Little bit of fun with GH1, 30mm f1.4 and Glidetrack compact

Follow Me

I have neglected my GH1 recently, mainly due to time as always. But I wanted to test out my 30mm Sigma f1.4 (35mm equivalent 60mm) on the GH1 for ages. You need a 4/3rd to micro 4/3rd to make it work but it does work a treat. Great to use a fast prime on it without a doubling of the focal length that you get when you put a 35mm lens on the camera.



I also used the Glidetrack Compact to give it a bit of movement. I mounted the camera directly onto the glidetrack. It works really well. Very light and does exactly what you need it to do.


Everything was shot at 720p 50p, imported as ProRes LT in FCP 7 and converted to 25p in Cinema Tools for the overcrank.

It shows you just what a great little camera the GH1 is, most people would do little tests with their kids. I don’t have any, yet, so I used the cats which have been requested a few times by people as they appear in many stills of me opening new toys as they are VERY curious. They actually act far more like dogs than cats.

Bert and Percy are the Siamese twins of the title. My old girl Noodle makes a cameo. She is more camera shy and also not Siamese! Sorry if you don’t like cats. I actually have filmed A LOT of dogs in the past year too!

It’s a great lens and I really recommend it, but what I am really looking forward to are some native micro four third fast primes so no need for the adaptor making the camera nice and compact. I filmed for about 20 minutes using just ambient light…not much of it too. Shot at ISO 800 wide open at f1.4



Click the image below to see the video.



  1. Very cool! Thank you for posting!!!

    It’s really hard to make a decision if you can only buy one camera and all these little tests, notes and opinions are very helpful and make an impact towards the final choice.

    Thank you for taking the time!!!

    T ; )~

  2. Cool stuff!

    You say “Great to use a fast prime on it without a doubling of the focal length that you get when you put a 35mm lens on the camera.”

    What do you mean by this? I thought you had to double the focal length on all lenses on fourthirds/microFourthirds cameras?
    How does the 4/3 Sigma work differently from a Nikon or Canon mount Sigma 30mm?


    1. I mean the standard lens for a 35mm camera is a 50mm, sticking that on my gh1 with an adaptor makes it 100mm so bit useless. So the nearest equivalent for the GH1 is the Sigma 30mm f1.4. Having a fast 4/3 prime that is designed for system is great. How does the 4/3 sigma differ from the canon or nikon one? Well you get aperture control on the gh1 with the adaptor that you won’t get with a Canon or Nikon adaptor on the camera. The numbers are confusing I admit.

  3. Thanks Philip, I have studied all your GH1 material closely and I have now acquired a GH1 with the stock lens. (And a gorilla pod, and the rather brilliant Compact Glidetrack).

    I can see that I need a faster prime lens as the above PUSSY film demonstrates!

    The GH1 has not only the virtue of delivering high quality imagery but it is wonderfully portable when compared to my normal set up!

    My camera drops frames every few seconds in 1080, which is unacceptable to be honest, however, I am more than happy with the 720 which both Yourself and others advocate.

    ALSO, I thought KEW GARDENS on my Imac Full screen was stunning.

    EX1 and adapter..I imagine.

      1. Re. Dropped frames every few seconds. I am using a Class 6 Sandisk Exrtreme 111 8Gb 30mbs.

        The GH1 is fine on 720, (Iam still in the learning curve).

        Thanks for your time and support,


  4. nice video. i was hoping you were going to do something with your Lumix GH1 some time soon and……well you read my mind!
    i have some questions about this camera as i’m seriously considering it along with others. what i like about the GH1 is it’s price/performance compared to others( jvc hm100, canon 5dmk2 etc). i would like to have a camera that i can use for a couple of years until we see how the video camera market changes after the introduction of these DSLR video cameras.
    is this really a viable camera for filming creative videos for web and dvd? i’m talking about music videos, indy films, events, filming concerts, images to be projected at concerts(small venues) etc
    i realise it has problems with sound monitoring etc but my interest is in the quality of image the camera produces and how usable those images are.
    i’ve read that with 1080 it doesn’t grade well (you probably said that!) but with 720 it’s fine. is that really the case? i do a lot of grading and use a lot of my footage in After Effects. does the 720 footage stand up to that? i read that the weak 17bmps(?) data rate means the footage doesn’t stand up to much abuse.
    what about lenses? i have some canon FDs. can i use the directly with the camera? do i need an adaptor or is that just to correct the doubling of focal length?
    so, whilst i could possibly buy a hm100 with 35mm adaptor or a 5Dmark2 i’d rathher not spend that kind of money right now. if i have a job that really calls for a video camera i can always rent one.
    do you think this camera might do the job for me?
    thanks if you find the time to respond and give me your opinion .

    1. not sure the GH1 is the camera for you especially if you plan on doing effects. the bit rate is very low. You can use Canon FD lenses with an adaptor but you will double your focal length due to the sensor of the gh1 being half that of a 35mm sensor.

      the gh1 is a good all rounder but I have yet to use it on a paid job and I am still hesitant as I get better images out of my 5dmk2 or my Letus Ultimate. If your stuff is semi pro it may be good enough…

      1. philip,
        thanks for the reply. i kind of thought that might be the case with the GH1.
        i have another couple of questions if you have the time!

        how are you finding the 5dmk2 to work with now that it has the firmware update and well as magic lantern? is it still a bit clumsy to use or is it now easy and normal?

        the other question is about the jvc hm100.
        you did a great review of the hm100 a few months back and seemed really pleased with it but since then you’ve not mentioned it. is that because of the new found usability of the DSLRs, hence you’ve lost interest in it, or you don’t have access to one or the time?
        and do you know of anyone using a letus or other 35mm adaptor with the hm100? i’ve been looking but i haven’t found any examples of how this camera performs with an adaptor.

        and will these things be dealt with in the f-stop academy course (which i am very much looking forward to)?

        thanks again for your time. your blog and work is a great inspiration to many of us.

  5. Great stuff as always! Quick question, I’m a noobie to dslr’s. For the GH1, in order to use other lens such as canon or nikon…besides an adapter…the lens would need to have an aperture ring? (older lens) or can you use newer lens that have electronic control? Thanks much!

  6. Phillip, how did the auto focus on the Sigma fare? Do the facial recognition and multi-zone features carry through or do you have to stick with the Pany lens?


  7. Just ordered a Glidetrack as well. I did go with the HD though as I was concerned about flexing with long lenses which I have read about. Any issues using the SD?

  8. can you recommend a write up or online store for lens mount adapters? there are so many out there and its not always clear to me how they affect the lens. thanks, love the film!

  9. Very cool. I’m enjoying the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 macro on my GH1…but I got it for Nikon because that was the adapter I ended up buying…so no AF, etc, and of course it crops to 48mm FOV…still great lens for a good price.

  10. Hi Philip.
    I’d like to ask you only one thing, the sigma 30mm that you attach on the panasonic adaptor wich mount have? Because I’d like to buy it (I hown a GH1 with DMW-MA1 adapter) and I would like to be sure to buy the right mount type for the adapter.

    Thank you for your work.


  11. Hey Phillip – thanks for all your great work and info.

    It still isn’t exactly clear to me if the Sigma 4/3 lenses autofocus with the GH1 and the adapter — I know you mentioned the aperture works through the camera, but no mention of AF specifically.

    The Panasonic website states that none of the Sigma lenses allow AF with the adapter — is this true? (I want to believe it’s not, so double checking!)


Leave a Reply