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GX80/GX85 settings


Raafi Rivero
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Hey folks, I took the plunge and ordered a GX85. On my way to B&H to pick it up now. But I'm throwing it right into the inferno of production and need some advice on settings. It'll be a B-cam on interview setups and using the IBIS to get some handheld b-roll shots. It looks like the color science has changed quite a bit from the GH4 so I'm wondering if I should try the settings from @Andrew Reid's GH4 guide, or if anyone's come up with a special sauce for this camera specifically? I'd like to optimize for smooth highlight roll-off. Louis Du Mont from these videos posted his settings as Standard: Contrast -5 Sharpness -2 Noise reduction -5 Saturation 0. And I've only seen a couple others posted in the other thread. Any suggestions?

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7 minutes ago, Raafi Rivero said:

Hey folks, I took the plunge and ordered a GX85. On my way to B&H to pick it up now. But I'm throwing it right into the inferno of production and need some advice on settings. It'll be a B-cam on interview setups and using the IBIS to get some handheld b-roll shots. It looks like the color science has changed quite a bit from the GH4 so I'm wondering if I should try the settings from @Andrew Reid's GH4 guide, or if anyone's come up with a special sauce for this camera specifically? I'd like to optimize for smooth highlight roll-off. Louis Du Mont from these videos posted his settings as Standard: Contrast -5 Sharpness -2 Noise reduction -5 Saturation 0. And I've only seen a couple others posted in the other thread. Any suggestions?

Great little cam, you should be happy with it. I have been using Natural - Contrast -5, sharp -5, nr -5, sat -2 or -3. But I have seen really nice work with everything dialed all the way down. The camera is crazy sharp, so I would keep the sharpness all the way down. 

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11 hours ago, mercer said:

Didn't know you had the G7, how do you like it?

Borrowing a friend's! Haven't done a ton with it yet, just testing for an upcoming narrative. Loving what I'm seeing so far!

Mostly using Natural, as that's what worked best on my GH3, but I may give Standard a whirl. I'm finding I can pull a lot back from the highlights and shadows in Resolve; holds up like a champ in the grade. Highlights roll off nicely, and dropping the mids a bit gives you a beautiful tone curve with very little effort.

However, even at ISO 1600, there's a fair bit of fine grain (not ugly, but present), and any details below 30 IRE or so get fairly muddy. Definitely more of a S16 look. I dig it, but not an aesthetic that works for everything. I'd peg DR in good light at around 11 stops, but I'd need to test in more controlled circumstances to say for sure.

Using the right glass matters a lot. My Lumix glass feels VERY sterile and the colors aren't to my liking, but my SLR Magics, Leica Rs, and Minoltas bring out the best in that sensor. Haven't tried my Canon FDs yet; might throw them on there with the Speed Booster tomorrow. Ditto my Olympuses, though they render too clinically on Panasonic bodies in my experience. (Yes, I have waaaaaaay too much glass.)

Usability is great. The screen is sharp, battery life impressive, menus intuitive, grip comfortable, and overall just a pleasure to handle. I only wish the card slot were on the side, but something has to give at this price point.

Hoping to get out and shoot more tomorrow afternoon!

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8 hours ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

Borrowing a friend's! Haven't done a ton with it yet, just testing for an upcoming narrative. Loving what I'm seeing so far!

Mostly using Natural, as that's what worked best on my GH3, but I may give Standard a whirl. I'm finding I can pull a lot back from the highlights and shadows in Resolve; holds up like a champ in the grade. Highlights roll off nicely, and dropping the mids a bit gives you a beautiful tone curve with very little effort.

However, even at ISO 1600, there's a fair bit of fine grain (not ugly, but present), and any details below 30 IRE or so get fairly muddy. Definitely more of a S16 look. I dig it, but not an aesthetic that works for everything. I'd peg DR in good light at around 11 stops, but I'd need to test in more controlled circumstances to say for sure.

Using the right glass matters a lot. My Lumix glass feels VERY sterile and the colors aren't to my liking, but my SLR Magics, Leica Rs, and Minoltas bring out the best in that sensor. Haven't tried my Canon FDs yet; might throw them on there with the Speed Booster tomorrow. Ditto my Olympuses, though they render too clinically on Panasonic bodies in my experience. (Yes, I have waaaaaaay too much glass.)

Usability is great. The screen is sharp, battery life impressive, menus intuitive, grip comfortable, and overall just a pleasure to handle. I only wish the card slot were on the side, but something has to give at this price point.

Hoping to get out and shoot more tomorrow afternoon!

This is a great write up of the G7. I think the color science tweak has improved (for my tastes) with the GX85, but the G7 is a force to be reckoned with for the price. I didn't love the FD lenses with the G7, but I didn't do a thorough test either and my hand has gotten a little lighter with my grading since then so YMMV.

If you get a chance and have access to any Fujinon c-mounts, I can concur Andy Lee's findings on them. They are an awesome peculiar mix between modern and vintage aesthetic... Like a clean, sharp smudge to the image. For a bad analogy that only I may get... it's like a woman with perfectly pedicured feet whose been walking on old hardwood floors all day... There's just something sexy in the dichotomy.

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I've been doing a lot of testing on this and still haven't come up with a definitive answer. 

Current setting is Neutral 0, -5, -5, -2, Highlights / Shadows -3/+3. Then exposing as far as I can to the right, relying on the zebras not to clip. 

I started off reducing contrast in Neutral as much as possible but it seems to me that putting back mid-tone contrast in post is tricky (and pointless). So I leave it at O and count on the Highlights / Shadows setting to ensure I get as little clipping as possible at the ends of the tonal scale.

If you go for Natural with everything at -5 but Highlights / Shadows in a straight line it's still possible to get a flat image with clipping.

I'm also considering not touching Highlights / Shadows but using (heresy!) the iDynamic set to Auto, on the basis that it will do in camera what I end up doing in post anyway...

Feedback welcome!

 

 

Having looked at the Louis Du Mont videos, the images are nice but the skin tones (which is what I'm most concerned with) at 0:19 and 0:21 are

 too contrasty for my taste. 

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19 minutes ago, DPC said:

I've been doing a lot of testing on this and still haven't come up with a definitive answer. 

Current setting is Neutral 0, -5, -5, -2, Highlights / Shadows -3/+3. Then exposing as far as I can to the right, relying on the zebras not to clip. 

I started off reducing contrast in Neutral as much as possible but it seems to me that putting back mid-tone contrast in post is tricky. So I leave it at O and count on the Highlights / Shadows setting to ensure I get as little clipping as possible at the ends of the tonal scale. 

Feedback welcome!

 

I really like Natural with the GX85 as well, but I lower my contrast all the way down. To my eyes, it seems the in camera contrast lends to the long standing opinion that Panasonic looks very videoey. I think raising your blacks a touch in post, then lowering the mids helps with the contrast a lot.

After I bought the G7, I extensively researched various settings and at the time, with that camera, I settled upon a modified version of Noam Kroll's settings and Shane Hurlbut's settings. They both used CineLikeD. When I bought the GX85, I decided to use a Panasonic version of Prolost Neutral... A long standing favorite profile setting for Canon DSLRs and I've been pretty happy with the results.

Take a look at this article written by Noam Kroll. In it he discusses some of the pros and cons of the extra image adjustments in the Panasonic cameras. He specifically discusses the GH4, but I think his points are useful for the GX85 as well.

http://noamkroll.com/the-best-gh4-settings-for-video-why-you-shouldnt-be-tweaking-things-too-much/

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mercer - I'm going to give your settings a try. When I used a 5D MK II / III, I started off with all the flat styles but by the end I was just using a basic Neutral. As Noam Kroll says, these cameras just aren't made for heavy grading in post (which, to my way of thinking, can be a terrible bore and one of the best ways to ruin your film). 

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20 minutes ago, DPC said:

mercer - I'm going to give your settings a try. When I used a 5D MK II / III, I started off with all the flat styles but by the end I was just using a basic Neutral. As Noam Kroll says, these cameras just aren't made for heavy grading in post (which, to my way of thinking, can be a terrible bore and one of the best ways to ruin your film). 

Sorry, do you mean, heavy grading can be a bore and ruin your film? Because if so, I agree... I tend to value Noam's opinions on these matters... He's a great colorist... Better than I'll ever be... Not that it's too difficult, I suck.

I think the biggest issue is with saturation with these cams. The difference in taking away too much or too little can have major effect. Of course, I believe I read somewhere that if you drop contrast a lot, then you shouldn't drop saturation as much... Or vice versa?

I often wonder if it would just be smarter to make black & white films with these consumer cams... There would be no need to worry about 4:22 or 4:44 or color bit... Just a simple 8 bit 4:20 image would suffice.

With the Panasonic you could shoot in color to have more tonal control over your B&W in post but still monitor it with the B&W monitoring function.

I did this shot with the 50D ML Raw, so we're talking about a different animal, but I can guarantee the color version sucks... Trust me I saw it... Lol. 

image.jpeg

Who am I kidding that kinda sucks too. 

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I agree with what's already being said here, @DPC and @mercer, about not setting this camera up for heavy grading and that's why I use Standard 0, -5, -5, 0. I also underexpose a little as it seems to yield nicer skin tones in my tests. 

I know it's flat lighting and maybe not the best example, but what do you think of those skin tones @DPC? Too contrasty or saturated? Would appreciate any feedback! It's the best I have achieved so far. 

Isn't the lack of a log profile is the main reason why Luis du Mont's skin tones look that way? 

Original:

Skin tones - original.jpg

Corrected WB, lowered mids and raised the highlights:

Skin tones - grade 1.jpg

@Raafi Rivero don't know if this is any useful for you but here's a video which could have an interview situation. Standard 0, -5, -5, 0.

 

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@mercer - Yes, I mean that at least for what I do where an edit can be made up of lots of shots made in very different (usually available) lights, having to regrade everything can be a chore that isn't always justified by the end result. I've got years of experience grading raw photos so I'm quite good at it, but still...

@Fredrik - I had seen that before and it looks very nice indeed to me. My only concern, as you mention yourself, is that your starting point is very flat lighting so I'm not sure it would always be a good strategy in documentary shooting conditions where you will probably encounter greater contrast.

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22 minutes ago, DPC said:

@Fredrik - I had seen that before and it looks very nice indeed to me. My only concern, as you mention yourself, is that your starting point is very flat lighting so I'm not sure it would always be a good strategy in documentary shooting conditions where you will probably encounter greater contrast.

 

I agree, and that's where the log profile for higher DR is needed.  Wonder if DR is any better with Cine D on the G85.

Doesn't this mean that we just have to choose what to sacrifice (clipped highlights or shadows) and live with it? I have found that how I expose is more important than small tweaks in the picture profile.

Please share if you have some examples of your tests!

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37 minutes ago, DPC said:

@mercer - Yes, I mean that at least for what I do where an edit can be made up of lots of shots made in very different (usually available) lights, having to regrade everything can be a chore that isn't always justified by the end result. I've got years of experience grading raw photos so I'm quite good at it, but still...

@Fredrik - I had seen that before and it looks very nice indeed to me. My only concern, as you mention yourself, is that your starting point is very flat lighting so I'm not sure it would always be a good strategy in documentary shooting conditions where you will probably encounter greater contrast.

Honestly, I get the best, quickest results using FilmConvert with the Panasonic cameras. With my settings, I usually only need a slight adjustment to the lows, mids and highs and if anything I lower the saturation... But again I find the saturation to be an unwieldy bitch with these cams. For the muted look I ultimately want, I could probably get by with a -4 saturation in camera.

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Thanks for posting the tests @Fredrik Lyhne. I had actually seen that clip on YouTube when I was researching this camera. I loved the consistent tonal performance on the skin tones all the way up to 3200iso. 

It's funny, when you're researching a camera sometimes it's easier to find tests than it is to find actual finished pieces shot on it. Especially for a newer camera like this one. 

On on my way to the airport now so I'll be sure to post some stuff once the trip's over. The IBIS was the killer app that made me want the camera. Sure,more expensive bodies like the A7rii have IBIS, but then you've got to deal with the Sony look, and it's almost 4x more expensive. 

Shooting-wise my priority is protecting the highlights so maybe I'll try the adjustment @DPC suggests. 

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I've also stopped exposing to the right. I don't even use zebras anymore. I have been trying to keep my shots about a stop under using the in camera meter. But I am also shooting horror/thriller genre narrative shorts, so I am probably looking for a darker tone than others and since the shadows stay pretty clean at a stop under, I have been pretty happy with the results... Of course I am going to sell the GX85 pretty soon. Not because of the camera's quality, just because I've decided to invest in Canon glass and utilize DPAF and in my opinion, the more pleasing Canon color science.

However, when the prices drop on the GX85, or maybe even the LX10, I will probably buy back into it, but for now that money can go toward other more pressing equipment. 

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14 hours ago, Raafi Rivero said:

Thanks for posting the tests @Fredrik Lyhne. I had actually seen that clip on YouTube when I was researching this camera. I loved the consistent tonal performance on the skin tones all the way up to 3200iso. 

It's funny, when you're researching a camera sometimes it's easier to find tests than it is to find actual finished pieces shot on it. Especially for a newer camera like this one. 

On on my way to the airport now so I'll be sure to post some stuff once the trip's over. The IBIS was the killer app that made me want the camera. Sure,more expensive bodies like the A7rii have IBIS, but then you've got to deal with the Sony look, and it's almost 4x more expensive. 

Shooting-wise my priority is protecting the highlights so maybe I'll try the adjustment @DPC suggests. 

Yeah, it's a pretty good performer and 3200 ISO is usable but maybe not in a close-up like that ;) 

Cool! Interested to see some footage and hear your opinions about settings and such. 

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Hey guys,

 

I know bragging about the G6 again, it might be like cold coffee. But in the heat of discussion a cool ice coffee is a beautiful thing, so to say, metaphorically speaking:)

I was shooting in September 3pm bright sun light, -2-2-2-2, WB at 5600, John Matthews and Jase´ A3G3 setting, 200ISO, autoshutter-

Colorwise, grading it in Davinci feels almost like dealing with raw with the right workflow, colorwise not DR wise. Call me crazy for saying so. I´m really shocked

to see what a adequate workflow can get out of this cam. That little 24 Mbps codec in 24p is really, really suprising me.

When focus is right it even forgives a 1.25 croppin in post.

So I bet the GX85 must be awesome picture quality wise. The ergos don´t fit me that well it seems. Grip could be a little bit taller.

There is an additional grip available but only from one company I think.

I am thinking about this one, rather than the G7 because off IBIS.

@mercer, Merce, tellin you, with grading workflow you can achieve so much beauty in color with these little lumix cams.

So for me it´s still G6 for a little while, then GX85 and later the 13stops of the GH5-IBIS-10bit with 600Mbps-Beast!:)

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