Panasonic GH4k

As I mentioned before, I went ahead and pre ordered the Panasonic GH4. The specs are pretty amazing and the $1699 price tag makes it one of the most attractive 4k camera offerings on the market. However not many people have had their hands on the camera, so the Panasonic GH4 is still a little bit of an unknown. I’ve only seen anecdotal statements about ISO and image quality, but it’s been enough to tempt into the Panasonic world. Would I recommend you start selling off your current gear to pick up a GH4? Probably not, but if you already have a camera and the time and budget to take a chance on a second camera, go for it.

Panasonic 12-35 or Olympus 12-40

I’ve only ever played around with the Panasonic Gh3 and Gh2 on a few random shoots. Because of that I haven’t looked into micro 4/3 lenses in over a year, so i’m just starting to do some research on a starter set of lenses for the Gh4 body. I called up a few friends who have done a lot of shooting on the Gh3 over the last year and got a list of their recommendations. Out of the 4 people I talked to the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 and Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 O.I.S. where to first lenses to be mentioned.

In the micro 4/3 world the crop factor is 2x. So a 12-40mm is equal to 24-80mm on a full frame and the 12-35mm is a 24-70mm equivalent. Both of these lenses fall into the $800 to $900 price category, besides the small focal length difference, the only other thing of note is that the Panasonic 12-35mm has image stabilization while the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 does not. In my discussions a few of them said they’d gone with the Olympus because of the build quality, while the others said the image stabilization was a big plus on the Pansonic. No one really had any complaints about either lens so the question on this one is, which one should I buy? I know a few of you are Panasonic owners so let me know if you have any input on this. I’ll definitely buying one of these to get started.

Panasonic 35-100mm

I actually took notes during these conversations and the one lens that seemed to be universally loved among the whole group is the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 O.I.S. lens. This is equivalent to a 70-200mm f2.8 lens with image stabilization. Apparently it’s made out of plastic which is a downside, but it’s also less than half the size of my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS making it a very nice telephoto lens to travel with. At a street price of just under $1000, the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 O.I.S. lens is also pretty reasonably priced compared to my full frame equivalents. Between this and the 12-35mm (or 12-40mm) lens most general use stuff is covered pretty well.

Panasonic 7-14mm

As for wide angle there was a little bit of grumbling, apparently there isn’t really a perfect 16-35mm f2.8 equivalent. I have yet to do more research, but all of them said the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 was probably my best bet. At around $850 it’s pretty close in price to a used Canon 16-35mm f2.8. F4 on a micro 4/3 body is a little disappointing but 7-14mm is a 14-24mm full frame equivalent so that’s actually a bit wider than I was expecting. I didn’t realize there were any lenses that wide in the micro 4/3’s lineup.

I will probably pick up the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 or Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 O.I.S. and see how well the Panasonic GH4 works out in test shots. If I fall in love, i’ll probably sell off some gear and pick up the other two zooms. After that, if i’m still happy I’ll moving on to some good primes, maybe I’ll start with the Panasonic 25mm f1.4. If I get that far, I’ll post some of my lenses choices when I get there.

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