Can a single camera be good enough for stock photography and stock video, on top of that can a smaller lighter camera be good enough. Many people bought into the Canon 7D as a one size fits all solution to carrying around still cameras and camcorders and the Canon 7D does a great job, but it's certainly not a light weight solution.
The quest for a lighter camera only becomes apparent as you grow older, your ability to shoulder carry fifty pounds of camera equipment in a backpack or conventional camera bag becomes limited, especially if you are a run and gun stock photographer. I have got away with lots of camera equipment because I shoot mainly in a studio, but as I add more travel shots ( I need to get out of the studio more), I'm looking for a one camera solution that can fulfill this tall order.
Looking for a camera that is light weight and full featured enough to produce quality images that my clients will pay for is the tantalizing promise coming from Panasonic with their Lumix DMC-GH2, a mirror less micro four thirds camera. Trying to get your hands on one is still a difficult proposition, so relying on reviews and comments on the various forums is all I have to go one.
It's not just that the camera is small and does video, if that was the case a whole bunch of newcomers qualify, we all know choosing a "HD-DSLR" ( technically the GH2 is not a DSLR but we will refer to it as that), is a system and we will have the need for various lenses, I like wide angles for video and telephotos for portraiture. No the tantalizing come on from Panasonic is that the lenses are small and light, small enough to have the kit lens14–140mm f4-f5.8 on the camera all day long as you carry it over your shoulder, but have the telephoto reach of a 28–280mm equivalent. Yes the f4-f5.8 is slow for video if you are looking to get shallow depth of field shots, but you can work around that by putting greater distance between you and the subject and zooming in.
Why I'm interested in the GH2 is because of the video performance of my Panasonic TM700, the video from this small camera is stunning, if the GH2 is anywhere close to this quality then it maybe a game changer. From what I have read, the stills are good up to 800 ISO with very little noise. In my stock still photography I rarely go above 400 ISO.
Advantages to me over the other DSLR cameras and I own the Canon 7D and the Nikon D300 is the shooting position for video with the Panasonic GH2, it uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF) so now when you are shooting video you can have the camera at eye level panning with a moving object which is far more intuitive as a photographer and the GH2 will silently auto focus keeping a moving object in focus.
This is convergence in the real world, now we might be jumping the gun as it is early days, but and it is a big but, with sites like Pond5 now starting to offer stills and video, along with camera manufacturers making better DSLR cameras that can shoot extremely acceptable footage, we need a camera that can do both exceptionally well. I'm going to take a close look at the Panasonic GH2 and see if it can lighten my camera bag and give me the images that my clients want to buy.
If you need anymore convincing think about this, if you do a shoot of any subject, how much more saleable does the shoot become if you have high resolution stills and video of the same subject taken at the same time and I don't mean trying to grab still frames from video because that wont cut it in pro stock photography.
Digital Photography Review