Personal View site logo
GH4 - Best Video Settings
  • 753 Replies sorted by
  • GH4 4K Luminance Settings Test.

    Quick test of all 3 Luminance settings with the exact same exposure settings. ISO 200, CINE D -5 Contrast, 20mm f1.7 Pancake at f5.0. Exported from Premiere Pro CC (Frame grab of render settings attached)

    NOTE: Exposure was determined by Zebras set at 95%. This put the exposure meter 2 tick marks under perfect exposure. At perfect exposure (0) via the meter, whites were clipping via zebras. So I adjusted f-stop until zebras stopped hoping to get the best test results without clipping the whites.

    Not much difference at all in 0-255 and 16-235 exported from Premiere Pro CC. In fact I actually filmed the first two test clips again fearing that I accidentally hadn't changed the 0-255 and 16-235 settings on the camera before shooting the clips. Same result so settings were changed before each clip. 16-255...definitely brighter.

    NOTE: Differences are noticeable and as expected when raw files are viewed in VLC player:

    0-255 has much more contrast • 16-235 has the flattest look • 16-255 has the hottest whites

    Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 12.06.31 AM.png
    439 x 1075 - 131K
  • Video is tagged private.

  • @Rambo Thanks. Now it should viewable.

  • It would be interesting to know if these luminance settings are applied before or after the codec. I would assume that it is before the 4.2.0 8 bit conversion from the sensor data. If this is the case shooting 16-235 would maintain more bits per luma value of the GH4's limited 100mbps codec. This setting could be very beneficial keep more information in the middle of the range we will ultimately be using for output.

    My point being that there is no reason to allocate data rate to values between 0-16 when they will just be thrown out in the final output. Why not save that portion of the bit rate for where it is needed most?

    After watching some of James Millers tests with cine v (, I'm starting to think there may be some value in shooting a much more baked in image with this cam.

    Curious on every ones thoughts here.

    Cheers, Pete

  • @c3hammer

    My point being that there is no reason to allocate data rate to values between 0-16 when they will just be thrown out in the final output. Why not save that portion of the bit rate for where it is needed most?

    As long as the H.264 video file is tagged properly, no values are "thrown out". When you select the 0-255 option, the camera's RGB sensor output is scaled to that range, and it will be decoded to that range as well. Likewise, when you select the 16-235 option, the RGB data is scaled to that range. With a 32-bit video editor, this is all done seamlessly, and without quality degradation, regardless of what type of delivery codec you use for your final render. It's only when editing in 8-bit mode that quantization and clipping will have a noticeable effect on image quality.

  • what would the best setup be for nature videos where you need sharpness and nice clear contrasty footage, i will mainly after speaking to a friend of mine be using 1080p 200mb/s 60fps mode and 4k 30fps modes.

    my setup will be with a lumix 20mm f1/7 and a swarovski scope fitted ( which is amazingly sharp ) tbh i get a bit confused with all the settings and was reading that cine d ungraded and setting the shutter angle to 180d would be good but not sure why.


  • I've been testing the 200mbs modes since discovering that my NLE (avid) isn't the best 4k down converter. I'm also of the opinion (like a few others here) that as this camera wasn't designed to produce log footage, I'm not going to tear it apart with mad pedestal and contrast settings and such. I'm just using cine D, -2 NR, +1 on saturation (everything else flat) with contax glass, and footage pops beautifully right out of the camera - footage viewed on broadcast barco monitor.

  • @mrbill Yep, I agree. The camera is what it is. It's not a Red Epic. It's not a BMPCC. It's a Lumix GH4 and the "way" it shoots is wonderful. Would love to see some of your footage with that glass.

  • Quick 720p h.264 of a few shots I rattled off yesterday outside work. Apologies for the shaky nature of things - I did have a monopod but it was blowing a gale (and must own up to being on the lash the night before).

    Cine D, noise -2, saturation +1, everything else flat. 200mbs setting. Contax Zeiss c/y 28mm + 50mm, Genustech eclipse vari nd

  • heres a quick video i did last night, was overcast, i had shutter angle to 180 and cine d and down vonverted 4k to 1080p with nothing but a bit of contrast added.

  • I learned some interesting things from the Panny rep at the Hot Rod Cameras event last night.

    Master Pedestal is not meant to make your image flatter. It's meant as a way to match the pedestal to other cameras. Canon's is a little higher and Sony's is a little lower.

    200 is the base ISO. Reason why it isn't 400 is that if that were so, 200 would would reduce dynamic range or signal. One of the two. Can't remember exactly what he said.

    I'm not interested in the flattest image possible, I'm only interested in the most grade-able image possible. His recommendation was CineD, change the curve to to +1 / -1 (could go up to +2, depends on the scenario). He was 50/50 on reducing saturation, but did mention it. Didn't mention NR or sharpness settings.

    Regarding the audio issue, it's due to the need for a 3 or a 4-tip pin (can't remember which he said). Or a long enough stereo tip. It has something to do with the Panasonic branded mic being able to focus it's pattern inside the camera (or something like that!). I'm just the messenger (and a poor one at that!).

    Hope that helps folks people in their search for best settings. :)

  • @5thwall That is good info - thanks. +1 in the highlights, or shadows? I'm, assuming Shadows, correct? and "-" in the highlights?

  • @lunalobo75 +1 shadows. -1 highlights.

  • @5thwall Hey thanks for passing on what you've learned. Good info about the Master Pedestal intention of Panasonic.

  • @maddog15 yeah, it was really good insight.

    If you haven't seen this yet, check it out:

    I recorded the same clip today internally into the GH4 and onto my Macbook Pro via an Ultrastudio Express at 1920x1080 10-bit Prores HQ. Image looks the exact same to the naked eye when played back in a 1080 sequence in FCP X. However, as expected, you can pull a slightly better key off the 10-bit footage.

    I might use my MBPr as a separate monitoring station, but don't think I'd actually record this way for 99.9 percent of my work. But it does show that 10-bit 4k recording will definitely be of use when recorded by the Shogun. Especially for green screen or doing extensive color work. For everything else, I'll be more than happy with internal recording.

  • Hey everyone,

    so I've had the GH4 for about a week now, and after some extensive personal testing, I've come up with my own "favourite/best" settings. I think these will work extremely well for many people. Feel free to try them out and tell me what you think (:

    I call this the RaiChu "Filmic" Profile.

    My goal was to achieve a flat, flexible profile that is excellent for grading in post (I was previously shooting RAW with the 5D), by preserving as much dynamic range I could without compromising the natural look of the image. At the same time, I tried to balance this with maximizing the lowlight capabilities by introducing little to no "ugly" noise.

    Overall, in my opinion this creates a more "organic, filmic" image to my eyes. ISO 3200 looks mighty clean with these settings, and ISO 6400 is still usable depending on your standards, access to noise reduction software (not always necessary), and final delivery format.

    So here are the settings:

    CINE D: Everything at -5, except Hue at +2

    I want maximum flexibility in post, which included the ability to add contrast and sharpen. So naturally everything is turned down. NR turns the noise from a fine filmic grain (which I like) into ugly mush, so turn that off! The +2 Hue is simply personal preference.

    SHADOWS/HIGHLIGHTS: Left at +0/-0 or sometimes +0/-2 (read below)

    Messing with the curve gives the image a nasty HDR look to it, and made me want to vomit at +5/-5. It brought in grey, muddy highlights and introduced some ugly noise. I like to keep it untouched, unless there is a special situation where there is ONE or TWO specific blown out spots in the image where you might want to salvage some detail. For these special cases, I dial the highlights down to -2, or -3 at most.

    PEDESTAL: Boosted to +15

    I find that the pedestal manages to bring up the shadows nicely without creating the nasty HDR look of the shadows/highlights, and also preserves the filmic grain noise in the blacks.

    LUMINANCE LEVEL: Set to 16-235

    Between the three, this settings seems to give the flattest profile in terms of contrast. I like leaving a little headroom in the highlights, and bringing up the shadows without introducing noise.

    i.Resolution: Set to STANDARD or sometimes turned OFF

    While I do not like the in-camera sharpening in the picture profile, the i.resolution seems to give a nice "detailing" look, rather than the "sharp" look. This is especially nice in wide, distant shots where there might be a sign with letters far off, clarifying it a bit. But in other normal situations, there is not much of a difference if you turn it OFF.

    i.Dynamic: Turned OFF

    While it does appear to give a small increase in latitude, turning it on makes the noise turn into an atrociously ugly, fuzzy mush that screams "cheap camcorder video", and is extremely unpleasant. I would much rather do without that marginal increase for the finer grain.

    SHUTTER SPEED: Set to 1/50 or sometimes 1/40 (in rare cases, 1/30, but read below)

    As with nearly all hybrid cameras, 1/50 is as close to the "filmic" 1/48 shutter speed (180 degree shutter angle) we are going to get on the GH4. However, when a little extra light is needed, I have found 1/40 to not really be noticeably smeary. As a result, I use this liberally. Sometimes it actually helps ease up the strobing/picketing effect when panning or crab dollying is done quickly. In static tripod shots where there is little motion, and therefore even harder to tell, 1/30 is actually acceptable as well. But only in that specific case! And don't even bother trying to stabilize 1/30 in post with software, it will come out looking like crap.

    I have tested this "profile" in a variety of environments, including lowlight, highlight, day time, night time, interior artificial light, natural exterior light, etc.

    Three lenses were used: Sigma 18-35mm/f1.8, Tokina 11-16mm/f2.8, and a vintage Nikon pre-AI 50mm/f1.4. All three were mounted on a Metabones BMCC Edition Nikon G to M4/3 Speed Booster. Yes the BMCC version works, however it will damage the camera if you use the physical shutter (so I leave it off and turn on the electronic shutter). I think it is worth it though, as you have a constant f1.1 zoom with the Sigma, a constant f1.8 ultra-wide angle, and an f0.9 portrait lens. Pretty darn sweet :D

    So far I have found these to be the best settings, but that may only be for me. I'm curious to see what other people are coming up with.

    With more feedback and testing, I will update this profile. Please let me know what you think!

    Thanks everyone, and have fun! (:


  • @raichu please post some videos of your results when you get a chance.

  • @5thwall Currently creating some more rigid test footage. This weekend I will have something posted!

  • Hi everyone again,

    I have created a short lowlight/HIGH ISO sample and test with the profile I previously posted.

    It includes why I chose to turn i.DYNAMIC off, and why it may be acceptable to drop to 1/40 in some situations. Comparisons for ISO 800-6400 included as well.

  • Put this together utilizing down sampled 4K, 1080 24p, 1080 60p slowed to 40%, many profiles, grading techniques, detailed scenes, one's that demand more dynamic range etc. 75% GH4 and 25% GH3 footage. Wanted to see how well the two cameras footage would blend in a single graded edit.

  • Hi guys,

    I have one video shoot where I must do a flight in the night above the city with RC helicopter and GH4.

    Do you suggest any settings for a night shoot? Can I do it with my 14-42 vario 3.5 lens? I really need image stabilization.


  • @miza For starters I'd recommend a faster lens. F3.5 is really slow for indoors much less a night shot. Plus, you can shoot at night BUT there's got to be some decent light points or sources. Street lights, neon, automobile lights, landscape lighting etc. Not sure how much "in lens" stabilization would be necessary for a good quad copter. Stabilization with the GH4 makes handheld shots smoother. Handheld and quad motion are two different animals unless your fighting vibration and no lens can stabilize or remove that.

    Wish I could be of more help but I think it's safe to say this is not a straight forward ask and answer question. There are too many unknown variables here to provide a simple answer for you IMHO.

    Post your vid and settings after you shoot. I'd like to see and learn from your results.

  • @maddog15

    Handheld and quad motion are two different animals unless your fighting vibration and no lens can stabilize or remove that.

    ...except for the Leicasonic 14-50mm f2.8-3.5. The image stabilization is so thick you can almost feel it.

  • @raichu I agree w/ everything you posted about color settings. I'm also looking for a flatter image and something more filmic. Shot our first commercial w/ GH4 this past weekend with all the same settings except set hue to +3, which definitely captured more of an honest green and yellow in the forest; luminance was at 0-255 (not sure about 16-235 since I haven't had a chance to compare it). I didn't know about the i.Dynamic difference (we shot at standard)... have you tested i.Dynamic in heavy daytime light and a lower ISO?

  • @jbpribanic I've found that turning on i.Dynamic at all, even at lower ISOs, smudges any shadows into messy purple gunk. However during bright daylight it is less noticeable. I would still personally leave it off though, I want to preserve the natural look as best as possible.