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GH4 firmware update 2.0 talk
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  • @sebfarges Thanks for this Seb. So what's your opinion of the new photo 4K modes with your lenses?

  • Nice work Seb. Great atmosphere as usual! This '4k photo' mode definitely opens up some interesting options for anamorphic users on the GH4.

  • Loop mode is Useless!

    The loop mode for the new photo/video function is poorly implemented. You can’t set markers during loop mode so you can skip ahead to the point you want very easily.

    Also it automatically records at least 5 different video files in loop mode. They are stored in 5 separate folders and show up as 5 separate videos in the camera. You can’t search through them at all to find what you want.

    Basically the loop function is utterly useless. It never should have been released like this. A total waste of effort.

    It should record up to 5 separate 2 minute clips and place them all in one folder. If you continue to record past 10 minutes then it should overwrite the first clip with the most recent clip. At the end it should join the clips together even if that means that it freezes the camera functions for a certain duration.

    It should also allow you to place markers. The loop mode should be designed for those times when you place a camera on a tripod. You roll video waiting for something to happen. You may be near by doing something else but still checking the camera every few minutes.

    Once you see something happen you can go out and place a marker on the camera to quickly skip to the point you want.

    I could see this being used for things like lightning or waiting for a Hummingbird, Deer, or other animal to come into the camera’s field of view. As it stands right now. It would be too tedious to wade through all of the different files to find what you are looking for. I foresee another firmware update to fix this.

  • The "AF Tests with the GH4 with Firmware 2.0" video Vitaliy posted above clearly shows that the GH4 is not making use of a fast "Depth From Defocus" AF in video mode - what a pity! I think it would have been the most obvious and useful application of DFD to realize a continous AF in video mode, but for some reason Panasonic never told, that wasn't implemented. As it is as of today, continous AF in video mode stays unuseable for basically any practical purpose.

  • The "AF Tests with the GH4 with Firmware 2.0" video Vitaliy posted above clearly shows that the GH4 is not making use of a fast "Depth From Defocus" AF in video mode - what a pity!

    Any fast AF happens only in special AF mode (240fps) as I understand. For video it is the fps you use for shooting.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev: I understand that the continous AF has to use the read out from the sensor, which will only arrive with the same FPS rate used to shoot video. And I could sure use a continous AF that is slower than the single AF for pictures. But the distinguishing feature of DFD would be to not "hunt" into the wrong direction, which causes these awful sequences where the picture becomes very blurry before it gets sharper again. And I am sure that even if it took let's say 1.0s instead of 0.2s to fix focus, this would still be ok if the picture would only get sharper during that period. But without DFD, the camera is changing focus into the wrong direction half of the time, and that is causing sequences you really cannot expect people to tolerate in a final cut.

  • I'm not sure why you'd want super fast AF when shooting video. It would look like ass. Only time that would be useful would be when shooting video for the purpose extracting stills.

  • @Adamt: I think you got me wrong. I don't ask for "super fast AF when shooting video", just for a focusing that does not "hunt into the wrong direction first".

  • Any camera with Panasonic 20mm F1.7 is guaranteed to run like turtle, I dunno why he test it with the lens that is notoriously slow.

  • @karl

    <hunt into the wrong direction first

    You know DFD hunts in the wrong direction first right? It just does it quickly and in small increments so you don't notice it.

    The video above is meaningless. The lens has more to do with AF than anything else. In this case the 20mm F1.7 is the limiting factor. It is not capable of fast focusing.

    I have tested the 35-100mm F2.8 with the new firmware and it is clearly better in the video/still mode than in true video only mode. It isn't perfect but it is much better.

  • Anybody else having problems with the camera not wanting to turn off after every few USB offloads of clips to the computer After update? I mean having to remove the battery to get camera to turn off.

  • I hope it's not the new Remote Control (PTP) function that has been added under the "USB Mode" that may possibly affect the " PC connection" connection function.

  • Does the USB tethering offer a decent size live image in video mode?

  • @mpgxsvcd: In general, "Depth From Defocus" computes the distance of an object from its image, using known blurring properties of the used lens (see this article (paywalled) or this article for more details. BTW: It's interesting to see it took 22 years, from 1992 till 2014, before DFD went from a practical implementation in one camera into the mass market).

    Knowing the distance means that the very thing you can avoid is an initial mis-hunt into the wrong direction. What DFD cannot avoid is further small adjustment moves around the initially computed position, but slight variations are not what puts the viewers off - its the long initial "hunt" into the completely wrong direction that looks awful.

    Also according to the published properties of DFD in the GH4, the initial movement of the focus plane is precisely what is done "into the right direction", different from when not using DFD.

    So I think there is no good known reason why Panasonic could not implement DFD for continous video AF.

  • @karl

    DFD is used to determinate speed and time of initial focus drive movement mostly. It is just some guess. Overshoot is always present (even Panasonic show it on their chart).

    If you have low fps and use high speed of focus drive for AF adjustment your overshoot can be really big.

  • I would not be concerned if the "AF Tests with the GH4 with Firmware 2.0" video just showed overshooting the calculated focus position, but it also shows many times that when the person changes head position, the initial big focus movement goes into the wrong direction. And this is an indication of not using DFD at all for video autofocus. Panasonic wrote in their specs that the LX100 does not use DFD for video AF, but I have not seen word on this in the specs of the GH4.

    (BTW: The paper from 1992 I linked above says: "DFD1F has been successfully implemented and tested on an actual camera system named SPARCS. SPARCS can determine the distance of an object placed in front of it at any distance in the range of 0.5 m to infinity, and can successfully focus the object by moving the lens with a root-mean-square error of less than 6% in terms of lens position" - that would still today be a huge improvement if available for video AF.)

  • is it safe to update firmware with non panasonic battery? I lost the original battery, been using wasabi battery bought from Amazon

  • @tinbeo

    I updated mine with that battery. Unlike other Panasonic cameras the 3rd party batteries for the GH4 will show accurate time left.

  • The 20mm F1.7 was the issue in the test above. My 35-100mm F2.8 does not show any of these issues and it focuses much faster and accurately in video/still mode than it does in video only mode.

  • WOW great footage 'sebfarges ' I installed the 2.0 firmware last night and did some quick afternoon and evening shots. I noticed how bloody sharp and noiseless the footage is, maybe this is due to the Ratios (4x3 and 1.1) being close to the shape of the image sensor??? and not having to much internal fold-down (Folding Down =video Noise) The update didn't work on my Samsung super dooper 64gb SDXC card but worked on a PNY bog standard 32GB SDHC card. Doing some more shooting in Soho, London today while on my late afternoon break from work. Will be using my ISCO anamorphic and my trusty old school Olympus 50mm f1.8, will edit and upload over the week end. So far bloody impressed, well done Panasonic!

  • Using the 2/3" Canon TV Zoom 11-70mm in 1:1

  • @fosterchen the close up on that looks a like 70s B movie! Assault on Precinct 13 !

  • The 20/1.7 is the absolute worst lens to use for testing video AF. Panasonic doesn't even rate it as certified for C-AF.

  • The 20/1.7 is the absolute worst lens to use for testing video AF. Panasonic doesn't even rate it as certified for C-AF.

    @AdamT You make a very good point!

    Does anyone have a link to the matrix that shows Panasonic lens capabilities (like which are capable of C-AF)? I seem to remember seeing one, but I can't find it anywhere.