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JazzBox

Panasonic G7 or GH4 as "A Cam"? (And other questions)

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Dear Andy,

since I learned 90% of what I know about Lumix mirrorless from you and Andrew, I write you asking some tips for an incoming web series I'm going to shoot in September.

I have also a BlackMagic Micro Cinema Camera, but we have to shoot 6 episodes of 5 minutes in 6 days, so the Director asked me to be as quick as possible and I opted to use the GH4 with which I'm more confident.
As you suggested me I ordered a G7 (it should be here in a couple of days), since we will shoot a lot of underexposed indoor scenes with minimal LED lights (2 x 600 LED, 1 x 150 LED and a couple of panels and gels).

-Do you think is it best to use the GH4 or the G7 as main camera? 
-Does it worth to shoot multicam (one for the master shot and one for another angle) and which setting would you use on both? 4k or 1080? Natural? Contrast and saturation? For 4k they seems similar, for slow motion the GH4 codec seems more solid, but maybe it's just math :) 
-Is it safe enough to shoot everything with only audio from the cameras for reference and at the end of the editing to ADR all the episodes? 
-Does it worth to record externally with BM VideoAssist I own or the internal codec of G7 and GH4 is good enough? 
- Is the peaking of G7 reliable as the one on the GH4? 
- The lenses I own are the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 and some CY Zeiss (25 f/2.8, 28 f/2.8, 35 f/2.8, 50 f/1.7 and 28-70 f/3.5-4.5)

I'm going to rig at least one with a cage/follow focus/handle similar to yours.  

What would you use as A cam (and lenses) in order to have the best quality in less time?

Thank you very much for your patience,
Simo :) 

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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

I personally would use the G7 as my main A camera and the GH4 as B camera , the g7 does have the better newer cleaner sensor .

I would shoot it all in 4K UHD 24 fps mp4 (internal codec is very good in 4K mode )

Natural profile saturation -5 contrast -5

dont go over 800 iso

light your sets for about f2.8 or f2 max

G7 focus assis is great it has 2 settings I use H

I would use your Zeiss primes as they are superb lenses same glass as Zeiss Ultra Speed cinema lenses - no differance

yes use the internal camera audio as I guide track and ADR it all in post

All the above is how I shot the feature film Pandora

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Thank you very much Andy, your advices are incredibly valuable! 

Have I to set 16-235 or 0-255?

Tomorrow or on monday I should receive the G7. 
Do you think it's worth to use both G7 and GH4 or is better to go with just G7 and to leave GH4 for 50p slow motion?

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Sorry to butt-in, but looping all of the dialog for your web series might not be such a great idea.   You shouldn't really need to do so, unless there is some constant, uncontrollable, overbearing noise on set.

 

It takes a lot more time and additional resources for all of that overdubbing than it does to merely get the audio right when shooting.  If you are paying your actors, looping your entire show could add 25% in cast expenditure. Add to that the cost of time and kit rental (and recording booth) of the post sound person.  Plus, your director has to work the entire ADR session.

 

Furthermore, there will likely be moments at which the overdub will sound/look fake.

 

With the the many excellent, inexpensive audio recorders out there, one can easily obtain nice, clean, genuine dialog sound on set.    Your BM Video assist might make a nice audio recorder.  In addition, using one of the recent NLE audio sync plug-ins makes it almost effortless to get that separate sound placed precisely on the timeline.

 

Audio is 1/2 of your show.  If you are not knowledgeable and experienced with audio, it might be wise to hire a separate audio professional to handle that department.

 

 

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3 hours ago, andy lee said:

0-255 all my cameras are set to this

I would use both the G7 and GH4 and shoot 2 cameras all the time shoot a mid at 35mm and a tight head shot at 70mm at the same time .

Thank you very much for your precious tips!

I have to do that! 30 degrees rule for framing mid and head?
I was worried I had not a Metabones for larger shot (so planning to use the Olympus 12-40 for that kind of work), but a mid at 35 is certainly something I can easily achieve :) 

How to light the set for f/2? It means having the "right" exposure (white on the histogram) at f/2 and then underexposing 2 or 3 stops?
Sorry for the dumb question, but I always try to shoot at the lowest ISO with 1/50 :) 

Tiffen for ND on the mattebox is ok? 

Huge huge huge thanks Andy!!

2 hours ago, tupp said:

Sorry to butt-in, but looping all of the dialog for your web series might not be such a great idea.   You shouldn't really need to do so, unless there is some constant, uncontrollable, overbearing noise on set.

 

It takes a lot more time and additional resources for all of that overdubbing than it does to merely get the audio right when shooting.  If you are paying your actors, looping your entire show could add 25% in cast expenditure. Add to that the cost of time and kit rental (and recording booth) of the post sound person.  Plus, your director has to work the entire ADR session.

 

Furthermore, there will likely be moments at which the overdub will sound/look fake.

 

With the the many excellent, inexpensive audio recorders out there, one can easily obtain nice, clean, genuine dialog sound on set.    Your BM Video assist might make a nice audio recorder.  In addition, using one of the recent NLE audio sync plug-ins makes it almost effortless to get that separate sound placed precisely on the timeline.

 

Audio is 1/2 of your show.  If you are not knowledgeable and experienced with audio, it might be wise to hire a separate audio professional to handle that department.

 

 

We are going to shoot in Naples, a city full of noises. 
I have a little recording studio full of mics, preamps etc... so I can do that at no costs apart my time. I also have a "travel kit" with a Mac, an Apollo Twin soundcard, a nice mic an a reflexion filter, so I can go directly to actor's places to record them after the editing (I live 400 km from Naples).

Of course It could sound "fake"... but I'm scared of recording on the set, because all I have is a Zoom H5 and a couple of cheap pencil microphones. 
The Rode NTG4 (or NTG 2, the two mics I could afford) is ok for outdoor but not for indoor recording. 
The Zoom H5 preamp is quite noisy... so I think I could have a better chance with ADR: all actors are professionals, I think that they could do that.... 
Especially because one of the characters is an "object", not an human, so I have to ADR anyway for this character. 

 

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use the 25 and 28 for your wides 35 for the mids and 70 for the close ups  and if you need to go really wide use the olympus 

lighting is subjective and as im not there to see how you do it I cant really help much , use your eye , dont get bogged down with meters , look at the screen , if it looks good...it is good !! one thing i do alot is take frame grabs from films Ilike on my tab and look at them on set to match the lighting to the frame I like from a movie

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13 hours ago, JazzBox said:

Dear Andy,

since I learned 90% of what I know about Lumix mirrorless from you and Andrew, I write you asking some tips for an incoming web series I'm going to shoot in September.

I have also a BlackMagic Micro Cinema Camera, but we have to shoot 6 episodes of 5 minutes in 6 days, so the Director asked me to be as quick as possible and I opted to use the GH4 with which I'm more confident.
As you suggested me I ordered a G7 (it should be here in a couple of days), since we will shoot a lot of underexposed indoor scenes with minimal LED lights (2 x 600 LED, 1 x 150 LED and a couple of panels and gels).

-Do you think is it best to use the GH4 or the G7 as main camera? 
-Does it worth to shoot multicam (one for the master shot and one for another angle) and which setting would you use on both? 4k or 1080? Natural? Contrast and saturation? For 4k they seems similar, for slow motion the GH4 codec seems more solid, but maybe it's just math :) 
-Is it safe enough to shoot everything with only audio from the cameras for reference and at the end of the editing to ADR all the episodes? 
-Does it worth to record externally with BM VideoAssist I own or the internal codec of G7 and GH4 is good enough? 
- Is the peaking of G7 reliable as the one on the GH4? 
- The lenses I own are the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 and some CY Zeiss (25 f/2.8, 28 f/2.8, 35 f/2.8, 50 f/1.7 and 28-70 f/3.5-4.5)

I'm going to rig at least one with a cage/follow focus/handle similar to yours.  

What would you use as A cam (and lenses) in order to have the best quality in less time?

Thank you very much for your patience,
Simo :) 


Just out of curiosity, isn't this like a private chat, instead of a group discussion, since 'Andy' is the one whom you want to address the question to ("Dear Andy")?
Maybe a private message would have been better in this case. That's just my opinion ... 
 

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4 hours ago, sanveer said:


Just out of curiosity, isn't this like a private chat, instead of a group discussion, since 'Andy' is the one whom you want to address the question to ("Dear Andy")?
Maybe a private message would have been better in this case. That's just my opinion ... 
 

I wrote here, since it is something that could be helpful for 99.9% of the people here: "Dear Andy" is because I think he's the best one to talk about Panasonic cameras and all the users should be happy to read what he has to say about.  
I work with those cameras and I have some great results, but I mostly shot music videos. He use them for features, where the look is less stilized then in a 3 minutes music video.

Maybe his experience and his answers are something everyone could benefit. 

But of course, it is my opinion. And of course, everyone has other answers is more then welcome. No "private chat" here, just the right recognition of authority to the people that boost my way of working. 

Remember that if it not was for him and Andrew I (and all the EOSHD users) would still shot videos with Canon 7D, complaining that Canon should give us a better codec, 4K, slow motion...

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3 minutes ago, JazzBox said:

I wrote here, since it is something that could be helpful for 99.9% of the people here: "Dear Andy" is because I think he's the best one to talk about Panasonic cameras and all the users should be happy to read what he has to say about.  
I work with those cameras and I have some great results, but I mostly shot music videos. He use them for features, where the look is less stilized then in a 3 minutes music video.

Maybe his experience and his answers are something everyone could benefit. 

But of course, it is my opinion. And of course, everyone has other answers is more then welcome. No "private chat" here, just the right recognition of authority to the people that boost my way of working. 

Remember that if it not was for him and Andrew I (and all the EOSHD users) would still shot videos with Canon 7D, complaining that Canon should give us a better codec, 4K, slow motion...

Yeah I guess. Andy has the most hands-on experience with the G7, under various lighting and shooting conditions. So, I guess, it's good for everyone to learn.

My saying that was merely like soliloquy. And, I agree with that bit about recording sound in the field instead of ADR (lapel mics on the talent's chest, inside clothing could be a great idea). You can still get reasonably good sound (though a little cleaning might be required to prevent it sounding like a documentary, due to some background noise the mic with pickup). 

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2 hours ago, sanveer said:

Yeah I guess. Andy has the most hands-on experience with the G7, under various lighting and shooting conditions. So, I guess, it's good for everyone to learn.

My saying that was merely like soliloquy. And, I agree with that bit about recording sound in the field instead of ADR (lapel mics on the talent's chest, inside clothing could be a great idea). You can still get reasonably good sound (though a little cleaning might be required to prevent it sounding like a documentary, due to some background noise the mic with pickup). 

I'm tempted with shotgun outdoor... But I also think that it could slow down the work... 
I have to think about it... :) 

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1 hour ago, JazzBox said:

I'm tempted with shotgun outdoor... But I also think that it could slow down the work... 
I have to think about it... :) 

Shotgun outside could be suicidal. Especially in crowded environments. Too many people watching, too much of ambient noise, a Very Attention grabbing piece of equipment, (maybe) not enough background noise isolation, and the whole thing sounds like a disaster just waiting to happen.

Lapel Mics with the Rode InvisiLav sounds like a great idea (within clothing, and little closer than you would usually place them). Do a sound test (technical recee)before you do the final shoot. 

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I have a couple of SmartLav+ for interview, they sounds okish, not bad for interviews, but not great for narrative... 
I probably have to use some pencils indoor and ADR for outdoor, since I cannot afford to buy more things now, I've just bought a G7 + batteries etc... 

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56 minutes ago, JazzBox said:

I have a couple of SmartLav+ for interview, they sounds okish, not bad for interviews, but not great for narrative... 
I probably have to use some pencils indoor and ADR for outdoor, since I cannot afford to buy more things now, I've just bought a G7 + batteries etc... 

Don't underestimate the Rode VideoMic Pro. It's small and discrete and that +20db switch is amazing. Set the in camera audio low, flick the +20db switch on the Rode, set it to narrow field and get close to your actors. Get one or two takes with the actors performing their dialogue with the camera 3 feet or less from their face and you should get some usable dialogue. If you capture it slightly low, it should be clean and you can raise it in post.

Or as others have said, grab a couple H1s or the new Little Darling recorders from JuicedLink and lav up your actors. Even an inexpensive Azden lav will sound pretty damn good under those circumstances.

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@JazzBox

You seem to be teetering between looping your entire series and recording live sound only on parts of the shoot.  There are good reasons why 99.99% of narrative productions record sound on set, and why ADR is avoided like the plague.

 

One might anticipate that ADR is fun and easy with a Mac and a mic and gizmos, but be assured that any anticipation/novelty regarding overdubbing will wear off rather quickly in the first 30 minutes of the first session.   Looping is plodding, painstaking work.  For example, if you want to avoid wasting time with actors repeatedly missing sync, you need to cue them with three beeps, as demonstrated in this video:

 

You have to do that for each and every line that you loop.  Even with the beep cues, there will be multiple takes.  Imagine doing that for your entire series.

 

It sounds like you have a nice Zoom recorder and also lav mics and a shot gun mic (you can use both at the same time).  By the way, shotgun mics are used successfully outdoors all the time in all kinds of noisy, crowded and windy environments, which is why we have the Chewbacca cock:

chewbacca_junk.jpg

 

Again, audio is a full 1/2 of your production.  Don't just hand the boom to your brother-in-law.  If you are not familiar with audio on narrative productions, I implore you to hire/consult an experienced film sound professional.

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Audio is recorded on set, then usually post dubbed later on. At this level though, clean on set audio is probably your best bet. 

A few folks here have stated that this is a common practice, but that really is not the truth.

 

Think about it:  if productions (large and small) intended to loop dialog, then why would they hire a pro sound mixer (with a cart full of expensive gear) and a pro boom operator and why have the mixer also wire up the actors with lavs?  Check BTS vids/articles of your favorite movie scenes with dialog -- I'll bet there is a pro mixer and boom operator.

 

The only time that I ever was on a set in which the dialog was intentionally looped for the entire project was on an Indian feature back in the film days.  They had to ADR as they commonly used a less expensive MOS camera (in this case Arri IIC that sounded sort of like a rice thresher).

 

Looping is avoided like the plague.

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29 minutes ago, tupp said:

A few folks here have stated that this is a common practice, but that really is not the truth.

 

Think about it:  if productions (large and small) intended to loop dialog, then why would they hire a pro sound mixer (with a cart full of expensive gear) and a pro boom operator and why have the mixer also wire up the actors with lavs?  Check BTS vids/articles of your favorite movie scenes with dialog -- I'll bet there is a pro mixer and boom operator.

 

The only time that I ever was on a set in which the dialog was intentionally looped for the entire project was on an Indian feature back in the film days.  They had to ADR as they commonly used a less expensive MOS camera (in this case Arri IIC that sounded sort of like a rice thresher).

 

Looping is avoided like the plague.

Most Hollywood movies end up looping their dialogue. Of course they're going to try and get good sound on location, but the real reason they hire all of those people is probably due to union contracts. 

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Most Hollywood movies end up looping their dialogue. Of course they're going to try and get good sound on location, but the real reason they hire all of those people is probably due to union contracts. 

Honestly, most big movies don't loop their dialogue, and the IA has no requirement for how many crew members (if any) are hired in a department.  So, a producer isn't forced to hire any particular position (such as sound mixer, boom operator, etc.).  However, on an IA signatory project, only IA members can be hired in departments covered by their locals.

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