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GH1 vs GH2 for film?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by crashwins, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere..I'm interested in getting into making some films and I remember hearing the rage about the GH1 hack years back. Wondering which kit I should go with..I already have a Lumix 20mm Panny, but I'm guessing that's too wide angle for film..I'll have to look into more of a zoom I'm guessing. Thanks!
  2. mangomonster

    mangomonster Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2012
    20mm is my recommended lens to start out with for filming. It's very fast so you can film in darker environments if you need to. I'd recommend the GH2 as it includes the very useful EX Telephoto mode so your 20mm becomes a 40mm and you don't lose any quality while filming. You might want to supplement that with the 45-200mm Lumix lens... but the lens I use the most overall is the 14-140 even though it's slower.

    The GH2 delivers a superior image as well. There's actually too much information out there on it and it can be overwhelming. You can pick up a used GH2 body for about $500-550 now if you look carefully.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    So there aren't any hacks for the GH1 to get this telephoto mode? Funny there are definitely reviews saying to grab the GH1 despite it being older. Thanks for the advise
  4. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2011
    Here's my experience using both cameras simultaneously for video. In broad daylight shooting the same scenes I could barely tell a difference between the GH1 and the GH2 on my 60" tv. The gap is even smaller on my computer monitor. I'm sure the all-intra hack improves motion and whatnot on the GH2, but if you're shooting in well-lit environments I would just go for the GH1 for pure economic reasons.

    However, if you plan on doing lots of low-light work, the ISO hack on the GH2 is well worth the extra money. Well, that along with the touchscreen, native 24P output, and a MUCH more stable codec when spiking up the bitrates. My GH2 was averaging 120-ish MBps without any crashes. I enjoyed the adrenaline rush from having all that power, but it was just overkill.

    Speaking from personal experience, I sold my GH2 and downgraded back to a GH1; the latter which I bought locally for $150. The $500 difference (now $400 or so) just wasn't worth it to me. That's enough to party a couple dozen times a year, spend a week or longer in some far off foreign country, or have lunch at my favorite diner once a week for more than a year. Then again, YMMV.
  5. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Great advise. I appreciate it. Another thought is it might be better to buy the old-hat GH1 bc the GH3 is on the horizon. Ie, I'll play with the GH1 a bit and if I'm liking the experience, I could fork over for the upgrade to the GH3. Thanks!
  6. powderbanks

    powderbanks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    north carolina
    ^ that's a good plan. the gh3 looks to be pretty darn good. i'm just curious how long it will be until it's hacked...and then the resulting images. i started with a gh1, and then got a gh2. the gh1 is great, and when hacked, even better. as brianb said, low light is the real falling point of the gh1. however, with fast enough lenses and the iso limit unlock in the hack that lets you go down to 6400 (i think? i forget what it was), you can get surprisingly clean footage. aside from that, the only other really big difference is simple ergonomics. i like the way the buttons and dials are setup on the gh2 better than the gh1, but when i had the gh1 i thought they were just fine.

    oh yeah, and in the extele mode, you don't technically lose any quality, but there is significantly more noise in the image. that's due to the way extele works. bright, well lit, low iso shots it doesn't matter much..but low light you'll notice it
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