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Just bought a new camera for 2022 - the small but mighty GX85


kye
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So I found lots of older footage shot with the GX85 that I hadn’t used in any other project and I started experimenting a bit with color grading. My main activity is music so I create videos for my music. Normally I have a specific concept for the videos but a lot of times I just want to go out and shoot. So I have a lot of footage that I hadn’t used till now, when the idea came to my mind: I’ll create a series of, let’s say “cinematic ambient” videos, something like an online creative diary of simple moments, walks on the mountain and so on. This is an ongoing project and I’m very excited about it. I’ll use footage, actual field recordings and original minimalistic ambient music atmospheres. Let’s see how it goes! First attempt here, because of the awful YouTube compression better watch it in 4K 😉:

 

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On 12/2/2021 at 1:32 PM, billdoubleu said:

No, I would love to give it a try someday. I'm waiting for one of these Chinese monitor manufacturers to compete with Atomos in the prores recorder space. I'm a horder when it comes to original footage. Even when I put together finished videos I can't seem to let go of the original clips. So, the higher bit rates would bury me in TBs of files in no time.

I will eventually purchase an external monitor either way. I'm a manual focus guy and I find it beyond annoying to nail focus with these puny screens we are supposed to just accept as the standard on mirrorless cameras. I would love to use my phone for this purpose, but that's never as easy as it sounds. Hell, I can't even get the Panasonic app to work with my cameras anymore!

As a side note; the tilt screen on the gx85 is my favorite thing. I can't stand looking off to the side to see my g85 screen.

I'm not optimistic about a Chinese company creating a Prores recorder.  For a start, Prores is licensed, and secondly, the collective "wisdom" (ie, mass delusion) is that the h256 and RAW codecs are the future and that Prores is the past and is no good.  Thirdly, one of the advantages of Prores was that it was a great intermediate codec for editing, but now computers are getting more powerful and so that's less of a concern for things like 4K footage, which the new Macs will eat for breakfast before they've even woken up.

I also like the screen on the GX85, the tilting arrangement is the same as on the XC10, which has some of the nicest ergonomics in any camera ever made I suspect.  It's great for shooting, but less good for selfies, obviously.

On 12/3/2021 at 1:43 AM, John Matthews said:

I have the 20mm 1.7 too. I've always thought the 20mm had a little sharper images, but the slow AF meant it was hit or miss to get the shot in the first place. Not so with the 14mm and I've always found the AF to perform very well (for photos). I'm going to test it out on my E-m1 ii and E-P7 to see if there's really that much difference with my experience on the GX80 in video AF.

For photos, I can tell you that I'm not so worried with using up to ISO 3200. They cleaned up so well with DXO PhotoLab 5 (made my gx80 shots look like ISO 200).

I've also seen some good results from YouTubers on that. Again, curious to see the performance on the E-M1 ii with its PDAF.

I'm curious to hear about how these lenses pair with PDAF, although I suspect that they'll be brilliant.  The focusing speed of these is some of the fastest available, and paired with a camera that can reliably direct it that should be a winning combination.  

6 hours ago, projectwoofer said:

So I found lots of older footage shot with the GX85 that I hadn’t used in any other project and I started experimenting a bit with color grading. My main activity is music so I create videos for my music. Normally I have a specific concept for the videos but a lot of times I just want to go out and shoot. So I have a lot of footage that I hadn’t used till now, when the idea came to my mind: I’ll create a series of, let’s say “cinematic ambient” videos, something like an online creative diary of simple moments, walks on the mountain and so on. This is an ongoing project and I’m very excited about it. I’ll use footage, actual field recordings and original minimalistic ambient music atmospheres. Let’s see how it goes! First attempt here, because of the awful YouTube compression better watch it in 4K 😉:

 

Great stuff!  Both the music and the visuals..  I've written electronic music on and off since 1992 and appreciate the mix.

In terms of the visuals, I'd suggest watching your WB - in some shots the prevalence of green had pushed the neutral colour of the tree trunks towards magenta.  However, instead of correcting that, I'd suggest actually going the other way and accentuating it.

The music suggests a very "other worldly" feel, and it paired wonderfully with a couple of slightly abstract shots (I'm thinking particularly of the shots taken down low with the flowers in silhouette and the town in the background slightly overexposed).  This use of overexposure and pushing the colour balance slightly off is used frequently in movies for places with harsh conditions like deserts or when the sun is too strong etc.  The Chronicles of Riddick comes to mind.

Also, it looks like you shifted to another more vintage lens when the light was getting lower?  or you opened up the aperture, revealing more character.  That also lends itself to the altered state vibe too.  You could even experiment with blurring the edges of the frame slightly and creating your own slight vintage feel.

Keep it up and don't be afraid to push the envelope!

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5 hours ago, kye said:

I'm not optimistic about a Chinese company creating a Prores recorder.  For a start, Prores is licensed, and secondly, the collective "wisdom" (ie, mass delusion) is that the h256 and RAW codecs are the future and that Prores is the past and is no good.  Thirdly, one of the advantages of Prores was that it was a great intermediate codec for editing, but now computers are getting more powerful and so that's less of a concern for things like 4K footage, which the new Macs will eat for breakfast before they've even woken up.

I also like the screen on the GX85, the tilting arrangement is the same as on the XC10, which has some of the nicest ergonomics in any camera ever made I suspect.  It's great for shooting, but less good for selfies, obviously.

I'm curious to hear about how these lenses pair with PDAF, although I suspect that they'll be brilliant.  The focusing speed of these is some of the fastest available, and paired with a camera that can reliably direct it that should be a winning combination.  

Great stuff!  Both the music and the visuals..  I've written electronic music on and off since 1992 and appreciate the mix.

In terms of the visuals, I'd suggest watching your WB - in some shots the prevalence of green had pushed the neutral colour of the tree trunks towards magenta.  However, instead of correcting that, I'd suggest actually going the other way and accentuating it.

The music suggests a very "other worldly" feel, and it paired wonderfully with a couple of slightly abstract shots (I'm thinking particularly of the shots taken down low with the flowers in silhouette and the town in the background slightly overexposed).  This use of overexposure and pushing the colour balance slightly off is used frequently in movies for places with harsh conditions like deserts or when the sun is too strong etc.  The Chronicles of Riddick comes to mind.

Also, it looks like you shifted to another more vintage lens when the light was getting lower?  or you opened up the aperture, revealing more character.  That also lends itself to the altered state vibe too.  You could even experiment with blurring the edges of the frame slightly and creating your own slight vintage feel.

Keep it up and don't be afraid to push the envelope!

Thanks a lot! Yes, on some of the first shots I had by mistake a too cool WB and tried to fix that a bit in post, still not perfect. From the sunny shots onwards I had the correct WB. Duhhh…😁 I think that the lens was mainly the Speedmaster 25mm 0.95 although now that I think about it a few of the sunny shots where with…*drum roll*…the 12-32mm pancake!

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On 12/4/2021 at 7:58 AM, kye said:

I'm curious to hear about how these lenses pair with PDAF, although I suspect that they'll be brilliant.  The focusing speed of these is some of the fastest available, and paired with a camera that can reliably direct it that should be a winning combination.  

In short, it works well on the E-M1 ii with the 14mm and 20mm isn't so great at CAF work, only SAF.

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@projectwoofer i really enjoyed the images and the color palette. Especially liked the shots at 1.04 and the ones right after, great muted tones and lensing. What aperture did you film these with? The Mitakon seems like a winner. I didnt mind some blown highlights, as I really digged the overall palette and mute you achieved. Keep em coming.

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Does anyone have any tips for securely mounting the GX85 to a tripod?

The screw is right at the front of the body, and if I put a tripod plate with a thin rubberised layer on it, the plate just tips up and the plate doesn't get tight, so the camera can rotate loose on the screw.

From the manual, the screw is #40:

image.thumb.png.4fbe8b137f222839daad5cf9eccc9e3c.png

I'd really like to use it with my Peak Design Camera Clip, but that requires a strong mount for the camera.

capture003_38124114342_o_copyb_1024x1024

capture012_38100673656_o_1024x1024.jpg?v

Thanks!

 

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Could be due to your tripod plate. I never had any problems with mounting plates. Still it is a lack in design to only provide one crew hole on hybrid video/photo cams. I really don´t like the mounting experience with my much heavier Lumix S1. Anyway, a cage would provide great mounting strength, but takes away from the graceful appearance and light footrpint of the camera. Maybe check for different plates I would imagine.:)

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:34 AM, PannySVHS said:

@projectwoofer i really enjoyed the images and the color palette. Especially liked the shots at 1.04 and the ones right after, great muted tones and lensing. What aperture did you film these with? The Mitakon seems like a winner. I didnt mind some blown highlights, as I really digged the overall palette and mute you achieved. Keep em coming.

Thank you very much! I just started shooting with a "real" camera (rather than a phone) only back in 2018 so I'm rather new to this whole thing. These shots are back from 2019 and 2020 and I was about to trash them thinking that I've got much better recent shots. But this thread made me think: why not try to do something thith them?

One thing I've noticed is that I really need to do a light denoising with Neat Video before I color grade the footage. With that m43 sensor I can spot the noise (and codec compression artifacts) even on ideal situations contrary to my S5...

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  • 4 months later...

Here is a music video I did with my beautiful GX85.

It now has dethroned my GF1 for photography pleasure, loosended my bonds with my eternally appreciated and now disfunct G6. GX85 earned no1 place in my heart. It was a bit of a way to go for this cam. It has pleased me with nice footage, great personal short cine verité extravaganza, BCam as last resort.. But only until now it has reached my heart completely. It is a true treasure.

The road to love was slippery by the slipperyness of the camerabody, the soon to become disfunct back wheel and the mediocore EVF. But still, it is almost as pretty as the GX7 or my GF1 and it feels good in the hand and now even better in the heart. So enough talking, time to let this camera speak.

Used Fujinon 12mm in 16 to 9 and ind 1:1 4K photo mode, Tokina 25-50 in the mix. Shot in colour and graded with love in BW. 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Here is a music video I did with my beautiful GX85.

It now has dethroned my GF1 for photography pleasure, loosended my bonds with my eternally appreciated and now disfunct G6. GX85 earned no1 place in my heart. It was a bit of a way to go for this cam. It has pleased me with nice footage, great personal short cine verité extravaganza, BCam as last resort.. But only until now it has reached my heart completely. It is a true treasure.

The road to love was slippery by the slipperyness of the camerabody, the soon to become disfunct back wheel and the mediocore EVF. But still, it is almost as pretty as the GX7 or my GF1 and it feels good in the hand and now even better in the heart. So enough talking, time to let this camera speak.

Used Fujinon 12mm in 16 to 9 and ind 1:1 4K photo mode, Tokina 25-50 in the mix. Shot in colour and graded with love in BW. 🙂

 

Love the video! The GX85 is still a little gem. The back wheel failed on mine too a couple of years ago but I sourced the part on eBay and replaced it myself.

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Thanks alot! @projectwoofer 🙂

Recently I bought a LX15 for very cheap. I hoped that the LX15 would be a super compact alternative to the GX85 for video on the road. Videowise it kicks the LX15 in the tush. Codec, color response, dynamic range it is far superiour on the GX85.

The 20MP one inch sensor in the LX15 and RX100 was said to be almost on par with the m43 sensor in the GH4, G7 and GX85. But LX15 quality in video is not close to the GX85.

I have forgotten about the back wheel after a while. The camera is still a joy to use. Swivel screen is also more pleasant to use compared to the much more expensive Lumix S1. So indeed, it is a gem, as you and all the other fans of this little powerhouse are stating. I wish it had an option for zero noise reduction though and a 100mbit codec for HD. The latter one being my ever occuring wish for these Panny 8bit machines.

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  • 2 months later...

Just popped out down the beach and discovered that fashionably late isn't a thing with sunsets.  Good thing I'm not fashionable enough to have been that late, but also not early enough either.

Here are some ungraded frame grabs from the GX85 and Olympus 15mm F8 pancake lens, which fits nicely in the jeans pocket.  @webrunner5 I seem to remember you were keen on this lens?

It sure is sharp and relatively distortion free...  it's just not, well, fast!  

These are 4k grabs, so click on them to see the full quality.

vlcsnap-2022-07-04-18h26m35s463.thumb.jpeg.58134684c1a80e070e086c4614b37bb9.jpeg

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vlcsnap-2022-07-04-18h27m14s111.thumb.jpeg.4bedfb38ce985f1d35a72397ca2839ec.jpeg

vlcsnap-2022-07-04-18h28m13s223.thumb.jpeg.071f407d43fd58dd66ac86f451772b1e.jpeg

vlcsnap-2022-07-04-18h29m24s647.thumb.jpeg.6d93e86978a1fe21ca8038f22ab89751.jpeg

I don't know what ISO the GX85 was at, but the images don't look too bad for F8 and after sunset.

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35 minutes ago, PannySVHS said:

Love the compositions of 3 to 5. Placing actors in them would turn these into a frame of a cinema classic. Though not shot with one of  Hitchcocks focal lengths, as far as i figure, it has a Hitchcockian feel to it. @kye

According to one article it said that Hitchcock preferred 50mm, which on S35 would be ~80mm FF.  The 15mm on the GX85 in 4K mode is about a 2.2x crop factor, so around 33mm equivalent.  

Maybe it's the contrast or the colour perhaps?

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@kye It´s maybe Neo- Hitchock which evokes the master. I get really sucked into the images, due to use of perspective, focal length, how you chose your camera position and angle. It looks meticulously done. I could tell or imagine a story or scene for each of these shots. F.i. shot number five is graphicaly perfect, how the arc gets pulled down from top to toe by the lens and position. It evokes a sense of being there. The perfect example of physical position and optical distance (focal length) and the right choice of subject and framing. Telling filmic space is an art by itself. I don´t want to sound like I know the biggest deal about but a bit I do and a lot I recognize it, when I see it.

The Hitch part would be the loneliness but alos the dreamlike palette, an peaceful setting but also one of the imagination coming true. It looks forecasting and unsettling. No3 f.i. the start of a scene with a downfall of a character to its end, not by its proposal of formal visual parameters but evenmoreso by its suggestive emotional power, which means that formal laws of visuality are applied, just additionally they also connect on a subconcious level. Frame No. 4 just looks out of this world. Love it. Light, time of the day, hues and tones are to the point as well.

Never thought about this lens. It´s fixed focus, right? Very liberating to think of.

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7 hours ago, kye said:

According to one article it said that Hitchcock preferred 50mm, which on S35 would be ~80mm FF.  The 15mm on the GX85 in 4K mode is about a 2.2x crop factor, so around 33mm equivalent.  

Maybe it's the contrast or the colour perhaps?

And... locations to couple and compound the expressionist inorganic elements of the framing from his style without mention your framing itself : )

 

Ah and let's not forget the bird there! LOL :- )

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12 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Yes, I am big on the Olympus 15mm F8 pancake lens. The price is right and like you did you can just stick it in your pocket and not really even notice it. And as you stated it is pretty good output wise if you have enough light. The DOF is pretty good also. 😃

I was surprised that it had enough exposure as I have told myself this is a "outdoors during the day" lens, but on closer inspection I think the ISO was working a bit on the images so it's not the best choice for post-sunset.

One thing that got me a couple of times on the previous shoot (with the GF3) was that putting it into my pocket seems to adjust the focus to the "closed" position and pulling the camera out of my pocket seems to adjust the focus to the 0.3m position, so that's a trap for new players.  Still, when I'm shooting MF with the GH5 focus is always a thing to adjust so I just have to keep that mindset that it's a manual lens and needs to have that attention too.

I am contemplating doing a sharpness test of various cameras and lenses and I think that this lens might actually be in the sweet spot of sharp but not too sharp.  I'm optimistic for that, plus the size is incredibly convenient.

10 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

@kye It´s maybe Neo- Hitchock which evokes the master. I get really sucked into the images, due to use of perspective, focal length, how you chose your camera position and angle. It looks meticulously done. I could tell or imagine a story or scene for each of these shots. F.i. shot number five is graphicaly perfect, how the arc gets pulled down from top to toe by the lens and position. It evokes a sense of being there. The perfect example of physical position and optical distance (focal length) and the right choice of subject and framing. Telling filmic space is an art by itself. I don´t want to sound like I know the biggest deal about but a bit I do and a lot I recognize it, when I see it.

The Hitch part would be the loneliness but alos the dreamlike palette, an peaceful setting but also one of the imagination coming true. It looks forecasting and unsettling. No3 f.i. the start of a scene with a downfall of a character to its end, not by its proposal of formal visual parameters but evenmoreso by its suggestive emotional power, which means that formal laws of visuality are applied, just additionally they also connect on a subconcious level. Frame No. 4 just looks out of this world. Love it. Light, time of the day, hues and tones are to the point as well.

Never thought about this lens. It´s fixed focus, right? Very liberating to think of.

Your analysis is terribly kind in ways that I probably don't deserve, but I'll take it - thanks!!

I like to think I have pretty good composition but to be honest I've been shooting for long enough that I don't really even think about it that much anymore, and my mental effort is more around anticipating what is about to happen.  For example, with the bird shot, I was thinking that:

  • the bird was chasing bugs and spent most of its time off-screen frame-right and down below the edge of the wall
  • if I moved the camera to the right then that's where the sun was setting and the auto-exposure would be slow to react and would clip the sky, which isn't a good look on the GX85 (even in Cine-D)
  • I don't know enough about bird behaviour to read it's body-language so I can't tell what it's doing, plus if it spots a bug then it all changes in an instant
  • I could make a half-decent shot if it darted off frame-right by starting to follow it, stopping short of the clipping point of the camera, letting it leave frame, and then me lingering in an odd composition telling a little story of interaction and abandonment between the bird and the film-maker, but also giving me the opportunity to cut earlier than that and to just have a bird shot without the little drama

Then I just went through the shots in VLC and found a good moment and did a screen grab, based mostly on instinct.

In terms of light - I'm reminded of that old saying in film photography - "F8 and be there" 🙂 

The lens isn't fixed focus, but it might as well be.  It's got a little focus slider on the front that closes a little lens cover, and has stops for infinity and 0.3m (12inches).  You can position it anywhere in-between, but you'd really be guessing...

image.png.47314f53eed04d64a632c30308bb8137.png

Theoretically you could manually focus with it, using peaking or whatever, but the DoF is super deep so it would be difficult to really nail the right distance.  If you set it to 0.3m it certainly blurs the background though.  This is a shot from the GF3 video I filmed the previous day with the lens set at 0.3m:

image.thumb.png.fa6bc539adbba60de7081d16ebc0578b.png

It's got good flaring characteristics too (that's the sun in the background) but isn't so modern that it's clinical.

I shot a few test shots of RAW still images on the GF3 and at 12MP (4K) it was pixel sharp, so it's a pretty decent performer and priced very reasonably (I think) for what you get.

7 hours ago, Emanuel said:

And... locations to couple and compound the expressionist inorganic elements of the framing from his style without mention your framing itself : )

Ah and let's not forget the bird there! LOL :- )

Yeah, I'd be inclined to summarise the shot more like "the shot of the bird flying around" rather than what @PannySVHS said!! 🙂 

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