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    I know you've heard it a million times before but...GH2 or 60D?
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    Hi guys,

    Quick background about me. I've been seriously into audio and video since I was 13, and I'm 24 now.I have been shooting on my own VX2100 since 2006 (editing with Premiere Pro). I've used the camera for a lot of different applications, from shooting art exhibitions and corporate market research work, to music event coverage which has become my niche (stuff like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8_0eX4zhZw)

    I've always known I'd need to upgrade to HD (and never even thought about dSLR) but have always put it off until about 3 months ago when I saw similar stuff I do shot on a 5D MKII. Needless to say, I was blown away and left totally discouraged due to the fact that I'd never be able to get IQ like that out of my camera.

    So for the last few months I've been trawling Google (seriously, 10 pages of results are all purpled out) trying to find the best camera to upgrade to. For awhile, I was looking at the Canon XF100 but the price of CF cards and the video look started to move me in the direction of DSLRs.

    After another month of research spent totally on shooting video with DSLR, exhausting Philip Bloom's site and watching pretty much every comparison video I could find on Youtube and Vimeo I narrowed my choice of cameras down to the 60D or GH2. Now here's where things get tricky.

    In terms of the 60D, I'm totally in love with the IQ. The aesthetic just blows me away and the availability of lenses and accessories in this country (South Africa) are great. Canon seems to be an industry standard here when it comes to DSLR video (as it seems to be around the world) and there appears to be a bigger Canon community which is always a great benefit when it comes to networking and collaboration and also education. I've found tons of Canon tutorials but very few as refined when it comes to GH2. Magic Lantern also seems awesome. The fact that it makes for a great stills camera is also awesome because I'd love to get involved in that side of things as well. I love good timelapse and HDR photography and think it'd be awesome to integrate the former into video work However there're a couple of things that bug me.

    1: Obviously the moire and aliasing issues I've seen and heard so much about. Realistically, how big of an issue is it in the field? Is it something that just crops up a small percent of the time or is it an issue that can cripple a shoot and ruin reputations?

    2. The line skipping. I find it disappointing that I'm not getting true 1080p resolution like the GH2 offers. Would there ever be a firmware fix that can resolve this or is it something hardware related which I'll always have to live with?

    Now for the GH2 I've heard from a lot of different sources that it's the best video DSLR on the market and on some days I seem to be leaning towards that side. The fact that it shoots true HD, is comparable to much higher end cameras for a fraction of the price, better audio controls, the diminished moire and aliasing and just generally improved video controls appeal to me. However, like the 60D there're some issues preventing it from being my perfect camera.

    1. First off, I haven't seen many videos that really impress me aesthetically. A lot of the stuff I've seen seems to be benchmark/pixel peeper stuff and examples of different firmware hacks. The narrative stuff I've seen - which looks awesome and sharp - also just looks like a high quality camcorder, somewhat lacking that cinematic aesthetic of the Canons.

    2. The crop factor is a bit of a bummer, it may not be as bad as I think but effectively doubling the focal length of lenses used on an FF kind of worries me. If I see someone recommend a 50mm lens for the 5D I'd need to look for a 25mm for the GH2.

    3. Availability here seems quite weak. Panasonic doesn't seem very well represented and I've only found one local brick and mortar place to purchase the body and kit lens, but when it comes to other lenses I think I'd have to order online from overseas.

    4. The whole GH2 menu interface (from what I've seen) looks very convoluted and non-intuitive. While I'm sure I'd get used to it, it seems like a bit of a bother.

    5. I've heard the stills quality isn't as good as the Canons.

    I know all about the bitrate hacks and while they sound awesome I'm worried about camera stability. Are the hacks best for benchmarking and short snippets of eye-candy or are they stable enough to go through a days' shooting without any issues? How good does the camera look vanilla and unhacked?

    So for me it seems the GH2 has more pros but also more cons while the 60D has less pros than the GH2 but also and less cons. However, I'm still so on the fence it makes me queasy. When it comes to shooting within a team, would it make that much of a difference if the rest of the cines are using Canons while I'd be using a Panasonic? Is it enough of a reason not to be hired for a shoot?

    One caveat - which my friend thinks I'm ridiculous for - but I actually haven't spent time physically handling either camera so I've got no point of reference when it comes to feel and handling. I've heard the GH2 is less ergonomically pleasing than the 60D but I imagine that to be pretty subjective.

    Either route I go, I'd invest in a full rig (stablization, new tripod, external microphone and most probably a separate audio recorder) but I'm still just looking for that push in whichever direction would be best.

    Or should I just wait it out until the Black Magic camera is out and start looking at that?

    Thanks for reading this vent/wall-of-text. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Plazm; 05-08-2012 at 10:00 AM.


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    music events tend to be darker. so the larger sensor of the 60d will benefit you no end. remember to factor in whether or not your camera choice allows full 1080p output via hdmi for monitoring options. I know the 550d does not feed a true hd output during recording meaning external monitors are kind of pointless. do your choices the have articulated screens?

    the gh2 is considered the absolute best in terms of video quality (once the firmware is hacked). Canon tends to be the industry accepted option, but the sony nex5n, nex 7 both outperform your two selections in terms of out of the box performance. they also shoot 50fps/60fps in full 1080p. the nex 7 outperforms the canon 60d in both video and stills for that matter. here is a music event I shot with the nex 5n:- http://vimeo.com/38921135 there was no scripting or preproduction. i just went in and shot what i can keeping out of the way as best i could. glass was zeiss


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    ps. for crop factor. dont worry. canon 5d has too big of a sensor meaning your lens choice is if anything more limited. a 35mm f1.8 on an apsc sensor will be more film like than a 50mm f1.8 on a 5d full frame. 50mm f1.8 on full frame is too shallow it looks so cliche nowadays.


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    pps. the nex 5n smokes the nex 7 in low light video. and is worth going for over the nex 7 if you can live with the lack of mic input and external flash port


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    #5
    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    If it were me and I needed a camera right now... A used FS100 or AF100.
    If I didn't need one right now, I'd wait and see.

    By the time you spend your money trying to make a DSLR workable with all the rig crap and external audio fix and such you could be shooting with a real video camera.
    David W. Jones
    www.joneshdfilms.com


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    One thing that's really impressed me with the VX2100 is its low light ability, how does the GH2 fare in low light? I've heard mixed reports. Is the 60D noticeably better? Full 1080 output doesn't really bother me. I've never shot with a monitor and expect to be using a magnifying view finder attachment for the most part. Great video, the Nex-7 is interesting. What hassles in regards to video do Nex cameras exhibit, if any?


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    I'd love an FS100 but it's way out of my budget.


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    GH2 is best bang for the buck. Its small, light, cheap, and powerful.
    Ergonomically, its still considered one of the better HDSLR type cameras. The menu system is actually very simple and fast for getting to various "other" video controls. The 60D, has a similar video focus design, with it's articulating screen and dedicated video buttons. It does have a much better feel and build quality, as its an entry level semi-pro photo camera. But the video tech is still years behind.
    If i where you, id wait till the new GH3 and possibly the newer line of Canon and possibly Nikon (D3200 just was released and is impressive) cameras come out.
    As the GH2 is still amazingly powerful... STILL!, but the new line of cameras will probably/hopefully have caught up to the 2 year old GH2. As a side benefit, it'll kick the GH2's price tag down a bit.


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    Senior Member xenogears's Avatar
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    The best all around: GH2
    The best availability support: 60D
    The best in low light: Nex 5n
    www.cajitacreativa.com
    Sony a7/fs100 | Lumix GH4
    | Olympus OM-D E-M1


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
    By the time you spend your money trying to make a DSLR workable with all the rig crap and external audio fix and such you could be shooting with a real video camera.
    I disagree. An AF100 is what $4000 now? an FS100 is $5500? If you buy a GH2 you can have it completely rigged up and still have 2K in your pocket. Not only that but you have a larger sensor (slightly) than the AF100 and the ability to increase the bitrates with the hack to shoot higher quality video.

    The only advantages the AF100 has over a rigged up GH2 is not having the sync the audio in post, more picture controls and peaking which you can get on the GH2 with an EVF and still come in much less than the AF100. Its not even like the AF100 is a great form factor. You still have to rig it for shoulder use anyway.

    I use both. Have an AF100 at work and use the GH2 for side business and B-cam applications. If money is tight I'd get the GH2 for both applications in a heartbeat.


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