Jump to content

GH2 to G6 (Or GX7?) plus focal reducer?


dishe
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been on the fence regarding trading in one of my GH2s for a long time now. The GH3 seems like it has nice color, but I like the idea of focus peaking and the wireless control of the newer models. A GH4 seems like overkill to me (and out of my price range anyway), so I'm considering the G6 and the GX7. 

Here's my dilemma: I sometimes record sound directly into the GH2 (when travelling super light, for example at event expos). I know the GX7 lacks a mic jack, so that's probably not really an option, but is the sound on the G6 as good as the GH2? The GH2 was surprisingly solid at audio, very quiet pre-amps and a limiter to prevent crackle/peaking. I used to split the line and record into an external recorder just in case the camera wasn't good, but usually the in-camera audio was fine enough that I didn't bother syncing it up. I want to make sure the G6 is just as good- is it?

 

I've also heard that the GX7's video performance is surprisingly good. Is it noticeably better than the G6? Even though the GX7 lacks an audio input, swivel LCD (which is nice, but not necessarily a dealbreaker), and is actually more expensive than a G6, is the video quality solid enough to be worth it anyway?

 

And finally, I really don't like the idea of an even deeper crop- coming from s35/APS-C cameras, the GH2 was a tough enough pill to swallow, but at least it was wider than other M43 sensors. If I just to a G6/X7, I'm going to be working in a full-on 2x crop. So I'm considering getting a focal reducer to go along with it. 

 

So, I've been eyeing a Metabones Speedbooster, but if I'm dropping money on a camera body I don't think I could handle a $400 adapter on top of it as well. What's the deal with these RJ Lens Turbos? I remember the focal reducer from Fotodiox was terrible, and I was under the impression that only only the Metabones version was worth using. But I'm hearing now that the RJ version for $130 is pretty darned good. 

So right now, I guess I'm thinking a G6 + a lens turbo would be a decent upgrade to what I'm using now (GH2 + pass through adapters)? What do you guys think? Pros and cons of this idea, something I might have missed or not considering? Don't hold back, give it to me straight, guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just so you know, I have found the audio on the GX7 to be very good. I used it at band practice one time; put it about 2 feet behind the drummer and there was absolutely no cracking, popping or anything. It was just clean audio with decent bass. Set automatically and all (I dont even know how to control the audio).

 

The video performance is very good indeed. More detailed than the NEX-6 and D5200 I had before it. And much better control over shadows and highlights.The only drawback for me is that I can clearly see compression artefacts on things like grass at 100%. I wish there was clean HDMI out.

 

I have heard that the image quality from cheaper focal reducers aren't too far away from Metabones'. However the Metabones Nikon G adapter has an aperture ring built in whilst the cheaper ones don't.

 

The slightly higher crop factor of the G6 to the GH2 is negligible really. But I do know what you mean. If you're a background blur guy (like I am), the crop factor thing is always at the back of my mind. The focal reducers have only heightened the issue too because with Sony E cameras you an enable the IS and aperture control for Canon lenses. And also you can get to full-frame DOF whereas M43 will only go up to APS-C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just so you know, I have found the audio on the GX7 to be very good. I used it at band practice one time; put it about 2 feet behind the drummer and there was absolutely no cracking, popping or anything. It was just clean audio with decent bass. Set automatically and all (I dont even know how to control the audio).

 

The video performance is very good indeed. More detailed than the NEX-6 and D5200 I had before it. And much better control over shadows and highlights.The only drawback for me is that I can clearly see compression artefacts on things like grass at 100%. I wish there was clean HDMI out.

 

I have heard that the image quality from cheaper focal reducers aren't too far away from Metabones'. However the Metabones Nikon G adapter has an aperture ring built in whilst the cheaper ones don't.

 

The slightly higher crop factor of the G6 to the GH2 is negligible really. But I do know what you mean. If you're a background blur guy (like I am), the crop factor thing is always at the back of my mind. The focal reducers have only heightened the issue too because with Sony E cameras you an enable the IS and aperture control for Canon lenses. And also you can get to full-frame DOF whereas M43 will only go up to APS-C.

I know... I wish there was a Sony E mount camera in this price range that had comparable video quality. But alas, my options above are what they are. 

 

I've used my GH2s for music videos and the audio recorded by the camera's internal mic was also rather good- we even used it at the end of one of our videos during a credit roll, it was a cool sort of "unplugged" version of the song. But that's not what I'm talking about- I need a mic input for interviews and location sound. No matter how good the internals might get, that's not what I'm looking for. If I go GX7, I'll have to go fully external sound again, which is annoying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll chime in. 

 

Recently I decided it was time to realize my dream of owning a proper camera and after much research decided on the G6. I needed something which provided excellent video quality without sacrificing the quality of stills too much and the G6 delivers on this. While I know the GX7 probably has marginally better image quality I don't really care since the G6 does everything I need it to in a neat package, and it's definitely no slouch for image quality either. I expect it will do me for 2-3 years at which point I'll probably upgrade to the GH6 or something.

 

The internal mic is indeed very competent and while I haven't used the GH2 the external mic input is surely comparable. The noise floor is very low. There does seem to be some sort of limiter preventing clipping too. I recently recorded a fairly loud live gig with a less than fantastic microphone and was pretty surprised at the complete lack of clipping. In the past I've used a D5100 for video and the mic input on that was incredibly noisy to the point that it was unusable. The G6 is not like that.

 

I also purchased an RJ speed booster and some old M42 lenses. With the speed booster my SMC 50mm 1.4 becomes a 71mm 1.0 which is pretty damn good for $30 or so. There probably isn't any image quality degradation but I don't know since I haven't used the lenses with a dumb adapter. It looks pretty damn good to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I also purchased an RJ speed booster and some old M42 lenses. With the speed booster my SMC 50mm 1.4 becomes a 71mm 1.0 which is pretty damn good for $30 or so. There probably isn't any image quality degradation but I don't know since I haven't used the lenses with a dumb adapter. It looks pretty damn good to me.

Can you give me some info on this RJ model - they claim that protruding elements might be a problem on the M42 version because of the glass. Which lenses do you use & have you found this to be the case, if not could you tell me what the distance is between the top of the adaptor to the glass - thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so back on topic-

1) GX7 or G6? 

2) Does G6 have comparable sound to GH2 (so far it sounds like probably)

3) Lens Turbo or other Speedbooster clone, worthwhile? Skip it? Save up for real thing?

 

And new question:

4) RJ Lens adapters, are they only sold from Hong Kong? I'd like to try one out but don't want to deal with waiting for weeks on shipping from China. I heard there are rebranded versions on Amazon, which would be great for me here in the US. Anyone know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm prejudiced, since I own both the G6 and RJ Focal Reducer, but I highly recommend both.  Of course I can't directly compare the RJ to Metabones, but for video I noticed no artifacts at all.  For photography it may be a different story.

Soundwise, if you use a decent microphone the G6 will deliver proper results.

If I had the money or used my G6 for photography too I would've bought the Metabones, since it's the best you can get.  But the RJ gives you probably 80-90% of that quality for 30% of the money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The internal mic is indeed very competent and while I haven't used the GH2 the external mic input is surely comparable. The noise floor is very low. There does seem to be some sort of limiter preventing clipping too. I recently recorded a fairly loud live gig with a less than fantastic microphone and was pretty surprised at the complete lack of clipping. In the past I've used a D5100 for video and the mic input on that was incredibly noisy to the point that it was unusable. The G6 is not like that.

 

 

I use an external recorder (Tascam DR-100mkII + borrowed boom mic) and then use pluraleyes to sync with the internal mic on my GH2.  That's the best use for the internal mic, I think, to serve as a sync source.  :)  If I could find a good portable mixer on the cheap, that would also do wonders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you give me some info on this RJ model - they claim that protruding elements might be a problem on the M42 version because of the glass. Which lenses do you use & have you found this to be the case, if not could you tell me what the distance is between the top of the adaptor to the glass - thanks.

 

I have the Asahi SMC 50/1.4 and Helios 44-2 58mm f2. I've also tried the Asahi 55/1.8. I've had no issues with protruding elements hitting the adapter with any of these lenses. The distance is maybe around 98mm.

 

 

I use an external recorder (Tascam DR-100mkII + borrowed boom mic) and then use pluraleyes to sync with the internal mic on my GH2.  That's the best use for the internal mic, I think, to serve as a sync source.   :)  If I could find a good portable mixer on the cheap, that would also do wonders.

 

Yeah an external recorder would most likely be better quality than the mic input on the camera but not by a big enough margin to warrant the extra effort in my opinion, especially when I'm only using a $50 mic.

 

 

If I had the money or used my G6 for photography too I would've bought the Metabones, since it's the best you can get.  But the RJ gives you probably 80-90% of that quality for 30% of the money.

 

 

That's exactly my thoughts. If I was in a position where $400 was an acceptable amount of money to spend on an adapter I'd go for the slightly better one, but the RJ has no noticeable issues and is 1/4 of the price. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Asahi SMC 50/1.4 and Helios 44-2 58mm f2. I've also tried the Asahi 55/1.8. I've had no issues with protruding elements hitting the adapter with any of these lenses. The distance is maybe around 98mm.

Thanks for the reply & info - that must be a close one with the Helios 44-2, because at infinity my copy protrudes to nearly 98mm.

Might give it a go after all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so the RJ sounds decent enough, I went and ordered two (an EOS and FD mount). 

 

G6 sounds like it will likely do what I want as well, but I'm still on the fence about that one.

 

At this price I don't think there's anything else really. I shot/edited in a guerrilla film making competition this weekend with the G6 and my vintage lenses and the G6 continued to impress me. The resulting footage looks very nice indeed. Only the most obnoxious pixel peepers will be able to tell me otherwise. The touchscreen is genuinely useful and I used it for rack focusing a couple of times, and I definitely couldn't live without focus peaking anymore especially with my manual focus lenses. I recorded all audio using the mic input at max gain and while there is some noise it doesn't get in the way and the dialogue is clear. The on screen audio meters are indispensable too. I seriously don't see how you could go wrong with this camera. It's probably not as good in low light as a GX7/GH3 but I doubt they're that different and it makes up for it with all the extra features and handling bonuses.

 

The only competition at that price is the GX7 and maybe the A6000 but neither of those have mic inputs and they're both more expensive.

 

Oh also, the fully articulating LCD was pretty damn useful too. It allowed me to get some pretty weird angles. Also I was able to whack the camera on a tripod, put it over my shoulder and use it as a ghetto shoulder rig with the LCD swivelled out in front of my eye. I don't think I'd buy a camera without an articulating LCD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sold. I ordered a G6 this morning. Should get here next week. 

 

Wondering what you mean by only the "obnoxious pixel peepers will be able to tell me otherwise"- What does this camera do that a pixel peeper does not approve of? The GH2 impressed peepers because of its rich detail, but sort of falls short when it comes to coloring and noise at times. The non-pixel peepers, however, seemed to prefer larger sensor cameras because of the shallow DOF. It was the peepers that liked the Lumix footage, so I'm wondering what the peepers don't like here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The GH2 did impress peepers with the rich detail but I think they're a bit less impressed now that the GH3 is out. The main drawbacks to the GH2/G6 are the relatively bad low-light performance and dynamic range. And of course everything looks terrible compared to the GH4 but that's not really a fair comparison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would anyone in this price range buy a Panasonic?  Why not wait to see how good the Sony Alpha A6000 is?  Andrew is currently ranking it above all Pansonics save for the GH4.  Only thing is audio without some kind of adapter might be an issue.

 


This is arguably the best current 'cheap' camera for video, de-throning the GH2 and GH3. At just $650 it is an absolute bargain.

Read the full article here

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Got my G6 (was a delay in getting it), so far really pleased with it. Peaking isn't foolproof and doesn't always work the way I'd like it to, but it is still better than none at all. The colors are rich and render better than the GH2's in my opinion, and the build quality is better than I expected (quite a few folks warned me that the build was "cheap", but perhaps that is just compared to a weather sealed GH3! It doesn't seem any worse of a build than a Canon Rebel or similar class camera).

 

A couple of questions:

1) Why does the resulting AVCHD media report to windows that it is a 720x480 resolution file when the camera was set to full HD? If I preview with Windows Media Player, it opens up a standard-def sized window and plays. I almost had a heart attack because I was trying to recording 1080 24p! Sure enough, when I open it in an NLE or VLC, it reports and plays a 1920x1080 sized video, but why does Windows see and play something different? 
GH2 and GH1 media are all correctly reported and played at full 1080p, it makes me wonder if the G6 media isn't really HD and just sits in such a container! I mean, why does WMP only play a 480p version? Where did the rest of the resolution go? Is it down scaling, or is that all the data it actually sees in the file? (If it is down scaling and therefore knows there is more resolution, why doesn't it display it?)

2) What is the best way to match color between the GH2 and a G6? I was going to replace one of my GH2s with this, but now I'm thinking for multi-camera work I should keep both GH2s so they match perfectly. The color seems pretty different on the G6. Is there a magic combo that makes them look more-or-less similar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

try your setting in preferances for Windows and see how it is set

 

You can get a G6 to look SIMILAR but not identical to your GH2

 

I shoot Nostalgic colour profile on the GH2

 

if you use Natural colour profile on your G6 and edit it so it has -5 contrast and -5 saturation it is now getting into a similar type of look to your GH2 on Nostalgic.

 

Basically the G6 has more contrast and saturation so either boost those on your GH2 footage to match the G6 or reduce them on you g6 to match your GH2

 

Ive got several projects shot on G6 and GH2 and once graded you cannot tell what was shot on what camera...

Thats what grading is for , thats why it gets called 'colour balancing.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

try your setting in preferances for Windows and see how it is set

 

You can get a G6 to look SIMILAR but not identical to your GH2

 

I shoot Nostalgic colour profile on the GH2

 

if you use Natural colour profile on your G6 and edit it so it has -5 contrast and -5 saturation it is now getting into a similar type of look to your GH2 on Nostalgic.

 

Basically the G6 has more contrast and saturation so either boost those on your GH2 footage to match the G6 or reduce them on you g6 to match your GH2

 

Ive got several projects shot on G6 and GH2 and once graded you cannot tell what was shot on what camera...

Thats what grading is for , thats why it gets called 'colour balancing.'

Great tip on matching cameras, I'll give it a try later. 
As far as my "settings in Windows", I'm not sure what you mean. There aren't any settings for that sort of thing that I'm aware of. Windows explorer merely reports the file details as it sees them, its the sort of thing you'd find if you hit "properties" on the file (for example, click a word document and it will tell you how large it is, when it was last modified, etc. A music file will list the ID3 tag information for artist and track name, etc). It says that these are AVCHD files, at 24 fps, with a resolution of 720 x 480. There aren't any settings to adjust anywhere, I have no idea where it is getting those numbers from, but clicking to open and play in the default player (which happens to be Windows Media Player usually) sure enough goes ahead and opens a standard-definition sized window for playback. 

 

The odd thing is that I have a card with both GH2 and G6 footage right now, and when viewing the contents of the "private" folder, the GH2 footage is recognized as full HD 1920 x 1080 and the G6 footage (in the same directly, just one filename over) thinks it is 720 x 480. So there is something strange about how the G6 is encoding here. 

 

I found at least 2 people who mentioned it over at Personal-View, but they just ignore it because when it matters (opening in editors like Premiere), it is recognized and opened as an HD file. It just seems weird that Windows 7 explorer and media player, heck anything Microsoft (I'm guessing movie maker too, but I never touch that stuff), does not. I wonder why? I wonder where else this weird bug might crop up? I know some of those fancy GPU accelerated batch encode applications rely on Microsoft Direct X controls. I wonder if they'd have a problem with this?

 

ps:  peaking works realy well all the time if you use sharp lenses

 

zooms with aspheric elements (alot of the new zooms have these)

its very very good with Zeiss Contax primes , Yashica Primes, Canon FD primes

 

Its OK. I'm using very sharp lenses, that's not the problem. I've used peaking on a Marshall monitor, and even the in-body peaking from Sony's NEX series seems to work on more surfaces than this does. It only seems to grab solid line objects (walls, bricks, fences, etc). But a soft object like someone's face won't set it off. I noticed a few times that I could get peaking to show up easily on something directly in front of or behind a person, but not on the actual person themselves. Also a soft object like a blanket or tarp in my garage I was trying to focus on, just failed miserably. Oh well, its still a very cool feature to have when it works! Just not something I would rely on solely. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...