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02-10-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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Have a K-01. Considering picking up a gh2. Good idea?

Title covers it. I'm a photographer by trade, always a user of Pentax. When helping other companies (photo/video), I've used their Nikons/Canons... all nice cameras, just not preferable over my Pentax'es. Anywho, I've been getting some video gigs here n' there, and I'd like to use my Pentax glass (and would prefer using their body), but no matter what I try, I just can't get the desired look from my k-01 or k5iis. Too blotchy (moire/buzzwords/etc), weird sharpening, etc. The k7 looks suprisingly a little better, but... you know.

Gh2's sound like the answer. Can continue using my glass, just with a loss of width (I can handle). Super cheap these days. Just lower build quality. Does anyone have much experience with them? Hacked/unhacked, is the video a vast enough improvement over the k-01?

02-10-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dflorez Quote
Title covers it. I'm a photographer by trade, always a user of Pentax. When helping other companies (photo/video), I've used their Nikons/Canons... all nice cameras, just not preferable over my Pentax'es. Anywho, I've been getting some video gigs here n' there, and I'd like to use my Pentax glass (and would prefer using their body), but no matter what I try, I just can't get the desired look from my k-01 or k5iis. Too blotchy (moire/buzzwords/etc), weird sharpening, etc. The k7 looks suprisingly a little better, but... you know.

Gh2's sound like the answer. Can continue using my glass, just with a loss of width (I can handle). Super cheap these days. Just lower build quality. Does anyone have much experience with them? Hacked/unhacked, is the video a vast enough improvement over the k-01?
Edit: sorry, I just noticed that you were talking about video.
Maybe by posting in the "Video" section there's more chance of getting the attention of someone more knowledgeable on the topic.

Last edited by LensBeginner; 02-10-2015 at 01:25 PM.
02-10-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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I have a G3, very good for video and the focus aids make it easy to use any manual lens, use with a sigma 120-400.
No complaints of build quality here, all aluminum and swivel screen, EVF is very useable as well. Always
keep the body with a Sigma 19mm in the bag, if something interesting shows up I just put it on the big lens for video.
Get the adapter with aperture control ring on it.
02-10-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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Yup. I've got both the K-01 and the GH2 and use a lot of Pentax glass with the Panny. Much better than any Pentax camera for video, particularly when hacked. Pentax glass works great.


And I only used it a couple of times, but the M28mm F3.5 turned out to be really nice for single person interviews. I just loved to colors, skin tones, and rendering:


Screenshot - Panasonic GH2 with Pentax M28mm F3.5
by john m flores, on Flickr

That and an M50mm F1.7 should be all you need for locked down interview shots.

02-11-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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Thank all of you.

John, that lower screenshot, was that literally a still pulled from the video or taken as a still? If that's from the video, wow, you sold me. Phenomenal tones.

I suppose my biggest question was with all the new cameras coming out, is the gh2 still relevant in today's market?
02-11-2015, 09:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dflorez Quote
Thank all of you.

John, that lower screenshot, was that literally a still pulled from the video or taken as a still? If that's from the video, wow, you sold me. Phenomenal tones.

I suppose my biggest question was with all the new cameras coming out, is the gh2 still relevant in today's market?
That's a still pulled from the 1080p video. Yeah, it's nice.

One thing that's not talked about often is that the thin DOF of APS-C and FF sensors is a blessing and a curse. Great for artsy, staged shots. Not so great for interviews where a subject leaning forward is enough to throw them OOF. For me, M43 is a good balance of DOF and low light capabilities. Here is an example of a hacked GH2's low light capabilities -

AFAIK, the GH3 was not a big step up in video. The GH4 is better, particularly for the 4k. But if you don't need 4k, are shooting in locations where you have some control over the subject and lighting, and are primarily interested in web distribution/playback, the GH2 is still very nice.

I'll eventually get the GH4, but on the used market and deeply discounted.
02-11-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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Thanks again John. Yeah, I've used Canon's full frame mkii and iii's for video (helping other companies), so I totally understand the potential curse associated with thin depth of field. Too much chasing required sometimes, you can definitely miss the shot.

The GH4 sounds great, but I agree on the cost. At the moment I don't require 4k, but maybe a few years from now (as prices drop with newer technology). For now with the few video jobs I'm getting, a used GH2 is about the extent of my budget (supplemented by the k-01).

I have no complaints with that hacked gh2 low light video. Though, speaking of hacks - it seems they can bring a variety of improvements over the base recording. I've also read they have the potential to damage the camera. In your experience, has a hack crashed on you? And if so, is it a simple fix like taking out a battery/memory card/returning settings to defaults, or is it the end of a camera?

Thanks again!
02-11-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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Can't you just stop down on a DSLR (APS-C or FF) in order to obtain the same DoF?
If you have more total light you can give away some in exchange for DoF, but you can't trade something you don't have in the first place.
That said, fantastic videos, those Pany sure look like capable video machines!

02-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dflorez Quote
Thanks again John. Yeah, I've used Canon's full frame mkii and iii's for video (helping other companies), so I totally understand the potential curse associated with thin depth of field. Too much chasing required sometimes, you can definitely miss the shot.

The GH4 sounds great, but I agree on the cost. At the moment I don't require 4k, but maybe a few years from now (as prices drop with newer technology). For now with the few video jobs I'm getting, a used GH2 is about the extent of my budget (supplemented by the k-01).

I have no complaints with that hacked gh2 low light video. Though, speaking of hacks - it seems they can bring a variety of improvements over the base recording. I've also read they have the potential to damage the camera. In your experience, has a hack crashed on you? And if so, is it a simple fix like taking out a battery/memory card/returning settings to defaults, or is it the end of a camera?

Thanks again!
I've got two GH2s, one with the Flowmotion hack, the other I bought used with the Sanity 5.1 hack. The Sanity may have a marginally higher bitrate, which may or may not lead to IQ improvements, but it seems less reliable/polished. It won't save if you are using Ex Tele Conv (a digital teleconverter mode) for example but it won't tell you that it won't work. And IIRC, you can't playback in camera.

The Flowmotion seems more stable, but I can only do 7 minutes in Cinema mode, 14 minutes in HBR. If you're doing long cuts, unpacked is the most reliable, and still quite good if you can throw enough light on your subject and not have to push the ISO too hard. The extra data rate of the hacks seems to help most in low light.


QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Can't you just stop down on a DSLR (APS-C or FF) in order to obtain the same DoF?
If you have more total light you can give away some in exchange for DoF, but you can't trade something you don't have in the first place.
That said, fantastic videos, those Pany sure look like capable video machines!
Thanks. Yes, you can stop down but then you have to push the ISO to compensate. For single person interviews, for example, I like to shoot the GH2 at at least F4, F5.6 if I have enough light. To get the same DOF in FF or APS-C you are really stopping down further, so you either need to push ISO or add a lot more light.

There are situations where APS-C or FF work great, i.e., shots where you have talent hitting marks and can follow focus and stuff. But for one or two person interviews, I'd stick with M43. Here's an interesting blog post about this: Razor Thin Depth of Field is a Harsh Mistress | johnmflores
02-12-2015, 12:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
*snip*

Thanks. Yes, you can stop down but then you have to push the ISO to compensate. For single person interviews, for example, I like to shoot the GH2 at at least F4, F5.6 if I have enough light. To get the same DOF in FF or APS-C you are really stopping down further, so you either need to push ISO or add a lot more light.
You can't compare ISOs with different formats. FF ISO400 = roughly m43 ISO100.
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