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Customer Review

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GH2 vs. 7D for video, February 26, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2KK 16.05 MP Live MOS Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Lens (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Camera)
What is better, the GH2 or the 7D? I have both cameras now and here are my Pros and Cons:

(1) BODY DESIGN/FORM FACTOR:
GH2 is flimsy, buttons are harder to push, and it seems like a point and shoot on steroids. Although, LCD swivel touch screen is fantastic and Electronic viewfinder eliminates the need for an LCD eye piece. Focus is easier to accomplish is a shorter amount of time.

7D is built tough, weather proof, much larger and seemingly more durable. So it will work in the rain, in the snow, and in the desert. Buttons are easy to find, settings are fast and simple to change. Although, no swivel screen for odd angles, need a LCD eye piece to maintain good focus.

Winner: GH2 - the LCD touch swivel screen and EVS is unmatched -- just don't drop the camera.

(2) LENS SELECTION:
GH2 can use almost any lens you can think of as long as you have the proper adapter. And now with the tele-zoom function, you can even use those old school C-Mount TV lenses. Only problem is that everything is then manually controlled and there are not many wide angle lenses for cheap.

The autofocus lenses are useful in run-and-gun shooting environments. Although, the native autofocus lenses are very limiting and often horrible in low light. The 14-42mm kit lens is a better investment than the 14-140mm lens. For the money, the 14-140mm is a rip off.

7D has a better selection of powerful canon glass that it can electronically control, but no autofocus during video and even though there are many lens adapters for the 7D, it doesn't compare to the amount of options the GH2 has.

Winner: GH2 - once you get over the crop factor, the GH2 gives you more lens options.

(3) AUDIO:
GH2 has manual control over audio, albeit only four levels to choose from. You also get audio bars during recording. But the audio input jack is only 2.5mm, so you need an adapter to connect most mics to the camera.

7D has auto gain control, which means you have no manual control of the audio and no bar levels to monitor it.

Winner - GH2 - no brainer.

(4) FRAME RATE OPTIONS:
GH2 is only good at 1080(24p) and 1080(60i), the rest sucks balls. No PAL.

7D is good at almost everything. 24p, 30p, 25p, 60p, -- you name it, 7D has got it.

Winner - 7D

(5) VIDEO QUALITY:
GH2 is AVCHD 24mbps, has less moire, aliasing, and rolling shutter.

7D is MOV 48mbps, can have awful moire, aliasing, and rolling shutter.

Winner: GH2. This is a tough one cuz the 7D has proven itself in Hollywood. If the environment could be tightly controlled, the 7D would be the winner. But I shoot run-and-gun with no control over my environment so I trust the GH2 over the 7D -- if the lenses were the same.

(6) STILL IMAGE:
Winner: 7D -- no contest. The Panasonic LX5, a point and shoot, can give you the same images the GH2 can. That's bad.

CONCLUSION:
I'm keeping both the GH2 and the 7D, but if you can only get one, get the GH2. It's more bang for your buck.

The GH2 is better for run-and-gun shoots where I cannot control my surroundings. It's small, easier to conceal, and I don't need a lot of accessories to get proper focus and audio. The still image quality sucks, but it's better than nothing. This is the perfect documentary camera, travel camera, all-purpose hybrid camera.

The 7D is better for controlled environments where I have time to set lights, mess with dual audio or if taking good still images is important. If I'm shooting a narrative film or music video, the 7D is my camera of choice.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 27, 2011 9:53:33 AM PST
Carol Stee says:
The GH2's 4/3rds 16mp sensor is over five times the size of the 10mp LX5's 1/1.63" sensor so I would expect the GH2 to have better IQ, but you say their still images are the same. In what way is the GH2's image quality bad?

Posted on Feb 27, 2011 10:35:33 AM PST
DSLR Shooter says:
The 7d doesn't record in 60i...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2011 11:23:29 AM PST
Jeff Aski says:
Obviously, I am exaggerating when I say it's "bad" -- the GH2 is still better than many, but in run-and-gun scenarios, which is what I base this opinion on, the pictures you get from the GH2 using the stock lens vs. the LX5 is too close for the price difference. Now compare the LX5 to the 7D in those same scenarios and you'll see a giant gap. It's expected. So I am a bit shocked when I take random quick shots from my more costly GH2 and they look no different than the shots I take with the cheaper LX5.

Am I an amateur photographer? Yes. Shouldn't the GH2 be better than the LX5? Yes, but my experience says it's not. Now put the 20mm f/1.7 pancake on the GH2 and that might be a different story. But the cost of the pancake is almost the same price as the LX5.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2011 11:26:33 AM PST
Jeff Aski says:
Good call. I mixed up 30p at 29.97 with 60i.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2011 7:05:23 PM PST
DSLR Shooter says:
60i is rubbish most of the time anyways. Love your comparison by the way, I have both cameras as well and agree completely.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2011 6:11:31 AM PDT
Shama says:
Great Candid and honestly written review! Fun to read as well! How would you compare the GH2 to say the camcorder TM-700? I've seen gorgeous stuff out of both.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2011 11:10:24 AM PDT
Jeff Aski says:
The TM700 is fantastic, but I still favor the GH2 over most consumer camcorders. As long as you have decent lenses, the GH2 is a Swiss army knife for the intermediate and pro. The TM700 is designed more for entry level, since it shines in it's auto mode. The only gotcha with using a GH2 as a camcorder is focusing. Auto focus on the GH2 can't beat a consumer camera's focus in auto mode, but it's sure getting close. If the GH2 had a peaking function and better native lens selection, then it'll really be unstoppable as a camcorder.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2011 6:02:08 PM PDT
Really? Do you realize all broadcast TV you watch is 60i?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 10:22:54 AM PDT
Gorifyny says:
"7D has audio gain control, which means you have no control and no bar levels."

Is this what you meant to say?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2011 2:31:13 PM PDT
Jeff Aski says:
I should have said that. You worded it much better. I said the AUTO gain control means no control, but I see now how confusing the wording is. Thanks for the comment.
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