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Gauging the reaction to the Panasonic GH6


Andrew Reid
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11 hours ago, kye said:

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.

Nope, you don’t.

11 hours ago, kye said:

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 didn’t say a camera needed it. We didn’t say it replaced manual focus. But yes, it’s a great feature to have for unrehearsed shooting. It did a much better job than I could have on the fly.

11 hours ago, kye said:

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.

I don’t shoot TV shows or movies with 5+ people on set. I’m just a dude with a camera that enjoys great tracking autofocus. I don’t think it should replace any bodies job in those roles but I want it in my mirrorless camera.

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56 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

Nope, you don’t.

I didn’t say a camera needed it. We didn’t say it replaced manual focus. But yes, it’s a great feature to have for unrehearsed shooting. It did a much better job than I could have on the fly.

I don’t shoot TV shows or movies with 5+ people on set. I’m just a dude with a camera that enjoys great tracking autofocus. I don’t think it should replace any bodies job in those roles but I want it in my mirrorless camera.

How do you hold the camera when you're using touch-AF?  You could hold the camera in your fingers and use your thumb on the touchscreen to focus, but that's not a very ergonomic approach.

Typically the manual focus approach is like the below, only with the bottom hand slid further forwards and the other hand holding the other side of the camera.  The below is a slightly unusual rig, as normally I'd use my left hand to hold the weight and focus and my right on the camera grip.  

IMG_4619.thumb.jpg.9ca773be06b999dbb573dcd604b6b120.jpg

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2 hours ago, kye said:

How do you hold the camera when you're using touch-AF?  You could hold the camera in your fingers and use your thumb on the touchscreen to focus, but that's not a very ergonomic approach.

Typically the manual focus approach is like the below, only with the bottom hand slid further forwards and the other hand holding the other side of the camera.  The below is a slightly unusual rig, as normally I'd use my left hand to hold the weight and focus and my right on the camera grip.  

IMG_4619.thumb.jpg.9ca773be06b999dbb573dcd604b6b120.jpg

You simply use the joystick or virtual joystick to put focus point on target and then press select. You don’t even need to take it down from your face when using EVF.

Also it’s not hard for me to rotate my right hand back on the grip and have my thumb able to tap the screen when it’s folded flat against the body.

That’s a neat little setup, BTW. 

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3 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

You simply use the joystick or virtual joystick to put focus point on target and then press select. You don’t even need to take it down from your face when using EVF.

Also it’s not hard for me to rotate my right hand back on the grip and have my thumb able to tap the screen when it’s folded flat against the body.

I never thought about using the joystick.  I guess you navigate it around and then click it when you want the camera to re-focus?  Once I learned to manually focus and realised I liked the look even more, I got manual lenses and haven't bothered with AF, until recently.

Ironically, since I got the 12-35/2.8 to have an OIS lens with the OG BMPCC, I've started testing the AF-S to get an initial focus before I hit record.  

It's funny because having a wide f2.8 lens is the hardest to manually focus using the tiny screen. Slower lenses are easier to focus because it's not so critical, and faster lenses are easier to focus because it's clearer what's in focus and what isn't because the OOF areas are a lot more OOF.

3 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

That’s a neat little setup, BTW. 

Thanks!  It's tough to make a compact setup that isn't a head-turner in public if you have to have a monitor, but putting it behind the camera on a flash bracket seems to work well.  I think I still prefer the OG BMPCC + 12-35mm f2.8 + Black Promist filter combo.  Still sorting out audio for that setup though, the preamps are... not great.

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19 hours ago, kye said:

I guess you navigate it around and then click it when you want the camera to re-focus?

Navigate it to the subject you want to track, press select, it then tracks a box on the object and maintains continuous focus on it. I then can pretty much concentrate on framing and camera movement. It works well and is nice to have.

 

19 hours ago, kye said:

Still sorting out audio for that setup though, the preamps are... not great.

Why companies don't sell battery grips with features like this is beyond me. Battery grip with extra battery and 32-bit float audio in/out, maybe even wireless option to maintain weather sealing.

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2 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Navigate it to the subject you want to track, press select, it then tracks a box on the object and maintains continuous focus on it. I then can pretty much concentrate on framing and camera movement. It works well and is nice to have.

I was more referring to when you want to change subjects during a shot.  Face-detect-PDAF is pretty good but a lot of what people are shooting isn't covered by that.

Take a common example from my shooting, which was one of my kids playing with a claw-machine during a family trip.  The sequence of the shot was:

  • (focus on kid / mid-following-shot) kid walks up to claw machine, puts token in
  • (focus on kid / push-in-shot by walking forwards) kid starts operating machine and hits the go button
  • (focus on claw / mid-shot) claw goes across and down, picks up toy
  • (focus on kid / reaction-shot) kid looks surprised then goes "yeah"
  • (focus on claw / mid-shot) claw drops toy into slot
  • (focus on kid / mid-shot) kid picks up toy from prize slot
  • (focus on kid / pull-out to kid and family members shot) kid shows toy to family members
  • (focus on family members / pull-out further to group-shot) family members react to kid and cute toy
  • (focus on kids sister / close-shot) sister cuddles very soft and fluffy toy

I did that shot in one take, there was no warning as it started by me following a kid in an arcade armed with a token in their hand, shallow DoF to isolate the background and random strangers (plus the bokeh looks great).

These shots aren't every shot, but they're common and I could easily lose count with these on a typical trip, with many of these per day.

AF isn't even in the same universe as being able to do this, and this is essentially the whole job of what I do.

2 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Why companies don't sell battery grips with features like this is beyond me. Battery grip with extra battery and 32-bit float audio in/out, maybe even wireless option to maintain weather sealing.

I agree.  

One of the challenges is that we, as consumers, are exposed to tech from all sorts of places which is very innovative, and camera companies are essentially companies that made clockwork, and then electrified clockwork products based around disposable chemistry until only decades ago.   The cultural shift for them to start thinking like Apple is radical.  Think about how long it will take for their stills and video departments to get in alignment, when Apple never had separate departments. 

They will continue to release the least innovation and features that the market can bear until they go bankrupt.  That's the consequence of capitalism and the human condition.

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Af - i filmed a wedding for photographer 2 weeks ago (still not much work here so taking whatever is going!). He asked me if a young camerawoman could follow me around and learn how to film weddings. I said no problem. She turned up with a A73 on a gimbal (I pointed out that doing a whole wedding on a gimbal is pointless and torture!) Any way, usual Sony AF is great etc. Half the shots out of focus or the focus all over the place. So as with any tool, it's nice to have but you have to know when and how to use it. As for the aimless floaty gimbal shots...well that's for another day and part of the learning proccess!

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On 7/8/2021 at 12:41 PM, Tim Sewell said:

Having just acquired a Panasonic S1 (with which I have immediately fallen in love) I'm actually quite happy to hear that the AF isn't so good as it means I don't have any urgent reason to buy any of their very expensive native lenses!

Did you try the latest firmware? Big improvement

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On 7/9/2021 at 11:18 PM, kye said:

I was more referring to when you want to change subjects during a shot.  Face-detect-PDAF is pretty good but a lot of what people are shooting isn't covered by that.

Oh, gotcha. In the case you provided MF is the right tool to use. No arguments there.

On 7/10/2021 at 5:38 AM, Thpriest said:

She turned up with a A73 on a gimbal...

Any way, usual Sony AF is great etc. Half the shots out of focus or the focus all over the place.

A7III AF pretty mediocre compared to latest Sony cameras.

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3 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Oh, gotcha. In the case you provided MF is the right tool to use. No arguments there.

I guess the point I'm trying to make, and the one that people just never seem to understand, is that if the AF doesn't know what to focus on then it's useless.

People forget that focusing is more than just aligning the plane of focus with an object in frame.

Sure, face-detect is pretty good these days, and if you're doing an interview shoot with a wider-aperture lens then having it track the person as they lean forward sometimes is great.  But it's the equivalent of having a focus-puller who only knows how to either: focus on the nearest face, or focus on the nearest object.  That would get you fired immediately in that job, and yet, when a camera comes along with that limited skillset, it's red carpet and balloons time because it's problem solved!

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17 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Did you try the latest firmware? Big improvement

Yes. The camera came with 1.7 installed, so quite a big jump. I'm really enjoying having 4K FF 24 / 4K APS-C 60 / 4K APS-C 24 in a row on my custom settings.

On another note, I think this camera is the best I've ever had for manual focus - both the EVF and the LCD (especially the EVF) are easily sharp and bright enough to lock on really easily. I keep punching in to check and discovering that I was already spot-on without!

I'll probably give the 6K a spin next weekend.

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On 5/27/2021 at 7:08 PM, Caleb Genheimer said:

I still don’t understand RED’s stranglehold on the RAW patent bs. Like, it’s a painfully obvious method for compressing RAW, based on already-existing open tech (even when they originally “invented” it.) 

I'm not super familiar with the conflict; what exactly did RED patent about raw compression that's so unassailable by other IP lawyers?

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23 hours ago, Andy Zou said:

I'm not super familiar with the conflict; what exactly did RED patent about raw compression that's so unassailable by other IP lawyers?

I am unsure of the specifics but it is pretty broad. It forced Blackmagic to get rid of compressed CDNG and invent BRAW(which is debayered hence not actually RAW). It also forced Apple to pay fees for their Prores RAW codec. Whatever the patent is, it's effective enough to conquer Apple. 

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6 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

I am unsure of the specifics but it is pretty broad. It forced Blackmagic to get rid of compressed CDNG and invent BRAW(which is debayered hence not actually RAW). It also forced Apple to pay fees for their Prores RAW codec. Whatever the patent is, it's effective enough to conquer Apple. 

Yeah Apple challenged and lost. 

 

So far only Canon can have internal raw due to cross license agreement with RED.. rest of the brand can only do external raw.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Interview with Panasonic.

https://www.cined.com/panasonic-lumix-discussed-an-interview-with-yosuke-yamane-san-about-the-gh5-ii-gh6-and-more/

Like the impression that I've got in the Andrew's inteview with him, looks like no PDAF in the GH6.

"Of course, we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior in terms of subject tracking. On the other hand, as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at.

We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical, so please wait until the day we can provide it."

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