GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Started Feb 20, 2011 | Discussions
Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

I've owned the Canon 1Ds Mark II for about three years now, and I got the GH2 in December.

So, I did a studio shoot yesterday, which involved shots that eventually will be black and white portraits for the cast of my wife's high school musical (she's the teacher).

I took 99% of the shots with my 1Ds II, but I took about 8 shots with my GH2 just to see what it would do in a studio environment (I'm very happy with it as a field camera, but part of me wants to see if it's feasibly to entirely ditch my Canon gear...still on the fence about that).

These examples are not the best work (part of the 'safe boring headshot' that I started each student with...we then did much more creative poses, etc). But, they were the only two that were really comparable in pose, lighting, framing, etc, that I took with both my 1Ds Mark II with Canon 100L and my GH2 with Hexanon 57/1.2.

There's a small difference in how each camera renders colors (the 1Ds II is too strong in the reds, rendering them redder and more saturated than reality...the GH2 natively is a little closer to reality, but can have a slight bias towards greens. Anyway, they're modestly close here, and either can be made to match the other, so it's pretty much irrelevant.).

Full images:

GH2: Hexanon 57/1.2 @ f/4.5, ISO 160:

1Ds Mark II: Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS @ f/5.6, ISO 200:

100% crop areas of the face:
GH2:

1Ds II:

My assessment? It's pretty much a wash in this setting. Due to the darkness of the setting where I was prior to the strobes going off, AF on the Canon setup sometimes missed slightly (here it is biased towards the rear eye, but is still fine for a print)...of course MF with the GH2 was spot on. I could not have manually focused my 100L in this light accurately on the 1Ds II. Detail wise, they look darn near identical...in this shot, perhaps the GH2 is even pulling slightly more detail. Noise and tonal response look pretty darn similar too. Quite impressed. In a few other shots, there is less highlight headroom in the GH2 file, so the 1Ds II was better in this regard, but I was pleased with how the GH2 performed here.

In field shooting, the 1Ds II is about a stop better in high ISO noise control, and has a little better dynamic range and better noise control at base ISO. However, in print, they're pretty much indistinguishable. I prefer the GH2 in these cases just because of the HUGE reduction in weight. My GH2 with 7-14, 14-45, 20/1.7 and either a 40/1.4, 40/1.8 or 50/3.5 macro altogether weight less than my 1Ds II with 50/1.4.
--
--------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.jordansteele.com

JB Digital
JB Digital Regular Member • Posts: 236
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Good work thanks.
Jack

 JB Digital's gear list:JB Digital's gear list
Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 O.I.S
Kevin Peters Senior Member • Posts: 1,326
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

nice thanks! GH2 looks much better to me.

SterlingBjorndahl Senior Member • Posts: 2,185
My impression...

In terms of real-life image quality, pretty much any modern digital camera is plenty good enough given sufficient light to work with. I think you've demonstrated that admirably - the GH2 is a serious camera.

But when it comes to the extreme situations of Noise and DR, I think you've pointed out that today's top-of-the-line 4/3 camera has not quite caught up to where Canon was three years ago. I find that irritating, though I won't let it stop me from really enjoying my newly arrived GH2.

Sterling
--
Lens Grit

 SterlingBjorndahl's gear list:SterlingBjorndahl's gear list
Olympus Air Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 O.I.S +20 more
OP Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: My impression...

Considering the 1Ds II is still better than the majority of modern cameras, excepting the 1Ds III, 5D II and the Nikon 3Dx, I think I'll be satisfied with this type of performance. It's not a new camera, but it was absolutely the best of the best when it was new, and it still is competitive with pretty much anything out there. If m4/3 can equal the 1Ds II in all respects, I will definitely ditch my Canon gear and not feel the need for new cameras for a very long time. I've printed many prints in the 30-40" range from my 1Ds II, and they look amazing, even right up next to the print...I've never felt ANYTHING lacking in those images.

SterlingBjorndahl wrote:

In terms of real-life image quality, pretty much any modern digital camera is plenty good enough given sufficient light to work with. I think you've demonstrated that admirably - the GH2 is a serious camera.

But when it comes to the extreme situations of Noise and DR, I think you've pointed out that today's top-of-the-line 4/3 camera has not quite caught up to where Canon was three years ago. I find that irritating, though I won't let it stop me from really enjoying my newly arrived GH2.

Sterling
--
Lens Grit

-- hide signature --
LTZ470
LTZ470 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,926
Re: My impression...

Oh yea I am finding the GH2 matches or betters my 7D on many fronts...

petr marek Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Nice thread, thanks. I´ve sold my 20D after purchasing GH2, since image quality of GH2 was slightly better at any ISO, especially detail and color, with the same dynamic range. And Iso up to 12800 vs. 3200. And lots and lots of advantages... My good camcorder Canon HF10 also rests in peace since I use GH2...

SF Photo Gal
SF Photo Gal Senior Member • Posts: 2,228
Re: My impression...

I've found myself using my 5DII for studio/professional work over my 1dsIII almost to the point where I'm thinking of selling the later. But I've use my GH-1 in the studio and found it wasn't quite where I wanted it to be. And from what I've seen of the GH-2, it still falls a bit short of DR and high ISO for professional use.

Of course the GH-2 isn't priced anywhere near those two cameras so I wouldn't expect it to have the same performance.

SF Photo Gal
Canon 1DsIII & 5DII/Panasonic GH1-GF1-LX3

 SF Photo Gal's gear list:SF Photo Gal's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +10 more
ulfie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,299
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

A lovely smile and eyes far outshine the merits of either set of gear!

Joele Veteran Member • Posts: 4,633
Re: My impression...

SterlingBjorndahl wrote:

But when it comes to the extreme situations of Noise and DR, I think you've pointed out that today's top-of-the-line 4/3 camera has not quite caught up to where Canon was three years ago.

But your comparing to top of the line Canon, why not compare a more similar price range? Check DXO the GH2 has passed the 50d (though the 50d is 2 years older).. Actually coming from the 50d I am happy with the G2, and new it cost me less than half what the 50d did..

-- hide signature --

Joel - Pana G2, 14-45, 20/1.7, 45-200, K-A 50/1.2, CV 75/2.5, Oly 9-18, 150/2
My Gallery: http://www.eisner.id.au

 Joele's gear list:Joele's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +3 more
DocDerm Regular Member • Posts: 418
Thanks for a great post!

Well done!

I think you have demonstrated that an excellent photographer can use the GH2 and produce a fully competitive picture to that produced by the full frame camera.

Your results show that the little camera is capable of great results.....in great hands!
Thanks

DocDerm

2014imaging Forum Member • Posts: 85
Re: My impression...

SterlingBjorndahl wrote:

In terms of real-life image quality, pretty much any modern digital camera is plenty good enough given sufficient light to work with. I think you've demonstrated that admirably - the GH2 is a serious camera.

But when it comes to the extreme situations of Noise and DR, I think you've pointed out that today's top-of-the-line 4/3 camera has not quite caught up to where Canon was three years ago. I find that irritating, though I won't let it stop me from really enjoying my newly arrived GH2.

Sterling
--
Lens Grit

That is pretty much my thoughts; DR and ISO capabilities are likely to always be a step behind. And, with the APS-C performance continuing to improve, the gap is going to widen. Ultimately, m43 will just be accepted for what it is; excellent at lower ISO and when not in demanding lighting conditions. I have been on the fence for days as to whether I will get the GH2 and I have my GH1 on ebay. However, Sony a580 seems to be a better value and performance in the forgoing areas. I have owned several Panasonics over the past two years. I get them with knowing of their limitations and sell them because of their limitations.

Gavril Margittai Regular Member • Posts: 339
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Jman13 wrote:

I could not have manually focused my 100L in this light accurately on the 1Ds II. Detail wise, they look darn near identical...in this shot, perhaps the GH2 is even pulling slightly more detail. Noise and tonal response look pretty darn similar too. Quite impressed. In a few other shots, there is less highlight headroom in the GH2 file, so the 1Ds II was better in this regard, but I was pleased with how the GH2 performed here.

So detail wise they look similar, but work wise I prefer the Panasonic. Nobody is talking about one the most important aspect of a camera. The ease of taking pictures. The live view and face detection functions make the focusing a lot easier and more accurate. This is important even in a studio environment.

I am doing portraits in my home studio, and use fluorescent lights instead of strobes. I find it easier for me, and also less invasive for the non professional model especially children.

I put the camera on a ball-head tripod, set the LCD at the right angle. With my left hand aim the camera, set the zoom, and with the right hand press the shutter. All this while looking and talking with the model. Harder to do this if required to keep one's head in the viewfinder. Also camera is more stable on a tripod than hand held.

When photographing small children I do not need to crawl on the floor, I simply lower the tripod. When photographing from above, I don't need to bring in a ladder.

I use the viewfinder a lot, especially when working without a tripod. I find it more convenient for that situation. But reading these discussions on the forum I have the feeling photographers do not yet appreciate the freedom the tilt LCD brings, the live view and this whole new assistance the camera provides.

And I am not even talking street photography where it is simply priceless.

 Gavril Margittai's gear list:Gavril Margittai's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,174
You are forgetting that

this Canon has sensor that is 2,5 times the size of the panasonic sensor. So yes, despite its somewhat old fashioned technology, it is much bigger (and about twice the size of Canon APS-c sensors) than m43 sensors. This still gives better DR and high noise performance. We also have to say that the glass chosen for the m43 cam is of exceptional quality, so this is not possible for most users. I have a FDn 50mm 1.4 from Canon. This is really affordable but it won't perform as wel as this Hexanon lens. As a comparison with the 100L glass it is of course okay.

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +8 more
mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Very nice demonstration. Both cameras are excellent for this type of shot. The cool thing is that the GH2 could use your Canon lenses, your hexanon, and just about any other lens.

Thanks for posting this.

 mpgxsvcd's gear list:mpgxsvcd's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M5 II +5 more
Josegaut Senior Member • Posts: 1,257
My very humble opinion

There is more (I don't say much more, but more anyway) detail in the GH2 picture (particularly visible in the hair) .

Of course this may be due to the fact that you focused manually in one instance and with AF in the other, but the result is there : no big difference.

I also prefer the way the GH2 renders the colors, as well for the skin as for the pink clothes. Don't know which camera comes closer to the reality but I prefer the GH2.

Advantage GH2 here for me, and for that particular picture.

 Josegaut's gear list:Josegaut's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10
MindsEyePano
MindsEyePano Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

Hi All.

Thanks for this informative thread!

I am a full time photographer (since 1985) and have owned many systems over the years. I kind of see the GH2 with its superb optics as a modern version of my old favorite film Leicas. A sort of walkabout camera that's inconspicuous and easy to carry around when you don't want to schlep the big guns but still creates high quality images. I make large prints so the GH2 is the first 4/3 I consider useable for me. Still love Leicas but too expensive for a full system. I am starting to put together a GH2 based system. I have started buying the lenses. Don't have a body yet though I've tested one.

Not sure I will ever get rid of my Canons. I simply see this as different tools for different jobs. I conduct workshops and put attendees and myself in many lighting situations from landscapes in Arizona to wine cellars in Tuscany. My 5D II is capable of salable images at ISO 3200. I make large prints so can't go much higher ISO than this. Will be interesting to see how the GH2 does this May when I take my group to Tuscany (still have a couple spots open btw ☺ ) I will try to post some images from this trip since I will be shooting both the 5DII and GH2 in every kind of situation.

I would also be interested in seeing comparisons and impressions from others- especially those of you that shoot RAW.

Cheers,
Joel

-- hide signature --
 MindsEyePano's gear list:MindsEyePano's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony a7R II Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R +9 more
MNE Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: My very humble opinion

I figure that if you have to look at two images for more than 30sec, then the difference isn't really significant.

In this case, I agree that the GH2 did a better job with the girl's hair, but the cameras' performance otherwise was equal.

_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 2,672
Re: GH2 vs Canon 1Ds Mark II (studio)

I have some shots in my gallery between 800-6400ISO. I mean GH2 shots. You are welcome to have a look on how it performs in this regard. Here come two of them.

http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5042502915/photos/925844/p1030821-dpr
http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5042502915/photos/925842/p1030817-dpr
--
Vlad

 _vlad's gear list:_vlad's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 O.I.S Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 +5 more
jim stirling
jim stirling Veteran Member • Posts: 7,356
Re: My impression...

SterlingBjorndahl wrote:
has not quite caught up to where Canon was three years ago.

The Canon 1DsmkII actually came out in 2005 and 6 years is a very long time in digital development. It is not shooting at low ISO that tests a camera but rather shooting at higher ISO or in low light with murky shadows. The ability to shoot good shots in good lights is not an issue with any modern camera see this link for example.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml
Jim

 jim stirling's gear list:jim stirling's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Nikon D810 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +12 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads