Help choosing camera for video work.

Ig7

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Need advice choosing a camera for video project. My daughter is shooting an instructional video and needs a camera. I have em-1 and em-5 but I never used either one for video. Anyone has experience using either one for video work. Also, appreciate any advice. I always hear that Panasonic is better for video work then Olympus.
 

GFFPhoto

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Your EM1 is probably fine for a simple instructional video. If you don't want to bother with external sound, then GH3, GH4 or G6 will have a mic input
 

orfeo

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Is your daughter a pro working in the field and requiering top notch video output in full HD, with slow motion, no moiré, no block artefacts in movements? If yes a GH3 is in order, and if you want even better a GH4...

Otherwise your daughter will be perfectly fine with your Oly. She needs to learn to use programs like Premiere which adds to the costs.
 

owczi

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Your EM1 is probably fine for a simple instructional video. If you don't want to bother with external sound, then GH3, GH4 or G6 will have a mic input
Erm, the E-M1 also has a mic input.

Irina - a GH3 would be good to introduce someone to "proper" video production (from the camera side, not PC/software side). I think the E-M1 will be more than enough for what you say are simple instructional videos. Also the 12-35 should do more than fine.

Just use manual focus or one-time single AF to avoid sudden focus hunting and set gradation to normal in the menu to avoid sudden scene uniformity changes and you'll be good. Get some good video lighting as well (well any good lighting, doesn't have to be dedicated video kit), and remember to get white balance right as you won't be able to correct it (much) in post production like you can do with RAW stills. And don't overdose on shallow depth of field unless you want to give your viewers a headache. This is pretty much all I know about video work :D

With regards to getting a camcorder, it's a question of whether it's just an one-off assignment your daughter is doing or is it something she might be doing more of. A camcorder may be a waste of money if it's not an interchangeable lens one - and those don't come cheap.
 

orfeo

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She will love the gh3. Its way more versatile because of lenses selection. There are some nice APS camcorder from Sony that are very nice for video too.
 

Evan614

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I am a minority here when I say: Buy/Use a camcorder not a still camera. Unless she is requiring bokeh.
Most instructional videos are straight forward with potentially lots of zooming and panning with the desire to have large depth of field.
for $200 bucks go buy a consumer camcorder and just make sure it has a 1/4 jack for microphone.
Film makers use still cameras to make their products. video production companies use video cameras to make their products.
major difference being film makers want a short depth of field with no zooming. video producers want the ease of zooming at any time and always have their image in focus.
 

Ig7

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I am a minority here when I say: Buy/Use a camcorder not a still camera. Unless she is requiring bokeh.
Most instructional videos are straight forward with potentially lots of zooming and panning with the desire to have large depth of field.
for $200 bucks go buy a consumer camcorder and just make sure it has a 1/4 jack for microphone.
Film makers use still cameras to make their products. video production companies use video cameras to make their products.
major difference being film makers want a short depth of field with no zooming. video producers want the ease of zooming at any time and always have their image in focus.
makes sense, thank you. For what she needs, she might be better off with a camcoder.
 

RuffDraft

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Is it literally just an instructional video? If so, let her use the EM5... It's more than enough.

Camcorders won't have the detail that an EM5 will have. They're often too soft for my liking.

I own a Panasonic X800, GH3 & GH4 and the EM5. EM5s codec leaves little room for editing afterwards in comparison to 50mbps on the GH3, but it's more than adequate and you can do colour correction with an EM5 too, but you tend to get banding in incandescent lighting and you can't change exposure once you set it to record.

You need to explain more about your daughter's needs before anyone can say what is right. There's no point getting a camcorder if she's going to have your kit and a decent enough variation throughout the focal lengths.

If she needs a wide depth of field, a massive zoom and ease of use over crisp images with better files and better quality HD, then a camcorder will suffice. But low light performance will be awful with a camcorder in comparison to a M43 camera. I honestly can't use my camcorder much following the use of M43 cameras, unless I'm shooting outside. The sensors and lenses are just so much better.
 

Ig7

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Is it literally just an instructional video? If so, let her use the EM5... It's more than enough.

Camcorders won't have the detail that an EM5 will have. They're often too soft for my liking.

I own a Panasonic X800, GH3 & GH4 and the EM5. EM5s codec leaves little room for editing afterwards in comparison to 50mbps on the GH3, but it's more than adequate and you can do colour correction with an EM5 too, but you tend to get banding in incandescent lighting and you can't change exposure once you set it to record.

You need to explain more about your daughter's needs before anyone can say what is right. There's no point getting a camcorder if she's going to have your kit and a decent enough variation throughout the focal lengths.

If she needs a wide depth of field, a massive zoom and ease of use over crisp images with better files and better quality HD, then a camcorder will suffice. But low light performance will be awful with a camcorder in comparison to a M43 camera. I honestly can't use my camcorder much following the use of M43 cameras, unless I'm shooting outside. The sensors and lenses are just so much better.
She will be shooting instructional videos for a homeless shelter as one of the projects that I know of as of now. Ease of use is extremely important as well as editing afterwards. She will not be playing around with settings, WB, etc. and needs smth similar to "point and shoot" setting for video. I was looking at JVC GC-PX100 I can get from Costco for the price of GH3
 

RuffDraft

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She will be shooting instructional videos for a homeless shelter as one of the projects that I know of as of now. Ease of use is extremely important as well as editing afterwards. She will not be playing around with settings, WB, etc. and needs smth similar to "point and shoot" setting for video. I was looking at JVC GC-PX100 I can get from Costco for the price of GH3
Looks like a great alternative, but don't buy without also checking out the X920 from Panasonic with better built in stabilisation. I do like the look of the PX100 though and it looks like it would suit her needs.

I just think if she's going to want to go into video eventually, she'd perhaps gain more from a GH3... But the add ons of lenses, stabilisation equipment, audio equipment etc. would take your gift into a whole 'nother ball game.
 

John M Flores

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She will be shooting instructional videos for a homeless shelter as one of the projects that I know of as of now. Ease of use is extremely important as well as editing afterwards. She will not be playing around with settings, WB, etc. and needs smth similar to "point and shoot" setting for video. I was looking at JVC GC-PX100 I can get from Costco for the price of GH3
What about lighting? What will the ambient light be like? Will the camera be on a tripod or need to be mobile? Will she be recording 1 subject, or more?

Answers to these questions will help our recommendations.
 

Ig7

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What about lighting? What will the ambient light be like? Will the camera be on a tripod or need to be mobile? Will she be recording 1 subject, or more? Answers to these questions will help our recommendations.
not sure about the setting since she did not start the project yet. My guess it will be done inside because the videos are to teach how to go to an interview or how to handle integrating into mainstream. Panasonic recommendation looks like a good idea.
 

D7k1

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Since you have lenses, one good choice - Black Magic. Good prices now the Gh4 is out. Best video this side of 4K in small systems. A used Gh3 would also be a fine camera. Remember you will need a good video head if you are planning on doing any camera moves (pans/tilts), and for the best sound an small external recording unit like the Tascam DR5 or Zoom H1 (each about $100) will make your videos much more professional. You can get good video from your Oly's if there is no fast pans or really fast movement in what you are imaging. If you do get rolling shutter or breakup you can use MercalliPro to fix rolling shutter (if you are stationary that should not be a problem). Do a test with your camera and see how it goes with the EM1. If you are shooting for DVD or just the net, the Oly's could be "good enough" IMHO.
 

John M Flores

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not sure about the setting since she did not start the project yet. My guess it will be done inside because the videos are to teach how to go to an interview or how to handle integrating into mainstream. Panasonic recommendation looks like a good idea.
To be honest, I don't think a new camera is the answer to your situation. Your current cameras plus some decent lighting (either purchased or rented) will yield better video than buying a new Panasonic and shooting it with what is likely to be dim, flat, indoor lighting. You also have a good lens for the task (12-35).

And while you're at it, budget for a decent mic. Even a cheap lavalier will be better than an on-camera shotgun.

And if you really want decent results, take the money that you might spend on a new Panasonic and instead hire someone with video skills (and gear) to shoot the video. Not only will you get better results, but if you watch and ask questions (without disrupting), you'll learn a lot too.
 

dornblaser

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I do instructional videos for websites. I would stay from camcorders, even wedding photographers are switching to GHx's and DSLRs. I can't think of single advantage that a sub $2,000 camcorder has over a GHx. A GH3 or GH4 with the 12 - 35 would be an ideal first setup. FCPX is a nice program. She will also needs a rig, tripod and lighting. Get a shotgun mic and not a lavalier, a lavalier requires you to put it on your subject and some of your daughter's subjects will not allow that or give you that much time. Do not underestimate the need for portable lighting even with a fast lens.

Interesting, I have been very involved in projects that feed and house the homeless for decades. Make sure that she gets written releases from both the shelter and the guests. We have been considering doing a documentary on suburban homelessness in our area. Our gear is listed above plus a 25 and a 42.5. The latter two lenses are great for interviews on a tripod.
 

Ig7

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David,
Since I only used my camera for regular photography, can you share the setting she would need to start with if I get her a GH3 if you are familiar with the camera. I do have a tripod and she can use my Panasonic lenses. Any recommendations for shotgun mike? D7k1 recommends Tascam DR5 or Zoom H1. Are those shotgun? Any suggestions for lightning? Are you referring to a regular flash like an Oly fl 600? I am sure I sound like a complete newbie, but video setup is an unknown territory for me :)
 
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