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New GH-2 user not sold yet

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dcisive, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I just took delivery of my GH-2 today courtesy of Samy's in LA. I've been putting it through the ringer and frankly it's greatest comparison for me will come against the venerable Olympus PL1. Don't laugh, I used that kit since April and only recently sold it off with the assumption that the GH-2 was to be the new end all be all for mft. Well so far I haven't been mightily convinced, but I'm still on the fence. I may be returning it if not more impressed. Noise levels are NOT as low as I expected and frankly not notably lower than the PL1 was. Image sharpness and color balance are also very much in question. I'm continuing my evaluation, primarily in RAW to be fair. I'll be sure to let you all know the outcome. There are more feature set access on this camera than a F16 fighter jet it is crazy. So many options. I will say without hesitation, the video is AWESOME and has NO equal in the camera world from what I've yet seen (including the 5DMkII Canon). But my strength is in stills so the jury remains out till Monday.
     
  2. youry

    youry Mu-43 Regular

    199
    Nov 9, 2010
    Winston Salem, NC
    Interesting but I have the same problem. I keep comparing it with my P2. Even GH2's raws do not come close to Olympus. The stills are so washed out.
    Now I have two cameras, one that takes great videos and one that takes great jpegs. If you read posts on dpreview everybody seems to be so ecstatic about GH2 and I don't know why. Well, I have the whole weekend to make up my mind.
     
  3. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    Do you have any sample images you could share where you think noise is an issue? I've had a few underexposed images that came out noisy, but on the whole I've seen a huge improvement over my G1 and GF1. I've seen a couple other people who were coming over from Oly have similar complaints but I haven't seen any examples yet. I'm curious if there's a difference in how people are using it, or the lenses used, or if us Panasonic geeks are missing out on something Olympus has inherently going for it. I'm skeptical because I've looked at a ton of images on this forum and haven't seen any striking difference between what I was getting out of my G1 and what other Oly users were posting. I do know the JPG's are better, but I've always used RAW.

    For my part, I've been really happy with the noise, finding that it was very similar to what my APS-C friends were producing that I was always jealous of with my G1. Up to ISO 3200 I can hardly see it at normal sizes, usually have to go pixel peeping to find it, it's very fine grained.

    Also realize that the resolution is quite a bit higher. Make sure you're comparing images at the same size. It's not fair to compare at the pixel level as the higher res sensor is going to show more noise at the lowest level as well.
     
  4. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    When you say that the stills are washed out, are you referring to RAW files? If so, it should not really matter: RAW is RAW - you can edit how you see fit.
     
  5. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    If RAW is "washed out" then it is a metering issue.

    Post some pics......with EXIF would be nice.

    R
     
  6. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    FWIW RAW is supposed to be neutral. Post will bring out the colors and detail. I'm actually still on the fence regarding the GH2 as well. Love my GH1 with all its limitations, but can't see much reason to upgrade yet. Perhaps once Oly or Panasonic release a pro-version of the m4/3 body I'll upgrade.
     
  7. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm with Dragos here. Since selling my two Pens I've been unhappy with the Pany jpgs so shoot RAW anyway. A longtime Oly fan, I'd love to see their pro effort but for now happy with my (hacked) GH1.
     
  8. Vince

    Vince New to Mu-43

    6
    Dec 17, 2010
    Yeah, all they talk about are the amazing videos it creates. It you like video then its worth the price, but if your priority is great IQ then I don't think the price is worth it. If you have to PP all the images just to get a good picture so why spend that much money? You could do the same thing with a G2/GF1/EPL1 in PP. By the way, Pana still have that ugly color on skin. Most or all people shots with the Pana has pale, pinkish skin tone.
     
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Concerning pink skin and washed-out colours from the GH2: at the time I had some serious issues with the G1 and finally bought an X-rite ColorChecker Chart to profile the camera for Adobe Camera Raw. After that I couldn't be happier with the colour rendition of the G1. In the picture shown below the left part is after profiling, the right one before. I know from checking later at the actual premises that the colours on the left are quite accurate. The difference is subtle, but important to me; this was one picture where I found the wrong colours really unacceptable. I have to add that I always shoot raw; I wasn't at all happy with jpeg quality from the G1 and I didn't even bother to check so far with the GH2.

    Immediately after purchasing the GH2 I profiled it the same way and colours look good to me. Yesterday I took some family snapshots under difficult lighting and they could all be processed to look fine. I specifically checked for overly pink skin but didn't find that. In fact, the difference between the standard Adobe profile and the one I made wasn't that big, a much smaller difference than for my G1 (sample variation maybe for the G1? Can't imagine why Adobe's profile would be off so much, they have a controlled setup and I don't).

    So for people who aren't happy with the GH2's colour rendition, this might be a way to improve on it. Unfortunately you'll need to a) shoot raw, b) have access to an X-rite ColorChecker (Passport) and c) use Adobe Photoshop (Elements) or Adobe Lightroom to pursue this. Olympus is reputed to yield good out-of-camera jpeg's, so I'm afraid you'll have to switch to a Pen if you want that.

    G1 left after profiling, right before
    1142761825_k7Jq4-L.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Well guys, I've completed my exhaustive testing and sorry to say the GH-2 is packed up and ready to be returned to it's sender. It is a perfectly capable image machine and takes unreal (the best there is currently (video), but I'm not buying because of video. IMHO the D7000 I got recently does amazing at that as well. I'm looking for a small, portable, take anywhere image maker that will provide me with at least 13x19 prints that can NOT be distinguished from my D700 and other prints on my wall. The Oly PL1 provided that. Yet I got the bug for some "new technology" and figured surely the GH2 was going to be IT! well guys for me it is NOT. I spent hours pouring over RAW/ORF files from that last vacation. Sure, at ISO200 100% on screen in some shadow you can see noise just as you can with the GH2. However the GH2 seems to have it all over the place above there and it does NOT retain the detail in the image as the PL1 DOES. Don't believe me, go out and test them side by side for yourself.

    I'm not trying to start a Panny vs. Oly war by any means. They both have their strengths. Since I don't have kids, don't shoot sports or fast moving subjects the accurate reasonably fast speed of the PL1 may be it for me. There is NO doubt I'll be 1st on the list for the PL2 coming out next year. If the P-2 had a built in flash I'd get one of those, but the flash has saved me far too many times and is a MUST. So I learned a lot and fortunately won't be charged for it. I'll just have to head back to what works for me, the Oly look. Direct from ORF or Jpeg they just pop off the screen with goodness. My wife told me that and has tried to tell me all afternoon that what it was was the Panny just was NOT remarkable, the Oly WAS. Oh well...........here we go again......
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. John007

    John007 New to Mu-43

    4
    Dec 31, 2010
    Yeah my friend, I agree with you.. my Gh2 is not as good as the Oly when taking pictures, I believed Panasonic built it for Video Purposes, for Serious cinematographers just like the best selling GH1.. Imagine there's a shortage of Gh2 supply in the world, Every one wants to have it in the Cinema world!!
     
  12. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    I completely respect your opinion, you have to do what works for you and that's great if it saves you money too! But I'd still love to see some side by side comparison samples if you care to share. Ideally same image, same settings, same lens, same processing. I assume you did that for your testing? I still haven't seen what people are talking about here. I'd like to see what detail and noise issues you are seeing. I may be ignorant and better off not knowing as I've always just used Panasonics and been happy. I don't want to start a war either, I'm just very curious to see and understand the differences. Maybe it will make my next camera an Oly ;)
     
  13. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    Is this profile something that you could potentially share with us, or is it something that needs to be done on each individual camera? I have a G1 and GH2, just curious if we can leverage the work you've done or if everyone that wants these results would have to go through the process ;)
     
  14. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    Yes, you can use X-rites that other folks have made. I found a color profile for the G1 over on DPR and it really helped my G1 processing (I don't shoot JPG).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    ahem.... the GH1 was targeted at videographers who also wanted stills... why did you think the GH2 was any different?



    K
     
  16. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Sure, I have made them available on my website. There are profiles for the G1, the GH2 and the Nikon D300s, all in one zip-file. "Algemeen" is Dutch for "General". There are separate profiles for use with pictures made with the Olympus FL-50R, but to be honest I don't use them a lot, the normal profiles are fine for that too. The profiles designated "X-rite" have been made with the X-rite Passport program, the other ones with the Adobe DNG Profile Editor; just pick the one you like most. On my Windows 7 installation they have to be placed in the folder
    C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles
    (For some reason this website's editor adds the space in CameraRa w, leave it out if you copy the location).

    Having done that you can select the profiles in the Camera Calibration tab of Adobe Camera Raw:
    1143716106_anNEn-L.

    Good luck!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    That's not quite true. When the GH1 initially came out, it was launched as an advanced version of the G1, highlighting the improved stills capability. And, oh, by the way, it also happened to shoot HD video. It took the independent videographer community and a superb hack to highlight the video potential of the platform before Panasonic finally capitalized on it with the GH2. The GH1 was never targeted at videographers. The GH2 certainly is.
     
  18. texascbx

    texascbx Mu-43 Veteran

    389
    Dec 30, 2009
    Texas
    I thought the GH1 was optimized for video. Even that incredibly expensive lens it ships with is specifically made for shooting video I thought. I also read it has a big heatsink on the sensor to keep it from getting too hot so it can shoot video on and on while the Nikons, Canons and Sonys all overheat and shut off if you record video for two long. Even my A33 will only shoot video for ten minutes at a time before the sensor overheats and shuts down if the OS is on. Even with OS turned off, the A33 and A55 both will run 30 minutes before shutting down from overheating. That is something the GH1 will not do is overheat from what I've read.

    So I always thought the GH1 to be more towards video than stills. I am wrong?
     
  19. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I would say it's not so much a case of right or wrong. There was some tight criticism of the G1 because of the lack of video, but it's stills capability pleased many. The GH1 retained those qualities, but added video. Panasonic clearly thought through the video capability of the camera.
     
  20. ricseet

    ricseet Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 20, 2010
    Singapore
    Here are some initial encounters with the GH2.
    I have both the Oly and GH2 system and I shoot mainly Nature - birds, insects and people. I love both system!
    Have been shooting for about 4 weeks with the E5/150mmf2/EC20 in jpegs.

    E5 - a set on Flickr

    Last week I started shooting with the GH2/100-300 combo. Some initial pics to share

    GH2 - a set on Flickr

    Jpeg colors from the GH2 is something we do not want to talk about! The jpeg file is less sharp and has less detail compared to the raw files. Nothing new from what we already know. However, I am quiet please that I am able to create a preset on Aperture 3 for GH2 jpeg so that the colors are closer to that of the raw files. I now can live with the colors for occasions when I need to shoot in jpeg. But have to accept the fact that it is less sharp/detail. So I will have to continue to shot raw like I did with my GH1.
    Becos I shoot brides a lot, I love shooting in in the EZ mode or the Extended Mode with my G1 and GH1. From the brief comparison the raw files of the GH2 can be cropped from 16 MP down to 1MP and it still looks sharp & detail. My initial finding - it is much sharper/detail than jpeg in EZ mode.

    My plan is to use both system:
    1. Oly system for serious birding
    2. G system as my daily companion when I am out doing my daily 3 hr walks

    cheers

    ric