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Thread: GH-2 for reportage

  1. #1
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    GH-2 for reportage

    For the first time, yesterday, I decided to cover a photographic opportunity with my GH-2 rather than my Leica kit (M8). I knew I would have to work in low light and I also knew that discretion as well as a sympathetic approach was necessary. Frankly, after years of struggling with the M8 in conditions that require iso800 and above I decided to leave it at home and take the GH-2 with my 20/1.7 and 45/2.8 lenses.

    I was participating in an interview with my sister, who is an author, who was gathering research for a book.

    My subject, Alf Morris, is 81 years old and a survivor of a terrible tragedy which happened in 1943 in the Bethnal Green area of London.

    You can read all about my subject and his extraordinary story at my blog.

    The biggest revelation to me was using the touch screen capability of the GH-2 to select the focus point and take the photograph. I was able to work very discretely without interrupting the conversation and without distracting the subject. I believe that the results could easily be used in print publications.

    The point? All this from a consumer camera which most pros would dismiss as a toy but which I believe contains features which will be demanded on all pro cameras in a few years - not the least being small size and portability.

    Once again, very amazed by this little camera.

    GH-2 45/2.8 iso1600 1/160 f3.2 - LR3->CS3->Lab/Soft Light->Nik Sharpener


    GH-2 20/1.7 iso1600 1/160 f3.2 - same processing as above

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Beautiful photos, Louis. I agree very much that the GH cameras are well suited for reportage/documentary purposes. I use the GH1 currently for similar assignments, and find that it outshines any other camera that I have for usability, and sometimes for image quality.

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Louis,

    Fantastic shots. The GH2 certainly has great resolution and clarity.

    You have concluded what I'd already surmised about the entire G series. That they are, indeed, awesome reportage tools. To me the schluck of the shutter is very unobtrusive. It's low in frequency and does not whine. The 20mm f1.7 and the 45mm f2.8 also make a great combo as they practically mimic, for me, the FOV of the Leica 35mm and 90mm that I loved so much when I had an M6 years ago. Plus the swing out LCD allows you to subtly keep an eye on your subject as you frame for interesting angles should you not want to keep the camera up to your face.

    One question, though. Does the 45mm focus faster than reports have been with the GH2 with its faster AF?

    P
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Senior Member M5-Guy's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Very Good,
    The GH2 seems to matured the G series IQ with the new sensor.
    This is a very capable camera, and, I too have enjoyed great results with the 20mm f/1.7.
    The finer detail is really there, in the hair, the skin.
    The tonality is great, You did a great conversion to B&W.

  5. #5
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Good to hear other people's experiences.

    I can't say I've registered if the speed of AF is faster or not. I have always been happy with the speed of the 45/2.8 except for in macro photography where both speed and ability to autofocus is sometimes poor. (I've still managed to pull off some awesome macro shots, though).

    Incidentally, given the comments elsewhere about the 'film mode' influencing the RAW images, I shot this with the camera set to RAW but the film mode set to Dynamic B&W. In LR I bulk changed the RAW images to B&W. I always use LAB space/Soft Light to 'burn' in my B&W conversions but apart from that I went with the levels chosen by LR.

    I too was pretty staggered at the detail revealed when I dialed in sharpening using Nik Sharpener (in CS3). Is that a great sensor, or what?

    I personally think that panasonic really do give you the rawest of RAW images possible. They always need a tweak of noise reduction and a tweak of sharpening. I do not plan to blow these up larger than the web so I was not too concerned about noise at iso1600. There is noise but I reckon further noise reduction work would all but eliminate it.

    LouisB

    PS Peter: your 'one year, one lens' project is inspiring. Well done. I wish I had such discipline.
    Last edited by biglouis; 27th February 2011 at 00:22.

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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    I would not dismiss a G-series camera as a "toy." Far from it -- I've been using my GF-1 at work for several months, and I want to add another camera so I can have a smaller, lighter, less obtrusive kit for general feature work. Image quality from the GF-1 is great up to ISO 800, and very usable at 1600. (BTW the latest Adobe raw processor using "Process 2010" does a much better job with GF-1 raw files at high ISO values. Very much worth the upgrade price for me.)

    I've been considering the GH2, or even the G2, since my wife won't be happy if I "borrow" her G1 on a more or less permanent basis. But I think I'll wait to see what comes out in 2011. Given all the new large-sensor compacts coming on the market, it looks like it'll be a good year.

  7. #7
    hawaiigent
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Still basically learning this little fellow here, BL.
    Incidentally, I finally scored a spare battery from Adorama ( even the sales guy said no we don't have and then oh wait we have a few and what is your credit card.....) and it is (presumably) on its way.
    Do I have too many cameras. Of course.But heck this one may be my carry anywhere machine and it is great FUN and that is priceless and cheaper than a Honda S 2000.... Movies in High Definition long takes and on that little SD card. They have come a long way in compression techniques. Still pictures, typical Panasonic good features, good eye screen vision, adequate ability to see stuff outdoors on the LCD screen, but that is not my preferred visual methodology, for some it will be critical, touch screen and all....menu works fine that way...
    GH2 and the 20mm 1.7make a nice package indeed. It is no, ah lets grab one incidental stocking stuffer, price wise, but it is a good value as a really easy to use camera,--no one need be a serious type to get the hang of its basics, plus when one gets into the 200 plus manual, it is loaded with a lot of "tricks'', as you have no doubt discovered..

    And oh yes, it also makes good photos!....

  8. #8
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiigent View Post
    I finally scored a spare battery from Adorama ( even the sales guy said no we don't have and then oh wait we have a few and what is your credit card.....) and it is (presumably) on its way...[/B]..
    I also managed to get one here in the UK this week. This is the first panasonic I have bought a second battery for. Means I plan to use it... a lot!

    LouisB

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Hey Louis... wonderful images and a fascinating story... I've been reading the full story on the memorial page. The first image in this thread is especially great. Is that resulting from Dynamic B&W film mode or a conversion? The tones and sharpness are fantastic.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

  10. #10
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Don

    Thanks for the comment. The answer is: I don't know. I will say that so far, the GH-2 has consistently produced very usable results, that get better with post processing. I felt the original RAW files needed punching up which is why I converted them in CS3 to Lab Space and applied Soft Light. No doubt, Nik Sharpener also strengthened the clarity. Bottom line, though, I have found the GH-2 files a lot easier to work with, so far.

    LouisB

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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I also managed to get one here in the UK this week. This is the first panasonic I have bought a second battery for. Means I plan to use it... a lot!

    LouisB
    Nice photos - also in UK but haven't been able to locate spare battery- may I ask where you got yours?

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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Nigel,

    Just got two spare batteries from Mathers.

    55 each plus 3.95 postage.

    Tony

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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Louis-

    Those are some pretty nice portraits. I also went to your blog, read up on the Mr. Morris interview, and looked at the rest of the portraits. I like them a lot. Well done. Enjoyed them very much!
    Armanius
    My Flickr

  14. #14
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: GH-2 for reportage

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    Louis-

    Those are some pretty nice portraits. I also went to your blog, read up on the Mr. Morris interview, and looked at the rest of the portraits. I like them a lot. Well done. Enjoyed them very much!
    Armanius, thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated.

    Louis

  15. #15
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Book launch: Hidden

    Another assignment for the GH-2, this time in a bookshop with typically awful lighting. In my opinion not as successful as my pictures of Alf Roberts (above) due to the requirement to create colour output. All taken at iso1600.

    Although these web-sized photographs are fine, I found controlling the sensor noise versus sharpness less than easy in LR3. Of course, I have no benchmark in terms of a comparable APS-C sensor camera to compare. Despite my misgiving, I sent these captures as larger, hi-res jpegs to the author's publicist who is compeletly happy with them and will use them for PR. So, in that respect, mission accomplished.

    BTW, this is the author, Miriam Halahmy launching her first book, "Hidden", which is in the young adult genre at the Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town, London.

    It is possible some of these will end up in newspaper and trade-print publications in the next few weeks.

    GH-2, 45/2.8 iso1600 f3.2 1/100


    GH-2, 7-14 iso1600 10mm f4 1/40(!)


    GH-2, 45/2.8 iso1600 f3.2 1/320
    Last edited by biglouis; 24th March 2011 at 04:03.

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