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mercer

GH5 for Photography?

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So in the new year I want to start doing more hybrid work, mostly hobby stuff, but with the potential to grow.

As of now, I only own the 5D Mark iii and it’s a little bigger than I’d like for street shooting and all around content creation. 

The first spec that is most important to me is IBIS. I want to just grab the camera and go with any single lens I have with me at the time. 

So, with that in mind, I have narrowed down my options to 3 choices...

• GH5 - for video, there are few better choices but I don’t know how great they are for photos. Most of the stuff I’ll do will be for Instagram or other web publishing. So is the GH5 a capable stills camera?

• X-H1 - honestly I just love the Fuji image. It is so modern and crisp and more often than not when I am blown away by a photo on IG, it was shot with a Fuji camera and usually a jpeg. I have also been really impressed with the video coming from it. The 120p looks gorgeous to my eyes... especially with that Fuji color. How is the IBIS with vintage lenses? Does it even work with lenses other than Fuji?

Olympus - insert model here... I’m hoping by the holidays, Olympus will release the E-M5 iii and they may make my decision easier.

I’ve decided against the a7iii because I really want to keep the price below $1500 and I want to keep the entire kit small with a few native primes and honestly, I just don’t love Sony’s cheaper lens offerings. I’d much rather have Fuji glass like the 35mm 1.4 or the 23mm f2. Or the Olympus 17mm 1.8 or Panny 20mm. And I also am looking for a system where I can use some of my older C-Mount lenses and in FF that really isn’t an option.

Now I would love for Canon to release the M5 Mark II with 4K, DPAF and IBIS, but I assume at least one of those specs will be missing... probably the IBIS, which is most important... for now anyway.

Thanks for any insight you guys may have.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I'm just wondering whether by the point at which you're talking about making the purchase that the increasing downward pressure on the price of the Sony A7Rii might have it down in a range where you might consider it a contender? 

From a pure stills photography point of view, you're not going to find it wanting to say the least.

From a video point of view, its got a lot of flexibility particularly with the APS-C mode when it comes to low light.

In point of fact if you just kept it in APS-C mode you'd then be looking at accessing the small cheap Sigma stuff which is actually far better than it has a right to be.

With the A7Rii you've always got the option of going full frame whereas with the other two what you've got is what you've got.

I know you don't want to do adapters and you know I am legally obliged to mention the TechArt Pro adapter in every post I make but I think its particularly relevant to the sort of vintage primes that you're in to. I've got most of Fuji's fast primes and zooms and they are excellent but I'm not going to say that my 90mm and 50mm Summicrons don't fart in their general direction. And of course, these lenses will cover full frame as well. 

To put this in perspective, I hate my Sony A6500 with a passion as its all spec and no camera but I can't deny that its utility is winning me round as with the small Sigmas its a good compact system in its own right, with the TechArt Pro its a poor man's Leica CL and with the Sigma EF adapter it is the viable Canon 4K mirrorless that Canon don't make ;)

The only drawback aside from the ergonomics is that it isn't full frame.

Which is where the A7Rii would come in, for me at least.

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@BTM_Pix thanks for the suggestion but I am kinda Sony’d out right now and if I did decide to go with a Sony, the a6000 for the sheer, next to nothing, cost would be top of my list... but then I wouldn’t get IBIS.

Being a video shooter first, the video specs are a little more important but I’d like to know that whatever camera I choose will be viable for stills as well.

But that TechArt adapter does sound pretty awesome and may force me to buy an a6000 used just try it out.

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The XH-1 looks great, but it might be above your budget, and people say that you kind of need the grip.

I am seriously contemplating it, but there are a few issues:

 

Would you use auto ISO??? I have heard that when using auto ISO, that it is "stepped" instead of smooth. From what I have seen of the a7 III auto ISO, it is very smooth. And yes, I know you aren't going to get an a7 III, but I am just saying...

Also, double check that the XH-1 has zebras.

I don't think the Tech Art Pro (TAP) is going to work particularly well with the a6000 (most AF adapters require at least an a6300 or a third-generation full frame sony to work well). Going with a metabones IV and your canon glass would also probably need an a6300 / a6500 to get really good performance.

The 1080p on the a6000 is nice, and by using the creative styles like neutral or portrait or autumn leaves and turning saturation and contrast down you can get some pretty decent footage.

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2 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

The XH-1 looks great, but it might be above your budget, and people say that you kind of need the grip.

I am seriously contemplating it, but there are a few issues:

 

Would you use auto ISO??? I have heard that when using auto ISO, that it is "stepped" instead of smooth. From what I have seen of the a7 III auto ISO, it is very smooth. And yes, I know you aren't going to get an a7 III, but I am just saying...

Also, double check that the XH-1 has zebras.

I don't think the Tech Art Pro (TAP) is going to work particularly well with the a6000 (most AF adapters require at least an a6300 or a third-generation full frame sony to work well). Going with a metabones IV and your canon glass would also probably need an a6300 / a6500 to get really good performance.

The 1080p on the a6000 is nice, and by using the creative styles like neutral or portrait or autumn leaves and turning saturation and contrast down you can get some pretty decent footage.

I don’t think the X-H1 has zebras, but I don’t use them anyway, so it doesn’t much matter. Also for what I’m going to use it for, I probably won’t use Auto ISO either, but maybe I did like it with Nikon and Sony.

9 minutes ago, Dan Sherman said:

The Gh5 is an excellent stills camera.  

Thanks, I looked at some photos on IG and they looked fine, I just wasn’t sure if there were some quirks about the Raw files or something I should be aware of.

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For instagram and the web the GH5 is more than adequate, its even good for decent sized prints at 20mp. Where it falls apart is higher ISO's and larger prints - but that's the Achilles heel of m43 in general. The EM10mkIII and bodies like the GX85 are a great bargain on the m43 front.

If you're looking at IBIS, Fuji is still a little wonky IMO on the video side and its good to marginal on the stills side depending on the lenses used due to the imaging circle. Fuji has a chart showing the best lenses. I spent some time with the XH1 and to me the IBIS was no better than the a7r2. I was all set to buy one, but was just unimpressed after comparing it to the XT2 and the a7r2. Its also fairly large compared to most mirrorless bodies. And it'd be the top of your budget before lenses, used copies are only in the $1400 range. I'd get the a7r2 before the XH1 if you're spending that kind of cash, but that's just me.

I second BTM's recommendation of the a6500 with the Sigma primes as a small all-around camera that packs a big punch. Its small, has great AF and shoots great video - along with all its known issues. The Sig 16/30 1.4 are great lenses and can be found super cheap, especially used. I have the a6300, though mine spends most of its time mounted to a Sigma 150-600/MC11 these days, there's no denying Sony's APS-c cams are very capable.

I'm not a jpeg shooter, so jpeg quality is irrelevant to me. I shot a lot of jpeg's when I first got into Fuji just to see what all the hype was about, and found I still prefer tweaking raws a bit and applying the Fuji profile in LR so things like blue skies don't get any baked in sharpening noise or just recovering highlights. I also like how easy it is to apply LUT's to stills in LR now, since I tend to shoot wide or with shallow DOF, a more cinematic look to stills really appeals to me. But that's a personal preference. 

Is IBIS a necessity? Since you have Canon, one of the EOS-m bodies with the stellar 22/2 would make a great street cam.

Lots of choices.

Chris

 

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@mercer, Fuji would be at the top of my list if stills were going to be close to half of why I owned it. Fuji has top class colors. Fuji also has great lenses and I want to get a Fuji so bad. The caveat though is of course worlds worst RS. Autofocus and and IBIS seemed iffy last I looked, but those could have improved. I haven't been paying close attention.

If you go with the GH5 you'll absolutely love IBIS. I never would have guessed how awesome it could be. The files feel as good as prores to me. With Sage's LUT colors are great (I actually don't have it yet though but from what I've seen it looks great). I've used the GH5 for stills and they look great. First is before CC.

P1011163.thumb.JPG.48b9f430edefc63b12fc2000d07fa5cc.JPG.e9ba16c03c7ec5434645d72278ae8e8a.JPG

P1011163-2.thumb.jpg.ca2fc93e5c0207a12b90a1c20b2c2665.jpg.8220f4effe2bc2a097e32bf4ea315d00.jpg

Again, if stills is close to half of your intended use, go with APSC or greater, therefore Fuji. If stills are an 'also ran', go with the GH5. 

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The GH5 is more than capable for stills, especially for online publishing. The 6k photo mode is great for social media use. If I was mostly focused on photos I'd probably look at Fuji or Sony, but if you're going to use it for a lot of video work the GH5 is definitely one of the best options out there in my opinion. 

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Thanks for the replies, I’ll post specific replies when I get home from work, but figure I’ll be shooting 60/40 video/stills. For video I plan on some small 1-3 minute narratives, some YT stuff (I may start a channel) and possibly some stock video... which is why the GH5 with its 4K 60p seems like a no brainer. For stills, I want to do mostly street photography but try to take a cinematic approach by shooting 1/50th shutter at all times in 16:9... just a thought. 

How clean are the blacks/shadows with the GH5 or X-H1 because I see myself doing a lot of B&W with it.

@Jonesy Jones I believe Sage has a free version of his LUTS for CineLikeD if you wanted to give it a try. Sage’s GH5a is one of the reasons the GH5 is even on my radar. Plus I have been obsessed with the looks they’ve been getting on Fear the Walking Dead this season. They are doing some crazy good B&W with some interesting color desaturation. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

The thing is, I don’t want to go too crazy because the 5D3 is going to see the brunt of my work and this new camera will be something I keep with me in my car, or family outings.

I am just too happy with what I’ve been getting with ML Raw so I am a little hesitant to even get another camera because I am afraid it won’t see as much use... here’s a couple B&W shots I processed the other day...

C1CE7585-D7F2-499C-84BA-AC69158A8331.jpeg

23EF242C-5516-4A02-A84F-70758859BA8C.jpeg

So maybe a G85 or X-E3/X-T20 would make more sense for my situation. Anybody use those cameras for stills?

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I'd search Flickr and B&W (or other parameters) for whatever camera you're considering. The image threads on Fred Miranda have a lot of good samples too.

Cool B&W's.

Edit: stills-wise the XE3 and XT20 are going to be identical to the XT2 and so on, they all use the same sensor. And they (XE3/XT20) share the same internals, just a different form factor and the XT20 has a tilting screen.

Chris

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6 hours ago, mercer said:

is the GH5 a capable stills camera?

I think it is.  

It wouldn't be the camera I'd reach for first if I was wealthy and had other brands flagship cams laying around, but that preference kinda comes down to ergonomics, really.  I've found stills IQ impressive paired with my Oly 12-40 2.8.   At 1/50th, you can get a lot of clean blacks 'kuz you won't be too high on the iso.

Also, the whole 6K burst thing it does is an under-appreciated tool that more photographers should exploit.

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- GH5
- Metabones EF<>m43 Speedbooster 0.64 XL
- Minolta Rokkor PG 58/1.2
- Kowa 2X Anamorphic for Bell&Howell
- cheapy +1 diopter
Original is: 10368 x 3888

Oh, and the black dots on the bee is not what you think, those are the wing roots, not eyes.

It's flying away from me, towards the hibiscus.

image.thumb.png.21ce681cb3ac23731d0eaa79461fd47e.png

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3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

For instagram and the web the GH5 is more than adequate, its even good for decent sized prints at 20mp. Where it falls apart is higher ISO's and larger prints - but that's the Achilles heel of m43 in general. The EM10mkIII and bodies like the GX85 are a great bargain on the m43 front.

If you're looking at IBIS, Fuji is still a little wonky IMO on the video side and its good to marginal on the stills side depending on the lenses used due to the imaging circle. Fuji has a chart showing the best lenses. I spent some time with the XH1 and to me the IBIS was no better than the a7r2. I was all set to buy one, but was just unimpressed after comparing it to the XT2 and the a7r2. Its also fairly large compared to most mirrorless bodies. And it'd be the top of your budget before lenses, used copies are only in the $1400 range. I'd get the a7r2 before the XH1 if you're spending that kind of cash, but that's just me.

I second BTM's recommendation of the a6500 with the Sigma primes as a small all-around camera that packs a big punch. Its small, has great AF and shoots great video - along with all its known issues. The Sig 16/30 1.4 are great lenses and can be found super cheap, especially used. I have the a6300, though mine spends most of its time mounted to a Sigma 150-600/MC11 these days, there's no denying Sony's APS-c cams are very capable.

I'm not a jpeg shooter, so jpeg quality is irrelevant to me. I shot a lot of jpeg's when I first got into Fuji just to see what all the hype was about, and found I still prefer tweaking raws a bit and applying the Fuji profile in LR so things like blue skies don't get any baked in sharpening noise or just recovering highlights. I also like how easy it is to apply LUT's to stills in LR now, since I tend to shoot wide or with shallow DOF, a more cinematic look to stills really appeals to me. But that's a personal preference. 

Is IBIS a necessity? Since you have Canon, one of the EOS-m bodies with the stellar 22/2 would make a great street cam.

Lots of choices.

Chris

 

Yeah Canon is my Achilles Heel, so I am waiting to see what their FF mirrorless offers before I go out and buy a hybrid and also the M5 Mark II should be announced by Photokina, so that is on my radar as well.

I guess IBIS isn’t a deal breaker, but when I had the GX85, it was the only thing I liked about the camera. The E-M5ii I briefly had was freakishly good. It was like having an invisible tripod with me. So, for video work alone, I would prefer it, but we’ll see. I have a shooting day tomorrow for my film, so it’s possible I’ll come home and be so happy that I’ll forget about a second camera... that’s why I’m thinking that maybe a cheaper Fuji or the G85 may suffice. 

I had the a6500 and although I really liked the camera I got an overheating warning in 45 degree Fahrenheit weather after shooting about 5 30sec clips. I returned it after that.

1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

I think it is.  

It wouldn't be the camera I'd reach for first if I was wealthy and had other brands flagship cams laying around, but that preference kinda comes down to ergonomics, really.  I've found stills IQ impressive paired with my Oly 12-40 2.8.   At 1/50th, you can get a lot of clean blacks 'kuz you won't be too high on the iso.

Also, the whole 6K burst thing it does is an under-appreciated tool that more photographers should exploit.

Everything about the 6K mode interests me. I’d love to give anamorphic a try as well. 

I’ve been obsessed with stills on IG lately and although I can count the amount of photos I’ve taken with all of my appendages, I really love the craft and IQ one can get from stills. I don’t know if you go on IG, but Mattias has some breathtaking work on there amongst others and unlike video, it seems that there is a quicker satisfaction from stills than video.

Did you ever get an E-M1 Mark II?

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37 minutes ago, mercer said:

Did you ever get an E-M1 Mark II?

No.  A client requested 60p 4K, so I went with the GH5 for the time being.

As you know, I really like the EM5II, so I'm patiently waiting to see what they'll do with that model's next upgrade.

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The G85 is very good, I have one as a b-cam for my GH5. I don't think you'd regret getting it, especially if you find a good used deal like I did, though I think the GH5 is worth the extra money. It has fewer MP but it's more than adequate for Instagram, social media, web publishing and even smaller prints (I imagine; I've never printed any images from my G85.) 

The GH5's 6k photo mode is so great, especially if you're shooting a fast moving subject. I was using it for my nephew's birthday party last weekend and I never had to worry about whether or not I'd miss the shot as he and his friends played. As someone else said it really is an under appreciated feature. 

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33 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

The G85 is very good, I have one as a b-cam for my GH5. I don't think you'd regret getting it, especially if you find a good used deal like I did, though I think the GH5 is worth the extra money. It has fewer MP but it's more than adequate for Instagram, social media, web publishing and even smaller prints (I imagine; I've never printed any images from my G85.) 

The GH5's 6k photo mode is so great, especially if you're shooting a fast moving subject. I was using it for my nephew's birthday party last weekend and I never had to worry about whether or not I'd miss the shot as he and his friends played. As someone else said it really is an under appreciated feature. 

The positive about the G85 for me is the 2.2x crop... my 1” 12.5mm c-mount lenses will cover the sensor. But you’re right, by the time the holidays come around, the GH5 could be selling for $1500 new so for the extra money, you are getting a lot more.

Do you use a speedbooster with your GH5?

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32 minutes ago, mercer said:

The positive about the G85 for me is the 2.2x crop... my 1” 12.5mm c-mount lenses will cover the sensor. But you’re right, by the time the holidays come around, the GH5 could be selling for $1500 new so for the extra money, you are getting a lot more.

Do you use a speedbooster with your GH5?

The GH5 has an ETC mode which will allow you to use your c-mount lenses without vignetting. :) Lemme use one of the c-mount lenses I have left over from my BMPCC days tomorrow to check. I think mine is 12.5mm too! A Computar one! 

I use the Viltrox focal reducer with the Sigma 18-35. What a wonderful combo! The Metabones was just too pricey for me, I've been very happy with the Viltrox. Pixco has released a dummy focal reducer too that's $99, if you're not concerned but your lenses communicating with the camera. 

I got the G85 for $600, which included two cheap Olympus lenses that I sold for about $275 total, so the G85 ended up being $325. So if you can find a deal on it you probably won't regret it. Still though, I love my GH5! 

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Another thought if you decide to go the M43 route...Don't overlook the G9. I find the autofocus and IBIS better than the GH5. Yes, you give up VLOG-L but it has excellent color science and it still has 60p 4k. CineD ain't bad as an alternative to VLOG-L. You also have to like the lens selection with M43 compared to Fuji.

With this said, I still struggle whether to hang on to M43 or go completely Sony. (Have the A7III at present.) I'm waiting to see the BlackMagic 4k Pocket as well as the A7SIII.

If you can rent the bodies first, you might be better off. Ergonomics and ease-of-use should be taken into consideration too.

But...it's hard to stay away from full-frame bodies. The 5D Mark III is still a great camera. Had one a few years ago.

 

 

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