Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shooting Video With Lumix GM1

When we were attending the Lower Hutt Chinese Line Dancers pre Xmas function last night, I have a chance to test out the video capability of the tiny Lumix GM1.

When line dancers get together, they dance and like previous years; I video their dances for Le General to post on Youtube :)

Through the years I have used various point and shoot digital compacts for the task. I started with Canon G7, then G9; G12, the Olympus E-P2; Nikon P7700, OM-D E-M5 and now the smallest of them all, the tiny Lumix GM1.

A line dancing sequence usually last for 2 to 3 minutes, instead of securing my camera on a tripod; I decided to do my shooting while walking around the dancers. It will be interesting to find out how much camera shakes the lightweight GM1 creates!

The tiny Lumix GM1 sitting on top of the small but study cast alloy Manfrotto table tripod.

Because of the tiny size, I decided I needed some form of camera support while videoing, it is just not comfortable to hold this small camera with out stretch arm/s for 5 minutes a stretch.  Since the dances go on almost continuously for half an hour, you are gonna end up with a very sore arm!

I decided to use my Manfrotto table tripod as a camera support, this was made possible by folding the legs straight, and the attached mini tripod became a mini monopod that you can hand hold (see picture below).

The tiny GM1 can deliver your video in either the AVCHD or MP4 format.

I have absolutely no idea what the AVCHD format is, I read that this is the "professional format" and that means NOT EASY to convert ;)  MP4 for me mate!

In the beginning of the video you will notice there are plenty of camera shakes, this was because I was trying my best to find the best way to level the tiny camera!  Believe you me, this small wonder is HARD to hold steadily for video!

Another small disappointment was the battery, after a mere 16 two minutes clips; the tiny power source decided to retire!  Oh well, a price to pay for an ultra compact body I suppose.  You really need at least two batteries for serious shooting ;)

This is a video grab from the line dancing clip taken with the GM1
What did I do after the juice of the GM1 ran out?

I switch to the much heavier OM-D E-M5, I tell you; immediately you realised how heavy it is compare to the GM1!

The video below was shot with the OM-D E-M1 with the compact 12-32 kit lens from the GM1.

Look like the exclusive 5 axis image stabilizer works better than the Lumix.. the kit lens from the GM1 somehow, was causing interference lines when I try and zoom during recording!

Famous Last Words..

I have been an interesting test, in reflection; from all the line dancing videos I shot over the last 5 years, the camera that gave the overall best result was the Canon G16! 

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