A Doco and a DSLR


A huge plus of the GH2 over heavier cameras is the ability to use that stabiliser for smooth, flowing hand-held work. Another big plus of the GH2 was that people in the streets mostly thought, even when we used a tripod, that we were shooting stills. Our camera looked like an average stills beast. Consequently there was never any mugging for our camera or any other such interruptive nonsense from the general public. We were quietly anonymous most of the time.

During our 2009 shoot we were shooting with the professional-looking cine camera at Berlin’s extraordinary Holocaust Memorial, when a policewoman approached us and asked if we had permission to film there. We explained that we were not shooting for any professional organisation, just a personal project. She then made a phone call while we waited anxiously. Fortunately she came back with a smile and we were able to continue with no further bother.

Davorin is a fitness fanatic and his special love is hiking. In Berlin he would regularly prefer that we walked from one location to another, often using the GPS app on his phone, rather than taking trams or trains. With such a light and portable kit, walking between locations was a pleasure.

As I write, Davorin is walking the second half of the Te Araroa Trail, the South Island leg from Picton to Bluff. He did the North Island leg from Cape Reinga to Wellington immediately upon returning from our 2012 shoot, to celebrate both his 50th birthday and 20 years living in New Zealand. And along with his tent, clothing, safety gear and food, he is also carrying one of his Lumix DSLR cameras to document the journey.

When I needed to shoot some pick-up footage for An Accidental Berliner I went to buy a GH2 for myself. But that was not possible – a new model, the GH3, had superseded it. The GH3 seemed aimed at high-end amateurs, offering slightly reduced capabilities compared with the GH2. The latest model, the GH4, released in 2014 and drew impressive reviews including, from Digital Photography Review

“This is one of the most capable stills/video cameras we’ve ever seen. Panasonic’s message about listening to professional videographers is also familiar but the extent to which they’re catered for is unprecedented on a camera with such a mass-market price tag…”


Davorin Fahn shooting harpist Camilla Schneider for An Accidental Berliner
Photo: Tony Forster

An Accidental Berliner had its premiere at the 2015 Doc Edge Festival.



Written by Tony Forster

Tony has worked in theatre and screen production for some decades. He recently made his first feature documentary, An Accidental Berliner


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  1. Hi Tony and congratulations,
    Thrilled to hear you have got your project completed.I was doing a doco on the Maori Battalion in Germany in Nov 89 when the wall fell.It must have been amazing for you in Berlin then.Davorin and I did a doco together on Dalvanius and he was a pleasure to work with. Please pass on my regards to him.Best Wishes.Mike

    Mike O’Connor 6 years ago Reply