View Full Version : Acessories for GH1 gorilla style

06-01-2009, 11:03 PM
I've ordered a GH1 to replace my busted HV30 (motorcycle accident:() and have found some accessories.

My work is journalistic. I interview folks in the field. Its not going to major networks. I work with charities that help the poor and orphans in foreign countries run by Americans. Trying to get them exposure so they can get more donations to help them. I like the GH1 because its a great hybrid, gets great still images, and great video (perhaps not the fastest 1080p or best still camera, but otherwise excellent).

Here is what I have found out there to fit this camera gorilla style (audio and stabilization):

1. For audio: Either Azden Cam 3 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006JPD1/ref=ox_ya_oh_product
which mixes 2 mono channels or one stereo channel to a 3.5mm jack. For Gh1 will need a adapter to 2.5mm (will this cause hiss?). This lets me mic myself and the interviewee with two separate lav mics, then feed it into the mic jack on the camera. Or hook up my Rode Video Mic (or buy the Panasonic mic) to top of GH1 with the hot shoe and plug it into the camera. I know the automatic gain is not ideal but is it really that bad? With the HV30 I constantly made mistakes by not turning it down or up enough. (I am a one man show, no boom poles, etc). Maybe automatic gain is ok for this type of work.

Alternatively I could buy the Zoom H4n, strap to a fanny pack like the Kata W92, put in both lav mics to the H4n, and monitor audio with headphones (like I did with HV30). Keep the Rode Video mic attached to hot shoe with the line in to the H4n on my belt. Tethers me to the camera but that always was with the HV30 anyway.

2. For stabilizing pans: Knowing the limitations of panning in 1080 on this camera, I personally don't want to pan that much. A nice slow pan is very professional and I have no intent of doing action scenes like Kholi's kung fu bit. Thus I have fashioned a still tripod with a fluid head. Vanguard Alta Pro http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B002AK6EFS/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=A17MC6HOH9AVE6&v=glance
and a Velbon fluid 2 way pan head. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000Y25ZFY/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=A3SPLR0MSOYZ8O&v=glance
The tripod should let me get some awesome angles for still photography, and with the fluid head on, I should be able to do some decent panning. There are 3 way fluid pan heads out there for more $$$ but I don't really know the difference. Of course a $1000 tiffen would be best but I need a tripod less then 7 lbs and folds to 25 inches since I got to carry this stuff to all kinds of countries (and my budget is next to nothing).

Thanks for any inputs and hopefully I gave some of you ideas about audio and stabilization. Everyone here is thinking audio on Gh1 is bad because automatic gain, and panning bad when done wildly. But stop and think. What do you really need this camera for. Most folks do not need CBS style audio and CBS stabilization do they?

PS: Right after I posted this I realized it should be under GH1 hardware category, not here, but I can't figure out how to move it, or delete it and repost there. Any help on that would be appreciated.

06-01-2009, 11:29 PM
From your post, I'm not sure if you've already ordered a tripod...or if that's just what you are considering.

I just went through the whole "Planning for a tripod" thing myself, over here (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=172238).

In the end I decided I wanted carbon fiber tripod legs. I am not super mobile, but I like CF legs because they are very very rigid (Important if you plan to pan), without needing a center spreader.

There are very expensive CF tripods (Gitzo) and then there are cheap chinese-made ones. The conclusion I came to -- through research, not through actually using product -- is that the cheap chinese tripods usually demonstrate weakness at the top where the legs come together...so if they are weak there, they might be light weight, and the legs themselves might be rigid, but your system as a whole is still going be become dynamic during a pan instead of remaining static. (Sorry...engineer in training)

In the middle though there is Feisol. They are taiwanese, and they seem interested in making a solid product...maybe inspired by Gitzo, but not a direct knockoff, at a very reasonable price. (Kind of like Hyundai and Kia operate, and if you haven't been in a South Korean car lately...you really should check one out. Actually, GM filed bankruptcy today, so scratch that...buy American...but I digress...)

SO I think it's a bit more than your proposed setup, but if it wouldn't be stretching your budget too far the Feisol CT-3342 tripod base with a Libec H22 head looks to me to be an incredibly solid combination. The legs weigh 2.27 lbs, support up to 22 lbs, and fold up to 23 inches. They are about $300.

The head...I haven't found a ton of information on it, but everything I have found has been positive. Its fluid drag, but only 1 setting. That worried me...what if I want more drag, for example, but somebody somewhere on the vast internet had a solution for this too. They said, in essence, "If you're using a small camera on a small fluid head, you can easily increase the drag by grabbing the pan-bar closer to the head...or possibly just grabbing the head itself."

Anyway, I don't mean to post a suggestion that costs twice what your current proposed setup would cost...but I did the research and felt like this setup would give excellent performance per dollar, with lots of flexibility and durability.

06-02-2009, 04:57 AM
Just thought I would add my two cents regarding sticks. Tripods are one of my addictions. I admit it. I have many and like a guitarist have favourites for certain work. I own a Fiesol and it is excellent. I use two heads on it. A bogen/manfrotto 501 and for really tight situations (like a float plane with room for camera on my lap and that is about it) I have a Gitzo G2180 fluid head. This setup fits in a small bag less than two feet long and 6 inches in diameter.
The Gitzo head is great for the camera with no accessories on it and since I am now using an HMC which is lighter than the DVX it is better again. My daily tripods are all Sachtler and they are awesome but pricey.

06-02-2009, 03:21 PM
thx for the fiesol tip guys. I just picked up an old miller with REAL sticks but I've been looking for something lightweight and the fiesol fits the bill nicely. The Gitzo is exactly what I had in mind when I saw the fiesol, are you mounting it on a fiesol levelling base? Is the Gitzo much better than the 501? I haven't heard great things about the 501.

06-02-2009, 03:25 PM
rubber if you're on a tight budget the guys from dvxuser and the HV20 forum have good things to say about the mathews M25 and the velbon DV-7000

06-02-2009, 04:01 PM
thanks you guys. i checked all your options and read the old post from sabby, good stuff. i already have a fluid head monopod by manfrotto which i love with a rc2 head. after researching some of the sabby options i found another option: i found a manfrotto 701rc2 fluid pan head with the same fitting as my monopod so i won't have to unscrew and screw back on each time i go from one to the other. i think is better then the velbon fluid head on the dv7000 which one can buy separate. its about $100 on amazon. its a 2 way. and hook that up a Manfrotto 190XPROB set of legs instead of the alta pro which i could not find any review of other then it one the 2009 tippa award. since they will both be manfrotto they will work together well. total cost will be about $250 which is double then i wanted to spend but think its worth it in the long run

thanks for the help.

06-02-2009, 06:39 PM
thx for the fiesol tip guys. I just picked up an old miller with REAL sticks but I've been looking for something lightweight and the fiesol fits the bill nicely. The Gitzo is exactly what I had in mind when I saw the fiesol, are you mounting it on a fiesol levelling base? Is the Gitzo much better than the 501? I haven't heard great things about the 501.

I mount the Gitzo head on the Fiesol half ball. The 501 is fine for light work and setup. The Gitzo is extremely lightweight and takes practice to get used to .