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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Location: Cairns Australia
Obviously the GH2 is a better camera, but how close does the FZ150 come to it?

I have been waiting a long time for one camera that does both stills and video. I am not a professional photographer, my current camera since 2005 is an Olympus C700, it is 'only' 4mp & has a 10X zoom and I have been extremely pleased with the photo's taken - here's an example taken a few months ago -
Image

The video aspect of the camera is the most important part to me.

Having a microphone socket is essential.

During the last 3 years I have noticed I rarely take the Olympus camera with me, preferring to use my mobile phone to take snapshots. So I am concerned that the GH2 with 14-140mm lens will be too heavy at 900gms to carry around, while the FZ150 is lighter at around 500gms

Both cameras have great specs, the FZ150 appears to have fixed the two main concerns of the FZ100 - (iso noise and interlacing video) I am waiting for a review of the FZ150 that mentions the video quality because that is most important to me, I take much more video than stills.

Appreciate any comments from the experts on which camera I should choose.

Rob

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:09 am 
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While I own a GH2, I have no experience with the FZ150. So my first question:

Quote:
Having a microphone socket is essential.


The FZ150 has an external mic connection?

If so, then I would guess that, in good light (like in the example you posted), the difference would probably be minimal. But the darker it gets, the more the GH2 would pull ahead (especially if you use the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 "pancake" lens or Olympus 12mm f2.0 or 45mm f1.8 lenses instead of the Panasonic 14-140mm f4.0-5.8 lens).

So my next question is: how often do you shoot in less than optimal lighting?

Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:34 am 
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Hi Maestro - the FZ 100 had a mike socket and I am assuming the FZ150 has also but I will check now that you've mentioned it.

I don't shoot in low light very often- but that could be because I have learned not to because of the poor quality I've had from point and shoot digital cameras.

I think i would say that i rarely want to shoot in poor light. i live in the tropics and the light is mostly very strong here (except at night !). I mainly take daytime photo's and video.

Gordon Laing has also mentioned that it might be worth waiting to see if a GH3 becomes available. I have seen a G3 and it is nicely compact. Non of the local camera shops have a GH2 or an FZ100/FZ150 so I have been unable to see them in real life.

Today I took some video with my vid cam and left my camera at home, purely because I don't want to carry two cameras around.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:55 am 
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Quote:
I think i would say that i rarely want to shoot in poor light. ... I mainly take daytime photo's and video.


In that case, I think you could get by with the FZ150, especially if you're shooting outdoors.

And like you said earlier, you'd be more likely to carry the FZ150 since it's smaller. And any camera you have with you will be better than whatever other camera you have sitting on the shelf at home.

Quote:
Gordon Laing has also mentioned that it might be worth waiting to see if a GH3 becomes available.


That's going to be long wait:

Panasonic: no GH3 this year

Unless Gordon's upcoming review of the FZ150 raises new concerns, it seems to me that the FZ150 will suit your needs better than a GH2.

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:17 am 
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Thanks Maestro. I'm looking forward to Gordon's review.

As you have a GH2, I'd be interested to hear your comments about it - anything not as good as you'd like and anything really good that you like a lot.

Rob

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:14 am 
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IMO it's all about getting something that fits your needs. I've mentioned previously that I do a lot of band/concert photography/videos. So I find the full tilt/swivel LCD with fast auto-focus indispensable, especially when combined with excellent video capability in the same body.

The main drawback for my needs (low light stuff) is the lack of fast/bright lenses. Although that's starting to change. And another advantage of a mirrorless system is that the shorter flange-focal distance allows the use of many other lenses with an appropriate adapter. (Although, any non-native lenses will be manual focus and manual aperture control only.) So, if there isn't a native lens that will work for you, you should be able to find a non-native lens that will. (In my case, I use fast/bright Canon primes.)

Not that any of that is particularly relevant to your situation, but since you asked...

Mark

P.S. Also not particularly relevant to your situation, but my main complaint with this system (GH1, GH2, m4/3) is that it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months before stuff is available in the U.S. e.g. still waiting for Pany's 25mm lens to come out here.
__________
Panasonic GH1, GH2, 14-140mm f4.0-5.8 X 2, 20mm f1.7, 100-300mm f4.0-5.6
Olympus 12mm f2.0, 45mm f1.8
Canon 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, 100mm f2.0, 135mm f2.0, 200mm f2.8
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (EF-S)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:33 am 
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Thanks Maestro, that gives me an insight into the GH2.

The FZ150 was touted as being released late September, I'm in Australia and it's October the first today- how late September can you get?? haha

I'm wondering how to compare a video from GH2 with the new fz150- they both shoot the same high definition, but the FZ150 sensor is smaller - so I assume the video is not as good ? but what do I look for?

Again today i had to hold two cameras, to take some stills and then some video- it's home movie stuff, but i do want to film good quality.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:32 am 
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I've just published my fullre view of the FZ150 at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... DMC_FZ150/

Please keep any FZ150 specific discussions to the FZ150 official sticky thread though, and keep this one to comparing it and the GH2.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:04 am 
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Stingraynut wrote:
I'm wondering how to compare a video from GH2 with the new fz150- they both shoot the same high definition, but the FZ150 sensor is smaller - so I assume the video is not as good ? but what do I look for?


Actually, the HD video specs are slightly different--FZ150 shoots 60p and does so at a higher bit rate than a (stock/un-hacked) GH2--and when combined with the lens specs (or potential lens specs, in the case of the GH2), the result is slightly less cinematic (or more video/camcorder looking) footage with the FZ150. (i.e. you're shooting 60fps with a deep depth of field on the FZ150, whereas it's possible to shoot 24fps with shallow depth of field on the GH2.)

If that's not a concern for you, then the FZ150 seems like a fine choice.

Mark

P.S. when shooting video in good light, sensor size doesn't have a major affect on quality because the camera ends up downscaling to 1920x1080 (or less).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:16 pm 
hi, thank you all for this very useful discussion thread.

I was just going mad about finding a camera which has an external mic input and able to record 30+ video but compact and within budget. I was highly considering GH2 but its very expensive and practically I will not be using all those features. Is there any other ones that you can think of that has these same feature? (Mic & 30+min vid is must have)

How about shooting video indoor with FZ150 (not complete dark but in comparatively low light). Also one more time to be completely sure, will I be able to record more than 30 min video with FZ150?

I will be using this camera pretty much everyday to record video at least an hour. what do you guys think, how this camera will perform? BTW I am in US.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:40 am 
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Hi tapash, having a mic input AND more than 30 mins really restricts your options.

The FZ150 is the only one I can think of right now, but make sure you get a non-European model as those are limited to 29:59 per clip. I tested an NZ model and had it recording more more than an hour. See my review.

Obviously you could also use a camcorder with a mic input.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:05 am 
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The quality of a camcorder would be pretty comparable to that of a compact, the main difference is generally the ergonomics and the zoom. A camcorder would give you better ergonomics for recording video as opposed to on a point and shoot camera, which is designed for taking photos. A dedicated camcorder would (probably, but not in all cases) give you a broader zoom range. Camcorders also will have more manual controls for video, but that may not be the case for entry level, sub $400 camcorders.

Comparing the FZ150 and the GH2 is like comparing Apples to Oranges, you'll definitely benefit from the ability to exchange lenses, and the larger sensor will allow you to record with ease indoors and in low light situations. You'll also get a few other benefits that come with a larger sensor, such as the ability to defocus the background in your shot.

If you're looking for the best quality, I'd recommend going for the GH2. For something cheaper, lighter and will also allow you to take excellent photos, the FZ150 may be what you're looking for. A good compromise between the two may be a camcorder, but they're also more expensive and the quality won't match that of the GH2 or any camera with a larger sensor.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:56 am 
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The FZ150 is the only one I can think of right now, but make sure you get a non-European model as those are limited to 29:59 per clip. I tested an NZ model and had it recording more more than an hour. See my review.

Obviously you could also use a camcorder with a mic input.


Hi Gordon, Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate your hard work. Specially the external microphone test video. Very helpful and inspiring :)

I was thinking about a camcorder, but i also wanted to take nice pictures and my budget is also limited. So I think FZ150 is the best for me. I am not hard core photographer after all. I just need to make some regular video presentation for my references.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:32 pm 
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The FZ150 can do depth of field video- ie blurred background OR foreground

There are many fz150 vids on youtube, of varying quality- this one is 1080 50p and very sharp - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksDVLZ1- ... playnext=2

I'm trying to compare the GH2 video with the FZ150 but the varying quality of youtube vids, makes it difficult. I plan tol download Gordons vid tests.

There is an art to uploading high quality vid to youtube. Many tutorials say to render as .wmv but I find MpegII is better. In Sony vegas it renders 2 files, one video one audio .m2t and .m2t.sfl The way I test is to upload a still picture as a video in both formats-makes it easy to check for sharpness etc.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:49 am 
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Hey Gordon - I have watched all your FZ150 videos on Vimeo, plus some others. Your vids are stunning BTW, the zoom in on the boat in two vids -wow, it sells the camera -

http://vimeo.com/30000656

http://vimeo.com/29360195

It seems that the PAL version produces a sharper video - maybe this is because here in Australia, like NZ, the electricity is 100hz so is working with the frame rate of the display - or is 50p a better option?

I am trying to check the model numbers to find which are PAL - in UK I have seen FZ150EBK and the drop down menu in the contact form at Panasonic Australia shows FZ150GN-K at a RRP$799!!! Ouch.

I think the K is for Black and S for silver, not sure about EB or GN

What was the complete model number of your Pal version?


I have asked Panasonic about this, also. I want to avoid the European model because it has a limitation of 29 minutes continuous video, to avoid it being taxed as a camcorder.

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