This blog is a user's perspective on the Micro Four Thirds camera system. Read more ...

Lens Buyer's Guide. Panasonic GH4 review.

My lens reviews: Olympus 9mm f/8 fisheye, Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Leica 25mm f/1.4, Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm f/2.8, Sigma 19mm f/2.8, Lumix X PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Lumix X PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Panasonic Lumix G 100-300mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Leica Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro, Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, Lumix G 7-14mm f/4, Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye, Tokina 300mm f/6.3 mirror reflex tele, Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye lens
The blog contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday 30 September 2012

Air show video using the Lumix 100-300

During the September 1st Royal Norwegian Air Force 100 year anniversary, I tried to video record some of the air plane flybys. This was the very first time I had tried to video record air plane, and I brought the longest lens I have, the Lumix G 100-300mm f/4-5.6 with the Panasonic GH2 camera.

I did not bring any tripod or extra microphone, as I would be standing in a crowd of people, and needed to be fairly agile.

Most of the time, I used the lens in the longest setting, at 300mm, and stopped down the aperture a bit to f/6.3. I could do this at ISO160, the base ISO, and still have a healthy shutter speed of about 1/500s, even when dialing in about +1/3 to 2/3 of exposure compensation. I needed the exposure compensation, as I was mostly shooting into the sun, or close to the sun.

Here I have edited the footage into a video stream of about three minutes with some of the footage:

I used Kdenlive to edit the stream, and I added a bit of post process image stabilization to the video. This was needed, even though I used the OIS feature of the lens. Perhaps I would have been able to go without the extra image stabilization had I used a tripod.

Some things to note about the video:

  • There is quite clearly still some vignetting, even though I did stop down an extra 1/3 of an aperture stop.

  • You can see the lens OIS working, as the brightest central disc area moves about in the frame.

  • The focus is mostly ok. Some times, the camera loses focus for a short period, but it is not a big problem. I had the AF-S mode selected.

  • The sound is not very good. An external microphone would probably have improved it.

  • You can see the evidence of rolling shutter distortion. Here is a frame from a video, where the helicopter blade is bent due to the rolling video shutter:

    When using the mechanical shutter for still images, though, there is virtually no rolling shutter effect:

    This is because the mechanical shutter travels faster than the electronic line by line readout of the sensor is.


  1. My experience would match yours. I actually find IOS in the Panny lenses AND IBIS on my EM5 to cause unnecessary screen fluttering. If you plan to shoot video, stabilization of the camera is essential. I use a Video Tripod head and a heavy tripod to get reasonable results after turning off IS. If you wanted to do video a lot, some special equipment and technique would be necessary. As having the ability to shoot some pretty good video while out taking pictures, these systems work well.

    1. Yes, you are quite right. Using a tripod is certainly better when using a long lens. And the Lumix G 100-300mm is a very long lens!

  2. what would be the effect of reducing the shutter speed to 1/250 sec as i think this might be make the roller blade less "clear" and hence looked more natural to human eye ...

    1. Yes, that is right. However, at a slower shutter speed, the video would probably be softer, with the airplanes looking more out of focus some of the time. Especially since I was holding the camera in my hands.

      With a proper tripod, I think it would be easier to use a slower shutter speed.