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First camera - Panasonic G6 (fair price/lenses ?)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Metallising, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    Dear all,

    I'm interested in videomaking and decided that I will buy my first camera. For the same reason I decided to register in this forum :)

    I want to shot small documentaries, road trips, nature and stuff I do at home as hobbies.
    Honestly, I don't know yet what kind of footage I will record more often and what my gear needs are.

    Since I don't plan to focus on photography it seems consensual that Panasonic cameras are more friendly for the kind of things I want to do. So I found this used Panasonic G6 for sale where I live for 380$. I already met the person and tested the camera, everything seems to work fine, I didn't buy the camera and asked the owner 3 days to think about it.

    So, here I am. Do you think the G6 is a good first camera and the asked price is fair?
    I'm also unsure about the kit lenses he wants to sell with the camera, for more 350$ he has:

    -50 mm Asashi Pentax (PK mount)
    -24 mm 2.8 Pentax (PK Mount)
    -135 mm 2.8 (PK Mount)

    PLUS

    Speedbooster RJ Camera PK-M4/3 (crop 0.71)

    You won't understand the language, but you can see the pictures of this set:
    NOVO - Câmara PROFISSIONAL Panasonic Com LENTES Incríveis

    Is it worth to buy the kit lenses? If I buy this kit, then I will more likely stick to PK mounts. Is it a good thing?

    I can keep the camera and buy separated lenses, but first of all, I don't even know what kind of lenses I should buy.

    Could you guide me?

    I dislike register in a new forum and make so many question in my first post, I hope to retribute in the future.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi & welcome,

    The lenses are all manual focus... Up to you whether that's how you'd like to shoot video.

    Depending which 50mm that is, you could probably resell them and the reducer for about the same amount if you end up not liking them.

    Barry
     
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    About the prices I usually use ebay "Sold listing" search options to get a general idea. So the Pentax 50 (the 1.4 version I suppose, the 1.7 is cheaper) and the 24mm goes for about $100, the 135 seems a little cheaper. A new RJ focal reducer costs a little less then $100. So the price is high IMO as there is no much saving for buying the whole lot rather then each lens individually. And with some patience you can get each of these lenses for half of that price waiting for the right offer.
    Average price on ebay.com for the G6 is close to $300 or a little more with the 14-42 lens. And ebay prices are not the cheapest usually.
    Of course I think you have to consider import fees, shipment, availability, etc. so the price may be interesting or this could be a basis to discuss the price.

    About the gear, I think the camera is good, no significant better options unless you consider a GH3 (twice the price) but I would not get that as a first video camera (image quality is the same, the difference it's more about controls and connectivity and advanced post processing).

    I can see a few "problems" with the lenses. The first is obviously auto focus. Yes, for video many prefer manual focus, but not anybody and it also depends on the kind of footage. And almost any auto focus lens can be used in manual focus mode too (even if "real" manual focus gives better control).
    The other one is stabilization: these lenses are not stabilized so the video is going to jump around a little unless you use a tripod. You can stabilize it later in post but is extra work and I think a worst result.
    The last one is that these are normal clicked lenses (unless modified), this means that aperture has fixed positions (f1.4, f2, f8) rather then free continuous positions. A declicked/clickless aperture allows better control of exposure, but is not fundamental. I'm telling you this only because when you choose a manual focus lens specifically for video you usually look for some specific features (declicked, minimum focus breathing, good bokeh, etc.) or simply for the best price.

    Then, I'm not a video expert, but I think most used lenses are in the wide/normal range, so the 24 is fine, the 50 is borderline the 135 seems a little long (on m43) even with a focal reducer (and the stabilization problem is even worse). But obviously depends on the subject.

    A focal reducer (the RJ) is an interesting toy, but not an essential one in the beginning, unless you plan to shoot in low light mostly (indoor, late afternoon, night).

    A focal reducer is a special adapter that is able to gather a little more light then the lens alone and gives you a wider view (0.71x). Instead of that you can buy a cheap ($10) dumb adapter for any mount you want (PK, Canon, Nikon, m42, OM, etc.).

    So I'd probably get a couple of cheap ($10/50) manual focus lenses, just to get started. From there you can decide if you need better lenses, longer/wider, a focal reducer, low light lenses, high quality lenses, a tripod/small gimbal, lights, external microphone, post processing software, etc.
     
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  4. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    The G6 doesn't come with the panasonic kit zoom? Seems like a bad deal if it doesn't have a modern lens. Look for a camera with a modern zoom and forget those old lenses.

    The three old lenses seem horribly overpriced to me, especially if the main purpose with video. In the USA, I paid $20 for a Pentax 50mm f2 and all of my 135mm f2.8's are $25 lenses. While these two focal lengths work well for me on M43, the old 28mm and 35mm lenses that I own are my worst performing lenses. I wouldn't buy an old 24mm, ever. Their prices are overly inflated for what you get. A modern Sigma 19mm will blow them all away for only a little more money.

    Metallising did not mention the speed of the 50mm. If it is an F1.4, the speed would command a premium from some buyers. However, I want both speed and sharpness, and that rarely happens with old lenses. I'll keep using my cheap 50mm f1.8, and spend the big money on a modern lens.

    Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with manual focus. For video, I turn off auto-focus when using an AF lenses for video. Otherwise, the camera always seems to find an excuse to refocus during a shoot, and you get 1 second squiggles during your video, which ruins it if you care about the results.

    Clickless aperture would be nice, but you mainly need that if you are panning between scenes of varying light. Most of us amateur video shooters shouldn't be panning. It makes the audience sick. The same for IS. If you are walking around shooting video, it will still shake with IS, and make the audience sick.

    An experienced video maker could have fun with all three of those lenses, and the limitations of the RJ focal reducer have little impact in video.
     
  5. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    Thanks a lot for your input.

    After reading your replies it made me rethink and postpone the decision. I had no ideia these lenses were that old and so cheap, I'm glad I didn't buy them by impulse.
    Initially I was thinking to buy a cheap 50mm to get familiar with the camera as Klorenzo suggested but I like HarryS's suggestion to go for modern zoom lenses. If I get the 14-42m kit lenses (integrated stabilization and AF) more likely I won't be disappointed.

    I had no idea there are so many profissional sellers on ebay selling video gear in second hand, this gives me more options to chose from.
    I was thinking to spend 500$ in the G6 plus one or two manual lenses but I just realized I can get the G7 with the 14-42mm for 620$. And if I add some other extra hundred bucks, I can get the 14-140mm instead of 14-42mm, do you think it's worth? Or, I could compromise and get the 14-42mm for now, and later get the 45-150mm, which is half the price the 14-140mm.

    I said I wasn't going to focus on photography, but should have mentioned in my first post that quite often I take wide angle real state like pictures, do you know any cheap lenses for this purpose? 7mm? For what I do super sharp image quality isn't crucial.

    Once again, thanks for your time and for helping me to avoid big noob mistakes :)

    Take care!
     
  6. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    Cheap and wide comes up quite often, and there aren't too many options.
    There is the Olympus 9mm f8 (fixed) body cap fisheye lens, which is quite good for what it is, and isn't that fishy
    The Samyang 7.5mm f3.5 fisheye (also sold branded as Bower and Rokinon) is excellent, but is much more of a fisheye than the 9mm, although it can be defished using suitable software
    The Panasonic 14mm f2.5 with Panasonic GWC1 wide converter gives an 11mm lens
    Then there is the Olympus 9-18mm zoom, and after that you get into the 7-14mm zooms which are considerably more expensive.
     
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  7. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    B&H recently had a new G7 w/14-42 on sale for $697 and it came with a $100 gift card (so the camera was $597). Right now you can get it new for $797 with the same gift card (so $697 for the camera and lens). I'm not sure if that price is available in Portugal, but here in the US I would rather buy new with a warranty for $80 more. Here is the B&H listing:
    g7 | B&H Photo Video
     
  8. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    This would be the best way to start out. I have the G7 with the 14-42 "kit" lens and the lens is actually quite good. It is improved over the previous version and is very useful as a "workhorse" wide angle to portrait length telephoto in normal daylight and fairly well lit interiors.

    I don't. For most video you wouldn't need the long end of the 14-140 and if you do later on you'd feel better off with the 45-150mm (I have this one and it's a decent lens also), zooms with an extended range often compromise quality some.

    Wide usually doesn't come cheap. In the beginning you can probably try to get along with the 14mm wide end of the 14-42, later the Olympus m.Zuiko 9-18 might be a workable option.

    The G7 with 14-42mm "kit" lens is a nicely compact, delightfully lightweight camera that delivers superb quality video and excellent quality still photos. It's a great way to start out, I have a GH4 but often find myself reaching for the G7 unless I need one of the GH4's specific features.
     
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    The 14-42 is a nice lens, can be good as a general purpose photos and video lens. Adding the WCON-P01 converter gives you an 11mm field of view.

    Another good alternative, if you want to go even wider, is the Panasonic 12-32 (already a 12mm) and with the DMW-GWC1 wide converter you get a 9mm rectilinear FoV (16:9). The only issue is that this is one of the very few lenses without a manual focus ring, so really not ideal for a certain kind of videos (you can use manual focus with arrow buttons or the touch screen but is quite clumsy).

    Usually you have fixed camera and fixed subject, if one of the two starts to move it gets really hard to keep the focus right, manually or not.

    A 7mm rectilinear lens is quite extreme, there are two, quite expensive. You can get a good fisheye lens and process is to remove the distortion:

    Defishing methods with examples from 7,5mm

    For video what you miss with a zoom are low light capabilities and focus "tricks". With still pictures you can use a longer exposure time so low light, for static subjects, is more manageable. For video you have a fixed frame rate and the light needs to be enough for that specific rate.
    Focus tricks are the usual fade in/out to complete out of focus. The, often seen in product videos, when you place the focus on one detail of the object and then blur this first element and bring to focus a more distant one. This things are cool but definitely not fundamental and fade in/out can be simulated in post. As you said you can get a cheap 50/1.8 just to try these things.

    Another camera to consider is the GX7 that has in body stabilization (IBIS) that can be used to stabilize adapted manual focus lenses. But with the G7 you get 4k, better AF, better EVF. The G7 is more video oriented, you have direct connection for an external microphone for example and 4k that allows you to crop the video in post. The usual advice is to save money on the body (that ages quickly) and spend on good lenses.


    (corrections are welcome, not a video expert)
     
  10. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    listers_nz thanks for your suggestions. 100$ for the Olympus 9mm is acceptable and I will consider this lense, the others are too expensive. I have to read about "defishing", never heard about it.

    PS: Klorenzo just posted a link for this!

    GFFPhoto, amazon.uk is offering a 140$ gift card on Panasonic cameras, I agree, having this in mind its worth to buy a new camera. It's expensive to buy from US, there are taxes and shipping costs to sum on the final price. Nowdays amazon.uk and amazon.de have the same prices as in the US and there aren't any extra costs since these stores operate in Europe.

    Bif, the 14-140mm by itself costs 550$, however, if I buy the kit G7 + the lense, the price for the lense is only 250$. Maybe I have a good opportunity here? If I buy the 14-42mm instead, I will save 130$ but later on if I decide to add the 45-145mm that will cost me 300$. So financially the 14-140mm makes sense.
    Now, as you said, in video I won't need 140mm often. Do you think the same applies when shooting nature, let's say birdwatching and shy mammals? I would like to have possibilities while discovering my shooting style, since I go into nature very often I see various uses for the 140mm range. Do you think I'm over complicating and should cold down before spending my money?
    Concerning the quality of zooms with an extended range is a new topic for me, having in mind where I am right now should I really worry about it?

    Klorenzo, I see the 4k on the G7 as a really good advantage over many others cameras in the same price range, precisely for allowing me to crop in post, this feature turn any footage more interesting. When it comes to sound it's my domain, I use only external gear for that, so having a shitty preamp and no headphone jack in the camera is not important.

    I think I'm done with my decision, still unsure about the range of the lense but in a week I expect to have it figured out! In the meanwhile I will order SD cards, shoulder rig and 2 extra batteries. Last week I updated my I7 laptop with 8gb rams and a SSD disk, I think I'm ready to go!
     
  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    If you can afford it, get the 14-140. It sounds like this is a new hobby for you, so there is no telling where your interests will lead you. You might as well have as much flexibility as possible. The quality of the 14-140 is good. There are better lenses, but they are much more expensive. If you become a serious photography enthusiast, you might want better at some point, but the 14-140 is a good flexible lens that is great for travel and a great lens to start with.

    The only thing I might suggest is a fast wide/normal prime for indoor or low light stuff. The P20 has a loud focusing motor, so it wont be great for video (although optically it is fantastic), but the O25, O17, or if you can find one, the P25 1.7 would be a good addition and give you a great starting kit for photo and video (the PL15, PL25, or O12 are all very good, but fairly expensive if you buy new).
     
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  12. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    I understand a good prime would be practical for many situation but that would mean spend more 200$-300$ in glass, I will let that for later in case I decide I need it.
    I'm sorry I misinformed you, the kit G7 + 14-140mm is not as cheap as I said in my previous post, I didn't see it correctly, the price was for "used", no free lunch after all. Back to 14-42mm....
    Yes, this is a new hobby for me, I mean, this is the first time I'm investing more seriously on it, money, time and energy wise. I worked in sound post production for broadcasting a few years so I'm familiar with many things related to videomaking, I'm confident my learning curve will be fast. I like cat videos, but I feel more ambitious :)
     
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    One quick note: the BCL-9 is not a real lens, more like a toy lens (check the pictures). Optically it is not bad but it is what it is: fixed small aperture (need good light), a very small lever for focus, no electronics, etc. But it works, it's fun and the price is good:

    Showcase - Olympus 9mm f/8 Fisheye Body Cap Lens

    For wildlife (in the wild) you usually start at 140mm. For small animals you can easily need 300mm or more.

    I think the 14-150 image quality is in the same zone of the 14-42 and 45-150, 45-175.

    Buying used lenses is quite common, I got most of my lenses in this way (or with cashback). There is a cashback offer on amazon.co.uk:

    Panasonic DMC-G7 Compact System Camera: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

    (with Olympus it worked for all europe, you may want to check conditions or ask panasonic)
     
  14. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    I like the results I saw with the olympus 9mm, seems the better option for what I want to do considering the price. Thanks for the link.

    I think 140mm should be fine to begin with, when researching for this lenses I found some Nature videos as I imagined to shoot, it has to fit :)
    For the level I'm right now I prefer to keep the money in my pocket for smarter choices in the future.

    Yeah, I'm counting on cashback when buying from amazon.uk (100£ - 140$). How does it work? Do you get money transfered to your account or "credit" to spend with Panasonic products?

    EDIT: No one suggested to go for Canon EF lenses with metabones, any particular reason? These lenses seems cheaper and there's more liquidity in the used market, plus if I changed from m4/3 to APS-C or Full Frame I could keep my lenses. Cons: Investing in metabones..
     
  15. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    I think the metabones AF adapter is still relatively young, so those that have it tend to be those that already have Canon lenses. There is another version too, by Kipon.
    The thing with native lenses is they tend to be smaller & lighter, which is one of the advantages of m4/3.
    Also, because of the size of the m4/3 sensor, adapted lenses are effectively longer. Suggest you serch for crop factor, equivalent angle of view, etc.

    On the subject of the 14-140mm lens, there is an older version. It is larger, heavier, slightly slower (starts at f4), and is generally regarded as not quite as good optically as the new version, but is is significantly cheaper used. Haven't used it myself, but there are some who prefer this version for video.
     
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  16. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    With cashback offers you usually get a bank transfer to your bank account of the whole amount a couple of months later. That's it, no tricks, no issues. This was my experience with Olympus Europe cashback.

    There are a few reason against EF lenses. Main one is the price of the adapter ($400 or $650 with focal reducer. Kipon is cheaper). Another is that DSLR lenses are designed for a phase detect AF system (PDAF) and not a contrast based AF like the one you find on most m43 cameras. So depending on the lens/camera combo AF (continuous AF in particular) may be far from ideal. Another one is size/weight: big lenses + adapter. On pana bodies you loose the DfD AF system, lens correction, etc. On Oly you loose focus stacking, corrections, etc.
    So unless you have two system or need some specific EF lens (boosted or not) it does not make much sense IMO.

    I think to plan for the switch is a bad idea. You spend more today, with sub-optimal results, for something that may not happen. In a few years those lenses, new or used, are going to cost less or you'll have new options. Then maybe you decide to switch to Sony of Fuji or Nikon or BlackMagic (m43 video only system). Many people here Switched from FF to m43, even back and forth, or still use both system in different situations. IMO the APS-C/m43 difference is really small and is not worth the switch for the sensor size alone.

    Canon lenses can be cheaper but really depends on what comparison you make: some lenses may be just budget lenses (50/1.8) not comparable to the equivalent m43 offer others may be a 20 years old excellent design. Others (pro full frame lenses) cost more, even when quality is generally on par, but allow you to reap the benefits of a full frame sensor. So the price comparison is a little complex. But yes, used market is much bigger.

    BTW with the G7 the advice is to consider only lenses that support DfD (fast AF). The plan is to support all lenses, some before, some later, maybe never.
     
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  17. Metallising

    Metallising New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 24, 2016
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Pedro
    Dear friends,

    I just ordered the G7 14-42mm kit lenses! I'm confident I did the right choice! From my understanding this set will be more than enough for my needs. I will see how it goes, I might need more zoom later but first I want to work out what I already have. I considered to add the 45-175, but I can think about it later.

    To start this journey and having in mind the kind of shotting I'm planning to do, I also ordered some accessories. A tripod, cowboy shoulder rig, 2x64gb SD U3, extra batteries, headphones, viewfinder, follow focus and a decent lav mic. The sound recorder was a no brainer, Zoom H2n, there's no competion for that, even if you consider other recorders twice the price. It records in MS... which automatically put it ahead of any other competition, it's not even a matter of personal taste, it's a fact. With this piece of gear I won't bother with shotgun mics, it records in stereo and allows to isolate the front cardiod mic, which is better than any shotgun mic, not so directional, but unless I'm recording in really harsh environments it won't be a problem. Concerning the sound quality, there's no comparison...

    Can't wait to receive my order!

    All thogether I spent 1040$. Good price when considering I bought decent gear that will keep me busy for long time.

    Thanks a lot for your help, your suggestions were really usefull to guide me towards the right direction.

    Take care.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016