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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.

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13 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

What's causing the heavy macro blocking in the sky and general soft compressed look?

Softness due to it being a 1080 crop of 4k. Macroblocking due to the codec, grading and crop making it more noticeable. 

@Andrew Reid do you have the G80? Is the screen rotation blocked severely by the placement of the mic input?

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I'm enjoying this thread more than ever. Maybe by rubbing some neurons together we'll be able to spark GX80/85 settings that look as "filmic" as possible. This is fairly subjective; so, let's try to identify what we're after. This is what I'm after in order of importance:

  1. minimize macro blocking artifacts in the red, green, and blue channels induced by the codec processing
  2. maximize DR
  3. maximize color information in the red, green, and blue channels
  4. minimize noise in the red, green, and blue channels
  5. maximize detail

Some of these are related, but do you have other ideas, or in terms of what order? The goal for me is a 4k image that looks organic and that I can tweak. I KNOW that what Panasonic gave us as default settings look like bad 1080p, especially noise reduction. I realize that 4:2:0 is best dealt with in-camera; however, I don't always want to decide on the final look AS I'M FILMING- that simply asks too much of us amateur filmmakers.

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41 minutes ago, Cary Knoop said:

I experienced that by using the DeBlock function in VapourSynth the number of macro block artifacts on 4K sources is diminished.

 

Can you please show us a still you have with GX80/85 footage? ... not much online. :frown: What is your logic for removing macro blocking AFTER shooting if there's a setting of removal BEFORE shooting? Given you're using iDynamic, macro blocking & artifacts are not your priority. What is then?

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Seems like I should try every single picture profile, and then decide which one suits my needs best. Until now, I just had to grab my BMPCC and hit the record button. No need to think twice about the settings. The GX80 will finally give me 4K, but it will also take me back to the time when I got my GH2 and had to mess around with the settings. Back then, Andrew released the very helpful GH2 guide, which finally stopped me from messing around with the settings, as he already did it for me. 

Anyway, as there is obviously no consensus on which GX80 picture profile is well-balanced and gradable to some degree, I will have to find the time to experiment on my own. Some say that iDynamic is useful, others say it will just make the noise more obvious. Some say that contrast and saturation set to -5 will "tame" the image, others say it will do nothing but reduce color information. 

It would be great if you experienced GX80 users could share your settings, so that we can compare them and see what they might have in common. :)  Just a short overview of the settings you rely on. That would be very helpful. Thanks everyone!

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No one setting is best for everything. I use outdoors with iso200 idynamic low but indoors with higher iso no idynamic. Contrast -5 is best for sunny day but in cloudy day the contrast 0 may work better. With a tele lens I may want to use higher contrast because the image fades in long distance (haze).

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5 hours ago, Cary Knoop said:

Here is a sample original video frame and the same frame that is processed by DeBlock with a moderate setting.

http://caryknoop.com/original.tif

http://caryknoop.com/denoise.tif

 

Thanks for sharing. This helps many of us to understand what you're talking about. It's a nice image. For the original, what were your settings? I'm guessing your sharpening was higher than -5 as there was a slight halo around all high-contrast elements (building roof and foliage). Also, I'm not seeing a massive improvement in the blocking produced by the codec... maybe it's just me though. Could you be more specific about what area you see the most improvement? Finally, I'd say this would be a good scene to be using -5 on the contrast as you have almost no detail in the foreground... I'm sure that was intentional, but in your opinion, would it have been better to allow some more of that foreground detail to pass through and bring it down a little in post? Just an idea... were you worried about banding issues?

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2 hours ago, John Matthews said:

Thanks for sharing. This helps many of us to understand what you're talking about. It's a nice image. For the original, what were your settings? I'm guessing your sharpening was higher than -5 as there was a slight halo around all high-contrast elements (building roof and foliage). Also, I'm not seeing a massive improvement in the blocking produced by the codec... maybe it's just me though. Could you be more specific about what area you see the most improvement? Finally, I'd say this would be a good scene to be using -5 on the contrast as you have almost no detail in the foreground... I'm sure that was intentional, but in your opinion, would it have been better to allow some more of that foreground detail to pass through and bring it down a little in post? Just an idea... were you worried about banding issues?

Settings were Natural -1, -1, -4, 0 with iDynamic.

As any filter I believe it should be used in moderation, no filter can make massive improvements without harming other things.  But a stronger DeBlock setting is certainly possible.

-5 on the contrast will not give you a higher dynamic range, it will simply compress the luminance values.

Obviously it was simply a shot demonstrating DeBlock, and in fact you are right I could have made the shot with a higher exposure without clipping.  As you can see from the scope we have enough room for a higher exposure.  And of course values need to be brought into legal range.

 

 

 

scope.jpg

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3 hours ago, Cary Knoop said:

-5 on the contrast will not give you a higher dynamic range, it will simply compress the luminance values.

Thanks again for the information. I'm not fully convinced of this... more testing on my part... seeing is believing and so far I've shot a low-contrast scene and jacked the contrast in both directions to see more about what's going on. I do notice the mids having less height, but when I pull them down I'll be damned to see any better quality either way. What concerns me the most is highlight roll-off- not DR... I'll need to test that on some speculars. They are the dead give-away of bad video that my camcorder has.

41 minutes ago, KnowsNothing said:

These links both go to the same file, original.tif.

I guess that's why I couldn't see a difference at 600%. Funny. :blush:

[10 minutes later]...

Found the denoise version. It DID take some of the macro blocking without harming the other parts of the image... nice.

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7 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

Thanks again for the information. I'm not fully convinced of this... more testing on my part... seeing is believing and so far I've shot a low-contrast scene and jacked the contrast in both directions to see more about what's going on. I do notice the mids having less height, but when I pull them down I'll be damned to see any better quality either way. What concerns me the most is highlight roll-off- not DR... I'll need to test that on some speculars. They are the dead give-away of bad video that my camcorder has.

I guess that's why I couldn't see a difference at 600%. Funny. :blush:

I agree, I don't think dropping Contrast down to -5 is about getting more DR, it's about me being able to choose where I want to use the DR in post as opposed to where Panasonic wants me to use it to videotape my kid's birthday party... I don't have kids and I'd rather eff up my footage on my own terms, not Panasonic's. 

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6 minutes ago, mercer said:

I agree, I don't think dropping Contrast down to -5 is about getting more DR, it's about me being able to choose where I want to use the DR in post as opposed to where Panasonic wants me to use it to videotape my kid's birthday party... I don't have kids and I'd rather eff up my footage on my own terms, not Panasonic's. 

I just liked your post. You are now 6 likes away to moving into 4th on the all time likes list. Then just a couple hundred before you surpass the infamous Ebrahim. :)

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6 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

I just liked your post. You are now 6 likes away to moving into 4th on the all time likes list. Then just a couple hundred before you surpass the infamous Ebrahim. :)

Oh God... I spend too much time here. I have learned a lot, but I hope nobody takes my amount of likes to mean anything more than I have too much time on my hands... because I don't know shit!!!

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10 hours ago, mercer said:

I agree, I don't think dropping Contrast down to -5 is about getting more DR, it's about me being able to choose where I want to use the DR in post as opposed to where Panasonic wants me to use it to videotape my kid's birthday party... I don't have kids and I'd rather eff up my footage on my own terms, not Panasonic's. 

One could argue that the GX80 is wrong camera for this as it doesn't shoot log or 10bit, but the fact is it gets "close enough" that, for the majority of us (pro and amateur videographers), it offers "enough" headroom in post... significantly better quality and creative options than smartphones, inexpensive enough to be accessible. I'll be sharing some tests tomorrow concerning specular highlights and optimal contrast settings.

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