Panasonic G80 G85 IBIS Problems

Just wanted to do a quick post about the problems with the in body stabilization on the new Panasonic G80 & G85 cameras. Just to note, both these cameras are exactly the same, just different model numbers for different markets.

As a bit of Background i’ve been shooting on The predecessor, the Panasonic G7 for the past year, I used it with the Panasonic GH4 at first for filming Wedding Films but it became my main camera when I realised how much better the G7 was at higher ISO than the GH4 so I sold the GH4 and purchased a second G7. I now shoot weddings entirely with the Panasonic G7.

When the G80/85 was announced I was over the moon, I have been using a Sigma 18 – 35mm Lens with no IS so the built in IBIS seemed to be the answer to all of my prayers; along with the stronger body and a few other tweaks like the movement of the SD card slot this was looking to be a certain purchase.

The day my camera was due for delivery a video popped up on YouTube showing that the G80/85 seemed to have some software problems with the IBIS, there would be a lag when the camera was moved or panned. You can view the video below.

When my camera arrived I immediately had to see this for myself so I put on a prime lens with no IS and sure enough when I panned or moved the camera then there was a jolting of the image as the IBIS tried to keep up (I understand this may be fixed soon with a firmware update). When the lens/camera was hand held static then sure enough the IBIS worked perfectly and I had some lovely stabilized footage but after a few minutes of use I decided I had to send the camera back.

When looking at the footage I had shot stablized it seemed to me that all the IBIS was doing was the same function as ‘Warp Stablizer’ does in Adobe Premier (similar plugins on other editing packages), this got me thinking, why should I spend out so much more money on the G80/86 when I could just use the G7 and stabilize the shots I need to in post? The G7 is currently £699 in the UK (body only) and the G7 can be got for as little as £350 after cashback deals, it doesn’t make sense to pay all that money extra. I understand there maybe some extra shutter functions for photographers in the G80/85 but my main reason for buying was the IBIS and for me this doesn’t warrant the huge price increase.

This fault has highlighted a few misconceptions people have with IBIS in cameras with people on camera forums and Facebook. There seems to be some over reaction to the ‘fault’. Lets be clear. The IBIS works fine with stable hand held shots, it’s only when panning that you get a small jarring effect but I have to wonder why people would pan handheld. People seem to think that IBIS is meant to be a replacement or emulate a gimbal or steady-cam, offering smooth motion shots. IBIS is meant to stabilize small hand shakes, not be a replacement for such items. I think people are expecting too much from this. Panning shots should be done with a Tripod. Moving shots should be done with a track/gimbal/steady-cam. Expecting the camera to replace all these items seems a little bit silly to me.

To sum up, The G80/85 is a great improvement to the G7 but not in my opinion worth the extra £300 unless you are a photographer who needs the improved image/shutter-shock functions.


Floating Harbour Production Meeting Work Experience

Really excited that the folks down at Floating Harbour have invited me to do some Work Experience with them as they document the Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol.

Today we got together for a couple of hours to introduce ourselves to the rest of the team and to go over some plans for the filming week (next week.) The team seem really tight-knit. There is Rich who is the boss, Ben and Tom who seem to take on the technical roles of camera, edit and general organisation alongside Rich; and there is Emily, Alex & Ann who work on the administration roles. The team really do seem to get along well and everyone pitches in to help with tasks that need completing.

On the Work Experience team there is myself, Matt and Jake. Matt and I are both in UWE and have worked together before on projects, Jake has come from Bournemouth Uni for the week although He lives in Newport so we could possibly travel together.

During the meeting we discussed some other scheduling for next week. Team availability and locations we’ll need to film. The Brief is to create a number of short promotional videos for the Wildscreen Team to be used for online promotion and also as a record of the event. We also have to film a lot of the seminars and talks that are taking place throughout the week so that they can be made available online for delegates to view later.

The plan is to split into small teams to cover all of the filming. The FH team will take lead roles but will have assistance from us on W/E for help with gear, finding suitable shots/locations and dealing with any contributor issues.

Rich explained some of the equipment we will be using and this made me quite excited. As a Panasonic fan I am thrilled that we’ll be using the brand new Varicam LT cameras for most of the event, along with the new Black Magic Ursa Mini. These are professional cinema cameras which of only just been released, they will be great to get my hands on and see how they compare to my GH4  and G7 Mirrorless cameras. We will also be using a Convergent Design Apollo to live multi-cam record the talks along with a Canon 5d mark 4 and Sony FS5 cameras. I’m pleased to be able to get the chance to work with such high-end equipment and i’m sure it will help when building a CV for future jobs.

Really looking forward to next week.