Wednesday, June 18, 2014

'One of the most impressive video cameras I've ever seen' isn't from Nikon or Canon and is a screaming bargain

Above, a picture of a squirrel taken with an (old) GH2. This is NOT a still photo. It is a
frame of video — and at 720, not even the highest resolution that the camera can muster,
which would be 1080. Go ahead—click the photo to enlarge it. Then ask yourself if you want to
spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a Nikon or Canon DSLR with inferior video quality.
That's the verdict on the new Panasonic GH4 by Jordan from The Camera Store in Calgary. And he's putting his money where his mouth is by buying one for himself.
     The GH2 became a cult camera among video enthusiasts who hacked it for even better performance. Panasonic carefully listened to its fans, and addressed many of their concerns on the followup GH3 (including the non-standard 2.5 cm mic input).
     With the GH4, Panasonic has an ultra-high (4k) resolution camera for well under $2,000 that neither Nikon nor Canon DSLRs can touch at any price. Well, actually they could, but they play the price point / features game. Panasonic wants respect and market share and it is rapidly getting both with the GH4, which is so smoking hot that months after its release it sells for MORE on than its list price.
     AKSARBENT was as impressed as everyone else with the GH2's video but disgusted by the flat, lifeless images the camera yielded in still mode, which weren't much, if at all, improved with the GH3.
     Things have changed with the GH4's new sensor (or, more likely, improved internal software for processing still images.) Now greens aren't embarrassing embalmed, blues are deeper and richer and images finally have some snap. Still not quite as good as a Nikon or Canon at stills, but Panny is getting better, at long last.
     All that aside, this is primarily a fire-breathing video camera that seriously outperforms ANY DSLR that your Canon and Nikon friends are using, and costs hundreds to thousands of dollars less.
     By the way, you can use old Nikon (and Canon!) lenses with GH cameras, with an adapter. Just make sure they have an aperture ring because you'll have to adjust aperture and focus yourself—the camera obviously won't auto-couple to alien lenses.
     The GH camera will automatically select the correct shutter speed in shutter priority mode with someone else's lens. Shockingly, the cheaper (DX) Nikons WILL NOT METER AT ALL with the company's own, older, manual-focus lenses like the Panasonics do because apparently Nikon has amped up its greed in order to sell more lenses.

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