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looking to get my first “real” camera and I need help deciding

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by darkproteus66, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. darkproteus66

    darkproteus66 New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    So for the past few years I've been watching the µ4/3 and mirrorless camera market in general and have been really excited (but too poor) to join in the fun. Well I'm finally ready to ditch my old camera phone and super zoom for something substantial. Problem is that I have very specific needs and don't want to get stuck with a camera that doesn't fit my needs. As a note I'm completely brand agnostic and age of the camera doesn't bother as long as it fits my needs.

    I'm looking for
    1) a camera that exceeds at video since I'll probably use it for that 60% of the time. Doesn't need to be super pro quality or even 1080p (though it is a plus)
    2) have an external Mic port for said video
    3) have good low light performance since I often visit the pub and love doing night photos
    4) be no more than $900 USD for a kit

    I was considering the Panasonic G2 but I hear it's not the best for low light, I was also considering the Sony NEX5 (I know it's not µ4/3) but from what I've seen the video isn't as good and you need an adapter for the mic. I don't know much about Olympus other than the old ones record video to Avi and to what I know they don't do that any more. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    United States
  3. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 20, 2010
    The GH2 has the External port you want, and it's sensor is a bit bigger than the G2 because it corrects for different ratio w/o loosing too many MP's.
    And, the IQ is a TAD less than the G3/GX-1.

    And, GH series is the HIGH end G model with extra Video controls not in the G/GF/GX series
  4. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    The GH1 is also a great video camera and has most of the pluses of the GH2.
  5. darkproteus66

    darkproteus66 New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    I would love to get the gh2 but alas my pc is also in much need of an upgrade in the coming months so spending that much on a camera at the moment is out of the question.
  6. darkproteus66

    darkproteus66 New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    How has the price faired on the gh1? I heard that there are some custom firmwares for it that make it a lean mean camera even against the current market.
  7. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah I think a used GH1 would be perfect for you. Fair price is probably between 350-550$.
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Since you are mostly wanting a video camera , get one! Unless you spend a fair amount of money a still camera that shoots video will never be as good as a camcorder. If it was a 50/50 split , maybe but since you are mostly doing video go for a video camera. You can pick up a good one with an external mic input for $500-$800. If I were in your situation I would get the Panasonic HDC-TM900. It has a lot of "pro" features in a consumer size package and price. I have used many Panasonic camcorders both pro and consumer and never had any issues with them. It will also take stills and even has a built in flash.

    Panasonic HDC-TM900 High Definition Camcorder HDC-TM900K B&H
  9. darkproteus66

    darkproteus66 New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    I'll consider it. The main reason I was looking at a camera though is because I've never had a good enough camera to do photography with and really want to learn. Not to mention I live in Florida and there is a ton of nature/wild life I'd love to get some decent pics of
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Every Olympus PEN can use the EMA-1 3.5mm mic adapter (which I think is a nicer size than the 2.5mm on GH2), and all the new generation PENs (E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1) shoot 1080p video in AVCHD (the older PENs were 720p direct to AVI). You can get a brand new E-PM1 as cheap as $400 with an EMA-1 mic adapter for less than $100.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. darkproteus66

    darkproteus66 New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    Nice. How is the video and low light quality?
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Very clear! You won't be disappointed at all.
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Interesting! I did not know about that accessory. It is a very good idea! Kudos to Olympus. :thumbup:

    And yes the 3.5mm is WAY better than the 2.5mm jack. The 3.5 is also called the 1/8th inch and mini and is a very common size. The 2.5 is even smaller and is very hard to find. I always thought it odd that Panasonic chose that size. Almost as bad as Sony with some of their proprietary jacks.
  14. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It will depend some on the lens used. I would say you need as fast a lens as you can afford. But one good thing about the m43 system is that you can adapt a legacy lens. For instance an older f1.2 50mm lens from just about any brand can be picked up for $100 or less. You can also use CCTV lenses which are often very fast but make sure you get one that was designed for a 1 inch sensor. I personally am looking at the Pentax line , both primes and zooms.
  15. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Here's a sample of the E-PM1 with the EMA-1 and some good mics. I used the panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens. Next time I take it out for video I'm planning to try an old manual focus legacy lens with an adapter... Probably my Minolta 50mm 1.7. Fast lenses are key.
    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKwiMkh80wQ"]Arena (band) - Bad Medicine - Fremont Street Las Vegas - YouTube[/ame]
  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Low light video on a budget screams hacked GH1 + legacy glass to me (if you are cool with MF). Check out dvxuser.com for info on hack. They have a specific GH series forum.
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