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Gauging the reaction to the Panasonic GH6


Andrew Reid
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8 hours ago, Thpriest said:

Will it have similar lowlight capabilities as the GH5S? If it has a clean image upto 12800 iso with pdaf and all the other bells and whistles then they could be onto a winner. Now...that eND....

It's unlikely to have the same lowlight abilities given how large the sensor needs to be. 

 

7 hours ago, Thpriest said:

I'm assuming that's better than dual pixel?

It means phase detect, which is what everyone else has now. Dual pixel is what Canon calls their auto focus, but I'm not sure if it's the same thing as phase detect. 

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15 hours ago, androidlad said:

GH6 uses a dual-aspect sensor, similar to GH5S.

5.2K 4:3

5.7K 16:9

<7ms rolling shutter

with all pixel PDAF

If it have PDAF then I m definitely tempted..

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6 hours ago, Avenger 2.0 said:

Personally I think it will just have DFD and everyone will be disappointed 😄 

I won't be.  I use manual lenses and although my ability to manually focus doesn't track subjects with the same accuracy, I have never ever ever mistakenly focused on the background instead of the subject.  

I also film in the real world where my subject is surrounded by other faces and objects that there's no way the camera could distinguish between.  Little pocket cameras have the ability to set VIPs and actually take photos of the people you want it to focus on and they will detect faces and then analyse them for the VIPs, and be sure to focus on the VIPs instead of the other random people of less importance.  I don't have that option on any interchangeable lens camera I own, so there's no way that the camera can tell who I know and who I don't.

Then there's situations like this - how well do you think face-detect is going to work here?

japan_3_76.1.thumb.jpg.f8969ee1daa0b8b1347a07a1717faac7.jpg

Sure, PDAF with face-detection is great for vloggers against a plain background, and it's great if you're shooting a wedding on a gimbal as a one-person operator, but for more complicated stuff it's still a very long way from solving the AF issue.

Besides, why settle for second best?  My P2K, M2K, and GH5 have the same focusing system as an Alexa 🙂

 

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5 hours ago, kye said:

I won't be.  I use manual lenses and although my ability to manually focus doesn't track subjects with the same accuracy, I have never ever ever mistakenly focused on the background instead of the subject.  

I also film in the real world where my subject is surrounded by other faces and objects that there's no way the camera could distinguish between.  Little pocket cameras have the ability to set VIPs and actually take photos of the people you want it to focus on and they will detect faces and then analyse them for the VIPs, and be sure to focus on the VIPs instead of the other random people of less importance.  I don't have that option on any interchangeable lens camera I own, so there's no way that the camera can tell who I know and who I don't.

Then there's situations like this - how well do you think face-detect is going to work here?

japan_3_76.1.thumb.jpg.f8969ee1daa0b8b1347a07a1717faac7.jpg

Sure, PDAF with face-detection is great for vloggers against a plain background, and it's great if you're shooting a wedding on a gimbal as a one-person operator, but for more complicated stuff it's still a very long way from solving the AF issue.

Besides, why settle for second best?  My P2K, M2K, and GH5 have the same focusing system as an Alexa 🙂

 

I'm in no way saying DFD is bad since I'm really impressed by the G9 2.0 update.
For photography I even like it better then the competition (that has PDAF) and for video with C-AF in good light it's also great.

Somehow people like bashing Panasonic for it's lack of PDAF, yet accept the crappy almost non existing AF from blackmagic. And you hear lots of rumors about new AF systems for the GH6, while I just thing it will have an (even more) improved version of DFD.

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15 hours ago, Avenger 2.0 said:

I'm in no way saying DFD is bad since I'm really impressed by the G9 2.0 update.
For photography I even like it better then the competition (that has PDAF) and for video with C-AF in good light it's also great.

Somehow people like bashing Panasonic for it's lack of PDAF, yet accept the crappy almost non existing AF from blackmagic. And you hear lots of rumors about new AF systems for the GH6, while I just thing it will have an (even more) improved version of DFD.

I just substitute the phrase "robot that doesn't know the foreground from the background" whenever I read AF.

It makes phrases like "The GH6 won't be successful until it has the DPAF from Canon or PDAF from Sony" sound ridiculous, but also more accurate: "The GH6 won't be successful until it has the Dual Pixel robot that doesn't know the foreground from the background from Canon or Phase Detect robot that doesn't know the foreground from the background from Sony"

I think most people here that talk about AF are either wedding shooters thinking that their films will be better if they can get shallow DOF on their circling-the-couple-gimbal-shot (they won't be) or tech nerds that don't shoot at all.

I came on this board thinking that Canon colour science was the best, 4K was required to get a good image, and that AF was a critical feature.  Now I know that most of the manufacturers have great colour science, but that magic is created on-set and in post not in the cameras internal LUTs (even if it's an ARRI), I shoot manual focus, I shoot 1080p, and I think possibly the largest weakness in current cameras for image quality is dynamic range.

How did I progress on that journey?  I shot stuff and looked at it and worked out how to make it look better.  I learned about what actually makes a nice image vs just reading the marketing BS that manufacturers spew at us constantly.  Guess why?  Older cameras can potentially make nicer images than newer ones - no wonder that's not on the marketing talking points!

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On 6/27/2021 at 6:42 AM, kye said:

Besides, why settle for second best?  My P2K, M2K, and GH5 have the same focusing system as an Alexa 🙂

 

The issue with AF, apart from accuracy is the lack of instructions on who/what, and how to follow (speed, stationary or motion, transition style etc). I believe cinema cameras will solve this and autofocus for cinema cameras soon. And it's going to be Arri.

Unless Panasonic gets both PDAF as well as the exact manner of finely programmable) instruction options. 

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5 hours ago, sanveer said:

The issue with AF, apart from accuracy is the lack of instructions on who/what, and how to follow (speed, stationary or motion, transition style etc). I believe cinema cameras will solve this and autofocus for cinema cameras soon. And it's going to be Arri.

Why would Arri, a very traditionalist cinema company, lead the pack on autofocus? They just released a new set of manual primes and zooms.

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20 hours ago, sanveer said:

The issue with AF, apart from accuracy is the lack of instructions on who/what, and how to follow (speed, stationary or motion, transition style etc). I believe cinema cameras will solve this and autofocus for cinema cameras soon. And it's going to be Arri.

Unless Panasonic gets both PDAF as well as the exact manner of finely programmable) instruction options. 

The challenge is that the camera must know who to focus on and when.  This is essentially an impossible thing, especially for narrative.

Imagine a shot with a composition like this, but where only one character is in focus at a time:

Revenge-Rewatch-121115.jpg

The background character starts in focus...

  1. BG: You've screwed everything up....... I can never trust you again
  2. pause
  3. FG: I'm sorry

When should the AF change focus from the BG character to the FG character?

The answer is, it depends on the director.  It could change during the pause in 1, before 2, after 2, in reaction to 3, or not at all.

If the answer is anything before 3 starts speaking then how the hell could a camera know that this was the moment to transition focus????

This is the fundamental challenge of AF.  Anyone who doesn't understand this doesn't understand how to use focus as a creative tool in a film.  

Lots of people don't need to know this of course, but I find that even in making videos of my family this stuff becomes relevant, which is hardly the pinnacle of the art form. 

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I heard a rumor that Panasonic have been in discussion with the Jedi Council (after The Dark Side, Sony, told them to, “go do one”…the evil bastards) in regard to potentially using The Force in order to improve their autofocus.

Above is a pic sourced by @kye that supports this.

Never mind PDAF, it’s TFDAF we want.

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On 6/16/2021 at 1:01 PM, kye said:

What are you trying to achieve?  and how is this not achieved by shooting 24p with a short shutter speed?

  It was probably me asking questions previously.. and it is because I use my GH cameras in non standard ways. I do use 24p with short shutter and this produces interesting smeared footage, but I was speculating on possible new ways that Panasonic could open up the GH6 (with better processing) to more experimental ways of capturing slow footage with less of the blur that the 24p very slow shutter footage currently produces.

I understand that most users won't be interested in the more experimental side of shooting, but for my own use, this feature is about recording possible live music events with cameras shooting at different frame rates, I am interested in capturing the physical movements of the artist live and to be able stream this live with movement captured in slow motion being part of the live stream, or as part of an art installation where event timings are part of the constraints (so editing footage might not be possible).

Maybe if additional options were available it might open some creative doors that you were not expecting to use. Then again maybe not.

I am just interesting in new ways to use any camera, and I thought slow motion streaming might be useful for others too 🙂

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14 hours ago, kye said:

The challenge is that the camera must know who to focus on and when.  This is essentially an impossible thing, especially for narrative.

Imagine a shot with a composition like this, but where only one character is in focus at a time:

Revenge-Rewatch-121115.jpg

The background character starts in focus...

  1. BG: You've screwed everything up....... I can never trust you again
  2. pause
  3. FG: I'm sorry

When should the AF change focus from the BG character to the FG character?

The answer is, it depends on the director.  It could change during the pause in 1, before 2, after 2, in reaction to 3, or not at all.

If the answer is anything before 3 starts speaking then how the hell could a camera know that this was the moment to transition focus????

This is the fundamental challenge of AF.  Anyone who doesn't understand this doesn't understand how to use focus as a creative tool in a film.  

Lots of people don't need to know this of course, but I find that even in making videos of my family this stuff becomes relevant, which is hardly the pinnacle of the art form. 

In my point of view, I don't know why the AF discussion have to be so binary. Never use AF x always use AF.

Manual focus with a good focus puller will always be preferred in professional cinema. It is a well trained skill from the professional focus pullers, it is cheaper to pay a focus puller (considering all the other costs involved) that have to reshoot constantly because of an unexpected AF behaviour, and it offers somre focus creative choices that you could not have (or that would be difficult to reproduce) with an AF system.

AF is very useful in solo shots, low budget productions, solo vlogging, or when you don't have or can't pay a focus puller. Or when your production don't have very critical focus nailing needs.

Both are more or less adequate depending on your budget / needs. Hence Alexas don't have AF; and hence solo / action /vlogger shooters wants good AF.

Different situations, different needs. But with hybrid cameras, that generally are used in lower budget scenarios, AF tends to cover more use cases. And if you have good AF, you can still use MF - the reverse, not.

That why Panasonic needs a good and reliablish AF system. Arri not.

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8 hours ago, Marcio Kabke Pinheiro said:

That why Panasonic needs a good and reliablish AF system.

You make fair points, but then ask why the discussion is so binary - just look at the statement you make above.

What is fascinating is that you use the word reliable - no camera has a reliable AF system.  None.  There are literally no cameras available on earth that you could use to 100% get the AF right.  The GH5 isn't 100%, but neither is the Sony A7S3, or the Canon R5 either.  
I've seen multiple shots in recent vlogs where the camera focuses on the background, or on the foreground, or just stops, and these are shots that are making it into the final edit.  Think of how many out of focus shots the GH5 created and how few ended up in the edits of YouTubers, then apply that to the PDAF/DPAF cameras and so even they are screwing up on a semi-regular basis.  

The GH5 was a roaring success without good AF, and lots of people buy it, even now, despite the millions (billions?) of comments online about how the AF is not reliable.  

Would the GH6 be a better selling camera if it had PDAF?  Absolutely.  Will PDAF give it "a good and reliablish AF system"? Hell no.

Does it "need" a "reliable" AF system?  No, because such a thing doesn't exist.

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17 hours ago, kye said:

You make fair points, but then ask why the discussion is so binary - just look at the statement you make above.

What is fascinating is that you use the word reliable - no camera has a reliable AF system.  None.  There are literally no cameras available on earth that you could use to 100% get the AF right.  The GH5 isn't 100%, but neither is the Sony A7S3, or the Canon R5 either.  
I've seen multiple shots in recent vlogs where the camera focuses on the background, or on the foreground, or just stops, and these are shots that are making it into the final edit.  Think of how many out of focus shots the GH5 created and how few ended up in the edits of YouTubers, then apply that to the PDAF/DPAF cameras and so even they are screwing up on a semi-regular basis.  

The GH5 was a roaring success without good AF, and lots of people buy it, even now, despite the millions (billions?) of comments online about how the AF is not reliable.  

Would the GH6 be a better selling camera if it had PDAF?  Absolutely.  Will PDAF give it "a good and reliablish AF system"? Hell no.

Does it "need" a "reliable" AF system?  No, because such a thing doesn't exist.

100% reliable AF? Agree - does not exist, even with Sony, that arguably have the best video AF.

AF is used in a lot in inadequate situations. Person static in front of a camera? Why AF? You don't even need to change the focus distance - use a S-AF to acquire focus or MF, and do not touch it more.

That's why in my last sentence I used the word "reliablish" - not perfect, but realiable enough to give better results than manual AF when you don't have a focus puller or the skill. Gimbal shots, sport action, etc.

Or my use case as an amateur. Used m43 middle range cameras until recently, completely unreliable AF for video, hence always used MF for all. No problem in almost all cases (in fact, I love to manually focus lenses).
Enter my 2 year old daughter - she never stops, and is almost impossible to focus reliably on her face. Now with the Fuji X-S10 using AF, it is much easier. 100% perfect? Far from it. But in almost 95% of the time, her face is in focus when running around the room - using MF, the focus rate was much worse (and with CDAF, almost unusable).

I still think that are use cases that an ok AF system will give better (not perfect) results than a not very skilled MF operator (solo or dedicated). And you still have the option to revert to MF.

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The reason Panasonic needs reliable auto focus is more for marketing purposes than anything. The market has spoken, and it expects Canon or Sony level auto focus and if you don't deliver it most people won't even give it a chance. 

For me personally I don't need it, but I recognize it's important if the system is going to stick around. 

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Eventually AF will get so advanced it will replace manual and of course be way cheaper than hiring a reliable focus puller and there is no such thing as a 100% reliable focus puller either. 

Touch to focus is already a thing and works pretty damn well. 

I personally still prefer manual and use it with no issues even on solo projects. 

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6 hours ago, Marcio Kabke Pinheiro said:

100% reliable AF? Agree - does not exist, even with Sony, that arguably have the best video AF.

AF is used in a lot in inadequate situations. Person static in front of a camera? Why AF? You don't even need to change the focus distance - use a S-AF to acquire focus or MF, and do not touch it more.

That's why in my last sentence I used the word "reliablish" - not perfect, but realiable enough to give better results than manual AF when you don't have a focus puller or the skill. Gimbal shots, sport action, etc.

Or my use case as an amateur. Used m43 middle range cameras until recently, completely unreliable AF for video, hence always used MF for all. No problem in almost all cases (in fact, I love to manually focus lenses).
Enter my 2 year old daughter - she never stops, and is almost impossible to focus reliably on her face. Now with the Fuji X-S10 using AF, it is much easier. 100% perfect? Far from it. But in almost 95% of the time, her face is in focus when running around the room - using MF, the focus rate was much worse (and with CDAF, almost unusable).

I still think that are use cases that an ok AF system will give better (not perfect) results than a not very skilled MF operator (solo or dedicated). And you still have the option to revert to MF.

I agree.  Of course, a 2-year old is practically the same as extreme sports for an AF system!  Especially if it's indoors under artificial lighting where ISO performance comes into play.

4 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

The reason Panasonic needs reliable auto focus is more for marketing purposes than anything. The market has spoken, and it expects Canon or Sony level auto focus and if you don't deliver it most people won't even give it a chance. 

For me personally I don't need it, but I recognize it's important if the system is going to stick around. 

I just hope we're not contributing that much to that marketing purposes.

After all, "we need AF because the internet is full of people saying that the market wants AF" would be a pretty logical outcome of "I commented on the forums that the market wants AF because that's all that seems to be talked about".

Personally, I think the less we talk about how we "need 4K" or "need AF" or Whatever-T-F the manufacturers are pedalling this month, the better.  I'd rather not be part of the problem, and I suspect that a bunch of people hanging out and saying things because they think that's what everyone else wants is a pretty good way to play right into the GAS issues.

After all, what role do forums like this play?  New people want a "big camera" to get "blurry backgrounds" and forums like this teach them it's called "bokeh" and that they need 4K and FF and AF etc, so then they go and buy that Sony FF camera and there you go - the market has spoken, unfortunately it said what we told it to say by talking about how all these things are "needed", which mostly just isn't true. 

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On 6/26/2021 at 9:12 PM, kye said:

Then there's situations like this - how well do you think face-detect is going to work here?

Pretty good when you have tap-to-track AF.

I use this with R5 and it works really well. For instance, my wife was combing for sea shells at the beach. I was low to the ground at 70mm f2.8. I simply taped on LCD on her hand and it put a box on it and tracked her hand as she was moving it toward and away from the camera. It worked flawlessly in that situation and the effect of the focus racking with her hand was pleasing.

Panasonic should aim for something similar. It's not a tool to use on absolutely everything but when it does work it is one last thing your brain has to do.

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7 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Pretty good when you have tap-to-track AF.

I use this with R5 and it works really well. For instance, my wife was combing for sea shells at the beach. I was low to the ground at 70mm f2.8. I simply taped on LCD on her hand and it put a box on it and tracked her hand as she was moving it toward and away from the camera. It worked flawlessly in that situation and the effect of the focus racking with her hand was pleasing.

Panasonic should aim for something similar. It's not a tool to use on absolutely everything but when it does work it is one last thing your brain has to do.

So now instead of having a dedicated person to pull focus, or giving the job to the camera operator, you can have the camera automatically focus for you..... only, it just requires a dedicated person to tell the camera where to focus, or the camera operator has to do it.  

The only problem that solves is if you can't actually pull focus properly, which isn't that difficult a skill to have in most situations.

Of course, if you're a run-n-gun operator then it also means you can't put the weight of the camera into your palm, wrapping your hand around the lens, which is the natural place for a manual focus ring, and steady the camera using the other hand on a hand-grip.  Instead you have to carry the full weight of the camera with the hand-grip hand in order to touch the tiny little screen in the right place with a outstretched finger when you want to pull focus.

Sure, if you're on a tripod then it's relatively easy, but then, so would just turning the focus control on the lens...

It sounds like it solves the easy-to-solve part of focusing and works well when focusing wouldn't be difficult but doesn't help much in situations where focusing is actually more difficult.

I think mostly you guys are missing the point with this tech stuff.  PDAF is great at focusing perfectly, but can't reliably choose what to focus on.  The times when focusing perfectly is difficult for manual focus is when subjects are moving, but that's actually the time when focusing perfectly matters least, because the subject is normally moving in frame and so there will be motion blur with 180 shutter, and often camera movement as well.  TV shows and movies regularly have the focus catch up to the person when they come to a stop after running towards or away from the camera.  

In a way it's actually nice that for fast-paced movement they're in and out of focus for their transition because typically the composition of such a shot is that:

  1. you have the person in focus and their character is focusing on their world and something causes their reaction
  2. the person is now reacting and aren't in focus and their character is in the midst of moving and isn't seeing clearly either
  3. the person comes to a halt and then comes back into focus at the same time as the characters perception comes into focus and they reevaluate their position after having reacted

That's actually a very common shot in narrative because it shows action and re-action, which having a focus puller not do it perfectly actually helps us identify with the character.

I think it's the kind of thing that sounds much more useful in the design room, or lab, or in forums on the internet, than it does in real-life for lots of people.  Sure, it's probably a great feature to have.  But saying that a camera needs it as a feature is just buying into the marketing BS, or showing a lack of understanding about shooting, or both.  

I used to think AF was a must, and I was very vocal online about it too.  But I challenged myself to manually focus and now I enjoy it more, get better results, and it gives me far more flexibility in equipment choice and aesthetic as well.  and I'm just a guy who makes home videos, so if I can manually focus an f0.95 lens, surrounded by the real world where things happen without warning then really there's not much excuse!

I think half the people online talking about AF as a critical feature must be shooting like this....

image.png.07551e905ad6a8100113bf50a4502268.png

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