View Full Version : Is the GH1 For Me? Please Help.

11-16-2009, 07:50 AM
Hi, I have been reading this forum as I am trying to decide if I should buy a dedicated video camcorder like the HMC150 or if the GH1 would be better for my needs. I travel a lot and I shoot video and stills, so the idea of the GH1 is incredibly attractive.

As for video, I shoot a lot of testimonial videos for my website and will be shooting some short films and documentary type video as well. Also, I do most of my shooting handheld.

I love the quality of the video I am seeing here with the GH1. Also, I am a mac user and I love the AVCHD workflow. I currently use an AVCHD canon hd camera (hf100) and with Final Cut Pro or even iMovie '09, bringing in AVCHD and editing is a breeze.

BUT - here is my concern. A lot of the handheld video I have been watching has the same kind of shakiness that you see in video shot by people using those little "Flip" video cameras. To my eye, it is really unbearable. With my little hd camcorder, I use a nice bracket that lets me mount my Sennheiser shotgun mic and it also works great to stabilize the camera. So, I was thinking this would also work with the GH1.

Does anyone have experience using some sort of camera bracket and are you getting steady hand held shots. (I really can't be bringing big steadicams along on my travels.)

Thanks for any feedback you can give me. I really would love to make this camera work!

11-16-2009, 08:49 AM
I really can't be bringing big steadicams along on my travels.

Could you handle a small bag of rice?


Joe Shaw
11-16-2009, 08:56 AM
Larry - got your email and I see you have posted here as well, so I'll just reply here.

For documentary/testimonial type stuff the GH1 is perfect. There is no restriction on the length of time you can shoot for. You can get great interview shots - really hi-res looking and with something like and FD lens on there you can throw the background out of focus even in tight spaces.

You can get a handheld rig for the run 'n gun stuff - for my Salsa Kingdom film I used a Redrock setup with Genus mattebox and it worked really well.

I cut on Edius, so someone else can chim in about FCP workflow.

The camera will be paid for after 1 job and after that you can even pair it up with an HMC150 and you're good no matter the circumstances.

11-16-2009, 10:38 AM
I found that I had to use a shoulder rig to get acceptable steadiness. Sometimes I tuck it under my arm for lower angle shots. But the prime thing I dislike about my GH1 is the shakes i get when doing run and gun. hate it. so much that I was wondering about the opposite switch, to a HMC150.

11-16-2009, 10:43 AM
also against the GH1 is the lack of controllable audio inputs for interviews. Yes, I use a Zoom H4n but that introduces extra workflow. Something to consider. On the other hand, the video quality is really really good, especially if you manually set WB.

11-16-2009, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the responses. I wish I could get to a store and try the GH1 out but there is not one in my area! It is a very hard decision. But because I travel so much with my cameras, and do so much videotaping testimonials, I think the GH1 would be great. Especially after seeing the interview footage that you did Joe. Everyone should really see your Salsa video to see the capabilities of this camera.

11-16-2009, 02:23 PM
Frankly, Larry, the GH1 sounds perfect for you. The HMC150 is a very solid all-around performer and, in general, definitely a better video camera than the GH1. But if you're going to need a stills camera TOO, and most of the stuff you're doing is sit-down interviews, that's where the GH1 really excels. And it's sooo tiny...

Yes you'll need a separate audio recorder or something like a JuicedLink or Beachtek. And you'll want some sort of rig, even something as inexpensive as a Spider Brace, to avoid the handheld "jiggles" that the lightweight DSLR form factor introduces into handheld shooting.

Since you need an SLR anyway, why not get the GH1 first, and see if it does what you need video-wise too. If it does, you're all set. If it doesn't, consider adding something like an HMC40. The total cost would be about the same as the HMC150.

11-16-2009, 02:31 PM
Thanks Barry!

Actually, I have a great canon still camera and a great little hd canon camcorder. Because i want better video for projects i will be doing, I want to sell both and upgrade on the video end. So, I have been looking at the HMC150. But then when I saw what people have been doing with this GH1, I thought it might help me to travel light with one camera for all purposes.

11-16-2009, 02:32 PM
By the way Barry, if you look at my website, you can see the kinds of testimonials I have been shooting with my little canon.


Martti Ekstrand
11-16-2009, 02:35 PM
To stabilize my handheld shots in the commercial you find in my sig link I used this shoulder brace from Manfrotto intended for use with monopods but I just pressed the viewfinder into my eye socket and the brace against my shoulder. Probably wouldn't work well with a heavier camera but with the GH1 it's perfect.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554100-REG/Manfrotto_by_Bogen_Imaging_361_361_Shoulder_Brace_ for.html

Add a Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom and you have a super small and light kit to travel with.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/470237-REG/Joby_GP3_A1EN_Gorillapod_SLR_Zoom_Flexible_Mini_Tr ipod.html

For quick swapping between the shoulder brace and the Gorillapod I have this one on the brace


and this one on the Gorillapod

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/272757-REG/Manfrotto_by_Bogen_Imaging_484RC2_484RC2_Mini_Ball head_Quick.html