Cichlids of Victoria is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: A great camera for aquatic video
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:16 pm 
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So this clearly is not in everyones budget, and I had to stretch mine to make it happen, but after about 6 months using my hacked Panasonic GH2, not only am I convinced it is the best possible video (looks like film) for under 10K, it is without a doubt an excellent candidate for fish videos, both in fish rooms, and in diving scenarios, though the later is limited by battery life. Primary reason is that hacked this camera is capable of noise free video up to ISO 3200 and beyond at 1080p 24 FPS or 720p 60 FPS, what that means is it can work in very low light and still be extremely high quality. In black and white you can push it all the way to ISO 12800 and it just looks like cool film grain. It also does very nice photos with a shutter speed as high as 1/4000th of a second. Anyways, I think it's worth mentioning this camera for it's superiority in low lighting, which can make all the difference when filming our fish. Oh, also it has in camera 80% speed to slow it down a bit which is useful with hyper aggressive Victorians ;) It also has the ability to touch the screen to focus very precisely on objects and the focus mechanism is the fastest out there so when you touch th screen or just have it on auto it focuses in about a 10th of a second.

I hate sounding like a commercial but the camera is amazing.

It's about $700 with a basic 14-42 lens (very sharp lens but feels cheap) if you get it on sale. or as cheap as $600 for just the body. I actually use mine mostly with a $30 adapter and old Canon FD lenses which can be as cheap as $10 each or as much as several hundred, but the $10 ons are very nice all the same. You lose all the auto functions for the lens including the really nice auto focus with the manual FD lenses but they feel great, and if you are old school you may prefer them, plus some of them have very high aperature allowing even more light into your camera, ie even better low light capability.

The last thing I will mention is the hack factor. There is a forum that is dedicated mostly to the hacking or the prefered word patching of this camera. It is all done very professionally, and many there are actually professional videographer/film makers. The hacks not only improves low lighting capabilities, but also greatly improves the all around quality and makes it look like film rather than video. There was even a national geographic recently filmed with a hacked GH2.

Hopefully someone was ready to plop down a few thousand for a Canon DSLR and I just saved you some money, and directed you towards the best camera you may ever own.

The end :wink:

Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:16 pm
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