Personal View site logo
GH2 versus Arri Alexa and F3 (real world testing)
  • 77 Replies sorted by
  • It is "bullshit" isn't it, as the Epic has so much more dynamic range, but the test being carried out under overcast weather, this isn't obvious.

    On the other hand, why does Red feels it needs to comment on this, if it is so obvious?

    Very funny. And what a superb camera the GH2 has become thanks to Vitaliy and friends.
  • @JDN Can you add Red Epic / Scarlet to the title of this topic, as Vitaliy prefers we keep real world testing on Red Cameras in this topic?

    I laughed at the initial comparison topic, but then saw the footage and said "damn"

    Can anybody else confirm this,
    the GH2 Hack produces a better default image than the EPIC at 1080 24p?
    Especially in low light?

    Closed red thread listed here with Jannard comment:
    "This is the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever read.

  • Hi ,is a video in vimeo RED Epic verus Panasonic GH2
  • Why do you prefer GH2 with kae 3GOP hack rather than than a Driftwood GOP1 setting? Aren't the other 2 cams GOP1?
  • Super report there. Thanks for sharing.
  • Yes screen grabs would be fine, if someday you are doing another shoot with the Alexa or F3. Just point the camera to another subject with the GH2 and one of these and then you won't have problem to show it :)
  • Hey Guys,
    I know you want footage. I know. I'll see about screengrabs but I can't actually put the footage online.

    And yeah, I'm still convinced of the gh2's performance. We're ditching other cams and shooting a bit part of the doc on 2 gh2s now...
  • @JDN footage!, footage! :):):):):):) we have been waiting :):):):)
  • Did you watch your footage in editing yet? What do you think now, still convinced of gh2 performance?
  • Thank you, Nomad
  • Extended Tele, it's "windowing" a central area of the chip 1920 by 1080 px in size, so it's not downsampling any more, but giving you more telephoto effect because of cropping – still much better than a digital zoom in other cameras.
  • @bdegazio
    What it's ETC mode?
  • @bwhitz

    Down-sampling from an over-sampled image gives a HUGE improvement in aliasing, perceived color-resolution, moire, and many other forms of digital artifact. Based on my experience over-sampling/down-sampling in computer animation, this is the single biggest reason for the superior image performance of the GH2 over other video DSLRs. Panasonic chose to implement good-quality, real-time down-sampling (in custom VLSI hardware I presume) rather than skipping pixels.

    Another nice by-product of this choice is the high-quality of 720p on the GH2. Because it's down-sampled from the same full-res sensor data as a 1080p image, the 720p image still contains (in a way) all the same information that the 1080p does - it's just been 'averaged' into a smaller number of pixels. When I first saw a 720p stream from the GH2 I was pleasantly surprised - at first glance it looked like 1080, but shot with a slightly softer lens.

    As @JDN points out, the advantage is immediately obvious when you use ETC mode, which turns off the down-sampling. Suddenly you;ve got a much harsher, crudely digital image, especially in 720p.
  • The Alexa wins for latitude hand down...true but... for myself its a simple math problem when comparing these 3 cameras... (GH2 FTW)
    Alexa -> $60,000- $80,000
    Sony F3 -> $25,000 - $30,000
    GH2 hacked -> $900 - $1200
    " Its the like the Geico of cameras, you could save a TON of money by switching to GH2..."
  • @Bwhitz -- good comment. Makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly noticeable when you go from regular to crop mode in the gh2. For me, what is most pleasing is eliminating anything visual that says "video" -- I feel I immediately disconnect a tiny bit with what I'm watching because I realize I'm watching it through a lens. When you're shooting 1:1 on crop, a pixel is either one colour or another -- no ifs ands or buts, so you get excessive noise and can get aliasing around edges as it jumps back and forth between being the object and the background colour. But with down processing a bunch of pixels (especially at high bit rate) you can keep each pixel a constant colour I suspect.

    @Brain202020 -- yeah, no doubt reds are great. Shot an experimental jet ski at 120fps once and loved it! The discussion is broadening out, but I have indeed seem some things I liked on the AF100 but generally it is with the voightlander .95 or other lenses -- the panasonic lenses are indeed overly sharp and that's why I always have a black frost 1/8, and often 1/2, in (unless I'm doing a glidecam shot where the fast movement with 24 p cadence compensates/distracts from sharpness).

    Probably what I'm responding to positively w/gh2 is how easy it is get a slightly drained look while holding skin tones (maybe because it is a bit red to begin with?) -- it has some of the characteristics of a bleach bypass without going that far, which is perfect for me as I'm trying to add a film/narrative feel to doc work without going so far that it starts to feel distracting and overly processed (as an example, I thought the bypass on cave of forgotten dreams pushed things a little to far into unreality). But now I'm really getting off topic.

    Anyway, glad you all enjoyed the post. I'll try to post those clips or at least screen grabs in the next few days. Incidentally, if anyone has a favourite fcp workflow for avchd please message me. I've been working with avids for years but haven't touched FCP in many years and wanting to make sure our assistant editor doesn't go astray...
  • @Brian202020

    Probably... that and the lenses. Panasonic lenses look really video-like and ugly to me... even on the GH2. I actually remember a AF-100 music video that looked really good. I think they were using Ziess CP's and an off-board recorder to an intra-frame codec... it may just be the stock long-GOP motion that's to blame again after all.
  • @bwhitz
    As for the AF100 looking video, it's all in the settings, lenses, and lighting my friend. Tweak those just right and it can look pretty damn amazing, and in my opinion more film like than most cameras. Those flat cine gamma curves are unlike anything else out there.
  • Damn nice report!
    Interesting read and I respect your honesty. Thank you!
  • @JDN Thanks. Sounds very encouraging.

    GH series is the only mirrorless model taken seriously. Something special about GH itself and the hacks. We know the magical formula by now. Smooth highlight roll-off & fine noise reproduction & good details. High bitrate solved the noise issue. Looking forward to trying out @cbrandin's upcoming custom film mode. GH2 keeps getting better.
  • Great write up! Thanks for sharing!

    I think another thing that helps the organic, but still crisp look of the GH2, is that it's down-rezzing from more mega-pixles (16mp). Say what you will about bigger pixels of the AF-100 and F3 being more sensitive... but I have a strong feeling that starting from a 16mp image (and properly down-sampling) give much better and more natural looking edges/detail than something that starts off at, or closer, to 1080p. The AF-100 just looks so video like, it doesn't even look like the same manufacturer as the GH2... could just be the sensor being a generation older, and the GH2 getting the very newest from the Lumix line.

  • @JDN Very interesting write up. It's amazing how you used all of these cams together and got this type of impression.

    It's funny but when these types of questions were asked in the past in other forums (this camera vs that) they were always shot down with sarcastic remarks like "it's stupid to compare a consumer cam vs a pro cam" etc. I would agree with that statement if it were just about functionality and what each cam has to offer (tweakability and accessories etc.). But my bottom line was always image quality. You basically answered a lot of what many of us wanted to know....firsthand and without the snark remarks.

    Don't get me wrong....I understand the difference between a consumer camera's limits vs a professional camera...and that they are nothing but tools to get the job done. And, like how @Brian202020 stated "I guess it proves that everyone prefers something different"...I know the next guy could have a totally different POV in this same scenario... but I appreciate your honest feedback.

    Looking forward to whatever you can tease us with in terms of snapshots or itty-bitty-witty sample clips. :-)
  • The GH2 is one one heck of a little camera. Magic can be made In the right hands with the right bunch of lenses, sound capture, and a great story to tell.
  • Ok, I was just contemplating whether to pick up a second GH2. You really sound convincing... :)
  • Your report is great and interesting. I've used all the camera's mentioned, but not at the same time. The thing I find the most interesting is how you would prefer the GH2 over the F3. I've owned many camera's in my day, the RED MX is by far the most stunning image out of the camera's I've owned followed next by the AF100 and then the GH2. I think it's interesting that I prefer the image from my AF100 over my hacked GH2, most people prefer the F3 over the AF100, and you prefer the hacked GH2 over the F3. I guess it proves that everyone prefers something different. Again, nice right up JDN, I look forward to screen shoots.
  • Oh, and should probably add that I'm totally happy with the F3 footage -- it's just for the money, I'm not sure it gives you anything more over a gh2 (I don't want to slight my incredible DoP!)