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Andrew Reid

Shootout reveals Panasonic GH2 resolution at Canon C300 level

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Mr Philip Bloom of Richmond has done a revealing comparison shot of the Canon C300 versus Panasonic GH2 with hack and Driftwood’s high bitrate patch. You can watch the test above but I recommend downloading the file (as a Vimeo Plus member) and watching it on TV for best quality.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/6681/shootout-reveals-panasonic-gh2-resolution-at-canon-c300-level/"]Read full article[/url]

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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
Had my GH2 a few weeks (Had a GH1 before it) it is exceptional an that video was no surprise, but I do feel the low light wont quite walk over the other DSLR's (sensitivity in ISO levels are much darker than GH1 I thought). I love the iNTRA patches but they punish you with alot with grain if you underexpose in low light situations, but maybe I just need faster primes!
1DX for me will nuke C300's low light and it has an intra codec to boot (o ye and its half the price) surely Canon know this and will handicap it for video.

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I hope you post the following parts with your commentary.

I'm considering buying the GH2 over the 5N however, there are a few factors that is bugging me
1 is the build quality of the GH2, its doesn't feel right in my hands whereas the 5N does
2 in Bloom's video, he mentions that you could only record a few seconds with the hack set at its highest due to the memory cards which does raise some questions about its practicability.

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You can record long clips with the hack, you just need to take the bitrate down from 176Mbit to something more reasonable like 88 or 44. You can still use AVCHD Intra mode but making that long-GOP again saves you a lot of card space. So it is not black & white with the hack - you set it up according to the needs of the shoot. Large AVCHD files can span by the way.

Regarding low light the GH2 is pretty special I feel, but yes there are situations where it falls down. First you NEED fast glass on the GH2 because boosting an under exposed image in post doesn't work well with the GH2. Second you should use a 1/25 shutter and increase the ISO to get the exposure, if you think that lowering the ISO and boosting the brightness in post works well with the GH2 you are in for a surprise - a well exposed low light shot at F1.4 ISO 1600 will look far better than an under exposed shot at ISO 640 and boosted in post.

This is down to the way CMOS works and applies to a lot of cameras, it is just that the GH2 doesn't hold onto as much data in the lows (dark areas, shadows, low contrast greys) as others - it is more biased toward mids and highs, which you notice more with the ISO boosted... The extra noise at ISO 1600 is worth it if it allows you to avoid under exposure. The noise with the hack has a lovely fine grain, looks far better than on the 5D Mark II.

And don't forget the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95... How many other cameras can you shoot at F0.95 with (and still have manageable DOF)

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If you want to see a real world application of the Driftwood 176Mbit hack check out my video on youtube:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSEe_Aumezo#ws]Big Dawg & Carlos Cavazo - GH2 Driftwood Hack Test part 1[/url]

Understand that 176Mbit is not stable, but results the best footage possible.  I agree with Andrew, for stable footage you can go with 44, 66, 88Mbits and get great results.  I am actually using Driftwood's 100Mbit and it's not far off from the 176Mbit, and it has spanning too! 

The other thing is lenses make a huge difference too.  If you use crap lenses, no hack can help.  Great lenses = great results.  Good luck!

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This is why I'm here almost everyday, reading the article write by Andrew. My intention is not to replace Andrew's words with mine, but I think the challenge here is to change people's mind. Is hard, but someone must do it.

The most majority of wannabe-filmmakers believes in what industry tells them: "You need too much stuff, and so expensive, to be creative and be what you want to become". It's a silly (but logical) manifesto for an industry that is often run more by mere economic instances than artistic or whatever may be.

People must believe (yes, almost in a mystical sense) that making cinema today is really possible. You must learn a lot, practice till consume yourself, be brave, persistent and, of course, have some talent. But referring to the last term (talent), who says that it is absolutely impossible "build" a personal talent?

As Andrew said about another question, it's not black & white. Never! There's an infinite number of shades. It's up to you, me, everyone. If you really think it's all bullshit, never mind. Step down and be quiet. Kubrick used to say something similar as well: "when I started, the industry considered me as a prodigy, just because no one believed it was possible shooting a film out of Hollywood", and went on saying: "I think today filmmaking is changing. Everyone who wants to make a movie, and is very persistent, can do it. Make as more money as you can and go shooting!". I suppose the call was about stop complaining and start to do what you have to do.

Few weeks ago I interviewed the director Jean-Jacque Annaud, and talk with him about this matters. He told me that when he started was hard: too much stuff to carry, no distributors who could easily watch your works et cetera. "Today?", he said, "a mobile phone and a good story it's enough to start".

Yes, there's a lot of people out there, because you're not the only one who has more opportunities. But that also means you can realize something special with few things. I know it could sound too obvious, but the most important thing you need is motivation. I'm just looking at it and I've already learned this lesson. Then we can talk about GH2, C300 and other interesting details about cinematography, and thank Andrew for his indefatigable work. But then... not before.

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I also have a Canon 5D but I usually use the GH2, mostly because of the size, it can fit anywhere, whereas you have to be prepared for the Canon5D and its much larger accessories. That's something that's overlooked.

Andrew, about the 5D's organic look, do you think getting a few special lenses would give that organic look? such as the new 25mm f1.4. Or what about getting a EOS to m4/3rds adapter and putting a 85mm f1.2 on the GH2

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Here is a good example of what you're talking about when discussing "pro gear": the biggest issue with the C300 is the codec (only 8-bit 422), and you know why it can't do anything better? because its amazing video processor (Digic DV III) is a 3 years old chip that you can find in $300 consumer video cameras nowadays, that's why !!
[url=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-R200-Camcorder-Slots/dp/B004HW7EAG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1323517397&sr=8-4]http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-R200-Camcorder-Slots/dp/B004HW7EAG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1323517397&sr=8-4[/url]
50 times cheaper, and the brain is exactly the same (of course, images won't)

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I just watched the video and I was shocked by gh2 resolution :| but it's true that the image looks more digital compared to the others big three (of course)

At this point it all comes down to how the new processor on the next Canons will perform, it will of course decided by Canon if they want to destroy the GH2 or cripple them to protect the c300.

BTW the Sony 5n aliasing was just HORRIBLE

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[quote author=sandro link=topic=105.msg968#msg968 date=1325177114]
BTW the Sony 5n aliasing was just HORRIBLE
[/quote]

mind you: there was a post error on the 5N footage, he's corrected it and uploaded the video again; it looks much better now (still some minor moire, but the huge aliasing is gone)
[url=https://twitter.com/#!/PhilipBloom/status/153041592918351872]https://twitter.com/#!/PhilipBloom/status/153041592918351872[/url]

for the size and the price, the 5N seems to be a real beast - shame it's either NTSC or PAL, otherwise I'd have switched already

@EOSHD: with the 5N results corrected, could you add the 5N and D7000 to your six-stills sharpness comparison in this article?

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Couple of things to remember:

#1.  Doesn't seem like Philip Bloom is using Seaquake settings - imo (still testing) this is the highest quality available (someone correct me if I am wrong) from the GH2.  Seaquake pretty much requires the 95mb/s SD cards from Sandisk - costs more but adorama and bh are having lots of sales on these cards.  Philip mentioned that his cards were having trouble with the hack - that is an obvious sign he isnt using Seaquake or a faster card.  Not saying that his settings are not great....but they are not "the best" imo.

#2.  I doubt Philip will test this but running Seaquake because it has GOP1 helps with slow motion tremendously.  Though having more frames obviously helps (I don't care for 720p - rather shoot everything at 1080 myself), slowing down 24p GOP1 is MUCH smoother (using Adobe time warp) with the GH2 vs a Canon 7D or Canon 5DMK2 - thought the Sony does a great job because it can shoot 60p at 1080 however.

#3.  The "digital" look that people seem to mention with the GH2 is BS.  Seaquake settings have FAR fewer pixelation problems - especially with skin tones and high detail macro - vs a Sony 5n or similar Canon DSLR.  People often see "lots of depth of field" and confuse this with "digital" because of the smaller 2x crop of the micro four thirds sensor.  IMO shooting with longer lenses - Leica 90mm, Zeiss 100mm etc - (yes you will have to stand back more) creates VERY cinematic images.  Even the Voigtlander 25mm F.95 can look cinemtatic (F2.0 onwards because vignetting is bothersome below that imo) when used up close.

Watch this guys video for an example:

[url=http://vimeo.com/28454865]A Journey Through Vietnam[/url]

Cheers and happy new year!

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[quote author=Sara link=topic=105.msg1006#msg1006 date=1325454167]
#3.  The "digital" look that people seem to mention with the GH2 is BS.  Seaquake settings have FAR fewer pixelation problems - especially with skin tones and high detail macro - vs a Sony 5n or similar Canon DSLR.  People often see "lots of depth of field" and confuse this with "digital" because of the smaller 2x crop of the micro four thirds sensor.  IMO shooting with longer lenses - Leica 90mm, Zeiss 100mm etc - (yes you will have to stand back more) creates VERY cinematic images.  Even the Voigtlander 25mm F.95 can look cinemtatic (F2.0 onwards because vignetting is bothersome below that imo) when used up close.

Watch this guys video for an example:

[url=http://vimeo.com/28454865]A Journey Through Vietnam[/url]

Cheers and happy new year!
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I checked out the video but was a little confused - I thought you had linked it as an example of how the Voigtlander combined with SeaQuake reduced the digital look. So I asked Leon Visser which hack he used and he explained he hadn't used one at all.

In any case, it's really enjoyable footage and a good example of how the Voigtlander can be used well but I figured I would mention the clarification, just in case anyone else got confused, too. :)

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