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Forced to use my GH2 as i broke the flip out screen on my GH4
  • What a klutz. I managed to drop my GH4 and break the flip out screen, while experimenting on a monopod. What a total dick. So, sent it back to be sorted (thankfully i've got great insurance) i'm hoping it doesn't take too long as i'm shooting in two weeks. So, dusting off the GH2, i have to say the image on the Moon T7 hacked GH2 still looks absolutely marvellous. The grain is there, particularly in low light, but so organic. Yes it doesn't have all the helpful features we now need (peaking, zebras, amazing time-lapse, 4k, curves etc), but the EVF is good and the image with Moon T7 is really really splendid. Will make the weeks go by still able to shoot lovely stuff. I remembered that the GH2 has a 'cine' mode. Forgot about that, never used it as we were all hung up on 'Smooth'.

    I've got Aunty Driftwood and Uncle Vitaly to thank for the fact that this auld camera still shoots lovely imagery after all this time. Much obliged.

  • 27 Replies sorted by
  • oh i forgot to mention... the skin tones are bang on, no matter what white balance setting i'm in...

  • I use GH2 for profesional low to mid rage work. Clients prefer the texture it produces, and it has an amazing vesatility. The resolution is fine, and the detail more than good.

    GH2 still rocks for proper 1080p work and the hacks make you grade quiet good. Finally all people se on 8 bit computer panels or TV .

    i use alexa and Red and my pesonal choice is GH2 for its not perfect almost film like texture. It has a randomnes that cant be achived with other sensors.

  • I did that to my new GH3 on tripod wheels :) last year. It took 5 weeks service received a new hinge. Good you still like your gh2. It may be faster now as its the same body parts Panas may have stock:)


  • how is the hacked gh2's image compared to the gh4?

  • There are many clips from both... What do you think?

    (I have a hacked GH2. It doesn't compare.)

  • The GH2, plus Vitaliy and Nick juices, is one of a kind hell of camera. I'm still buying things for that camera, i don't care if it's old: you can intercut with Alexa and Red (in situations where dynamic range is not the most important factor) and only very trained eyes can see the difference, and if you think about a specific look to resemble that cameras, and you don't want to color correct too much in post, the "looks" are just there :-)

  • The GH2 is fantastic with the hack. In comparison It feels incredibly contrasty and doesn't have the low light that the GH4 does, but it has a great look. The GH4 is almost ridiculously clean at 4k<2k and can be flat as a pancake without ruining the image.

  • I'm selling my gh3 but on the fence about selling my gh2. There's just a piece of history there I don't want to let go of ha.

  • Yes I sold my gh3 to fund the gh4. Loved everything about the gh3 but the gh4 is better in every way. Gh2 is not worth selling. For the quality you get, it's just worth keeping as a b or c cam.

  • What a sudden praise to our little beloved GH2. I'm not selling mine, actually I'll get another one.

  • I've got two gh2s last year too I'm loving them. Good to see it still rocks for some pros :-)

  • I still use a GH1 on a regular basis for a local TV show and it looks GREAT!!! It's a perfect little tool for the job. We actually have a higher quality than all the other local TV shows which use old TV cameras in studios. No one would ever know that i'm using such an old photo camera to do the show. :)

    I have the money to get a new camera but i've been holding off as I do more research. The GH4 is obvious, but I don't have the money to upgrade the rest of my gear to match just now. So i'm likely going to go with one of the 1080p cams. The A6000, A5000, NEX 3N, GX7, GM1, GH2, G6 and G5 are all on the list of options. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but coming from the GH1 and a 50D with ML RAW, i think the ease of use and post process are so important, more so than purely an improvement in image, which I think I get a very good image right now. Very low cost options are available to all of us now and it's a good thing. Even the GH4 isn't out of reach, tho you do need to consider all aspects of upgrading. Good times!

  • 1080p IMO looks better on gh2, than on the gh4. Very little artifacting going on.

  • does GH2 1080p MoonT7 makes better image than Downscaled 4K GH4 ?...dont put dynamic range on the mix for this one :)

  • @endotoxic from the results I've seen, I'd just say different. I prefer the cadence and noise characteristics of the GH2, but there's no denying the detail (note, not sharpness) and the tonality of the GH4 is immense.

    I think once the GH4 is hooked up to an external recorder, it will blow the hacked GH2 away. There's nothing, absolutely nothing that comes close to the value of the GH2 though.

  • @endotoxic not talking about 4k footage, properly downscaled in post, but in-cam 1080p from the gh4. Dynamic range makes no difference to me if I can't shoot at infinity or a highly detailed scene because of annoying artifacts. (If the result is dissapointing) It was not a swipe vs. gh4, which I have and love, but admission to the gh2 as a great camera. f.i. the pocket cine cam is just borderline acceptable IMO. It can have some bad color moire at times which can produce bad surprises.. With the gh2 the surprises are usually the other way around - positive.

    Oh, by the way.. one thing about the gh2 (not saying this isn't the case with the gh4, have not used it enough to have an opinion on that) is that highlights roll off rather pleasantly.. at least if you have been careful in exposure. There are many cams with greater DR that don't achieve that.

  • @RRRR about the highlight roll off´s, its an accurate description of one of the properties of Gh2 image. The random grain and the detailed image without sharpness. I have to admit that uncle @driftwood has achieved quiet an artistically comprehension of the color matrices in those patches. Its allot about the software also.

    But i have to admit something, for me its about a collection of good stuff. I will put my personal opinion on this.

    The sensor format its quiet interesting, since its Shalow depth of field is a perfect spot. Non super 35mm non 16mm, quiet more original 35 but little smaller. Can narrate quiet good on diferent apertures, and bokeh is considerably good enough for a proper composition. You see, you can walk with the camera and make focus quiet easy while separating the object. This was special on GH2 since it was 1.86 no 2x like the new sensors. Also proper 4:3 format sensor. I have a theory, I think APSC, full frame or 16MM doesnt cover the size of your functional retina inside your eye. M4/3 is more the size of it, so it creates more real life like DOF management. So lenses you use are more prone to exhibit more life like rendering. Its only a theory. Also the use of other bigger format lenses, makes you use the center of it, so you get the best character from the glass, while taking apart the edges where is more prone to failure, like chromatic aberration, coma, fringing, etc.

    A good implementation on the design of the Nmos sensor. I think here comes a little from the Art of lithography from Panasonic factory. They made something particular with GH2 sensors, i cant tell what. The noise it makes when the patch with moont7 its applied its something special, very random BUT with uniformity. Remember to use iso 160 to iso 400 NEVER MORE. Its the sweet spot for this cameras. GH1 was only iso 200. This little "problem of iso range" for some ones is a bad thing, for me is a RULE that makes you expose properly on camera and use the light with intelligence when making the cinematographic approach to your scene. Also the trick of under exposing the sensor to -2 exposure compensation make the highlights roll of a sweet spot!!! you can lift on post a little and you will be amazed the detail you can extract from shadows.

    The mirrorles factor and the size weight, makes it a 1080p 24p monster in disguise. NO artifact at all, very detailed information. Even when pixel peeping the character of the aliasing it produces kinds of blends with the overall texture.

    this part if For @murph100 Cadence is also special when properly applied the shutter at 40. It just renders THE LOOK of film. The way it behaves its not like canon or nikon, more like alexa like, even red doesnt have that ghosty special movement from cinema. When you put shutter 50 or 60 you ruin all, looks like video badly. This cadence is only achived when proper movement from operator, never to fast, just follow action and its pretty ok. Its like it makes you narrate the action with care, pretty much force you, and when you kind of find it... its amazing the easy it becomes to make proper footage!!! So folks want to make shine your footage put shutter 40!!!

    Also its 8 bit color reproduction with driftwood patch is amazing like i said artistically interpretation of the color matrices. All this running under a more open implementation of its management software, Kudos to @Vitaliy_kiselev !! for this, all would be just at its 30% potential.

    Lovely GH2 i must admit i have made the best images with you, how could i not love you :)

    for all of this GH2 has pretty incredible value. "unmatched". its cost its low, and that is the special shit about it.

  • I definitely think that 'out of the box' the Moon T7 hack + GH2 combo just makes nicer images than the GH3 ever did. If exposed correctly, it just looks great, with minimal correction needed for skin tones. Its super contrasty in all the picture modes so obviously much less forgiving DR wise. The GH4 however makes spectacular images, and gives much more flexibility in post. Its almost ridiculous how noise free down sampled 4k<2k looks, how sharp but still organic. I'm looking forward to getting my GH4 back but in the meantime i'm enjoying getting a few more lovely shots out of the GH2. One thing though - Moon T7 has obviously always been demanding on data rates and the SANDISK 95mbs is still the only reliable card i've used on it (with a fail once in a blue moon). I tried a Transcend U3 card and it couldn't keep up at all. I'm assuming the Transcend cards aren't going to cope with 200MBS 1920 x 1080 HD on the GH4 either but i'm generally shooting 4k and downsampling anyhow.

  • Just dug out my GH2 again as my GH4 is all rigged up for a shoot and again i'm blown away by certain things the GH2 has which the GH4 just doesn't quite match.

    Colours out of the box - are just nicer, truer than the GH4. GH4 always needs to be corrected for its saturation levels.

    Setting white balance almost doesn't matter on the GH2, auto works ok, but if you get it a bit wrong skin tones still always seem great!

    Smooth -2 across the board. Is a nice subtle profile with a surprising amount of highlight protection.

    Although the dynamic range of the GH2 isn't up to the GH4, generally highlight rolloff feels nicer, more of a graduation. A blown window seems to be quite acceptable on the GH2, on the GH4 its a hard edged white shape.

    The larger sensor of the GH2 (multi aspect 1.85x crop) and the use of the full image for the HD means that there is more shallow depth of field so my Dog Schidt 58 with a speedbooster looks very very super 35 in terms of separation foreground and background defocus.

    Resolution on Moon t7 hack is awesome, but clearly not 4K!

    Apart from that clearly the GH4 is amazing in every other way, but its interesting to see how good the GH2 was and still is.

  • Although the dynamic range of the GH2 isn't up to the GH4, generally highlight rolloff feels nicer, more of a graduation. A blown window seems to be quite acceptable on the GH2, on the GH4 its a hard edged white shape.

    This is what my eye is continually drawn to in almost any GH4 footage I see.

    edit: PS> GH2 + Speedbooster = not quite 2mm bigger than Super35 which is funny because there are APS-C sensor cameras marketed as "Super 35" that are only about 3mm bigger than the GH2!

  • @nobbystylus I also shoot my GH2 smooth with all -2, except try setting Saturation at 0. Colors come out better to my eye.

  • Guys, I may be a bit off topic here but needed a lil help with lensing options for my GH2. Within my budget should I consider the new 14-140mm (3.5-5.6) or a couple of dedicated pana lenses(14mm, 60mm and 300mm) for good low light results?

  • Depends on how low the low light situation is, but I shot a lot of night stuff recently using lenses that went down to f 2.2 and f 2.4, and I was on ISO 1600 and ISO 1250 a lot. With that you may often have a bit of noise. It worked great for the look we wanted, but if you don't want any noise it's better to get lenses that are faster (f 1.7 etc) so you don't have to bump the ISO so much. Also bring lights whenever possible. I got some great results with a few of those $35 LED160 lights you can get on Amazon - they run off AA batteries and are pretty decent. There's also good lighting options on this site's deals, starting at $44. Here's link-

  • What matt_gh2 said. And also what level of noise is acceptable to you. I shoot indoor concerts professionally with my 2 GH2s and a G6, and I want the footage to be as clean as possible. I shoot with primes only, f2.0 of faster, with the exception of the Sigma 30mm 2.8, which I rarely use these days because of f2.8.

    When I first started out I shot with kit zooms at f3.5 or f4, around ISO800. Results were definitely usable. So it all depends, what level of result is acceptable to you.

  • Thank you so much @matt_gh2 and @LiquidAlpinist. I think I will go with faster primes. I will def pick these lights up too....economic and useful :)