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Panasonic DMC-GH1, the poor man's Leica M8?


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#1 Drew

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 11:02 AM

First, Panasonic beats out the big boys by providing a real ViDSLR with serious video features (albeit with a mundane codec), now it comes out with an adaptor for Leica M and R lenses for the G series cameras. Also featured is the live view MF assist function, which magnifies the picture when focusing. This makes it a cheap Leica M8, especially if you go get the AA filter removed from the sensor :)

http://www.hitechrev...dmw-ma3r/10235/

Panasonic GH1 website.

Wetpixel Discussion in Video Forum

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#2 Paul Kay

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 12:17 PM

now it comes out with an adaptor for Leica M and R lenses for the G series cameras. Also featured is the live view MF assist function, which magnifies the picture when focusing. This makes it a cheap Leica M8, especially if you go get the AA filter removed from the sensor

Hmmmm! The M8 is a rangefinder - live view MF assist is rather different, so its quite simply a different beast altogether and not a cheap M8! I've used rangefinder on and off for nearly 30 years and they have an appeal which is all their own.
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#3 Drew

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 12:24 PM

I thought that line would ruffle the Leicans feathers... which is why I put it in :)

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#4 echeng

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:38 PM

Yeah, Drew. Why KNOW what the framing of your image is going to be when you can APROXIMATE?? :)

I loved my M8, but I ended up selling it because I was leaving town for 6 months and couldn't take it with me.

Oh, and also because while it was fantastic in good light, it was worse than the lowliest Canon Rebel in low light (unless you planned on converting to black and white, where noise can be good).
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#5 TheRealDrew

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:38 PM

I thought that line would ruffle the Leicans feathers... which is why I put it in :)



Do you mean Lycans? :) Interesting stuff though on the camera between the video and this. Wonder if will light a bit more fire under Canon and Nikon....

#6 davephdv

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:24 PM

I have taken a serious look at this camera. If someone would make a good small housing for it....

I think rangefinders are the past. Cameras like this are the future.
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#7 Paul Kay

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 07:23 AM

I loved my M8, but I ended up selling it because I was leaving town for 6 months and couldn't take it with me.

How sad Eric. If I could take only one camera it would be my M8! Not sure about ruffling feathers, but I've seen too many comments about rangefinders and their none rangefinder 'alternatives'. And clearly the future is about using old lenses on the newest cameras...... . FWIW housings have been made for RF cameras too - a more pointless exercise is hard to imaging though.
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#8 davephdv

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:04 PM

With Panasonic introducing adapters to allow Leica M and R lens to be used with this camera: are there any killer M or R Lecia lenses that are super wide angle? Considering that this camera has a 2:1 crop.

I see that the Panasonic announcement mentions that these adapters were produced in cooperation with Lecia. Might this mean that a Lecia camera utilizing this technology could be coming?
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#9 Drew

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:25 PM

Nope Dave... this is more for topside and non-SWA. I am excited to try the Zeiss ZF18mm on the 5D2.

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#10 echeng

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 02:22 PM

How sad Eric. If I could take only one camera it would be my M8! Not sure about ruffling feathers, but I've seen too many comments about rangefinders and their none rangefinder 'alternatives'. And clearly the future is about using old lenses on the newest cameras...... . FWIW housings have been made for RF cameras too - a more pointless exercise is hard to imaging though.


My trip was to document:

1. topside action in Antarctica
2. underwater critters in Indonesia

An M8 would have been the LAST camera I would have brought. :)
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#11 Drew

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 06:20 PM

Oh then you need the Leica S2... you just had the wrong camera :)

http://www.s.leica-camera.com/

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#12 stever

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:42 PM

Drew, before you get too excited about the Zeiss 18, you should invest in a subscription diglloyd's advance photography - Lloyd Chambers has very detailed tests of the Zeiss lenses as they become available.

#13 Drew

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 06:35 PM

Don't need to, Stever. There are few choices with manual aperture for the 5D2 for video and the ZF 18 is one of them.

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#14 stever

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:10 PM

if we're only talking about hdtv resolution and manual focus, then there should be serveral choices in Nikon and old Olympus lenses and the newer voigtlander 20 at a fraction of the price of the zeiss 18

i was excited about the video possibilities of the 5D2 for wildlife and UW, but i've been put off by the fiddles required to get control of aperture and the lack of autofucus (perhaps not an issue with WA, but a problem with tele for wildlife)

what am i missing here?

#15 Drew

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:39 AM

The Zeiss ZF has a m.f.d. of 30cm and is 18mm. Then you have the topside advantage of bokeh as well as the contrast and warmer look of Z. I took a few shots and video with the 18mm and I was sold... then this darn GH1 came along and spoiled the party with so many desirable controls, making think that the 5D2 isn't worth the investment for a ViDSLR with the hassles of using adapters.
But that's a good idea to start a thread for 5D2 and manual lense combos.
Focus pulling for wildlife on a tripod is worth learning for accuracy. AF can be fooled by foreground objects jumping in and out, especially contrast AF used by these cameras. You just need a strong tripod :)
Seems only the panny 14-140 is the only lens with manual capability.

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#16 Paul Kay

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:05 AM

I just sold a Leica R 19mm (II) which I could have fitted to the 5D2 (after surgery). Bottom line for me is using the 15mm FE on the 5D2 for video - yes its not perfect and it can be irritating but its still producing better material in the low vis conditions in which I have got to work (my remit is to show underwater 'vistas' around Wales and in locations where good vis is anything over 3m!). I considered a Nikon 16mm which could be used to allow better aperture control, but I'm betting that the 5D3 or whatever will have way better video control and bottom line is that I can use the 5D2 'out of the box' and its working for me. I've used Leica R lenses on my Canons and they are good but being absolutely honest, the loss of functions is ok only if you have stable static subject matter. The thought of using them underwater with all the other considerations makes me think that I'm better off accepting the 5D2's shortcomings and getting on with it. Crop factor on the GH1 limits its usability substantially I'd have thought.

Drew, If you haven't seen it, take a look at http://www.16-9.net/...compatible.html as there is substantial info on lens adaption on this site.

Eric, I'd have taken my M8 to Antarctica given half the chance, although when I did (nearly) go (we hit a rock off South Georgia) it was in the days of S2Pro and D1X!
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#17 Drew

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:09 AM

Paul there are 2 dials to hook up focus and aperture. It'll take some work and practice but not impossible. Focus, stop down, lock, set :)
The GH1 is limited due to the 2x crop and lack of lenses, not to mention a 17mbps codec. However, at 14-140, it's about the same as a camcorder but with interchangeable lenses and a DSLR. It's a good companion for someone looking for a little ViDSLR, IF the housing manufacturers give it notice.

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#18 Paul Kay

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:27 AM

Paul there are 2 dials to hook up focus and aperture. It'll take some work and practice but not impossible. Focus, stop down, lock, set :)
The GH1 is limited due to the 2x crop and lack of lenses, not to mention a 17mbps codec. However, at 14-140, it's about the same as a camcorder but with interchangeable lenses and a DSLR. It's a good companion for someone looking for a little ViDSLR, IF the housing manufacturers give it notice.


Absolutely - and I could easily have got Seacam to build custom gears BUT having tried for a year above water to utilise MF and manual aperture lenses, AND having used the 5D2 for UW video I decided that for what I want it to do, yet another layer of complexity was simply too much. Cold, low vis., low contrast and time limits all make me think that it would simply eat into the time available for shooting underwater. Next generation might be better!

So the GH1 gives a compact camcorder equivalent? Great if that's what you need but I don't see much advantage personally.
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#19 Paul Kay

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:31 AM

Drew

FYI.

http://www.l-camera-...panasonics.html
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#20 Drew

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:17 PM

So the GH1 gives a compact camcorder equivalent? Great if that's what you need but I don't see much advantage personally.


The advantage is 720/60p slomo, as explained in the video forum:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=30508

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