cameras, lenses, lighting, audio gear, etc...


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chris gruber
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 27, 2013 at 1:01:11 pm

I'm starting from scratch. I'll be shooting a few music videos in July and August, but it's been about 7 years since I pulled out of video work.

So, I'll need the whole shebang. On $3k that's not much, but it's something!

Any advice is appreciated!


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 28, 2013 at 3:59:46 pm

Here is what I would buy given your budget...

1 x $ 1,300 GH3 Body
2 x $ 30 Power2000 DMW-BLF19E Battery Pack (7.2V, 2100mAh)
1 x $ 320 Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Lens
1 x $ 300 Benro A2573FS6 Tripod with S6 Video Head
1 x $ 400 juicedLink RA222 Riggy Dual-XLR Preamplifier
1 x $ 400 Sennheiser MKE 600 - Shotgun Microphone
1 x $ 230 Rycote 14cm Softie Kit with Lyre Mount and Pistol Grip Handle
1 x $ 225 Gitzo 1540 Four-Section Carbon Fiber Boompole
1 x $ 30 Canare Star-Quad (L-4E6S) 25 foot XLR Microphone Cable
1 x $ 130 Lowel Tota-Light Tungsten Flood Light with 500 watt bulb
1 x $ 80 Manfrotto 367B Basic Light Stand - 9' (2.7m)
1 x $ 38 Photoflex 45" Convertible Umbrella (White)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
$ 3,483 Total

This provides you with a GH3 with a very good optically stabilized kit lens, 2 extra camera batteries, a very good video tripod and properly counter balanced fluid head, a very good mic pre-amp, a very good basic indoor/outdoor shotgun mic, a good basic light weight boom pole, a proper shock-mount with a wind protector that can be used both indoors and outdoors, and 1 bright portable tungsten light source.

It's a little over your budget, but there aren't really any places where you could cut back without having it effect the result that you would produce.

- Guy


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Bill Bruner
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 27, 2013 at 3:43:34 pm

Hi Chris - I am pursuing exactly the same strategy. I have the GH3 and have pre-ordered the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Starting out with the ,$1298 GH3, unless you're in a huge hurry, all you really need to get started is the camera and one or two good lenses.

Since you're looking at cine lenses, it sounds like you want the camera for filmmaking.

Instead of somthing like the $514 Rokinon 35mm T1.5 for Nikon and a $27 Nikon mount adapter, you can save some money with the SLR Magic equivalent, the 35mm T1.4 for micro 4/3. Sadly, these are hard to find, so I would either buy one used (here is a guy selling one for $321) or I would buy a new one for $349 for Fuji X Mount and a $32 Fuji X to micro 4/3 adapter.

Something to be aware of - 35mm is a pretty long focal length with MFT's 2x crop - you may want to start with a wider prime - perhaps the SLR Magic 12mm T1.6 (again, hard to find new - but you can get one used on eBay for $557).

With your first couple of lenses in hand, you will need to deal with sound. I use a simple $17 impedance-matching Hosa XLR to 3.5mm adapter, a $25 Campro Deluxe mic mount and a used, battery powered Audio Technica AT835b mic (pictured below) - but you may want something that improves on the camera's built-in mic preamps and gives you cleaner sound.



The most compact solution is a $329 JuicedLink Riggy Micro RM222 preamp/XLR input/phantom power solution. With the RM222, you can plug any unpowered or powered XLR mic straight into your camera and get clean sound. A high quality unpowered mic such as the Audio Technica AT875R is only $156.

Eventually, you will want to get the mic off the camera and onto a boom, but this setup will get you started.

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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chris gruber
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 27, 2013 at 5:29:58 pm

Bill,

This information is invaluable! Thank you for taking the time to help me out. It's been nearly 7 years since I've done any kind of video work and I'm feeling a little green these days. Especially since the camera market and options have changed so much!

A few questions if you don't mind.

Would you ultimately suggest going the audio technica Shotgun with the RM222 route over something like the Zoomh4n field recorder?

What are your thoughts on the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 pancake lens instead of say 12mm SLR Magic lens you mentioned?

I'm going to snag the 35mm SLR magic lens in place of the Rokinon 35mm converted. This seems like a no-brainer, but am kind of up in the air on a second lens.

I also need a new tripod as my old manfrotto was damaged in a move =( any suggestions?


Thanks a ton!

Chris


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Bill Bruner
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 27, 2013 at 7:23:49 pm

Glad I could be helpful, Chris! On external recorders - I have a $167 Tascam DR-40 (a better value for money than the $270 Zoom H4N, in my view) - and I don't use it because the camera's preamps are good enough for most of what I do. I regret having to use battery powered mics and being limited to one mic, though, so my next audio purchase will be the JuicedLink RM222. Robert from JuicedLink and Olivia from OliviaTech explain why in this video:

An Audio Tutorial for Recording Quality Audio Into the Panasonic GH3

Pro quality onboard sound, with no more clapboards, no more forgetting to turn the recorder on, no more syncing sound in post.

As far as lenses go, if you want a fast, wide angle system lens, I recommend the $500 Olympus 17mm f1.8 instead of the $348 Panasonic 20mm f1.7 because the focus motor on the Panasonic is so darned noisy and will ruin your soundtrack. It's too bad, because it is the only modern Panasonic lens with this problem.

On tripods - I use a $140 all metal Ravelli AVTP with dual handles, two quick release plates, a fluid head, 75mm bowl, and crutch style legs (you can get the same tripod and head with the Fancier brand on it for $125).

Best of luck, and welcome back to the world of digital video!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution



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Brent Dunn
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 28, 2013 at 7:12:06 pm

You can buy a used 5D Mk II or spend a little more on a 5D Mk III.

Roland makes a better recorder, but you can find a lot of zoom's for sale on Ebay. I have an H4 I'll sell you.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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Bill Bruner
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 29, 2013 at 9:31:01 am

Brent,

The $3299 5D Mark III is a great camera, but would take all of Chris' budget. The $1298 GH3 is less than half the price and produces video images that are as good or better straight out of the box, as seen in this side-by-side comparison from Ryan Mancuso on Vimeo:

5D Mark III vs GH3

With a $2500 to $3000 total budget, the less-expensive GH3 seems the better choice for video.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution



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chris gruber
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 29, 2013 at 10:31:31 am

Indeed. I'm just getting back into video work. I have no cash flow right now without a camera, so I have to work with what I've got.

That said, I might look at upgrading to something else down the road. I mentioned earlier that I have a Black Magic Pocket Camera on order. I'm also interested in what Magic Lantern is doing with RAW at the moment, but won't be canceling my pre-order on the BMPCC until I see how all of that pans out. However, it would appear as though as if the Magic Lantern RAW hack pans out and becomes fully functional, the 5DmkIII will be the go to camera.

Cheers.

Chris


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Jim McAdory
Re: 2.5-3k budget looking at Panasonic GH3 setup and need advice
on May 30, 2013 at 12:22:41 am

If you go with an external audio device I would really consider the new Tascam DR-60D which is designed to fit under a DSLR camera. Many of the mixers/preamps/recorders on the market were designed for larger video cameras and hanging these on a lightweight DSLR camera like the GH2/3 works but it can be awkward at times.


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