Darn you Jason Romero.....
Previously, I was content in separating my photography and filmmaking equipment into separate cognitive and physical categories. Still cameras took great photos, but they weren't fit for video work. Video camera took great video, but couldn't take exhibition quality photos. But then Jason had to destabilize that by posing a question about the latest generation of digital cameras.
It's a micro-four-thirds (MFT) DEVIL (digital electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) camera that happens to shoot fantastic 1080p video. I already own a MFT camera, the Panasonic DMC-G10 which I'm fairly pleased with -- especially because I can use all of my classic lenses on it with inexpensive adapters.
But what convinced me that the DMC-GH2 was the 95% holy grail was:
- External microphone in (albeit 2.5mm) with recording level bars and manual audio level controls. No live monitoring via headphones, though.
- 1080 / 24p recording. AVCHD at 24 Mbps (which is decent, same as HDV) onto SDHC/SDXC cards.
- No cap on video clip length, unlike the Canon EOS series. While a 10 minute maximum on video clips is fine for documentary / live action work, it doesn't work for ethnographic video where sometimes you want to document an entire ritual without pause, especially if you a filmmaker+anthropologist at the same time and can't operate the camera when taking notes.
- Flip out LCD monitor with touch screen. This allows touch-to-focus control and obviates much of my concerns about the SLR form-factor for extended video shooting.
- Seeing the test video clips (below). Wow.
Here are some clips on Youtube shot with the DMC-GH2. Click on the thumbnails to go to the full-size shots, and watch them in HD. Beautiful.
The DMC-GH2H (which has the HD-ready 14-140 lens) is sold out in the entire USA, except for some shady companies. I found out that it was readily available in Japan -- and even with the Yen at historic highs, it was actually $100 cheaper there. The DMC-GH2H kit with the 14-140 is Y113,000 or so.
Unfortunately, I'm going to Japan next week, which really means I have no excuse but to buy this.
Darn you Jason Romero, darn you.