Panasonic GH3 or Nikon D600?
I’m a college student who earns through commercial photo and video work. Lately the jobs requiring video are paying way more than photo work so I’m seriously considering investing in a system that will fullfil my needs as a videographer better than my D7000.
Initially I wanted full frame because of the low light performance, no crop factor adjustment to think about (since my lenses are for 35mm), and just better image quality in general. But since I can’t afford the D800 or the Canon 5d mkIII, the only ones available that’s close to my budget is the Canon 6d and the Nikon D600. Again I come from a Nikon system (I prefer their ergonomics and think Canon’s “better” video is a myth if you know how to use light right), so the 6d (or any Canon) is out of the question.
But then here comes the GH3 with the high bit-rate video recording capabilities, 1080p at 60fps, short flange focal distance which means I can adapt way more third party lenses (like M42 mount) to it than my Nikon D7000, and it’s under 1500 usd. It seriously got me thinking.
So basically I need a camera that’s under 2000 usd that’s great at both stills and video, but really shines on the latter since it’s what pays more. Those are my two choices. I might sell my D7000 to be able to afford it which means if the GH3 is the better choice, I might be jumping ship to that system instead.
I know there’s a bit of a price difference but I already own several Nikon lenses and no Panasonic meaning if I were to compare getting a GH3 + lenses to a D600 body they would be about the same price.
First, congratulations on earning your way through college as an entrepreneur. Awesome.
My first DSLR was a Nikon, my second was a video-capable Canon, but I switched to the GH2 (and now the GH3) for video and have never looked back.
If video is an increasingly important part of your business, I recommend the GH3. You have probably already considered the major differences – but the Panasonic has some subtle advantages that make it the right choice for still/video shooters:
- High bit rates. The GH3′s 1080/60p 50mbps video is stunning. It is unbelievable that it comes out of a $ 1300 camera. Yes, you can record higher bit rates from the Nikon externally, but that costs a lot more money.
- Switching from stills to video is seamless. As you know, DSLR viewfinders are unusable for video. With the GH3, you can switch without taking your eye away from the viewfinder.
- The electronic shutter (for stills) is absolutely silent and will never wear out. The D600′s shutter is rated for 150,000 actuations.
- Wi-fi control and monitoring of the GH3 from your Android or IOS device. This is not a gimmick. It really works and makes life a lot easier for a one-person crew.
- The fully articulated LCD is a force multiplier for high and low angle shots. No more crouching, lying on the floor, or standing on tip-toe with fixed LCD cameras.
- You won’t be giving up much in still image quality. Here is an interesting side-by-side comparison from someone who had both cameras and took the D600 back: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3358046
- Pros who shoot both stills and video are switching from full frame Nikon to the GH3. Here is an interesting comparison of the GH3 and the D800 from a couple of pro photographers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5D3bJK9cUg
- Even at today’s marked up prices, the GH3 is less expensive:
$ 1500 on eBay: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5575034783&toolid=10001&campid=5337235943&customid=&icep_item=360596210410&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg
With a $ 27 Nikon to micro 4/3 adapter like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TROEBM?tag=battleforthew-20
you can continue using your Nikon lenses until you can get some quality micro 4/3 glass.
This is the adapter I use and it works – but you may want a higher quality adapter for paid work, like the $ 179 Voigtlander: http://www.amazon.com/Voigtlander-Micro-Adapter-Lenses-Cameras/dp/B001RTEGYE/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1361181687?tag=battleforthew-20
Or the $ 254 Novoflex: http://www.amazon.com/Novoflex-Adapter-MFT-NIK-Lenses/dp/B002MXFGJI?tag=battleforthew-20
Still less than the $ 1997 you would pay for the D600: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0099XGZXA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0099XGZXA&linkCode=as2&tag=battleforthew-20
Hope this is helpful and good luck with your business!
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