|Canon 7D-Canon's 2nd DSLR incorporating HD Video|
|Filming Whitetails At Extreme Range; Canon Rebel T3i with 500mm F4 lens|
Since Canon didn't see fit to include a crop mode in its' newer cameras I bought a Panasonic GH2 last July. This camera features a micro four thirds (MFT) sensor, which has a 2X crop factor compared to 35mm and features a 2.4x crop mode much like the T3i, except that Panasonic dubs it "extended tele conversion mode". While this is an excellent camera in many ways, it has a major shortcoming for my type of wildlife filming in that one has to choose between using a wired remote or an external mike. Both use the same 2.5mm jack. Also if one uses an external mike they must use an adapter as mikes that terminate in a mini-plug ordinarily require a 3.5mm jack. One must keep close eye on the audio meters as it is easy for something to lose contact in this type of setup. This was rectified with the introduction of the Panasonic GH3 in late 2012 as this camera has separate jacks for the remote and the microphone and has a headphone jack as well, which is essential for monitoring audio during critical shoots. The microphone and headphone jack are the standard 3.5mm size on the GH3, while it uses the same 2.5mm wired remote as the GH2. Initial supply of the cameras has been very tight. I pre-ordered a GH3 in November and finally received it at the end of January.
|Panasonic GH3 With Canon 85-300mm F4 FD Lens|
|Panasonic GH3 With Canon 85-300mm F4 FD Lens-remote microphone and headphone jacks shown|
Hopefully we will explore the subject of lenses for these cameras in more depth in the future, but for not here are some photographs and one video segment taken with the GH3.
|Eastern Wild Turkey Gobblers: Panasonic GH3-Canon 24-105mmL lens-Redrock Micro Adapter|
|Mature Whitetail Buck: 200 yards distant- Panasonic GH3-Canon 85-300mmF4 FD lens|
Quality is really hard to judge from Vimeo clips, but I can tell little if any difference in quality between these clips on a large HDTV. I do think the extended mode holds up best at the more reasonable ISOs, with standard mode having more of an edge in poor light and with extremely high ISO settings. I need more experience with this camera to utilize its' full potential and find out its' limitations. At this point I don't think it is in the league of the 5D MK III once one gets over ISO 1600, but the MK III does not have the long range video capability of either the GH2, the GH3, or the Canon Rebel T3i.
Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.