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GH3 codecs and workflow
  • I'd like to start a conversation about the pros and cons of the different options with the GH3.

    I primarily work as an editor, but im not super "tech". For the past few years i've been using a hacked gh1 for my personal stuff, editing on an imac with FCP 7, log and transfer to prores. As far as i have experienced h264 has not been good to edit with? every time i have had footage shot with canons sent to me for work, an assistant editor would trans-code to prores.

    so with one of the main selling points of the GH3 being ALL-I, and the talk of "edit ready" h264, im confused.

    like everyone else, i want to get the most out of this camera in terms of image quality, so my question is, to transcode or not? if you were to transcode ALL-I footage to prores, would it defeat the purpose of shooting it in the first place? what are the pros and cons of working with H.264?

    the primary size and frame rates i'd be using are 1080 24p and 1080 60p for slow motion.

    what are you guys doing for post? what are your opinions on codecs and workflow?

    thanks! jon

  • 19 Replies sorted by
  • hi all, it looks like it's not possible to conform a .mov file shot @50fps with gh3, to 25fps in cinema tools (fcp studio), without fist converting it to another format (i.e. AIC or prores)... so, no way to conform just the file straight from the camera...? thank you very much

  • Well...I just recorded a lot of takes using the GH3 with 50mbs mov 60fps mode. I CANT edit in FCPX ! The playback is stuttering all the way ... What I need to do ? Thanks

  • This is a good topic to discuss. IPB or intra or GOP damm GH3 has lots of compression modes.

    @labalbi When shuttering what dou you mean?

    Like clipping in unpropper rendering? or framedrop? have you set you proyect too 30p? and drop 60p footage on timeline?

  • @labalbi

    I found the same thing. Seems the .mov is just a wrapper on h264. My 8 core Mac Pro with 5780 video card chokes on it. Only way is to transcode to ProRes. Weird thing is that FCPX interprets the footage sometimes as mpeg4 and sometimes as .mov.

  • Ok. I imported GH3 files to FCPX converting them to Apple Prores . The BIG problem is , the files become HUGE !!!4 or 5 times the original size !!!! my 32 gb card full of movies turns into more than 200 gb !!!

    We need to find a solution !!!Otherwise will be unpractical working with FCPX !

  • @labalbi

    Yup. You can either transcode to Proxy and then just output the final in full rez or get yourself a bunch of new drives, or a new computer... Happily big drives don't cost much anymore.

  • @conundrum 1 - When I convert the files to proxy instead of optimized the issues continues . Same choppy video. 2 - My FCPX doesnt allow me to import my files to an external hard drive . I have one 2tb empty just for that , but would be terrible to work with it since its only usb 2.0 . Anyway the FCPX doesnt allow . I can import only to my hard drive .

  • Cheesecam guy reports that he can edit gh3 footage easily on his macbook pro retina but he´s using the All- I codec. I remember almost everyone here saying that this All-I coded sucks big time ...

  • Yeah it's true All-i sucks. I edit with Edius 6.52 and no problem.

  • All my GH3 video stutters during playback on all pan and tilt shots. Especially pans. Static shots look fine. Any recent solutions found? I'm using MBP 2.8 GHz/8GBRam, with graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT. Playback in Quicktime and VLC players stutters. Also tried importing both optimized and non-optimized footage in FCPX - stutter continues. Exported footage ProRes footage looks a bit better. Stutters on 60 Hz external 1280x720 monitor as well. While testing chose all record quality options and settings, finally settled on 30p/72mb All-i as it gave smoothest result during pans and tilts. Dolly shots or handheld shots were unusable. Tried shutter speeds between 60 and 400. Shutter speeds higher that 160 seem better. What is the solution? Is this a Mac issue? Is it a monitor compatibility issue, compression, codec or cpu issue? Panasonic techs's only suggestion was to view footage on a PC! Not helpful. Playing back on the camera itself, it looks better, but I still see some stutter in pans. The seller has no idea and no users have reported same issue to them. I've read some of the threads on this site, but have seen no solution that works for me. Please advise. I love the camera, but this issue has had me baffled for too many days now. Only have 2 more days to resolve the problem, then must return it to store for refund. Thanks.

  • I edit my GH3 footage just fine on FCP7, playback is fine with no problems. I don't convert file or anything like that. I just drag and drop mts and ipb files on timeline no problem.

  • @V_ Bee try transcoding to Prores and outputting a Prores proxy QuickTime to see if that plays back the pans more smoothly. Just to rule out processor or graphic card issues.

    @Vitaliy Do you know what this apparent cadence issue is and what the solution might be?

  • When I imported footage into FCPX, I already tried transcoding a few panning shots to ProRes422, strung them together in a project and then shared from timeline to MOV H.264 file. The Cadence? or stutter effect in playback continues. Also tried outputting as ProRes422 file, same stuttering results. Normally when shooting HD video on other cameras, I select 30fps with shutter speed @ 60, a I get smooth flowing pans no problem. But panning shots on GH3 at that @ 60 speed, look jerky. When shutter speed is @ 160, 200 or 250, pans look a bit smoother. But then of course higher shutter speed makes image darker when shooting in manual mode, aperture @ F4. Vitaliy suggested I see to "tips & tricks" discussion thread, but I found no solutions there. I understand 180 degree shutter rule - I learned trade on 16mm & 35mm film cameras. A friend of mine with a GH2, says he never does pans or tilts with his GH2. Seems limiting. There must be a solution. Other users are having success dollying, tracking, zooming and panning with GH3. Thanks for your help.

  • By the way, I'm new to using forums like this. Not sure how others will see my posts. Do I reply directly others posting replies to my questions? How does it work?

  • @V_Bee I can totally sympathize with you. As I mentioned try outputting a self contained Prores Proxy file from transcoded Proress 422 footage. Try it at 24p-40fps, at 30p-60fps-and 60p-120fps. Try playing these back both on your MPB and on a desktop work station just to make sure they still stutter. The last thing to try would be to try out other lenses to see if that has any effect at all. You are doing your pans on a tripod?

  • Could anyone answere the original question. I would love to know what the correct workflow is for FCPx. when i first got my GH3 i loved the fact it used the h264 without a problem, nice and quick to edit as well. The problem was i soon realised that the footage looked rather blurry. Much worse than the original. Can anyone tell me if i should be using 5dtoRGB as i did with my GH2 (i hope not its a real pain and the colour changes)

  • I use 5dtoRGB for my gh3... or I use FCPX to tranfer them to prores. I only edit in prores. Hadn't have problems yet

  • @v_Bee I had exactly the same problem with my GH2 and it was one of the primary reason for selling it. The only time I got smooth pans was when I set the camera to record interlaced, the most successful test was using the 'sanity 4' hack. The panning issue is very subjective because it depends so much on the pan speed AND the image/scene you're filming. If the shot contains SHARP (in focus) vertical lines the pan will appear to 'stutter' BUT if the shot contains lots of out-of-focus regions (typical shallow depth of field scene) the pans will look OK. I spent lots of time experimenting with the camera but short of shooting interlaced I couldn't cure the pan stutter. For what it's worth, the 5D MK3 had the same issues BUT again I must stress that the stutter is heavily dependant on the panning speed and the scene content, look at tracking shots, the vast majority of these are rather slow and don't reveal the 'stutter'. It is interesting that different cameras (all set to 25P) seem to give varying degrees of 'pan stutter', my FS700 gives far less stutter and is more typical of you generally see in HD broadcasts. The Nikon D7100 I just bought seems fine on scene pans when set to 25P but this camera isn't as sharp as the GH2/3 and it doesn't record 50P. At this price level you have to accept a degree of compromise, for the money these cameras produce incredible images...