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Fine Tweaks in GH2 Operations
  • Not sure where to put this, sorry VK if it's in the wrong place.

    I'm back using the GH2 and now with the hack. Been great. Still love whipping out the Epic and rolling but right now the hacked GH2 is allowing us to move super fast and deliver a format that people can wrangle all on their own. Quite impressed with the quality coming out of the camera in low lit (working with 3-4K lighting packages sort of low lit) situations.

    Curious, though, about at least two things:

    1. Any way to open up the picture profile (film mode_) manipulation? I'm sure this one has been talked about plenty, seems like it would be top lister. If so, what was the progress on it? I've done a search but not come up with an answer.

    2. What's the possibility of opening up the shutter speeds to go from 1/40 to say 1/42, or especially 1/48? Being locked into 1/40 or 1/50, I automatically gravitate toward 1/40. On Canons, I shoot at 1/45. Obviously, neither 1/40(45) or 1/50 equal 180 degrees @ 24 frames, opting for a slower angle over the hair faster one looks better to my eye.

    What are complications with doing so? Is it a hardware lock and not a software lock?

    The second one would be a major deal to me, as it would further help correct how the camera renders motion.

    Thanks for all the hardwork. I get paid next week, so my small contribution is finally going in.
  • 48 Replies sorted by
  • 1/48th would sure make a world of difference.
    I too have been filming with Epic latlely and is a great camera to use. Workflow is a bit tough. It sure is nice to have the small form factor and ease of a GH2 to play with every now and then. The hacks have sure gave it a whole new look. It would be nice to be able to dial in some new curves to help with some of the 8bit 420 limitations.
  • @rigs

    Yes, these are the exact same things I feel as well. Epic is a different look. A glass window look! It's awesome, indeed. But I also am totally in love with the hacked GH-2 look, and I consider it a very serious alternative to Epic and RED-MX, especially with PL Glass attached.

    That's saying a ton.

    I think we're on the same page about adjusting curves to something that would help with the 8-bit. That, and a combination of 5DtoRGB DPX processing should be enough to turn the 8-Bit into an honest 16-bit image from which you would be able to work with in DaVinci.

    Also, what about the burst mode limitation being lifted? That's probably been explored. I would take 10 seconds of 2.3K 24fps footage! Haha. I doubt it though. =]
  • About burst mode - it is made in such a way that it is almost impossible to change anything.

    >Any way to open up the picture profile (film mode_) manipulation?

    I am working on this.
    Unfortunately, this thing is quite hard.

    >What's the possibility of opening up the shutter speeds to go from 1/40 to say 1/42,

    Right now I can't do it.
    I made some work in this direction, but problem is that it is quite complicated low level code.
  • Ah, thanks a lot VK. It's good to know that it has been explored, though.

    Perhaps that is something we can vote for in the GH3 original firmware? Thoughts on even trying?
  • Solutions like Magic Lantern Curves & LUT's or for the GH2 would be awesome. Probably beyond the scope of the hack, but is there hope? Donated a few bucks.
  • I'll eat my hat if you can really tell the difference between 1/48 and 1/50.
  • >>Any way to open up the picture profile (film mode_) manipulation?

    >I am working on this. Unfortunately, this thing is quite hard.

    @Vitaliy, this is BIG if it ever happens! Appreciate you are working on it.
  • @balazer - Right. But I think his point is that he wishes there was another stop between 50 and 40.
  • @balazer "I'll eat my hat if you can really tell the difference between 1/48 and 1/50."
    Sure most people can't - but most cameras can. 180 degrees is propper for cadense. sure would help allot of things out if we could dial it in on these.
  • @rigs
    The camera opens the shutter at the start of each frame and keeps it open for as long the shutter speed dictates. If you had a 1/48 setting, the shutter would remain open for 20.833 msec instead of 20 msec at 1/50. In either case, the cadence is 23.976 fps.
  • Would be helpful to also be able to tune for synchro-scan 1/50.1 etc, but I don't expect that to be possible.
  • @balazer

    You may not be able to tell the difference, but my eyes can. Which is why I do not shoot 1/50th on any digital camera, from Epic down to DSLRs.

    =] Hope you like the taste of your hats.
  • I think people have taken the 180-degree shutter "rule" from the cinema world and turned it into some kind of gospel. In the cinema world, that rule is really more of a guideline - a starting point. Films are being shot with all sorts of different shutter angles. There's nothing magical about 180 degrees. If you can explain to me why a 180-degree shutter is important for anything besides your own magic eyes, I'd be interested in hearing it.
  • Right. I think it's a bias left over from the days of trying to re-conform 30fps footage to 24p. Personally, I use 1/40th frequently if it serves the look I'm after. (A little less motion blur, a little more exposure).

    Of course being able to see the difference between 1/48th and 1/50th is pretty darn amazing! Wow, that guy must really know his stuff.
  • @kholi and @rigs, it would be nice if someday you bring your hack gh2 on one of the red shoot. At least just pointing at some scene so that we could get a idea of how the gh2/hack looks beside a red. It would be even better if we could get a true side by side test but I do understand that it will take time etc.

    I wrote a thread about the need or lack of recognition for the gh2/hack. The problem is that, strangely this camera is the least tested one on the video side. I am sure that it will be beaten by a red, but it just needed to have some reference comparison.

    I am no fanboy but I see all type of things written against it (some valuable criticism and many completely unfounded usually by fanboys hatters who can't like anything which does not have their brand sticker on it) it brings those endless discussion and we have no good example/test to use as benchmark for the gh2. I know that for some (in the know here) it is not important, but I think the gh2 in itself is a true landmark (the the dvx100, 5d mark 2) in the quest of cinematic motion capture for the mass and I would like it to be shared to a greater audience but unfortunately there are a lot of people that are in the dark because of other brand dominance and their fan boys.

    The latest trailer of the movie Musgo by Vesubio is one of those benchmark that the gh2/hack really needs. It shows to the world that very good cinematic images can be done with this little camera. His micro budget film does not look out of place compared to what I have seen in the Canon recent Hollywood budget Canon C300 movie.
  • @danyyel, Those three videos are the best camera comparison I've saw: Arriflex, Weisscam, 5D Mark, 7D, 1D Mark, Nikon D7000, SONY F35, SONY EX-3, Phantom, RED ONE, Alexa and AF-100.
    The GH2 wasn't tested because is not a DSLR, but the AF-100 was tested.
    I don't know if the results of the AF-100 can be extrapolated to the GH-2; anyway the test is very interesting.

  • @balazer

    Hey, if you can't tell the difference, cool. Just don't go around telling other people that they can't. It's silly. Some of us do this for a living, it isn't about being held over from "olden golden days". It's a specific look that we're after and we reproduce in real production environments, on stages, on sets, on locations.

    If it weren't the case, and people didn't see a difference, then it wouldn't matter. Films are not being shot with "all sorts of shutter angles". You shoot 180 degrees as a standard for motion rendition and exposure, no different in a digital camera. You only shoot with lower or higher shutter angles for light or effect, it is not a standard.

    Do it with home videos, nobody cares. Use whatever you want.

    I shoot 1/40 with GH2 and 1/45 with 5D for this specific reason, 1/50 is ugly, has been since the dawn of 24p digital cinema, will be until it dies out.


    You mean a little MORE motion blur? 1/40 isn't going to give you less, the lower you go the longer the shutter stays open, the more motion blur you get.

  • @plasmasmp

    And another vote for synchro control, of course whenever it comes along. Need that for fluo fixture shooting (offices, etc).
  • @kholi
    Is it the smaller amount of motion blur that 1/50 gives you that you don't like?

    As a side note, I used to work with a Guy who could tell me what refresh rate my crt monitor was set to.
    Even being able to distinguish 120hz from 110hz.
  • I always shoot at 1/60 sec to eliminate any trace of 60hz power line flicker. I've been staring at monitors with 60hz refresh rates daily for well over two decades, and before that I was continuously brainwashed with interlaced 60hz TV broadcasts. In fact, I'd have to question whether I've ever seen anything displayed at 24fps - even theatre projectors will double-flash a movie at 48fps. I suspect I was simply born too late to develop an appreciation for the 180-degree rule.
  • >I suspect I was simply born too late to develop an appreciation for the 180-degree rule.

  • @jpbturbo

    Exactly. It's just the tiniest increment, yes, but when you're talking narrative and watching people move around in a scene, it stands out over the span of a few frames. I cannot bare to watch digital cinema with the shutter cranked down to 1/30 just to get the light.

    Go and watch HORRIBLE BOSSES, the entire bar scene is probably 1/35(ish), and it is SO freaking annoying.

    Superbad, the scene when they're outside at the bus stop at night, and a few other scenes, totally 1/30.

    Miami Vice looks like the most amateurish material on the planet, slurring and blurring all over the place, But, that's his style so cool.

    1/40 isn't bad, I would use 1/30 if I needed the extra light at night but would prefer not to. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get the shot aka see people/subjects.

    I'm not telling others they have to shoot 180 degrees, don't really care. Don't care if people shoot 30P to avoid flickering or whatever, do what you have to do. I don't like the look of 30P or off shutters unless it's specifically done for effect (high speed, action, dream sequence, so on and so forth.)
  • @kholi Your saying " 1/50 is ugly, has been since the dawn of 24p digital cinema, will be until it dies out." isn't quite consistent with your to each his / her own stance.

    I would of course like the 1/48 option. But I also suspect the fact that the 24p of the gh2 (and many other digital cameras) being actually 23.976 also matters to how motion blur is perceived. 1/50 is close enough for my tastes, and sometimes I prefer 1/60th. I think your on firmer ground with saying that it's a matter of taste as to what to use for "normal" shutter angle.

    1/48th and 180 degree is considered normal, but I seriously doubt that any professional cinematographer would simply rule out as unprofessional using a tiny bit higher (1/50 or 1/60) or lower shutter angle (1/40) for "normal." In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a slightly higher shutter angle would be preferred as normal for certain shots if it helped with things like car rim rotation, etc.

    Also note that some real film cameras (like some bolexes) actually have different shutter angles as their standard.

    @lpowell interesting thoughts. Can you elaborate on or link to some good info about "double flashing" in theaters?
  • Double or even triple flashing in theaters has been used for decades. It's a rotating shutter that will interrupt the single projected frame to reduce flicker. It's needed badly with the higher light intensity in theaters to cover up having a single flicker per frame only which is needed for mechanical transport of the film.
    It's not in use with digital projection, since we don't need transport any more.

    And some film cameras have adjustable shutter angles to change exposure time, but none has more than 180 degrees – the rest of the time is needed for transport again. You can even gradually close down the shutter in some cameras.
  • Frankly, I'm ready to ditch the chronic problems with 24p as well. Almost no one has a monitor set up to actually display video at 24fps - almost all of them telecine it into 60p! And the new 120-240hz monitors are even worse - they use frame blending to fabricate a super-high framerate, which no 24p-purist would ever stand for.

    Once the GH2 v1.1 firmware is hacked, I'll probably step up to 1080p30 and not look back. Virtually everything in broadcast and on the web is 30p-compatible, and 60p footage is simple to convert. If you could reasonably expect 24p footage to actually be displayed at a genuine 24fps, I might have second thoughts, but realistically, it's become a thing of the past.

    I've read the arguments about the special nature of the 24p cadence and I can see the motion blur difference in 30p. But to my eyes, once 24p is moshed into a 60fps refresh rate, it's no longer pristine, it's converted into video. Cinematic style involves much more than 24p and 180-degrees. It's lighting, staging, camera angles and moves, it's an art that is not constrained by rigid technical specifications.