A couple of weeks ago I posted a video post on family blogging balance (see the full sized video here). While my son stole the show in the video a little one of the main questions I was asked after posting the video was ‘what camera did you shoot it with?’
This prompted me to shoot this video – one that answer the question. The camera I’m now using (and I switch to it halfway through the video) is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1. It is a still camera but the video it shoots is lovely.
The main thing people seemed to like about my original video was the depth of field (or the out of focus background) – something that is made possible with the GF1’s 20mm lens large aperture (f1.7). It also is a HD camera and the glass on that particular lens is a high quality. I’ll let you check out the comparison of the video for yourself.
Watch this video at its full size at Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.
PS: for a review of this camera see it at Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Review on my photography blog.
I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to get it that way. The transcription provided by The Transcription People.
Darren: Hi there. It’s Darren from ProBlogger here. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with a new camera for these video posts. You’re actually not viewing video taken with that camera right now because I want to show it to you in person. The camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMCGF1, the Lumix GF1. The reason I’m talking about is … is the amount of people that emailed me after I put up my first post with it, asking me what the camera was. Obviously the video that it was producing was a little bit clearer, and thing that people were commenting about, particularly with the video and I’ll link to it, was the depth of field. What you will notice with this camera on the video and perhaps I’ll insert a little bit of it into this clip, is that the background was really out of focus in comparison to this video released on … assuming this video will be.
The reason for that is that this camera comes with this lens. It’s a prime lens in that it doesn’t have a zoom. It’s a 20 mm lens so it’s a reasonably wide-open lens so you get quite a wide angle on it, but its aperture is 1.7. The aperture is how big the lens opens up and really this lens is a very fast lens, what they call a fast lens because it allows a lot of light in at once, and when you open up the lens that big, it actually makes the depth of field a lot shallower, so what I am here, I’m in focus but what’s back there will be out of focus when you’re shooting with this lens.
The lens I’m shooting with now, this camera that you’re viewing me on now, is a Canon S90 and it’s aperture I think is, let me have a look here, I think it ranges from 2 to 4.9 depending on the focal length. So it’s not as fast and as a result you’ll find that the depth of field is less shallow and so you get more in focus back there, which is fine if you want to keep everything in focus, but to get everything out of focus back there actually makes you as the subject stand out a little bit.
I am now shooting on the Panasonic GF1. This, the camera that I was shooting with before, much smaller camera – a Canon – and really does take a reasonable quality video. But the other thing that I like about the Panasonic is because you’ve got this really wide aperture it lets a lot of light in. You can actually shoot video in a darker room, without quite as much light. At the moment I’m shooting and it is sunny outside so I’ve got a fair bit of light coming in, but the video that I first shot this on, it was on quite a gloomy day and I wasn’t sitting in really open light situation, and yet because of that nice wide open lens it let a lot of light in. So hopefully you can see a bit of difference between this video and the one that I shot before on this. Both, personally I could go with either one. This one to me is just a little bit nicer and like I said before it’s a little bit sharper and that depth of field gives it a nice effect as well. So I hope you can see a bit of the difference now so I might just go back to the other video.
So anyway, it’s a Panasonic Lumix DMCGF1. It’s not the cheapest camera out there. It’s what they call a “micro four thirds” camera so it’s a new type of camera sort of in between the point and shoot and the digital SLR. It takes a really nice still shot as well. It’s a little bit smaller than a full sized digital SLR but it has a little bit more power than something like the Canon that I’m shooting this on at the moment.
I personally prefer to have a still camera that takes good quality video over having a good still camera and a good video camera separate, I like to have them in the one thing so I can just carry the one thing around. The good thing about this camera is that it’s got detachable lenses so you can add other ones.
The reason I’ve got this one is … is because it is so fast and really all the reviews that I’ve read of all of the other lenses that fit on this, this one leaves them for dead. It’s the 20 mm 1.7. So you can get this as a kit together. It’s not the cheapest camera in the world but the quality of it is really great.
Anyway, that’s the camera I’m using at the moment. I’d love to hear what sort of camera you use in the comments below.