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Birds feeding - GH2, with Lumix 100-300, ETC, and slow-mo

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    GH2 Birds feeding - GH2, with Lumix 100-300, ETC, and slow-mo

    The sparrows were swarming the bird feeder, so I pulled out the GH2 with the Lumix 100-300 lens, in order to get some close-ups. Used 1080/24p mode, mixed in some ETC, and even a little of the 80% slow-mo. With the 300mm lens, that ETC makes it the equivalent of a 1500mm lens on a "full frame" camera, so it was insanely telephoto, a nice super close-up, with incredibly shallow DOF.

    And then... I noticed some other birds across the street. And, well, they were feeding too. So, I trained the camera on them, with the same drill, but I also went in for some 720/60p stuff so I could get super-hyper-close to them (with the ETC, it's equiv. to about a 2300mm lens!) and also, the 60p let me get some nice really-slow slow mo.

    Loving the GH2, and loving the 100-300. It's nigh unto a telescope on this little camera, and the ETC mode is pretty ideal for wildlife photography. It lets you get super-close, with no moire or aliasing, and it has much better rolling shutter performance when in ETC mode. The HPX300 was a real challenge for us to get long telephoto stuff without MAJOR jello, but with the ETC on the GH2, jello (even at the end of a 300mm lens!) seems really well under control (and, the lens being image stabilized certainly helps). Plus, it's an autofocus lens, so while the paper-thin DOF was tough to deal with, the AFS mode really acquitted itself quite well, I must say.

    So, yeah, it's just birds feeding... but then again, if you're squeamish, you might only want to watch the first half.

    ..
    The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

    #2
    Barry.. thanks so much for sharing. That's really great looking stuff. I especially love the humming birds at the beginning. The resolutiion on the bird is stunning. I think you've just made up my mind for what telephoto that I"m going to get... I might have to pick this up before the 20mm....

    Thanks for sharing.

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      #3
      Wow.
      Matt Gottshalk
      Director of Production
      BPI.tv

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        #4
        i didn't use to think i was 'squeamish' until now!
        >>> www.GreenGorillaMedia.com <<<

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          #5
          Great stuff. Think it was going into the eye socket that tipped the scales on being squeamish for me.

          Am also loving the 100-300 on the GH2 - autofocus is fast!

          Barry, are you using OIS when on a tripod?

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            #6
            The autofocus is crazy fast, yes -- in AFS mode, prior to shooting. When shooting, it just sits there bouncing around, doesn't lock on (when at those extreme magnifications) so... I used AFS prior to the shot, then switched to MF for the shot.

            And yes, I had OIS on the tripod for those shots. Normally the advice is to turn OIS off when using a tripod, and there are good reasons for that, as the OIS will fight you when you do a panning move, etc... but these shots were meant to be total lockdowns, and I was a little concerned about wind or minor adjustments causing a ripple of jello, so I left the OIS on.
            ..
            The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

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              #7
              I do the same with AFS to MF. Have just never been a big fan of AFC. Has messed up more shots for me than helped. Might be different if I shot sports.

              Thanks for the details on the OIS and tripod. Had always turned it off for tripod shooting, but will start keeping it on for lockdowns. Now all I have to do is somehow manage to remember one more variable.

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                #8
                that was cool, great timing!! what the heck kind of bird was that eating the racoon. Looks like a mini buzzard. hah

                Have you shot canon fd lenses on the gh2?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by maranfilms View Post
                  that was cool, great timing!! what the heck kind of bird was that eating the racoon. Looks like a mini buzzard. hah
                  Some kind of buzzard, but I don't know what kind...

                  Have you shot canon fd lenses on the gh2?
                  No, I don't have any. I do have an FD adapter for m43, but I don't have any lenses to go with it...
                  ..
                  The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

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                    #10
                    Thanks for posting Barry. It's so cool to see how "the right tool for the job" is a moving target. That's to say, that while the GH2 is not a professional video camera with all of the bells and whistles of the AF100....in this instance, it is the right tool for the job....and does so with many advantages that the AF100 does NOT have. Not right or wrong....just Barry using the GH2 for what it is VERY good at. NICE!

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                      #11
                      "I can't get through this fur. Oh, I'll just have a dig around in the eye socket...oh, and eat his lips off."

                      I much preferred the bird feeder shot, both in content and shot quality. Reminded me of this rather amazing shot:

                      Last edited by Lucas Adamson; 01-05-2011, 02:16 AM.
                      Digital film-maker, Bristol, UK.

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                        #12
                        That video was inspirational, and it makes me jealous. I want to go get some hummingbird feeders set up to see if I can get something comparable.
                        ..
                        The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Barry_Green View Post
                          That video was inspirational, and it makes me jealous. I want to go get some hummingbird feeders set up to see if I can get something comparable.
                          Thanks, Barry. I'm sincerely flattered. I have no doubt you would get something that surpasses what I've done here. In my case, it was strictly lots of patience and good luck to have captured this footage. And some lovely glass.

                          You may want to read my comments on Vimeo about what I went through to get these shots. And I didn't mention the time spent fast-forwarding thru hours of footage looking for the brief times when the birds happened to show up. Of course, the biggest challenge was DoF. I had lots and lots of footage where the bird landed just a hair to the right or left of where he is in these shots and it was unusable. I think this may have been much easier if I'd had the GH2 with ETC to help increase the DoF. Then again, maybe the results wouldn't have been quite as nice.

                          I would really be interested in any comments you may have about how I might have shot this differently. I have much to learn.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That's either the American Black Vulture or an immature Turkey Vulture, which have black heads but generally have feathered necks. Adult Turkey Vultures have reddish heads.

                            Since they have no feathers on their necks I believe them to be Black Vultures.
                            Last edited by Svart; 01-05-2011, 11:52 AM.

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                              #15
                              Wish we had hummingbirds here in Europe :-) what a nice idea to make feeders so they can rest their wings while feeding! Barry, when you said you switched to MF after AFS, did you turn the dial on the left or is there another way to go from AFS to MF ?

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