Japanese review of GH2 finds HDMI video out to be ‘uncompressed raw’

Buy it now – your early GH2 from EOSHD, delivery 3-5 days

Akihabara News in Tokyo reports that the GH2 has uncompressed RAW video-out via HDMI.

UPDATE #1
Philip Bloom tests and confirms clean HDMI output. Uncompressed? Let’s wait and see what the image is like from his external recorder. Check here for his latest updates.

I’ve also heard this from Panasonic’s stand manager at Photokina but didn’t believe him at the time because he was light on the specifics. We know the GH2 has a live HDMI out like the 7D whilst recording, but an uncompressed RAW format? Nah.

Here is the review in question, of the Japanese GH2, in English.

This still needs to be confirmed and I don’t yet have my GH2. Flying back to the UK to pick up a 60D next week, and then GH2 week after. So, calling Philip Bloom – you have a Convergent Design Nanoflash and shot with the GH2 this weekend. Can you do a test?

If this is the case we’ll be getting a flawless image from our GH2’s on external recorders. We’re talking 100Mbit ProRes and an image equivalent to the AF100’s via HD-SDI. On a $1000 camera body!! No compression artefacts and much better colour / res.

Comparing the GH2’s external output to the internal AVCHD footage will confirm the presence of uncompressed HD out. We just need to compare the footage because it’ll be an obvious improvement.

The GH2 comes with a “Hidden” feature that a few journalist are talking about that has changed everything for Professional or Indy filmmakers. Unlike the GH1, Panasonic removed ALL limitations on the GH2 on its video out mode offering RAW (Uncompressed) Video via HDMI. I’m not sure if you can grasp how amazing this news is, but you can now turn any GH2 into an incredible “Studio” or portable “Studio-like” camera and get perfect video without any quality loss from any compression method. We could unfortunately not test these features since we are not equipped with the necessary tools for that, but for a low budget production or people looking to get the best pictures on the Go, this functionality just changed EVERYTHING, making the GH2 a priority in my MUST HAVE list.

It seems too good to be true that DSLRs can compete with the new large sensor pro-cameras, like the Sony F3, Arri Alexa, Red Epic and even the more affordable DSLR-sensor-derrived Panasonic AF100 on pure image quality. Again, we need to confirm this is the case, until it’s confirmed for all I know it may be a clever ploy by Akihabara to grab some hits.

But remember this…

Professional products are built to last longer, usually they have a 3 year product cycle whilst consumer gear is released almost every year.

Such is the rate of progress in CMOS sensor technology, and with Moore’s Law dictating that computing power doubles year on year, by the time the Sony F3 is half way through it’s product cycle, consumer CMOS and image processors may well have overtaken the F3 in terms of image quality.

Next year we will have the 5D Mark 3, and possibly the 1DS Mark 4 with a video chip, as well as a CMOS sensor developed a full year after the current pro line products were specced.

In 2012 it’s likely we’ll be getting CMOS sensors in Nikon DSLRs which are twice as good as the D3S is in RAW stills mode in terms of dynamic range and signal-to-noise. Clean video at ISO 256,000 in a raw format just like the D3S can do right now in stills mode but at 24 frames per second. Nikon don’t have a pro-video line so it’s likely that as video becomes common on Nikon DSLRs as it is already doing, they will not need to artificially segment the market to protect professional products in terms of image quality.