Today is the launch of the GH1 to the photographic press in Europe. I will be doing a 20 minute talk about shooting with it and then showing my two films to them. The commissioned piece on Joshua Tree and Kauai Sunset, the slow motion piece I knocked off in an hour with the stock lens and gorillapod.
Pricing will be announced and so will availability. I am writing this post before the event. So I will update it when we have that info. But do go to twitter.com/philipbloom to follow me and my twittering during the presentation (obviously not during MY presentation) I will also be going out with the press to Windsor as they try it our first hand.
UPDATE UK PRICING: £1299 with kit lens. lens itself is £800. No word on body only. Available 2nd week of June.
RELEASE DATE IN HONG KONG IS MAY 26th
You can see the new Joshua Tree piece by clicking the below image. It is totally ungraded and shot in 1080p 25p.
Please read my earlier blog about the making of this as I used not only the stock lens but also some PL mount Zeiss Ultra Primes. They are the more shallow DOF shots. They were T1.9. You don’t need to use such expensive glass (each prime costs about $10,000), this was an experiment for me and to test out the new PL adaptor from Illya Friedman of HotRodCameras.com, there is a lot of interest from Hollywood for this camera and that mount for easy extra angle work on stunts and the like as they have loads of PL lenses kicking around on set but not extra cameras, the PL projected image is only a bit bigger than the 4/3 so it’s a good fit. Thanks Illya for coming out on the shoot and buying me my huge supply of Vitamin Water!
There are faster lenses coming out from Panasonic soon, primes, but in the meantime I have bought a Sigma 30mm f1.4 for 4/3 mount, although you do need a micro 4/3 to 3/4 adaptor from Panasonic . I am hoping this combo will work, as I don’t have the camera at the moment or the adaptor I can’t check so hold off for the time being!
I am a big fan of this camera. The size of it and the images, both and still and video are terrific. It’s a shame the 1080p 25p/24p codec is so weak at 17 mpbs, it is quite susceptible to artifacts as I found . It’s usable as you can see in Joshua Tree but the 720p 50p mode is way more robust, especially for grading. Also, you can get slow motion out of it or easily convert it to 25p by sticking it onto a 25p sequence in Final Cut Pro.
Yes the stock lens is slow, as are most stock lenses but this is optimised for video with a totally silent and accurate auto focus feature which also feature facial recognition and tracking! Great for fast moving stuff. It also has a nice big range of 35mm equivalent around 28mm to 240mm. Putting on faster glass improves that film look enormously as you can shoot at wide apertures for a terrific shallow DOF.
Low light is good, but not a patch on the Canon 5d Mk2 of course but then again that is much more money and bigger. As you know I recently bought one of those and love it to bits. The GH1 does suffer the rolling shutter issues which plague the other DSLRs, but the image stabilization does a good job of minimizing those.
The killer thing with this camera is all the manual controls, something the 5dmk2 and d90 badly need. Manual iris, manual shutter, proper ISO selection. Iris and shutter can be changed during shot too and of course with the kit lens auto focus works whilst shooting!
You can also put on 35mm glass with various adaptors but you do get a magnification factor of x2 for full frame 35mm lenses…and of course you have no auto functions with it.
At the end of the day this is a a killer consumer camera with some features which eclipse pro cameras, of course the pro cameras will catch up eventually, they just haven’t yet. Just be wary of the full HD mode. I have shot a lot with it but will probably shoot more in 720 mode as I love my grading. 720 still looks awesome. Am not saying don’t shoot 1080p, just if you intend to do any colour work with it, much safer going 720p.
I had to give the loan unit back and am looking forward to it’s release so I can do so more shooting with it. It’s going to be a camera that I will always keep on me.
Now I spoke to the main man at Panasonic Lumix division about what I want to see in the camera. I said 24mbps. He said all Panasonic camcorders record at 17mbps due to something about dvd backup for consumers? I said then keep 17mbps and have an HQ mode for pro use of 24mpbs. He said OK and will look into it. Also asked for live HDMI out. We can hope but I doubt we will see it in the GH1, maybe the GH2…
I did film my presentation very badly using my Vixia hfs10, so please forgive the atrocious sound and watch my presentation.
I will be posting a making of video shot by Jake Carpenter as soon as I cut it. Hopefully tonight!