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GH4 12fps RAW video.

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I've been playing with the GH4 today in RAW stills burst mode. My workflow needs some refinement to get the motion blur looking more regular, but I actually quite like the filmic staccato of 12fps. The image quality is insanely nice though:

 

 

Note: Plus members can download the original Prores LT file on Vimeo. I REALLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS - motion looks much worse when streamed.

 

Vimeo blurb below:

 

First test of using GH4 in RAW stills burst mode to make video. 

RAW stills converted to ProRes 444HQ and slowed to 50% in 24p FCPX timeline. Graded in FCPX and some grain applied. Also used REVisionEffects' RSMB to add motion blur as most of this was shot with a very high shutter speed. This has caused some unpleasant motion artefacts here and there. The final shot in the video (of blowing leaves and cars) used a 180 degree shutter in-camera (1/25s) and looks better I think. I will try using that setting for my next attempt. Rolling shutter looks quite severe. The GH4 buffer can only do about 40 frames in raw burst mode, so you can't really get longer than a 3 second clip. My card is a Sandisk 95MB/s U1 - I don't know if a faster card would do better.

I actually really like the 12fps look, particularly when used with film grain and the really bold colours you can get from raw. I like the excessive motion blur. I think if you avoid severe camera movement so as not to draw attention to the rolling shutter and low frame rate, it can look very filmic. Obviously this can't be used for everything but with some refinement I think I will be using it a fair bit. If you like the 12fps look (12fps is right on the border of human perception of individual frames - I think this makes it rather interesting) and can live with the short burst times, there are a lot of good reasons to try this out. Yet another great thing about the awesome GH4. 

Check our blog for further testing of this mode: lintelfilms.co.uk/blog/

Note: I tried using 'optical flow' (FCPX's version of Twixtor) to create 'real' 24fps, but it was a mess, with lots of the usual warping around movement (even though I used a very fast shutter speed). 

Music by Chris Zabriskie.

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Thanks. I really like it too. 

 

I'm quite surprised more people haven't posted a response. I thought people would either hate it or love it ... or at least want to discuss the 'look' and whether it works or not.

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I think if you're after that kind of look the h264 should work out just fine. Record with a totally off white balance and play with curves, no need to deal with all those raw files.

 

You're kidding right? Have you downloaded the prores file? There is no way in hell you can pull those colours from h264 anything ...

 

And you can't do 12fps in video mode either ...  :P

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Thanks Matt!  I'm interested enough for 10 people ;)  How long will it shoot continuously?  @araucaria if ONLY there was a thumbs down button! :)  I cannot match the footage from my GM1, no matter how hard I try, to match the tonal feel of Blackmagic RAW.  I'd love see  you do more of this Matt!  

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Wish there was a Thumb Down button too!

I think this is a very cool concept to be honest. And it looks like something we should discover more and use in the correct places. I've seen someone do it before in an attempt to get 4K out of the 1DX (but that thing is maniac shoots 12fps with full mirror and shutter slaps), this is a much easier and more rational way to do it!

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Thanks Matt!  I'm interested enough for 10 people ;)  How long will it shoot continuously?  @araucaria if ONLY there was a thumbs down button! :)  I cannot match the footage from my GM1, no matter how hard I try, to match the tonal feel of Blackmagic RAW.  I'd love see  you do more of this Matt!  

 

Thanks Max :)

 

It only shoots 12fps for about 40 frames, so just over 3 seconds. It's no magic lantern hack but I like it a lot. The RAW files can be dropped straight into FCPX (or any NLE I assume) and I'm currently testing just grading them direct on the timeline using an adjustment layer, with mixed results so far.

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Wish there was a Thumb Down button too!

I think this is a very cool concept to be honest. And it looks like something we should discover more and use in the correct places. I've seen someone do it before in an attempt to get 4K out of the 1DX (but that thing is maniac shoots 12fps with full mirror and shutter slaps), this is a much easier and more rational way to do it!

 

Yeah it's definitely not for everything, but I think it gives an interesting emotional effect.

 

I've set the GH4 shutter button to shoot stills when half-depressed, so with electronic shutter it's completely silent. 

 

It's also an interesting tool for getting better low light performance from the GH4. The RAW files are significantly less noisy than 4K, and of course shooting at 12fps with a 180 shutter you get an extra stop of light than at 24fps 180.

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It is also a way to shoot 5k video with full sensor (wider image). Should be very nice for landscape panning or fast moving cloud shots. If using JPGs the recording time is no issue and when downsampling to 3840 the IQ is much better than with normal 4k.

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It is also a way to shoot 5k video with full sensor (wider image). If using JPGs the recording time is no issue and when downsampling to 3840 the IQ is much better than with normal 4k.

 

Yes I just realised this this morning! Full sensor 5K - amazing. It all depends if you like the 12fps whether this means anything to you though.

 

I thought you said on Vimeo that JPEG quality was very similar to 4K in your tests?

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I thought you said on Vimeo that JPEG quality was very similar to 4K in your tests?

 

Yes it is. If you downscale those JPG photos 4.6k to 3.8k the IQ is much better than 4k video. If you speed up some landscape or city lights video it is not looking odd.

 

Have you seen my tests?

 

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54879969

 

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54879969

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Thanks for the test. It looks great.

 

Have you tried Twixtor to see if it interpolates the moves to make it smoother (if you want to have that option)?

So if this works out to be a feasible approach for 4K video, you get a bit higher than 4K resolution, right? and then you can do in the box zoom in and pan a bit for 4K delivery?

I think the advantage is having a 4:4:4 RGB domain rather than 4:2:0 YUV for video. Once the firmware update for sensor output through HDMI to an uncompressed recorder is released, it will be worthwhile to compare the two footage.

Did you compare side by side the dynamic range and colour information in the dark and super bright areas to see to have good examples for the amount of improvements you can achieve?

 

Cheers.

 

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I have not tested this JPG 12 fps very seriously. I found that the OIS in photo mode dont let to pan smoothly, it "glues" the image still and I always shoot handheld. I think that 4k and JPG has the same dyn range and image properties. I doubt if the GH4 JPG photo is 4:4:4 because it is worse than max quality JPG from RAW. 

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I have not tested this JPG 12 fps very seriously. I found that the OIS in photo mode dont let to pan smoothly, it "glues" the image still and I always shoot handheld. I think that 4k and JPG has the same dyn range and image properties. I doubt if the GH4 JPG photo is 4:4:4 because it is worse than max quality JPG from RAW. 

No I don't see any point in doing this if you don't shoot 12fps RAW.

If you want to persevere with the IOS problem, ReVision's RSMB does a damn good job of adding motion blur in post. 

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Thanks for the test. It looks great.

 

Have you tried Twixtor to see if it interpolates the moves to make it smoother (if you want to have that option)?

So if this works out to be a feasible approach for 4K video, you get a bit higher than 4K resolution, right? and then you can do in the box zoom in and pan a bit for 4K delivery?

I think the advantage is having a 4:4:4 RGB domain rather than 4:2:0 YUV for video. Once the firmware update for sensor output through HDMI to an uncompressed recorder is released, it will be worthwhile to compare the two footage.

Did you compare side by side the dynamic range and colour information in the dark and super bright areas to see to have good examples for the amount of improvements you can achieve?

 

Cheers.

 

​Thanks. Yes I tried FCPX's Optical Flow (same as Twixtor - see end of my original post). It didn't give good results but I only tried it once.

I'm not very into doing technical tests too much. I trust my eyes to see the image improvements, which are obvious in the RAW footage (in particular the colour information is a vast improvement, as is shadow noise). The organic look of RAW I think suits the low frame rate too - quite filmic in a home-movie sort of way.

What is the firmware update you are talking about? I've heard rumours of RAW-out via HDMI, but didn't think it had been confirmed? You can do 10-bit 422 already.

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The other thing I realised is you can also have global shutter with this 12fps approach. My test above used the electronic shutter, but I think the GH4 does 12fps RAW with mechanical shutter as well. My first test with this didn't come out so well ... I'm waiting for a U3 SD card to arrive before I test it again.

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