1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Video GAS Pains

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Replytoken, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Its been about 3 months since I picked up a factory-refurbished E-PL2 as a light weight system to compliment my D300 and Nikkor lenses. The body came with refurbished 14-42 II and 40-150 lenses, and I ended up quickly purchasing the 45 f1.8 and a 58mm Marumi close-up lens to compliment the kit. I thought I was reasonably good to go, but still wanted to round out my lenses with a fast, wide-angle lens. And then came the thought of shooting video, something my D300 does not offer me.

    As I learned more about the needs of shooting good video (fast glass, OIS, video-friendly focus), my lens selection started becoming more and more complicated. What started out as a simple desire for Pany's 20mm soon had me focusing (pun intended) on their 25mm, 14-45 and 14mm lenses. And, If I was interested in the 14mm, the option of picking it up with a GF3 as an affordable kit was now also an option. Since my first choice, the 25mm, was not easily available anywhere in the US, I have been mulling things over, only to now add the upcoming 12-35 to my list.

    And to make matters worse, I found out that the upcoming family event where I wanted to shoot some video, in addition to stills, is probably not going to be video-friendly. So, I am sitting here with a bad case of GAS, and wondering how much time and money I should be devoting to video, a secondary use of my E-PL2.

    Many years ago, I dived "whole hog" into various camera systems, only to sell most of them at some later point, with my Nikon gear being the exception. I see my M43 as a compliment to my Nikon gear, but am still wondering how deep of a commitment I should make to this young system. The E-PL2 is a fun camera, and the M43 system is certainly more mature than some of the competing systems, but it is not clear to me if the system is worth a significant expenditure of funds for quality glass, especially since I do not have an unlimited budget for gear. Yet, I really enjoy shooting (stills) with good glass, and would like to learn more about shooting video. As these values are somewhat exclusive, I am looking to see if there are some good compromise options on lens choices.

    I know that good support (tripod/monopod) and the ability to focus manually are keys to shooting good video, but I am not sure how to value OIS vs. fast glass when choosing additional lenses. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I would like to spare my wallet a bigger hit than is necessary, especially since I am not certain about my long-term commitment to shooting video.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  2. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    If you want really good video, ditch the EPL2 and pickup a GH2 :) Manual video controls give you much more control over your videos, that and the GH2 is unrivaled for m43 videos and with a little software hack will give the 5D a good run for the money.
     
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hi Neighbor,

    I am aware of the "cult of the GH2", but it is a bit premature for me to purchase a body at this time, as I am primarily a still shooter, and this system is supposed to be a compact, lightweight alternative to my Nikon gear. If I know that I had been bitten by the video bug, I would pick up a GH2 in a heartbeat.

    I realize that the E-PL2 is almost nobody's first choice for video, but as it is available to me at no cost, I thought that I owed it to myself to try it out. And, since I was already looking for an additional lens for my kit, I had hoped that the additional requirements for video could be easily folded in my lens selection criteria. But, as I posted above, things are often never as simple as we would like them to be, and the criteria soon took a life of their own. So, I am trying to decide which lens features might have more utility for video, but still allow me to round out my still photo kit. The 25mm is still the strongest candidate, but I am not sure that I can get my hands on one before I head out of town to visit family, and possibly shoot some video.

    --Ken
     
  4. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I think you have manual video controls on the E-PL2, don't you? To some extent anyway. For me the two things I would consider important are -

    1 - Stabilise the camera somehow. Even at 14mm (without OIS) you can see micro jitters when handheld. There are all sorts of $15 steadicam ideas online ranging from DIY solutions to simply attaching the camera to a tripod that you then loosely grip below the head. Even a monopod/tripod extension with a bit of weight at the end works and is fairly portable and discrete. There are some quite cheap shoulder rigs online too but they are not discrete :)

    Lens-wise, I bought the 14-45 for it's stabilisation but it's not exactly fast even wide open. Good for outside or if you are happy with higher ISOs.

    2 - Shutter speed - keep it low, around 1/60, to avoid the jerky flip book look.
     
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, the E-PL2 does offer a somewhat cryptic version of manual controls for video. And, I do have access to a tripod (once I pick up an A/S compatible plate for the camera) and several monopods which I would expect to use when I know in advance that I am shooting video. Regarding shutter speed, I would pretty much leave it fixed at 1/60th unless I wanted some special effect.

    Your comment about the 14-45, more importantly, helped me clarify some of the challenges in choosing additional lenses. Lenses with OIS, like the 14-45 and the 12-35, are helpful when you are shooting handheld. Fast lenses, like the 20 and 25mm, and to a lesser degree the 14 and 12-35 are useful in low light situations. The only lens that seems to touch on both features is the 12-35, but that comes at a price, and it has yet to prove itself "in the wild". So, one issue that I need to resolve (pardon the bad pun) is the usefulness of each of these features if I had to choose a lens with only one or the other. Or, I can cough up some additional cash so I can have my cake and eat it too with the 12-35.

    Generally, there is no substitute for fast glass when shooting in available light, except for higher ISOs (assuming that the shutter is held at 1/60th for smooth 720p at 30fps), so I guess I would need to better understand how tolerant video is of higher ISO settings, and how low a light level can be shot with a slower lens like the 14-45 before I choose this lens over a fast prime. And, we have not even considered focal length preferences, or the fact that I will need to order any lens in the next day or so if I want to bring it with me on my trip next week! Some days GAS is a pain in the a____!

    --Ken