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GH1 vs GH2 vs GH3 vs GH4. Better looking sensor.
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  • @kronstadt @RRR @Aria @shian.

    Whay i make this thread?

    Cos no ones has discussed this 3 cameras in not only technical view, but on a final result as an image from sensor codec lens.

    This 3 cameras as being made, drop very diferent results and can be used as a set of tools. Canon cant make that, all their Ti series, al its D series have the same look, same color same all almost all. Panasonic i dont kwno if it was their searching for the better or just to try new flavor, but GH series is diferent, and each one has its own personality, not like APS-C over used canon sensor. MHO

  • Well…ya’ll can take anything I say here with a grain of salt but what it comes down to for me…is the lower the HD resolution…the more filmic (not cinematic) it looks. I first noticed this with the HVX line of cameras. They were a lower resolution HD camera (I know….sort of an oxymoron) but they always had a more film like texture to it than all other HD cameras. That could be what some people are seeing with the GH-1. Personally I don’t see much of a difference between the GH-1 and GH-2 other than maybe sharpness (or rather detail). The driving factor, at least for me, between all of the GH-X cameras comes down to……..lens choice.

    Another example of what I’m saying above is the difference between Alexa footage and Red. The Alexa, in my eyes, always wins when it comes to mimicking a film-like texture. Not saying that it’s a better looking image but just stressing the fact that Red’s strength is in its high resolution while the Alexa is nowhere near Reds resolution but yet it’s “texture” can be a bit more like film.

  • @Ian_T, I think I somewhat understand what you mean. For me it's a combination of factors. There is a lack of HARSHNESS to FIlm. It's an organic type of detail as opposed to looking like it's been sharpened or the detail has an unnatural look to it.

    The next things are DR, Smooth Gradation and Color. An image that has too much contrast can look really bad to me. As I went thru the different picture profiles of the GH1 I found Smooth to offer the lower contrast image and best shadow detail. When I combine that with lower contrast Manual lenses it really helps even more to help the GH1 to get a more natural look that I like.

    Now artistically I may want more vibrant punchy looks. Say if I'm doing a music video or one of the TV shows I do locally. But then i'm not looking for the Film look. I trying to get good "Video" quality. Usually I light the scene WAY more than I would for a very natural look.

    @RRRR, For me great DR is HUGE. I can't get enough of it, cuz when I look with my eyes and see well into the shadows and my eyes don't blow out sunny windows and curtains, so when I see an image that gets closer to how my eye sees then i'm happy. Then from there I can tweak the image to taste if I want to change the mood a bit or be more artistic with it. I just don't want it coming off the sensor already baked in.

  • @Aria I understand well where you are coming from.. and if you want the most eye-like-natural looking image (without working a lot on lighting) then yes, DR is very important. However, when talking about how we see things, it works a bit the same with DR as with focus. If we sit inside and talk to someone who sits next to a window and we pay no attention to the outside; we see the window mostly as certain intensities of light in the periphery. We focus on the person we are talking to.

    For this kind of scenario, great DR, when it comes to film making is not so important. It can be useful, of course - but we can choose from lighting the interior to lessen the contrast or choose to let the highlights blow or crush the interior (if we´re looking out). These are context-based decisions to make.. but a lot of people avoid making any decisions simply because they have huge DR. (goes the same for post-work as for acquisition)

    However, there are situations when the light is so peculiar and beautiful in itself where we cannot record it´s "face value" by any of the methods described above. F.i. when we´re inside a relatively dense foliage in the sun, where you both have light trickling down, "holes" in the foliage where we are used to seeing the sky and our eyes are adjusted to the light conditions below the trees. Now, to shoot something like that with limited DR range we´d have to do it in the morning (when the sunlight hasn´t peaked / is at an angle) and there might be a bit of fog dispersion in the air which acts as a diffuser.. But it might still get too dark underneath the foliage / too bright for any sky to show so that is really a situation where it´s very difficult to replace dynamic range.. the tools available to combat such situations are filters, and flags. For me, if I´m shooting a film in broad summer daylight / exterior and the budget allowed for it; I´ll go for a rented camera simply because it´s easier to handle harsh lighting and differences in light intensities. There will still be work to do with filters and flags, but I´d be more certain that the footage can be matched up afterwards.

    I can often affect when to shoot what and avoid some of the problems. But then again I live in a part of the world with pretty great lighting conditions for shooting outdoors.

  • @aria

    agree on this :

    For this kind of scenario, great DR, when it comes to film making is not so important. It can be useful, of course - but we can choose from lighting the interior to lessen the contrast or choose to let the highlights blow or crush the interior (if we´re looking out). These are context-based decisions to make.. but a lot of people avoid making any decisions simply because they have huge DR. (goes the same for post-work as for acquisition)>

    this apply if you are shooting only narrative, since DR is important say...documentary. damm even HFR 4k

  • @RRRR ,@Aria , @endotoxic if by DR you mean the Dynamic Range, then I'd say it is THE most important factor that separates Film from Digital. Film has roughly 16 usable stops. It shows Black as "more black" than what our eye is used to under normal situations -- that's why Film is a "hyperreal" medium. The other factors are As @Aria mentioned, smooth gradation and color. To that list I would also add the grain texture - Dots vs Pixels. So achieving a filmic look is really a matter of striking the correct balance between all these factors in a way that would best emulate the filmlook. If BMC, for example, with its 13 stops DR and 4:4:4 colour-space had a lower sensitivity (or a setting to deliberately lower the sensitivity) combined with a nice codec that would replace it's pixel grain with more filmic dot-grain and smooth gradation, then we'd have a very film-like footage. But BMC in ProRes 4:4:4 is not up to par as far as I'm concerned, so then it becomes a matter of shooting in RAW and adding these effects in post, which means more resources, more time, more specialists etc. GH13 somehow delivers not so high quality, but acceptable to most audiences, near-filmic footage almost straight out of the box.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but GH13 has only 8 or 9 stops of usable DR. Am I correct? Maybe not even that.

  • @endotoxic

    Why i make this thread? Cos no ones has discussed this 3 cameras in not only technical view, but on a final result as an image from sensor codec lens.

    The only way to answer that question would be to arrange for something like one of those Zacuto shootouts which would use Kodak and Fuji film stock as the base and shoot the same scenes with hacked GH13, hacked GH2, GH3 and I would also like to see BMC and Alexa in such a test. Unfortunately, such a test does not exist. The closest to such a test was Zacuto's Shootout 2010 with unhacked GH1, and I just liked the texture of GH1 so much that I ended up buying it. As I mentioned, I e-mailed Zacuto 2 days ago asking them to include hacked GH1 in their 2013 shootout and to compare it to film stock. You can e-mail them too , to add more weight...

    There are of course die-hard film stock shooters like Wally Pfister. But it seems to me that the reason why cinematographers like Roger Deakins are switching to Alexa is for purely budgetary reasons - higher ISO than anything that film stock can deliver, is a major saving when it comes to large sets with complex lighting setup, lots of lights, grip people etc. So the industry is less concerned with the"pale" look of Alexa and Red, and more with how much money and time can a given camera save during the production. And Zacuto shootouts are increasingly adopting that flavour, rather than the question of which one looks more filmic.

  • I believe the GH1 is about 8 stops. I think you really have to finesse the intake of light so you can hide the fact that it doesn't have great DR.

    As for the BMC's pixel grain, I would have to disagree. I feel the look of BMC footage is very film like. Especially when talking about it's RAW output. I'm not sure what footage you may be referencing, but everything i've seen has proven to me that if you know what you're doing you can get absolutely glorious footage from a BMC. I could only wish that my GH1 could get that kind of overall look. I don't currently have the budget for a BMC workflow, but I do believe it could give me the kind of look i'm after.

  • @kronstadt @Aria

    Please, check topic title from time to time, it is about GHx, not about BMC, you can always discuss BMC, in proper topic.

  • @kronstadt

    "Roger Deakins are switching to Alexa is for purely budgetary reasons - higher ISO than anything that film stock can deliver, is a major saving when it comes to large sets with complex lighting setup, lots of lights, grip people etc. So the industry is less concerned with the"pale" look of Alexa and Red, and more with how much money and time can a given camera save during the production."

    Roger Deakins wasn't an early adopter of digital, he waited until Digital IP technology was such that it made sense to start using digital technology to craft the look of his photography. The first feature to ever get an end-to-end digital IP was one of his. It would be a mistake to assign budgetary reasons for any his decisions or attribute the results to your inaccurate dismissal of both Alexa and RED.

    Some DPs play in the shadows and grade everything so that much of the image plays out in subtle, almost imperceptible gradations of darker tones. Deakins has shown a tendency to do the opposite and grade to a very bright image with more subtle tones up in the highs. It's not how I necessarily prefer my imagery but it's intentional.

    Alexa and RED footage, finished footage, only looks pale if you grade them to look that way (or don't grade them, like most early RED films). This is a common issue with high-end digital cameras, complicated on-set grading that intimidates directors and accounts for radically different results using the same technology based on the expertise, comfort level and choices of the filmmaker. That's why you would never guess that Michael Mann used the same camera for Collateral or Miami Vice that David Fincher used for Zodiac or any part of Benjamin Button. And who could predict that any CineAlta could look so bad as Mann's Public Enemies???

  • @BurnetRhoades what a nonsense... I never said Roger Deakins was the first one, and of course there were many cinematographers long before him.

  • @kronstadt Maybe you should re-read. You said (or implied) something I disagreed with but it was not that. Basically nothing in the section I quoted from you was accurate, but it wasn't that.

    I tried to explain in detail why I thought so but I guess I should have just said, "no."

  • The DR of film is dependant on film-stock.. I´d like to know which stock you use @kronstadt, for 16 stops DR. Kodak vision 3 has 14, alledgedly.

    And here we were discussing gh1, gh2, gh3 and the differences between the first two might be 1/3 of a stop...

    Please, stop this act of trying to mystify things and put your cards on the table. What do you shoot? Do you grade / color anything you shoot?

  • @endotoxic You are correct about documentary film-making.. (in that you can´t adjust too much with lighting). In general making documentaries is "easier" with cameras with a good form factor, good DR a.s.o. but plenty of people choose to shoot on cameras which do not comply with such criteria simply on the basis on desired look / feel. For shooting documentaries you´d also benefit from similar planning as a cinematographer for narrative would do. (Choosing beforehand how to handle the camera / image in different circumstances)..

    I guess you have some experience from using gh-series for documentary film-making? :) (maybe a good topic for another thread, if there isn´t one already)

  • @RRR In fact you are right, i have experience in documentary making, with HPX170, HVX200, GH1, GH2, Canon 60D, t2i, 5D, and good old handycams, and from honest poin of view, HPX170 grate battle camera, grate sensor. Even though canon sensors are good for general use, they easily over expose when shoot inside rooms with windows light coming in but too much for my taste. Also its texture is too comon. Also they way it handles light..me dont like.

    It would be very good idea to make topic about documentary. I cant post mines cos they belong to private corporations, but we can discuss a little bit on them, i have one short cut on one of them.

  • I'm still at the beginning of my venture into video. I came from the Pro Audio side of things for decades. Right now I do a lot of small local TV shows, Commercials for local businesses, Wedding Videos etc. Nothing that I really felt was great work, but enough for the needs of these small local clients. I'm trying to raise my skill level for more important work. I actually like the look of the video i'm getting from my GH1.

    I don't believe that the GH1 will have any problem doing the documentary work i'm looking to do in the near future. With fast lenses I feel I can get good enough exposure for just about any situation save for a cave. Especially excited about the Metabones Speed Booster combined with the GH1. I think that will make a wonderful combination. Right now I use a Vivitar 28mm F2.8 MC, Rokkor X 50mm F1.4 and Rokkor X 85mm F2. I'm still in need of more lenses to round out my kit but I find these lenses work well with the GH1. It's a very pleasing image when I use Smooth -2 all.

  • I think the choice of the lens gives that "film look", i like Nokton , than grading, framing/angles etc ... than sensor. I you use Nokton (or other "cinematic" lens) on GF2 i'm sure it gives that "film look" many samples posted already ... If you have a bad lens than sensor can't do much and vice-versa. Combination of both and more ... I like GH3 sensor for DR ...

  • @ Lenses surely play a significant role in the look of the image, and I find different lenses behave differently on different sensors, so this too, is a very big topic "outside" of this one. Maybe there already is a topic which touches upon which lenses to use for achieving "filmic" results. Or in other words, which lenses look like cine lenses and which do not.

    Mind, texture can make the image from a still lens (which looks very much like a still lens) look like it wasn´t shot digitally. F.I. I think it´s possible to achieve a look with canon fd´s on gh1 / gh2 which looks a lot like documentary shot on s16mm.. (despite them being pretty contrasty very-much-stills lenses).

  • @RRRR There's no mystification involved. I've shot 16mm and had a brief experience with 35mm (I think it was Kodak Vision3 5219). I wouldn't say that I'm a cinematographer or a DP, I'm more of a writer/director and therefore, I mostly comment on what I see, from taste and aesthetic preference -- it's a Personal-View. As for DR on film stock, I stand corrected, indeed Vision3 have 14-15 (not 16) stops.

    @feha I totally agree with you that lenses have a HUGE part to play in delivering the filmic look. I went on to create a separate topic for this http://personal-view.com/talks/discussion/5845/lenses-to-achieve-cinematicfilmiclookon-gh1-gh2-and-gh3 . I think @endotoxic and @Aria would also like that thread.

  • @kronstadt, you see - I disagree there (any image can be dissected into it´s technical and contextual substrates), but now I understand where you are coming from, as is the case with many writers/directors just like yourself. And I have absolutely nothing against anyones Personal-View. I only find it problematic when people talk about things like they were facts, omitting it´s their opinion (or from what viewpoint that is based on).. Maybe a bit of hair-splitting on my part, but I think the discussion and in particular the resource that this discussion is, benefits from clarity when it comes to those things.

    Personally I do work as a DP/cinematographer - with a background in fine arts, so I have a tendency to be very analytical (and I have to avoid being too academical) at times. When I find it necessary, I go to extreme lengths to learn how stuff works. With that said, I do a lot of different stuff. Pay the bills, have fun.

    The gh series let me do both. ;)

  • To me this is the ultimate cinematic film look - 70mm film

    Rich, organic and detailed all at once - Can the GH look like this? :)

  • Damm this is amazing!!! 70mm film has such latitude and color, vibrant color!!! GH will never ever get close to that... :(

  • @CoolColJ you're also talking about a film size that makes the sensor in the 5D/1D look small.

    There is no digital equivalency for shooting in 65mm, not the small version, not the big version. There's still no digital equivalency for true anamorphic 35mm.

  • @endotoxic - it is not just the GH line that will never achieve such gamut and vibrancy - all the electronic sensor-based camera that are commercially available (including the latest 4K ones) are much less color capable than 35-70mm film-based shots. The camera sensor charges are normally converted via 12-bit converters (4096 only available steps) per pixel. This is nothing compared to the millions and millions of steps available to the chemistry on film. Even if you would build a camera with 16 or even 18 bit conversion, not only you would still be far off from film quality, but the cost and power requirements of such converters would be prohibitive for even high price pro cameras.

    You can get more info on the electronics involved in using sensors in cameras here: http://www.linkwitzlab.com/dpp/A-D-conversion.htm