Electronic Lenses for your GH1 / GH2 or AF100

One of the most often asked questions is about the types of electronic lenses that work best with the m4/3 sensor. People are typically are worried about the crop and getting wide-angle lenses. Adapting non-electronic lenses to the GH1 or GH2 is simple, since these cameras have a very shallow flange depth and no mirror, there are adapters to almost every lens in existence.

Crop – In terms of sensor size, the GH1 and GH2 in 16×9 video mode is equivalent to a 1.85x crop compared to a similar lens mounted on a 5D. A Canon 7D/60D/T3i are all a little over 1.6x crop. This crop factor only makes sense if you either come from a 35mm still photography background, as the sensor in the GH1/2 is close to a 35mm cinema camera frame size. Nonetheless, it does help factor in the difference in FOV when using the lenses on each camera.

Low Budget
1. 14-42 MegaOIS 3.5-5.6 – Daylight walkaround lens $199
lens1

For people new to DSLRs, or not converting their old lenses to m4/3, this may be one of your first lenses. The 14-42 is cheap, has excellent stabilization, and will work fine in most daylight situations. If you need a zoom that covers the typical kit range at the typical kit-lens speed, this is your choice.

2. Convert your old FD/Nikon lenses – Adapters range from $25-$300 on amazon and eBay but be cautious as some of the cheaper adapters have fitment issues with lenses being too lose or so tight you can’t even remove the lens!

3. Panasonic 20mm f1.7 prime – $399
lens2

This lens is optically fantastic from 1.7 to f16. For those that like to keep an electronically controlled prime on their cameras, you really can’t do any better than this little lens. One minor drawback for serious film work is the electronic focus. Other than that, this is a fantastic lens.

Mid Budget
1. Panasonic 14-140 Mega OIS f4-f5.8 $849
lens3

If you are looking for the overall best midrange superzoom for your AF100, GH1 or GH2, this is your best option. The Mega OIS implementation is one of the best video IS modes I’ve ever seen in a still lens. For others looking for instant quiet video-style autofocus, this lens is your only option. It is not the fastest lens in the world, but for its range and speed it is a truly excellent lens that should be in all m4/3 owners camera bags

2. Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 $599 – m4/3 adapter $169
lens4

A step above the 14-42, this is a regular 4/3 lens which means in order to adapt to a m4/3 mount camera you need an adapter like the Panasonic DMW-MA1 which usually sells for around $169. The nicest feature of this lens is that it is the closest to a constant prime you will find in these focal lengths. The only feature its missing is image stabilization.

3. Leica 14-50 f2.8-3.5 $899 – m4/3 adapter $169
lens5

A fantastic zoom lens …

Canon 7D, 60D and t2i Video Zoom recommendation list


Going back to October 2009, I released a recommended zoom list for the Canon 7D. Here is the 2010 Update for all of the Canon crop cameras

Wide:
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX
Tokina
Why: Still the best wide-angle constant aperture zoom lens
Why not: Hard to find in EOS Mount


Normal:
Tamron 17-50 VC f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF)
Tamron
Why: Great Price with rebate right now, not limited by EF-S mount for future camera use (reason why Canon 17-55 is not recommended, though it is a better lens)
Why not: Varying build quality from lens to lens
Alternate: Purchase without VC to save a few dollars



Telephoto:
Budget

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 II EX DC HSM Lens
Sigma 50-150
Why: Lens is just as sharp as 70-200 for video, great price for a 2.8 constant aperture telephoto zoom lens
Why not: No Image stabilization

Better
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Canon
Why: Classic lens that has been superseded by the newest version of the 70-200. IS works very well. EOS mount means that you wont be limited by camera body choice in the future
Why not: Expensive for just video purposes



Maybe we will have a few more choices next year, but for this year, the picks remain the same. When the next next 5D has a crop mode, you will be thanking me that you didn’t purchase any Canon native EF-S lenses, as the lenses above will all work perfectly on a cropped full frame sensor.

Hacked Panasonic GH1 vs the world

It is now late 2010. We’ve seen all the new HDDSLRs (vDslrs) for the year. As usual, we continue to see the same old problems come up in new models, and even other new problems arise as well. Here’s why the Hacked GH1 is still your best bet.

Hacked GH1 vs GH2

Admittedly we’ve seen very little sample footage from the new camera. But what we have seen hasn’t been encouraging. Even though the bit rate has been increased and the codec has been fixed, the samples that are available show the following:

1. Codec falling apart in pans

2. Crippled HDMI by blinking record icon

3. Serious amounts of edge enhancement

Sure, these may be fixed in the retail model come December, but at this point don’t count on it.

Hacked GH1 vs Canon 60D.

The 60D is a perfectly viable choice if you don’t have the cash for a 7D.  The image quality is good, and is exactly the same video picture that is present in the t2i, 7D and 5D. That is to say, in 1080p mode your really only getting a little better than 720p resolution, and compared side-by-side in video mode, all of the Canon cameras look blurry compared to the Hacked GH1.

Hacked GH1 vs Nikon D7000

Again we’ve only seen a few samples from this camera, and 2 years after the D90, Nikon has finally caught up to Canon in resolution, and moire. The D7000 and the 7D are very similar looking in video mode, which is great for Nikon to catch up, but there is certainly no reason to upgrade to this camera for it’s video function over say a Canon t2i. (We are not talking photography specs here, video modes only)

Hacked GH1 drawbacks

The GH1 has no been around for over a year, and people know things can get pretty ugly.

– In the dark, FPN takes over the picture and makes it unusable outside of Neat Video.

– There is no hacked Live Video monitoring option as of yet (not holding my breath that it will ever happen)

– Audio input into the GH1 is a joke, but I think it’s insane that people would try to use the camera alone for EPK stuffs anyway

– No Digital Aperture control for whiny Canon EOS and Nikon G lens owners

Still, even with these drawbacks, I dare you to compare the 1080p and 720p modes of the hacked GH1 to any other still camera available today.

Oh and I expect the AF100 to walk on water and perform all sorts of miracles, but for that we still have to wait a few months, unless Panasonic sends one our way for testing.


Toy Chest Episode 4: Metal Gear Solid vs Power Rangers: Dinozord’s Demise

Red Ranger in Dragon Shield

Creative Info: To further development on the series, I began taking the series out of the “fake commercial” box I set initially and turned it into episodic content. For that, I thought it only natural to bring in other big names to the series. I felt the most opposite crossover for them was Snake from MGS. His tactical stealthiness would clash quite nicely compared to the loud, flashy combat of the Rangers. Plus, him seeing the ridiculous zord transformations for the first time would be fucking hilarious. I also had the chance to discover the talent of SpeedRacerFiber who is another YouTuber and voice actor that happens to have one of the most hilarious Snake impressions ever.

MGS vs MMPR

Braggarts Corner: I posted on GameTrailers as well and it was an instant smash with the community, going so far as to be chosen as Featured Movie of the Week.

User Movie of the Week
User Movie of the Week

Toy Chest Episode 3: Power Rangers Ultrazord Banned Toy Commercial

Power Rangers Toy Theater

Creative Info: The third episode of our Power Rangers toy spoofs. This is where I start to cross over into gaming territory. Imagine the Green Ranger as a spoiled WoW jerk who hates being told he’s wrong, trying to operate his zord with PC video game controls while having the Red ranger school him like a little bitch over Vent or Teamspeak.

Technical Info: I shot this while experimenting with my vintage Iscorama 36 anamorphic lens, which is what causes the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, organic lens flares and unique oval bokeh.

Episode 3