View Full Version : help need to choose a camera for video...

16-06-2013, 9:51am
I want to go int o video film making and want to buy gh2....is there any other suggestions...is there any real need for a rig?

16-06-2013, 10:50am
What camera/lenses do you currently have?

You say you want to get into video, which assumes that you aren't/haven't already.
With that, the next assumption is that you have little to no experience then.

If you list what gear you currently have, someone(maybe even me! :p) could help you get something appropriate.
ie. if you already have invested into a particular camera system, stick with it and get something to enhance that.

JM Tran
16-06-2013, 11:02am
Its cheap to buy a 2nd hand Canon 5D Mark 2 for high quality commercial and amateur videography these days, you can get a 2nd hand body around 1200 ish. Better DOF control and light gathering than a GH2.

In terms of rigs, it depends on what you are doing and need. Every video maker usually has some sort of steadicam, video tripod, monopod, slider, and a variety of lenses in varying focal lengths.

You can buy all those accessories for cheap on ebay without resorting to high end brand name stuff, if you are not charging 5 or 6 figure jobs for a client that is.

Lighting accessories is also important too, such as varying reflectors for fill light and skin tone, LED panels, HDMI lights, fresnels. Hard to exactly tell you what you need as we need more info on what you are wanting to do:)

16-06-2013, 12:25pm
I currently are usign d700 with no video capability.
I also own a olympus epl2 and a fujix100s.
recently have used a big canon dv camera and epl2 to film some concert and did some editing and got hooked. my research shows that gh2 might be a good entry into this world of video.
Purpose is mainly amateur work...scenery travel diary, hiking track walk through, some church related short films as well..
really appreciate help..

been thinking of sony hdr ax2000, but looks like with my use at this early stage better to log in something as a learning tool....thx for any input...
am workign on a video dolly and will be doing tracks..which will be useful for time lapse as well...

- - - Updated - - -

am a Nikon man with 24-70 and 70-200 vrii
olympus epl2 and soem old OM lenses..
got the video fluid head already,and a sound recorder zoom h2n

16-06-2013, 1:29pm
I currently are usign d700 with no video capability.......

Well in that case a 5D will be of little advantage to ya.

Plentiful Nikon DSLR's that will give you good video capabilities .. plus the added bonus of a new DSLR! :)

D600 comes to mind. While this body has some restrictions compared to the D800 in terms of video usage, the actual quality of the video will be on par.
Those restrictions will most likely be of no real use to you anyhow(as this stage) .. but you may find them useful as you develop your video technique(if at all).

The main feature I'm referring too is the power aperture feature on the D800 compared to this feature not available on the D600.

D800 is 'relatively cheap' nowadays, but you may need to get in soon before the Aussie dollar drops too far and makes it a lot more expensive than it is now.
Aussie dollar has dropped over 10% in the past month or so .. so be mindful.

JVC have recently released this JY-HMQ30 which has native Nikon F-mount so your lenses become dual purpose .. it is pretty new, so will be expensive(but you'll be looking at nearly $20K in Japan!)

I'd be inclined to stick with a native Nikon lens camera system, and if you do, the ability to shoot with a shallower DOF could be handy with an Fx format Nikon.

Only problem with going with a Nikon video camera is the inability to use your OM lenses at anything but close range.

IIRC, those GH2s aren't all that cheap, and by the time you add in a quality lens mount adapter, you'll be looking at not being far off the price of a D600.

Swings and roundabouts I guess .. you'll need to decide what's important to you in the long run.

(if it were me, personally, I'd be inclined to go with the Nikon camera and look for cheap-ish compatible lenses beyond that ... and .... funnily, that's actually what I did :D .. got the D800 tho).

As JM said, rigs will be a personal preference thing .. and very dependent on what your video style is going to be like.

Anyhow, just some more info to mull over .. probably made the decision harder now, rather than easier! :o

16-06-2013, 2:39pm
ignorance is bliss...more info=more trouble...lol

I also enjoy the lightness of a 43 camera as you raom around the public places taking snapshots. A FF Nikon is too obtrusive...so why inclined towards a 4/3 alternative at this stage is that I can have a newer 4/3 with better AF(than my EPL2) for street purposes. If I ever go into serious video thing I still think that dslr is still behind a proper sony video camera...I am thinking of a 4/3 camera. with a couple of newer AF 4/3 lenses and I can use my epl2 as by B roll. Then I can start my video blogs....and pro cameras are well behind my reach... The d 800/800e is a good realistic alternative that I am considering too...thx for your suggestions....

It seems to me that you are doing video taking too...good insights into my situations..thx

09-07-2013, 1:34pm
GH2 is a fine camera. I've read alot of reviews of people who compare it up against some serious bits of kit.

You mentioned earlier you were going to be filming hiking, scenic trips. Stability will be an issue, or you'll get some seriously shaky footage. Even if you put it through a post stabilizer (After Effects Warp Stabilizer comes to mind) you're still not going to have a smooth shot. So, factor in a stabilizer of some sort *removed - read site rule 3* I don't use a rig, as I've not had any need for one as of yet personally. They are amazing for a follow focus setup, and especially good if you have a heavier load out (Heavy camera, external mic, viewfinder, big lens, etc etc) because it takes the strain off holding it for a long time.

Good luck!


02-04-2014, 8:55pm
My thoughts are that I have bought a Canon Camera to take still shots of wild life and scenery, I have bought a Video camera for the use in video, I have not even come close to using my camera for video.
If you want a real good video you buy a proper video camera in my book.


02-04-2014, 11:06pm
Hey Peter .. long time bud.

In general I agree with the philosophy you're trying to adhere too, but it's not quite so simple in the context of video/still/camera gear.

So for example, if I wanted a GPS or a watch, or a phone, while I can do it easily with just the one item(say a smart phone with GPS), having to constantly refer back to the phone(which generally sits in the car) to see the time, is annoying, and if I need a GPS(as opposed to a navigator) .. I'll probably only get a couple of hours of active use from the smart phone if I turn on the GPS chip.

So in this case, I prefer the philosophy you espouse in that I'll have a watch on my wrist, a gps for gps duties and my smart phone for telephony.

BUT .. and I read these comments all the time, the lines have blurred a lot with stills and video, which in a way are quite similar things.
The difference between them, in reality is that when you use video mode on your stills camera, you capture the frames at a much faster rate than you otherwise would if you shot them as stills.

But the idea that you should use a video camera for video work and stills for stills work has downsides to it.
Not least of which are that you need to carry needless extra items to do both operations, where one set of items can do both tasks.

But my main point(s) was one of cost and artistic license.

To have the ability to use various lenses for specific effects/perspectives for video, generally costs somewhere between a small fortune and a large fortune!
if you're thinking, of using one of those point and shoot type video cameras with fixed lenses, then this is exactly the point I'm trying to make.(and my take on why video in stills cameras has been a revelation, and something to welcome!)

Those cheap-ish fixed lens video cameras can do the task of capturing video, but in reality those videos produced will have quite a crapful look to them.... I know, I have one myself too, from a million years ago! Haven't used it for about 10 or so years, simply because it doesn't produce nice looking video or doesn't allow you the option to create nicer looking videos.
The reason is exactly the same as for stills capture using a P&S or phone camera. The perspective is basically locked in to the attached lens.

One of the reasons you purchased a SLR type digital camera was that it allows you to change lenses and achieve greater image quality.
If not, you'd have otherwise just bought a bridge type camera with a 10-1000mm lens wouldn't you?
That is, it's the lens that allows you to make greater use of the camera for different purposes.

It's exactly the same with video.

Not too long ago, to have had that sort of opportunity to do the same with video was in the realm of the really seriously wealthy, where a video camera body with separate lenses would have been in the $5K vicinity.
One thing that having video capability in interchangeable stills camera has brought us now, is cheaper video cameras(with good quality stills capabilities!). But this only came after DSLRs started having video ability.
I suppose that eventually, these cheaper video cameras with interchangeable lenses will have inevitably come along .. it should be noted that it only happened AFTER high quality stills cameras had video ability.

That is, I think the manufacturers were unsure if the market was there for folks that were looking for video with more artistic freedom, and the video-in-DSLR boom that eventually came a few years ago, helped those video manufacturers in some way.

So, while most consumers out there may not care too much about the look of their video(just as they don't really care too much for the look of their photos either!) my earlier point about rationalising gear works something along these lines:

Pro wedding photographer may also doing video work for the wedding(why not, it's all money and you're there to begin with .. so it makes sense to do it)
Will have a swag of camera gear with them, (whether Nikon or Canon, or Pentax .. makes no difference).
But to also shoot the video, they couldn't possibly afford to purchase separate professional video equipment and also charge a reasonable rate for their wedding services. So it makes more sense to have their video gear that is matched to their stills gear!

(personally)I think you have done yourself a disservice in getting a video camera if you already have a high quality camera that can also do video too.(if you bought the video camera after the DSLR!)
I would have invested that video camera money in more/better/other accessories for the bird/wildlife/scenery camera, or even a second camera, whether the same as your current one or an updated model.

Now with digital cameras and their ability to shoot video too, you'd be mad to purchase a video camera to create video!
I can't imagine a reason for it, other than a video camera that has a unique set of features (eg, 500fps @ high res or something specialist like that).

Time for a strange story: I hung out for years on getting a D700 as it didn't have video ability. Video in DLSRs started coming to market at about the time the D700 came on the scene(D90 was the first Nikon DSLR with video). I would have been happy with a D700 as opposed to the D800(eventually after 4 years!), if the D700 had video capture ability(and only if it were 1080p too tho!).

Anyhow, each to their own .. but video ability in a stills camera is never a negative point to concern about. It doesn't intrude on the stills capture, and is always there if needed at a pinch. And you only use it if you need it.

09-04-2014, 4:54pm
Mongo found the D800 next to useless for video - very very poor indeed. To take any sort of useful videos, you must have a very good auto focus ability. The D800 surprisingly ( for all its expense and modern features) h virtually no AF function worth talking about. A $200 point and shoot has better video/af function.