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Andrew Reid

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

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14 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

@ markr041 Once it's crushed it's gone. A parachute has a reserve chute to deploy. You don't get it right the first time? Don't worry, there's wiggle room. Also, you might not have decided a look. Maybe afterwards you feel a certain look fits the piece much better. Once it's baked-in, it's done. But if you shoot with a bit more lattitude, you can flip it how you want. It's a philosophy thing. Same with photography. Some people think it's cheating if you use Lightroom/Photoshop and you should just shoot the picture in-camera. Well. To each their own. I think it's marvelous that we can shoot RAW pictures and develop them on the computer. And sure you can make additional adjustments to make it prettier. Girls put on many layers in front of the mirror each morning... some more than others. Who am I to say they can or can't. In the end you get a unique look from a unique point of view/perspective and to me that is what it is all about. Not all art is equal. But personally I like the approach to create part of the look in post, which ultimately gives you more creative freedom. But if you're of the mindset that creative freedom is the freedom not having to worry about the look in post and focusing on the moment itself (although I would argue that's exclusive to shooting as-is)... that's cool too.

Btw, I'm with Vesku!

 

Let's do a blast of the past! :blush:

I love that piece.

That video is shot really well, but it has the FPN that I just mentioned. In almost every frame. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
24 minutes ago, sanveer said:

That video is shot really well, but it has the FPN that I just mentioned. In almost every frame. 

But it was shot with no noise reduction in camera or in post. That's to be expected in a small sensor camera... :( Andrew must have been intentionally going for a grainy look if he turned NR all the way down in camera without using any noise reduction like Neat Video. Anyway, only a creative genius would shoot at ISO 12,800 on the GH2!

[Edit] No question the GH4 isn't a low-light beast. In fact, when I first started using it, I thought even at ISO 100, the noise was horrible. Then I realized I'd been underexposing slightly. The camera really doesn't respond well to underexposure. Since then, I've been more careful about exposure, and as long as I shoot at ISO 400 or less, noise really isn't a problem at all. And now, there are so many choices of fast glass, I don't see it as an issue. If I was shooting primarily in low light situations, I wouldn't even bother with micro four-thirds - I'd get an APS or full frame sensor camera. 

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Quite the abundance indeed. So much nicer than all of the other noise, though. Like Canon's. It's got character. In B&W anyways (in color that has so many puke green and magenta blotches that it would make you throw up). What they do these days with Panasonics is suppressing the noise from the darkest darks. Yet, now they're lurking in the midrange shadows. Even dark blue skies. Still the noise is of finer quality, sorta say. I wished though, they'd be able to manage up to and including ISO6400 without much hint of any noise anywhere at all. They'll get there eventually. I think with the right infrastructure/wiring and processing they're able to get a purer and higher quality signal out of the sensor.

-- Btw, I think it's super cool ambassador Andy is shooting a whole project with speedboosted G7s and is getting awesome results. We've sure went in the right direction with the Panasonic cameras. The amount of tools and accessibility to them is greater than ever and it only seems to be getting even better and better. Although that also means that you'll have to set yourself apart with your vision and talent, more so than your technical know-how and capabilities, which is not neccessarily a bad thing. You can put more focus to the things that really matter, like creative choices, but also other technical sides of filmmaking outside of the camera itself. Like proper audio, lighting and post production. As well as the less technical things, like how to tell better stories and getting the right people on board on your projects.

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On 7/10/2016 at 6:04 PM, Flynn said:

I wish Panasonic would start offering the 25mm as the kIt lens in the US. It used to be a fast 50mm would be the cheap kit lens and a zoom would be in the expensive kit. Now, in the US at least, we can't even get a prime kit, though Sigma is changing that with the 35mm 1.4 as the kit lens with the Quattro (and pretty cheap too).

I think the Panasonic GF1 had the 20mm f1.7 as a kit lens option?

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On 7/29/2016 at 5:56 AM, Michael Coffee said:

Personal View has a good reputation for their deals. Vitaly, who runs the site, is the guy that originally hacked the GH1/GH2 Panasonics..

Does he hack the newer cameras that gets sold on via his site and is that why those don't have the recording limit??

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48 minutes ago, Dimitris Stasinos said:

I am wondering a couple of months now, wouldn't this be a perfect camera for aerial shots? Have anyone here thought this scenario? Its light, compact, descent at night shots and provides extra stabilization. The missing piece in the puzzle is only a proper gimbal. Any ideas?

But remember, that it is terrible for motion videos because of rolling shutter artifacts. Though I haven't tried it with stabilization off.

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1 hour ago, 7 Lakes said:

But remember, that it is terrible for motion videos because of rolling shutter artifacts. Though I haven't tried it with stabilization off.

Not really sure how this would be a practical concern. At least not for the aerial footage I shoot. 

For instance, Aerials don't tend to be shot with longer lenses and at right angles from the subject. Nor do they usually involve rapid pans across the frame.

Most aerial footage would be perfectly fine.

Unless tons of close up horizontal movement is what you're doing while flying the camera in a drone, I don't think rolling shutter is going to be a big issue. 

Of course many drones are set up for stabilization already, so it's all sort of moot to worry too much about how a gx85 handles things. But, if you're shooting handheld in a helicopter the stabilization sure would help, yes.  

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Does he hack the newer cameras that gets sold on via his site and is that why those don't have the recording limit??

Ha, don't think any Panasonic since the gh2 has been hackable - maybe the cameras with no recording limit are non EU models?

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Does he hack the newer cameras that gets sold on via his site and is that why those don't have the recording limit??

I was actually checking the same thing (whether the PAL to NTSC hack also gets rid of the recording time limit). It appears, that, unfortunately, the 30 min time limit remains:

(Check the answer to the first comment, on his video)




Post Script:  I saw another video, that says in the comments, that it Removes the Time Limit. If it really does, then its gr8 (I wonder if the buttons order, for pressing, switching off and switching on the are same?). 

 


And here is the Reddit discussion about the same thing, and they too claim the 30 min time limit is gone:

https://www.reddit.com/r/PanasonicG7/comments/4t71h4/somehow_got_rid_of_my_30_min_record_limit/

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Received my GX85 last week in time for a Friday wedding and just wanted to share my initial thoughts on the camera (being a GH4 and GX7 owner) and a short teaser film I made for the couple I filmed with the camera on Friday. Heads up: this is the same post I put on personal-view to avoid any duplicate reading time ;-)

Firstly, operationally, this camera with its stabilisation is a gem. For a number of years now, every time I've wanted to go handheld at a wedding I've had to remove my baseplate and attach my Zacuto target shooter and z-finder (I don't keep the Zacuto baseplate on permanently as I value the GH4s flippy screen way too much). Weddings being as they are, this meant I only used my mini rig at strategic times of the day when the switchover meant I wouldn't miss anything. So having it built in meant I could go handheld whenever I wanted; and I did. I had it slung around my neck most of the day, operating my GH4 on tripod and mono as my A Cam and then choosing certain moments to use the GX85. As the day progressed I began using the GX85 more and more and it gave me a photography-like framing freedom to the height and angles I could get to without having to hoist up my beloved monopod or put my tripod down into low leg move. I can see the pitfalls of a device making shooting so easy... you get lazy... but on Friday I felt a freedom and creativity I haven't felt in a long time. I started looking with my eyes more knowing that my gear wouldn't stop me getting into position (and quickly at that).

And the quality of the stabilisation? Well, you can probably already tell from the videos that it's incredible. And where I wouldn't normally go handheld with anything over 25mm on my Zacuto, by the end of the day I had my Nikon 105mm and speedbooster (making it 75mm) and it was fantastic, allowing me to grab shots that normally I'd have to set a tripod up for. And with some practise I felt quite comfortable panning gently with it too, it doesn't come to a hard stop like the Olympus stabilisation seem to, it tapers off nicely.

I won't comment too much on image quality at this stage as I haven't had time to pore over the footage. My initial feeling is that in terms of DR, detail and colour it is on par with the GH4 with a slightly different colour signature. I feel it is definitely less noisy than the GH4 at high ISO (which is a boon for my work, although I'm really not afraid of noise as much as some people) but detail and DR like normal still seem to struggle once you hit 1600. Also, I don't think the slow-mo (50p/100 shutter on a 25p timeline) is as good as the GH4, doesn't seem as fluid. The GH4 has fantastic 50p. Again, please take this with a pinch of salt as I've scanned my footage for all of an hour and never have time or inclination to pixel peep (too busy editing bloody weddings!). It's just my feel.

Now the cons to the camera.... instantly the moment I took it out of the box and put it up to my face I was disappointed. I love the left-side EVF, it means guests can see more of my face and I can smile to put them at ease and more easily talk to the bride and groom if doing any direction. However, that damned left strap lug just sticks into my nose. The GX7 has the correct placement of this lug and I cannot believe Panasonic engineers changed it and then didn't think about the consequences. Anyone else notice this? I want to hold the camera to my nose for additional stabilisation and can't do it comfortably now. I can live with it, but found myself pushing the viewfinder upwards into my eye socket so I didn't have red marks on my nose all day. It's workable, but the GX7 lug placement was perfect.

Secondly, no battery charger included. You have to charge the battery in camera which is less handy when you want to have your second battery on charge while using the first. I do this a lot.

Obviously it's a real shame it doesn't have mic input, but I understand this isn't a pro model. I just have to choose wisely when I use it for my work until the GH5 comes out as audio clips are so important to the way I edit (I use natural, candid audio whenever I can, especially in my longer edits). However, I really will have so much pleasure using it for my work in the meantime, and it is now the perfect personal camera for me too.

So here is a mini teaser video I put together for my bride and groom from Friday. Shots 1, 2 and 4 at 50mm, shots 3 and 5 (cliff ones) at 75mm. Yes, I have slowed them down, but I would be more than happy (and will) use them at normal speed too. The 75mm on the cliff was a bit of a wow moment for me. With the wind the way it was, there is no way I would have been able to get the shot on a monopod that steady, and I would have never been able to get the variety of shots I did if I were using a tripod (there was no time for a tripod anyway). The GX85 is opening my mind up to new possibilities.

All shots straight out of camera, natural w/ -2 contrast, -4 sharpness, -3 NR:

 

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Ted Forbes has made what must be the most balanced review I've seen of the GX85 yet, and the reason why I will wait and see what the GH5 has to offer. We don't know for sure what improvements the GH5 will bring, but it will definitely have a LOG profile, microphone and headphone inputs and a fully articulating screen, all lacking on the GX85. It is also rumored to have a better processor that will make the most of the very same sensor used in the GX85. And without a doubt it will incorporate the IBIS found on the GX85. For sure, the built-in microphone will be superior on the GH5 (a few reviewers have called the microphone in the GX85 the worst they've ever encountered). Will the GH5 have phase-detect focus points? Nobody knows for sure - but automatic focusing with the GX85 will probably be just as frustrating as it is with the GH4 (though one reviewer shows that when walking around, the GX85 nails focus quicker than the GH4). The thing is, with the GH4 mounted on a pistol grip stabilizer, I don't think there would be much difference between the two. Ted Forbes claims that even with face detection enabled, the GX85 had difficulty tracking subjects, the same experience I'm having with the GH4. Low light performance has never been the strong suit of the GH4, but the GX85 is no low-light king either. Several readers are charmed by the small form factor of the GX85 (and I confess to a love of the rangefinder form factor myself), but I have a suspicion that the larger body of the GH4 would be easier to handle. Ted Forbes prefers the handling of the G7 SLR styled body to the GX85. Finally, although the 12-32mm kit lens supplied with the GX85 may be sharp, I would never consider it for anything but casual use - I've got one on my GM1, and it is far too slow and lacks a manual focus ring. 

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It just makes for a great 2nd shooter camera. No need for it to replace the GH4 or anything. You shoot your main things with the GH4, then you'd like some B roll in between. A cam shooting an interview with dialog? Great, keep the dialog running and put some visuals on the screen. Wedding? Good chance you've got a music track underneath. You don't need sound all the time, continuous AF on M43 isn't going to be stellar anytime soon I suppose, so you'll use MF (or get a Canon with dualpixel AF)... It does have the BIS, it's smaller and less conspicuous. The GH4 might be the productivity tool here, but the GX85/80 is the fun one that opens up some new possibilities. It's priced attractively to serve as an addition to the GH4. And then you might replace the GH4 at a later stage, but it wouldn't really warrant to let go of the GX85/80. I'd say, keep it around! And for the budget conscious, if you manage to handle the audio externally, you still get a great deal with the GX85/80 even as a main cam. At that price, what's a better pick? Just need one camera to do it all, like the GH4 and you can wait? Sure, wait for the GH5. You just have to realize what it is and what it isn't. The GX85/80 is not a GH4 replacement. But it is a great deal and an overall interesting package altogether and for now there's nothing quite like it out there. For me personally it makes the ultimate addition to the GH4.

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2 hours ago, jonpais said:

 it will definitely have a LOG profile, microphone and headphone inputs and a fully articulating screen, all lacking on the GX85.

Personally, my main concern is EVF.  

I really like using a good EVF.  When they work well it makes manual focusing a breeze and fun.  And since I shoot manual glass, it makes sense to covet such a feature.  Besides, I actually enjoy utilizing manual lens focus hunting in my edits.  I don't really know how to articulate that bias.  Maybe because it makes things feel more organic and connected to a human shooter?

At any rate, Panasonic's GX series EVF's have been very frustrating.  And, yeah, having on board audio recording is a blessing.  I miss it now that I'm shooting with my GX85's.

Still, it's a kick-butt little cam.  One can't have every solution in a piece of kit that cost less than a good ND filter set!

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I spent a little time to catch up with this thread and have been pretty impressed with the results you guys have been getting with the GX85. It's interesting to see the different settings used and the different looks achieved. It seems like different flavors of Standard and Natural are the favorites. Does anyone have any with and without A3/G3 shots?

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I think Panasonic really needs a significantly improved sensor for the GH5. You look at the advancements in aps and full frame sensors in recent years and then look at m43 and it's just sad. If they come out with a modest improvement over the GH4 I think Sony is gonna eat their lunch. Better to delay the release until it's a real upgrade.

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The sensor is only part of the story - the processor is another. It's simply not true that u4/3 sensor tech has stood still while APS sensors have made huge strides. Panasonic is going to be a leader in sensor technology, with its patents for organic sensors, PDAF, 8K, a light-field sensor and other innovations. The GH5 will probably have the same sensor as the GX85, but an improved processor. But this thread is about the GX85, not the aging GH4 or upcoming GH5. And Panasonic's GX85 rangefinder has IBIS, which is lacking in their closest rival's camera, the Sony A6300. It also has a fully articulating touch screen, another feature Sony has inexplicably left out. And the GX85 doesn't have any issues with overheating, which the Sony cameras famously suffer from. And then there are those who aren't overly fond of Sony's colors, or confusing menus. So, they have got some things right, I just don't think I'd purchase it as my primary camera. It is not a replacement for the GH4.

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