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So what ever happened to 1080p?


mercer
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I recently bought a D5500 and love the image I am getting. Soon I'll be in the market for a good compact, I have it narrowed down to a Canon G7X mkii or maybe the new LX10. As I was researching compacts I came across a lot of LX7 videos and I was blown away. I'm not sure what Panasonic did with that camera, but even with all of its faults, there is just some special mojo in that camera. Those videos led me to a lot of GH3 videos, and again there was some amazing work produced with that camera... the image is so cinematic and filmic.

Since I started with Canon and never really explored the GH series as the GH1 and 2 were being hacked, I never really saw the 1080p Panasonic evolution, but man were they onto something...

What happened?

I know, I know... 4K. 

I believe the GH4 has a high bitrate 1080p, and you would think the lower model cams would have inherited some of it, but instead Panasonic seemed to go with the 4K feature instead of progressing their 1080p... or even implementing it into other models. Does anyone know why? I believe the newly announced FZ2500 will have the 200mbps 1080p... how was the quality on the GH4... is it worth looking at the FZ2500, instead of a true compact just for that codec?

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

I recently bought a D5500 and love the image I am getting. Soon I'll be in the market for a good compact, I have it narrowed down to a Canon G7X mkii or maybe the new LX10. As I was researching compacts I came across a lot of LX7 videos and I was blown away. I'm not sure what Panasonic did with that camera, but even with all of its faults, there is just some special mojo in that camera. Those videos led me to a lot of GH3 videos, and again there was some amazing work produced with that camera... the image is so cinematic and filmic.

Since I started with Canon and never really explored the GH series as the GH1 and 2 were being hacked, I never really saw the 1080p Panasonic evolution, but man were they onto something...

What happened?

I know, I know... 4K. 

I believe the GH4 has a high bitrate 1080p, and you would think the lower model cams would have inherited some of it, but instead Panasonic seemed to go with the 4K feature instead of progressing their 1080p... or even implementing it into other models. Does anyone know why? I believe the newly announced FZ2500 will have the 200mbps 1080p... how was the quality on the GH4... is it worth looking at the FZ2500, instead of a true compact just for that codec?

I had the GH3 for 3 years and the 1080p image was massively superior to pretty much every other DSLR camera at the time. 

I still use 1080p mostly on the FS5 and DJI X5R - the benefit of 4k is negligible if you are finishing in 1080p. 

I've found that because of the focus on 4k, manufacturers are putting out poor 1080p modes - which are actually worse than what they were before 4k hit the market. The A7SII for example, has a worse 1080p mode than the original. 

The issue with 4k in the lower budget cams now is that the bitrates are pretty low, there's worse rolling shutter issues and most cameras are limited to 4k 30p as the highest frame rate. 1080p is now the forgotten resolution - where 10bit and better color has been left behind in favour of more pixels. 

That said, the options we have now are ridiculously awesome. No excuses. 

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36 minutes ago, Oliver Daniel said:

I had the GH3 for 3 years and the 1080p image was massively superior to pretty much every other DSLR camera at the time. 

I still use 1080p mostly on the FS5 and DJI X5R - the benefit of 4k is negligible if you are finishing in 1080p. 

I've found that because of the focus on 4k, manufacturers are putting out poor 1080p modes - which are actually worse than what they were before 4k hit the market. The A7SII for example, has a worse 1080p mode than the original. 

The issue with 4k in the lower budget cams now is that the bitrates are pretty low, there's worse rolling shutter issues and most cameras are limited to 4k 30p as the highest frame rate. 1080p is now the forgotten resolution - where 10bit and better color has been left behind in favour of more pixels. 

That said, the options we have now are ridiculously awesome. No excuses. 

Oh yeah, there is no reason not to make quality work, with the tools at our disposal at the current price points. I am just a hobbyist and never even thought about gear until about a year ago... I was happy with the image out of the eos-m. But now after making the rounds on the 4K cameras and using some good 1080p, my research has brought me to the evolution of Panny 1080p and it just seems a shame that it was left behind for 4K. That Panasonic 1080p image was something special. And I guess it was advanced with the GH4 and now maybe even the upcoming GH5, but to have had those bitrates and frame speeds on the G7, or GX85 would have been amazing. Of course a new GH3 is pretty cheap right now, and in my eyes the image still holds up. 

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I find the GH4 1080p to be very good, great even. It's certainly not immaculate- I do occasionally get fine moire- and downscaling the 4K is definitely cleaner and higher-res, so I use that for regular-speed stuff. But I shoot a lot at >30p, probably half of my shots or more, so I use 1080p a lot. The 100mbps is definitely better than the 200mbps, except for extreme motion (deep DOF, subject and camera both moving rapidly), which again is a lot of what I shoot, so I end up using 200mbps quite a bit. But for moderate/normal amounts of motion, the 100mbps is cleaner and higher-res.

I agree about the 1080p bitrates being disappointing on the lower-end cams. I want to upgrade/sidegrade my GH4 to a G85, for the better ISO performance and the IBIS, but 28mbps at 1080 is not enough for what I do. So I'm considering adding an external 5" recorder, either a Video Assist or hopefully a Pix-E5. Not entirely sure I want to dick around with HDMI and more batteries, though. The VA is affordable to me, but would only do 1080, which is all I would really need I guess. While the Pix-E5 would be a perfect match framerate/res-wise, but is pretty pricey, and would probably be a bit redundant once I go GH5 next year.

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5 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

...I still use 1080p mostly on the FS5 and DJI X5R - the benefit of 4k is negligible if you are finishing in 1080p...The A7SII for example, has a worse 1080p mode than the original. 

From an editing standpoint it is really nice to have 4k material -- especially if finishing in 1080p. Below is an example of locked-down GH4 footage that is manipulated in post.

As you said, the 1080p of some newer 4k cameras is worse than the "old" 1080p-only cameras before them. Sadly that is another reason to shoot in 4k -- because they made 1080p worse in some cameras. In theory 4k 8-bit 4:2:0 can be transcoded to 1080p 10-bit 4:4:4 (provided you don't use cropping or stabilization). That is another advantage for 1080p delivery -- 4k can provide the bit depth and chroma sampling of using an external 1080p HDMI recorder without the complexity. However 4k makes the "data wrangling" task of post production a lot harder.

 

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2 hours ago, joema said:

From an editing standpoint it is really nice to have 4k material -- especially if finishing in 1080p. Below is an example of locked-down GH4 footage that is manipulated in post.

As you said, the 1080p of some newer 4k cameras is worse than the "old" 1080p-only cameras before them. Sadly that is another reason to shoot in 4k -- because they made 1080p worse in some cameras. In theory 4k 8-bit 4:2:0 can be transcoded to 1080p 10-bit 4:4:4 (provided you don't use cropping or stabilization). That is another advantage for 1080p delivery -- 4k can provide the bit depth and chroma sampling of using an external 1080p HDMI recorder without the complexity. However 4k makes the "data wrangling" task of post production a lot harder.

 

It looks nice. Great job. What did you shoot that with? As I said, I am a hobbyist, so my needs may be  different than yours. Plus I am only interested in narrative and for my eyes 1080p is more than enough and I could argue that the 1080p from the GH3 is more filmic looking and looks better than the 4K from the GX85 or A6300. But everybody is different and we each have our own needs depending upon the work we do.

5 hours ago, aldolega said:

I find the GH4 1080p to be very good, great even. It's certainly not immaculate- I do occasionally get fine moire- and downscaling the 4K is definitely cleaner and higher-res, so I use that for regular-speed stuff. But I shoot a lot at >30p, probably half of my shots or more, so I use 1080p a lot. The 100mbps is definitely better than the 200mbps, except for extreme motion (deep DOF, subject and camera both moving rapidly), which again is a lot of what I shoot, so I end up using 200mbps quite a bit. But for moderate/normal amounts of motion, the 100mbps is cleaner and higher-res.

I agree about the 1080p bitrates being disappointing on the lower-end cams. I want to upgrade/sidegrade my GH4 to a G85, for the better ISO performance and the IBIS, but 28mbps at 1080 is not enough for what I do. So I'm considering adding an external 5" recorder, either a Video Assist or hopefully a Pix-E5. Not entirely sure I want to dick around with HDMI and more batteries, though. The VA is affordable to me, but would only do 1080, which is all I would really need I guess. While the Pix-E5 would be a perfect match framerate/res-wise, but is pretty pricey, and would probably be a bit redundant once I go GH5 next year.

I used a monitor with the Micro for a few months and I never want to go back to it. I do think think the avchd has some special sauce but nowhere near as good as the high bitrate 1080p of the GH3 and GH4. I think there is something to be said that the movies in Sundance in 2015 were a mix of cinema cameras, some 5Ds and GH2 and GH3s.

What kind of work do you do?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

...It looks nice. Great job. What did you shoot that with?...I could argue that the 1080p from the GH3 is more filmic looking and looks better than the 4K from the GX85 or A6300....

It's not mine, but it was shot with a GH4. My documentary crew uses the GH4, A6300, A7RII and Panasonic AG-DVX200, plus DSLRs like the D810 and 5D3. The A6300 produces very good looking 4k material if equipped with the right lens, and if exposed and processed correctly. Out of all those cameras the 5D3 probably produces the best 1080p image out of camera, even if the resolution may not technically be true 1080 by actual measurement. However the A7RII in 4k Super35 crop mode has a little better low light ability and 4k gives a lot more pixels to work with. 

A lot of the "look" depends on the lens and the relationship to the sensor size. A full frame sensor with a high-quality f/2.8 telephoto lens can produce very nice looking footage, whether that is 4k or 1080p. But since few full-frame 4k cameras exist with direct pixel readout, the real-world comparison is often between a 4k direct-readout crop-mode sensor like the A7RII vs a full-frame 1080p sensor like the 5D3. 

The GH2 and GH3 can be very good with the right lens and proper lighting. In the 2012 Zacuto shootout, Francis Ford Coppola and several others preferred the GH2 over more expensive cameras: http://www.eoshd.com/2012/07/zacuto-revenge-shootout-part-2-results-revealed-francis-ford-coppola-and-audience-majority-give-win-to-gh2/

Of course cameras and sensors have progressed a lot since then, so it will be interesting to see how the GH5 performs.

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9 hours ago, BrorSvensson said:

the real question is, what happened to 2.7k? it would be amazing to see all these 4k capable cameras that can to 1080p120fps to add an 2.7k 60fps mode. 

Hacked Samsung NX500 is shooting some very nice 2.5K.

I wish Blackmagic would concentrate more on the consumer priced stuff again and give us a BMCC 2.0

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

It looks nice. Great job. What did you shoot that with? As I said, I am a hobbyist, so my needs may be  different than yours. Plus I am only interested in narrative and for my eyes 1080p is more than enough and I could argue that the 1080p from the GH3 is more filmic looking and looks better than the 4K from the GX85 or A6300. But everybody is different and we each have our own needs depending upon the work we do.

I used a monitor with the Micro for a few months and I never want to go back to it. I do think think the avchd has some special sauce but nowhere near as good as the high bitrate 1080p of the GH3 and GH4. I think there is something to be said that the movies in Sundance in 2015 were a mix of cinema cameras, some 5Ds and GH2 and GH3s.

What kind of work do you do?

@mercer The GH3 was my very first mirrorless camera. If you do decide to pick one up, you should be aware that it lacks focus peaking, something which many here consider absolutely essential when working with manual lenses or a Speedbooster. There was a huge outcry from the internet community when Panasonic issued a statement announcing that they could offer no firmware update to enable peaking on the GH3. If you already have an external monitor (sounds like you do), or have eagle vision, no problem I guess. :) Now I shoot C4K with the GH4 and downsample to 1080p for delivery on the web. Aside from an improvement in color over the GH3, the image is virtually moire-free. Nevertheless, as you pointed out, some filmmakers are still doing  fine work with hacked GH2s. And incredibly, many shooters continue to create stunning video with cameras with no IBIS, no touch screen, no histogram, no viewfinder, no headphone jack and 10-minute battery life. :) A couple years back, many of us were taken aback by Kendy Ty's short films shot with a mere t3i (forgive me, I'm not really familiar with Canon's model numbers) on Vimeo, and more recently, I was impressed with Jase's clips made with the miniscule GM1. I'd say if you can find a GH3 selling for around $500.00, go for it. 

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29 minutes ago, jonpais said:

@mercer The GH3 was my very first mirrorless camera. If you do decide to pick one up, you should be aware that it lacks focus peaking, something which many here consider absolutely essential when working with manual lenses or a Speedbooster. There was a huge outcry from the internet community when Panasonic issued a statement announcing that they could offer no firmware update to enable peaking on the GH3. If you already have an external monitor (sounds like you do), or have eagle vision, no problem I guess. :) Now I shoot C4K with the GH4 and downsample to 1080p for delivery on the web. Aside from an improvement in color over the GH3, the image is virtually moire-free. Nevertheless, as you pointed out, some filmmakers are still doing  fine work with hacked GH2s. And incredibly, many shooters continue to create stunning video with cameras with no IBIS, no touch screen, no histogram, no viewfinder, no headphone jack and 10-minute battery life. :) A couple years back, many of us were taken aback by Kendy Ty's short films shot with a mere t3i (forgive me, I'm not really familiar with Canon's model numbers) on Vimeo, and more recently, I was impressed with Jase's clips made with the miniscule GM1. I'd say if you can find a GH3 selling for around $500.00, go for it. 

I found a new one for $550. 

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Funny coincidence, I was just passing through Ben Thanh market here in Saigon this afternoon, when I saw a young woman shooting with a GH3 - possibly only the 3rd or 4th time I've seen anyone using a Lumix camera in the four years I've lived here. It turns out she is a film producer from Australia. I asked how she liked the GH3 and she said she'd gotten it just before Panasonic released the GH4, that she loved it, and before I could even ask anything else, she added that the one feature she regretted not having was focus peaking.

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Perhaps it's worth noting that both popular camera reviewer Chris Niccolls of TCSTV still carries a GM camera and photographer Ming Thein regrets that Panasonic killed off the GM lineup. And he's accustomed to shooting with big guns like the Hasselblad X1D.

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6 hours ago, jonpais said:

Funny coincidence, I was just passing through Ben Thanh market here in Saigon this afternoon, when I saw a young woman shooting with a GH3 - possibly only the 3rd or 4th time I've seen anyone using a Lumix camera in the four years I've lived here. It turns out she is a film producer from Australia. I asked how she liked the GH3 and she said she'd gotten it just before Panasonic released the GH4, that she loved it, and before I could even ask anything else, she added that the one feature she regretted not having was focus peaking.

Btw, is there a camera settings consensus with the GH3? I've been watching a lot of Driftwood's videos since he thoroughly tested all of the profiles and I have a few ideas, but there is just so much info out there that it's time consuming wading through it all. I've been finding with most camera brands that a variant of Prolost Neutral settings seems to work fairly well. 

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There have been countless pages on that topic here and at other sites. My preference would be to dial down contrast, saturation, sharpening and leave noise reduction alone. But some think dialing down saturation isn't a good idea because with 8 bit, you don't have enough color information to work with as it is. Others like to turn NR all the way down. Some think reducing sharpening will alleviate moire and aliasing somewhat (I didn't find that to be true in my experience, but heh). What I did is just dial everything down a couple notches. When I got home, I'd look at the footage and tweak the settings gradually over a period of months. I prefer Natural profile, and that's what many of the LUTs I used recommended, but others like Cinelike D, if I'm not getting that confused with the GH4. So, in a nutshell, there is no consensus. As Andy Lee said to another forum member at the time, buy Andrew's guide and you'll find out!

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The 4K implementation of these consumer cameras make 4K seem highly overrated. I used to drool over all that resolution until I noticed my clients & fans gravitated more towards the color of the image and then the dynamic range. I deliver everything in 1080p and get most of my traffic from IG so now a good 1080p camera is essential. there have been movies shot with a 5D mark 2 that look incredible.

Question : what is the best 1080p camera on the market right now ? That new canon mirrorless looks promising

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13 minutes ago, kidzrevil said:

The 4K implementation of these consumer cameras make 4K seem highly overrated. I used to drool over all that resolution until I noticed my clients & fans gravitated more towards the color of the image and then the dynamic range. I deliver everything in 1080p and get most of my traffic from IG so now a good 1080p camera is essential. there have been movies shot with a 5D mark 2 that look incredible.

Question : what is the best 1080p camera on the market right now ? That new canon mirrorless looks promising

huh. that m5 has same sensor as 80D and DPAF, without the bulk. but, this on product description.

"The MP4 format’s small file size lets you fit more on a single memory card, and makes downloading and sharing quick and easy."

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36 minutes ago, kidzrevil said:

The 4K implementation of these consumer cameras make 4K seem highly overrated. I used to drool over all that resolution until I noticed my clients & fans gravitated more towards the color of the image and then the dynamic range. I deliver everything in 1080p and get most of my traffic from IG so now a good 1080p camera is essential. there have been movies shot with a 5D mark 2 that look incredible.

Question : what is the best 1080p camera on the market right now ? That new canon mirrorless looks promising

best for what? :) 

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