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GH4 - Best Video Settings
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  • CINE D. All Settings at "0". CC and Grading in Premiere Pro CC 2014

  • I'm not seeing any noise unless I severely underexpose a wide DR shot. I meter religiously, and when I see that my shadows are gonna be 2 2/3 stops under or greater, I'll either add more light, or let the highlights creep up into zebra territory.

    If you ever watched my "expose in the zone" video - I still stick to that method, knowing I have a little more give - stretching the zones out by 2/3 of a stop on either side. There might be more headroom than that, but I'm playing it safe. And I've started under exposing skin tones again... to around 45-50%

  • @maddog15 Damn - there's some really nice shots there. Thanks for posting. I'm curious to see how this camera does with narrative drama scenes of close-ups and mediums with actors in frame, but these shots here definitely pique my interest. Very interesting.

  • @Matthew Nice music video, congratulations

  • @Matthew Great video. Can you share with us your settings, equip (lenses, etc), and post workflow software(s)? Very interested!

  • @matt_gh2 Thanks for the comment. Yeah this camera continues to blow me away. Obviously the YT compression is hell. The ProRes file is stunningly clean but without that "digital" look. Grading helps that too of course. I did some up close shots and I think you'll be impressed the GH4's narrative capabilities. With the right lens (e.g.: Lumix Summilux DG 25mm f1.4) medium and up close are better than wide on many levels. I love grading with the 4K footage from the GH4. So much more enjoyable, easier, more latitude to push and pull before the codec starts to breakdown. Nothing like the GH3. With skin tones that thing was challenging to say the least. More and more I'm staying around the 0 range for settings. Contrast and Sat still around -2 normally. The pedestal, highlight/shad adjustments are dangerous. A little goes a long way. Less is always more. But hats off to Panasonic for going there with these features in an effort to satisfy the Pro's, Semi-pro's and enthusiasts.

  • @Matthew Love the video and the music. Great job!

  • @maddog15 That's interesting re 25mm Lumix as that lens has kinda been on my mind and I wondered how it played with GH2 and GH4. I'd love to see some of those close-up shots if you've got time to post. Also like the idea of more latitude for push and pull in post. Great looking stuff you're doing - thanks for your thoughts on GH4.

  • @SuperSet Yes I encode all my masters to PreRes 422 HQ. To get the file above to a managable size I rendered it as an H.264 MP4

  • Thank you all for the nice comments - really appreciate it! @revitdazio, as far as all of that is concerned, I shot the video with only one GH4 and two lenses (SLR Magic CINE 12mm T/1.6 and SLR Magic CINE 25mm T/0.95). I used the updated Light Craft Workshop Variable ND Mark II filter (way better than the older version) to help control the harsh outdoor lighting (client wanted shallow close-ups), and I shot the entire video on a rented Zacuto Stinger + Z-Finder Pro rig (looking into buying the Tilta III rig for my personal equipment, however). The GH4 settings were constant throughout the entire shoot: Cine-D with -5 contrast, -5 sharpness, -5 noise reduction, -5 saturation, and 0 Hue. The highlight and shadow curve was set to 0/0, because (for me) boosting the shadow curve any further with an already -5 Cine-D contrast introduced way too much noise (nice to hear that @shian is getting better results, though). I had my zebras set at 100% instead of 95% because I noticed that with the GH4 there is already a little extra room before highlights are fully blown out. The footage was cut and stabilized (when needed) before being exported to a 1920x804 ProRes 444 file (perfect for going out to DaVinci Resolve LITE 11, as Cinema 4K is only in the full version) and from there I had quite a lot of room to work in post. I utilized a lot of power windows on the balloons and his red jacket to help retain the deep/bright reds without them turning orange from some of the LUT's I used. My Resolve workflow consisted of adding a Kodak 2393 LUT on the final node (read up on node structure from Juan Melara here: and adding a Rec.709 Kodak Elite Chrome 200 LUT from VisionColor's new Impulz LUT's on the node prior. From there, the node structure varied with exposure/color adjustments (I had my wheels set to log and my highs at 0.333 to better target the highlights before adjusting - again, great suggestion from Juan Melara). That was about it - I didn't take any time to de-noise the footage, but for the most part it was okay (a little noisy considering it was primarily shot at a base ISO of 200, but I was pushing the footage quite a bit). Any slow-mo footage was shot at 1080p in 60 FPS - I didn't need 96 FPS and it wasn't worth the tradeoff in quality loss - and the final shot in the video was 4K 30 FPS, conformed to 24.000, just to add some subtle slow motion (the entire video was shot at a 180 degree shutter, by the way). Hope this helps you/anyone else who is interested. Sorry for the lengthy post - just trying to be detailed!

  • @Matthew, thank you so much for sharing... I'm still learning the LUTs so the comments about nodes and such is something I'll have to research further. I'll take a look at that juanmelara article. Thanks again!

  • So I put together another round of test. This time comparing the Ninja Star 10Bit Recording to the GH4 8Bit recording. I shot the three profiles I liked from my last test, (Cine-D Regular, Dragon, and Film Convert Low Contrast), and made a vid for each one. There's no doubt that the GH4 internal recording at 4K looks great, but the Ninja Star can record a better range of color and light (though you have to be prepared as it may not match your histogram and be over exposed).

    It was a foggy overcast day, so keep that in mind as you watch.

    The GH4 internal footage just looks a little murky in comparison to be honest. There is a little more write up about the footage in the descriptions.

    Cine-D (which ended up a little over exposed)


    Film Convert Low Contrast

    And I also shot a Slow Motion Test with the three profiles. This one was hard to judge myself, at times 48fps over crank looks worse than 96fps does, but I do believe that 60p slowed in post came out looking the best, especially with retaining the color information.

  • Here are some new camera settings, based on RED camera users trying to work with the GH4 along side the new Dragon.

    Dragon-like settings:

    Cinelike-D: Contrast: 0, Sharpness -3, NR -3, Saturation 0, Hue 0 Highlight -4, Shadow +1 i.Dynamic OFF i.Resolution OFF Master Pedestal 0 Luminance Level 16-235 WB Adjustment: Amber 2, Green 2 WB @ 4500K ISO 1600

    Another suggested these settings:

    Natural instead of Cine-D (Cine-D has a little hue wobble in the color. Natural does not and is actually slightly less saturated) Contrast: -5, Sharpness: -5, Saturation: -5 i.Dynamic: medium (for a non-bumpy curve) Shadows: 0, Highlights: 0 the rest is the same as above (keep WB between 4k and 5k)

  • @zachasurp you listed many different profiles. In what cases are you using each? Just curious if you've found some of them particularly helpful in certain situations.

  • @Revitdazio I used the first Dragon setting for my tests and really like it. Though I'm not sure about only using 4500K and 1600iso. I mean, 1600iso looks pretty bad out of this camera.

    @Xenocide38 The main three I like are the ones from that last test. Cine-D (Regular), Dragon, and Film Convert Low Contrast. Though I haven't had enough time outside of work to really figure what each is best for. I will say that Film Convert Low Contrast REALLY brings out the colors in the image, I personally really like that, and Dragon has a nice lively image to it as well. I would say everyone should test themselves, but I did a quick lowlight test last night and Film Convert raising the shadows performed terribly, even with my Ninja Star, so I will say if it is low light you're better off not raising the shadows and adding noise.

    Before I make a decision on what to mainly use, I want to do some tests with skin tones. Film Convert Low Contrast (just shadow and highlight +5,-5) I think would be best for nice landscape stuff though. I hate Cine-V and Natural and all other settings to be honest, but mainly because I love all of the color I get with Cine-D. Everyone has their own preferences.

  • Dragon settings and no matter what the light conditions are using just ISo 1600 and a fixed white balance? how can this make sense? anyone experienced with these settings and other ISO and kelvin?

  • @Revitdazio @Xenocide38 ISO 1600 is terrible does´t matter which picture style we use. Some profiles just hide the noise with high contrast. In my opinion this is not a low light camera...My best NOISE tests are with Natural all -5 except NR and Saturation -2 or -3. Cinelike -D also works but it is almost the same unless we wash out the image but it will greatly increase the noise. The same happens with C-log from Canon. It can´t be used as a low light profile.

  • Last weekend, I shot this live performance with of a band with the GH4 and Olympus 12mm. For the first time I used my Came 7000 3-Axis brushless gimbal (still some fine tuning needed, visible movment). In this condition I tried some low light settings instead of flat cine like D. I used Cinelike V, Contrast +0, Sharpness -5, NR -5, Saturation -5 and ISO 1000. The original 4K file was way crispier and better looking than I thought

  • @Stiffla Very nice, once you get that gimbal dialed in post some more videos.

  • When people make blanket statements along the lines of "high ISO is not good" or this camera "cannot be used in low light", shouldn't these opinions at least be qualifgied with what type of lens you're shooting with?

    Telling us that ISO 1600 is noisy, is useless. Instead, tell us ISO 1600 is noisy with Pan 12-35 f2.8 or whatever. At least give us some aperture values. Cinema lenses and speedboosters should yield better results.

  • @Mistas the footage is going to have the same noise at the same ISO no matter what lens you put in front. Of course a faster lens may allow you to shoot at lower ISO....

  • @Mistas @AdamT is right. Lenses should not determine noise patterns. What they allow is for you to shoot at lower ISO due to better aperture values. But I can tell you that I had the same noisy results with the Voigtlanders at f 0.95 and the Panasonic 12-35mm. Also with Zeiss Master Primes the result was the same. :-) Even in well lit scenes and stopping down the lenses keeping the 1600 the sensor is really noisy. So I can say that it is a rather noisy sensor. There is a compromise between ISO/Noise that can be achieved but the lower the ISO the less noise I get.

  • I totally disagree on the points being made about noise levels by kikojiu and AdamT. Exposure effects noise levels greatly. I shoot at ISO 1600 quite regularly and expose to the right slightly. It produces significantly cleaner image than shooting at ISO 800 and being underexposed.

    The whole concept of shooting flat with the GH4 is the cause of the ugly noise. Particularly in underexposed shadows. Shooting Standard, Neutral or even Cinelike V surely isn't hiding anything. Simply exposing correctly in cam. I find the noise profile of this cam to be quite pleasing compared to the color noise I see so often in other cams.

    If you stay away from the flat profiles and have your subject well lit, I'm getting great results from ISO1600.

  • My post presumed the same exposure.