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An adventure into the Panasonic GX85/80 begins - and a look at the Leica Nocticron for Micro Four Thirds


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The camera which Panasonic can't decide what to call (GX80 in Europe, GX85 in the US and GX7 Mark II in Japan!) really excites me. It's the first time that anyone has put 5 axis in-body stabilisa

My first project with the GX80. Since size / weight does matter and securities are kinda picky, i had no choice but to leave my lovely Voigtländer 25 lens at home and put the Panasonic 20mm on it. I h

The GX80 is meeting my expectations for run & gun. I think this shoot exemplifies expectations one can have of this camera for your quick, set-it-up and shoot style videos… family, street, etc.

Posted Images

I'm going to make a few more comments on settings. I did some testing and confirmed that Natural (-5,-5,-5,-5) gave best results in terms of noise in the blue and red channels. Also, I did a test for WB(A3,G3)- this makes sense to pull away from blue because the blue channel seemed to fall below 0%, green did pop up a little too much though and I might try A3,G2 instead. Finally, I'll be shooting with zebras set at 100% rather than 105% due to banding in the blue channel when clear sky is present. I think the top 5% has very little latitude and that's why banding was present. I've been slapping filmconvert (KD P400 Ptra, grain at 0) and it seems like a stellar image. For audio, I have my Zoom H1 with a cheap omnidirectional lapel mic with a small cord that I place next to the subject. So far, so good.

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42 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

I'm going to make a few more comments on settings. I did some testing and confirmed that Natural (-5,-5,-5,-5) gave best results in terms of noise in the blue and red channels. Also, I did a test for WB(A3,G3)- this makes sense to pull away from blue because the blue channel seemed to fall below 0%, green did pop up a little too much though and I might try A3,G2 instead. Finally, I'll be shooting with zebras set at 100% rather than 105% due to banding in the blue channel when clear sky is present. I think the top 5% has very little latitude and that's why banding was present. I've been slapping filmconvert (KD P400 Ptra, grain at 0) and it seems like a stellar image. For audio, I have my Zoom H1 with a cheap omnidirectional lapel mic with a small cord that I place next to the subject. So far, so good.

Good to know, will try this as well. I second your findings about KD P400 Ptra including grain at 0 - thats exactly the setting I used for the shots i showed one page before.

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Hi there...

I have a preety low budget and i want to buy a camera mainly for video. Now i have the d7100 and its a pain to work with (no apeture in live view bad fixed pattern noise and no exposure indication or histogram). Im thinking to buy a new camera and im between the gx80 and the g7. Will the cinelike profiles of the g7 makes big difference to the nailed down neutral of gx80 in terms of dynamic range? Which one is better option and why? I live in greece and there is no store near with these cameras in stock to go and test them. I will appriciate any help. And sorry for my english. 

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1 hour ago, Aris said:

Hi there...

I have a preety low budget and i want to buy a camera mainly for video. Now i have the d7100 and its a pain to work with (no apeture in live view bad fixed pattern noise and no exposure indication or histogram). Im thinking to buy a new camera and im between the gx80 and the g7. Will the cinelike profiles of the g7 makes big difference to the nailed down neutral of gx80 in terms of dynamic range? Which one is better option and why? I live in greece and there is no store near with these cameras in stock to go and test them. I will appriciate any help. And sorry for my english. 

Depends what's more important to you.

Do you want a mic jack, larger grip, fully articulating screen, longer battery life, slightly larger viewfinder, cine profiles, and $200 cheaper RRP? 

G7.

Do you want smaller size, a denser-feeling camera, a tilting screen, and the all-important in-body stabilization?

GX85.

From what I've seen, CineD provides no DR benefit over Natural. The only reason to shoot CineD (imo) is if you like the Leeming LUT workflow.

Actual image quality is identical between the two, so choose based on ergonomics, features, and price. 

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The GX80 is meeting my expectations for run & gun. I think this shoot exemplifies expectations one can have of this camera for your quick, set-it-up and shoot style videos… family, street, etc.

Here’s my setup:

2016-06-25_05-45-45.jpg

  • GX80
  • Panasonic 25mm F1.7
  • Zoom H1
  • Sony ECMCS3 Clip style Omnidirectional Stereo Microphone

Settings:

  • GX80: Natural profile (Contrast = -5, Sharpness  = -5, Noise Reduction = -5, Saturation = -5), White balance (Sunny, A3, G3), ISO (200), Sutter Speed (1/50), Aperture (F2.8), IBIS (on, but no electronic IS)
  • Zoom: WAV (24-bit, 96K Hz sampling), Level (70)

Description of shoot:

This took me about 5 minutes to shoot. I saw an interesting opportunity, went to get the GX80 and Zoom H1 from my office. For the settings above, I only need to put the camera in “C” mode to start. The Zoom is always put back with the level at 70, I only need to place it near the subject and start recording.

Post Processing:

  1. Imported sound from Zoom H1 (just connect, don’t take out card) - 30 seconds
  2. Imported video ~3 minute video file - about 3 minutes
  3. Synced files - 10 seconds
  4. Threw it on a 4k timeline - 1 second
  5. Expanded audio - 1 second
  6. Select camera audio and push “v” key - 1 second
  7. Added 1db to Zoom H1 audio - 1 second
  8. Collapsed audio - 1 second
  9. Make cuts - 10 minutes
  10. Color corrected (highlights = + 15%, midtones = +7%, shadows = +1%, Global color 110° = -3%) - 2 minutes
  11. Added FilmConvertPro2 effect (KD P400 Ptra, Grain = 0) - 10 seconds
  12. Added a simple title - 10  seconds
  13. Rendered video - ~20 minutes

Total Post Processing time = ~40 minutes (with rendering)

Re-rendered video at constant bitrate of 35000 kbps in 4k with Handbrake, resulting file 690 MB- ~10 minutes

Uploaded to Youtube - 90 minutes

Youtube processing - 10 minutes

 

Final Product:

Picture Quality:

Hindsight is always 20/20. I think the scene was a little dark as her face falls into shadow from time to time. I probably could have bumped up exposure and just avoided the window blown out in the background, but it gives you an idea of the limitations in terms of dynamic range. For me, the colors are quite nice and pleasing after applying Filmconvert… before that, not so much as white balance was off due to keeping blue channel from going too low- I guess many cameras need to be tweaked. :)

Notes:

This is a video of my daughter trying to set-up a Canon Powershot A410 that I gave her. She practices from time to time and enjoys shooting. Capturing moments like this is one of the main reasons I bought the GX80 for family. Please excuse her coughing as she’s getting over the flu. Also, note that she’s constantly switching from English to French. Good luck trying to understand, but you still have an idea of the audio quality.

Of the video I cut out was a portion that was probably unusable as I wasn’t holding the camera steady enough as I moved to another position. Yes, it’s prone to jitters if the IBIS goes past its limitations, but I could easily have avoided this hadn’t it been to user error (movements were simply too fast).

Feel free to make comments on any of the above as I’m trying to improve everything! By the way, here’s a photo she took of me looking serious during this shoot. 

2016-06-24_08-17-26.jpg

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2 hours ago, jase said:

Nice write-up. To be honest, I actually quite like the blown out window arround 0:30 - looks natural to me.

I will say Panasonic does do some magic here. I've had cameras that produce a very digital line around anything blown out. Panasonic seems to render with a little more gradient (and grace) so that it's not as noticeable. The goal was to do "run & gun," not think too much about the shot. To bring her face out more, I would have installed a reflector had I thought a little more. But even then, it's all a matter of preference I think. Some people really like a darker image than others.

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This took me about 5 minutes to shoot. I saw an interesting opportunity, went to get the GX80 and Zoom H1 from my office. For the settings above, I only need to put the camera in “C” mode to start. The Zoom is always put back with the level at 70, I only need to place it near the subject and start recording.

@John Mathews On the GX80 can you use manual exposure, setting both SS and aperture independently, in "C" mode?

I have been trying for months to find a way to use manual mode on the GX8 in its version of "C" mode.

Thanks, Chris

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2 minutes ago, DevonChris said:

@John Mathews On the GX80 can you use manual exposure, setting both SS and aperture independently, in "C" mode?

I have been trying for months to find a way to use manual mode on the GX8 in its version of "C" mode.

Thanks, Chris

Yes. No problem. Put it in "M" mode and save it as a custom mode. You can adjust your aperture and shutter independently. I wasn't aware of the GX8 limitation...

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16 minutes ago, DevonChris said:

I have been trying for months to find a way to use manual mode on the GX8 in its version of "C" mode.

If you want manual motion picture shooting when you move the dial to "C", then you'll have to build the camera state that you want.

For instance, under menu 2 of the motion picture settings, I'd put "Exposure Mode" to "M" for manual, set all the other camera settings of my preference, then save the state of the camera in the menu: Custom (the wrench icon with a C next to it) --> Custom Set Mem.--> C1.

After that, whenever I go to "C" on the dial, I'd have that camera state ready to go under the C1 option. 

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Yay, it works on the GX8 :) Many thanks, John and Fuzzy.

I've spent ages puzzling over how to get manual exposure to work with the custom modes and couldn't find out how to do it in the operating manual.

I have just been using the motion picture setting with exposure mode set to "M".

These Panny cameras are really excellent. I'm so pleased that I moved to the GX8 from Nikon FF for pro photo and video work.

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Does anyone know if it's still a "thing" to downscale 4k to 1080p for easier editing and improved video 1080p quality? If so, do you have an ffmpeg command that would work with the GX80? My old ffmpeg command for doing this doesn't work and I don't know why. This is what I got so far:

ffmpeg -i INPUT -filter_complex 'extractplanes=y+u+v[y][v]; scale=w=3840:h=2160:flags=print_info+neighbor+bitexact [us]; [v] scale=w=3840:h=2160:flags=print_info+neighbor+bitexact [vs]; [y][us][vs]mergeplanes=0x001020:yuv444p,format=pix_fmts=yuv444p10le,scale=w=1920:h=1080:flags=print_info+bicubic+full_chroma_inp+full_chroma_int' \
  -sws_dither none \
  -q 0 -quant_mat hq \
  -c:v prores_ks -profile:v 4 \
  -c:a copy \
  -c:s copy \
OUTPUT

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20 hours ago, John Matthews said:

Does anyone know if it's still a "thing" to downscale 4k to 1080p for easier editing and improved video 1080p quality? If so, do you have an ffmpeg command that would work with the GX80? My old ffmpeg command for doing this doesn't work and I don't know why. This is what I got so far:

ffmpeg -i INPUT -filter_complex 'extractplanes=y+u+v[y][v]; scale=w=3840:h=2160:flags=print_info+neighbor+bitexact [us]; [v] scale=w=3840:h=2160:flags=print_info+neighbor+bitexact [vs]; [y][us][vs]mergeplanes=0x001020:yuv444p,format=pix_fmts=yuv444p10le,scale=w=1920:h=1080:flags=print_info+bicubic+full_chroma_inp+full_chroma_int' \
  -sws_dither none \
  -q 0 -quant_mat hq \
  -c:v prores_ks -profile:v 4 \
  -c:a copy \
  -c:s copy \
OUTPUT

I just drop my Panasonic 4k file into a 1080p timeline in FCPX and either work with local proxies (if I'm mobile) or the referenced original 4k files.  I have had good results with digital cropping, and colour manipulation like that and then just exporting to 1080p Prores.  The picture looks great locally before uploading the massive file for Youtube/Vimeo to do their magic/wreck the image.

There are might be better ways of working, so I'd be happy to learn.

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20 minutes ago, sgreszcz said:

I just drop my Panasonic 4k file into a 1080p timeline in FCPX and either work with local proxies (if I'm mobile) or the referenced original 4k files.  I have had good results with digital cropping, and colour manipulation like that and then just exporting to 1080p Prores.  The picture looks great locally before uploading the massive file for Youtube/Vimeo to do their magic/wreck the image.

There are might be better ways of working, so I'd be happy to learn.

Yes, I've been doing the same with FCPX. However, my computer (integrated graphics) has a hard time with 4k with any sort modification to the original file. For now, I'm just testing as to what I can do with a downscaled image. I, too, am trying to improve workflow to make my cuts go a little quicker in FCPX, especially when 4k is not needed (rarely is).

When uploading to Youtube, you want 4k, even if it was originally 1080p- you only need to add a little grain and youtube will see "4k" detail. The results are pretty good from tests I've seen.

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On 25 June 2016 at 8:27 PM, DevonChris said:

Yay, it works on the GX8 :) Many thanks, John and Fuzzy.

I've spent ages puzzling over how to get manual exposure to work with the custom modes and couldn't find out how to do it in the operating manual.

I have just been using the motion picture setting with exposure mode set to "M".

These Panny cameras are really excellent. I'm so pleased that I moved to the GX8 from Nikon FF for pro photo and video work.

The cool thing is that the custom setting remembers everything, like white balance and shutter speed settings.

I had my first paid video job this weekend, to record a local Carnival parade.  I was all set to go with my GX80s and I was using C1 for 4k/25fps and C2 for 1080p/50fps and set both with similar settings except for shutter speed.  It was really easy to reset everything back to baseline.  I could easily have set up C3 for time-lapse as well, but I was using my LX100 for that.

I was using the two GX80 with the 12-35 and 35-100 zoom lenses plus LX100.  A Shure VP83F for general audio and Sony SX1000 hand recorder for recording a couple of specific performances.  The audio wasn't going to be critical due to the rain/wind and the client was expecting a montage over samba music anyway (no interviews).  I'm hoping that the Instamic ships some day as a small, high quality mic like that would be helpful to plant on people/things when shooting spontaneously.  

Everything was packed into a 13" messenger bag as well as a Mefoto tripod and a couple small clamp/gorilla pod support, extra batteries, cards and rain protection gear as the outlook wasn't good.  I was prepped to be on my feet and mobile for about 5 hours documenting the parade setup its progression through the town.

Just as things started happening the skies unleashed torrential rains and due to the lightning (and large costumes being erected in an open field) they cancelled the event.  I only got some shots during the early preparations and performers packing up between large cloudbursts.  I did like the quality of the limited stuff that I got, however was very disappointed as it would have been a very fun event to video.  Very unfortunate...

The most useful thing that I had with me that day was a head-mounted umbrella that kept my hands free and my cameras dry.

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26 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

When uploading to Youtube, you want 4k, even if it was originally 1080p- you only need to add a little grain and youtube will see "4k" detail. The results are pretty good from tests I've seen.

Can you explain where I can learn more about this?  Any tips about direct Facebook uploading as it generally looks the most horrible?

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