My Latest Panasonic GH1 Film – Longshan’s People


The above film was shot entirely on a Panasonic GH1. The film is about the people who visit one of Taipei city’s oldest places of worship – Longshan Temple, to talk to God.

Taiwan’s people want to be independent, but since they became a powerful nation with a strong economy China want a piece of the action – and currently have 1500 missiles aimed at Taipei. Longshan Temple was bombed by the Americans in World War II but rebuilt, as it had been countless times before all the way back to it’s original creation in 1738.

This is a major capital city with a level of spirituality other cities could only dream of. Small island, strong hope.

The 5D and GH1 are currently head to head and I will write more on how I feel about the cameras in the coming weeks. I am planning to do a series of films, the next one will be based in the city’s largest parks.

Interestingly this GH1 seems to be an improvement on the hardware I had first time around, in April last year. Panasonic appear to have fixed a few issues, like banding and the ropey codec – at the factory itself rather than with firmware updates. I recently migrated to the 5D Mark II thinking it’s bleeding edge quality would contribute to my film making when in fact it doesn’t. With the GH1 I compose better shots and the video it produces is more cinematic. Who needs ultra detail when it’s all moire & aliasing? Who needs highly saturated rich colour if they need turning down while grading footage afterwards? Who needs to pay £2000 to have ultra shallow depth of field when you can have it with the GH1 on a 2nd hand 85MM F1.4 lens from 1970? And above all, who needs the expensive 5D Mark II’s bulky body when it’s usability as a video camera (sans rotating screen) is much worse than the tiny Panasonic GH1?

They’re still both great cameras, but now the GH1 body is available for just £500 / $800 you have to really really need those 22 megapixel photos on the 5D Mark II to spend £1000 more on it!

People line up at camera stores all over the world to buy the Nikon D5000, D90 and latest Canon Rebel. Am I missing something here?

The GH1 body and kit is miles better than these run of the mill mid-range cameras! If it came with a cheaper kit lens, I believe Panasonic would have had a major hit on their hands. As it is, the GF1 (nice camera but nowhere near as good for video) is their better seller right now.