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View Full Version : Gh1 the real entry solution for independent filmmaking rig?



ZzBog
05-20-2009, 12:32 AM
Hello,

I've been postponing the purchase of my own rig, shooting with some occasionally rented DVX100 or HV200... It's ok, but I really want to have my own stuff, to alter it etc..

Mainly because I've been waiting for something like Scarlett or that mythical new Canon prosumer camera to come out...

The budget is about $10000 (maybe a couple thousands more) to build the system from scratch (from camera to Pelican case)...

Setting myself on HPX170 (which I almost bought two moths ago) meant leaving out all the lens for 35mm adapters .. The same with EX3 which is within the budget (but eliminates all the extras)...

Now that GH1 is out, it seems like it is the thing I've been waiting for - something with a film look, DOF and really compact and possible to become the fundament for the multilens rig... Well is it? The size factor really appeals to me plus the image quality.. The problems with fast paced scenes isn't encouraging, but none of the available prosumer cameras shoots car chases aeons better, right?

What would you say of GH1 being the main choice for indy filmmaking? Given there's 10k to be spent on hardware (I already have editing computer and all the software)? Or is it a second unit camera only?

Nitsuj
05-20-2009, 06:48 AM
I would say you will find your answer by reading through a lot of the threads in here. That is what I did and I know this is the indy cam for me. I think it all depends on your taste. The camera isn't going to make a film good, only the filmmakers can do that. It's just a tool to tell a story. Like a paintbrush. There are bad brushes and there are good brushes but any brush in the hand of a skilled artist will do just fine. Just read through and do your own research and you will be able to make the decision. Myself if I had that budget I would go with this camera and try to get as much of the rest of that budget on the screen.

AdrianF
05-20-2009, 07:52 AM
If 10 grand is your camera gear budget, then you should be able to build a pretty good basic set up around this or the 5DMkII, including tripod, audio, lenses and add on more as you go along. I don't know how much shooting you've done, but if you're fairly new to the game then just get the camera and start shooting, then you'll be able to find out what suits your needs best.

Martti Ekstrand
05-20-2009, 09:14 AM
Heck, if you go for GH-1 then with that camera budget you can have two of the buggers to share lenses between and do two-camera set-ups to speed up the shoots.
Don't forget that Kholi has stated several times that in 720 mode the codec holds up fine for fast motion.

politplastika
05-20-2009, 10:12 AM
But, before you decide, check out the "cinematic" quality of the 5D Mark II, I know it has a lot of limitations (all very well documented), but the pure beauty of the footage I've seen impresses me 10 times more than the GH1, especially if your main purpose for the camera is narrative film making. If you're looking for more of a multi-purpose cam, let's say from weddings to corporate to fiction, then the GH1, for it's price, seems to be the one, due to it's ability to autofocus with the Pana lens and its full set of manual controls.
But if you're only considering the "filmic" qualities of such a camera, I personally find the Mark II to be simply astonishing (whereas I find the GH1 produces a great image, simply not as breathtaking...)
I'm not into technical issues, so I don't really know why, but I think it has something to do with the Mark II's dynamic range.
If I were only considering fiction, i would be ready to endure the Mark II's HUGE limitations.
Check out Phil Bloom's Blog, you'll get to see the best of both cameras...

ZzBog
05-24-2009, 06:12 AM
For some reasons I find mostly praises for GH1 (unlike MARK II)...

But can anybody please name the downsides of GH1, compared, say to EX3 or HPX170?

Apart from ergonomics...?

Ian-T
05-24-2009, 06:30 AM
The only problem would be the weak codec on 24p footage. Hopefully Panasonic will come out with a fix. But if handled properly the image is still sharp as a tack.....comparable to the EX-1.

Robert Altman
05-24-2009, 07:53 AM
At your price point i would wait for the s35 Scarlet!!

I have a d90, which does a great job for a $850 body, and my Nikon lenses, follow-focus, mattebox, rails, etc. will all come with me when a better body arrives form Nikon/Canon in the next year. The GH-1 is too compromised (4/3rds, not a great codec,etc.) to make an investment in the 4/3 system seem worth it. A full 35mm imager will be the way to go, you will kick yourself for getting anything less at this point. Nikon/Canon/Scarlet are so close now!

commanderspike
05-24-2009, 09:32 AM
Video on this class of camera is still relatively new, so there are going to be downsides to all models.

Fast panning shots on the D90 are poor because of rolling shutter and codec. On the GH1 the codec does artefact and smear detail on panning shots, but rolling shutter is less noticeable.

Slightly more DOF and low light performance from the 5DMII due to full frame sensor. But also much more expensive.

If you value auto focus with the kit lens and a much better implemented live view, and above all manual control and size / weight streets ahead of competitors than the GH1 is the one to have.

joe 1008
05-24-2009, 10:20 AM
If you have a budget of 10K the GH1 is just 15% of that budget, let's say with some extras like additional lenses, second battery and so on it could be up to 25% or 2500$.

Selling the camera within one year for a price of 1500$ woul give you a loss of 10% of your investment. That's a modest 83$ a month for owning a complete equipment.

Matte box, follow focus, cage, tripode, microphone, audio recorder... all that stuff will be with you for many, many years.

Whenever you want you can change to Canon, Scarlet or Nikon without throwing bags of money through the window. Similar rule, of course, if you start with the Canon 5D MKII.

BradM
05-24-2009, 10:26 AM
with your budget you should buy a GH1 and a 5D with both using nikon/zeiss lenses and adapters. Perfect situation:beer:

Kholi
05-24-2009, 10:38 AM
If you have a budget of 10K the GH1 is just 15% of that budget, let's say with some extras like additional lenses, second battery and so on it could be up to 25% or 2500$.

Selling the camera within one year for a price of 1500$ woul give you a loss of 10% of your investment. That's a modest 83$ a month for owning a complete equipment.

Matte box, follow focus, cage, tripode, microphone, audio recorder... all that stuff will be with you for many, many years.

Whenever you want you can change to Canon, Scarlet or Nikon without throwing bags of money through the window. Similar rule, of course, if you start with the Canon 5D MKII.


Very sound advice here. Good job, Joe.

To the OP: You have time to decide. Put a GH-1 on pre-order now and make your decision later.

Remember that the D90 and MKii have been out MUCH longer than the GH-1, so the "cinematic" quality can't even be compared right now. There's not a single example showing a lit controlled scenario out, so these are only opinions without substantial evidence.

However, Joe has it right: it doesn't even matter which one you get because you can trade out the body later on.

The body will become the least important thing as they get better and characteristics of glass begin to shine through much stronger. Invest in awesome glass and support gear!

William_Robinette
05-24-2009, 11:28 AM
At your price point i would wait for the s35 Scarlet!!


You will not get a kitted out s35 Scarlet for anywhere close to $10k...

Kholi
05-24-2009, 11:41 AM
You will not get a kitted out s35 Scarlet for anywhere close to $10k...

LOL seriously. The misinformation just keeps on getting perpetuated.

Unless RED's new plan is to tackle this specific market, which means lowering the price of the S35 "brain", no way will you be getting a S35 Scarlet Kit for 10K

17K is probably right.

Robert Altman
05-25-2009, 05:00 AM
LOL seriously. The misinformation just keeps on getting perpetuated.

Unless RED's new plan is to tackle this specific market, which means lowering the price of the S35 "brain", no way will you be getting a S35 Scarlet Kit for 10K

17K is probably right.

I disagree with your estimate. If you use your existing Nikon/Canon lenses I believe that you will be able to put an s35 Scarlet system together for $12,000 or less. RED does recognize that the Scarlet market is different from the RED ONE/Epic market. They are coming out with an all-inclusive 2/3" Scarlet for $3750. Also third parties will have monitors and accessories for the Scarlet that may undercut RED. If you already have a set of rods/follow-focus/mattebox then drop my estimate further.

Jannard is smart and really pays attention to the market (in a way that the rest of us only wish Nikon and Canon would do).

Ian-T
05-25-2009, 07:22 AM
Still way too rich for my wife....I mean me. :huh:

Jim Klatt
05-25-2009, 07:38 AM
Easily over $10k.

Robert Altman
05-25-2009, 08:07 AM
Easily over $10k.

Remember that this thread was started by someone asking for advice who had a $10K--or a couple of thousand more budget!

That is why I pointed out that in that budget range I believe that the s35 Scarlet should be considered!

I think that the s35 price will be forced down by competition from the next gen Nikon/Canon full 35mm imagers--as I said, Jannard is flexible.

Steve Castle
05-25-2009, 08:41 AM
At this point, we really don't know what the price, specification, or release date of the S35 scarlet will be other then some CG and concept artwork. Since "Prices, specifications and delivery dates are subject to drastic changes." Until more concrete info is released we really shouldn't be putting it within our decision making making process. Time is, after all, money.

I'm sure it'll be great, but right now, given its price relative to other equipment the GH1 looks to deserve a spot in the repertoire of your available arsenal.

Kholi
05-25-2009, 12:07 PM
I disagree with your estimate. If you use your existing Nikon/Canon lenses I believe that you will be able to put an s35 Scarlet system together for $12,000 or less. RED does recognize that the Scarlet market is different from the RED ONE/Epic market. They are coming out with an all-inclusive 2/3" Scarlet for $3750. Also third parties will have monitors and accessories for the Scarlet that may undercut RED. If you already have a set of rods/follow-focus/mattebox then drop my estimate further.

Jannard is smart and really pays attention to the market (in a way that the rest of us only wish Nikon and Canon would do).

The 2/3" has nothing to do with what you suggested. And honestly, most people aren't going to really WANT the 2/3" Scarlet at this point.

an S35 brain "started" at 7K last we knew. That was without batteries, without accessories, etc etc to make it work. None of the proprietary accessories had been priced but following the RED path they'd probably be in excess of what you're expecting.

You're basing your estimate on things YOU already have, but that's not how it works when building out a kit. You factor in the costs of what you're putting toward the kit or it's a bogus estimate.

So for a body, batteries, mandatory accessories to make the scarlet work (which we don't know yet), glass (you could shoot with ONE lens I guess), storage, matteboxes, FILTERS to go into the matteboxes because NDs are essential, support for matteboxes and follow fouses, a FOLLOW FOCUS so on and so forth the average shooting kit should fall around 15 - 17k IF prices for brains remain the same.

About how Jim Jannard operates: I'm glad you know because nobody else does. The only thing we've seen on Scarlet are brochures and asterisks promising us things would change. The latter is the only thing we've seen come to fruition.

And paying attention to the market? Panasonic obviously does. Consider this entire forum has spat out requests for a camera and got a lot of them in the HPX170, I'd qualify that as paying attention to the market. No wait, the NICHE.

Jim just saw what was coming and beat others to the punch with a LARGER camera. You think Nikon, Canon and Panasonic didn't already have video additions to DSLRs in the works? Come on now.

You know what the next iteration of Scarlet will be? Cause nobody else does. Enlighten us.

Jim Klatt
05-25-2009, 12:58 PM
One thing that is so amazing about these Dslr's is their discreetness and low-light threshold. Something that the Scarlet probably won't be able to compete with. Those 2 factors are VERY high on my list of essentials.

John Caballero
05-25-2009, 01:11 PM
Scarlet? What's Scarlet? A letter?

Ian-T
05-25-2009, 01:40 PM
And honestly, most people aren't going to really WANT the 2/3" Scarlet at this point.
.You got that right. These DSLR's are the perfect compromise. Thanks to Panasonic, Canon, Nikon and soon coming a few others I don't have any desire for a 2/3s format.

Kholi
05-25-2009, 01:44 PM
Man I woke up in the middle'a the night thinking about the Samsung NX. How odd is THAT!?

I dunno why, but I have these strangely high hopes for it.

ChipG
05-25-2009, 05:49 PM
I am really liking the fact that I can buy a matte box, rails, lenses, fliters, hand held rig etc off eBay, use them for a couple years and sell them for probably close to what I paid (if I'm a savy buyer) upgrading the $1500 camera body when need be. We all know if you pick up a nice peice of glass used on eBay you can use it for several years and sell it for about what you paid.

Samsung NX? Sure, bring it on!

Sure beats selling an hvx to upgrade to an hpx.

squig
05-25-2009, 07:13 PM
Man I woke up in the middle'a the night thinking about the Samsung NX. How odd is THAT!?

I dunno why, but I have these strangely high hopes for it.

APC size sensor, more dynamic range, EVF so it can adapt any lens, what's not to like. Just hope they get it right with manual control, a good codec, live output and 24p. I noticed samsung have a cheapie that does 24p progressive. It's going to be hard for me to go back to the D400 now that I've bought all these non nikon lenses. Sony have one in the works too.

Kholi
05-25-2009, 07:18 PM
Nikon's biggest dis-advantage in this niche is the lack of versatility. The D5000's LCD is just downright odd, and you can't really adapt much glass to it.

dadoboy
05-25-2009, 07:32 PM
Ha ha. You guys all have a bad case of gear lust.
You have to go to one of those re-education camps where they put you in front of pictures of naked girls all day long and keep your eyes open with toothpicks :(

To the original poster: It really depends on what you want to use your camera for. If its for low budget indie stuff where you are your own client and you dont have a producer/director monitoring the image, by all means, spend a small portion of your 10K on a GH1 and save the rest for when the Scarlets come out with their final(?) specs and prices.

To disagree with some, I for one am looking forward to get a 2/3" Scarlet for a whole bunch of good reasons. But yeah, I have a serious case of lens lust for those RED prime pros:Drogar-Love(DBG):

squig
05-25-2009, 08:05 PM
even if I had the cash and the scarlet did exist I wouldn't buy one because it's more than likely that sometime this year there will be a DSLR with a very good codec and/or HDMI out for a lot less money than a scarlet.

now where do I sign up for re-education?

stav1606
05-25-2009, 08:38 PM
the Samsung NX.

For me to prefer the NX, they should include the 10x zoom kit lens of the GH1 (i mean the equivalent), the autofocus, and the full manual control. If they keep all that as good as the GH1's I am sold, obviously having the same or even better codec, and hoping that low light will be the same or better.

But on the other side, they haven't even announced it... I dont think there is hope it will be available soon. So maybe I will buy the GH1 anyway. I need it soon...

John Caballero
05-25-2009, 09:07 PM
What Panasonic did was merge the specs of their consumer video cameras, like the TM300, with the 4/3 DSLR format. That is why the GH1 doesn't have a strong codec and compression but have the ability to do manual settings, shallow DOF and a sharp image. They already had the video technology from their consumer division and experimented with it a little bit further. Samsung is in the same position. Nikon isn't. They have to develop the whole concept from scratch. Only time will tell how far they will go.

PappasArts
05-26-2009, 01:35 PM
Man I woke up in the middle'a the night thinking about the Samsung NX. How odd is THAT!?

I dunno why, but I have these strangely high hopes for it.


Wow Kholi! Me too......... Well Kinda.

I woke up from a dream I was with Hugh Hefner's girlfriends, the 19-year-old twins Kristina and Karissa.....

Kinda similar; there boys toys, and the good one's generally don't come cheap..... Some what like cameras and geek gear..


Unfortunately I don't have much faith in Samsung when it comes to their camera; at least with V.1

Btw Kholi, what's this solid state drive you mentioned. I can't find the post to respond to it. Which one did you get?





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.

Kholi
05-26-2009, 02:47 PM
Wow Kholi! Me too......... Well Kinda.

I woke up from a dream I was with Hugh Hefner's girlfriends, the 19-year-old twins Kristina and Karissa.....

Kinda similar; there boys toys, and the good one's generally don't come cheap..... Some what like cameras and geek gear..


Unfortunately I don't have much faith in Samsung when it comes to their camera; at least with V.1

Btw Kholi, what's this solid state drive you mentioned. I can't find the post to respond to it. Which one did you get?

.

LOL. Yeah no PB Bunny me. Just gear-head. I actually couldn't sleep last night. My brain wouldn't shut off, it was devising a way to build a new computer and I just figured it out when I awoke this morning.

I purchased a G.Skill Falcon 64GB SSD. Read 200MB/s Write 190MB/s. About 4 weeks new to the market so the price is a bit steep at 230.00 w/tax and shipping.

I plan on buying a second for my new mini ITX Quad Core build, though. I think I can get my new system topped out at 3.6GHZ on Air, A measely but workable 8GB of old-school DDR2-800 and some other newer, nicer tidbits.

All coming in at the dimensions of 10in x 8in x 10.5in.

The goal is to be able to cut 2K Natively in Premiere or better.

What ya think?

HCPROD
05-26-2009, 03:00 PM
LOL. Yeah no PB Bunny me. Just gear-head. I actually couldn't sleep last night. My brain wouldn't shut off, it was devising a way to build a new computer and I just figured it out when I awoke this morning.

I purchased a G.Skill Falcon 64GB SSD. Read 200MB/s Write 190MB/s. About 4 weeks new to the market so the price is a bit steep at 230.00 w/tax and shipping.

I plan on buying a second for my new mini ITX Quad Core build, though. I think I can get my new system topped out at 3.6GHZ on Air, A measely but workable 8GB of old-school DDR2-800 and some other newer, nicer tidbits.

All coming in at the dimensions of 10in x 8in x 10.5in.

The goal is to be able to cut 2K Natively in Premiere or better.

What ya think?

Those SSD drives are sweet. I don't own one personally but a friend of mine is running them in his system and with the quad and a good chuck of ram you can definately tell the difference. Sounds like fun!

PappasArts
05-26-2009, 03:12 PM
LOL. Yeah no PB Bunny me. Just gear-head. I actually couldn't sleep last night. My brain wouldn't shut off, it was devising a way to build a new computer and I just figured it out when I awoke this morning.

I purchased a G.Skill Falcon 64GB SSD. Read 200MB/s Write 190MB/s. About 4 weeks new to the market so the price is a bit steep at 230.00 w/tax and shipping.

I plan on buying a second for my new mini ITX Quad Core build, though. I think I can get my new system topped out at 3.6GHZ on Air, A measely but workable 8GB of old-school DDR2-800 and some other newer, nicer tidbits.

All coming in at the dimensions of 10in x 8in x 10.5in.

The goal is to be able to cut 2K Natively in Premiere or better.

What ya think?

I think it's an awesome idea... I read about these a awhile ago, and thought how cool it was to have no moving parts in a main drive with lightening speed transfer rates.

I want to try these drives out in one of my external boxes.

Kholi
05-26-2009, 03:25 PM
No moving parts makes me feel a LOT better about the mini ITX portability solution. Fits right between a laptop and a desktop, although you have to lug a keyboard and mouse AND a monitor, I still think it's a good way to go.

We'll see.

Another thing about advancements in Solid State Mediums is that, with processors becoming so extravagant-- particularly Intels Nehalem line-up-- the transfer rates really begin to show their stuff.

The gateway i7 45nm Intel CPU, i7 920, has near-to 5GB of QPI Speed. The transaction rate between cpu, memory and hdd will be insane. And it's something that we can take advantage of in the Video Acquistion world.

So the faster Solid State drive will speed up workflow. Question is, at this point in time, what's it worth to you?

128GB of SSD storage at today's second fastest transfer rates wil run me 460.00. FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS for ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT Gigs of storage!?!?!?

A terrabyte 7200.12 Single Platter runs like 100.00, man.

So it gets a bit hairy, and being able to justify it is hard but the portability and reliability is really starting to make my pockets weep.

Not to mention that the Solid State drives will be good for years and YEARS to come.

I hate technology.

Zak Forsman
05-26-2009, 03:29 PM
I gotta say, the latest developments on the DSLR front have bolstered my excitement to buy a low-profile Scarlet S35. I think these DLSRs (D90, GH1, and whatever comes next) are great stop-gap solutions, and I'll continue to use them on current projects. but I do look forward to a very near future of digital cinema bliss. the money has already been budgeted and set aside. just waiting for the release.

squig
05-26-2009, 04:08 PM
$460 for 128 gig is nothing. I remember the day I spent $1000 for 1 gig.

Nighthawk
05-26-2009, 04:38 PM
$460 for 128 gig is nothing. I remember the day I spent $1000 for 1 gig.

Hope it wasn't yesterday.

ChipG
05-26-2009, 05:19 PM
$460 for 128 gig is nothing. I remember the day I spent $1000 for 1 gig.

I remember when I spent $1k for a 50 MB hard drive, it was my entire summers lawn mowing money when I was 14.