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part 3 of Zacuto camera shootout now up.


galenb
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Let's be absolutely clear.

The reason the GH2 performed as poorly as the iPhone in the empirical test was because the test administrator took a flawed approach.

It has nothing to do with the true empirical, scientific, purely observational performance of the camera.

I will put the exact reasons why this test is so flawed in a blog post once the latest Sony news has had time to cool down. The only reason I haven't yet is that I've been busy with the NEX-Hack community and I don't like having to point out negative things about Zacuto as they did a great job on Parts 1 & 2 and are generally a great company. We can forgive them the odd mistake I think.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345182347' post='15863']
Part 3 is real test of each camera's ability. Every camera was using identical lighting ..
[/quote]

Wait... I'm pretty sure that in part 2 they show that each DP was allowed to change the lighting to better suit the camera. That was the whole point of this shootout. They wanted to show what each camera could do when in the hands of a person who was experienced with it and knew how to get the most out of it. And, that's exactly what I dislike about this shootout because it assumes that the DP knew what he was doing. This is also important because it shows people are always going to pick the shots that were lit the best not which camera responds the best to the same lighting conditions. Really, I see no point in doing this test other then trying to confuse the viewers.
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I feel bad for Zacuto. They clearly went to a great deal of effort to make this project to benefit the community, and it's getting ripped up pretty good by a lot of people. I suppose that's to be expected, though.

I thought they did the best that you could hope. If the only did part 2, or only part 3... I think there'd be lots of room to complain. Giving both views is as honest an assessment of the cameras that you can give. You get to see how they work in non ideal conditions, and how they work when the stars align. Part 3 did reaffirm why the high end cost what what they do, but the price difference is so astronomical that it doesn't diminish the low end, imo. The GH2, 7D, I Phone cost the same as a small accessory on some of these other cameras.

I do wish people would not get so emotional when their piece of sacred gear doesn't come out looking so favourable in a specific test.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345231888' post='15926']
That's what you expect from fanboys Their favorite camera didn't do well? Time to find why the test is flawed. Notice no one tried to find flaws in part 2 when they were happy with their camera's performance.
[/quote]

My favorite camera there is the C-300, so ... Anyway, Go through the older threads. You won't find Andrew lauding the setup of parts 1 and 2. He was glad that the gh2 was getting some recognition, but he wasn't praising the objectivity of their test.
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Gh2 in the right hands if you know what you are doing is a GREAT CAMERA
I'm totally sold on it and I am getting stunning results from it.
I'm very happy with it hacked with Driftwood Quantum 9b like they used in the
shoot out.

Andrew has done a great job pushing this camera on this forum to new people - like me !

Get out and shoot creative stuff with it!!
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The only thing that matters is the final result. I found the test to look horrid even with the alexa and f65. It looked mid 90's American and tacky. like a cheap series from the 1990's. 6 feet under in 16:9 with 1/10th the budget and not one of the cinematogrphers able to impart any form of creativity due to the torture test situations making it impossible. since the test I care less than i did before about dynamic range and detail. so I am thankful to Zacuto for removing my previous unrealistic demand for anything better than a dslr. If I end up making something to be screens anywhere other than vimeo I'll hire the best camera available. until then the technical difference is +/-10% between the 20k f3 and the 100k top models.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345231888' post='15926']
That's what you expect from fanboys Their favorite camera didn't do well? Time to find why the test is flawed. Notice no one tried to find flaws in part 2 when they were happy with their camera's performance.

Remember the negative reaction to Zacuto on reduser boad? As you see all fanboys react the same way.
[/quote]

Even though I disagree with your tone, I do feel like there is a shred of truth to what you say. I don't even have a GH2 though. But I have to admit that my opinion of the test is swayed a bit by being a big fan of the GH2.

Even so, I still don't think the results are indicative of what you can actually get out of that camera. Have you've seen that youtube video of Drew [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPHIEU1X1Bo&list=UU2YdiXc72fMA_d16NDJi41A&index=1&feature=plcp"]showing off the latitude of the GH2[/url]? Because of that, I was surprised by the results in the Zacuto test. It makes me wonder if the footage was converted at some point in the process after coming out of the camera and thereby loosing all it's dynamic range in the process? or maybe there was some bad tone mapping or something... Lets face it, there's still a lot of confusion around the proper way to work with GH2 footage (AVCHD and quicktime on a Mac issues) and it doesn't look like there's any end in sight.


[quote name='dbp' timestamp='1345231080' post='15925']
I feel bad for Zacuto. They clearly went to a great deal of effort to make this project to benefit the community, and it's getting ripped up pretty good by a lot of people. I suppose that's to be expected, though.

I thought they did the best that you could hope. If the only did part 2, or only part 3... I think there'd be lots of room to complain. Giving both views is as honest an assessment of the cameras that you can give. You get to see how they work in non ideal conditions, and how they work when the stars align. Part 3 did reaffirm why the high end cost what what they do, but the price difference is so astronomical that it doesn't diminish the low end, imo. The GH2, 7D, I Phone cost the same as a small accessory on some of these other cameras.

I do wish people would not get so emotional when their piece of sacred gear doesn't come out looking so favourable in a specific test.
[/quote]

Maybe I feel a little bad for them but... I don't think it was the best they could have done. I think the best they could have done was to just do what they did in the last shootout. I thought that one was great. I think it was way better in showing off a more raw unbiased truth about these cameras. Especially since they used film as their base line in those older shootouts. I feel like this one just went off the road in a big way. It was mostly about how everyone in the industry has very widely differing opinions on everything. That and how in the end, the only thing that matters is that the pice that you make with these cameras is compelling enough to watch. Which is all true enough. But, if that's the case, doesn't that negate the whole concept of doing a shootout?! ;-)

I don't know, maybe I'm looking at it all wrong...
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345264860' post='15948']
Part 3 clearly has shown GH2 is nowhere even close to any video camera. It performs exactly like a $700 m4/3 camera.
[/quote]

The first statement is proven false by the mere fact that we are even having this discussion. The second statement is trivial. Of course it performs like a 700$ m3/4 camera; it IS a 700$ m4/3 camera. But the point is, you need to pay 1000s more to get something that will perform as good under most circumstances, and 10,000s more for something that performs better.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345264586' post='15947']
That was part 2. In part 3 every camera had to use identical lighting. No one was allowed to change the lighting in any of the test in part 3. Part 3 was real test of cameras performance. Part 2 was just the subjective interpretation of the scene by the DPs.
[/quote]

Can you point me to where it explains that? I can't seem to find any mention of that in the video.
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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1345151189' post='15836']Evil_thought2 - when are you going to leave this forum?
[/quote]

evil_thought2 maybe an advocatus diaboli (nickname), but not a troll. I like the way things become clearer by the dialectics of contradicting arguments. One has to admit there [i]are[/i] serious arguments. A forum where everyone only contributes plain facts (or what every well-behaved fanboy wants to believe as plain fact) would be incredibly boring. The best forae are bursting with clashing arguments, for the sake of which they tolerate a rare flamewar (which of course then has to be moderated with love). I [i]am[/i] a GH2 fanboy, but I "liked" evil_thought2. Did I make friends with the bully at school? Sometimes, but I consider this the principle of evaluation. BTW, apart from the sneering "fanboy", evil_thought2s thoughts are nowhere objectionable, but just his [i]personal view[/i]s. What is more, had he made his comments on Reduser.net, he would have been chastised for being too mild. Everybody is self-righteous (self-righteousness is the false pride described as evil thoughts in the bible, google).


[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote name='jgharding' timestamp='1345202214' post='15880']Yes, a $60,000 camera is much more forgiving ...[/quote]

:D
To the owner of a Scarlett, who just invested 20.000 + in his set up, this sounds condescending. He surely doesn't want his camera to be forgiving (which implies that his incompetence to light and expose correctly needed forgiveness), he wants it to shine.

And that's where I see the connection between parts 1 + 2 and part 3. The greatest portion of the budget went to the [i]time on set[/i]. I think this is credible. And if you [i]have[/i] hired the best DP and the most forgiving camera (= big budget), the shoot is effective not by sparing one or two thousand dollars, but by getting results that shine. That look brilliant on a big screen. Photographers who believe they can light and expose sloppily because they get absolution in post have lost the point.


[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote name='galenb' timestamp='1345251554' post='15942']Have you've seen that youtube video of Drew [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPHIEU1X1Bo&list=UU2YdiXc72fMA_d16NDJi41A&index=1&feature=plcp"]showing off the latitude of the GH2[/url]?...[/quote]

Interesting. I neglected "vibrant" for "standard" as a highkey picture style. I will test this further.

[quote name='DREW']You always expose properly ...[/quote]

Which always means absolutely no clipping.

[quote name='DREW']The conventional wisdom is just dead wrong.[/quote]

He says it referring to the general assumption that the GH2 has poor DR. But the sentence could very well be the sum of the Sermon on the Mount. It's you alone who makes something become true and important.

In this example, Drew doesn't apply a curve. He lifts the shadows, but allows the river in the background to become washed out. He could have done much better. He says so though.

[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1345251554' post='15942']Lets face it, there's still a lot of confusion around the proper way to work with GH2 footage (AVCHD and quicktime on a Mac issues) and it doesn't look like there's any end in sight.[/quote]

You bet. There are no quicktime on a Mac issues anymore. Since AV Foundation, the NLE players don't need a QT wrapper, since 10.8 AVCHD is played natively. What is important for everybody - also on a PC - is the awareness that not all values of your footage may be displayed on your monitor. [/background][/size][/font][/color][/background][/size][/font][/color]
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345283143' post='15956']
Unlike what we saw here, the following is the best oped on flaws with part 2

[url="http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/aadams/story/cameras_why_zacutos_latest_camera_test_may_have_screwed_us_all/P0/"]http://provideocoali...ewed_us_all/P0/[/url]
[/quote]

There:

[quote]Given no other changes whatsoever, the smartest thing Zacuto could have done was to release part three before part two. Rather than try to trick us all into thinking that these cameras look essentially the same, SHOW US THE DIFFERENCES FIRST.[/quote]

Smart? If you want to attract attention, you show someone cutting his toenails with poultry scissors. Zacuto is no scientific institution, they want to sell too expensive gadgets, and they want to become their brand to be synonym with smart video solutions. Do you really think anyone would have survived one of the lengthy shows if they were titled [i]Zacutos fair comparison of cameras from different price classes - Part one, what was to be expected[/i] ? Instead, they called it [i]THE REVENGE. [/i]

Perhaps not so many Alexa owners will boycott Zacuto than GH2 fanboys will think about buying one or other rig part from them now.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345183267' post='15865']there is no coverage of part 3 on this site.
[/quote]

Conspiracy? Really? http://www.eoshd.com/content/8766/revenge-of-the-zacuto-shootout-2012-part-3-review

Be more patient next time.
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[quote name='jgharding' timestamp='1345202214' post='15880']Lighting everything the same -- in effect purposefully mis-using a less-forgiving piece of equipment -- then saying "look, cheap cameras aren't as good" is a bit of pointless academia IMHO. The spec sheet already tells me that information.[/quote]

Yes this is bang on correct, they wouldn't mishandle an Alexa in a scientific test so why mishandle the GH2 by getting the exposure and focus wrong in 2 out of the 3 empirical shots?
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[quote name='dbp' timestamp='1345202758' post='15881']The lower end cameras need more time and equipment to truly compete, yet in scenarios where that budget and equipment is available, those cameras would be passed over for something further up the chain.[/quote]

Where does this view come from? It's weird.

If anything the lower end cameras need less time and equipment to compete, as has been proved outside bloated studio setups like this time and time again by people with talent and a tripod, and not a lot else.

Musgo's DP couldn't have delivered that look on a micro budget feature, without the GH2 ably assisting them.

[media]http://vimeo.com/33025136[/media]

I am sure a lot of effort went into it, but a lot of equipment, grading and money? Not really.

It isn't just creatively good it is technically good too with fantastic detail, colour and decent dynamic range.

I can only truly speak for the amount of effort that goes into my own work and the below video took me 4 hours to shoot and the same again to edit, and it is completely ungraded straight out of the camera.

[media]http://vimeo.com/33047750[/media]

I stuffed that GH2 into a location with tricky lighting and it did a superb job for me.
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[quote name='evil_thought2' timestamp='1345264860' post='15948']
I am entitled to my opinion. GH2 fanboys had no trouble trumpeting GH2 performance in earlier parts when they thought the over-lit GH2 was doing good. Now when they don't like GH2 performance in more objective test where all cameras are using the same lighting, we are being told the test is now flawed. This is funny.

Part 3 clearly has shown GH2 is nowhere even close to any video camera. It performs exactly like a $700 m4/3 camera.
[/quote]

This gets boring very quickly. 1 - it wasn't just fanboys trumpeting the GH2, it was Francis Ford Coppola. 2. I find the fanboy thing offensive because it implies a lack of technical judgement, clouded by emotion.

Go and tell the grading studio Andy Lee knows in the UK who said the GH2 holds up brilliantly in post - and they have been dealing with stuff from Red and Alexa for years.
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[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote] :D
To the owner of a Scarlett, who just invested 20.000 + in his set up, this sounds condescending. He surely doesn't want his camera to be forgiving (which implies that his incompetence to light and expose correctly needed forgiveness), he wants it to shine.

And that's where I see the connection between parts 1 + 2 and part 3. The greatest portion of the budget went to the [i]time on set[/i]. I think this is credible. And if you [i]have[/i] hired the best DP and the most forgiving camera (= big budget), the shoot is effective not by sparing one or two thousand dollars, but by getting results that shine. That look brilliant on a big screen. Photographers who believe they can light and expose sloppily because they get absolution in post have lost the point. [/background][/size][/font][/color][/quote]

Sorry if this came across condescending, it wasn't meant to be! Though I appreciate people get very sensitive and/or protective when they invest money! It's just a fact as far as I can see, and Zacuto prove it here. Take a scene lit in the same way and point a cheap still cam and a cinema cam at it and your resulting footage will be more forgiving from the cineama cam! Bags of DR, lovely sensor processing and AD conversion, hardly any compression, it's always gonna be the case. You can go all over the place with the footage, while the grade on a Canon will swiftly start to look like a bag of spanners if you take it too far. You gotta bake it in to some degree, and that is what I mean by less forgiving. It's harder to change your mind!

Either way, it stands that a rubbish lighting setup and a set of dodgy actors shot on Alexa will be less interesting to an audience than an amazingly lit scene and the next Paddy Considine shot on a compact! It's just nice to know that if you've got the skills, you [i]can [/i]make a good movie on a cheap cam! Great times! If I won the Euromillions, I'd still buy an Alexa though ;) it's easier to use than a breadknife and looks the nuts.
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