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Patrick Neary

Footage from the new "GH13"

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Hi-

 

For anyone who's interested, here's a tidbit shot this morning with my "hacked" GH1, the Vimeo version doesn't really do it justice, but here goes:

 

http://www.vimeo.com/12866043

 

I'm kind of surprised at the lack of chatter here about this hack, the quality now coming from this little camera is truly astounding....

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Hi-

 

For anyone who's interested, here's a tidbit shot this morning with my "hacked" GH1, the Vimeo version doesn't really do it justice, but here goes:

 

http://www.vimeo.com/12866043

 

I'm kind of surprised at the lack of chatter here about this hack, the quality now coming from this little camera is truly astounding....

 

yeah, that's pretty exciting, another cheap camera with unreliable firmware that uses still lenses.

 

Does it have peaking and zebras? That, at least, would be something.

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yeah, that's pretty exciting, another cheap camera with unreliable firmware that uses still lenses.

 

Does it have peaking and zebras? That, at least, would be something.

 

Hi-

 

Not to sound defensive about the GH1, but it doesn't have peaking or zebras, it has a histogram, and believe it or not, you can mount PL lenses with a simple, no optics adapter, and add a follow focus and matte box if you like. And a sunglasses holder.

 

Certainly it would be a tough camera to use in a typical production environment (hey, you forgot to add no monitoring and shitty sound, and no xlr connectors, and on and on) but I don't think anyone with a real budget would be ogling the GH1 as an A-Camera- I sure wouldn't. That doesn't mean it might not find a useful place out there in some creative hands.

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I've been shooting like a madman with this thing since the hack, and today was the first time I had a write error, but that was with a very complex (detail-wise) shot, sharp wide angle, moving, with moving leaves and droplets, etc. And then I pulled the card and realized it was only a class4. I'll grab a class 6 or better and shoot some more. I guess you could back down the bit rate, but that seems to defeat the purpose of the hack in the first place, which is to pump more data. Mine seems pretty reliable as it is.

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Okay Patrick, we've both moved on from the ARRI's to the GH1. :D

 

Hacked mine a couple of weeks ago when it all started. Also have the PL mount adapter from Hot Rod, and mated the camera up with my Cooke Speed Panchro set. LOVING IT!

 

I too am using Class 4 cards (thought I do have one Class 10 for emergencies) and so far have had no issues. What settings are you using? I am also using one of the earlier ptools, I think it is like 3.36a. There's been some weird stuff happening with some of the later ptool hacks, so I am a bit hesitant to touch mine.

 

As for what it's used for, I see it as the natural replacement for "indie filmmakers" who would have shot with 16mm film cameras(Bolex, Arriflex 16S, Arriflex 16BL, Eclair NPR, Eclair ACL, and even the Arriflex 16SR). I use mine with a separate audio recorder, and do double system sound with a clapper. Have compared the results of the GH1 with same scene shot in 16mm and with the new hack, I would go with the GH1, which saves on film and processing, as well as being a silent camera.

 

It ain't gonna knock off RED or 35mm film, but you can get very nice footage on a tight budget, that is more than adequate for telling your story and being shown at film festivals.

 

Best,

-Tim

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Okay Patrick, we've both moved on from the ARRI's to the GH1. :D

 

 

not so fast there! I've got 2 features fresh on the boards and am aiming/hoping to do both in S16 (in this case rather than red), for all the usual reasons.

 

I've also been looking at some 35mm ProRes and uncompressed I have here on the mac and the GH1 stuff is easily as sharp and detailed, it just has a different set of artifacts, and the film obviously has a depth and range of color and tonality that's unbeatable.

 

The GH1 though is so small and fun to use (and so much friendlier for vid than the Canons) I would love to do a short or spot with it. I could see it also being a nice companion to Panasonic's AF100 (?) if and when it finally arrives.

 

I used the Ptool 3.6 also, only checking the "compare versions" "24p native" and "C" settings (I'm only shooting the AVCHD/1080/24). It was painful enough just trying to figure out how to get to that point (plus it seems to work) that I don't feel like wading through the trainwreck of information over at DVX to change it again.

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not so fast there! I've got 2 features fresh on the boards and am aiming/hoping to do both in S16 (in this case rather than red), for all the usual reasons.

 

I've also been looking at some 35mm ProRes and uncompressed I have here on the mac and the GH1 stuff is easily as sharp and detailed, it just has a different set of artifacts, and the film obviously has a depth and range of color and tonality that's unbeatable.

 

The GH1 though is so small and fun to use (and so much friendlier for vid than the Canons) I would love to do a short or spot with it. I could see it also being a nice companion to Panasonic's AF100 (?) if and when it finally arrives.

 

I used the Ptool 3.6 also, only checking the "compare versions" "24p native" and "C" settings (I'm only shooting the AVCHD/1080/24). It was painful enough just trying to figure out how to get to that point (plus it seems to work) that I don't feel like wading through the trainwreck of information over at DVX to change it again.

 

Now Patrick, I didn't say it would replace Super 16, but "16mm", though for my purposes it is giving Super 16 a run for the money in the type of applications I am using it for, mostly narrative short work destined for film festival competition.

 

What do you dump it into FCP as? I have been dumping it in as ProRes 422 (HQ) and then de-interlacing it with JES Deinterlacer. Very happy with the results I'm seeing.

 

You are using a later version of 3.36 than I am. My version doesn't have the "compare versions" options. Though we are both shooting with the "C" settings and I have been very happy with the results. I am not using the "24p native" because the clips come into FCP as 23.971 with a field dominance. So it is not true 24P and won't drop into a true 24P timeline in FCP without giving error notices. So I switched back to the 60i setting, and just have to add the JES Deinterlacing step, but it then makes the footage true 24P. This may make absolutely no difference at all, it's just that I don't want to get way down the line on a piece and then try to output it to a particular format where the 23.971 with field dominance will not output properly to a delivery format a client wants. (I'm just hyper paranoid).

 

Best,

-Tim

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I'm just transcoding to AIC (FC Express, *blush*) and obviously there is an issue with the render to 29.97 adding a weird pulldown cadence that shows up as a judder, I need to try again and output 23.98.

 

(and my Ptools version was 3.36, not 3.6, bad typing)

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The GH1 though is so small and fun to use (and so much friendlier for vid than the Canons) I would love to do a short or spot with it. I could see it also being a nice companion to Panasonic's AF100 (?) if and when it finally arrives.

 

I used the Ptool 3.6 also, only checking the "compare versions" "24p native" and "C" settings (I'm only shooting the AVCHD/1080/24).

 

Wait a sec here, how is it more video friendly than the Canons? The GH1 is using h.264 compression, right, just like the Canons? I've been experimenting with the T2i, which uses h.264 compression, but once that stuff has been transcoded to ProRes, I'm getting some outstanding results. Maybe I'm missing something that's come along with the hack you are referring to?

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Wait a sec here, how is it more video friendly than the Canons? The GH1 is using h.264 compression, right, just like the Canons? I've been experimenting with the T2i, which uses h.264 compression, but once that stuff has been transcoded to ProRes, I'm getting some outstanding results. Maybe I'm missing something that's come along with the hack you are referring to?

 

Hi-

 

What I mean is it's much friendlier for me to use, I like the bendy screen and the controls seem more intuitive and easier for shooting video. The only issue might be that it's too small, I manage to press about 7 buttons every time I pick it up. But hey, I like the Canons too...

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Hi-

 

What I mean is it's much friendlier for me to use, I like the bendy screen and the controls seem more intuitive and easier for shooting video. The only issue might be that it's too small, I manage to press about 7 buttons every time I pick it up. But hey, I like the Canons too...

 

Very cool, Patrick. I like that people are embracing these new technologies. I've seen some comparisons between the two cameras and the Panasonic seems to outshine the Canons in certain areas and vice versa. The T2i is too small, too, but when I added the battery grip it really helped a lot. I wish I could afford to shoot S16 on everything but it just isn't practical. Even carrying around my Bolex S16 SBM is a complete pain compared to just whipping out the DSLR. I'm giving serious consideration to shooting a micro-budget feature on the T2i. Once that h.264 material has been transcoded to ProRes, I can see very little to complain about. I suppose Canon and Panasonic are only a matter of months away from addressing some of the video issues these cameras have at present, and then it'll be time to upgrade again. Oh well, it beats going broke trying to shoot film. Not that I wouldn't shoot film if the budget is there because I would, but these new video technologies are making it easier and easier to do serious work at a fraction of the cost, which I think is great.

Edited by Scott Bullock

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Despite any misgivings I have about these cameras, I know that shooting with them is great fun. Car mount? 2 minute set up. Falls off the car at 70mph? Who cares! PA runs to Best Buy and gets another one! (ok, but you know what I mean)

 

I shot a series of national spots for Kraft a few years ago, we shot 35 with Panaflex GIIs and Primos and the usual stuff. There was one shot, overhead about 14' looking straight down on the talent, and if you've ever had to rig one of those beasts with only ladders, a tilt plate and speedrail then you can begin to understand the pain and time involved. Doing the same shot with a Canon or GH1 would be like, broomstick and velcro, moving on!

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Despite any misgivings I have about these cameras, I know that shooting with them is great fun. Car mount? 2 minute set up. Falls off the car at 70mph? Who cares! PA runs to Best Buy and gets another one! (ok, but you know what I mean)

 

I shot a series of national spots for Kraft a few years ago, we shot 35 with Panaflex GIIs and Primos and the usual stuff. There was one shot, overhead about 14' looking straight down on the talent, and if you've ever had to rig one of those beasts with only ladders, a tilt plate and speedrail then you can begin to understand the pain and time involved. Doing the same shot with a Canon or GH1 would be like, broomstick and velcro, moving on!

 

Haha!! Broomstick and Velcro... classic! I don't have a lot of experience with 35mm but quite a bit with 16mm and S16 and sometimes the moves between camera setups is virtually unbearable. I haven't done anything significant with the T2i yet but I'd imagine that's another area where shooting with a DSLR has considerable advantages - setup time. And then, as you alluded to, things like production insurance also weigh in favor of DSLR shooting. Can these cameras render film obsolete now or at some point in the future? Honestly, I don't think so, nor do I think that should be the goal. If a production can sustain everything that comes with shooting film, then by all means, go for it. I'm just ecstatic that these cameras are becoming a legitimate and viable source for image acquisition.

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Wait a sec here, how is it more video friendly than the Canons? The GH1 is using h.264 compression, right, just like the Canons? I've been experimenting with the T2i, which uses h.264 compression, but once that stuff has been transcoded to ProRes, I'm getting some outstanding results. Maybe I'm missing something that's come along with the hack you are referring to?

 

Scott,

 

There's two things for me that make it more "user friendly" for my shooting.

 

First, I can use PL mount glass with the camera by simply attaching an adapter to the front. No need to send the camera off for a major (warranty cancelling) modification to use PL mount cine lenses.

 

Second, the viewfinder. I'm an old timer who loves looking through a viewfinder, especially a viewfinder with diopter adjustments and a viewfinder with focus assist. Never have been comfortable shooting when all I am looking at is a small LCD screen. The GH1's viewfinder is live view all the time, because it really isn't a High Definition Single Lens Reflex (HDSLR) camera. It has the same HDSLR form factor but there is no mirror, and no optical viewfinder (which you can't use on the Canon's when you shoot video anyway). But the electronic viewfinder is crystal clear, you can adjust the diopter for your vision, and with the focus assist, even using a wide angle cine lens it is easy to get tack sharp focus as the focus assist zooms way in to help you focus.

 

Overall, a very user friendly video shooting package.

 

And Patrick, my ptool is 3.36 too, just an earlier version.

 

Best,

-Tim

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Scott,

 

There's two things for me that make it more "user friendly" for my shooting.

 

First, I can use PL mount glass with the camera by simply attaching an adapter to the front. No need to send the camera off for a major (warranty cancelling) modification to use PL mount cine lenses.

 

Second, the viewfinder. I'm an old timer who loves looking through a viewfinder, especially a viewfinder with diopter adjustments and a viewfinder with focus assist. Never have been comfortable shooting when all I am looking at is a small LCD screen. The GH1's viewfinder is live view all the time, because it really isn't a High Definition Single Lens Reflex (HDSLR) camera. It has the same HDSLR form factor but there is no mirror, and no optical viewfinder (which you can't use on the Canon's when you shoot video anyway). But the electronic viewfinder is crystal clear, you can adjust the diopter for your vision, and with the focus assist, even using a wide angle cine lens it is easy to get tack sharp focus as the focus assist zooms way in to help you focus.

 

Overall, a very user friendly video shooting package.

 

And Patrick, my ptool is 3.36 too, just an earlier version.

 

Best,

-Tim

 

Hi Tim,

 

I didn't know those things about the Panasonic. Using PL mount lenses is a decided advantage, as is the viewfinder situation you described. There's no way I'd send off my camera for a PL conversion, although I do know a guy who did that with his 7D.

 

Good info, thanks!

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Hi Tim,

 

I didn't know those things about the Panasonic. Using PL mount lenses is a decided advantage, as is the viewfinder situation you described. There's no way I'd send off my camera for a PL conversion, although I do know a guy who did that with his 7D.

 

Good info, thanks!

Edited by kyle merryman

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Scott,

 

There's two things for me that make it more "user friendly" for my shooting.

 

First, I can use PL mount glass with the camera by simply attaching an adapter to the front. No need to send the camera off for a major (warranty cancelling) modification to use PL mount cine lenses.

 

Second, the viewfinder. I'm an old timer who loves looking through a viewfinder, especially a viewfinder with diopter adjustments and a viewfinder with focus assist. Never have been comfortable shooting when all I am looking at is a small LCD screen. The GH1's viewfinder is live view all the time, because it really isn't a High Definition Single Lens Reflex (HDSLR) camera. It has the same HDSLR form factor but there is no mirror, and no optical viewfinder (which you can't use on the Canon's when you shoot video anyway). But the electronic viewfinder is crystal clear, you can adjust the diopter for your vision, and with the focus assist, even using a wide angle cine lens it is easy to get tack sharp focus as the focus assist zooms way in to help you focus.

 

Overall, a very user friendly video shooting package.

 

And Patrick, my ptool is 3.36 too, just an earlier version.

 

Best,

-Tim

 

 

Tim, i've been considering the perks of the adjustable viewfinder of the panasonic as well

(why Canon won't make such a seemingly easy change for to their viewfinder is beyond me).

 

However, in the end, the over picture quality rules, and from what i've read on these cameras

the Canons win in that regard. how would you go about changing my mind regarding the picture quality?

and even the T2i is 18 mega pixel to the G1's 12. i'm leaning torward the T2i.

 

And Oh, i was told Panasonic is coming out with a new DLSR camera in July?

 

cheers,

 

Kyle

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However, in the end, the over picture quality rules, and from what i've read on these cameras

the Canons win in that regard. how would you go about changing my mind regarding the picture quality?

and even the T2i is 18 mega pixel to the G1's 12. i'm leaning torward the T2i.

 

 

 

Indeed, picture quality rules, but in this case you may be betting on the wrong horse. Don't let the numbers fool you. There are other things in a camera's circuitry that make up for perceived disadvantages, the lower MP count, in this case.

 

All of the Canon cams have sensor line-skipping technology in place for the video display / recording, in order to fit the 18 mp's of info onto 1080, lines or rows of information are dropped before they are displayed or recorded. So one is not getting the full 18 megapixels of info from the (T2i) sensor for video recording (or anywhere close to that, for that matter).

 

It is my understanding that the GH1 does not do line-skipping, but instead it fits the entire 12 mp image on to 1080 by binning individual pixels together, which may be better ultimately --depending on compression used and other variables (hack vs no hack, etc) -- at keeping the video image looking potentially better than if recorded with line-skipping technology. http://www.videomaker.com/community/videonews/tag/gh1/

 

So, if one were to use a camera for video recording mostly, the GH1 and its newer, unannounced sibling, may be the ticket. But, if one plans to use the camera for stills mostly, and the occasional video recording, then the Canons may be a better bet. ;)

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How does it do with regard to rolling shutter and aliasing?

 

P

 

Hi-

 

I'm only trying out the AVCHD 24p "C" settings so far, but my very scientific testing which consists mostly of vague recollections concludes that its much better than the Canons, I ran into some instances in footage of downtown buildings the other day where one building out of the skyline with strong skinny verticals aliased like crazy. I'll upload a clip or two to vimeo today, or maybe some stills here to illustrate.

 

Rolling shutter is effectively gone, or at least minimized greatly from factory settings.

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Coo. I'm interested.

 

Anyone in London got one of these? I may be shooting some DSLR greenscreen tests shortly.

 

P

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