G2 or GH2

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by buffy1270, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Hi. I am back with one more question. I am interested in nature and wildlife photography and occasional macro. All of this is for my own hobby and enjoyment and not for anything professional. I have decided to go with micro 4/3 due to small size and the 2x crop factor over a DSLR even though I keep being told that the micro 4/3 "can't do" nature photography. So now I am wondering if as my first foray into micro 4/3 I should go with the G2 at its low price or if I should save a little longer and get the GH2 for this type of photography. I prefer the larger grip than it looks like the G3 has but I have not had a chance to hold the G3 so I may be wrong about the way it would feel in hand with a telezoom. Opinions? Thanks.

    Karen
     
  2. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    Hi Karen. I'm a huge fan of micro 4/3rds and have about $4k wrapped up in multiple cameras and lenses. Having said that, if you just want to take pictures, I'd highly advise you look at a Canon t2i/t3i. I just cannot get as good of photographs I used to get on my Canon cameras.

    Now if you want to record HD video, that's another topic.
     
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  3. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    I only base this on the fact that I've tried many cameras over the years, and a buddy of mine has a 7D. My Sage server when it goes into screensaver mode plays back a slideshow of all my images over the years. Heads and shoulders above all others are the ones that he took, then my Rebel XS/t2i photos, then the GH2 / GF2, then all the point and shoots (ranked from best to worse). For me the GH2/GF2 photos are good enough for my uses, but I'm way more of a videographer than photographer. I guess I was just saying if photos are your thing primarily and you haven't invested the money yet, include looking at some Canon cameras - they ruined me for pictures!
     
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  4. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Everyone will have their own priorities. For me it was all about high performance image quality AND smallest size possible. The G3 met that criteria perfectly. I have NO issues with the grip size as I simply hold it differently. I do not hold it by it's grip when carrying, I nestle the lower left portion of the body along with the lens in my left hand nice and secure, still providing immediate shooting as I simply lift it to my face and gently brace with the small grip and shoot. I don't do a death grip on it regardless. I like the simplified layout and it suits me just fine with less clutter of buttons and such. All the important stuff is immediately accessible so it's not an issue. It's the performance I like best. I had a less than perfect experience when trying a GH2 last December so I was Leary but this body really delivers.
     
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  5. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Hi,

    To answer to your question I must say that it depends on what your priority is. I owned mand dslrs in the past years and also have a K5 now. But I'm on holiday (will post some pics as soon as I take then and my internet key will connect fast enough) and my K5 is sleeping home. I have my G2 with me. That's the reality: K5 at home and G2 along with me to take photos. So what's your choice? I think, but it's my very, very, humble opinion, that G2 will be enough to start with. You achieve many goals with this decision: you spend little money, learn about photography (if you're not experienced), can decide what you really need or want, and if yoi decide to buy a Canon or whatsoever dsrl you will have a perfect second body. And maybe you'll realize that that little camera is right for you.:biggrin::rolleyes:
     
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  6. lannes

    lannes Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Jul 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    One thing to bear in mind with panasonic LCD vf is that the image doesn't update if firing continuous bursts, this makes it hard to frame a moving object. DSLR's with the optical view finder systems are much better for this type of photography.
     
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  7. brnmatsumoto

    brnmatsumoto Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Jul 18, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Karen, I shot both the GH2 and the G2 and can say for still photography, you won't be disappointed by the G2. Although the GH2 has a higher pixel count of 16 megapixels, the performance difference, while measurable, is subtle. That is to say, you would probably need to compare identical prints to distinguish which was taken with the G2 and which was taken with the GH2. If you have a single print, you could not say that this picture is less sharp so it must be taken with a G2. The difference is not that dramatic.

    The main issue is how much video to you care to do? The GH2 is more of a videographer's camera. It provides more controls for adjusting aperture and/or shutter speed. If that is important to you, then save for the GH2. But if your interest is in still photographer the G2 should be fine. There is a difference in focusing speed with the GH2 being faster. But I have not found the G2's slower focusing speed to be disadvantageous for my scenery shots or my bird photographs.

    I am attaching one picture of a Night Heron with the 100-300 mm Panasonic lens. It was taken with a GH2, but I could have just as easily taken it with the G2.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Note: this may be true for the G2, but is not universally true across the Lumix G line. The G3 has four burst modes:

    SH = 20 fps @ 4MP w/ no live view
    H = 4 fps @ 16MP w/ no live view
    M = 3 fps @ 16MP w/ live view
    L = 2 fps @ 16MP w/ live view

    In burst mode, it turns off auto review, so in M, you can follow the subject in the viewfinder or on the LCD. With its faster refresh rate versus previous models, the lag between what the EVF shows and what's really happening is also much lower. I'm not sure if the GH2 is the same as the G3 in terms of burst modes, but it does have the same faster refresh rate of the G3.

    Edit: for reference, I believe that the t3i does 3.5 fps (or somewhere around there, but it's short of 4 fps.)

    Edit 2: the GH2 also has four similar burst modes, though the frame rates are a little higher (40, 5, 3.5 for SH, H, M; not sure about L.) The GH2 in M burst with live view has a higher frame rate than a G2 in H without live view.
     
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  9. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    First, could you just clarify if you're talking about the G2 or G3? You mention both in your first post...

    Anyway, I only shoot stills with the GH2, and I have never felt constrained by the IQ (for context I used to use the Pentax K20D/K-7 and Olympus E-3).

    The simple truth is that unless you're looking for that 1% perfection (ie. you write for Luminous Landscape and your top drawer is full of things with odd names like Leaf and Phase One) you will not see the difference in shots between say, a G3 and a Leica M9. Digital sensors are so good these days that they are all capable of very good results if you know how to use them.

    If your friends shoot Canon and their shots are way better than yours, then I can almost guarantee its because they are a way better photographer.

    If you're keen on nature, then the lenses are available in Micro Four Thirds to do it well (ie. wide-angle, super-telephoto and macro). Likewise pretty much all of the other brands that make dSLR's.

    So, my advice:

    #1 - go to a camera store and handle everything that you can afford.
    #2 - buy whatever feels best.
    #3 - learn how to use it :smile:
     
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  10. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jul 6, 2011
    Karen,

    Maybe you can get a G3 instead. The sensors are different between G2 and G3, and it would show in low light photography. The G3 is still significantly cheaper than the GH2.

    Bian
     
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  11. lannes

    lannes Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Jul 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    The GH2 has 40fps, 5fps, 3fps and 2fps, viewfinder update only works at 3 and 2fps.
     
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  12. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Personally, I went into store, after store, after store, and never once found a G or GH camera to hold. Found lots and lots of Canons, Nikons, and Sonys, but not a single G (other than a GF2 at Best Buy.) They simply aren't available at any retailer in my area. I really wanted to try both the GH2 and the G3, but ended up just ordering a G3. I'm not convinced that I wouldn't like the GH2 better, but I'm not sure that I want to sink another grand, even temporarily, to find out.

    Hmm, thought that DPReview said 3.5fps in M burst mode. Maybe that was an empirical observation. Either way, the GH2 and G3 do have reasonable burst rates with live view, which is a big step up over previous models.
     
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  13. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks everyone. I am now down to deciding between the G2 and G3. I don't need the video capabilities of the GH2 since I already have a video camera. I could get the G2 body right away but may have to save a bit longer for the G3. I wish I could go hold the cameras in the store but as of right now no local retailer has any of the Panasonic cameras in stock. I would likely have to order either one online. Now if anyone has any input on whether or not the G3 is worth the extra $300 or so for the body that would be helpful. :)
     
  14. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Buy the G2 and use the rest of your budget to get good glass.
     
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  15. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Agree. Buy the G2 and get good glass. Lens last many years, bodies no. So invest in glass and believe those who say G2 is a good body. Certainly G3 is maybe better in low light but G2 is better in all other ways first af all in ergonomics and IQ is not so much better in G3. So it's up to you in taking your decision. If the ergonomics og G3 is right for you then it may be a better buy otherwise go with G2 and shoot happy.
     
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  16. lannes

    lannes Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Jul 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
  17. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks for the review link. It sounds like the advantages of the G3 could make a difference for wildlife photography in that the autofocus is described as faster as well as the frames per second and the ability it has to track the subject and continue focusing while doing so. Of course this is my first attempt at wildlife photography so maybe I am overestimating the importance of those things. I am just going by what I have read about it. Ergonomics do sound a bit better on the G2 however but as I said I am going to have to take a chance on how they feel to me since I have not been able to find any in stock in stores locally.

    I understand the importance and intelligence of investing in good lenses so that is definitely something I am taking into account. I already know the lenses I want for my kit eventually.
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Something to consider is how the camera feel in hand. I have a G2 but at the time there was no G3 to choose form. That said I would still choose the G2 as IMHO it has significantly better ergonomics and feel in the hand. It is large enough to handle a big lens and yet small enough to no be cumbersome. Go handle each of the cameras you are thinking about and see what feels best. For instance, I like the G3's IQ but didn't care for the lack of hard controls and smaller size (it just didn't feel comfortable but everyone is going to be different).

    Getting the G2 and investing in better glass is not a bad way to go.
     
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  19. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks. I will keep looking for the cameras in stores around here to handle them but so far I haven't seen either in stores unfortunately.
     
  20. brnmatsumoto

    brnmatsumoto Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Jul 18, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi Karen,

    I am going to stick my neck out about the focusing speed. I use the GH2 and am guessing that its performance is comparable to the G3 in terms of focusing speed.

    First, the focusing speed is more rapid on the GH2, but is it really fast enough to focus, say, a bird in flight? In terms of rapidity of focus, I feel it is not. It is great for still animal shots, but to catch a running cheetah or deer, I am not certain. Others who have used their camera for action photography should probably contribute an answer to this question in that the adequacy of focusing speed is a subjective evaluation. Having said that, I still use my Nikon gear and if I need rapid focus, I will still use my older Nikon gear.

    In regards to focus tracking. This feature is also available on the G2, but I never found it a desirable mode in that camera or the GH2. It tends to lose the target and may not be as fast as you might think. I tend to use what Panasonic calls the 23-area focus mode to shoot moving objects.

    In nature photography, you might ask yourself do you intend to stalk the animals to get the shot, or will you be shooting from a blind. Generally, shooting from the blind you can get by with slower focusing speeds than when stalking an animal. Also when I shoot from a blind, I tend to use a tripod and have it focused into a specific spot. Usually with the long telephoto lenses, I forgo automatic focusing and have the camera set for manual focus. Part of the problem with the long telephotos, especially in the wild, they may not hit the right focus plane for the shot. An intervening branch in front of or behind the animal can fool the system. For bird photography, I like to make sure its eyes are in sharp focus. With automatic focus, it seems I am focusing on their shoulder or breast and throwing sharp focus off the eye.

    These are admittedly, subjective opinions but they give my impression on the importance of focusing speed. One thing I do not care for with the G3 is that Panasonic removed, in my opinion, a very important feature. The G2 had a clever system were the camera would automatically switch from the electronic viewfinder to the rear LCD screen. So if you used the EVF, the camera would turn off the rear LCD screen. When you moved your head back to view the LCD screen, the EVF shuts off. This conserves battery power. The G3 keeps both of these screens on and this can impose a greater battery drain. Admittedly, if I recall correctly, you can toggle between one or the other screen; however, in the field, I would find that annoying.



    Brian
     
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