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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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15 hours ago, jonpais said:

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 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.

I never said the sensor is the whole story, but it's a big part of the story. I also never said they've stood still, but compared to the advancements we've seen from APS and Full Frame in recent years, the improvements in m43 have been weak. If they recycle a sensor for the GH5 and only manage to get slight improvements out of it thanks to processing, many of their customers will be disappointed. I saw a videographer who was working at the RNC convention say it seemed like everyone who was shooting mirrorless had switched to the A7s and had dropped Panasonic. He did not see a single GH4, which surprised him, because at one point it was a popular camera. It's why I think Panasonic needs to delay the release of the GH5 until they can put something like that amazing organic sensor you mentioned, and they announced years ago, in it. As far as the thread being about the GX85, you're right, but there has already been plenty of discussion about the GH4 and GH5 in this thread, which is why I made the comment. I think it's critical for Panasonic to get the GH5 right or they risk losing even more ground to Sony.

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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

After some more real world tests i have changed from -5/-5/-5/-5 to -5/-5/0/-5. i like the sharpness more at 0 while having noise reduction still at -5 so that it adds more often this subtle panasonic grain while turning off filmconvert grain completely.

currently i am playing with standard vs. natural with otherwise same settings as mentioned above.

my current findings are that they look very similar on first sight, yet on second sight, the natural settings has more details in the shadows and less saturated reds. I still have to find out whether i like that and give natural a try for my next shot.

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1 hour ago, Flynn said:

I never said the sensor is the whole story, but it's a big part of the story. I also never said they've stood still, but compared to the advancements we've seen from APS and Full Frame in recent years, the improvements in m43 have been weak. If they recycle a sensor for the GH5 and only manage to get slight improvements out of it thanks to processing, many of their customers will be disappointed. I saw a videographer who was working at the RNC convention say it seemed like everyone who was shooting mirrorless had switched to the A7s and had dropped Panasonic. He did not see a single GH4, which surprised him, because at one point it was a popular camera. It's why I think Panasonic needs to delay the release of the GH5 until they can put something like that amazing organic sensor you mentioned, and they announced years ago, in it. As far as the thread being about the GX85, you're right, but there has already been plenty of discussion about the GH4 and GH5 in this thread, which is why I made the comment. I think it's critical for Panasonic to get the GH5 right or they risk losing even more ground to Sony.

A tiny sensor benefits from small lenses. That make 'em a compact and lightweight solution. Depth of field is also greater. This makes them an ideal match for aerial videography. And shooting aerial stuff, you'll probably won't even touch ISO6400 and the sorts. Being compact additionally makes them great to cram into tight spots. Furthermore, just for people who'd like to travel light and literally don't want their gear to weigh them down, you can travel around with your camera and a bunch of lenses and you'll hardly notice it's with you. Try that with a 5DmkIII and some lenses. Plus, the battery life on the GH4 is genius (and did we mention it doesn't overheat?).

You might consider something else... actual cinema cameras are actually no real good in lowlight either. Prime example of course as well the Blackmagic range, that coincidentally sport cameras using the same MFT mount. You're basically using stuff at ISO800 and light for it. It's when you can't, or don't want to (maybe you're just lazy) light your scene, that you just pick-up something out of the A7-line up for example. Which comes as no surpise, as people have been doing that since the first A7s (which I also think people go for because they're secretly bokehwhores and fullframe makes it easier to creme the hell out of that background). You buy an A7SII or A7RII? Good for you. Now you're buying a multithousands costing set-up and having to feed it a 35mm image circle, those lenses are going to be huge compared to the M43 stuff. The entry into M43, even flagship models, is much more doable and lenses are compact and overall quite affordable. Plus, the flexibility to adapt a multitude of different lenses, including C-mount. Sure you can use an A7-series body in S35 mode. But where's the sense in that? APS-C wise... the A6300 has been mentioned tons of times, but need to get a grip on their reliability. I'll buy one as soon as they're as good to shoot with as they seem on paper. But I just can't be bothered with the hassle that's involved right now. Samsung NX1 is cool, but isn't exactly better in lowlight than the GH4. Canon has yet to come out with something attractive APS-C wise, what I'm concerned and Nikon has the cool D5300 and D5500, but then you're restricted to 1080p60 max and that flippin' mirror annoys the hell out of me. Also, you're missing out on all the treats associated with mirrorless cameras like focus peaking and the sorts. In the range currently the X-T2 is your best bet right now, if you can dig their system and philosophy.

About not bringing out the GH5? People know the 4/3" limitations already, they've possibly been shooting one since the GH2 and have collected quite the range of glass for the system in meanwhile. Yet, with every new generation there's increased performance, but also improved ergonomics, better processing now for example would allow for these more or less experimental features like an anamorphic mode, to be used to its fullest with de-stretching and everything. I think the G7 and GX80/GX85 have significantly improved on noise levels and general quality video, yet, as we've established, there's nothing really as production friendly like the GH4, that has all the pro-level features. Not bringing out a GH5 yet, thát is what would drive people away, the frustation that a G7/GX85/80 is performing better, but isn't as much as a production tool like the GH4. Plus, it's all good and fun that they're collaborating on making organic sensors a thing. But I bet that's far from being ready for prime time. And with everything new, it will have child diseases that need to be worked out for the launch. Unlike Sony, they're actually trying to give you something you can rely on...

M43 not your thing? You should've come up with that a long time ago. There's things it is and there's things it isn't (and won't be).

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17 hours ago, jonpais said:

 

I actually prefer Panasonic to Sony. I think Panasonic are much better made and well thought out. Which is why I'm pulling for Panasonic and really hope they're able to put something groundbreaking  like that organic sensor in the GH5. 

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Adorama has the GX8 with a free 12-60mm lens and a $150 gift card for $997.99. They also have the G7 with the 14-140mm, a free 25mm 1.7, and a $150 gift card for $997.99. Not only that, but you can save $100 on the 42.5mm 1.7, so with the $150 gift card you end up getting it for $97. Imagine, you can get the 14-140, 25, and 42.5 plus a G7 for around $1,094.99. Seems like a good deal to me, especially if you don't have any m43 glass.

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57 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

A tiny sensor benefits from small lenses. That make 'em a compact and lightweight solution. Depth of field is also greater. This makes them an ideal match for aerial videography. And shooting aerial stuff, you'll probably won't even touch ISO6400 and the sorts. Being compact additionally makes them great to cram into tight spots. Furthermore, just for people who'd like to travel light and literally don't want their gear to weigh them down, you can travel around with your camera and a bunch of lenses and you'll hardly notice it's with you. Try that with a 5DmkIII and some lenses. Plus, the battery life on the GH4 is genius (and did we mention it doesn't overheat?).

You might consider something else... actual cinema cameras are actually no real good in lowlight either. Prime example of course as well the Blackmagic range, that coincidentally sport cameras using the same MFT mount. You're basically using stuff at ISO800 and light for it. It's when you don't want to, or can't (or maybe you're just lazy) light your scene, that you just pick-up something out of the A7-line up for example. Which comes as no surpise, as people have been doing that since the first A7s (which I also think people go for because they're secretly bokehwhores and fullframe makes it easier to creme the hell out of that background). You buy an A7SII or A7RII? Good for you. Now you're buying a multithousands costing set-up and having to feed it a 35mm image circle, those lenses are going to be huge compared to the M43 stuff. The entry into M43, even flagship models, is much more doable and lenses are compact and overall quite affordable. Plus, the flexibility to adapt a multitude of different lenses, including C-mount. Sure you can use an A7-series body in S35 mode. But where's the sense in that? APS-C wise... the A6300 has been mentioned tons of times, but need to get a grip on their reliability. I'll buy one as soon as they're as good to shoot with as they seem on paper. But I just can't be bothered with the hassle that's involved right now. Samsung NX1 is cool, but isn't exactly better in lowlight than the GH4. Canon has yet to come out with something attractive APS-C wise, what I'm concerned and Nikon has the cool D5300 and D5500, but then you're restricted to 1080p60 max and that flippin' mirror annoys the hell out of me. Also, you're missing out on all the treats associated with mirrorless cameras like focus peaking and the sorts.

About not bringing out the GH5? People know the 4/3" limitations already, they've possibly been shooting one since the GH2 and have collected quite the range of glass for the system in meanwhile. Yet, with every new generation there's increased performance, but also improved ergonomics, better processing now for example would allow for these more or less experimental features like an anamorphic mode, to be used to its fullest with de-stretching and everything. I think the G7 and GX80/GX85 have significantly improved on noise levels and general quality video, yet, as we've established, there's nothing really as production friendly like the GH4, that has all the pro-level features. Not bringing out a GH5 yet, thát is what would drive people away, the frustation that a G7/GX85/80 is performing better, but isn't as much as a production tool like the GH4. Plus, it's all good and fun that they're collaborating on making organic sensors a thing. But I bet that's far from being ready for prime time. And with everything new, it will have child diseases that need to be worked out for the launch. Unlike Sony, they're actually trying to give you something you can rely on...

M43 not your thing? You should've come up with that a long time ago. There's things it is and there's things it isn't (and won't be).

I guess the fact that Panasonic was out of Pro Video for a while (years), makes their Codes still something to be worked on. The VLog, IMHO, needs atleast more 2-3 iterations. I am saying this, because the Panasonic GH4 has 12.8 stops of Dynamic Range in RAW Photo at base ISO, while Cinelike D has 10.9 Stops, and the VLog has probably 11.5 stops. 
The Sony A7S, on the other hand, has about 14.2 Stops of Dynamic Range in RAW photo, and about 14.1 Stops in SLog2. Which outlines how badly the VLog needs to be worked on seriously. 

In my opinion, the next GH Camera (and All Panasonic Cameras, to be honest) need a Very Good VLog, that pulls in Atleast 12.5 Stops of Dynanic Range at the Maximum, and 11.5 Stops, in the Minimum. And VLog profiles should be on All Panasonic Cameras, regardless of the price. The GH5 can have the top-end version, and it can be a $199 paid firmware, if it makes Panasonic happy. But, all Panasonic Cameras should have VLog. 

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Yup! 'better processing now for example would allow for these more or less experimental features like an anamorphic mode, to be used to its fullest'. Same goes for V-Log. They didn't bring out the GH4 anticipating they were going to release V-Log for it. The platform wasn't ready for it, but they gave it a shot. Building a camera from the ground up knowing it should be able to handle V-Log, that must turn into a huge improvement. And indeed it would be nice to see V-Log and CineLike-profiles on the rest of the range. But I think it's a deliberate choice not to give it to the lower range, call it 'Canon segmentation' if you will... you want cinematic range features? You buy the cinematic range cameras.

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1 hour ago, Cinegain said:

Yup! 'better processing now for example would allow for these more or less experimental features like an anamorphic mode, to be used to its fullest'. Same goes for V-Log. They didn't bring out the GH4 anticipating they were going to release V-Log for it. The platform wasn't ready for it, but they gave it a shot. Building a camera from the ground up knowing it should be able to handle V-Log, that must turn into a huge improvement. And indeed it would be nice to see V-Log and CineLike-profiles on the rest of the range. But I think it's a deliberate choice not to give it to the lower range, call it 'Canon segmentation' if you will... you want cinematic range features? You buy the cinematic range cameras.

I could agree with you, and I could wrong to assume otherwise, but I feel a few things may not be completely correct.
1. The VLog may be more of a Software thing, than a purely hardware thing. There seems to be absolutely no strain on the sensor and processor, and they are completely capable of handling higher bitrates, without heating up, anywhere close to meltdown (unlike the Sonys).
2. Panasonic Doesn't have a 'C' lineup, like Canon. There aren't any C100s, C300s and C500s, apart from a 1DC. It merely has the DX200 (that most likely shared the sensor with the LX100) that has the m4/3 size sensor, and everything else, that has much smaller sensor sizes. Also, the fact that those cameras are more for ENG, and this have XLR inputs, among a host of otehr features, makes them very different models, altogether. Also, the DVX is based on a Fixed Lens concept (and large part of its price includes the Leica Lens). 

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1. What are you saying? All they need to do is write a better algorithm and release new firmware but they're withholding from doing so because you've 'only' paid 99 USD for V-Log Lite, and not for the full Varicam know-how?

Everything is more efficient if you do it in advance. Like, building a car with a bigger engine in the first place, rather than tuning it with little bits and pieces afterwards to squeeze out more. Allocating the right things in advance, makes sure the infrastructure is laid out for optimized results after. The GH4 is relatively old, it struggles with V-Log, I'm having to go 10-bit 1080p externally (BMD Video Assist). A GH5 could have internal 10-bit and upped bitrate with perhaps even a newly chosen data storage format to cope with it. That makes all the difference and is not a software thing at all.

2. Don't take that too literally, please. I'm talking about the videocentric features, that's the closest thing in the line-up, for shooting cinema-style stuff. Things like V-Log L, CineLike profiles, uncompressed HMDI output, anamorphic mode, Timecode, dedicated brick interface (YAGH), etc. That only applies to the GH-range. People wanted to use the LX100 for aerial stuff, but there's no live-output over HDMI. Some might be missing mic-input and a headphone jack. Things like this and not including certain other features force you to go for the GH-range (Japanese heads of the brand's strategy, as I mentioned I think is happening here earlier). Which is the cinematic equivalent range I was hinting at (EOS has EOS Cinema, Lumix G has the GH).

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1 hour ago, Inazuma said:

@Cinegain bravo. One of the most sensible posts ive read in a while. 

@sanveer don't you think vlog is already flat enough for an 8 bit codec?

Maybe not, if it were 4-2-2, and had a much higher bitrate. Also, I am guessing it depends on color channels being adjusted, and attempted to get the color as close to the real thing while shooting, rather than leaving that for post. Even on the Sony cameras if exposure and colors are good, then the SLog is pretty impressive. Even the 8-bit internal. 

 

28 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

1. What are you saying? All they need to do is write a better algorithm and release new firmware but they're withholding from doing so because you've 'only' paid 99 USD for V-Log Lite, and not for the full Varicam know-how?

Everything is more efficient if you do it in advance. Like, building a car with a bigger engine in the first place, rather than tuning it with little bits and pieces afterwards to squeeze out more. Allocating the right things in advance, makes sure the infrastructure is laid out for optimized results after. The GH4 is relatively old, it struggles with V-Log, you'd have to go 10-bit 1080p externally. A GH5 could have internal 10-bit and upped bitrate with perhaps even a newly chosen data storage format to cope with it. That makes all the difference and is not a software thing at all.

2. Don't take that too literally, please. I'm talking about the videocentric features, that's the closest thing in the line-up, for shooting cinema-style stuff. Things like V-Log L, CineLike profiles, uncompressed HMDI output, anamorphic mode, Timecode, dedicated brick interface (YAGH), etc. That only applies to the GH-range. People wanted to use the LX100 for aerial stuff, but there's no live-output over HDMI. Things like this and not including certain other features force you to go for the GH-range (Japanese heads of the brand's strategy, as I mentioned I think is happening here earlier). Which is the cinematic equivalent range I was hinting at.


You assume too many things. When the Canon 5D Mark ii came out it only shot H.264, and yet, after the Magic Lantern Hack, it shot 14-bit RAW. So, according to you, that should not have been possible. Right? The LX100 was specifically disabled, because the FZ1000 did have an HDMI out. Nobody really knows why executives at Cameras Companies screw up so much.

I am not sure the GH4 struggles with VLog. I don't even know what that means. Is that your personal experience? Does it overheat?

 

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You assume many things yourself, mate. No 14-bit RAW with the GH4 is not possible. You do realize the 5DmkII uses the CompactFlash as a storage format, right? That's exactly what I've addressed. You need to be able to write this stuff away! Plus, they had no idea the 5DmkII's video was going to make such big waves, yet had built it to professional standards, including the right heat dissipation and pipeworks in a spacious body, making sure users would be able to shoot their RAW pictures from the 14-bit capable sensor without flunking. It's the hardware to fit the job, so sure that's possible. Surely Canon had no intentions however to provide this sorta video mode, also because the workflow is somewhat challenging and you want to provide your customers an easy going experience. Plus, entering that unexplored terrain and pushing the boundaries does leave you with questions about overheating and overall lifespan of the device. It's just easier to not bother with it and have people tinkering around with it do it at own risk. Or even then, up the line you make sure to protect your cameras against these kind of exploits.

With however a willing company like Panasonic, they've faced the challenge of making it work with hardware that wouldn't cope with it. That has more to do with sensor specifications, bus transfer speeds and write slot speeds than anything else. And the sensor is only capable of 12-bit to begin with. But of course, these are things they could address with a new iteration of the GH-line...

Overheating? It's a Panasonic, not a Sony. That's just the thing. Panasonics don't get pushed over their limits. So you get what's possible, but still assures realibility and ease of use. So, no, there's no overheating issues, but because the already thin amount of information is thinly spread, the footage breaks up easily. That's why I'm saying it has to be shot at the largest bit depth and highest bitrate possible. If you want to improve on that, you've got to up the infrastructure to support it. But if you don't think that's the case. Fine by me.

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4 hours ago, sanveer said:

When the Canon 5D Mark ii came out it only shot H.264, and yet, after the Magic Lantern Hack, it shot 14-bit RAW. 
 

Yes, but it's a hack: Canon is still selling 2009's video codec in their DSLR, just to be sure you buy the C line for filmmaking. 

My father has both 5D MKII and 5D MKIII for photos. I hacked them to try ML, but I would not use them for other then personal/repeatable gigs, since they are not reliable with ML loaded. Also: the menus and all the GUI of ML s not that great.
Nothing to say about the quality, but until Canon will not decide to produce their cameras with that features it will be not really usable for paid gigs where time is a factor.

I prefer to use my Lumix (GH4 and G7, GH4 never in V-Log, I made some tests also in ProRes 10 bit with video assist and I prefer to use them with Andy's "Natural" profile) and the little awesome BM Micro Cinema when I have more time between the shots. 

The Micro or the Pocket are way more reliable if you need RAW or Log.

Of course, my opinion :) 
 

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1 hour ago, Cinegain said:

I hope they do an end of summer sale on the micro, then I might get one too. :grin:

It is amazing, I love the codec, my only complaint is the lack of a button for every basic function such as ISO, shutter, WB. 

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1 hour ago, JazzBox said:

Yes, but it's a hack: Canon is still selling 2009's video codec in their DSLR, just to be sure you buy the C line for filmmaking. 

My father has both 5D MKII and 5D MKIII for photos. I hacked them to try ML, but I would not use them for other then personal/repeatable gigs, since they are not reliable with ML loaded. Also: the menus and all the GUI of ML s not that great.
Nothing to say about the quality, but until Canon will not decide to produce their cameras with that features it will be not really usable for paid gigs where time is a factor.

I prefer to use my Lumix (GH4 and G7, GH4 never in V-Log, I made some tests also in ProRes 10 bit with video assist and I prefer to use them with Andy's "Natural" profile) and the little awesome BM Micro Cinema when I have more time between the shots. 

The Micro or the Pocket are way more reliable if you need RAW or Log.

Of course, my opinion :) 
 

I`ve used ML 3 times a week for 6 hours studio sessions for 2 years. Not raw though, but sofware itself is very reliable.

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Guys, no offense but could we get back to topic please which is the GX80?

we have bmmc topics, we have the "5 reasons why i will get the gh5" topic by andrew reid, etc.

it starts to get annoying that every thread here on the last couple of pages gets derailed into offtopic - which is a pitty, because the offtopic stuff is most often valuable enough to start dedicated posts (which i encourage you to create, so that others will participate!)

yet i would like to receive email notifications about ontopic related stuff :)

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14 hours ago, jase said:

After some more real world tests i have changed from -5/-5/-5/-5 to -5/-5/0/-5. i like the sharpness more at 0 while having noise reduction still at -5 so that it adds more often this subtle panasonic grain while turning off filmconvert grain completely.

currently i am playing with standard vs. natural with otherwise same settings as mentioned above.

my current findings are that they look very similar on first sight, yet on second sight, the natural settings has more details in the shadows and less saturated reds. I still have to find out whether i like that and give natural a try for my next shot.

So, leaving sharpness at 0 and NR at -5 adds a subtle grain? Interesting... I wonder why it does that?

Am looking forward to seeing your Natural results. Before I sold my G7, I was using natural with everything at -4 and also sometimes using a modified Prolost Natural... Basically Contrast at -5, Sharpness 0, NR 0 and Saturation -2 or -3... I'll have to test them with the GX85 one day. 

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