If you've been following all the tests and reviews with the GF3, it's a solid camera and will be the smallest Micro Four Thirds camera on the market. The PreOrder doors have been open for a few days now, and expect these to be hard to find after it's release (Panasonic has some slow manufacturing). Find the information at the storefront (click here).
Earlier I posted some big savings that SanDisk was offering of it's Compact Flash media and SDHC cards. You can find that article here: https://cheesycam.com/sandisk-media-huge-deals/. Lexar is now offering a Buy Two and save type deal on many of their media cards, so if Transcend wasn't good enough, Sandisk doesn't meet your needs, then Lexar might be up your alley. Found below.
The popular Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 lens is available again at B&HPhoto Video, which is about $50 dollars cheaper than the nice markup elsewhere (Amazon). The 20mm F/1.7 is as popular as the 50mm for a Canon DSLR. Nice shallow DOF and good focal distance (2x on Micro Four Thirds). Would go great with the latest G3 camera if you were lucky to grab one.
Here's a clever free standing Monopod that might be useful for more than just camera support. In the image they show a free standing DSLR with a long telephoto lens which is quite a bit of weight. Packs down to about 20 inches, much smaller and lighter than your basic light stand and with a mini ball head attached, it could also serve to hold a microphone, a portable audio recorder, or LED video light in place. Maximum height is approximately 4' 6".
Should be able to hold a portable Photo Flash when working on portraits or Macro photography, or maybe just throw a small camera off to the side for Time Lapsing an event while you run around shooting. I guess something like this would also work as an extra stabilizer towards the end of your Camera Slider. The Monopod works as a usual monopod, but if you need it in free standing mode, it has three legs that extend to a fairly stable tripod stand (unlike the small feet on the Manfrotto's). If you're in the market for a Monopod, this might be pretty a cool dual, triple, or quadruple purpose stand.
While there are some Panasonic GH2 cameras available at current rip-off prices, the older GH1 is stepping back into the spotlight. Previous GH1 cameras with older firmware could be hacked into what was called the GH13 or GH1.3. The hacks provided more features than the standard GH1, which included higher video bitrates and additional framerates. After a certain firmware version, later sold GH1 cameras were considered 'unhackable' and this was discouraging. Well just a few days ago the hacking geniuses finally got things going again, and now state that all GH1 cameras can be 'hacked' along with some other models like the G1, GF1, and G2.
The great thing about the MFT cameras are that you can adapt pretty much any lens to it. The GH1 is even a great 'stills' camera for the budding photographer. So if you're looking for a Micro Four Thirds camera body that can capture high quality video and photos, you might want to re-consider the older discontinued GH1s while there are still some in stock at these discounted prices.
Or a few via BHPhotoVideo: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760894-REG/Panasonic_DMC_GH1KBODY_Lumix_DMC_GH1_Digital_Camera.html
On a side note there really isn't good deals on the GF1. If you're a smaller rangefinder sized camera type of person, the GF2 which has a faster processor is also in stock with a $100 dollar instant savings found here:
Panasonic GF2 with 14-42mm
I picked up the Panasonic GF2 camera lately because I wanted something small and really lightweight. Sure you can adapt Nikon or Canon lenses, but that took so much away from being 'small and lightweight'. An excellent solution for Sony NEX and Micro Four-Third cameras are to use CCTV or 'C-Mount' lenses. Here's an excellent video test from Vimeo member Dario Viola showing the quality of these inexpensive lenses. These C Mount lenses are normally used in very small security cameras, but they've become a popular choice for many M43 shooters. You'll find many CCTV lenses with fast F/1.4 and F/1.7 apertures for about $30 dollars.
You can't go too wide without seeing the inside of these small lenses, but for the GH2 you might be able to use crop mode to use just the center of the lens (eliminating the barrel ring on the edges). The most popular sizes for the NEX5 and GF1/2 cameras are the 25mm F/1.4 and 35mm F/1.7. Keep in mind that M43 is a 2x crop, so a 25mm is more like a 50mm F/1.4. I'm picking a few of these up to use on the GF2 and will post results soon after receiving. You can find other C Mount lenses below.
Rebates going around instantly knocking off another $100 bucks off of the GF2. Had I only waited an extra week. Yeah sucks, cause I just bought one. No rush, because it looks like this rebate could stick around for at least a month.
So that you don't miss out on any other deals, there are quite a number of MFT (micro four thirds) Camera rebates that will be expiring in the next week found below:
MFT Digital Camera Rebates
Cameras are getting smaller and lighter. People are attempting to fly GoPro's and iPhones on Steadicams. For lightweight cameras including Sony's A55, Panasonic GH2's, or Canon T2is, here's a simple DIY DSLR Steadicam (merlin style) stabilizer idea from Vimeo member KFLeung. There isn't much tooling required, it's more of an assembly of readily available pieces which combined provides you with a framework, gimbal handle, and counterweight for a camera Stabilizer. Starting with an inexpensive Flip Flash Bracket. These brackets are made for photographers to mount a Flash above the camera. When the camera is rotated in either landscape or portrait position, you can flip the flash so it still remains above the camera (i.e. to bounce light from a ceiling). This video is actually about 3 years old, but there are still several people using this method with good results.
KFLeung's first test video posted after the build
The Gimbal (handle) is based on a mini tripod with ball head so that it swivels freely. Getting a good fluid mini tripod is key to having smooth movements.
A really simple method to creating a 3 axis Gimbal Handle most people don't think about is to literally take a mini ball head and throw it on top of a Barska Handgrip. This setup adds some size, but is extremely comfortable and acts as a decently effective Gimbal Handle system. (I can see many of your minds already at work with that idea...)
Mini Ball Head
The arch design of the bracket gives space for your hand to work, while providing an area to mount a counterweight below. At this area, you can use simple Fender Washers like most Hague or Indiehardware stabilizers. When you're done, the stabilizer folds into a small form factor.
If you've got a Panasonic GH2, or other Micro Four Thirds camera, you'll know what this lens is. It's been tough to track down lately when they went out of stock because it's just that awesome for a MFT camera. Luckily I grabbed mine months ago, and it's been on the GH2 as the primary lens. My GF2 also came with the 14mm Pancake, which is another popular and highly recommended lens for these MFT cameras. More than likely this new shipment of the 20mm won't last very long, so if you've been waiting patiently here's a chance.