Why M4/3?

Why should you use a Micro Four Thirds camera for event filmmaking?

From one of my early posts about why I chose Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras:

Even unhacked, I feel that the Panasonic GH2 is a great choice for event videography. Get the right lenses on it, and it’s just incredibly versatile, and its no sweat to operate more than one of them at a time, because you never have to worry that the clip is about to end – you can just shoot.

Now, I could see myself buying into a full-frame DSLR system someday, to use as a B-cam and to do photography with, because it’s not always about ease-of-use. I shoot a lot of artistic shorts, and the more bokeh-licious those are, the better. When it comes to shooting wedding cereomies and receptions though, I need compromise. I need a camera I can shoot with and know its going to get the shot every time, with easy-to-use focusing aids built in, and an interface designed to let me nail exposure before AND during the shot. I need good monitoring, and I need a light-weight package that above all costs less than the competition. When you put it all together, the only A-cameras I can see myself using at weddings are GH2s. And I haven’t even touched on all the little perks:

– 80% slow-motion at 1080p: just enough to make slowing them down further in Avid a breeze, and a bit dreamy as-is – and no workflow headaches!

– The EVF saves me money and it just works (no rigging, no HDMI), but you have perfect 1080 HDMI output for when you do want to monitor.

– The built-in audio limiter is actually a god-send. Get clean audio in a quiet room, and no distortion when you’re right up in the dance at the reception. Ambient audio in any situation.

– Easiest camera to balance on a Glidecam – It’s smaller and lighter than Canon DSLRs.

– The histogram and REC Highlight (basically 100% Zebras) make getting exposure easy.

– Much more intuitive buttons and menus than Canon, and 3 programmable function buttons!

– Autofocus on some lenses doesn’t suck! Of what I’ve used, I consider the AF on the Olympus 12mm F2 and the Panasonic 14-140 zoom to be usable.

– It’s sharp. Very sharp. Brides LOVE sharp – I’ve heard this from many people who have seem my videos (“It’s so clear!” they say).

GH2 Resources:

From another early blog post. Follow the links to find out where I go when I have questions, want to buy gear, or just want to be part of a community.

What’s the biggest GH2 video specific community? – That would be over at dvxuser.com. There are threads about everything – and it was the birthplace of the hack. If you are looking to participate in some great discussion or get a question answered, go there.

Where should I buy GH2 rigs, gear and accessories? I would recommend Jag35.com – They build rigs that are compatible with the GH2, and are cheaper than a lot of the more expensive stuff out there. Now, the only Jag35 product I currently own is the DFocus, but I love it and I’m definitely considering buying more rig parts from them in the future. Other mentions go out to CinevateindisystemCPM Camera RigsIkanKesslerLetusEdelkroneZacutoSmallHD and RedRock Micro. All of these companies have online stores where they sell great gear – at a variety of price points. Make sure to comparison shop!

How do I set up my GH2 and get started using it? Look no further than EOSHD’s GH2 Shooter’s Guide. Lots of great info in there, and it’s all well thought out. It’s word is not law, but it will get you started down the right path for sure. It costs $29.99 but it is worth every penny.

I want to read about cool thing going on in the filmmaking world in a great blog, where do I go? Well there are a lot of blogs out there. Some of my favorite places to go looking for a good read or some information are: Daniel Freytag’s blogPhilip Bloom’s blogShane Hurlbut and Vincent La Floret‘s blogs, CheesycamEOSHD, Danny Lacey’s great Tumblr page full of videos, ShootEditLearnPlanet5d, and sometimes even Video Copilot.

I want to watch a bunch of videos made on GH2s so I can see what is possible with these cameras – where do I go? Right here: Vimeo Groups. This groupthis group, and this group have the most members. There are tons of videos, and even forums and discussions going on. Immerse yourself in creativity – it will unleash your inner creative.

Where do I go to find out what is on the horizon for Micro Four Thirds? I’d say check out 43rumors.com – over there they catch wind of every rumor and keep you posted on the newest reviews and news about m4/3s cameras, lenses, and accessories.

I need to adapt some crazy lens to my GH2? Go here, this guy sells great adapters. http://www.ebay.com/sch/ciecio7/m.html

I need to use Canon lenses on my GH2, and I want aperture control? Get this Redrock Micro adapter.

I need to power my GH2 for longer than a single internal battery can handle? Some options: Use DV style batteriesuse this battery grip or this other battery gripuse a Jag35 battery or use a pro battery. Now that you know what’s available, the choice is yours.

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