Sony A55 or Panasonic GH2?

Started Sep 24, 2010 | Discussions thread
TheKingArthur New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Sony A55 or Panasonic GH2?

There is a forum section devoted to the GH1 on dvxuser and just based on posts it is the 7th most popular section, much more popular than most of the specific video camera sections;
http://96.30.23.131/forumdisplay.php?s=0612c2ae52e7fb03b674a5e0cdc136a4&f=175

There is also a sticky thread specifically on the GH2 model and why it is the best camera for video in the author's opinion, which is already 51 pages long. Not bad for a product not available to the public yet. This certainly does not give exact statistics on the number of still cameras used for pro video, but it definitely demonstrates there is more than just a casual interest.

I am video/visual effects guy and I can tell you why I have become interested in purchasing a FF / APC-S / m4/3 still camera for video, and there are many more reasons than just the sensor size. I currently own and use a Pansonic HVX200 which was an awesome camera at the time I purchased it, however it could use some improvements. Recently I was looking into adding on a 35mm lens adapter to increase the versatility of the camera. However for the price of the lens adapter alone I could purchase a Sony A55 or Panasonic GH2, with a kit lens and some accessories.

For half the price of Panasonic's new interchangeable lens m4/3 camcorder body only, I can build a GH2/A55 rig with a decent lens that exports uncompressed HD video over HDMI to a flash/hdd recorder and also records quality audio. You cannot buy a dedicated video camera for under $3k that has interchangeable lenses, records up to 280Mbit/s uncompressed HD footage, and has a sensor as large as m4/3 or APS-C. They don't exist. But using a GH2, A55 or even for a little more money (and a few headaches with workflow) a Canon or Nikon DSLR, you can build a video camera rig that does all that for a fraction of the price. Put a prime lens and an uncompressed flash/hdd video & audio recorder on a GH2, and you could capture a far better image than any similar priced $6k dedicated video camera, probably better than most video camera setups costing $20k or more.

My HVX200 has a limited compressed bitrate, doesn't have interchangeable lenses, has a smaller sensor, can't take quality stills (which is very useful for effects like matte painting and motion graphics), records to outrageously expensive P2 media, and it cost around $6k a few years ago when I purchased it. $3k is a very enticing price for a significant video upgrade. I don't care what brand a camera is or what it is 'supposed' to be used for. I care what it is capable of doing within my budget. Any indie filmmaker or low-medium budget production house is going to be looking for the same thing; best bang for the buck. Using still cameras that also shoot video has become a very realistic option for many professionals.

tbcass wrote:

kurth wrote:

And in response to your comment above , you obviously aren´t aware of dvxuser.com where thousands of shooters, ....uh, video-shooters are using on a daily basis the gh1 in professional environments along with the 5dmkll, the 7d, the 550d, etc. These ¨real¨ video cameras you´re talking about, the ones pros would be using if one was a professional, don´t start having sensors this size until they cost $50,000 !

I went to that site and there is no indication that "thousands" of serious and pro videographers are using still cameras for video in any serious way. The vast majority use real video cameras. Most on that site use small sensor HD video cameras. As far as $50,000 for larger sensor video cameras. Sony has one now with an APS-C sensor that sells for about $2000. Panasonic has a 4/3 model for about $6000.
--
Tom

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