Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Lets start with lens cost, with the Sony FS7 I had a bank of Sony lenses that covered me from tight to wide but the servo zoom lens 28-135mm f4 was not wide enough.

With much criticism Sony finally brought out the 18-110mm f4 lens at a cost of £3,299.

So what eventually put me off the FS7, not the quality, but its sheer weight, having used it on the Gadget show hand held, I was knackered after one days shoot.

I looked into getting an Easy Rig but decided the extra expense and the amount of use it would get was not worth the money.

If truth be told, I could not wait for this 18-110mm f4 Sony lens to appear nor was I able to finance it, plus the older you get the less weight you want to carry on your shoulder plus my recent stroke played a big part in my decision.

My options were Sony E mount or Panasonic micro 4/3…as I was already using two GH4s  for photographic and video work it was an easy choice…stick with one lens system…micro 4/3.

Thats why I got the JVC LS-300 as it natively took micro 4/3 lenses but remember its got a super 35mm sensor.

I also got a sniff of the GH5 running at UHD 50p which is going to be the camera of 2017, don’t take my word for it, Panasonic have already mentioned how overloaded they are with pre orders to meet the initial demand.

All my lenses bar two are now micro 4/3. I have the 18-35 f1.8 Sigma Canon fit Art lens and a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens both lenses are great for shallow depth of field and low light videography. I use the Canon to M4/3 Metabones Speedbooster on my GH4, and a Metabones straight adapter (EF-M4/3) for my LS300.

The JVC LS-300 also has VSM (Variable Scan Mapping) allowing me to match the lens with the super 35mm sensor.

The VSM comes into play when you have full frame lenses like the Irix 15mm f2.4 its a lot more noticeable on the GH4 as you don’t get as wide a shot as the lens is capable of.

I am currently reviewing the Irix on the JVC LS-300 and using a Nikon to M4/3 adapter from MTF. This allows me to dial in more of the wide angle thanks to the variable scan mapping and the super 35mm sensor on the LS-300.

The Sony FS7 was the first camera to produce 4K 50p video which was its major attraction, once the GH5 appears 4K 50p is part of the deal as is HDR in a firmware upgrade during July 2017.

5 Axis stabilisation is also a deal breaker as is the weight of the camera, no servo zoom like the FS7 but there has to be a compromise somewhere down the line.

Another major deal breaker was the full size HDMI and the dual card slot on the GH5, micro HDMIs are less than useless.

Panasonic has admittedly come late to having the on camera XLR unit as seen above but I gave it the once over with Marise from Holdan switching from auto to manual, something you can’t do with the GH4.

Times are a changing and so is my outlook as is my business, the need for expensive larger video cameras is a thing of the past.

Finally we have quality at a reasonable cost with quality glass that doesn’t cost a small fortune.

Why would you need a run and gun camcorder today ? A question I will answer in a future blog post with a pleasant surprise for Sony !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

4 thoughts on “Why I choose the micro 4/3 system

  1. I am following your reasoning very closely, and smaller makes more and more sense.
    Are you happy with the color and image of the LS300?
    My guess is you’ll get a full frame look with the EF to MFT speed booster. Right?

  2. Hi. Aside of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, which other zoom lenses for low budget videographer would you recommand ? Also, are there good (at lower cost) alternatives to Metabones adapters ?

    Thanks to answer

    HDW : Its never a good idea to skimp on glass, I tend to use Lumix or Olympus m4/3 glass.

  3. A speedbooster gives a wider field of view and increases the light gathering of the lens. But it cannot give a cropped sensor the same depth of field characteristics as a large sensor.

  4. FS7 is a good camera, but it’s heavy over time. The shoulder pad is rubbish out the box, it digs into your shoulder. The arm even with the shape extension you can never get it comfortable enough to shoot for long periods. It’s in an awkward angle, I ended up with tennis elbow! Plus shape extension adds another ton or so to the set up. Haven’t tried the zacuto shoulder rig but I’m presuming this will add more weight. The more you add to it the heaver the sucker gets. Ok for all those Betacam heavy weight lifters of past.

    Tell you the truth, I don’t know who tested & approved the shoulder pad & hand grip angle. It sucks, there is no comfortable setting for me.
    If you can live with all the ergonomic flaws the picture quality is fantastic. It’s a slow camera, no run & gun stuff.

    I understand & feel your pain. I’ll go for the GH5, but I need to see how good it is in Scottish light, plus if the focus is up to par. Wait & see once the early adopters have had their say.

    HDW : Had I kept the FS7 I would have bought the 18-110mm f4 and an Easy Rig to do hand held work. I was informed yesterday that the focus issues are partly pre production firmware but all will be tightened up when it goes to production.

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