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Do we really need the GH4 and 4:2:2, 10 bit, 4K, Raw file? GH1 and GH2 still rock for me
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  • Thanks for your input @Brianl, interesting link to understand more about this topic.

    @Aria, The analogy with sound recording make total sens to me, and remind me the way pro photography got suddenly open to amateur with the entry of digital camera which gives more room for try and mistake correction on the field vs "you have to get it right at first" with slides. I lost my job as a correspondent in Japan for that reason, as photography suddenly became mainstream and widely distributed on the net. Now, in video, the biggest weakness of my production model is sound recording. Being a one man doing everything, the person I am missing the most is a sound man, and if I invest myself in more serious film making project, he would be the first person to join my team.

    @IronFilm, Thanks for the comment, and I agree with you on the color grading which looks too much on picture sample, but works out on the film. I wanted to try as hard as possible to break down those 4:2:0 8 bits AVCHD file (as I read so many terrifying post on that matter) but I couldn't! There is lots of post job on this film. Important is to shoot it as flat as possible and to know what you can achieve in post to increase DR and get the color and the mood you are looking for.

  • Just a cursory review of 4k content says that for displays <60" the difference between 4k and 1080p is nominal. However, in that TV's nowadays are designed to last five years only, perhaps we'll have no choice to purchase 4k displays. We're beholden to the TV manufacturers.

  • Well, I definitely DON'T need 4:4:4, RAW and other such stuff. I played with 4:2:2 uncompressed few years ago when people were building HDMI recording backpack rigs for HV20, which I also did. I think most of the people just don't realize what it is. They think it's a sort of a silver bullet that will make their videos magically better. It's not. The quality advantage is really marginal and can be seen only in very specific conditions, but the workflow PITA is big. You've got huge files, doubled and tripled rendering times, worse previews and other resources hiccups. Is it worth it? Well, personally for me and for the type of job I do it doesn't. 9/10 times. The rest 1 time I do really need it - I can rent. Period, the end.

  • @zigizigi Very good point and nice experienced comment, for a change. If the difference is not so visible in the end product, I am not in need of 4:2:2, 10 bit and huge bit rates to improve my film. Instead of spending time to handle big files and slowing down the overall post production process, I would prefer to write down a new story, search for location, find people to participate and shoot a new project. One more thing as well. I am using a Spyder4 to calibrate my computer screen once a month to keep my color accurate for edit. How many people who are watching our video on Vimeo are using calibrated screen? How far is the Dynamic Range (Contrast ratio) of their computer or TV screen compare to the Dynamic Range of our camera and the compressed video? Much lower most of the time and they will see no difference on the final output. Of course, if the job is related to TVC (big budget, demanding client, picky art director) or feature film meant to be projected on a big screen, it is another story...

  • @Eurocameraman Love seeing someone else who's also still shooting on a GH1, I still shoot 90% of my work on two of them and 720p 60 at that for 720 delivery on Vimeo so 4k is years away for me. My stuff contains lots of camera and subject motion ( moving ocean water ) so 1080 or 4k details would not be easily noticeable. Your GH1 videos look very impressive and don't appear to suffer the issues that plagued many like aliasing and sensor noise banding, maybe you just didn't use those shots in the selects for the videos.

    Good luck in future mate. R

  • It's not dynamic range of the playback display that counts but that of the recording sensor. Even if a display only has 8 stops DR, recording with 12 stops and compressing into 8 stops means dramatically less clipped highlights and blacked-out shadows than recording with 8 (or 10) stops. It's one of the reasons why even on crappy tv sets, cinema films look better than home video.

  • @eurocameraman What standards are you calibrating your monitor too? Some say to use sRGB? I conform to Rec 709. This is off topic so I have posted more about it here (in the proper topic):

  • @cantsin Agree on this, more is better and I am always glad to get it, but I feel that too many people will never get enough before to feel safe. As I said before, the lower DR of my GH1 (compare to whatever is on the market now) didn't stop me to shoot what I wanted to. I am old school and, speaking of limitation, I worked for years as a photojournalist on slide films and no magazine I was working for would accept to publish higher film than ISO400. We had to adapt ourselves to that limit and most of my work had been shot on Provia 100. Nowadays it sounds like if we don't get the highest possible feature from the newest camera, our video are going to look like crap... 15 years ago, with DV camera (such as the Panasonic DVX100) skillful guys were able to produce amazing stuff. And 12 years ago, pro photographer were able to take great shot with less than 8 stops of DR.

  • @Rambo Thanks for your message. I never met most of the problem people were mentioning in forum. I got banding once on an indoor shot while using a wide lens which aperture was not big enough (compare to my lens set), I had to push the ISO more than I wanted and banding came out. I reshot a different way and it came out without problem. I heard that some GH1 suffered of this but not all of them, among mine, only one show of this problem, you can see final result of the shoot here. Marlene (US)

    Also, the very first time I used the GH1, i just got it in hand, I helped a friend shooting his Music Video without budget. I think the music, song and video are not very exciting (shot in 3 evenings), but this can give you an idea of the rendering of the GH1 at night. Shanghai (in Chinese)

  • @CFreak Thanks for the question and post. I am away from my editing station, but if I am not wrong my setting is same as yours (as a starting point as Spyder utility tweaks it), but I am going to double check as soon as I am back and I will visit your post in the proper topic.Thanks!

  • @CFreak You have misconception about what 12 bit vs 8 bit does. There's no difference in dynamic range whatsoever. If the sensor delivers, say, 13 stops of DR it will be still 13 stops of latitude between the darkest shadow and the brightest highlight, no matter whether you encode it to either 8 bits, or 10, or 12 or whatever. The difference is all about HOW MANY brightness steps will be between the darkest shadow and the brightest highlight. So you will definitively see more banding, more discrete color bands, using 8 bit compression on gradients. The most common situation for smooth gradients that occurs in nature is a sunset. You will definitely benefit from 12 bits if you shoot sunsets on a daily basis. Other than that the difference is not as obvious to human eye as most people tend to think.

  • @zigizigi thanks for the reply, but I am confused by it. I am talking about the off topic: monitors and monitor calibration. I am not sure what bit depth they have (specifically the wide gamut Dell U2410) but I will read up on it.

    I fully understand the GH2 is 8 bit w/4:2:0 color. I am editing my .mts files natively in Premiere CS6 on Mac OS 10.8.4. I understand this is an 8 bit workflow and I try to keep any effects in PPro or AE to 32 bit floating point to preserve quality. If getting off topic we can continue over here: Thanks.

  • Shoot something on a chroma wall with a GH2 and a GH4 with 4:2:2 and do some compositing... and then repeat there's no "need" for better than GH2-level footage. ;)

  • @Thorn, you are perfectly right, it is the reason why, in my post, I always split personal work (short movie, Music video, experiment) and client assignement, where you get the best possible camera for the job you are paid for. I did green screen shot with the AF100 as it renders green "green", but better to get an external recorder to get less compression in the footage. Whatever WB setting I tried, I never get it right out of my GH2: it came out Cyan. You can check on my video "Cross Polo making of", I decided to turn out the GH2 footage in (almost) BW in post to not show off the difference compare to AF100 and its perfect green. As I said in different post, what I like about this type of job (being a small potatoe in a big project) is to be free on my creative decision and this allowed me to use whatever camera I like and to render the video the way I like it. For commercial green screen (serious job with lots of people in my back), it is rare we need shallow depth of field, so I am using a Panasonic HPX250 or any other real HD video camera with 4:2:2. 10 bits and strong codec. Out of color accuracy, sharpness and details matter a lot for post. For example, when we did a close up shot of a guy runing in front of a green screen, we used the camera in vertical position to get as many useful pixel as possible. Due to its sharpness, the GH3 is good enough for green screen. I never tried with the GH1 as I always considered this camera for my personal work, and I prefer live action in real space for my short stories. Also we don't always need green screen for special effect (you can check my short: Revolverte and Hidden Talent) and it is fun to go against mainstream, trying another way of doing strange stuff. Best example is the end of "Finger Up'. (all of those videos were posted in the discussion)

  • Question: Do we really need the GH4 and 4:2:2, 10 bit, 4K, Raw file?

    Answer: Yes.

  • Need? Of course not. But for me it's a very worthwhile upgrade both for stills and video. The new profiles are very nice. Focus peaking and zebra stripes are a big help. Improved AF tracking is great. The EVF is so much nicer to use than the one on the GH3. And of course 4K lovely for 4K and for better 1080.

  • Personally I believe that unless it's a proxy, all footage should be AT LEAST 1080, 422, 10bit, and 150 Mbps or higher I-Frame.

  • Personally I believe that unless it's a proxy, all footage should be AT LEAST 1080, 422, 10bit, and 150 Mbps or higher I-Frame.

    No, I think for cats videos it must be at least 444 and 200mbps.

  • Ok, I should clarify:

    Personally I believe that for PROFESSIONAL USE unless it's a proxy, all footage should be at least 1080, 422, 10bit, and 150 Mbps or higher I-Frame If 1080 or 600 Mbps or higher I-Frame if 4K (UHD).

  • Hello fellow filmakers, i've been following this forum from when i bought the GH2 in 2011. But i never actually posted on here. With the hack (i always used the Sanity patch, as i rely on stability and hard drive economy) it became a little jewel... but as with other dslr cameras, i've always been plagued by the infamous rolling shutter (micro and macro jello). With GH2 it's still there, but with obvious improvements on sensor speed/refresh.

    This is my last personal project with GH2:

    Wheter you'll like it or not (for who's not interested in the story and want to see the footage i suggest to skip the intro and go straight to 1:26) it has been an hassle to manage all the defects that this camera has. Ok i'm not a pro, nor i own pro gear, all handheld/tripod, but between rolling shutter, compression artifacts, blown highlights due to low DR, noise from rising the shadows (and in general the weird ISO issues), i've honestly spent too much time on the post-production side (and it's not an enjoiable time like color correction, setting the style s a pain in the ass to correct every single clip that looks wrong, not knowing until the end if it could be used or not) Don't get me wrong, i think that for the money it's a great camera... but a filmmaker should spend more time on shooting/editing/soundtracking rather than try to adjust and correct in camera errors. Obviously you cold say...spend more money and get a pro camera. Yes i could... but isn't the purpose of this market segment to give us a middle way? It's disappointing to know that in this market range you could have cinemalike style, but in the end, you have to die to get something interesting out of the footage. And i'm not talking about shaky footage to stabilize.. if it was only that... it would be fine: it's the camera against my shaky hands.. so perfectly fair. It's all the rest that has been a nightmare. I love and hate this camera, so i'm now used to this.

    With the recent news in the market, such BMCC, 5D markIII, GH3 & GH4, i've been overwhelmed by the desire to upgrade to a new model, but what i've seen is that there are no real improvements... or to better say, none of these new models give me a good reason to make a definitive choice.

    5D MKIII: too soft with factory settings (even more to my eyes used to the crispy GH2), too much of an hassle with the new RAW/magic lantern (storage, heavy post, dedicated software, monster hardware to interact in post). No middle way to choose from...or soft, or supercrispy but heavy like hell. And one of the biggest issues to me: no flip lcd screen (if you get used to it with GH2, you can't even think to go back)

    BM CinemaCamera: no m43 active mount to be able to use my m43 lenses electronic functions, smaller sensor (ok better with metabones, but still impossible to get a beautiful, creamy shallow DOF like 5D), totally different workflow in post plus it's required to spend tons of money in rigs and other stuff needed to have decent results. Plus ergonomically really sucks! And i don't need 12 stop of DR, if the price i have to pay is a nightmare in post.

    BM Pocket CC: to me is too small, and still has a lot of issues. Yes, cool for the price, but still too much of a toylike that requires anyway painful postproduction.

    GH3: as you all have seen... to me not worth an upgrade from GH2 (to me big improvements should have been better low light performances, little more DR)

    GH4: basically 4K is not exactly what i need now... i was still looking for better low light and DR. And if i get the yagh... the price is going crazy to the 5MKIII range. I've been at Camera Park, the 25th of April when Driftwood presented it, so i had a chance to touch it and try it. Overall a good camera, lot of differences from my GH2, i saw the pedestal and control of the blacks and the cineD profiles... all cool stuff, but then i saw online different tests and actually the little improvements in DR brought back the hated noise. So... i could write for hours, but to cut: i live and work in London, and in June i'll be traveling for my first time to the US, so i thought it was the right time to purchase a new camera, to try it on the road, shooting the landscapes i always dreamt of. The idea to shoot only with the GH2, and then having again a hell of post issues made me want to make the big step in upgrading. I was thinking to the 5d (as i ve been secretly in love with its look for years... glorious full frame creamy footage and great still camera) but i've been shocked at how bad it is with its softness. And the idea to sharpen in post seems to me ridiculous (post sharpening will not add detail, it will only destroy high frequencies).

    I'm actually thinking to continue with my GH2, buy the metabones speedbooster and see if can get any little improvement (at least in light and crop factor) So this is my confusion about what's going on in the market actually. This market is constantly throwing at us multiple new features with every new model, but then they "forget" to improve the old ones. I understand that these companies are challenging each other... but this is not going anywhere. Do we really need all of this? Like RAW and 4k? Beautiful indeed, but still, there are so many other old issues, i'd rather to see them solved before. It's like: we can go to the moon.. but by horse riding. Let's go less far, but in a better way. I hope you understand my frustration and point of view.

  • I would like to see a dynamic range comparison between GH2 and GH4 before making a decision...

  • I'm waiting until to see how the A7s shakes out...pricewise. To see in the dark....And from the gh4 news, 1080 isn't any better than the gh3, unless you downconvert 4k. Rumor newz is that this year the gh3 will be heavily discounted, along with the g6. Middle of the pricewise road gh folks... should also be looking at a6000. It's pretty hard to beat the multi-aspect ratio sensor of the gh1 & 2.

  • Still using my GH1 everyday and it's even more fun since I bought the RJ Speed booster. I will say tho, that the Canon 50D with ML RAW is a serious image maker. I don't think many here understand just how lovely the image can be once you get your workflow down it's a very serious platform. It's got it's issues, but the more I practice working with it, the easier it gets. I'm still not on par with my GH1 workflow, but it's getting better.

    If you haven't worked with ML on a Canon yet you really should give it a try. Makes even my old T2i a real workhorse. The amount of added features is unreal. Right now I just take the MLV files off the CF card->convert to DNG->Load into Resolve->transcode to DNxHD Mov file using Cinelog LOG LUT and you end up with a 10bit high bit rate file with plenty of latitude and real character. The Canon colors are wonderful. IMO the image you can get from RAW is just on another level. It has a look that is more natural and doesn't remind me it's video every second.

  • Glad that you can manage the postproduction and the storage with RAW. As i said before RAW and 4K produce wonderful images, but i think we are still not ready (or at least "I'm not") to manage the workflow, unless we have a lot of time and big cash to spend in hardware/storage.