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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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10 minutes ago, Simon Shasha said:

I'm on the verge of getting rid of everything and grabbing a GX85 + 20mm F1.7.

I wanna go back to basics...ultra basics :P

Nothing wrong with that combo. I totally dig it!

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13 minutes ago, Simon Shasha said:

Cool, thanks :)

That's what I'm hearing too, x2.2 crop.

I'm leaning towards the GX85 for run and gun/something to throw in my jacket, or the A6500 (which has been offered to me by Sony Australia at a 30% discount - $1600AUD/$1185USD).

I'm invested in Sony lenses, and have the official Sigma MC-11 to go with my 18-35mm F1.8, as well as Metabones Canon-EF to Sony-E adapter...but man, I'm on the verge of getting rid of everything and grabbing a GX85 + 20mm F1.7.

I wanna go back to basics...ultra basics :P

That's a good price for the A6500. I haven't owned a Sony since the A5100, which I liked... especially for its size. 

I've been slowly moving everything to Nikon and contemplating getting the D500. I've seen a few comparisons between the A6500 and the D500 and to my eyes I like the D500's 4K better, but that camera has a heavy crop as well.

The GX85 is an awesome camera. I've been saying I was going to sell it since I bought it, but still hold onto it for its run and gun... ability. However I have one final test to do, if it passes I will keep it for a while to make a short with it, if it fails, I will sell it and go all in with Nikon. BTW, that 20mm is an awesome lens. You could do worse than that combo. 

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Where did you notice a benefit with iDynamic?

I was surprised how good a job it did of optimising dynamic range, keeping detail in the highlights and shadows whilst maintaining decent contrast.

The biggest problem I have with the "turn everything down" method is that it's really hard to restore decent mid-tone contrast in post (I find).

The GX80 is a contrasty camera, even "dialled down". iDynamic seems to mitigate this.

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13 hours ago, DPC said:

I was surprised how good a job it did of optimising dynamic range, keeping detail in the highlights and shadows whilst maintaining decent contrast.

The biggest problem I have with the "turn everything down" method is that it's really hard to restore decent mid-tone contrast in post (I find).

The GX80 is a contrasty camera, even "dialled down". iDynamic seems to mitigate this.

Could you publish a quick test with these features on and off? I have some doubts concerning iDynamic based on previous tests (by other users) and previous Panasonic cameras (namely the LX100). It was concluded that there were numerous artifacts due to iDynamic. It's possible that Panasonic changed something, but I'd be surprised. Here's the LX100 (non-scientific) test:

 

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23 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

Could you publish a quick test with these features on and off?

Sorry, I won't have time to do that. I didn't do systematic before / after recording for all the shots. You should be able to download the original ProRes file from Vimeo to play with. 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Vesku said:

Idynamic works best outdoors at iso200. It increases noise if used with high iso. If the scene has no hard contrast iDynamic off may be better.

Do you mean to say it works better when there's enough light for ISO 200... or is it better in combination with an outside WB... or both? It's true that the lx100 video posted above was at ISO 800, not 200 and it had clearly less detail on the green blanket. Again, more testing/posts are needed.

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1 hour ago, John Matthews said:

Do you mean to say it works better when there's enough light for ISO 200... or is it better in combination with an outside WB... or both? It's true that the lx100 video posted above was at ISO 800, not 200 and it had clearly less detail on the green blanket. Again, more testing/posts are needed.

Noise increases already above iso 400 with default settings. If using iDynamic it digs more noise from shadows. At iso200 the video is so clean that a little increase in noise is not visible. Of course iso200 needs more light...

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17 hours ago, DPC said:

I was surprised how good a job it did of optimising dynamic range, keeping detail in the highlights and shadows whilst maintaining decent contrast.

The biggest problem I have with the "turn everything down" method is that it's really hard to restore decent mid-tone contrast in post (I find).

The GX80 is a contrasty camera, even "dialled down". iDynamic seems to mitigate this.

I haven't touch the iDynamic since the GH3 when it was terrible and useless, but on the GX85, I'm surprised how well I can bring back the image even with iDyamic on high, with a negative S curve, and -5 contrast.  This camera is so fun.

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2 hours ago, Michael Ma said:

I haven't touch the iDynamic since the GH3 when it was terrible and useless, but on the GX85, I'm surprised how well I can bring back the image even with iDyamic on high, with a negative S curve, and -5 contrast.  This camera is so fun.

 

Hey Michael,

got my GX85 last week. Still trying out stuff. Not as much as I want too due to lack of time at the moment. What are your exact settings?

On my G6 I usally shot all on -2 but color on 0 on Natural. Nice gradeable image with adequate WB and amount of light. Very strong in the midtones.

On GX85 this setting still seems contrasty. Looking good on ISO 1250, 2500 in low light is already too much. 1250 has broken gradation in the lower

parts of the shadows in very low light. Cannot say, if it is an advance compared to the G6 other than the UDH. Stabilization is beautiful, just put

the right focal length into the settings, if speedboosted take that into account as well. Oh, don´t track and pan at the same time. Not sure if additional

electronic stabilization comes with additional artefacts.

cheers

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10 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

 

Hey Michael,

got my GX85 last week. Still trying out stuff. Not as much as I want too due to lack of time at the moment. What are your exact settings?

On my G6 I usally shot all on -2 but color on 0 on Natural. Nice gradeable image with adequate WB and amount of light. Very strong in the midtones.

On GX85 this setting still seems contrasty. Looking good on ISO 1250, 2500 in low light is already too much. 1250 has broken gradation in the lower

parts of the shadows in very low light. Cannot say, if it is an advance compared to the G6 other than the UDH. Stabilization is beautiful, just put

the right focal length into the settings, if speedboosted take that into account as well. Oh, don´t track and pan at the same time. Not sure if additional

electronic stabilization comes with additional artefacts.

cheers

II haven't found the optimal settings yet.  I put it on -5 highlights, -5 shadows, -5 contrast/-5 saturation on natural, iDynamic high just to see how much I can break the image by maximizing dynamic range and then try to recover it.  Definitely there is loss of fine details, but the overall colors of the image can be recovered and usable even under harsh settings.  As for now, I'm happy enough with it that I plan on putting this as my C1 when shooting in the worst light possible.  And then I'll turn it down a bit for c2, and c3 to use when it's not as harsh.

Even with those settings, you will find that the image corrected for detail and color will yield a contrasty image.  But it seems to respond well to RGB curve adjustments to make the image look flatter.

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52 minutes ago, Michael Ma said:

 I put it on -5 highlights, -5 shadows, -5 contrast/-5 saturation on natural, iDynamic high just to see how much I can break the image by maximizing dynamic range and then try to recover it. 

In my opinion those settings will completely botch the video quality.  The idea that compressing luminance values will somehow increase dynamic range is completely wrong in my opinion.

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4 minutes ago, Cary Knoop said:

In my opinion those settings will completely botch the video quality.  The idea that compressing luminance values will somehow increase dynamic range is completely wrong in my opinion.

That has been the case with some of my older Panasonics with these settings.  But you'd be surprised how recoverable the image is when you try to grade it.  I've been playing with it and some shots are completely usable with these settings.  Yes, that's pretty hard to believe.

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So, I just did a quick test of ISO 200 (various combinations on Standard profile). I looked at green, blue, and red channels. My conclusions are:

  1. There's no additional information in highlights.
  2. Shadows in iDynamic are simply lifted, no more detail.
  3. Noise in shadows is much more prevalent in general with iDynamic.
  4. It seems the red channel suffers the most from iDynamic.

My test were in high-contrast situations... so I could be wrong about outside, lower contrast, high-key situations, but I'm fairly certain anything low-key or with many dark colors one would be "better" with iDynamic off and graded in post. If you would like the midtones to be darker (which happens to me regularly), just lower them.

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2 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

So, I just did a quick test of ISO 200 (various combinations on Standard profile). I looked at green, blue, and red channels. My conclusions are:

  1. There's no additional information in highlights.

Did you make sure you brought the highlights down to legal levels as the gx85 records out of range highlights. If not handled correctly you run the risk of clipped highlights.

 

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6 minutes ago, Cary Knoop said:

Did you make sure you brought the highlights down to legal levels as the gx85 records out of range highlights. If not handled correctly you run the risk of clipped highlights.

 

For me, the clipped highlights had harsher edges with iDynamic on. Standard made a more gradual clip. This was not your case?

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iDynamic works so that in the same exposure numbers (A,ss,iso) it somehow reduces exposure 1/3 stop and then lightens dark tones. I dont know how it does it when using iso200. Maybe it is using iso 160? The video exif does not tell. Exif shows iso200 and used aperture and ss. The result may be about the same when manually using -1/3 EV and then lifting shadows in post. Idynamic makes this before camera compression (like editing from RAW) so I think it should be better than editing a compressed h.264 file in post.

It is at least easier to get a flatter looking video straight from camera without editing.

By the way idynamic even underexposes RAW photos 1/3 EV compared to what camera meter shows. So if you have forgotten idynamic ON and shoot RAW photos the results are darker than you want.

 

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2 hours ago, Vesku said:

iDynamic works so that in the same exposure numbers (A,ss,iso) it somehow reduces exposure 1/3 stop and then lightens dark tones. I dont know how it does it when using iso200. Maybe it is using iso 160? The video exif does not tell. Exif shows iso200 and used aperture and ss. The result may be about the same when manually using -1/3 EV and then lifting shadows in post. Idynamic makes this before camera compression (like editing from RAW) so I think it should be better than editing a compressed h.264 file in post.

It is at least easier to get a flatter looking video straight from camera without editing.

By the way idynamic even underexposes RAW photos 1/3 EV compared to what camera meter shows. So if you have forgotten idynamic ON and shoot RAW photos the results are darker than you want.

 

My suspicion is that if you shoot people, the red channel will clip more easily, resulting in unnatural images. In the end though, if you like the image, then use it! :)

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Video has no red channel. It records YUV which means it records one luminance channel and two coordinates of color. Editor or player makes then RGB channels according some rules. The result we see is red, green and blue channel.

How idynamic can clip more when it makes image flatter.

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29 minutes ago, Vesku said:

Video has no red channel. It records YUV which means it records one luminance channel and two coordinates of color. Editor or player makes then RGB channels according some rules. The result we see is red, green and blue channel.

How idynamic can clip more when it makes image flatter.

In my tests, the resulting red channel from the recorded video in FCPX had areas with no detail in iDynamic (high)... the same areas without iDynamic had more detail... just my observations. Again, if you like the result, that's ok. :) Besides, these are 4k images; it's not as if they lack detail anyway. 

IMO not all "flat" images are created equal.

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