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View Full Version : GH2 Selling AF100 for GH2? Need opinions



PaPa
12-08-2011, 08:06 AM
Now before I begin, I realize that I'm preaching to the choir a little bit here, this being a GH forum, but getting your objective opinion in this matter is very important to me. So read what I have to say, put yourself in my shoes and make a decision so that I know if what I'm thinking is rational or not.

I'm thinking of selling my AF100. Why? I've finished shooting my large web series with it and have nothing in the immediate future to film. Between the DSLR and the AF100, there has always been something lacking in the image quality. Maybe it's that it's much sharper, maybe it's the highlight handling, but there was just something slightly magical when i played 7D footage back on my screen versus the AF100.

Why I am thinking of scaling back and losing all of those features that makes the AF100 so great? Simply put, value of products go down over time. And since I don't have any projects coming up for at least the next 6 months, I'm thinking of retaining as much of the camera's value as i can, picking up a GH2 to shoot personal projects that come up in the next little while and waiting for something that crosses between the AF100 and DSLR's in terms of image quality and codec. I'm just not quite happy yet with what's available in the current price range.

What i would be missing in the AF100? Direct sync audio recording, the wonderful wave form monitor, the lack of aliasing and moire, and many manual features found in video cameras that are absent in DSLR's.

Why do I want the GH2? The low cost and value saved from selling my AF100 that can be invested for the next best camera. I loved shooting with the little camera, somehow it made me feel more creative, back in the 7D days. The neat hacks available to get a decent quality codec on to cards.

Now, i shoot with a Marhsall monitor that has false color which is really excellent to check spot exposure and the over all image tone. I own a Zoom H4N but have heard things about strange buzzing when the batteries are more than half way depleted. That being said, I also own a SD302 mixer with great preamps so recording sound on the GH2 shouldn't be that much different than when I experienced on the 7D.

Is the GH2 similar to the 7D in that the HDMI out doesn't deliver full resolution but is slightly scaled back, except for review?

Anyway, with the recent price drop of the GH2, i would like to make my decision reasonably quickly. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, especially those that have owned both cameras. Am i being reasonable? If you were in my shoes would you sell your AF100 and pick up the GH2?

Thank you!

HVXguy
12-08-2011, 08:16 AM
Funny you should ask: I just saw this post about audio for the GH2:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?269286-Audio-Gear-for-GH2-Shooting

With this set-up, your concern about direct audio recording is somewhat addressed.
I will be honest. It does take more work to get good audio when shooting with the GH2.
So far I have just used a ZOOM audio recorder and it works for what I do.

I rented an AF-100 for a shoot and we used my two GH2 as B-roll cameras.
The client wanted to use an AF-100 for some reason??? We did and in the end
he was more impressed with the GH2's. And this was pre-hack.

How much do you think you could get by selling the AF-100?
I still use my HVX-200 because of the servo zoom.
At this point I still use it enough that the 2K I might get for it
does not seem like enough to warrant the loss of it's use.

Now, if you find yourself leaving your AF-100 at home
and using the GH2's all the time - then yes - sell it
and get that audio package and don't look back.

PaPa
12-08-2011, 08:26 AM
Funny you should ask: I just saw this post about audio for the GH2:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?269286-Audio-Gear-for-GH2-Shooting

With this set-up, your concern about direct audio recording is somewhat addressed.
I will be honest. It does take more work to get good audio when shooting with the GH2.
So far I have just used a ZOOM audio recorder and it works for what I do.

I rented an AF-100 for a shoot and we used my two GH2 as B-roll cameras.
The client wanted to use an AF-100 for some reason??? We did and in the end
he was more impressed with the GH2's. And this was pre-hack.

How much do you think you could get by selling the AF-100?
I still use my HVX-200 because of the servo zoom.
At this point I still use it enough that the 2K I might get for it
does not seem like enough to warrant the loss of it's use.

Now, if you find yourself leaving your AF-100 at home
and using the GH2's all the time - then yes - sell it
and get that audio package and don't look back.

Yeah, that audio package looks decent, but again, that's adding more cost, and a large part of the reason i wanted to sell was also to get some value back. It seems i already have a decent solution for recording audio so it seems a bit redundant although this does allow me to record sync sound. And i would much rather get the 24 bit recording from the H4n then use anything that the GH2 gets direct in any day, so i would have to sync sound afterwards anyway. know what i mean?

stoneinapond
12-08-2011, 08:41 AM
If you can get a decent price for your AF100 and can deal with the issues you mentioned, then I can't go wrong image wise. In fact your plan seems to be a very sensible one in view of not having any work for 6 months. The GH2 you can keep for the long run even when you ready to rebuy into the pro market.

The only question I have is, how convinced are you that there will not be any work coming your way that might require the more featured camera?

PaPa
12-08-2011, 08:45 AM
If you can get a decent price for your AF100 and can deal with the issues you mentioned, then I can't go wrong image wise. In fact your plan seems to be a very sensible one in view of not having any work for 6 months. The GH2 you can keep for the long run even when you ready to rebuy into the pro market.

The only question I have is, how convinced are you that there will not be any work coming your way that might require the more featured camera?

The only paid work i have coming up are wedding shoots, in which the AF100 never even makes an appearance. just my trusty 7D, which i refuse to use for narrative work now due to the incredible aliasing and moire issues. I just want to know that I'm making a sound choice and not just getting excited and impulsive because of the incredible price drop.

stoneinapond
12-08-2011, 08:47 AM
Get excited!

Pietro Impagliazzo
12-08-2011, 09:10 AM
Panasonic should implement all those hacks into the AF100, so the AF100 has the GH2 image mojo + real video camera features.

A product costing 5x less putting out better images is just insanity.

HVXguy
12-08-2011, 09:17 AM
and impulsive...buy 2 - GH2's - I shoot interviews with 2 cams now.....
One wide - One close - I am looking at getting a 3rd GH2.

nigelbb
12-08-2011, 09:24 AM
I already a GH2 that I bought to use for B roll with my AF101. It was neat to be able to use all the same lenses. Now I am in the situation where I too am contemplating selling the AF101 as I find that I simply don't use it. It's fair to say that it has been a big disappointment to me as it's just not the crossover large sensor camcorder that we DSLR video shooters were looking for (it looks like the Canon C300 may be that camera but sadly it's out of my price range). Generally I shoot with a Canon 5DII but if I want a 'proper' camcorder with 18x motor zoom then I reach for my Canon XF305. I do use the GH2 where moire & aliasing would have caused problems but have not used it as much as I would have liked because of having to shoot 24p for maximum quality & the hassle of matching it my other cameras shooting 25p. Now that Panasonic have given us 25p I will be able to use it more. The only reason that I haven't sold the AF101 so far is that I have been waiting for the Birger adaptor to see what the camera would be like when I could properly use all my lovely Canon EF 'L' lenses.

mcbob
12-08-2011, 12:35 PM
The AF100 has a lot of flexibility and options that the GH2 doesn't. If you find you never use these particular features and options and only shoot dual-system 24p, then maybe it would be a wise swap.

I think they're both brilliant cameras, own both, and I'm definitely the limiting factor in their output.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
12-08-2011, 01:58 PM
Funny you should ask: I just saw this post about audio for the GH2:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?269286-Audio-Gear-for-GH2-Shooting
...

I'll add that in situations where you don't need the ideal sound quality achievable with a top-notch external audio recorder, the configuration described in the above post can be simplified by eliminating the Beachtek adapter & external audio recorder, and instead connect your XLR mixer directly to the GH2 via an inline -40bd PAD/attenuator (device or cable) and an XLR-to-2.5mm cable adapter. Set the GH2's sound record level to its lowest setting (1), and the results can be surprisingly good. You can use a pair of -40db PADs & XLR-to-2.5mm cable adapters for stereo.

Monitor sound while recording from the MixPre (or other mixer) headphone jack, keep an eagle-eye on the GH2's on-screen level meters, and check playback sound often, preferably after every take. The GH2's USB/AV connector audio output can drive most headphones to a useful level ... of course on playback only.

If you're really brave (!) you can also eliminate the external mixer, too, and connect an external pro mic directly to a GH2 via an XLR-to-2.5mm cable/plug adapter. Won't sound as good as using the nice preamps in a MixPre, but again: It sounds much better than you might expect. As above, set the GH2's mic input level to the lowest setting (1). Some high-output mics, such as the Sennheiser ME-64 & ME-66 will need an inline -25db PAD (& possibly more, such as -40db) between the mic & GH2 to prevent distorting the cam's sound recording, especially in loud environments. This configuration has the benefit of much lower cost and fewer parts & pieces, but has the obvious drawbacks of somewhat less sound quality and no monitoring of any kind while recording (other than watching the GH2's on-screen meters.)

CAUTION: Both these approaches are only reliable if you can confirm audio quality on playback after every take, which isn't always possible/practical. In situations where pristine sound quality is required, or when retakes for sound issues aren't possible, then use an external recorder.

Cheers.

JMZ
12-08-2011, 06:41 PM
My take is a little different but I'll chime in. I was originally a Panasonic faithful who has used almost every camera that has a DVX, HVX or HPX in it's name. But I was lured away by the promise of the RED Scarlet. After waiting for years I decided to purchase an AF100 about two weeks before Jannard announced the release of the "Scarlet". So I waited yet again. But in the meantime I studied up on the AF100, got one to shoot with from a local dealer and really, really enjoyed it. I knew the limitations but loved the pro features. Particularly as someone who shoots and edits. Then the Scarlet became... what it is now and I said no way.

Then I came back to this forum, and checked out the GH camera threads on a whim. I was impressed with the images coming from this little "consumer" camera. Then I saw hacked footage and began to wonder (sometimes out loud in posts) if the SDI out, XLRs, waveform, etc., were really worth an additional $4095 dollars. Especially since I'd still have to buy lenses for both and good audio gear could easily make up for the loss of dedicated XLR inputs. Granted the other bells and whistles will be missed. But I didn't have those back when I was shooting SD and not all of them even existed when I started shooting HD. So if I can stay within the limitations and plan shoots accordingly to get high quality footage from my "unprofessional" camera, I think it will be worth the tradeoff.
I'm pretty confident in my abilities regardless of the camera. So I say why not use this amazing little camera to shoot some good stuff while saving money for whatever comes next. That's my plan anyway.

reem12
12-08-2011, 08:13 PM
Hey papa, I bought two on an impulse when the price dropped. I wasn't planning on it but at that price and the potential of hacking the cams I said why not see what this new found buzz is about. However I still think my canon 5d has a way more cinematic image. I've gotten a chance to see footage of the gh2 using that 25mm .95 lens and realize that alot of what I've been disliking and attributing to the gh2 for the video look has been the lack of good lenses on peoples footage. I'm tempted to buy the voit lens myself but $1200 is a little steep at the moment.

PaPa
12-09-2011, 03:28 PM
so yeah, took the plunge, don't really need a big zoom lens so i just picked up the 699 camera. My af100 is on sale now in the marketplace, hopefully people throw some offers my way.

aguia
12-10-2011, 12:33 PM
Ideally you need both. Personally, I make motion picture with synchronized audio. I lived through decades of double system film production and unless your budget can can be spread to cover a good well equipped sound man (read: real smart slate and good mics) you are a swine lost in the wilderness. Good luck on your adventure.

blofeld
12-12-2011, 03:36 PM
This program could come handy with synchronizing audio from an external recorder: http://www.singularsoftware.com/dualeyes.html