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Panasonic GH5 - all is revealed!

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Hello, the next months I will go to make a short documentary in the Coptic churches with poor light.The churches at night lit up little more than with candlelight of many faithful. Can anyone advise me how to configure the GH5 to get a good video inside the churches? I have the Leica 12-60mm f / 2.8 lens.
Outside I want to film in 50p but maybe inside it would be better to film in 25p to get more light. Quite right? Thank you.

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The GH5 is good but not great in low-light, therefore you want to use the fastest lenses you can get.  This will also mean that your depth of field will be relatively shallow - unfortunately there is no way around this with this camera.

Your 12-60 f2.8 isn't a very fast lens.  I would suggest either getting fast MFT lenses like the Voigtlander F0.95 series primes, or getting a speed booster and using something like the 18-35 f1.8.  These will require manually focusing.

I recently filmed a lot with my GH5 at night using only the ambient available lights and I found that I really needed to use my Voitlander 17.5mm f0.95 with the aperture fully open at 0.95.

The alternative is to rent another camera setup that will have better low-light performance.  Perhaps something like the A7SII or A7III with a 24-70 F2.8 lens.  This setup would enable you to get noise-free shots with a deeper depth of field than the GH5/fast-lens combination.

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Yeah with the 12-60 you can't zoom in to 60 inside dark places coz you gonna lose light. Get a cheap prime like the Pana 25mm f1.7 or the Oly 45mm f1.8. Also, dont bump your Iso too much if you dont want noise. If you can use Neat to denoise, you can get away with increasing ISO then denoise in Neat.

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On 1/10/2019 at 6:07 PM, FoxAdriano said:

Hello, the next months I will go to make a short documentary in the Coptic churches with poor light.The churches at night lit up little more than with candlelight of many faithful. Can anyone advise me how to configure the GH5 to get a good video inside the churches? I have the Leica 12-60mm f / 2.8 lens.
Outside I want to film in 50p but maybe inside it would be better to film in 25p to get more light. Quite right? Thank you.

I have the GH5, GH5s, BMPCC4K and several others. I have filmed hundreds of events over the past couple of years, in some very low light environments (lots of bands, weddings, and live events). In terms of noise, the best low light camera of the three that I listed is the GH5s, by far. ISO 10000 on the GH5s has very little noise and the GH5s is MUCH better than the GH5 in terms of noise performance. ISO 25,600 is usable on the GH5s with noise reduction in Davinci Resolve. I don't like to use higher than ISO3200 on my GH5, due to the excessive noise.

Given the extreme low light nature of your upcoming shoot, I suggest that you rent one of the Sony cameras, like the A7SII or an A7III with 2.8 or better lenses. The Sony cameras seem to be around two stops better in low light performance, vs. my GH5s. If you can only use the GH5, you absolutely must use some very fast prime lenses. I have the Sigma 16mm / f1.4, Sigma 30mm / f1.4, Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95, Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2,  and Sigma 18-35 f1.8, among others. Any of these lenses would be a good choice for your project. In my opinion, the GH5 with an f2.8 lens will not be good enough for your project.

Best of luck on your project!

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1 hour ago, FoxAdriano said:

Ok, thanks. Out of curiosity: if I use Resolve, is there an integrated filter like Neat Video so that I can do without buying the plugins for Edius 9?

The paid version has both spatial and temporal noise reduction. I am pretty sure the temporal NR isn't in the free version but the spatial one might be.

There's a bunch of plugins with the free version and a whole bunch more with the paid one. Plus everything that's in Fusion which seems to be enormously complicated and thorough.

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2 hours ago, kye said:

There's a bunch of plugins with the free version and a whole bunch more with the paid one. Plus everything that's in Fusion which seems to be enormously complicated and thorough.

Yeah you aren't going to have an average IQ of 100  give or take 5 points like the average people on here according to @fuzzynormal and figure out Fusion LoL. 😂

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On 1/13/2019 at 2:25 PM, drm said:

Given the extreme low light nature of your upcoming shoot, I suggest that you rent one of the Sony cameras, like the A7SII or an A7III with 2.8 or better lenses. The Sony cameras seem to be around two stops better in low light performance, vs. my GH5s. If you can only use the GH5, you absolutely must use some very fast prime lenses. I have the Sigma 16mm / f1.4, Sigma 30mm / f1.4, Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95, Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2,  and Sigma 18-35 f1.8, among others. Any of these lenses would be a good choice for your project. In my opinion, the GH5 with an f2.8 lens will not be good enough for your project.

Best of luck on your project!

Yeah the Full Frame cameras are better in Low Light. What do you think are the advantages of GH5s aside from the flip screen and the small lenses?

A7III has ibis though (not as good as GH5) so I think that's a better choice

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Both Neat image and Resolve Studio NR is very good for cleaning up high iso and slightly under exposed footage but it can't fix seriously underexposed footage which is what the OP will get with the GH5 + 12-60 in a very low light environment.

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2 hours ago, TurboRat said:

Yeah the Full Frame cameras are better in Low Light. What do you think are the advantages of GH5s aside from the flip screen and the small lenses?

A7III has ibis though (not as good as GH5) so I think that's a better choice

10-bit is a pretty big advantage of the GH5 over the Sonys.

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9 hours ago, TurboRat said:

Yeah the Full Frame cameras are better in Low Light. What do you think are the advantages of GH5s aside from the flip screen and the small lenses?

A7III has ibis though (not as good as GH5) so I think that's a better choice

5 hours ago, kye said:

10-bit is a pretty big advantage of the GH5 over the Sonys.

The GH5 and GH5s typically give less heat and more reliable operation than the Sonys.  There's also longer battery life, less rolling shutter, and more high speed frame rates combined with better data rates and codecs.

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On 1/14/2019 at 10:45 PM, FoxAdriano said:

Ok, thanks. Out of curiosity: if I use Resolve, is there an integrated filter like Neat Video so that I can do without buying the plugins for Edius 9?

My suspicion is that it *is* neat video and also that the stabilizer *is* mercalli and the deflicker *is* flickerfree. All I can say is that I was quite worried about losing my plugins when swapping to Resolve and found out that it had all the same functionality built in. Very very similar functionality ;) 

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On 1/15/2019 at 12:34 AM, TurboRat said:

Yeah the Full Frame cameras are better in Low Light. What do you think are the advantages of GH5s aside from the flip screen and the small lenses?

A7III has ibis though (not as good as GH5) so I think that's a better choice

In my opinion, the GH5 & the GH5s are fantastic cameras. They have been bulletproof for me in well over a hundred events. The GH5s is substantially better than the GH5 in terms of low light performance, but you lose the IBIS from the GH5. I seldom (almost never) use the continuous autofocus in my work, but the one touch autofocus is very fast and works very well. I usually leave the cameras on manual focus, but I do use the one touch AF fairly regularly during shoots and it works well for me. I did notice a nice improvement in the continuous AF in the last firmware update, but I still don't use it very much. My understanding is that the Sony AF is almost magic pixie dust levels of amazing and clearly better than the Panasonic, which I consider to be usable, but not amazing. I really appreciate the 10 bit quality and the wide selection of fast lenses in these cameras. My 12-35 2.8 stays on these cameras *a lot* and produces great results.

For that candle lit project, I would take a GH5s with the Sigma 1.4 primes (or fast Panasonic primes) and a gimbal. I would also think the Sony A7III with some fast lenses would work well.

I think that the GH5 with a 12-60 lens would produce very poor results in that environment. I mean, it will be better than your cellphone, but probably not up to professional standards ;)

 

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On 1/15/2019 at 7:34 AM, TurboRat said:

Yeah the Full Frame cameras are better in Low Light. What do you think are the advantages of GH5s aside from the flip screen and the small lenses?

A7III has ibis though (not as good as GH5) so I think that's a better choice

A7III Pros:

- better autofocus
- better low-light
- better dynamic range
- lighter body
- larger full-frame sensor(for shallower DOF)


GH5 Pros:

- 10bit 4:2:2 codecs
- ALL-I codecs
- 4k DCI
- anamorphic modes (open gate 5k)
- anamorphic de-squeeze
- load 4 custom luts for v-log l preview
- better IBIS
- lighter lenses
- 4k 60fps
- 1080 180fps
- variable frame rates
- waveform & vectorscope
- smaller m4/3 sensor (deeper DOF for same aperture)
- full-size HDMI port
- syncro scan
- less rolling shutter
- fully articulating touchscreen

17 hours ago, drm said:

I think that the GH5 with a 12-60 lens would produce very poor results in that environment. I mean, it will be better than your cellphone, but probably not up to professional standards ;)

- Lots of factors here and m43 can do a lot with DOF as well. m43 can use a focal reducer which makes it more like a APS-C sensor size in terms of DOF. You are now only one stop away from the same DOF as FF. Shoot f4 comfortably on FF? Well f2.8 is pretty easy to get on m43 even with zoom lenses and can easily match the DOF of FF. This is again such a non issue unless you insist on having razor thin DOF from FF by shooting 50mm f1.2. Optically not the best solution and almost impossible to focus with for serious production work where clients pay you. It honestly only takes a sliver of extra effort to achieve similar DOF on m43. Can't replicate every situation but the importance is much less significant than you think it is. Plus very few Hollywood movies actually use that shallow of DOF. They shoot s35mm (close to APS-C size) and not FF and they tend to stop down their lenses to f4 or f5.6. Extremely easy to match that on m43 and even easier once you add a Speedbooster which essentially makes the GH5 an exact match to s35mm size sensors. On the GH5s using a Speedbooster XL gets you around a 1.2x crop which is half way between APS-C and FF so not a huge difference in terms of DOF.

On 1/15/2019 at 4:40 PM, Towd said:

The GH5 and GH5s typically give less heat and more reliable operation than the Sonys.  There's also longer battery life, less rolling shutter, and more high speed frame rates combined with better data rates and codecs.

The exelent IBIS, strong codec, robust build quality, great film maker ergonomics, 40k 60p and full size HDMI makes it feel like a more profesional camera then the whole a7 serie.
I owned both but choose to keep the GH5 and sell the A7s. Also used the A7s MII allot.
I sometimes miss the full frame aspect, but not to much. I don't miss any DR since I think the Slog3 and Slog2 is unusable in the A7 serie for the weak codec.
So I actually feel the GH5 has more DR since the robust codec let's you play around with the levels better.

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11 hours ago, GreekBeast said:

- Lots of factors here and m43 can do a lot with DOF as well. m43 can use a focal reducer which makes it more like a APS-C sensor size in terms of DOF. You are now only one stop away from the same DOF as FF. Shoot f4 comfortably on FF? Well f2.8 is pretty easy to get on m43 even with zoom lenses and can easily match the DOF of FF. This is again such a non issue unless you insist on having razor thin DOF from FF by shooting 50mm f1.2. Optically not the best solution and almost impossible to focus with for serious production work where clients pay you. It honestly only takes a sliver of extra effort to achieve similar DOF on m43. Can't replicate every situation but the importance is much less significant than you think it is. Plus very few Hollywood movies actually use that shallow of DOF. They shoot s35mm (close to APS-C size) and not FF and they tend to stop down their lenses to f4 or f5.6. Extremely easy to match that on m43 and even easier once you add a Speedbooster which essentially makes the GH5 an exact match to s35mm size sensors. On the GH5s using a Speedbooster XL gets you around a 1.2x crop which is half way between APS-C and FF so not a huge difference in terms of DOF.

Much of what you say makes sense, but I disagree with some of it.

Are you aware that shooting the 12-35 f2.8 at 25mm f2.8 isn't the same as shooting a 50mm f2.8 on FF?  25mm f2.8 on MFT is the same as 50mm f5.6 on FF.  To get the same DOF on MFT as you get from FF 50mm f1.2 would require something like 25mm f0.6, which I don't think even exists.  
This is a handy tool for comparing equivalent focal lengths and apertures: https://mmcalc.com
This is a handy tool for comparing DOF: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

I also disagree that f2.8 on MFT will be enough light.

Late last year I did a couple of trips with my GH5, shooting in ambient light conditions, sometimes at night (eg, streetlights and shop windows), with my Voigtlander 17.5mm 0.95, and I found two things: f0.95 was needed to reduce noise in the image, and f0.95 wasn't as crazy shallow DOF as you'd think.

This is an image I have shared previously, and I think you would agree that it's not a crazy shallow DOF shot - but this was absolutely at f0.95.

1002543976_ScreenShot2018-12-29at10_06_52am.png.48651f26fa53a0899babde2cce5089de.png

In terms of what the OP needs to film a building at night with tall ceilings only lit by candles, is probably more than what I needed when filming my family in being lit by street-lights, shop windows, and Christmas lights.

I don't know if the GH5 with fast lenses will even be enough - they might shoot it and be left with a very noisy image that suffers in quality after sufficient noise-reduction has been applied.  If they want to get any shots where their lenses aren't fully open then they're in trouble with the GH5 too, although how many of these shots they'd need is dependent on the situation and their shooting style.  At least with the A7Sii they'd have some wiggle-room in between having too shallow DOF and having too much noise in the final image.  

It's an extreme recommendation to make, but it's an extreme situation too. 

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