Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 7, 2010, 5:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default Is it wise to buy a GH1..?

Having been debating which m4/3 camera system to buy into (thanks for everyone's help) and waiting for today's Panasonic announcement, I'm a little disappointed that the newly announced G2 (and G10) won't be available to buy until June (!). I can't wait that long.

Looking at what I need (and want) I have a number of criteria to satisfy, but the three key ones are:

• Size - has to be smaller than my old 40D outfit
• Live View - I had eye problems using the 40D viewfinder, even on short shoots
• HD Video - I want to explore more 'creative' movie making

My search was veering towards Panasonic (GF1) rather than Olympus (E-PL1), but the more I studied all the reviews, samples and specs, I realised that the flip-out 3" screen would offer significant extra flexibility, and the mini-DSLR styling with proper 'grip' would probably be more suited to my hands. Add in the excellent built in EVF (for occasions when I would prefer to use a traditional right-eye approach to shooting), creative Full-HD movie making capabilities and the 28-280 equivalent 10x kit lens (covering 90% of what I want in one lens), and suddenly, it looks like I'm facing a GH1 purchase!!

I don't want a touch-screen, and I would prefer proper HD video (i.e. actual 50/60fps and not 25/30f output at 720p, and the option of 1080) so it's all starting to fit into place.

At this stage, I'd really appreciate any pre-purchase advice..... is the GH1 a sensible move? My guess is that there will be an updated GH2 model announced within 6 months (although maybe not available for 9?!), and that it will likely get 35Mb/s 1920x1080p, updated Venus HD II engine and touch-screen (maybe 920k) which I think I could live without, or could always body-swap down the line.....

Also, I'd want to add a fast prime to my new kit - the 20mm f/1.7 seems obvious, but what manual lenses are good to look out for (28mm/35mm/50mm f1.4? f2?).

Last edited by mrmacmusic; Mar 7, 2010 at 5:32 PM.
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 7, 2010, 5:58 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If low light performance is not to much of a concern. The GH1 seems to meet 90% of your needs. It is still kinda large compare to the GF1 or EPL-1. But next to the size point. From my reading of your question from other post. The GH1 would be a nice fit for your needs nicely.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 7, 2010 at 6:17 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2010, 6:16 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ordo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BsAs
Posts: 3,452
Default

But... is the GH1 price wise?
Ordo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 2:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default

Thanks shoturtle.... still a case of compromise in one form or another - but I think the GH1 (and indeed to a lesser degree the newly announced G2) is about a 90% fit. Stick a fast lens on the front for low light work and it's pretty much there.

Very good point ordo. The GH1 is expensive, but I'm not considering a brand new purchase..... I may just be able to pick up a used GH1 kit with a few extras for the same money as a new GF1 double-lens kit. I'm clarifying the warranty situation, but I think the flippy screen, 'proper' HD, better sensor, longer zoom and silent auto-focus during video all make it a worthwhile up-sell.
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 4:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

I find the GH1 way over-priced considering you can get many entry level DSLRs with good video capability and two-lens kits for a lot lot less. If you can't wait for the new Gs and you wish to standardize on the m4/3 system, then I'd suggest the Oly EP2 or EPL1. They don't have the swivel LCD but they do have IBIS, which is a huge plus over the current G models. The EPL1 has a built-in flash as well so I believe it's ahead of the GF1.
__________________

Tullio
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 4:30 PM   #6
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

The GH1 with that 14-140 HD lens is currently one of the movie-making digicams made. with the silent focus lens is completely silent, and the HD certified lens makes small aperture adjustments rather than the large ones in normal lenses. this prevents the washout between exposures. it also has a stereo mic and connections for an outboard microphone. (i think i got all that right, i am not a video guy, someone feel free to jump in if you understand it better)

also the sensor in the GH1 is probably the best sensor in the m4/3 system right now.

however this comes at a price, up to you whether its worth the price.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

I happen to like the GH1 and if I were starting to build a m4/3 system right now, this is the camera I would start with. One reason is that viewfinders are important to me. I figure I could always add the GF1 (or its replacement) later - or even an Olympus EPL-1 if I wanted to spend a bit less on a second, smaller body.

The nice thing about m4/3 is that I think three lenses would pretty much do it all for me: The 14-140mm, the 20mm pancake prime and the 7-14mm ultra-wide. If it took me a while to get the last lens, no problem. There are good manual-focus lenses out there... but none are made specificially for m4/3, which means you lose some of the size advantage the system offers. At $400... stick with Panasonic's 20mm f/1.7.

It sounds like the GH1 is the camera for mrmac... but if he doesn't have to have video, leftover G1s can still be had at a friendlier price. If he can be satisified with 720p video, I can also recommend two small but proper DSLRs:

The Pentax K-x is a small DSLR with fantastic high ISO ability - and a larger APS-C sized sensor. It can be had for about $700 in two-lens kit form: 18-55mm and 55-300mm. Want a fast prime? Pentax's 40mm f/2.8 Limited is very sharp and very small. About $340. And f/2.8 is just fine with the K-x's excellent noise control at high ISOs. No articulating LCD though.

The only other small DSLR I can recommend is the Olympus E-620, which is a 4/3 camera. A two-lens kit costs about the same as the K-x two-lens kit. The E-620 has an articulating LCD as well. Like Pentax, Olympus offers great optics and even the kit lenses are solid. Both the Pentax and Olympus have optical viewfinders - and both are smaller than the 40D. If I'm not mistaken, the E-620's 4/3 kit lenses offer full functionality (including auto focus) on m4/3s camera bodies with an adaptor.

But if its micro four-thirds you want, I say start with the GH1 and add a second body later if you find you need something that can slip into a jacket pocket.

Last edited by Biro; Mar 8, 2010 at 10:45 PM.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Remember both the GF1 and EPL-1 and EP-2 have removable EVF. And the oly one has great resolution, and large viewing area. 100% view. That was the main reason I went with the oly over the panny. I need a evf also.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:48 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Remember both the GF1 and EPL-1 and EP-2 have removable EVF. And the oly one has great resolution, and large viewing area. 100% view. That was the main reason I went with the oly over the panny. I need a evf also.
True... but I'd want the Pansonic body (at least at the start) with the ultra high-quality EVF. The optional EVF for the GF1, as you say, isn't as nice or high resolution as the EVF for the Olys. To get both, I'd need the G1 or GH1.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:55 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

The GH1 is a good option if you want both. It is just very pricey. And for the size of the GH1, you can get a dslr with full hd like the T2i and it has mic jack, and 60fps video. If you are big into hdr, the panny is the better tool for that.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:01 AM.