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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2H 3D Digital Camera with 14-140mm lens
brand panasonic camera type slr professional colour black max iso 12800 megapixels 16 1 mp memory card slot secure digital model lumix dmc... Read More
brand panasonic camera type slr professional colour black max iso 12800 megapixels 16 1 mp memory card slot secure digital model lumix dmc gh2h kit g vario hd 14 140mm optical zoom 10x resolution 16 05 megapixels screen size 3 0 type digital slr camera color black ebay title panasonic lumix dmc gh 2 h dmc gh 2 k 16 1 mp digital slr camera black kit w 14 140 mm lens touchscreen no sdc string battery life display 320 images sdc string battery type and quantity list rechargeable li ion battery sdc Minimize
1 Review from Epinions.com
Apr 18, 2011
The Best of the New Breed of Cameras
Pros: Almost the same size as a super zoom, way better flexibility.
Cons: Be prepared to spend the big bucks, lots of things you'll need.
The Bottom Line:
If you are looking to step up your photography game without a lot of traveling weight or bulk, this is the camera for you.
I've been in the market for a 'better' camera than the point-n-shoots for some time. I have a few of those - the Canon SD770IS is perfect when you want something in your pocket, the Lumix FZ7 which is an older super-zoom but still works very well and the Lumix DMC_ZS7 - amazing zoom lens and perfect for a somewhat large pocket. But the little sensor just doesn't cut it in low light.
On the other hand, spending thousands for a DSLR only to leave it home in the camera case because it's too large and heavy to want to use is pretty much a waste. So I was excited by the new breed of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. (Each company and website has a different name for them, maybe one will really stick.)
Olympus and Panasonic support the Micro 4/3 standard for these kinds of cameras and they have taken the lead in terms of range of offerings.
The Panasonic cameras have gotten some flack on the various review sites for less than stellar noise performance, but their latest and greatest camera - the DMC-GH2, seems to have improved on this to the point where it competes easily with the APS-C cameras.
I won't try to restate the technical evaluation that dpreview finally did on this camera at www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicDMCGH2/ but I can give you some added information on accessories and other things. Overall I really like the camera and am pleased with the size and low light performance. But beware - getting all the bits and pieces to really take advantage of an interchangeable lens camera runs the total cost much higher than the price of just the camera alone. And I've only gotten one additional lens (I'm sure I'll get more later).
Note that I purchased the DMC-GH2H which includes the 14-140mm lens. Also, all the focal lengths are in mFT scale - double that to get the focal lengths you may be familiar with in full-frame 35mm cameras.
** Macro Lens** The 14-140mm lens focuses pretty closely, but the minimum field of view is around 3.25" (left to right, 4:3 aspect ratio). Fine for many things, but not enough for small flowers which I like to shoot. There is a Leica macro lens for around $1000 that fits, but I just don't take enough closeups for that. You can get a simple & cheap close-up filter but the color banding on most examples I've seen is pretty poor. What you want is an Achromat Macro lens that screws on the filter mount. Unfortunately, Nikon discontinued their highly reviewed closeup 5T and 6T some time ago and they're selling for $125-$200 on ebay. I bought the Marumi +3 achromat for around $70 - seems to be the only one readily available. It reduces the field of view to around 1.75" and the photos I have taken with it are very clean. It comes in a leather case that is a bit large, I'm currently looking for something smaller that is sturdy.
**Low Light** I've been quite happy with the camera at high ISO settings of up to 2500, haven't taken many at a higher setting. This is exacerbated by the lens which is f4.7 at 25mm, f5.5 at 50mm. (f4.0 at 14mm and f5.6 at 140mm are the limits). So I've purchased the 20mm f1.7 lens ($350 at vanns.com) which is roughly 3 stops faster. This means that around 8x the light gets to the sensor. This is an amazing lens - very tiny and a great all-around focal length especially for interior shots where a long zoom is unnecessary. Pictures taken with it are very sharp and the setup is really quite small. Not pocket size, but smaller than my super-zoom. Only problem I've seen is that it lacks image stabilization, which would have added a stop or two to the speed.
Panasonic just announced their X series 14-45mm lens which is around the same size as the fixed focal length pancake lenses. Power zoom only, which some may not like. A number of people have found the camera with the older 3x zooms unwieldy, which should be resolved with this lens.
**Battery**You can purchase batteries on eBay for this camera - I got a battery at PowerMart. The one I got worked fine despite the draconian warnings in the camera manual. Note that third party batteries won't charge in the Panasonic charger, which I found out the hard way. You can get chargers on eBay also, but that does make the whole thing rather bulky.**Case** No point in buying a camera like this unless you get a case that is no larger than necessary. I shopped around for some time before getting the CaseLogic SLRC201. It's perfect for this camera with this lens. The 20mm f1.7 actually fits in the side pocket, with various filters and close-up lens in the other side pocket. You can fit the camera, lens and lens hood (in the normal position) into the case just fine. Or you can turn the lens hood around on the lens and have space in the bottom for the charger, etc. Nice solid base so it stands upright quite well. Front pocket perfect for batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning supplies, card reader. Seems very sturdy and well padded.
**Memory Cards** I've been using Kingston SDHC UltimateX Class 10 cards with the camera ($20 at buy.com), they've worked fine. But I wondered if a faster card would work even better, so I purchased a SanDisk 8GB ExtremePro card for twice the price. It's supposed to go at least 2x the speed (they claim 45MB/s). No improvement in speed for still photos in the camera, I still have to evaluate whether or not movies are recorded any faster or whether my computer can read it faster in my SanDisk Micromate SD card reader.
** Other things** Panasonic charges a fortune for their brand accessories. Their remote shutter release is $50, I got one (including shipping) for $6 from eforcity that works perfectly. Make sure you insert the plug all the way.
** Flash ** The one built into the camera is fine for fill-flash outside, but inside it's weak (practical range is 10 feet with the zoom) and you can't do a bounce flash. The fully automatic Panasonic flashes are way expensive - $400+ for the top of the line DMW-FL500. I'm still waiting for some reasonable reviews on the Panny or Bower SFD926O which is only $130.
** Manual ** It's long (200 pages), not particularly well organized, and not particularly clear. Be prepared to spend many hours reading the thing, playing with the camera and trying the different settings out. I downloaded the manual onto my Kindle so I don't have to haul the paper when travelling. It's kind of hard to find, look at http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCGH2.PDF
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