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Panasonic G85 review - is there any need to get an Olympus E-M1 Mark II for video?

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17 hours ago, IronFilm said:

The GF1 is built closer in design to the GX series. 
While after the GF1 the GF series when more consumer/entry/compact design with their series. 

 

Still, the GF1 is somehow cooler and awesome to me than the GX1. That look is a thing of beauty. Awesome minimalistic beauty! Awesome tactile flavour.

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22 hours ago, IronFilm said:

The GF1 is built closer in design to the GX series. 
While after the GF1 the GF series when more consumer/entry/compact design with their series. 

I don't know about the ergonomics of them (the GF3 is nice though) but the difference I remember was that there was one control configuration that the GF1 had that the later models didn't have, and the reviews I read of the GF1 were saying that was the killer feature.  IIRC it was something you don't get unless you got for much larger and more expensive bodies (how the pro bodies have more control wheels) but then the larger bodies aren't as great for travel.

Anyway, good times - if only they had built in 8K RAW video and we'd still be using them today!!

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Looks like my G85 is gonna start seeing a lot more work now. I just landed my first series of videomaking gigs for a client! Basically I'll be doing promotional work for a series of plays from now until the springtime. I know from my own experiences in the past that the theater stage can be quite dark, especially from the sides of the stage, so I'm thinking I need to pick up a fast and relatively affordable f/1.7-ish type lens soon. 

Would the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 work for now? I still really want to get that Olympus 17mm f/1.8, but it's out of my immediate price range for the moment.

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If you're working from the sides of the stage, perhaps consider the Panasonic 42.5 f1.7?

Depends on how much reach you need. Might go with some manual lenses, like a cheap Nikon 50mm f1.8?

Another consideration is say a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 in Nikon F mount (or any of the many other mid range f2.8 zooms for DX) with a Viltrox focal reducer? I think they're the best Chinese focal reducers at the moment. (and of course, also just get a normal Nikon G adapter as well)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Viltrox-NF-M43X-Nikon-D-G-Mount-Lens-to-Micro-4-3-Panasonic-Adapter-Speedbooster/153113297914

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, IronFilm said:

If you're working from the sides of the stage, perhaps consider the Panasonic 42.5 f1.7?

Depends on how much reach you need. Might go with some manual lenses, like a cheap Nikon 50mm f1.8?

Another consideration is say a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 in Nikon F mount (or any of the many other mid range f2.8 zooms for DX) with a Viltrox focal reducer? I think they're the best Chinese focal reducers at the moment. (and of course, also just get a normal Nikon G adapter as well)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Viltrox-NF-M43X-Nikon-D-G-Mount-Lens-to-Micro-4-3-Panasonic-Adapter-Speedbooster/153113297914

 

Well, I'm not going to be working solely from the sides of the stage. I'm sure I'll be getting quite a bit of stuff from the front and elsewhere in the theater. I was just using the sides as an example because that's the spot I'm most worried about lighting (they're quite dark, presumably to help hide crew and cast members from audience view when they don't need to be onstage). 

Besides, as far as reach goes, I already own one vintage lens- a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2.0. Unfortunately my adapter for the lens isn't a focal reducer, so it acts as a 116mm lens instead. I'm sure that will see a fair bit of mileage, but right now I need a fast lens that's either a wide or standard focal length. So I'm pretty sure I'm getting the Panny 25mm f/1.7 for now, since that's within my current sub-$200 price range and doesn't require a focal reducer.

I'll probably pick up the 42.5 f/1.7 (or a similar lens of its ilk) in due time though, since it does seem like a great lens. My main lens priority after getting the 25mm though will probably be the Olympus 17mm f/1.8, since I typically prefer 35mm focal length over 50mm. I just don't have the extra money to pick up the Oly right now and I need to get a fast lens quick.

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4 hours ago, Vintage Jimothy said:

I was just using the sides as an example because that's the spot I'm most worried about lighting (they're quite dark, presumably to help hide crew and cast members from audience view when they don't need to be onstage). 

But what do you actually want to capture? 
As it doesn't matter how dark the sides are, if what you want to capture is on the stage itself (which is well lit).

 

4 hours ago, Vintage Jimothy said:

So I'm pretty sure I'm getting the Panny 25mm f/1.7 for now, since that's within my current sub-$200 price range and doesn't require a focal reducer.

Solid choice. 

Although you could probably pick up a focal reducer + 35mm f2 lens which would roughly meet your budget. 

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3 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

But what do you actually want to capture? 
As it doesn't matter how dark the sides are, if what you want to capture is on the stage itself (which is well lit).

 

Yeah, I'm not too worried about the actors on stage, since they should generally be well lit. I'm more concerned about the props and stage that aren't as well-lit on stage.

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46 minutes ago, Vintage Jimothy said:

Yeah, I'm not too worried about the actors on stage, since they should generally be well lit. I'm more concerned about the props and stage that aren't as well-lit on stage.

Then your greater worry is the dynamic range, as if the well lit actors in the scene are also in your shot.... that could be trouble to expose for the shadows as well.

 

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3 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Then your greater worry is the dynamic range, as if the well lit actors in the scene are also in your shot.... that could be trouble to expose for the shadows as well.

 

Do you have any advice on how to handle that on a G85?

At the moment I'm working with a very limited rig. Just my G85, kit lens, Helios 44-2, tripod, Zhiyun Smooth 4 and my iPhone 8 Plus.

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10 hours ago, Vintage Jimothy said:

Do you have any advice on how to handle that on a G85?

Even with an Arri Alexa it is a pretty extreme scenario if you've got deep dark shadows vs brightly light actors in the center of the stage. 

I'd think more about your framing so you don't go nuts with extremes.

 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Even with an Arri Alexa it is a pretty extreme scenario if you've got deep dark shadows vs brightly light actors in the center of the stage. 

I'd think more about your framing so you don't go nuts with extremes.

 

That makes sense. I might also opt to pick up a couple of LED lights to bring with me to help lessen the extreme lighting contrasts, since my promo videos for these plays are going to be shot during rehearsals and not the actual performances. 

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Man you Need a Sony A7s using Slog 2. The DR on that G85 is just not going to get the job done. And if you light stuff it is not going to look realistic. All stage programs have crazy lighting challenges. But if you modify them they look like something that is not natural looking, foreign. That is sort of the draw of the Stage, it takes you somewhere that is not part of normal life, pretend stuff, dream like. And it is sort of done on purpose to draw your attention to the Actors, not the backdrops. The actors look more 3D. Lighting would ruin that effect.

Think about it, bigger productions always have people up in the balcony, or a catwalk using lights, spotlights to highlight the actors. They are not lighting up the background. Maybe at most the areas where the actors are, but they rarely are at the back of the stage. I have been to a bunch of stage shows. I have no clue how you would be able to ever, with any camera, capture it like it is in real life.

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22 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Man you Need a Sony A7s using Slog 2. The DR on that G85 is just not going to get the job done. And if you light stuff it is not going to look realistic. All stage programs have crazy lighting challenges. But if you modify them they look like something that is not natural looking, foreign. That is sort of the draw of the Stage, it takes you somewhere that is not part of normal life, pretend stuff, dream like. And it is sort of done on purpose to draw your attention to the Actors, not the backdrops. The actors look more 3D. Lighting would ruin that effect.

Think about it, bigger productions always have people up in the balcony using lights, spotlights to highlight the actors. They are not lighting up the background. Maybe at most the areas where the actors are, but they rarely are at the back of the stage. I have been to a bunch of stage shows. I have no clue how you would be able to ever, with any camera, capture it like it is in real life.

Yeah, it's a tricky gig to say the least. Unfortunately for your suggestion about getting an A7s, I don't have the money right now to buy a new camera. Maybe in a year or two, but at the moment I have to work with what I've got and can afford to pick up for the sub-$200 price range (per item) from now until springtime. That includes lenses, LED lights, cage, monitor and slider. 

This first video in the gig that I'm doing in a few hours is going to be shot at a different location than the rest, so the lighting environment will be at least a little more forgiving (still a bit dark though). I'm aiming to go with a "mini-documentary" style video for that one by doing quick interviews with the cast and crew in a decently lit area for quick soundbites and gather up various (and hopefully exciting looking) shots of B-roll to edit all together. I might opt to just shoot it in 1080p instead of 4K tonight though for a quicker editing process (have to have this first video done by Saturday/Sunday), plus my client is only planning to release these promos on Facebook and Instagram.

I'll be sure to keep everyone here posted on this gig as I continue working on them.

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5 minutes ago, Vintage Jimothy said:

Yeah, it's a tricky gig to say the least. Unfortunately for your suggestion about getting an A7s, I don't have the money right now to buy a new camera. Maybe in a year or two, but at the moment I have to work with what I've got and can afford to pick up for the sub-$200 price range (per item) from now until springtime. That includes lenses, LED lights, cage, monitor and slider. 

This first video in the gig that I'm doing in a few hours is going to be shot at a different location than the rest, so the lighting environment will be at least a little more forgiving (still a bit dark though). I'm aiming to go with a "mini-documentary" style video for that one by doing quick interviews with the cast and crew in a decently lit area for quick soundbites and gather up various (and hopefully exciting looking) shots of B-roll to edit all together. I might opt to just shoot it in 1080p instead of 4K tonight though for a quicker editing process (have to have this first video done by Saturday/Sunday), plus my client is only planning to release these promos on Facebook and Instagram.

I'll be sure to keep everyone here posted on this gig as I continue working on them.

Well the original A7s like I have is going for like 750 dollars. But yeah you would have to change a lot of gear to make that happen. You will just have to do the best you can do. Pretty much like it always ends up being. No one Ever has all they need for video work. 😬

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12 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Well the original A7s like I have is going for like 750 dollars. But yeah you would have to change a lot of gear to make that happen. You will just have to do the best you can do. Pretty much like it always ends up being. No one Ever has all they need for video work. 😬

Or so we tell ourselves! I've got enough for tonight and mostly everything I need for these gigs from now to spring. The only real necessity I need is a faster prime lens. I've got my wits, a tripod, an external mic and a camera. Those are necessities. I've also got a gimbal for my iPhone 8 Plus, which isn't an awful camera in its own right either, so I'll likely use that quite a bit tonight for my "exciting B-roll footage" for Video #1. After all, I shot a whole commercial with just that iPhone and gimbal this past summer and it turned out quite well.

The issue is what I have looks embarrassingly "starter-ish" (which I am) and there's always that itch of "Oh wouldn't it be great if I had this piece of gear so I can do this shot more easily?" in the back of my head. 

Besides this is the first time this theater group has opted to enlist someone to make promotional videos for their plays. I'm not getting paid this year (they don't have the money for it and its my first gig, so I think that's fair). At the end of the day, these videos are for experience and to help build my portfolio and reputation. If things go well this year and they want to work with me again next year, then I think I'd be in a better spot to talk with them about money.

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

Man you Need a Sony A7s using Slog 2. The DR on that G85 is just not going to get the job done. And if you light stuff it is not going to look realistic. All stage programs have crazy lighting challenges.

But he probably volunteering for it, or getting paid a pittance. Which would make an a7S mk2 purchase for this gig a very poor business decision. While a G85 can still do just great for the needs of the client expectations/budget.

 

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Yeah gear is not everything no doubt. If a person is good you just pick shots that do work with what you got. And being minimalist is actually pretty liberating to be honest. It actually looks more realistic than a bunch of locked off shots. It is the plot, that story that makes stuff happen. Not really the gear.

Tons of great stuff have been done with the original BMPCC and a bunch of spare batteries in your pocket. Actually more fun to use than this new PK4 will be. It is too big. 😁

7 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

But he probably volunteering for it, or getting paid a pittance. Which would make an a7S mk2 purchase for this gig a very poor business decision. While a G85 can still do just great for the needs of the client expectations/budget.

 

Hell Anything related to video is a pretty piss poor business decision for the average person. It is worse than boat ownership LoL. But they are giving away good video gear now compared to 10 years ago. You had to buy stuff that was so outdated why bother then. Hell I was using 3 tube 2/3" ENG cameras when CCD Digital ones were going pretty strong. They were Crazy money.

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