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Thread: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

  1. #1
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    Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    First post on this site so hope this is relevant for this section. I'm wandering if someone can answer a very basic amateur question. That's why I thought I'd try 'Amateur Photographer' I suppose!

    I currently have a Canon SX20 IS compact (well I did want a GH1 at the time but didn't have the funds!). Now I have a bit more cash I'd like to get something decent. I'm attracted to the GH range as I like the idea of good quality video (fast quiet auto focus) to go with good stills (so chose these over a D7000 for this reason).

    I'm thinking of getting the GH2 with the 12-35mm lens. Does anyone know if the step up from the Canon is likely to be so huge that a further step up to the GH3 might not be worth the extra cash for me. I'm no pro just want a decent camera for a California trip this year for indoors, landscapes and video (family stuff). Or should I just invest in the body over the lens? (maybe GH3 with the 14-140mm lens).

    Would be interested in your views. Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Go for the GH3 - but consider the very similarly performing GX1 with the compact 14-42 power zoom as well.

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Ok if you used a SX20 then you experienced 20x zoom. Did you use it alot or even every so often?

    See the upside of the cameras like the GH2 and GH3 is you can still get reasonable zoom with light kit.

    I'll try not to get too complex.

    But all cameras are measure against 35mm film technology in terms of focal length.

    So your SX20 could go from 28-560mm (on 35mm film equiv).

    Now the GH2 are micro four thirds. So they have 2x factor. That means you need 280mm to give back a view of 560mm (35mm film equiv) .

    So a lens of 14-140mm gives you 28-280mm (35mm film equiv). Bit shorter than the SX20.

    But if you feel you don't need the 560mm or 20x zoom range then you should look at a lightweight dSLR as well. But need to know it will have a optical view finder which is different to your SX20 and the GH2/GH3.

    Best thing is find a store stocking say a Nikon D3200/D5200 and the GH2/GH3 but raise the issue of longer focal lengths and how the camera feels and weight. To get a D3200/D5200 to give 560mm it has a 1.5x factor that means 373mm or probably a 400mm. That might be a expense lens.

    PS:AP have reviewed the GH3. http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk...dmc-gh3-review
    Last edited by P_Stoddart; 21-02-2013 at 13:11.
    Time travel is possible, it's called photography.

  4. #4
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by P_Stoddart View Post
    Ok if you used a SX20 then you experienced 20x zoom. Did you use it alot or even every so often?

    See the upside of the cameras like the GH2 and GH3 is you can still get reasonable zoom with light kit.

    I'll try not to get too complex.

    But all cameras are measure against 35mm film technology in terms of focal length.

    So your SX20 could go from 28-560mm (on 35mm film equiv).

    Now the GH2 are micro four thirds. So they have 2x factor. That means you need 280mm to give back a view of 560mm (35mm film equiv) .

    So a lens of 14-140mm gives you 28-280mm (35mm film equiv). Bit shorter than the SX20.

    But if you feel you don't need the 560mm or 20x zoom range then you should look at a lightweight dSLR as well. But need to know it will have a optical view finder which is different to your SX20 and the GH2/GH3.

    Best thing is find a store stocking say a Nikon D3200/D5200 and the GH2/GH3 but raise the issue of longer focal lengths and how the camera feels and weight. To get a D3200/D5200 to give 560mm it has a 1.5x factor that means 373mm or probably a 400mm. That might be a expense lens.

    PS:AP have reviewed the GH3. http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk...dmc-gh3-review

    I think the OP is trying to distinguish between a GH2 and GH3 - not find a DSLR that performs the same as his compact.

  5. #5
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Thanks all. Yes, I have considered the implications of losing the big zoom capabilities of the Canon but will I miss it...I'm not so sure. When I look at my zoomed photos, they are alway's a bit grainy, not very sharp and the video is hard to keep steady. I'm thinking I should just move a bit closer to the subject instead!

    As, thornrider says, it comes down to a straight GH2 GH3 decision (with the right lens combo) and I have written off full size DSLR (just because of size and video capabilities). I like the compactness and the video quality of GH2 and GH3 but I understand the GH3 is a better low light performer (noise free indoor stills without using flash would be great) but would the GH2 offer such an improvement on the Canon that the extra cash for the GH3 would only make a small improvement. It's all about gain per buck I suppose! I'm pretty sure I'm starting from a low point!

    Had considered the GX1 too but as an alternative to the GH2 not GH3....passed on it after a lot of consideration.

    Would be great to afford a GH3 with the pro 12-35mm lens but would have to go with the good 14-140mm. Thornrider would you choose that over the GH2 with the 12-35mm lens?
    Last edited by Photo Yoda; 21-02-2013 at 15:22.

  6. #6
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    You get better low light performance from the GH3 it also got weather sealing.

    Here specs comparison. You need see if the improvements relate to your shooting.

    http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasoni..._Lumix_DMC-GH2


    What about the G5?

    http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasoni..._Lumix_DMC-GH2
    Time travel is possible, it's called photography.

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by P_Stoddart View Post
    You get better low light performance from the GH3 it also got weather sealing.

    Here specs comparison. You need see if the improvements relate to your shooting.

    http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasoni..._Lumix_DMC-GH2


    What about the G5?

    http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasoni..._Lumix_DMC-GH2
    Yeah have been on that site. Good for comparing specs but not photo quality etc. Suppose what I am really after is an answer to my original question and that is:

    GH2 with 12-35mm lens (F2.8) about 1200 OR
    GH3 with 14-140mm lens (F4-5.8) about 1400

    The total price of these two combos is about similar but which combo would be better choice/performer (particularly low light)...the cheaper body with the expensive lens or the expensive body with the cheaper lens.

    I have a feeling I'm not going to get and answer to this one!

  8. #8
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Yoda View Post
    Yeah have been on that site. Good for comparing specs but not photo quality etc. Suppose what I am really after is an answer to my original question and that is:

    GH2 with 12-35mm lens (F2.8) about 1200 OR
    GH3 with 14-140mm lens (F4-5.8) about 1400

    The total price of these two combos is about similar but which combo would be better choice/performer (particularly low light)...the cheaper body with the expensive lens or the expensive body with the cheaper lens.

    I have a feeling I'm not going to get and answer to this one!
    Well with the GH3 kit you get alot more focal length at the top end.

    The low light performance of the GH3 and GH2 is similar. GH3 as abit more.

    As I said what about the G5?
    Time travel is possible, it's called photography.

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Yoda View Post
    ....but which combo would be better choice/performer (particularly low light)...the cheaper body with the expensive lens or the expensive body with the cheaper lens.
    If you get the expensive body with the cheaper lens, you can always upgrade the lens later. If you find you are taking more indoor shots and don't want flash, you can always buy a fast lens specially for that purpose - maybe a fixed focal length f/2.8; as an example Sigma do 19mm and 30mm f/2.8 lenses for around 100 each
    Chris M (NRIPN) says: "Too many cameras, too many lenses......."

  10. #10
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by P_Stoddart View Post
    Well with the GH3 kit you get alot more focal length at the top end.

    The low light performance of the GH3 and GH2 is similar. GH3 as abit more.

    As I said what about the G5?

    Hmm...I have now just revisited the G5. Looks like that might be a good bet too....maybe that and the 12-35mm lens. Just saw a comparison of GH2 with G3 and they were very close in terms of photo/video quality although GH3 had the edge on video and was more easily customisable for the enthusiast. I'm thinking the G5 will be an improvement on the G3 and I'm not likely going to need fast custom settings...so G5 it might be.

    Also G5 'body only' seems to be widely available outside of ebay whereas GH2 body only is not so widely available.

    Hmmmm....think I might be getting there....thanks!

  11. #11
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Save some money and go for the G5..
    My flickr https://flic.kr/ps/2g5eDa

    Photography derived from the Greek photos- for "light" and -graphos for "drawing

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by J H Foto View Post
    Save some money and go for the G5..
    Yeah...think I'm going down that route now. G5 initially with the power zoom 14-42mm lens then buy a 12-35mm when I'm in the states in August where I assume it will be a bit cheaper (and then ebay the 14-42mm maybe).

    Only trouble is looking at the G5 has led me to the Sony NEX6! That one seems to have better low light performance but the AF isn't as hot.....more thinking and research me thinks! Maybe I need to start a new thread G5 or NEX6!
    Last edited by Photo Yoda; 23-02-2013 at 16:31.

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Yoda View Post
    Yeah...think I'm going down that route now. G5 initially with the power zoom 14-42mm lens then buy a 12-35mm when I'm in the states in August where I assume it will be a bit cheaper (and then ebay the 14-42mm maybe).

    Only trouble is looking at the G5 has led me to the Sony NEX6! That one seems to have better low light performance but the AF isn't as hot.....more thinking and research me thinks! Maybe I need to start a new thread G5 or NEX6!

    No, I think your ok.

    G5 looks cheaper than the NEX6. I have to say the NEX6 EVF is higher res at 2.3 to 1.44.

    The extra low light performance is only around 2/3 of a stop from the NEX6.

    One thing I do like about the G5 is can do 60 second exposure for blur effect shots.
    Time travel is possible, it's called photography.

  14. #14
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    Smile Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    I am delighted with my G5, look in the exhibition thread or Flickr for results...
    My flickr https://flic.kr/ps/2g5eDa

    Photography derived from the Greek photos- for "light" and -graphos for "drawing

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Yoda View Post
    I assume it will be a bit cheaper (and then ebay the 14-42mm maybe).
    See another thread live today with a guy who bought a new D7000 and then an eBay secondhand 16-85 Nikon lens. The lens has gone sour on him and he is having to send it back. Be careful - but it's your money. Since this is a current lens and not a difficult to find discontinued classic why risk it ? You will have no UK importers guarantee and after shipping costs and customs duty may finish up paying more.

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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Quote Originally Posted by thornrider View Post
    See another thread live today with a guy who bought a new D7000 and then an eBay secondhand 16-85 Nikon lens. The lens has gone sour on him and he is having to send it back. Be careful - but it's your money. Since this is a current lens and not a difficult to find discontinued classic why risk it ? You will have no UK importers guarantee and after shipping costs and customs duty may finish up paying more.
    Think you misunderstood...i'm going to buy the 14-42mm with the camera (in a bundle) then once i have the 12-35mm i'll sell the 14-42mm on ebay. In top notch condition...if you are interested lol!

  17. #17
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    Thought I'd just update this thread for info. In the end I opted for the G5 with twin lens kit (14-42mm and 45-150mm). I'm really pleased with it. Huuuuuge improvement on my SX20. It's just so nice to get some very decent photos easily.

    Just trying to work out how to use it properly so I can get the most out of it (using a bit of Aperture priority mode even!).

    I'm going to replace the 14-42mm with the 12-35mm lens for the holiday and in a couple of years perhaps upgrade the body to a GH series camera. The G5 is going to be great to learn with though.

    Thanks for all the input people.

  18. #18
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    I have been using the G5 for a couple of months now and I an delighted with its performance. I also use 14mm 14-43mm 45- 200mm and 100-300mm lenses..
    My flickr https://flic.kr/ps/2g5eDa

    Photography derived from the Greek photos- for "light" and -graphos for "drawing

  19. #19
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    Re: Upgrade to Panasonic GH2 or GH3 advice

    I use my nikon slr whenver I can as the dynamic range and range of top quality lenses are just invaluable. But, it's bulky and heavy, and for street shots, which I am doing more and more of nowadays, it's just too conspicuous. So, I use a g3 with the Panasonic 20 1.7. Tiny bit soft on the corners, but tack sharp everywhere and even shooting wide open is decent. Superb as wide open as 2.0. I can use it in most light levels and get sharp shots without being noticed and started at.

    I have the kit 14-42 also, which is still decent, but most of my recent shots on my flickr link in my signature are with the 20.
    Please have a look and tell me what you think....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/46180527@N03/sets/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/46180527@N03/sets/

    Ta!

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