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post #1 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I'm having trouble deciding what to do, and I'm hoping all of you can throw some thoughts my way.

My current situation. I have budgeted myself ~$750 for a new Camera/Camcorder.

Current equipment...Panasonic PV-GS150 (3CCD) Camcorder
Kodak Easyshare Z740 5MP 10x zoom Camera

The camera and camcorder have served me well for the past 8 years, but they are getting a bit 'long in the tooth' so to speak, and we are looking to upgrade. Plus the Kodak is now eating through AA batteries like crazy!

I have been considering getting a Camcorder AND Camera. I initially wanted the panasonic x920 (to stick with the 3 chip sensor) but it is a bit out of my price range, so I have settled on the v720 as a camcorder. Now I need to find a decent camera. At current amazon and b&h prices, the v720 is sitting at $409. Which leaves me with right around $300ish for a camera. I'm sure I can find a good camera for that price. (edit: It looks like with the current/past sale prices, I could potentially pick up a V720 and an LX7 and stay within my budget...that sounds like a pretty good deal)

BUT, then my wife brought up DSLR cameras.

While I like to think of myself as an above average camera/camcorder user, I have never had the opportunity to use DSLR/Micro Four Thirds cameras. From what I have seen/read, they also take some amazing 1080p video. But my concern with those is, if I am taking a video, that I can't take a still picture at the same time. The v720/x920 both look like they can take a 9.4mp image while recording, but I'm not completely sold on the quality of a still image from a camcorder.

Can the DSLR/Micro Four Thirds cameras also take still images while recording? I see nothing on the spec sheets that I have read to indicate that they can do that, but maybe I am missing something.

My shooting conditions often involve low lighting, so the sensor size of the DSLR/MFT would be nice.

Obviously, I want to get the best quality video and still images for my money. If I can get one device that (reasonably) excells at both of those things, that would be great. so If you guys have any suggestions for devices or thoughts please feel free to throw them my way. My timeframe for purchase is within the next 6-12 months.


Thanks so much for any help!
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 08:05 AM
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I started reading here 3 years ago. Then there were a few camcorders that would shoot video at 1080p60 and store it on a universal SD card. Now nearly everything shoots 1080p60. Yes, there will be differences found by "pixel peepers", but nearly every camera on the market with any sales success will provide very good video picture quality on current TVs.

Your specific question about taking video and photos together sometimes does not always work if you have the camera set to taking 1080p60. It appears that the bit rate is high enough that the camera's processor is maxed out. If you really want to do that, read the fine print on any model you are interested in.

Cameras, even small ones like the LX7 take good photos. Camcorders like the 720 take photos, but not so good!

But, all is not lost! 1080p60 means 60 full frame shots every second. Software can easily grab any single frame. No, the resolution will not make it to poster sized enlargements. It will make viewable 8x10s. I have a few on my wall of my charming, athletic granddaughter frozen in the process of smashing a softball out of the park.

Regarding you specific question, "If I can get one device that (reasonably) excells at both of those things, that would be great.", I think you should look hard at the Panasonic FZ200.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

BUT, then my wife brought up DSLR cameras.

...I have never had the opportunity to use DSLR/Micro Four Thirds cameras. From what I have seen/read, they also take some amazing 1080p video. But my concern with those is, if I am taking a video, that I can't take a still picture at the same time.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-G6KK-Compact-Digital-14-42mm/dp/B00CFCTDD6/ref=sr_1_1/185-8971163-3877643?ie=UTF8&qid=1372028050&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+g6

Quote:
While shooting an HD video, simply press / touch the shutter button and the camera will shoot a photo with 12-megapixel high resolution as it continues to record your video*. This makes sure that you don't miss those decisive moments with either photos or videos, or both.

* The picture aspect ratio will be fixed to 16:9.
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/g6/video.html
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsprague View Post


Regarding you specific question, "If I can get one device that (reasonably) excells at both of those things, that would be great.", I think you should look hard at the Panasonic FZ200.

Good luck!

Looking at that FZ200, the 120 and 240fps modes look like they could be fun. I find myself (with my current setup) often times holding the camcorder in one hand, and the camera in the other, trying to use them at the same time.

On Panasonic's site for the FZ200, it says
Quote:
Still Image Recording: It is possible to take still image while recording video simultaneously*.

* The picture size is fixed to 3.5-megapixel (16:9).

Would it be possible for you to take a still image while recording something with your FZ200 and post it? I'd like to see the quality of the 3.5MP images. I'm guessing (because of the better lense, and larger sensor) the quality will probably be better than my Kodak. So I might be able to save myself a few hundred dollars by just going with the FZ200.

Thanks for your help baprague!
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xfws View Post


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/g6/video.html

WOW that g6 looks nice. The only thing that worries me is the lack of zoom. I'd have to get a lens, which would up the cost. But I'll definitely consider that!!

edit:

While looking at the GH3 (which is way out of my price range) I noticed that by the video section, it said
Quote:
Still Picture Priorities
•Images will be recorded with the set picture size and quality.
•Up to 8 still images can be recorded in video recording.
•The screen will go dark while recording images. A still image will be recorded in the video during that period, and audio is not recorded.

So, that sounds like while I am recording a video, I can only take a maxinum of 8 pictures until I stop recording. That doesn't sound very useful! Also, I noticed this on the G6 page.
Quote:
Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds in Europe and some Asian areas. Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4] is 29 minutes 59 seconds or up to 4 GB. You can check the recordable time on the monitor. (For [FHD] in [MP4] format, the file size is large and so the recordable time will drop below 29 minutes 59 seconds.)

I am in the US, so does that mean that AVCHD for me will be able to record for longer than 30min. If I chose to use MP4, will the recording just stop, or will it split the file and start a new one, (possibly with a few lost frames)?

Now that I know that the DLSR/M will take still images, I'm really leaning that route, but that 8pic cap seems kind of odd...
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

WOW that g6 looks nice. The only thing that worries me is the lack of zoom. I'd have to get a lens, which would up the cost. But I'll definitely consider that!!
That G6 kit does come with a zoom lens
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-G6KK-Compact-Digital-14-42mm/dp/B00CFCTDD6/ref=sr_1_1/185-8971163-3877643?ie=UTF8&qid=1372028050&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+g6

...and even has a zoom lever on the camera, which is usually reserved for camcorders.
The G6 can be controlled via a phone or tablet, including zooming.

Can shoot 1920x1080/60p and has focus peaking, something the GH3 doesn't have.
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 11:36 AM
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Hi pezgod - these are great questions. I applaud you for taking the time to read manuals before you make a purchase decision.

Only a few cameras can take high-resolution stills at all while recording video. The $1100 GH3 is one of them - but they'll be 12MP instead of full resolution 16MP stills - and, in still priority, taking stills while shooting video will briefly interrupt your video recording. In video priority, your video will not be interrupted, but the stills will only be 2MP.

The explanation from Panasonic's marketing website is better than the manual: http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/gh3/video_shooting.html

The only cameras that I know of that can pull high resolution still frames from video without interruption are wickedly expensive 4K cameras like the Canon 1D C, and the little Nikon 1.

That said, I usually switch my GH3 from video mode to still mode and take 16MP high res shots separately. It only takes a second - and my videos have no blanks in them that way.

As for the $750 G6 and the 30 minute limit - that applies to MP4, but not AVCHD.

Hope that is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
Panasonic GH3, GH2, GH1, FZ150, TM900 shooter
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brunerww View Post


Only a few cameras can take high-resolution stills at all while recording video. The $1100 GH3 is one of them - but they'll be 12MP instead of full resolution 16MP stills - and, in still priority, taking stills while shooting video will briefly interrupt your video recording. In video priority, your video will not be interrupted, but the stills will only be 2MP.

Thanks for a bit more explanation on that Bill!

xfxw, When I said the 'lack of zoom' I was referring to the fact that right now the lens on my kodak is 38-380mm equiv. The g6's zoom isn't quite that! That being said though...I'm sure a cropped photo equiv would still probably look better taking into account the higher quality lens and sensor! :-P.
Quote:
The G6 can be controlled via a phone or tablet, including zooming.

Panasonic needs to get off their behinds and make an app for Windows Phone 8 so I can use my Lumia 920 as a controller!!!! Otherwise, I'll have to carry around my hacked HP touchpad running android.


So now I think I'll have to spend some time researching the Z200 and the G6 as my possibilities. Since all of the pictures I print out right now are 5mp, I think I could handle a 2MP image...maybe.

From the G6 manual
Quote:
Pictures will be recorded with a picture size of(2 M). The picture
quality may be different to (2 M) of standard pictures.
• Only JPEG images are rec orded when [Quality] is set to RAW,
• Up to 30 still pictures can be taken during recording of the motion
picture.

From the Z200 Manual
Quote:
•Picture size and number of recordable pictures are displayed by pressing the shutter button halfway.
•Recording of motion picture will continue after taking the still picture.
•Recording is performed by the electronic shutter, so the recorded picture may appear warped.
•Pictures will be recorded with a picture size of [3.5M] (16:9). The picture quality may be different to
[3.5M] (16:9) of standard pictures.
•You can record up to 20 pictures per motion picture recording.

So it looks like the Z200's 'picture mode' let you take 20 3.5mp images while recording, but it will interrupt the video. to keep it in Video priority, they basically recommend playing back the video and taking screen grabs (at 2MP) in the camera.
The G6 will automatically take those 2MP stills while recording the video. So that's a nice benefit.

Bill, Are you able to take a small video and get one of those 2MP stills so I can see the quality?

Thanks so much guys for all your input!
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post #9 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

Bill, Are you able to take a small video and get one of those 2MP stills so I can see the quality?

Will do. it will be a few hours. It's about 3PM Pacific Time and I'm still at my day job.

Bill
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Haha! No worries. I'm not running out to the store today to pick anything up. I just want to make a decision and then be able to watch for sales!
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post #11 of 38 Old 08-01-2013, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm looking at some cameras here, and here are a few of the combinations I think might work (with things being on sale of course, because I have the time to wait!)

  • G6
  • FZ200
  • V720 + LX7
  • V720 + FZ60

The FZ200 with the f/2.8 at 24x sounds pretty nice. And I really like the high speed capabilities. I think that would be fun to play around with. But with that, I'd almost want to get the camcorder as well, and I doubt that'll drop into the $350 price range. as I haven't seen it drop to anything below $400 since It's been out. I've mainly been looking at the panasonic camcorders/cameras, because I really liked my camcorder. But I am more about getting the best for my money, so if anybody has any suggestions of other cameras, I'm all ears. There's just so many of them out there, and researching every one will most likely cause my head to explode.

Thanks again for everyone's help!!

Edit: Thinking out-loud now....

What if I downgrade my camcorder expectations to the v520....which would leave me about $400 to play with for a camera, and I could get the V520 + FZ200


Edit again: Still thinking out loud...can't deal with smaller sensor...strike that last thought! confused.gif
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post #12 of 38 Old 08-01-2013, 04:36 PM
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I would get the FZ200 myself if it had 24p and a focus ring. Currently I am debating the G6 as the next best thing, but really don't want to bother purchasing and swapping out the lenses. I guess I'll wait for whatever next FZxxx model will be hoping to get the features I want ;-)
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post #13 of 38 Old 08-01-2013, 09:11 PM
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My vote would be for the G6. Check out the customer reviews - this is the best hybrid still/video camera on the market below $995. If you need to get one right now, it will cost $799. If you can wait a few weeks, you should be able to get one for the $750 list price.

Here it is holding its own against the significantly more expensive GH3:





And here is the still image quality you can expect:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-g6/pool/


http://www.flickr.com/groups/2217639@N20/pool/


Cheers,

Bill
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post #14 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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That's some impressive videos and stills! Too bad that one doesn't have a high speed video mode. I know it's kind of gimmicky, but that would be fun to play around with. My father-in-law launches model rockets...the big ones i mean! His largest is just shy of 7 ft long. That would be really cool to shoot the high speed video of.

That being said, the quality of a 60p video of that would still beat the interlaced SD video of the gs150! So maybe the 120fps 720p video isn't really NEEDED.

Heavily leaning toward the G6.

I'm still trying to find some examples of those 2mp stills taken while recording a video though!

EDIT: Looking more at the G6, and I'm seeing some mention of a 14-140mm kit, yet I can't seem to find that one available anywhere. All I can find is a separate lens.http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/968587-REG/panasonic_14_140mm_f_3_5_5_6_ois_micro.html


EDIT one more time: I found the kit on amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-G6HEB-K-Compact-Interchangeable-14-140mm/dp/B00CI3ITEG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375471220&sr=8-2&keywords=panasonic+g6

But as I'm in the US, and that price is crazy, I guess if I decide on the G6, I'll have to stick with the 14-42mm
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post #15 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 05:00 AM
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Wait for the Canon 70D DSLR to hit the shelves.

The AF system sounds top notch, just remains to be seen how good the low light performance is.

@ B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/986391-REG/canon_8469b016_canon_eos_70d_dslr.html

The 70D will make great video, but a camcorder will not take great pictures.
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post #16 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

Wait for the Canon 70D DSLR to hit the shelves.

The AF system sounds top notch, just remains to be seen how good the low light performance is.

@ B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/986391-REG/canon_8469b016_canon_eos_70d_dslr.html

The 70D will make great video, but a camcorder will not take great pictures.

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

while I would love something like that, it doesn't quite fall into my $750 budget. But if you have any other canons that do, I'm all ears!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

while I would love something like that, it doesn't quite fall into my $750 budget. But if you have any other canons that do, I'm all ears!!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=898072&is=REG&A=details&Q=
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post #18 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 09:45 AM
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pezgod - The EOS-M that Mark recommends is a great value for the money right now, but if you are willing to look at Canon, and prefer to shoot your stills through a viewfinder, you may want to look at the $730 (bundled) Canon SL1 instead ($719 for the camera and 18-55 STM lens alone). Here is the video quality this camera can produce:





Of course, since it is a DSLR, the viewfinder blanks out in movie mode (unlike the G6), so you have to use the LCD to focus and frame your video shots, which can be problematic in bright sunlight (or you can buy an LCD loupe, as pictured in the video).

And, like all Canon DSLRs (again, unlike the G6), it has a 30 minute continuous video limit, so you can't set it up on a tripod and record a long event (e.g. sermons, speeches, school plays).

If none of this is a challenge for you, the SL1 is a great little camera (about the same size as the G6). My friends who own other Canon cameras love its compact size and compatibility with their existing lenses.

Cheers,

Bill
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post #19 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Film length limit is a killer for me. I need that length for school functions and whatnot.

I have decided I'd like to stick with the DSLM systems. I like the idea of the swivel LCD and being able to get the odds angle shots. I need to find a shop in the Cleveland area that sells Panasonic cameras. My local camera shop only deals with Nikon and Canon.

right now I'm thinking wither the G6 or, if I can somehow manage to get them both on a really good sale, the v520 and fz200.

I might even be able to push off purchasing these for a bit longer and get the g6 when the price drops before a new model comes out...but then I'll want the new model, and I'll get stuck in an infinite loop!tongue.gif
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post #20 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 10:22 AM
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lol its funny how DSLR videos are all about EXTREMELY SHALLOW DOF and close ups of flowers. That way it hides A LOT of its flaws and deceive the consumer. Its funny how people are deceived by increased contrast and blur lol

If you want to make real videos, a camcorder is the way to go. It has better image quality and its more confortable and easier to use. Buy a DSLR, you will use it for a month, then it will stay on your office in a corner, because you will see that once you start making real-life videos, things wont look good. Unless you want to BLUR EVERYTHING lol

A DSLR is a great backup camera for doing shallow DOF and low light videos, ONCE YOU ALREADY HAVE A GOOD CAMCORDER. Dont use it as your main camcorder. You will regret!
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post #21 of 38 Old 08-03-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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thedest,

thank you for a different opinion on this issue. I've been trying to think of the pros and cons of getting 1 device vs 2.

while I love filming and editing video, I find myself taking only pics about 75% of the time. So I'm trying to maximize my quality with my minimal (using the term very liberally) budget. I still have a TON of research to do before I feel comfortable making a purchase. So keep all the opinions coming!

thank you all,
pez
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post #22 of 38 Old 08-06-2013, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Every retailer that I can think of (and search for online) only carries Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras! mad.gif

Anybody have any idea of a retailer in the Cleveland Ohio area that carries panasonic cameras???
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post #23 of 38 Old 08-06-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

once you start making real-life videos, things wont look good. Unless you want to BLUR EVERYTHING
If you buy a reasonably fast lens you can close the diaphragm and you will get the same long DOF as most camcorders provide. It is all about the money and how many lenses you care to lug around.
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post #24 of 38 Old 08-07-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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New question...

I have narrowed what I would like to get to the following 3 options
  • G6
  • G5
  • V520 + lx7

So my question is:
Is the G6 a huge jump over the G5. From what I gather, the sensor is the same, but the image processor is different. I don't care about 1080p/24, and I'll probably be doing any video filming in AVCHD progressive so I don't have to deal with the time limit.
The price difference between the G6 and the G5 would be enough for me to get a 2nd lens. (there's this kit that looks pretty nice on amazon. G5 Kit with 45-150mm lens, 32gb card, battery, and other stuff)

Are there any other huge differences that would make you chose the G6 over the G5?


So, what would you guys chose?
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post #25 of 38 Old 08-07-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

New question...

I have narrowed what I would like to get to the following 3 options
  • G6
  • G5
  • V520 + lx7

So my question is:
Is the G6 a huge jump over the G5. From what I gather, the sensor is the same, but the image processor is different. I don't care about 1080p/24, and I'll probably be doing any video filming in AVCHD progressive so I don't have to deal with the time limit.
The price difference between the G6 and the G5 would be enough for me to get a 2nd lens. (there's this kit that looks pretty nice on amazon. G5 Kit with 45-150mm lens, 32gb card, battery, and other stuff)

Are there any other huge differences that would make you chose the G6 over the G5?


So, what would you guys chose?

Yes, there is a huge difference between the G6 and the G5 that would have me not get the G5: it does not have manual controls in video mode. Only automatic. If you want good video, you want manual controls in video - control of shutter, aperture and ISO. In video mode, the G5 is literally just a big point and shoot camera. The G6 has manual controls in video; so does the LX7 and the FZ200.
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post #26 of 38 Old 08-07-2013, 08:56 PM
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The other huge differences for video shooters are the external microphone jack and focus peaking. The G6 has them, the G5 does not.
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post #27 of 38 Old 08-08-2013, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Yes, there is a huge difference between the G6 and the G5 that would have me not get the G5: it does not have manual controls in video mode. Only automatic. If you want good video, you want manual controls in video - control of shutter, aperture and ISO. In video mode, the G5 is literally just a big point and shoot camera. The G6 has manual controls in video; so does the LX7 and the FZ200.

oh wow! I don't know how I managed to miss that one! Thanks!
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post #28 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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After looking at my options, I have decided to go with the g6. Now it's time to play the waiting game for a sale!

bill,

when you get the time, can you take a picture with your gh3 in video priority mode? I'd still like to see a sample of the 2mp image during filming.

thanks everybody for your input. I'll be sure to post a followup when I finally make my purchase.
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post #29 of 38 Old 08-10-2013, 07:28 AM
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pezgod - Congrats on your decision! In my view, at $750, the Panasonic G6 is the best still/video value for money in its class.

Sadly, Panasonic has underestimated demand again, and they are backordered at Amazon, Adorama, and even B&H. If you're in a hurry, and need the camera now, you can buy a refurb through Amazon for $685 (body only).

That said, I have an admission to make: I have not been ignoring you, but I had never used the "simultaneous stills and video" feature before and it took a while for me to figure it out smile.gif

But when I did, it worked pretty well, I thought.

I went out into the yard this morning and took a few short clips. Part of the reason it took me so long to figure out is that I had to use the dedicated movie button, something I almost never do.

Here is one of the clips. I took 3 stills in video priority mode while the video was rolling. There was no interruption of the video, and the 2MP stills aren't bad, at least on a small screen (please forgive the grey overcast summer morning - one of the few we have here in California smile.gif):







Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #30 of 38 Old 08-10-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome!! Thanks Bill!

Stock is not an issue. I'm not under a real deadline. Next few months is fine. The quality of the pics looks good enough for a 4x6, which is all I really print anyway.

thanks again for giving me a sample. I couldn't find them anywhere online.

also...grey overcast mornings is about 80% of the mornings in Cleveland....so I can handle it! tongue.gif
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