A65 (A57) or Panasonic GH2

Started Apr 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: A65 (A57) or Panasonic GH2
In reply to theoldfella, Apr 10, 2012

theoldfella wrote:

Been asked by a friend who wants to upgrade which would I buy and I certainly dont have enough expertise to give a definitive answer! From what I know and have read they are both good cameras.

He has some basic photographic knowledge (so not just a p+s upgrader) but only shoots jpeg (no pp) and just wants to be able to get decent pics of the kids etc... with video clips. Would only be buying with kit lens for now.

Would appreciate any advice, especially from anyone who owns or has used both of them. Thanks

I agree with @Shield3. Before buying the A77, I was seriously considering the GH2... purely because of video control. My requirement was also for the kids (was tired of carrying an old FZ and camcorder to every school event).

At the end, there are only a hand full of enthusiast cameras that delicately balance the requirements of video and still... until the recent crop of Sony's came along, the only real choices were the micro four thirds (particularly the GH series). Yes, you sacrifice some picture quality for great video control and output... but there is always going to be some trade off (e.g. some of my Nikon mates swear by their superior pictures, but then they have traded off some video control and quality for better still output)

Watching the trajectory of the Panasonic G series of cameras, you can see that the picture quality has been improving with each successive generation... Last year I was eagerly awaiting the GH3 which, in theory was going to be the best balance between video and still... I got tired of waiting when I realised that I could live with the loss of some videography control in the A77 (which I believe strikes the best balance and makes the most reasonable quality trade offs between still and video today).

However, I still think that the speculated features of a still unannounced GH3 will make that the camera to beat for people like you and I, trying to straddle the video and still quality divide. Thus, if you can wait a month or two, I'd track the micro four thirds forum and see if a Panasonic announcement is imminent, and then compare that offering with the A57/65.

As @Shield3 has already said, if I were to make a decision today, based upon the available options, I'd still choose Sony. I think that both the A65 and GH2 strike a fine balance between the need to take great photographs and the need to film great video. I think that the GH2 gives one greater control over the final video output during the recording process, but for clips of Jimmy at the school swimming gala, there will not be much difference between them. However, you will see that the greater control over the video recording process afforded by the GH2 will result in better video of Jimmy's school play filmed indoors under poor lighting conditions. However, that needs to be counter balanced by the superior control and options over the photography process afforded by the A65 that will likely result in better Sony photographs under the aforementioned trying conditions.

Both cameras are about making trade offs. Most DSLRs take great video under studio conditions, but not under the random conditions thrown at you on the sports field or the school hall, where fast and detailed control over the recording process is important. Both cameras will not give you the best photographs of Jimmy singing "away in a manger" under candle light, but the Sony will give you the most in-camera tools to try to rescue the day without much post processing.

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