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Panasonic GH3 - my short test "Civilian"

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

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At the moment I am using the Panasonic GH3 like a bit of a director's viewfinder. But the advantage is, it is a rolling one. You can then put a draft cut together of the concept you're thinking of shooting - like a live action storyboard, see if it gives you an emotional response and if it succeeds - hire actors, and go back out and shoot it fully.

#2
Zach

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

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Thanks for this! Can you comment on what ISO's you used in the night shots? Seems to be a good low light performer so long as you have a capable lens

#3
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

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Yes it is pretty good in low light, better in the shadows than the GH2.

This was a wide range of ISO, mainly between 640 and 1600 with the train cabin shot right up at 3200, F1.6 (it was shot through black glass and almost completely dark to the human eye).

SLR Magic 12mm F1.6 is superb for shadows wide open because it has a cinematic effect, lifting the blacks. I found their new 35mm 0.95 and 1.4 prototypes did the same when I shot with them in Cologne.
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#4
hoodlum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

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Was the resolution drop in the EVF across the whole frame or just in the corners.

#5
Mondo

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

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Curious to know what picture settings are capturing your eye most right now?

#6
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

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It is the video feed. They need to scale it better for the EVF. The glass smears like the NEX 7 if you have your eye not directly to it. Apart from that it is a nice upgrade from the GH2's viewfinder. Colour and contrast very good and it is OLED.

#7
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

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This was shot 'flat-ish' in Custom picture profile all -5. Can be sharpened in post but I didn't touch it, all direct from the camera as it was the look I was seeking.
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#8
hoodlum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:06 PM

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It is the video feed. They need to scale it better for the EVF. The glass smears like the NEX 7 if you have your eye not directly to it. Apart from that it is a nice upgrade from the GH2's viewfinder. Colour and contrast very good and it is OLED.


I wonder if they took some shortcuts with scaling in order to improve the refresh rate.

I also wish manufacturers would not skimp on the glass in front of the EVF. This just doesn't make sense, especially for a higher end body.

#9
TJB

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

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Andrew, Thanks for your latest instalment. As you know, the GH2 is often noisy in the mid tones. It shows up quite often rendering perfectly exposed shots unusable. I've tried hacked and un-hacked it makes no difference. It's especially noticeable when using ETC and underexposing a little even at low ISO's.
Does the GH3 perform better in this regard? No one else has been able to answer this question.
Shame about the viewfinder. I would not want to kit it with my Zacuto EVF as I'm after an ultra small setup.
Do the in focus areas displayed in the viewfinder alaise like the GH2 viewfinder? I find this helpful as a sort of defacto peaking.
Many thanks!

#10
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

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Yes absolutely. Less noise in the mid-tones and shadows with the GH3 codec compared to the hacked GH2. Never use AF so not sure about the focus areas.

#11
sanveer

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

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Andrew, damn neat video. I loved the different kinds of bokehs. Also,loved the last shot,when the train gets out of the station, right into the tunnel/ darkness.

I loved the image coming out of the GH3. I wished you had shot the entire video in anamorphic. Also, the B&W is pretty neat. Did you shoot it right out of the camera, or shoot colour and then convert it to B&W? What was the B&W setting?

#12
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

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That was in colour then converted to B/W in Premiere. There is a monochrome in-camera picture profile though of course.

#13
TJB

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:10 PM

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Yes absolutely. Less noise in the mid-tones and shadows with the GH3 codec compared to the hacked GH2. Never use AF so not sure about the focus areas.


Great! Would love to see some examples of how much this is improved as I noticed the same noise in "Civilian" Please tell me I'm wrong.
Hopefully only web compression.

I never use auto focus either. I mean when you look thru the viewfinder, areas that are in sharp focus display what looks like alaising. The edges of objects that are in focus shimmer providing a sort of peaking effect. Is this still there with the GH3 viewfinder? Thanks!

#14
pask74

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

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Slightly off-topic : Andrew, you're talking of a $700 PC that makes it possible to run Resolve - could you please elaborate as I haven't found any config sub $1500.

Thanks for your tireless blogging!

#15
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:10 PM

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Sub $700 is:

Intel 3.4Ghz i7 2700K
8GB RAM
GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1.5GB
USB 3.0

Those are the bits that matter. The rest doesn't need to be anything special.

This should all come to under $700 and if you can't build it yourself, buy one second hand on eBay. Mine is a Dell XPS 8300 of similar spec to the above and it cost me 600 euros.

If you can stretch another $200 for an SSD, that is a good idea. Put a 2TB hard disk in there (that is OK for editing raw footage off), but also an 240GB SSD for the main OS, apps & boot drive.
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#16
domonicwhite

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

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I'm confused about the Moire and Aliasing situation with the GH3. In the article it's mentioned you/Andrew 'feel the GH3 is everything the GH2 was but better' - yet from what I've read and seen up to this point the Moire and Aliasing on the GH3 is far worse than the GH2, and given that Moire and Aliasing are very un-filmic I don't quite follow this thinking - at least in that particular comment? Can you/anyone elaborate/explain please?

Also, in the article it's mentioned that softer optics can be used to get that 'dreamy cinematic look' (ie. compensate for moire and aliasing) - yet, when the 5d MK3 came out quite a lot of folks wrote it off for being overly soft - even after it became apparent that it's soft (dreamy cinematic?) image could be sharpened when more detail needs to be perceived.

As a forum weary old man trying to make sense of all this to ensure my limited funds go on the right beast, I wonder if anyone could help clarify why softening an image to limit DD on one camera is acceptable / better yet sharpening in post to add perceived detail in wides on another is given such a hard time...? Isn't the soften-image-to-reduce- DD approach baking in a look?

Anyone...?

#17
Andrew Reid

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:47 PM

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Here's the thing with moire & aliasing...

ALL cameras have it. Even the 1D C and that is $12,000, and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The 5D Mark II had much worse moire and aliasing than the GH3 and that didn't stop it being used by pros in Hollywood.

It isn't a desirable quality of the image but the way some guys have gone on about it on forums has been ridiculously over the top.

The list of cameras that the GH3 is better than for moire and aliasing is staggeringly long - 5D2, NEX 5N, NEX 5R, NEX 7, A99, D800, D600, 7D, 60D, 600D, 650D, EOS M, 550D, OM-D and nearly every other DSLR on the market.

The 5D3 is soft but when you sharpen in post sometimes you get some aliasing.

The GH2 had slightly less moire & aliasing than the GH3 given the same situation. But it still occasionally flared up. Not so much in the real world but with a very sharp lens with a very narrow band of fine patterns. You may get 1 occurrence out of every 100 shots with it. On the GH3 maybe you'll get 5 occurrences out of a 100. Depends what you're shooting. The 5D2 was doing it on roof tiles and water!! All sorts of stuff.

The GH3 seems to have a lighter anti-aliasing filter, so there's a very slightly wider window of fine patterns that it occurs on.

I hope this puts the GH3's moire into perspective. I know it can be a confusing issue, as it depends on so many different factors whether you get some or not. By the way, it is far less visible on a TV or projector than it is on a computer monitor - which is the least organic and cinematic way to watch video.
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#18
Scott

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

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Personally I've never gotten acceptable results sharpening Mk III footage in post. For some reason 'softness' occurring naturally from the lens seems preferable to 'softness' caused by an AA filter.

#19
domonicwhite

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:57 PM

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Here's the thing with moire & aliasing...

ALL cameras have it. Even the 1D C and that is $12,000, and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The 5D Mark II had much worse moire and aliasing than the GH3 and that didn't stop it being used by pros in Hollywood.

It isn't a desirable quality of the image but the way some guys have gone on about it on forums has been ridiculously over the top.

The list of cameras that the GH3 is better than for moire and aliasing is staggeringly long - 5D2, NEX 5N, NEX 5R, NEX 7, A99, D800, D600, 7D, 60D, 600D, 650D, EOS M, 550D, OM-D and nearly every other DSLR on the market.

The 5D3 is soft but when you sharpen in post sometimes you get some aliasing.

The GH2 had slightly less moire & aliasing than the GH3 given the same situation. But it still occasionally flared up. Not so much in the real world but with a very sharp lens with a very narrow band of fine patterns. You may get 1 occurrence out of every 100 shots with it. On the GH3 maybe you'll get 5 occurrences out of a 100. Depends what you're shooting. The 5D2 was doing it on roof tiles and water!! All sorts of stuff.

The GH3 seems to have a lighter anti-aliasing filter, so there's a very slightly wider window of fine patterns that it occurs on.

I hope this puts the GH3's moire into perspective. I know it can be a confusing issue, as it depends on so many different factors whether you get some or not. By the way, it is far less visible on a TV or projector than it is on a computer monitor - which is the least organic and cinematic way to watch video.


Thanks Andrew - really appreciate the speedy reply and clarification.

The ratios you mention are very encouraging - so much of the early GH3 footage has shown artifacts in one way or another that I'd got the impression the situation was much worse. It's a relief to hear things aren't that bad (and from a trusted source).

Thanks for all your hard work!

#20
domonicwhite

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

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Personally I've never gotten acceptable results sharpening Mk III footage in post. For some reason 'softness' occurring naturally from the lens seems preferable to 'softness' caused by an AA filter.


Thanks - that's very interesting... what happens from your experience then? Doesn't sharpen, or do you get artifacts / other issues?




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