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GH4 - Best Video Settings
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  • I've pretty much settled on Cine-V with -2, -5, -5, -2, +1, iDynamic Standard, and +2 shadows / -4 highlights. That gives me wide dynamic range, a pleasing highlight roll-off, and doesn't introduce noise into the shadows like heavier-handed picture styles do. Sometimes I'll bring out the Cine-D, or even Natural, but this configuration works well for well-lit, available light, and low light scenarios, yielding a consistently appealing image. I also used to be all about the shoot flat, grade later attitude... but that doesn't work so well with the GH4 as we hopefully all know by now, nor is it necessary. A picture style that has been set right looks great with minimal grading, and can still handle moderate grading if you need it.

  • @Sangye Can we see some example footage of the settings you mentioned in your post?

  • Have anyone tested 10bit external recording? I think that heavy settings works well with 10bit.

    I tested highlight setting and everything over -2 gave too flattened and weird looking tones.

    I think that there is more noise always when shadows are lifted. Profiles, shadow/hl, idynamic and contrast but not master pedestrial. MP in fact gives less noise but foggy shadows.

  • @Vesku -- I haven't tried 10bit external recording, but the Shogun is very much on my to-buy list. I need a good monitor, and paying a little extra for a future-proof external recorder that'll serve me well even after I upgrade to whatever must-have 4K camera comes next seems like a good investment. So hopefully next month or maybe in January, I'll do some testing too.

    @x_worpig_x -- I'll try to dig something up. Unfortunately most of what I've shot lately falls under NDAs.

  • The vimeo compression just kills some of the color and quality on this. I'll post short snippets of the final prores file for download cuz the master file is truly beautiful. Even the mp4 is very nice [you can download it from the vimeo page.]

    The white cyc stuff and the stuff in the Backyard with the girl dancing was my first 2 days using the cam for 96fps overcrank, and all my tests were with 4k... so in short... I pretty much screwed the pooch on those shoots. By the time we got to the slider inserts, the desert stuff, and the stuff with my buddy Tyler smashing doors I had finally figured the camera out.

    Thanks to @vicharris for being my camera and G&E crew, as well as the preacher for the white cyc shoot. He's a one man army... [pun intended buddy.]

  • @shian Really nice work here. I love it when folks like you push the GH4 (or more appropriately let it do what it can do) to show what it's capable of. Nice color work and more importantly the edit style.

  • @Shian F#@!!G great!! Love it, I posted a comment on Vimeo too. This is the business!!

    Anyone who says that the GH4 is non filmic, not pleasing colors, ungradable, noisy ...and all the rest of the crap that people post about this camera...ought to pull their head out of their proverbial arses and watch this clip. its as good as the very best of what I have ever seen!!

    Might I humbly address you as Shian Rodriguez LOL!!

    Excellent work I hope it gets lots of views Cheers

  • I find that when filming in manual mode it annoys me the the exp meter is constantly moving up or down prompting me to adjust aperature or shutter. For run and gun filming which is what a real wedding is do you feel shutter priority is an easier method? I believe keeping shutter constant is key to look of movie. Do any of you that possibly dont shoot straight manual, do you use shutter or aperature priority mode? Thanks

  • Dallas, I use Manual Movie Mode (not Manual) unless I am shooting stills. I usually set the shutter speed to twice the frame rate (usually 1080P 60). I adjust Aperture and the + - gain to my needs.

    The only variable I allow the camera is auto ISO with a limit of 6400 but I think Movie Mode maxes out at 3200.

  • thanks for your reply rrroger. i use movie mode also i just meant manuel setting instead of p or s or a. in m it just annoys me the camera is always telling me to chane to get to nulled position. isnt shutter priority a good route. i wont use p mode in 4k because shutter cant be controlled. if i am in a controlled enviornment m is fine but with constant lighting changes the m mode drives me nuts lol

  • Moon T7 is the best..

  • Dallas I VideoGraph the Church Service every Sunday. The stage lighting is very uneven. Generally, I change the EV (+-) setting to compensate when I move to a new area. I also use a MustHD 7" Monitor, but if you have good eyes you can see the exposure difference on the GH4 LCD screen.

  • Once I realized that with these settings [CineD (-5, -2,-5,-5,0) Contrast curve #2 (S+2, H-2)] the GH4 behaved exactly like my old Nikon 35mm film camera, life got a whole lot more fun. I could ignore the LCD and trust my handheld meter and my experience.

    In all of these shots I only used a single bounce or a single bounce along with a 1K tungsten fresnel, or the 1K by itself. Essentially no more than 2 lights. Or in the case of the Buddha in the first shot... no lights. [Shot primarily with vintage Nikon manual glass using a Metabones speedbooster to compensate for the crop the GH4 has at 4K - except the wide desert shot which was the Panasonic Pancake 20mm with a canon .7 wide angle adapter attached.]

    Obviously the overcranked stuff was shot at 1080 96fps but it cuts nicely with the 4K, you just don't get the same killer image exactly when you are trying to grade. yet the CU at the end still grades very nicely.

    The graded footage has lost 2 generations by this point having been exported out of resolve as individual clips and then exported from FCPX to a master file which was imported back into FCPX and edited together with the raw images for this clip.

    Those who say the GH4 doesn't produce film like images and/or doesn't grade well are either trying to sell you on another product that they are endorsed by, or they don't know what the hell they are talking about... Or in the case of Shane Hurlbut... both.

    Download the ProRes from dropbox here and see for yourself, minus the hit online compression takes on the footage [2.3GB]

    George CU.jpg
    1919 x 1082 - 896K
  • it will be interesting to see how much of a difference it will make when the 4k is recorded onto shogun's uncompressed 8bit, if that ever actually happens. Nothing obvious I'd image but more latitude in grading.

  • @Shian besides CineLike D and Contrast Curve, what about i.Dynamic, i.Resolution, Master Pedestal, and other settings? Thanks so much for your work!

  • The panny "i" functions are wildly unpredictable and are more for the amateur vacation shooter who doesn't know how to meter, measure, etc. I avoid them like the plague. They invariably sacrifice some other part of the image structure in order to perform their function. the Master pedestal has not shown me anything yet that would make me want to use it... and enough to make me not. My early tests with it gave me noisy footage. I'm sure there were other factors involved, but I don't see any need to use it for now. I've got everything I need with the camera the way it is. It may not be enough for others, but for me... done. I've got a camera that does everything I need it to do. All I have to do is create.

  • @shian it looks like v-log is coming in our near future to the GH4! That's exciting news.. Do you plan on getting the Atomos Shogun and record externally 10bit 4:2:2?

  • @shian are you shooting 4k DCI or UHD?

  • @revitdazio not gonna hold my breath on V-log. And not gonna spend money on the Atmos if I don't need it. 10 bit would be awesome... but 8 bit and I have been getting along okay for a while now...

    @PiotrJ UHD MOV mode 3840x2160, 23.98, 100Mbps, LPCM

    It may be worth noting that my system frequency is set to 24.

  • @shian, why no DCI 4K? I think it looks more cinematic being a bit wider. You mentioned Contrast Curve #2 above, but that setting is Shadow -2, Highlight +2. Did you mean that one, or did you mean Contrast Curve #3, which is Shadow +2, Highlight -2 (flatter image)?

    Thanks man!

  • What luminance setting to use? (0-255, 16-235, or 16-255).

  • @revitdazio I don't like the cadence shooting with 59.94 24p, so in 24 native its not an option... besides I'm usually cropping 2.35:1 in most of my stuff, and you get more to move up and down with UHD. For this vid the band didn't want 2.35:1 so 16X9 it is.

    I'm calling #2 cuz the 1st one is essentially 0... there is no curve. That's the default linear setting...

    @piotrJ 0-255 the other settings are nonsense

  • Will Vic preach weddings too? :)

  • @shian I'm interested in why you say video levels other than bit depth settings of 0-255 are nonsense. 16-235 is standard for most professional video cameras and is the internal processing standard for Avid systems. IMO it is provided to enable direct compatabilty with certain software apps so that the bitdepth range is not rescaled on import, as this can sometimes create artefacts in the image. It also allows a bit of headroom for highlights as bit 235 is set to be 100% white. Of course it's important to remember that these ranges are for 8 bit signals. I agree that for non-broadcast applications 0-255 is perfectly appropriate but there are reasons why one may choose one setting over the other.

  • yes... and that's what I said in this link.

    It only affects your starting point in post... other than that it does nothing except a slight gamma boost of .01 in 16-235. It doesn't affect the final product at all. It does not actually add head room on highlights. See the tests that prove it above.