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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old May 15th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #106
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Let's say of course any camera can be used to produce good results. And ultimately you use the best that you can get your hands on.

Now - to the GH1. Yes if finally has some features needed for easier video work in a DSLR (like manual control and a moveable LCD screen). But if the codec condemns the camera to 720P aren't there three other DSLRs out there with 720P that all cost half of what the GH1 does? Is the GH1 really such a great deal? To be correct the GH1 has a larger sensor than most video cameras but it's not much bigger than any of the much cheaper competition and it's no where near the size of the 5DMKII which also delivers 1080P with outstanding quality.

The recap:
Nikon D90 - 720p and 24P but codec isn't perfect and the jello effect is pretty bad.
Nikon D5000 - 720P and 24P plus the moveable LCD feature. Did Nikon fix the jello and skew in this revision? We'll have to see. Same codec from the D90 so no upgrade there. Rumors are Nikon is going to offer full manual control in video mode for both the D5000 and the D90 but I haven't heard that this is for sure.

Canon Rebel T1i (500D) 720P and 24P plus the always fun 1080P 20fps mode that nobody knows exactly what to do with. The codec appears to be the same outstanding h.264 version from the 5DMKII that runs at over twice the data rate of what the GH1 has offered. So it's sold. No major upgrades in video features like the moveable LCD or manual modes.

Canon 5DMKII - 1080P 30fps. Codec is pretty amazing. It blows away HDV & even pushes the Sony EX1 despite being half the price. Full frame sensor with incredible low-light ability. BUT no 24P (the holy grail) and no manual control (but using a manual nikon lens the experts here at DVInfo have cracked the auto modes to find some fairly easy ways to lock in your shutter and then have full ability to adjust the ISO with the exposure compensation wheel.)

So for me the GH1 isn't blowing me away. It has a lot of the ergonomics that I want but 720P and a struggling 1080P doesn't seem worth paying double for it. Why not suffer with auto-mode tricks and get the Canon T1i (500D) at HALF the price of the GH1?

The 5DMKii, despite it's well know work-arounds, clearly produces the better image. For now I'm waiting and using the 5D because both Canon and Nikon have only released the cheap end of their products. Somewhere out there is a $1500 Nikon and a $1500 Canon. Plus I wouldn't be surprised to see some offerings from both of them in the $6-$7k range that really kick ass with video. And of course Red has gone back into the bunker to re-create Scarlet once again - only this time they're not forecasting what's changing. I know I love working with Red video in RAW from a quality perspective. Talk about no compromises in compression quality plus when you need speed you can always edit with the proxies instead of processing all of your clips.

A great time to be alive in video, but the GH1 isn't the home-run for me.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #107
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Loaded 720p60 into FCP Viewer and added 5 Markers: 1 2 3 4 5

Dropped into 720p24 Timeline.

Exactly as I expected, 2 frames showed-up in the Timeline.

I expected 2-3 pulldown would put frames 1 and 3 in the Timeline. But, frames 1 and 4 moved -- so 3-2 pulldown was used by FCP.

When I exported to 720p60, 5 frames came -- as expected -- from the 2.

These were created using 2-3 pulldown.

I also counted out 60 frames and dropped them into the Timeline where they became 24 frames.

The 24p looked fine when played.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 11:15 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Gene Hoffman View Post
This whole conversation is based on reviewing footage, not the specs. I don't care at all what the specs are as long as the footage looks good. It could be 2 megabits and if the footage rocks, who cares. This conversation is based on the fact that with our eyes we have observed that the 1080p footage is surprisingly fragile.



Because the codec quality (and thus the footage quality) doesn't hold a candle to consumer cameras far below the GH1's price point.



Yes, people use the HV30 for outstanding stuff- because the footage is outstandingly clear for a consumer HDV camera. People outfit them with all sorts of stuff to make the rest of the camera more like what the GH1 has, but it works and looks great because the codec (and thus, footage quality) is outstanding.

This thread has basically turned into an agreement that:
1) The GH1 is outstanding feature-wise for the price.
2) The codec is not ideal and will make many kinds of shots difficult or impossible to reliably capture.
3) If that doesn't bother you, fantastic.

Also, holy crap, ya'll are acting like I'm talking about your first born child or something. It's a camera for crap's sake.

-M
Gene,

If the GH1's codec is poor at 1080, How would the GH1 then stack up with its competitors at the same price bracket. I guess the ones most suited to compare them would be the Sony 520 (I think that's the model no.) and the canon hf-s10/100? As far as price goes, this is the market the GH1 seems to be playing. Will the Sony and Canon version hold up to your candle standards as far as codecs go?

We also seem to be forgetting our history and it just happened about 3-4 years ago. When the FX1 came out and the first amazing HC-1, we've had lots of complaints about low light, slow start up, color, etc. But I didn't see people not taking up the camera.

Remember too, that most people don't use 24p. Especially us here in Asia, 24p is an anachronism. Call us "tasteless" but hey, that's how it goes. I can dig the 720 60p and you seem to always gloss over it as if it does not exist. And for all intents and purposes, as far displaying goes unless you probably hit 42" or more, you wouldn't notice the difference.

As far as my clients go, we still deliver at SD/DVD. To me, at least, 720p is plenty already for my target clients. And even if they go HD, 720p is still HD and still acceptable. So if only codec is an issue, I see no problem using 720 60p instead of 1024 24p, w/c we don't use anyway. We could probably use 1080 30p. Why the GH1 does not have it, I cannot guess. If they can do a firmware upgrade and put it there, I will be thankful.

We also seem to be forgetting that this is the first release of a hybrid camera. I suspect that the venus engine (there's two of them used if I am not mistaken) is still lacking and that could maybe explain the codec issues you mentioned at 1080p. For a first release, it's pretty solid.

If I were an indie, hell, indies in the past have done well with the vx-2000, or gs-400, or even lesser cameras. Some have gone to the FX-1, and even the HC series. Don't tell me the issue that concerns people there look is poor codec. In the bigger scheme of things, people are looking at other issues than the poor codec, w/c, if it is that important to you, you can always go to 720p.

Most of the time, whether you are an indie or an events shooter like me, the issue is noise. How to get clean shots in low light. The other issue, even for events shooters is how to get shallow DOF for isolation. I believe the GH1 more than passes this with flying colors. Codec is the least of the concerns. And again, nothing that 720p can't address easily. It's not as debilitating as having only 1/4 sensor, or noisy images.


Finally, if "if it's jst a camera for crap's sake," why even bother with the minutest detail of compression and make a big fuss out of it? I do respect your ipinion and your POV, but when someone tries too hard to point out one glaring fault as if it is a show stopper (w/c it isn't for most of us and can be overcome), to the exclusion of other positive qualities of an equipment, I get suspicious. Especially when the equipment isn't compared properly with those of the same price bracket.

If history is any indication, like the HC1, the FX1, etc that came before it, the GH1 will be a glaring success. The market will vote with their wallets and not see the codec issue you aggressively try to spin out.

Perhaps in the GH2, your concerns will be addressed. But for me, for a first release, the GH1 is one fantastic and amazing camera. Events shooters and indie shooters will have a field day with this camera, in spite of your protestations. :-) What you consider a major problem is a pimple of an inconvenience in some other people's universe. ;)
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Old May 15th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #109
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DANG!!! I love that last post. Two thumbs up Mr. Enriquez!!!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Enriquez View Post
Finally, if "if it's jst a camera for crap's sake," why even bother with the minutest detail of compression and make a big fuss out of it?
Mel,
It sounds like you haven't seen the footage. I know it sounds like I'm being ridiculously picky, but when you see the 1080 footage (like the people walking city streets in Japan) you'll go "oh." It really is poor, and the quality of the compression is MUCH worse than the cameras you suggest I compare it to. In fact, I and others in this thread HAVE compared it to those cameras, and it is significantly worse.

Honestly, all you angry people must not have read the actual thread, because you keep bringing things up that have already been addressed.

And, for like the fifth time, I want as much as anyone here to love this camera, I WILL VERY LIKELY BUY ONE for the things it does well. I am just let down by some of it's shortcomings, which are real whether people want to admit it or not.

-M
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Old May 16th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Enriquez View Post

Most of the time, whether you are an indie or an events shooter like me, the issue is noise. How to get clean shots in low light. The other issue, even for events shooters is how to get shallow DOF for isolation. I believe the GH1 more than passes this with flying colors. Codec is the least of the concerns. And again, nothing that 720p can't address easily. It's not as debilitating as having only 1/4 sensor, or noisy images.
Absolutely. One of the main reasons many people are turning to these cameras are their sensor sizes. Over here, for the cost of a GH1, I could (for only a negligible sum more) get myself a new HVX200A from overseas.

It's a pretty tough offer to pass up, but I think I am going to go for the GH1. I've had enough of all these 1/3 cameras and systems. It just drives me insane thinking about the minute size of these sensors, their terrible ability to receive and decode information from light sources accurately, deep dof, bad latitude, CCD flare, noise etc.

I frankly do not care that the GH1 has an inferior codec, or it looks like a consumer camera, or many of its other minor drawbacks. A lot of people are very grateful for RED, and what they are doing to shake the industry apart (finally). It seems like the DSLR revolution in cameras has now been brought to the video world by a relatively new and unknown company, and until I can get my mitts on a Scarlet, I would rather spit in the face of the Panasonic video department and help them hurry things along a bit by NOT investing in outdated hardware.


Oh, and thanks Steev, your response has helped me understand how I can tackle this new issue of 60p/24p
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:59 AM   #112
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Well I was all set to get one, just about to preorder one until I look at some raw footage, and man it is so dissapointing, both 720 and 1080, the camera has everything I wanted, full manual , auto focus, small and cheap, but any wide angle shots with details looks bad, trees leaves turns muddy, stair steps on any lines, about the only good shots are tight shots with shalow DOF and most 1/3 chips camera will look good too if you can zoom in and have shalow DOF. You guys should download raw footage and look at it on your HD MONITOR and not just look at Vimeo or You tube stuff on you computer screen, heck my cheap Canon HV20 that I use as a playback deck and vacation camera only is clearly superior minus shalow DOF because of the ovious smaller chip, and so I will wait until maybe they have a GH1 pro coming out of the pro division, of fix the low bitrate or missing B frame or whatever or when Canon have a articulated screen and full manual, or maybe the new Pentax K-7, but man the GH1 was so close.
BTW I don't want to sound like I'm bashing the camera, I think you guys should download raw footage and judge it on your HD monitor first before making a decision, like I said I was ready to preorder on with more and better lens but can't justify shooting tight shot all the time.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Gene Hoffman View Post
Mel,
It sounds like you haven't seen the footage. I know it sounds like I'm being ridiculously picky, but when you see the 1080 footage (like the people walking city streets in Japan) you'll go "oh." It really is poor, and the quality of the compression is MUCH worse than the cameras you suggest I compare it to. In fact, I and others in this thread HAVE compared it to those cameras, and it is significantly worse.

Honestly, all you angry people must not have read the actual thread, because you keep bringing things up that have already been addressed.

And, for like the fifth time, I want as much as anyone here to love this camera, I WILL VERY LIKELY BUY ONE for the things it does well. I am just let down by some of it's shortcomings, which are real whether people want to admit it or not.

-M
The issues of the codec breaking in 1908/24p is knwon...just like there have been issues with other cams. Now that we know this exist we can work around it. The image (when not broken) is a great looking image....even in 720p. Go to watch imress and look at some of their latest footage in 1080p. Looks like any other sharp camera out on the market. Some of them are shot while on a train mind you and others are panned on a tripod. No real degradation there.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #114
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I'm helping some people with a little GH1 project right now. Shooting 1920x1080. So far every image looks fantastic.

The secret is to set up your shots and operate competently. You pay for it if you shoot 'garbage cam' style, worse than with some other formats.

On the other hand, the pay-off for shooting competently is great. The camera makes amazing visuals, has full manual control, a huge assortment of compatible lenses and an incredibly small/lightweight footprint.

I.

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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:04 PM   #115
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1) because this is a CMOS based camera, the longest shutter open time is the inter-sample interval. So, at 60p, these times are 1/60th. Try to set a longer shutter=speed, at theframe rate falls. So, you can't set anything less than a 1/60th. This will have an impact on the look of 60p to 24p.

2) if you use 60p to 30p or 50p to 25p, you'll have better results because the shutter-speed will be correct. You also, on video, get the eye-tracking strobing artifact as you get from film in a theater. (But, you do not get from 24fps on video because of pull-down.) So, it's likely 60p to 30p or 50p to 25p will look more filmic than 60p to 24p.

3) One negative of the GH1 -- its use of AVCHD. On OS X applications AVCHD is converted to AIC or PRORES 422 which takes a long time, takes lots of space, and does nothing in terms of quality. A camera that uses H.264/AVC can be edited natively and yet has no less quality than does AVCHD.

4) High data rate Motion JPEG has a similar advantage. (However, some Apple products crash with the 40Mbps files.)

5) The lack of power-zoom is also a real problem because zoom ring is not EZ when shooting off tripod.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; May 17th, 2009 at 12:46 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
3) One negative of the GH1 -- its use of AVCHD. On OS X applications AVCHD is converted to AIC or PRORES 422 which takes a long time, takes lots of space, and does nothing in terms of quality. A camera that uses H.264/AVC can be edited natively and yet has no less quality than does AVCHD.
What do you mean ? AVCHD is H.264/AVC.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #117
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I think maybe he's talking AVC Intra as compared to AVCHD (the former being the professional codec while the latter consumer).
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #118
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I'm sure he’s talking about the H.264 you get from Sanyo’s camcorder verses AVCHD camcorders.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #119
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The camera may "not have been what you had hoped" but remember there are always other alternatives such as this one

PANASONIC HPX2000PAC-CAN1 AJ-HPX2000 CANON 16X 2EX LENS - eBay (item 260326569133 end time Jun-01-09 16:27:12 PDT)

Premium quality things will always come at a premium price, whether most can afford it or not, this is how it has always been for thousands of years in every culture.

I think for most all things, comparing the price to anything else on the market at that price, the GH1 will be better or very similar in quality in most every area then other examples in that price range.

I will probably get one myself because it has the features (short dof, manual controls) and quality as good or better than any of the probably 10 or so older sd and hd video cameras I have had over the last 20 years. But it will never look as good as say the camera in the above link (if being technically exact in a scientific comparison), I would not be reasonable if I expected it to even come that close for a $1500 price tag.

There will always be a list of things I may wish the GH1 may be better in, but it is what it is for only $1500 and that is that. If I want to spend $50,000 on the above link camera I am sure I could find many things about that cam that I wish were better too if I was exact about it.

There is no such thing as a perfect camera or even a perfect monitor to view the footage on, both will always wish they were as crisp as reality but will always fall short in some area, that is why reality will always be so much better, and its free too.

Off to the park now, going to test out my 120 million rod, night vision, dual cam with unlimited recording capacity setup.

Eye Facts

Bye bye.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #120
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That read was interesting and an eyeful. :)
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