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Andrew Reid

Panasonic GH4 gets Arri film look

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So for your test you can provide a 10-bit ProRes download ;)

 

Already have done. Most of my tests are uploaded in ProRes LT and there's several GH4 files that I've graded and uploaded to Copy in 10bit ProRes format.

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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

Grading is a subjective art and I think some people on here have quite a narrow definition of what is 'right' or 'wrong'. If you don't like it fine, but don't try and put it down to an error or camera problem! I've intentionally chosen the look I wanted here, to bring out the warm magic hour sun and pink fleshy skin tones. If you have a different style feel free to download the ungraded clips from Copy and have a go yourself, then I will point at it and say you're "wrong", how's that?

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Amazing job Andrew, thanks for all the infos and comparisons. Looks like my next evolutionary step will be from a 60D to the GH4 instead of the 5D MKIII. For me picture quality wins against low light and performance. But who do I have to bribe to get this Metabones Speedbooster soon??? 

 

I would love to read something about the handling of the camera. I never used a GH. Does this show focus peak, histogram, zebras via the view finder as well so that you theoretically don't need a LCD view finder anymore?

 

Cheers

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Grading is a subjective art 

 

Absolutely right.  I'm not fond of some of your color choices to be honest, but that's fine.  You're doing what you like and that's all that's important.

 

BTW, were you shooting some footage at a higher shutter speed, maybe for exposure compensation?

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Thanks for the test Andrew. You've convinced me on the next camera to get. The ARRI Alexa ;)

 

Perhaps rent or borrow an Alexa and do a comparo such as this: 

Note how many folks could not figure out which camera was which.

Hi JCS, 

Camera 1 looks to be the Alexa to my old eyes.  Cheers.

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Grading is a subjective art

 

Broadcast grading really isn't most of the time. Skin tones, skies, grass, white balance etc..., those are things you must preserve to a certain point, even if going for film look.

I'm saying this because those toolsare not only used by indie filmmakers, but also on more "mainstream" broadcast shows where you canot deal with your creativity the same way.

But then again, GH4 looks awesome.

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Grading is a subjective art and I think some people on here have quite a narrow definition of what is 'right' or 'wrong'. If you don't like it fine, but don't try and put it down to an error or camera problem! I've intentionally chosen the look I wanted here, to bring out the warm magic hour sun and pink fleshy skin tones. If you have a different style feel free to download the ungraded clips from Copy and have a go yourself, then I will point at it and say you're "wrong", how's that?

You're rather defensive.  I agree with others here (and elsewhere) that these grades look not pleasant.  I get what you are trying to do and that is take blue/green light and make it amber warm showing the cameras ability to grade heavy.  But maybe when people say "I'm not too keen on the look" you might wanna try not coming back with "I know you are but what am I" with "I wanted to test the cameras limits and falsely color the image to my minds eye".   Production Diary?  Going to the park with a beta camera is a production now?  Is that Gorilla Pod your Production rig?  At best, everything to date shot by you on the Gh4 is just a heavily magenta colored vacation video blog of Berlin.  

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Andrew, could you please share why you are recommending against Final Cut Pro X?  Is there something technical that it doesn't do well/correctly/at-all?

I think what he is saying is that he doesn't use FCPX.  Filmconvert works just fine in FCPX.  

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I think what he is saying is that he doesn't use FCPX.  Filmconvert works just fine in FCPX.  

The problem with FCPX and film convert is that it puts the LUT before any color correction layers. This throws out a lot of detail and robs you of the ability to tweak with CC layers to make the LUT work.

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the use of various Look-Up-Table applications, but (unless I'm wrong?) many people are basically turning a LUT into a glorified color correction filter, which is not what it’s intended to be...?

 

I come from a broadcasting background rather than cinema, so I'm unfamiliar with the more intricate details (such as LUT's) that, as I know of it, relate to the processing of actual film.

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I haven't posted here, but I have to say this post bothered me a little bit so I had chime in. I'm a colorist for a living in between directing and editing, I grade Alexa footage constantly and I have to work with everything from that to RED, to DSLR stuff all the time. As much as I love my GH2 and GH3, I had a pretty good suspicion there was no way this comparison would remotely hold up. I let it go, but the latest post seems to be pushing the argument farther. 

 

I've included an example here from the downloaded gh4 footage and the publicly available Alexa footage to illustrate my point, which is, theres a million factors that go into a comparison like this. Glass, codecs, bit rates, resolution, color space, dynamic range and more, but for the purpose of this illustration, I'm just talking about dynamic range, codec, and color space.

 

There is no comparing what an Alexa is putting out in S-log, vs the modes this GH4 footage was shot in. As shown in the example, the first cut of the guy on the bongos is S-log. There isn't a single pixel in that image that is clipping one way or the other. This means in a perfect world I have full control over what i want to make black and what I want white. The Panasonic isn't giving me nearly as much. Whether thats simply the color profile thats on, the codec squeezing it, the quality of the glass, or simply the cameras dynamic range ability, there is simply no way to take a GH4's image to the places you can take an Alexas.

 

The example videos point that out. For the Alexa, it starts as S-log, than kinda normalized start no detail lost yet, then a nice little crushed punchy look, then an extreme s-curve look, than a completely ludicrous version. Of course no one is grading at ludicrous speed that often, but the illustration is that even at that level, the image is tight as can be and nearly noise free. pretty incredible

 

A real test of how strong an image holds up is fixing a broken one, rather than slightly grading a nicely exposed one. Luckily there were a few good examples to use in the supplied link and in those you can see where the GH4 cannot hold a candle to the Alexa. In the spire shots where I tried to neutralized all the haze, the image gets noisy as heck. Even the sky has pretty noticeable banding if you look close or put up on a waveform monitor.  In the shot of that tilts down from the buildings to the people, it grades well, but theres still noise littered all over the blacks. Those same images shot with the Alexa would have had more head room for fixing.

 

Now Im not a hater, I actually love the GH4 is putting out on a well exposure image, like the car. i was actually able to recover clipped detail in the hood before I even began grading, pretty nice for an 8 bit codec! If i could get a truly log like starting point from the camera I'd love to see how far it can be pushed. And given how "bad" the tilt down shot was originally, i was very happy how far i could push it to something usable. 

 

Anyway, I love what panasonic is doing, and it looks like they have another winner, but lets not get crazy here people! :)

 

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the use of various Look-Up-Table applications, but (unless I'm wrong?) many people are basically turning a LUT into a glorified color correction filter, which is not what it’s intended to be...?

 

I come from a broadcasting background rather than cinema, so I'm unfamiliar with the more intricate details (such as LUT's) that, as I know of it, relate to the processing of actual film.

 

You're absolutely right, and... you're right.

 

LUT's are firstly designed for color translation, from one color space to another (let's say Rec.709 to DCI P3 for exemple, or Arri Log to Rec.709), or, was used to emulate (in the grading suite) the end positive film stock your film will be used for projection.

 

Nowadays it's often use as some film-look filter, which is not bad actually when done properly, but in now way just putting a LUT on every shot of your film is proper color grading (nor is it a subjective artistic choice for that matter).

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Hi JCS, 

Camera 1 looks to be the Alexa to my old eyes.  Cheers.

 

Hi FilmMan- your eyes are workin' pretty well! :)

 

 

Already have done. Most of my tests are uploaded in ProRes LT and there's several GH4 files that I've graded and uploaded to Copy in 10bit ProRes format.

 

 

Right, the suggestion was to put ARRI Alexa footage in the same clip as the GH4 and 5D3 RAW, etc., all in one ProRes 1080p file for download comparison. Additionally, shoot the same scenes with all the cameras (and ideally similar or same lenses).

 

For the price, the GH4 is a rad little camera, however as djrockadoo points out, it's not in the same league as the Alexa, or even the FS700+7Q (which does excellent 4K 12-bit RAW, as well as in-recorder downsampled 4K to 1080p in ProRes; soon 4K/2K 12-bit 444 ProRes). Are those other cameras and gear worth the extra cost? For paid work, absolutely. Internet tests and cat videos? That depends on the owner :)

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Nowhere am I saying it is in the same league as the Alexa or matching it on how far you can push the grade.

 

I know it isn't THAT good.

 

But it's great and Panasonic's consumer 4K codec is clearly a step forward for grading compared the usual DSLR codec.

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