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Upgrading from the Panasonic G7


stv

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An amusing test....  I just took a few shots in my backyard as a comparison.

Setup one: GH5 shooting HLG in 4K, kit lens, amateur point-and-click composition, deliberately bad / basic grade....

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Setup two: GF3 shooting rec709 in 1080p, "fancy" lens, a medium level of effort put into the composition and the grade (but still not expert level)..

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Which looks more filmic?  Which makes you feel something?

In this case the "fancy" lens wasn't even that fancy - it was a Helios 58mm F2 on an m42 SB.  I thought it was overkill to put on one of my Voigtlander f0.95 primes, BUT having said that it would be overkill, the Voigtlanders cost less than a GH5 body, so it's comparable.

Even if you say that buying a camera body "upgrades" all your lenses but buying one lens only upgrades that focal length, then sure, you're right.  In that case, buy a really nice zoom lens (12-35 F2.8 or a Sigma 18-35 and a SB) or go the whole hog and go the Russian Primes and buy a whole set.  Part of the organic look of the above is that the Helios is so imperfect.  I'm happy to talk about how to shoot uncontrolled situations in natural light with fully-manual primes - I do it and it works great.

Think about what you want to achieve, then invest in what will get you closer to that outcome.

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The jump in IQ is definitely more noticeable with the XT3.  The GH5 has the best 1080p though, virtually no moire/aliasing. The XT3 is definitely more prone to moire and aliasing but less so in 4

Man, I needed this. I was thinking of upgrading my G7, but @kye you convinced me to invest in lighting and lenses. Thanks!

You'll notice an improvement in IQ on all those cameras, for sure, though the G7 is still has a very good image. What kind of work are you doing?  For me personally I lean towards the GH5 because

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21 minutes ago, kye said:

Think about what you want to achieve, then invest in what will get you closer to that outcome.

Yeah, I mean the truth is all of these cameras today can get you lovely images with just a little know how. If you have the means to upgrade then by all means, but generally you don't need to until you're not able to achieve what you're looking for with what you have. 

8 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

speaking of lighting I am eyeing this guy right now 
https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Dimmable-Continuous-Photography-Interview/dp/B07RKSCXJ5

Seems to be the cheapest in its caliber 

I saw that light 6 months or so ago and really considered getting one, but in the end I ended up getting two Godox SL-60Ws because there's not a ton of info out there about the Neewer. Fan noise also tends to be an issue on a lot of these budget COB lights. I got two Godox lights for $200 total off eBay and I've been very pleased.

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9 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

Yeah, I mean the truth is all of these cameras today can get you lovely images with just a little know how. If you have the means to upgrade then by all means, but generally you don't need to until you're not able to achieve what you're looking for with what you have. 

I saw that light 6 months or so ago and really considered getting one, but in the end I ended up getting two Godox SL-60Ws because there's not a ton of info out there about the Neewer. Fan noise also tends to be an issue on a lot of these budget COB lights. I got two Godox lights for $200 total off eBay and I've been very pleased.

Yeah the Godox looks nice but the 60ws aren't quite enough power for me. They do make their own 200w version but there are some complaints of fan noise. I heard some people have modified these types of lights with quieter fans. 

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8 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Yeah the Godox looks nice but the 60ws aren't quite enough power for me. They do make their own 200w version but there are some complaints of fan noise. I heard some people have modified these types of lights with quieter fans. 

Yeah, Curtis Judd reviewed the Godox 200w recently and the fan noise was a complaint he had. 

It seems that replacing the fans has caused increased flickering in a lot of these lights. 

People complained about the 60w's fan noise but unless your mic is like right on top of it I can't see (or hear!) how it's a problem. I love the light though, it was a lot brighter than I was expecting. 

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3 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

Yeah, Curtis Judd reviewed the Godox 200w recently and the fan noise was a complaint he had. 

It seems that replacing the fans has caused increased flickering in a lot of these lights. 

People complained about the 60w's fan noise but unless your mic is like right on top of it I can't see (or hear!) how it's a problem. I love the light though, it was a lot brighter than I was expecting. 

I've been using the Pixel on set which is 220w, definitely has some fan noise but its not bad. I wonder how much worse it is on the Godox and neewer. I may just get one along with a 60w. I like throwing light in through windows so it could be used for that if nothing else

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On 11/29/2019 at 6:46 AM, stv said:

Additionally, the price difference between the G9 and GH5 here in Australia is only 200 AUD (135 USD). I don't know how much use I'd get out of the additional GH5 features

At only a two hundred buck difference it is a no brainer to buy the GH5! Even if you don't want it right now, there are lots of GH5 video features that there is a chance you'll want in the near future

On 11/29/2019 at 6:46 AM, stv said:

Apologies for the barrage of questions, but I've been racking my brains out over the last couple of days and still can't come to a decision..........which is making me start to think that maybe I shouldn't upgrade at all ?

 


Not a bad conclusion!

I've been wanting to buy a G85 for ages for my vlogging as an upgrade from my G6 (also been wanting a FS700 for ages as a 4K upgrade from my Sony PMW-F3).

But the longer we wait, the cheaper the cameras get (on eBay/TradeMe/FB/etc), or the better the cameras get that are within reach of our budget! (for instance perhaps by the end of 2020 I might be able to get a G9 or FS5 instead of the G85/FS700 I was considering for a similar price back last year) 

 

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On 11/29/2019 at 8:25 AM, Anaconda_ said:

XT30 is amazingly cheap at the moment, and similarish in size to the GX80. - But I feel like if I go with that, I'll be pining over it's bigger brother in a couple months.

XT3 has the best video specs of the three with 10bit DCI 60p and the best 1080/120p

XH1 tops out at 8bit DCI 24p, but it does have IBIS.

If only the X-T3 had IBIS for the same price as it is currently, then I'd be all over that

On 11/29/2019 at 8:25 AM, Anaconda_ said:

As for Black Friday deals. I'm not sure if it's the same where you are, but in Europe Fuji has a €200 cashback on many of their cameras. This will last until 5th Jan, so it can give you more time to think about it. I think the worst thing you could do is rush into a decision just because there's a sale. After all, if you're only now upgrading from the 5-year-old g7, this next one will likely need to keep you happy for another 5 years. There will be another sale in January, then an easter sale, then summer sale.

 

Agreed, don't rush into it. 

If you wait long enough there will be another big big sale just before the X-T4 ships as they try to clear inventory.....

 

On 11/29/2019 at 1:10 PM, kye said:

Looking at options is great, but you end up trying to compare if IBIS is better than having an extra 1.35 stops of DR, and you get no-where.

Scripted/crewed shoots / locked off interviews: X-T3 for the DR
Run & gun / doco / ultra low budget / YT / events / etc: GH5 for IBIS

On 11/29/2019 at 7:31 PM, kye said:

+1 for considering lenses and lighting as @Shell64 suggests.

 

Don't forget AUDIO!!
 

On 11/29/2019 at 9:22 PM, stv said:

Do you guys do most of your recording in 4k or is a lot of it still done in 1080? Are there ever any situations where you actively choose  1080 over 4k? I'm not sure if I'm overvaluing the need for high quality 1080 recording. I guess the main reasons why I want good 1080 are because it takes up less space and there's less rolling shutter.

I work on heaps of professional shoots where anything from a FS7 to an ARRI camera is used, you'd be surprised how often they're rolling with 1080!
 

23 hours ago, kye said:

Here's the advice you probably don't want to hear, unless you absolutely have to, don't shoot hand-held.  If you can shoot with a tripod or monopod, do that.


As an ex wedding shooter I can say a monopod is an AMAZING tool!

You are still very low profile with a very small footprint, barely large than going handheld, you're still fast and nimble, but your shots are so much more steady and look better!
 

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23 hours ago, kye said:

I think there should be some kind of rule, like every lens should cost at least half of what your camera body costs......  

Not unreasonable....  I'm on shoots now and then with an ARRI with lens sets which cost even more than the camera body cost! Isn't at all unusual. 

19 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Another reason to stick with the G7 is that it still has a very nice image. It's a little limiting when it comes to color grading, dynamic range, etc. but to me it's still a relevant camera in 2019 and beyond, especially for beginners and hobbyists. Though I've started suggesting the G85 to beginners and hobbyist since the used price has gone down so much, the G7 is still a killer little camera. 

Ditto, I was recommending the G7 to people for ages as well. But now the G85 has fallen so far, it is hard to not recommend the G85 instead of the G7 

18 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Not all 1080p is equal though. You'll wanna research the 1080p for any potential camera you're purchasing if you still intend to use it. A friend of mine found that out the hard way when he bought a Sony: the 1080p was awful and he is forced to shoot 4K to get decent 1080p now. 

Yeah it was funny how the a6500 had WORSE 1080 than the older a6000
 

13 hours ago, stv said:

Gahhh, you're talking way too much sense for my liking @kye. I think you've crushed any argument I have for purchasing a new camera, especially when you take into account that I only shoot for fun.


Ditto! Was quite freeing once I accepted my main #1 focus now is the sound department. 

I shoot on average maybe one paid gig per month as a "cameraman", and I don't actively seek that work. 
All my other shooting is casually for myself / social media, or vlogs for my YouTube channel. 

Honestly my Panasonic G6 could last me YEARS longer..... it is just the selfish side of me which wants a new camera ?
 

9 hours ago, Shell64 said:

Man, I needed this. I was thinking of upgrading my G7, but @kye you convinced me to invest in lighting and lenses. Thanks!


AND AUDIO!!!!

 

7 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Seems like a new light comes out every week that makes my say "I want that!" 


If I ever get serious about jumping back into the cinematography side of things instead of sound, then I will invest first more into lighting modifiers and support gear, such as: cutters / diffs / C stands / foggers / etc etc

As even if you're using only "natural light" or just a couple of lights, then how you can tweak those lights can make a massive MASSIVE difference 

 

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3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

In terms of feelings, the second one of these two makes me feel like you either included it by mistake or you need to sort out that focus peaking ? ;)

Come on..  if SOME of the image being out of focus is good, then surely ALL of the image being out of focus must be FANTASTIC!!!

I really do like the organic look of the Helios, I must admit.

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On 11/30/2019 at 6:51 PM, IronFilm said:

At only a two hundred buck difference it is a no brainer to buy the GH5! Even if you don't want it right now, there are lots of GH5 video features that there is a chance you'll want in the near future

Is there any reason to get the G9 over the GH5 when they're so similarly priced? The G9 is supposedly way better for photography but how much better is it? I know it's got the 80mp sensor shift, faster burst rate and bigger EVF, but outside of that is it really that much better than the GH5 for photography? If I were to get another camera it'd be for both stills and video. People seem to hate on the GH5 for photography but I don't see how it can be that much worse than the G9 considering they use the same sensor.

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On 11/30/2019 at 11:56 AM, kye said:

Which looks more filmic?  Which makes you feel something?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can almost feel the "Australian" heat in that second image.

On 11/30/2019 at 7:22 PM, IronFilm said:

Honestly my Panasonic G6 could last me YEARS longer..... it is just the selfish side of me which wants a new camera ?

With my level of skill and the amount of shooting I actually do, a Canon IXUS is probably more than sufficient for my needs. However, buying new gear is like half the fun of shooting!

That said, I've managed to make it through Black Friday without the purchase of a new camera. Thanks for help guys. 

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On 11/29/2019 at 8:51 PM, newfoundmass said:

Yeah, Curtis Judd reviewed the Godox 200w recently and the fan noise was a complaint he had. 

It seems that replacing the fans has caused increased flickering in a lot of these lights. 

People complained about the 60w's fan noise but unless your mic is like right on top of it I can't see (or hear!) how it's a problem. I love the light though, it was a lot brighter than I was expecting. 

 

On 11/29/2019 at 8:57 PM, thebrothersthre3 said:

I've been using the Pixel on set which is 220w, definitely has some fan noise but its not bad. I wonder how much worse it is on the Godox and neewer. I may just get one along with a 60w. I like throwing light in through windows so it could be used for that if nothing else

Funny story. I bought the Godox 60w and did a fan replacement (taught myself to solder along the way). The noise definitely went down, and I'm only using it for interviews so no flicker worries at 1/48 shutter speed. It's bright enough for one or two light interview setups, but I don't think it's powerful enough to blast through a window, unless for something like an intimate kitchen or bathroom scene.

Then I went and got a Ninja V. That fan is way noisier than the original 60w's was.

Moral of the story? I'd like to be a big boy someday and have lights big enough to shine through a window to light my scenes someday... Maybe.

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1 hour ago, stv said:

Is there any reason to get the G9 over the GH5 when they're so similarly priced?

Plenty of reasons for the GH5:
Waveform monitoring
XLR accessory compatibility 
Anamorphic desqueeze 
etc

These might not matter to you now, but who knows, maybe it will in 6 months or 18 months time?

Plus in a couple of years from now when maybe you will sell it, I bet the GH5 will hold up better on the 2ndhand market than the G9 (just because the GH series is more famous)



 

1 hour ago, stv said:

People seem to hate on the GH5 for photography but I don't see how it can be that much worse than the G9 considering they use the same sensor.


Remember for many years the GH series was the best of the best that Panasonic offered for stills photography, I wouldn't be too worried at all about this aspect. 

 

46 minutes ago, stv said:

That said, I've managed to make it through Black Friday without the purchase of a new camera. Thanks for help guys. 

Another year survived! Phew

 

5 minutes ago, EphraimP said:

Moral of the story? I'd like to be a big boy someday and have lights big enough to shine through a window to light my scenes someday... Maybe.

I'd like this, definitely affordable if lighting is something you need/use:

https://www.came-tv.com/collections/hmi-light-kit-economic/products/hmi-fresnel-light-1200w-220v-electronic-ballast-dimmable

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8 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Affordable he says. Good one ?

I'm definitely not a big boy yet. No need for one of those shooting interviews for nonprofit/small corporate gigs. Maybe when I make my first short feature. Actually, probably not even then, because that will be a real diy production for a small-time local winemaker with a crazy dream -- if I can every pin him down to launch the project we discussed over good reds one evening at his bar.

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