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Peter J DeCrescenzo

Panasonic DMC-GH2 announced at Photokina 2010

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Mr. Bloom's son [grin] has started posting his initial impressions of a GH2 he has on loan from Panasonic.

 

This GH2 is the 2nd copy he's received from them: The first unit was so defective he couldn't shoot with it, and this 2nd camera has a dead pixel on the left side of the frame. Hopefully these were flukes and not an indication of Panasonic quality control going forward!

 

He says a full review will be forthcoming, but so far his impressions of the GH2 are overwhelmingly positive:

http://philipbloom.net/2010/11/21/gh2/

 

Philip used the GH2 & a Voigtlander f0.95 25mm lens to shoot a video of his Mum cooking lunch. Watch the 1080p "HD" version on YouTube:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZaQzb2OjTY

 

Vimeo members can download the less-compressed 1080p original edit:

http://vimeo.com/17062701

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Would quite like to plug one of these into my uncompressed SSD recorder and see what I get.

 

OK, it'd be back to the days of having the recorder slung over your shoulder like a particularly masculine handbag, but hey.

 

P

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This just in (tune in tomorrow for further updates) from Philip's blog:

http://philipbloom.net/2010/11/21/gh2/

 

"... Best of all…I have just checked this…the HDMI out is totally clean, no graphics (unless you want them) and the great thing is you can have as many graphics on the GH2 LCD without affecting the clean HDMI. Once caveat. If you use the EVF it for some reason disrupts the HDMI out if you move your eye away from it. To get round this make sure you disable auto EVF/ LCD switching in the menus and it won't do this…My Marshall says it is outputting 1080i 60i once recording but it certainly looks progressive rather than interlaced. I will connect it up to my Nanoflash tomorrow …we shall see! Great news though as the pre-production version I had two months ago had a record bug and timecode on the HDMI out. I asked Panasonic to remove this as we needed clean HDMI out. I think they may listened to me. Hurrah! ..."

 

 

EDIT 11/22/10: Hold on! "Makoto" comments on Phil's blog (link above):

 

"The HDMI live-view output is not suitable for recording use, using nanoFLASH or Ki pro, Ki pro mini, etc..

You will get one freezing image every 17 seconds.

It happens because of the difference between 60 fps, which is the frame rate at which the sensor reads the light, and 59.94 fps, which is the frame rate of the HDMI output.

This is the explanation I had from Panasonic.

Although you can not use it for recording, I found it great that you can view the recording image at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The most beautiful thing about the new GH2 is that its image sensor reads at 60 fps.

So, the 60i is a real 60(59.94)i and 60p, although at 1280 x 720, is a real 60(59.94)p.

I am sure that you will do the slow motion by converting 60p to 30p soon, and you will see the difference.

The 4/3 image sensor is smaller than EOS’s, but EOS’s image sensor can read only at 30fps."

 

Someone else commented asking what about when the PAL version of the camera is in 50i mode, wouldn't the HDMI output be constant w/o hiccups (although interlaced)?

 

I suspect we'll have further confirmation on all this soon.

 

 

EDIT: 11/23/10: Hunter Richards just received his Japanese NTSC GH2 and reports:

 

"... Regarding the 17 seconds "freeze frame" myth: I don't have an HDMI recorder, but I just did three tests where I did a continuous pan while pixel peeping on a 1080p monitor (via HDMI out) while recording, there are no frame studders anywhere (I recorded for 60 seconds and was scrutinizing the 17 seconds area) looks like its pumping true 23.98 out of the HDMI 4:2:2 with no noticeable compression and no "freeze frames". ..."

 

See:

http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2166751

 

Awaiting further confirmation ...

Edited by Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Hrn, nanoflash, though. That's just "a bit less compressed".

 

Compression is for girls.

 

P

 

PS - Waitaminit. Timecode? Or does he just mean the record duration timer?

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Bloom's site now mentions a 25p mode for the PAL-regions camera. I'm not sure if that's a slip or what, but it doesn't seem to be couched as a big announcement.

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Well, yeah, but if it's a full time 60i output one was always going to have to do a bit of smart decimation to get back to whatever we were shooting, assuming it runs the sensor at 24, 25, 30, or whatever, in progressive modes.

 

Nixing duped frames could trivially be part of that.

 

P

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Curiouser and curiouser: Page 159 in the GH2 user manual (UK English edition; linked to above) says:

 

"... • During [24P CINEMA] and [VARIABLE MOVIE MODE] playback, please set [HDMI MODE] to [AUTO]. For settings other than [AUTO], it cannot output at 24 frames/second. ..."

 

This may explain why some early GH2 users report different live HDMI results, depending on how this feature was set.

 

The above note in the manual was pointed out in a comment on DVXuser:

http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2165945

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This may explain why some early GH2 users report different live HDMI results, depending on how this feature was set.

 

 

This info is coming from an early user forwarded to me from a co-worker of mine:

 

«(...) Well your email prompted me to get up and hook the camera up to the TV again. These are my observations: before recording the HDMI signal is definitely at 1080 and definitely running at 60 cycles per second, it is smooth and fluid and the quality looks great (it looks like 60p but then again so does the 60i...more about that later). When I hit record in 24p cinema mode it slows down to the same 24 fps rate on the screen. Whether it is outputting the same exact 24p on the sensor that is being recorded I don't know, they could be wrapping it in a 60i container like they did with the GH1 but that seems like a lot of trouble to go to for a mode they don't even offer. Now when I switch it to FSH (60i 17 Mbps) the quality goes back to that same great fluid motion I see onscreen, I certainly can't see combing or other nasty interlaced artifacts. When I play the stuff back in FHS mode though the quality does appear to have been compromised, it's not as good as the live feed was, there seems to have been some posterization and generally lower quality. I'm really surprised it's so hard to tell "real" 60i from the "fake" wrapped ones like the GH1 and Sony's have.

 

So to answer your question, it's a definite "maybe", all I can be sure of is that HDMI out in cinema mode is refreshing at 24 fps and at 60 fps on the other modes and that they are all 1080. Hope that helps some

 

R.

 

UPDATE:! I forgot to mention - I tried recording at 720/60 with the HDMI cable connected and it would not let me. I had to disconnect the cable before I was able to access 720 (or mjpeg) on the menu pulldown»

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Beyond everything you can follow up @ dvxuser.com (GH2 official discussion thread; page 212 and following), there's this new report that comes up to my hands tonight through the same via from the same early GH2 user on the HDMI output quality (seen on TV and described as progressive, not recorded though) compared with 1080p24 AVCHD recorded in-camera.

 

«If anything the quality looks a little higher but it's hard to tell a difference. I do know that it is recording in 24p and is sending that out to the TV, otherwise the shutter speed wouldn't be able to go so low. As I said before, the only thing I'm unsure of is whether the camera is putting the 24p out over HDMI in a 60i wrapper or whether it is leaving it as 24p. My guess is that it's leaving it as 24p, otherwise the manual wouldn't tell you to set the HDMI out to "Auto", though in my case I can set the HDMI out to whatever setting I want (auto, 1080i or 720p) and it looks just the same, it's like the camera knows how to negotiate with my TV and ignores whichever settings are in the camera. It also ignores the 4:3 or 16:9 setting, videos always play back at the 16:9 ratio so I'm not sure what's going on with the communication between TV and camera.»

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Immediately I can get my hands on one of these I will put it on an Intensity board, record some output, and really have a good look at what's actually coming out of it. Until then we have variably qualified people speculating on what looks "smooth" or not, and that's not really solid information.

 

P

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I agree. We should know more substantial information once there are already some units floating around. Do not forget this is a consumer product, though. It is natural such kind of user reports. I doubt the conspiracy theories may be true but who knows? Especially now that Jannard announced the replacement of Scarlet for an Epic Light. AF 100 will definitely be a success by itself. No reason to cripple the HDMI output of a harmless $1,000 consumer camera.

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Philip Bloom's second GH2 video using the Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 lens, "Movember Gala Party".

 

His blog post describing it is here:

http://philipbloom.n...7/movembergala/

 

Refer to the Vimeo page for details (watch the "HD" version):

http://vimeo.com/17245744

 

Also available on YouTube (watch the "HD" version on YouTube):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdiZMqhc5Cs&feature=player_embedded

 

Vimeo members can also download the less-compressed, original edited version of the file.

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Hunter Richards has posted a truly useful GH2 vs. hacked GH1 camera test, comparing their video quality & and also preliminary comments about GH2 live HDMI -- all the more impressive because he got out of his sick bed to do it!

 

See:

http://www.dvxuser.c...h13-perspective)

 

Thanks again, Hunter!

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There's some very preliminary GH2 firmware hack news today from Vitaliy Kiselev:

http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2177049

http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2176988

 

But, note this important _caveat_ from Vitaliy here:

http://www.dvxuser.c...ht=#post2177072

 

So, it appears there'll be a bit more of a wait for a hack for the GH2.

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Oh. My. Gosh. :-)

 

I'm not 100% certain, but I believe externally _recordable_ 1080p24 HDMI out of the GH2 has been confirmed. Maybe.

 

Read from this post here:

http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2184540

 

I think this is a big deal, yes? (True, no 1080p25 yet, but perhaps that's only a firmware update away?)

 

Maybe there is a free pony with every GH2 after all?

 

 

EDIT: Um, no. Read the thread linked above for all the gory details, but things are not looking good for recording or capturing GH2 live HDMI output. The HDMI signal is fantastic for live full HD monitoring (including when the camera itself is recording), but it appears to be confirmed that the live HDMI signal is subtlety screwed-up so that it's not suitable for capturing or recording to an external HDMI recorder. Unless someone can figure out a magic fix ...

Edited by Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Hi All:

 

I have a GH2 on order as well and have been monitoring the thread to learn from the pros. I will be a bit like a hog with a wrist watch when I get it: I know it is the pro tool I want to grow with, but I will have a steep growing curve!

 

I hope to do broadcast video with it eventually for a travel program I have written. However, one must have the ability to get one's hands on it in order to use it, so when is the sucker gonna be available in the US? Harumph!

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After waiting since placing an order for one in mid-September, a GH2 was finally shipped to me a few days ago. Woo-hoo. As of today, GH2 cams are almost impossible to obtain in the US unless you buy one from outside the country (Canada, Japan, etc.). The one I finally received was purchased from PanasonicDirect.com (US), but as with all sources for this GH2, availability is sporadic at best.

 

My first impressions are very positive. Since I now have both a GH1 (with hacked firmware) and a new GH2, it's interesting comparing the two.

 

The button placement and menus are slightly different between the 2 cams, which makes it a fun challenge using both. :-)

 

I love that I can shoot with the GH2 in 1080p24 progressive mode f-o-r-e-v-e-r without worrying about the camera crashing, unlike with a hacked GH1 in 1080p24 mode. To my eyes the GH2 recording 1080p24 AVCHD @ 24 megabits/sec looks much better than the GH1's 1080p24 AVCHD @ 24 mbs/s. Even moderately fast-moving scenes look quite good in GH2 recordings. But, sure, you can break the GH2's codec if you push it far enough, but for for a <$1K US cam with a large sensor (plus all its other features), currently the GH2 is a bargain & a great value.

 

The GH2's "Exra Tele Conversion" feature seems genuinely useful, giving a big focal length boost to any lens, with the minimal negative side effect of a very slight increase in noise. I just did some informal night shooting with the GH2, and I was surprised that the ETC footage looks as good as it does. I'll be testing this feature further. Here's a very brief example (details on my Vimeo page):

http://vimeo.com/18001992

 

When I have some GH2 footage worth showing I'll post additional clips to my website.

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