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Archive 2012 · video focus on GX1

  
 
chrohrs
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · video focus on GX1


I recently switched from an old Canon Rebel XT to a Panasonic GX1. It's great. However, I'm a little confused about how video works. Two questions:

1. Can I control the aperture? I think the answer is no; it appears to shoot wide open.

2. Can it refocus during shooting? I think the answer is only with the Panasonic "HD" lenses, which I don't own. I've noticed that the camera sometimes highlights faces with yellow boxes, presumably so I can manually focus.

So far I've been shooting with the 20mm and 45mm primes. While great for still photos, the apparent lack of refocusing and shallow DoF makes them challenging for video. I suppose I could always buy a slower HD lens, like the PZ 14-42.

Do other mirrorless cameras (and SLRs) have these limitations? In particular, what about the Olympus E-P3?



Jan 11, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · video focus on GX1


The video features on the GX1 are far more sparse than on something like the GH2. With native lenses, you can't control aperture. You can refocus, though. Just half press the shutter while recording. (Make sure continuous focusing is off in the video menu, though, or it will just do continuous focus the whole time.)

The GX1 has excellent video quality, but is not the camera for extreme video control. In micro 4/3 land, the GH2 and GH1 are the came to get for video. Amazing control, quality and options, including full control over ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and framerate...even slow motion and speedup capability and the option for external microphone usage. The Gh2 is probably the best HD video among all mirrorless AND DSLRs.



Jan 11, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · video focus on GX1


And of those two go for the GH2. Low light on the GH1 causes noticeable funky banding - hack or not. GH2 has noise typical of all other 4/3 sensors but no banding. GH2's are selling for about $700 new, body-only, in your area right now.






Jan 11, 2012 at 06:49 PM
curious80
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · video focus on GX1


From your post I am not sure if you want the camera to continuously refocus during the video or you just want to refocus when you need. I believe both are possible as jman's post already indicates. And it should also work with the non-HD lenses. However if you want continuos refocusing then keep in mind that the 20mm lens is a relatively slow focusing lens and at least my GH1 was unable to refocus it fast enough if there was a relatively quick movement. Plus the focusing sound is loud on that lens which can get captured in the video. The HD lenses focus silently and quickly which is why they are more suited to video. However I believe the 45mm 1.8 and new 25mm 1.4 are also pretty quick focusing.


Jan 11, 2012 at 08:17 PM
chrohrs
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · video focus on GX1


Thanks, everyone for the responses. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong: you can't just tap the shutter button. Rather, you need to hold it down until focus is achieved. And that can take a while on the 20mm, as curious80 correctly points out. (Indeed, the 45mm seems a touch faster and quieter.) As an alternative, you can tap the screen on your desired focus point, which can also take a while.

Continuous focus seems to be completely separate. (Thanks for point this out, Jman13; I didn't realize there was a menu setting.) You can still force refocus by holding the shutter button. This can be useful, because there sometimes there seems to be a bit of a delay in continuous focus.

Refocus and continuous focus are independent of the focus mode selectable through the AF button: face detection, 23-point, pinpoint, 1-area, etc. all seem to work. The AF tracking one is interesting, as it shows you the current focus box continuously. However, that doesn't actually change the focus unless you hold the shutter, tap the screen, or have continuous movie focus on, as described above.

It is a bummer that I can't stop down the aperture, but being able to focus really helps. Looks like I don't need a new camera or lens unless I get really serious about video.



Jan 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM
chrohrs
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · video focus on GX1


One more question: does anybody know if image stabilization ("OIS") helps with video?


Jan 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · video focus on GX1


If you are handholding, yes, it will make a fair amount of difference. If you are shooting video tripod mounted, you may actually be worse off with OIS on.


Jan 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM





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