Monday, July 11, 2011

Future Camera Now

I had a look at the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) system a while back. Back then, I wasn't interested in shooting video, and the bodies I looked at required composing using the LCD screen on the back of the camera, which is not ideal outdoors in bright sunlight.
Panasonic GH2

I'm now having a serious look at the Panasonic GH2.  I think that more than any other camera today, the technology and ergonomics of this camera represent the future of digital imaging.  It's small and light, two very important characteristics for travel and adventure (hiking, biking, climbing) photography and videography.  One thing I learned climbing Mt. Everest: it doesn't matter how good a camera you have if you can't take it with you.  My Nikon D7000 is great, but it's bulk and weight meant I couldn't take it with me to the top.  Weight is important for obvious reasons, and bulk affects the view of my feet and body position when climbing as I use a chest pouch to carry the camera.  Less weight and bulk means a slimmer, less intrusive profile with the chest pouch. I probably wouldn't be able to carry the GH2 to the top of Mt. Everest either, but the weight and bulk is significantly less than the D7000. 

Shooting video is something new to me and  After seeing the video that my sherpa, Jamling Bhote, shot of me on Mt. Everest (video at bottom of article), I've become interested in doing more.  There's information on a moving picture that just cannot be conveyed in a still image.  In a still image, you could get a sense of speed, wind or movement, but other things, like how it feels or intensity of the moment are more difficult.

The D7000 does shoot video, but it's not as straightforward as Nikon marketing would like you to believe.  First off, the sound quality sucks, so you'll need to buy an external mic (which I have done).  Secondly, because you are forced to use the LCD on the back of the camera to compose, there are limitations in bright sunlight, and you may need to use an add-on LCD viewfinder (like a Zacuto Z Finder) which adds significant weight and bulk to the DSLR setup.  Ok, you get the idea.  It's doable, but with the added complexity, cost, weight and bulk, the whole setup is too much for travel and adventure.  Sure, you could argue that the image quality I'd get from the D7000 vs. the GH2 would be higher, but since I haven't got the GH2 (yet), I can't counter that argument (yet).

5 comments:

Samual said...

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fluff said...

Oh my god, you are so cool!
I also want to do all these things.. so far, i have done some =) but in terms of techinical expertise, i am still falling short. Must keep fit but I feel so lazy on weekdays.
Anyway, glad to see fellow Singaporean doing well. All the best!

Ken said...

@ fluff: Thanks for the encouragement :o) I don't know if I could day that I was doing well, but I sure feel lucky to have been able to do what I've done and to continue to be able to do all the things I like to do!

john Smith said...
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john Smith said...

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