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GH3 Best Video Settings
  • Bought a GH3 just over a week ago. So far extremely happy with it on many levels. Have an interview job coming up so I did a multi cam test with my GH2 (Moon T5 loaded) and my new GH3 (Highest setting - MOV 1080p 24, @ 72Mb/s, All Intra). GH3 as camera A - front, GH2 as camera B - profile. When I synced the two vids in Premiere Pro for a multi cam edit... things were...different. Long and short of it.... the GH2 with Moon T5 kicked the GH3's butt hands down in low light.

    In a nutshell the GH3 produced much more noise than I expected. And an overall lower quality image vs the GH2 under the same shooting conditions. (Both cameras shooting with the same f-stop, S-speed and ISO)

    It was recommende3d by @robbin that I try the 50Mb/s IPB setting. I did so but still don't see much improvement or change in the noise with lower light. Was shooting at ISO 400 so I should be fairly safe right? Per many other professional shooters I have Sharpness at -5, Contrast -5, Saturation -2. Noise Reduction at 0 as -5 allows too much noise and +5 seems to muddy or soften the image as a whole to me.

    Any feedback is welcome on best video settings for GH3

  • 814 Replies sorted by
  • What lens were you using on the GH3?

  • @peternap Was using the Lumix 14-140. Had the 14-42 kit lens on the GH2

  • @maddog15 I'm experiencing same thing in terms of noise. Sometimes I get extremely noisy and crushed/harsh/dithered shadows, even at low ISO. Look at the detail attached. This was shot at 800 ISO (not so low I know, but not even so high) on a Tokina 11-16, Natural, with settings down to -5, -5, 0, -5. And that noise is really "fizzy". It was 50p anyway, but I experienced same thing even at 25p 50Mbps

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  • I prefer the GH2 as A cam. moon T5 simply measures better than the GH3... presently.

  • Avchd codec is much cleaner at high iso. I don't use MOV in low light for this reason

  • @Sph1nxster really? Yesterday I've been looking extensively around PV to find which codec is the best, and I came up to the conclusion it is 24/25p 50Mbps .mov, especially from shian extensive tests. I guess I'm baffled again. Sph1nxster, didn't you maybe refer only to All-I mov codec, which is notoriously bad?

  • @flablo Yes that looks firmiliar. My tests have produced the same results. And for the most part with AVCHD and MOV. I'm trying to aquire a Nikon 20mm f2 AI manual lens. Or perhaps the Lumix 20mm Pancake. Either way I've got to get more light into the GH3 for low light if I'm going to use it for client jobs.

    If any one has the 20mm lens and a GH3 I'd love to see screen grabs from your tests. In theory more light should help the issue.

    This really makes me appreciate the work of VK, Drifwood and others even more. Makes me look at that "little plastic GH2" with new respect. Don't get me wrong I really live my GH3 - but the irony of this lesson has been enlightening to my brain as we'll as my bank account!

  • @flablo my statement is purely subjective and my opinion, I don't bother referring to other tests because I need to be happy with my own results in real life situations. I only shoot 50p so have not even considered the 50mbps 25p setting.

    50mbps MOV vs 28mbps avchd in low light = far less noise on the avchd codec (IMO)

  • @maddog15 I figured that may be your lens. First, my GH2's are better in low light than my 3. That said, the 14-140 is a nice lens in good light and sucks in low light. Settings aren't going to help that much. Try a faster lens, that will help a good bit and hope VK hacks the GH3.

    I also don't set my GH3 as flat as my GH2's but again, that isn't going to help with the noise.

  • @peternap

    I have found the GH3 much better in low light than the GH2. I hated the GH2 image above ISO800 and happily use the GH3 up to 1600.

  • Yep, the 14-140 is a dog in anything but daylight. That's your biggest problem.

  • @vicharris Great. That's what I was hoping. Looking into a 20mm prime of some sort. Tried a test with my Pentax 50mm 1.2 prime lens I've had from way back in my college days. That made a difference altogether. (Surprisingly not a bad little lens all things considered.)

  • Shouldn't there be concensus regarding low light performance between gh2 and gh3?

  • @Sph1nxster you were absolutely right, I tried a comparison and AVCHD is better with darker areas. One thing I never suspected: 50p AVCHD seems a bit better than 25p AVCHD. Maybe is the noise moving faster so it's less visible? @maddog15 even if you use faster lenses, you'll always have dark areas where exposure is low, so that doesn't really solve the problem. Hope we will get a hack and a nice .mov all-I codec!

  • did other tests and AVCHD is incredibly better than MOV. Furthermore, shooting at 50p also eliminates the jitter/stutter problem associated with pans which has always bothered me! And bitrate is the same. And it is 50p so has "incorporated slow-mo". @Sph1nxster I should buy you some cookies

  • I see much finer noise structure with 50pMOV recording vs 50pAVCHD, see attached pictures (iso1600). I think that is important as it is pleasing to the eye.

    !The image names are swapt!

    AVCHD 50p.jpg
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    MOV 50p.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 694K
  • @manstok Nice test. Huge difference in my eyes also.

    Granted neither is "usable" but I'm assuming you pushed it to reveal the noise for the purposes of the test? And just to confirm you did no adjustments to the images per Photoshop, Lightroom etc? These are straight screen grabs from your movie files?

    Thanks for posting the images

  • @flabo How does faster glass not solve the problem of underexposed images when you shooting with slow glass? I thought that's exactly what that's supposed to accomplish? If someone lets in 4 times the amount of light, is that not going to properly expose the areas that were underexposed before? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here!

  • @Sph1nxster Yes I've really become partial to All Intra recording. Edits wonderfully also. After hacking my GH2 with Moon T5 from Driftwood I doubt I'll go back to Long GOP's like DREWnet V8. In fact I'll probably leave Moon as my GH2's resident firmware. Absolutely beautiful footage and grades well.

    That's to other thing about my GH3's footage. (very limited experience at this point as I just bought the camera) But grading in post can quickly reveal artifacts, crushed blacks and noise. Very tricky. But like I said I'm assuming a lot of "user error" at this point until I've lived and worked with the camera for a few weeks.

  • @vicharris I'm with you on your last post. Even after quickly testing with the 50mm f1.2 prime lens I have - noise was washed away a bit more with the increase of that beautiful incoming light to the sensor.

  • @vicharris of course with more light you have less underexposed area, but you can't presume you will never deal with an image with an underexposed area, even with faster glass. It is like saying "don't shoot dark scenes, just shoot daylight" (I'm exaggerating of course), it doesn't solve the codec issue we are discussing in this thread, in my opinion.

    I'm posting 2 shots, mov and AVCHD. The latter seems objectively better (less harsh) to me

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  • So...what codec are you guys using for low light situations ?

  • @maddog15 I used after effects and graded both exactly the same to push the noise.

    @flablo the exposure and WB in your images look different, agreed the second image looks better

  • @manstok yes, I noticed too, don't know why because I took the shots one after the other. WB was untouched for sure, maybe I changed the shutter by mistake(?) Anyway I think that doesn't compromise the noise test

  • Here is one I just did, see names on windows to know who's who f 5.6 s 600 ISO1600, Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4

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