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Panasonic GH4 user films, tests, reviews and opinions


Andrew Reid
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Hello, 

 

I have been testing GH4 for a few days and am quite mixed in my conclusions.

Firstly, 4k is really time consuming to edit and if you don't have a >1000€, at least, graphic card, you'll be in real pain to edit it even with a very good computer that seems ready for 4k. Needless to say the price of the last mac pro is quite expensive too.

Secondly, shooting 4k to get the best 1080p is really fun when you look at the results, but isn't it a bit tricky?

 

Thirdly, what the F... are we still doing with .H264 compression? It is a dull nasty compression even in 422 and WE DON'T LIKE IT ! There are better codecs ready for the 4k, waiting to be put into the last DSLRs to come and asked by the whole film industry (BBC for example) to make 4k light and easy to see AND edit.

 

 

Fourthly, picture is beautifull, crisp and stellar in video, but... crisp is the word, crisp everywhere, on the center, the border, I really have to open to f1.4 to get a real bokeh and softness in the compositions of my shots. Which leads me to say that Focus is not as precise as with a full frame camera AND leads to a camera that gives you video images, but no real cinema quality. It remembers me ot camcorders (there I said it). So yes, you can produce out of focus in post prod so easily that this comment can be seen as pure nerd attitude, but let me explain.
At full aperture, nearly all lenses are in their most flaws everywhere (even professionnal expensive primes of every companies), focus, color franging, flairs, distorsion, as an effect it can be good sometimes, but to create soft focus, bokeh etc, I like not to shoot too much in my limited field of full aperture. And this camera makes you shoot too often with all the flaws of your even great lenses to produce images you would get at f2 or f2.8 with a full frame without any flaws to correct in post or even worst flaws you could not take off as soft corners or soft focus lightened with color franging (so beautiful 70's pron italian style, ahahahah! ).
 

Last but not least, I am very happy to see better still quality pictures in the gh4 than in the preceeding gh, but as a professional I still think that Panasonic stills are pure crapp comparing to other brand for 1/2 (to be nice) the price in still cameras. For example, a fuji x20 really does way better and that's where I say, hey ! HOLD ON ! 1700€ for this????!!!! It has a lot of qualities, for sure, but has anyone really seen its flaws they are nearly as big !!!! Moire can still appear (yes anyone who says the contrary really didn't test it that well), and rolling shutter has simply no improovements.

 

Don't consider this as a denial of the groundbreaking camera that gh4 is, I simply felt the need to say hold on, some better things, more adapted to filming in the same range of price might come very soon as this one makes a wow effect, it might not last in the long terms of its use.

 

Of course, I stay very enthousiastic using GH4, needless to say. ;-)

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While testing focus peaking I shot this with Cinelike D and used settings I find I like very much. Contrary to quite a few I left NR  at 0. All other settings are in the description.

 

This video looks somewhat flat and a little blurry to my old eyes. Is it meant to show that focus peaking works, or doesn't work? And is there a special reason you leave noise reduction at factory setting (0)? Does it give you better results than turning it down and using Neat Video? 

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The good thing about this camera is that it is flexible. You can mount native mft lenses on it or you can use a speed booster with other lenses to get a super 35 look. And if you want it to look softer there are ways to do it with filters or post production. Personally, I don't understand what all the fuss is. No one looks at an IMAX or RED film and goes "woah this is so sharp it looks like a video"

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@jonpais

Thanks for your appreciation ! ;-) 

I hope to shoot with my D800 hacked for my next shoot, I still am testing it and it feels really great. For 4K I hope to find something else than gh4 or nikon or black magic.

It could be a sony or a canon. 
Why?  And this could explain the main adavantages of sony and canon in the dslr industry.
 

Considering moire or not, rolling shutter or not there is a tool that is forgotten too often, it is real color calibration while shooting like the one from canon with their picture style, the one we could create presets with on our computers and log it on the camera to go on field with our "color madness","absolute neutrality", "cheap yellowish style" or "deep blue drama queen" picture style. 
I had a Canon 550D (it is no more, I sanked it in the ocean falling in the sea at the end of a shooting, it was the abolute not to do thing, I was pissed off, but it was a great fun at the same time, great shooting and the movies in the sd card were intact, so lucky...), the picture style was making this camera nearly perfect, even with all its flaws and blurry 1080p. This is what gives you the opportunity to render a professional look out of the box, to see, while/before shooting, if it gets right the color you want or if you'll just fall down on your edit with a too pretentious color correction. 

I had the pleasure of making my own profiles and it made me learn a lot on color in digital filming. Sony also starts to ship dslr that can preset logs (A7s ?) and it is the soul of a strong identity on your project. It is the y key to having a look and a personnal touch, it is the way to tell a story from the first to the last image.

None of any others DSLRs are made with this. That's why in my opinion (and you don't need to think the same way) CANON really understood DSLR filmmaking from the start and still do. You put it in Panasonic, in nikon, in Black magic (if it works or if you find a way to buy one without waiting 2 years) and you create canon killers, otherwise, people will just go on with canon, even if its blurry looking, even with rolling shutter, even with 1080P only, even whith too high pirces. It s the only thing I miss on my D800 and it is a huge miss. 

 

So, my next camera should have this with outstanding 1080P or decent 4k. And as much as I loved the GH4 (so tiny for so much quality is what comes to my mind to resume it ), I still long for my old 550D picture style that you can find in all canon DLSRs.

;-)

 

 

 

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@Tusoli Are these picture styles something that were developed by Canon, or by users? And how does something like this differ from 'pretentious color correction'? Are you saying that these looks couldn't be created in post? And in what way is color correction pretentious? Finally, could you elaborate on how being able to personalize picture styles means that Canon understood DSLR filmmaking more than either Sony or Panasonic? This seems like a bit of an overstatement to me. If Panasonic did offer a camera without moire, rolling shutter, personalized picture styles, and something other than h.264, would they then be more deserving of your respect? Do you think another manufacturer will get there before Panasonic? Because, from everything I've seen, read and heard so far is that Canon isn't planning on delivering on the video features we want below the $10,000 price point. While it's abundantly clear that Panasonic has been listening...

 

/edit/ since you've already sort of dismissed BM

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This video looks somewhat flat and a little blurry to my old eyes. Is it meant to show that focus peaking works, or doesn't work? And is there a special reason you leave noise reduction at factory setting (0)? Does it give you better results than turning it down and using Neat Video? 

 

I agree that some of the shots' focus isn't optimal. Like I say in the description everything is shot "blind" with only the focus peaking to guide my focusing. Since I havn't had that before it took some experimenting and only in post did I see what was working and what didn't.

 

As for the NR I guess I as much as everyone else is still in the process of experimenting with different settings. I find that I really like the "noise structure" that I get leaving NR at 0 in the Cinelike D when capturing in 4k and cropping it down to 1080p. I think it leaves some camera-noise that mimics filmgrain. Thats also the reason I don't use Neat in this video because I want the look it has now. Thats the look of this video but not necessary the next one.

 

It's an interesting camera no doubt! Cheers :-)

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@jonpais

 

both picture styles developped by canon and/or users allow you to go way further in your color correction in post production. It allows you to adjust your scene and angles to your color desire for post production and thus gives you more color integrity from one shot to another because you see it work while doing it.

That is what can be as close as professional filmaking. The aptitude to put a log (or a lut for canon Raw) in the camera is even much more efficient. Without it you might have a bit too much differences from one shot another and will loose the few dynamic range you have left from H264 to adjust your shots before laying your real color correction. Not so many projects require heavy color correction  for tv or shows but a filmick look  for cinema, tv commercials or serials is always kind of heavy. That's why a good neutral style (for example) helps you to get back the more dynamic range from what your camera is capable of. This is a thing you can achieve, on a lot of cameras, but the few DSLRs that can use log, lut or color profiles precisely made it efficient (and not just pushing down contrast and gama in the camera's menu), these few cameras really help to get the most neutral preset and effective to edit color in your movie and with another picture style make you preview in some test what is possible to achieve with their files and what will fall appart in post production.

So, yes the color correction stays in post production, but you can concieve it before on the most efficient way with this tool and most of the time you can even tweak your picture to get the most your sensor could get for it to be done well.

And I think that's a pitty that such nice sensors as Panasonic can't benefit from similar tools, as, for me, since the gh2, they have been on top of what DSLRs could expect for home-made filmmaking with real ambitions. 

That's much more a frustrating comparision point than a real flaw, I admit it, a flaw would be it not working or not concievable with these cameras. The frustration comes when you clearly see that panasonic, nikon, etc could provide such a color profile tool, but they simply don't. And taking pictures is about color, isn't it?

 

Blackmagic, is much more a personnal experience for me, if you like them, then that's good but until now my experience with them show that they are not reliable enough to prepare profesionnal projects on their products.

Blackmagic are good cameras nearly professional broadcasting tools for 1/5 the price, at least, wich is fantastic when they work fine, but their distibution was so hazardous since the beginning, their distributors spent so much money taking the orders for a long period of waiting line, it did put so many people in danger financially for small structures (distributors and projects waiting to get it, just remember how they promised delivery dates for some pre ordering people that never touched them in time), this really has been the weirdest thing I have ever seen since  a long time in this domain. I waited to be able to get one for one year and I have been working with their other products for post production on many times, if it works that's terrific, if it crashes you're out alone in the desert facing your black magic equipment. The after sale service is simply not ready yet to deal with their amount of buyers. That's why for me blackmagic, until now cannot be taken seriously, their design and effectivness are great but only as long as they work. When they don't, compare to panasonic, sony, nikon, canon, you're done.

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And to answer your question, if panasonic would provide a color profile calibration tool for their cameras, they wouldn't earn my respect (as they allready earn it since a long time ago, I shoot with one gh2 hacked as B camera for my D800 and use GH2 on all my macros and close-up that need perfect details), but they would earn my absolut admiration. ;-)

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Hi there. Sorry to bother you all but since this is a forum specifically for GH4 users, I figured it would be ok if i posted this here. I bought GH4 and metabones nikon to m43 speed booster a while ago, and I've been having a hard time figuring out if there is something wrong with my speed booster. i hope somebody who has the same speedbooster can help me.


I'll just copy/paste the email i already sent to metabones with no luck. Some Chinese guy answered me, terrible English, I mean it's not my native tongue either, but I find the answer:" Hi, pls send booster here, we fix, it need to setting again, we send back ASAP", unacceptable from such manufacturer. Here's my email:


Hello, I recently purchased Nikon G to micro four thirds speed booster for my Panasonic GH4, and after 3 days of usage I encountered two, I think, quirks. Maybe it's a design flaw or camera's fault, but here's what happened:


a) sometimes when I turn the camera on, it won't let me set the shutter speed higher than 1/250th. I have to pull out the battery and put it back in, in order for it to let me go past 1/250th. Is that as designed or is it some kind of flaw?


when I set my aperture to F on the speed booster and want to stop it down a little, there is a small delay when I turn it from "F" to "1". What I mean by that is that the aperture blades won't move until I'd almost reach the "1" value. Only after I've turned about 1/3 of the distance from "F" to "1", the aperture blades start to close. Again - is that as designed or is something wrong with my speed booster?


Thank you for your time and support.



I would really appreciate if you shared with your info since im kinda desperate because im a student and that speedbooster didnt come cheap, especially in Europe. im really trying to figure out if somethings wrong with my unit or not. Thanks in advance.

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Recently came across this

 

 

 

Camera : Panasonic GH4
Lens : SLR Magic 35 t/1.4
LUT : Impulz LUT (kodak Vision3 50D 5203) // Visioncolor Osiris m31 LUT
Cinema 4K 4096 x 2160
Picture Profile : Cinelook D
Grain : Filmconvert super 16mm (cinema 4k is roughly around the same size as super 16mm so I use grain of that size to bring me closer to the look of true film)

 

Looks very pretty :)

 

You should check out the guy's other stuff too. It appears that before he had the GH4, he was using the

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I've been going insane the past few days. When I viewed the clips from the GH4 on the 1080p timeline in FCPX, all I could see was horrible moire, aliasing and noise. That was until I realized it was because I hadn't rendered the files. This evening, I had the chance to see the video as it should be seen for the first time, and it was incredible! The colors are so much truer than the GH3 - somewhat similar to what I recall with my GM1 - but without all the moire and aliasing. with sharpening set at -4, I see much less haloing effect than I did with the GH3, and there seems to be less banding as well. Skin tones are much, much nicer than with the GH3, and what you see on the greatly improved monitor is what you get when clips are imported into the timeline. The ability to view the image in B&W with peaking makes focussing a much less arduous task, though I'll have to practice with this a bit. I mostly use manual focusing, but occasionally I hit the AF icon on the monitor. I wish there was some way to move this icon to the left of the screen, but I believe it's not possible. I've already programmed two of the function buttons for B&W and peaking, so I can toggle them on and off. Even with the peaking set on high sensitivity, occasionally the green (or blue) can be overwhelming. I find the new button to prevent changing the mode dial on the top of the camera a practically worthless feature - I'd have rather seen Panasonic do something about the dials at front and back: I'm always inadvertently changing the shutter speed. I believe it's possible to set the camera so both dials are inoperable, but I only want to disable one of them. Perhaps a piece of duct tape? Until a friend arrives from the States next week with the 64GB Transcend class 3 card, I've been using the SanDisk Extreme Class 1 45MB/s card without incident. Since I'm shooting C4K, I'm also going to have to eventually decide on a wide angle lens, since I don't think the 12-35mm is going to be wide enough any longer. If any readers are living in Vietnam, I'm unloading my GH3 body for just $600 USD!

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Can I ask how easy it was to work with the anamorphic adapter? And if you think it was worth it?

 

Do you feel like it actually added anything to the image? I mean you could have just filmed the same subjects but wider on Cine4k, and added black bars.

 

Oval shaped bokeh and horizontal light probably doesn't add that much feeling to the image doesn't it?

 

I want my short films I'm planning on making to look cinematic, but not really seeing the benefit of using an adapter like that? (Trying to keep costs low, but if it truly does help then it's probably worth the money).

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