Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
nahua

GH3 vs GH2 Low Light High ISO Lens Tests

10 posts in this topic

Just did some lens tests with the GH3 vs GH2 w/ Flow Motion v2.02 hack.  Information below:

 

GH2 vs GH3 Night Lens Test

Panasonic GH2 w/ Flow Motion v2.02 Hack, Vivid -2,-2,-2,-2
Panasonic GH3, Vivid -3,-5,-4,-5

Lenses used:
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4
Canon FD 50mm F1.2L
Canon FD 85mm F1.2L
Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8

Perspective is different even though I used them on the same tripod.  GH2 is 1.86x sensor crop, GH3 is 2x sensor crop.

 

In very dark situations the GH3 is noticeably brighter, about 2/3 of a stop.  I tried to compensate by making the GH2 1 stop ISO brighter.  But by doing so makes the GH2 have more noise and have "milky" blacks.  Color correction is very difficult with the GH2 even with the hack.  The GH3 does much better in this regard, although detail might be a little lower.

 

http://youtu.be/KM_6ZKCFuPs

 

http://youtu.be/6pwNZxfa1uM

 

http://youtu.be/_UK0Ck7jQbM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing i notice really is the highlight clips look much better on the GH3... Like they roll off smoother.  I was never concerned about the Gh3 having good detail, I figured it would.  The problem for me was always the roid raged digital sodomy assault in the highlights on the GH2.   I tried exposing for the highs, and pushing the lows in post like the "GH2 Dynamic Range Myth" video suggested, but even with the high bitrate, it just looked dirty.   I was hoping the Gh3 could get close to a "Cinestyle" type of Profile to shoot in..  I've yet to really see it, but I've heard "Natural" with contrast dialed back -5 is pretty good, but I'd like to see a comparison vid. 

 

Actually...  That's a good idea.  I think I'll start a new post.  lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to test different settings to see how "flat" you can go.  But Cinestyle on the Canons aren't a great solution with an 8 bit color space.  I've tried and even though you can color grade it to some degree, it just falls apart.  Let's face it, 8 bit codecs have to shoot as close to final color as possible.  GH3 although better in dynamic range still has the problems because of the 8 bit codec.   I did a sky test and there is still banding, although not as bad as the GH2.  So no matter what you think about low light, day light, whatever the root of the problem is the 8 bit 4:2:0 space that you have to work in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to test different settings to see how "flat" you can go. But Cinestyle on the Canons aren't a great solution with an 8 bit color space. I've tried and even though you can color grade it to some degree, it just falls apart. Let's face it, 8 bit codecs have to shoot as close to final color as possible. GH3 although better in dynamic range still has the problems because of the 8 bit codec. I did a sky test and there is still banding, although not as bad as the GH2. So no matter what you think about low light, day light, whatever the root of the problem is the 8 bit 4:2:0 space that you have to work in.


I figured. You can't cheat it. I hear the argument about Cinestyle being a Log profile in a tiny room.... but personally I always had better results with it than without it. I never pushed it into CSI Miami territory either though... Lol.
It sucks, for sure being locked down in bandingville. Dynamic range will always be the bane of these camera's existence. There are workarounds like Cineform, editing in 32 bit, etc.. But that's a terrible pain in the ass and it wasn't there from the get go. So maybe it's not worth even messing with. Lol. I hate thinking I'll be waiting on the BMC for another year, but these issues won't be concerns finally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried to do a bunch of tests, but there's no getting around the banding.  I say the GH3 is maybe 2-3 times better, especially in the mid-tones.  But when you get close to blowing out, well it steps quite badly.  I think the GH2 even with the hacks had way worse banding.  Again I will try out a "flat" profile, but I haven't found anything acceptable yet.  Unfortunately it is still 8bit 4:2:0.  I hope all the manufacturers will see the folly of 8bit profiles.  Even 10bit would be good.  But until then we just have to shoot around the limitations of these cameras.  I believe the GH3 is in the right direction.  I would have easily paid $3K if the GH3 had 12bit 4:4:4.  I know I'll be getting the MFT BMCC camera when it comes out in volume, maybe after NAB?  I hope so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to test different settings to see how "flat" you can go.  But Cinestyle on the Canons aren't a great solution with an 8 bit color space.  I've tried and even though you can color grade it to some degree, it just falls apart.  Let's face it, 8 bit codecs have to shoot as close to final color as possible.  GH3 although better in dynamic range still has the problems because of the 8 bit codec.   I did a sky test and there is still banding, although not as bad as the GH2.  So no matter what you think about low light, day light, whatever the root of the problem is the 8 bit 4:2:0 space that you have to work in. 

 

you may have factored this in to the equation, but in a recent topic over on PV someone suggests that working with 8bit footage within a 32bit environment allows significantly more headroom when grading our limited 8bit colour palette.  I recently made the switch and now only use 32bit colour effects.  I notice less banding since.  if you are yet to try it, you should give it a go.  500% better results and you can go a lot further with your colour correction if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you may have factored this in to the equation, but in a recent topic over on PV someone suggests that working with 8bit footage within a 32bit environment allows significantly more headroom when grading our limited 8bit colour palette. I recently made the switch and now only use 32bit colour effects. I notice less banding since. if you are yet to try it, you should give it a go. 500% better results and you can go a lot further with your colour correction if needed.

That was Shian Storm! The guy who put out ColorGHear. Lol.. This topic always turns into a heated debate everytime as to the relevance of shooting flat, transcoding or working 8 bit footage in a larger colorspace. I've A/B'd in After Effects 8bit space, then switched it to 32 and clearly had more positive results.. (Especially with Canon footage.) Alas, there's always an Astro Physicist on a forum who spits his coffee all over the screen when he sees it, & does a Princess Bride: "That's Inconceivable!" ..Then proceeds to leave a 5000 word reply telling you it's all in your head, because the specifications don't equate to the number of maximum color values allotted within an 8 bit space, thus truncating the blah blah f-ck me hey Macarana..

I'm looking right at it! Lol..

I see banding mostly on a wall as the light gets darker. I'm testing Low Contrast filters to try and maximize DR going in without using a flat profile on a GH2 & aggrevating it. (Mainly because it doesn't give you many options in cam.) Those don't really work like I was hoping. You really have to lock your shots down and compose around the filter rather than the other way around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Adobe users this banding has never been a problem, only since using this forum did I realise it wasn't common knowledge!

 

  • Edit 8-bit natively in Prmeiere.

 

  • Send to After Effects and set project to 32-bit. Each frame is treated as uncompressed RGB with plenty of colour levels. Note the lack of banding when pushing colours.

 

  • Add film grain. Noise tricks the output codec into using more data, and breaks up those nasty flat digital stripes that can appear in the final output. Removing sensor noise can leave a stripey result too, so always put some movement back in.

 

Easy as that. Always do your finishing in a finishing programme, in 32-bit and 8-bit source footage is pretty good. We could do with more bits, but it's pretty good when you know how to make the most of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using Premiere Pro and AE CS5.5 for over a year with no problems.  So I know about the 32bit editing space.  Even editing to ProRes4444 will result in better results.  However I abandoned the film grain because the GH2 was just unrecoverable, the banding just so bad.  However after taking a few shots with the GH3, the banding is much less.  It is still there, and you can see it in my video.  But now adding grain does help to some extent.  It might also depend on the grain plug-in, I'm just not familiar with the good ones out there.  If anyone can suggest some good ones please let me know.

 

http://youtu.be/do1E_IJ4qv0

 

BTW this was shot with an old ISCO 2x anamorphic projector lens (HUGE).  Was super cheap, but it's because it has haze and fungus.  That's why the first shot isn't so great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • The infamous Imperial SLR magic rangefinder Ebrahim Saadawi deluxe edition
      By IshootbeforeItalk
      This is the one and only, infamous, EOSHD show piece called the Imperial SLR magic rangefinder (Ebrahim Saadawi deluxe edition). Get it now for EU 500,- and score huge amounts of EOSHD karma points. New price is EU 690,- (see SLR magic website).
      Model: SLR Magic Rangefinder CINE Adapter / Saadawi deluxe
      Focus type: Manual
      Min focusing distance: 1.1M
      Dimensions Length: 24.3mm, Width: 97mm
      Weight: 340g
      Fitment: MF & AF Lenses
      Rear filter thread: 77mm, step down rings can be used to adapt to smaller taking lenses (Not included)
      Front filter size: 82mm
      I'm located in Amsterdam and willing to ship worldwide. PayPal en Iban only (insert western union joke here...)




    • Promotional Ad shot with Panasonic GH2
      By IronFilm
      Just to be very clear... not shot by me!! I wish it was! It looks great. 
      But I just happened to come across it, and had to share it, as it is a nice example of what can be shot with GH2 in capable hands. 
    • Kowa 16D For Sale
      By Reegan
      Pristine Kowa Prominar 16D for sale, dropped my price from $300 to $250, check out the listing if interested.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kowa-Prominar-16D-Anamorphic-Lens-/301995262227?





    • Some Canon C100 to sell?
      By Lorenz
      Because everybody is living in the 4k World nowadays i try to find a "shitty" C100 Mark I for a bargain. If your having such an old and not any more needed item let me know if your willing to get rid of it to an Price worth think about. European offers only! Thanks
    • GH2 Body for Sale UK, £170
      By oboemaroni
      Four year old GH2 body for sale, perfect working order, small dent on the microphone casing. Comes with new battery and new charger, selling due to upgrade. Based in London, prefer buyer pick up. Respond via profile or Gumtree ad: https://www.gumtree.com/p/digital-cameras/panasonic-gh2-camera-body/1169882944