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Old August 25th, 2014, 07:20 AM   #1
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Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I just edited an episode of a recurring show I shot for a pharma company that I have been shooting for the past few years on the Canon 5D MKIII. I love the sharpness of the GH4 footage better but I have to say, I am not liking the colors, especially the skin tones on the GH4 at all. I shot with the Cinelike D setting with the contrast dialed down for maximum DR and I tweaked the shadow detail. My camera is not handy so I cannot check the exact settings right now, but it is a slight modification from the settings the DP for the Budpest video used. The skin tones veer toward orangey with blue overtones and highlights, very unnatural and unflattering looking. I was comparing this show to the last three I shot on the 5D MKIII and the skin tones on the Canon are so much more natural looking.

I have tried Vivid, Natural and Standard too and all seem to exhibit this same weird, unflattering look for people. Am I doing something wrong? I shot black, white and gray cards for interviews and color corrected using FCP's built in three way corrector so I know my colors are "correct". They show up perfect as far as the skin tones on the Vectorscope but man, they just look plasticky, orange and weird. Has anyone coming from the C100/300 and the 5D MKIII noticed this? Is there anything you have tweaked in your settings on the GH4 that gets rid of this look and results in smooth, natural looking skin tones? This could become a deal breaker for me. As much as I hate the aliasing and softness of the 5D MKIII, people look great when I shoot them with the 5D MKIII. WIth the GH4, not so much.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I have noticed this too, I have not had the time to shoot side by side with my gh3 as with that camera I never noticed this issue. Weird thing is I don't always have this problem, sometimes skintones look great, other times not and have not figured out where exactly the problem lies, is it overexposure or wrong whitebalance? Not sure, as soon as I have more time I"m going to delve deeper into this issue
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

Why are there no examples posted of this?
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Old August 26th, 2014, 07:13 AM   #4
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

There's quite a bit of this discussion going on. IMHO it's all due to flattening Cinelike D in camera and then trying to bring it back out with extreme luts.

It's like shooting a cinestyle gamma curve in landscape picture style on a Canon.

I am getting near perfect skin tones in cinelike V with all zero's. The GH4 likes to shoot for your final look in camera much more than the destruction all these "shoot flat and adjust to taste in post" methods are giving.

Cheers,
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

Exactly. You can't fake a log look. The camera either has a log profile or it does not.

CinelikeD if you want to use LUTs or FilmConvert. Set Sharpness to 0 and NR at 0 or below to taste (depending on need and time allowed for a Denoiser pass in post.)

CinelikeV or Natural otherwise, Sharpness and NR down as well, and then Contrast and Saturation set close to the final desired look.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:23 PM   #6
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

My experience with cine-d is that skin tones are more accurate, the issue I"m sometimes having with skintones is when I shoot in the standard preset.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 07:06 AM   #7
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

So CinelikeD and Standard are both the best for skintones and the worst for skintones. Hmmm.

Sounds like no one is bothering to manually white balance or color correct their footage to me.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I did not find the time to look further into it but I did shoot a small test (both camera's had the same whitebalance) with cine-d and standard preset and all values set to "0" and the skintones in cine-d looked more natural to me, I even asked my wife, without telling which image had which preset and without hesitation she pointed at the cine-d shot saying it looked more natural.

I"d like to compare more with my gh3 to see if there is really a difference in the standard presets on both camera as that is what I always shoot at. I used cine-d once in a personal project. Maybe I"m imagining things but as soon as I started shooting with the gh4 I noticed something was "off" and especially on skintones, something I have not noticed before on my gh3.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I would still like to see some actual examples of this.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

no can do, those are test images from my wife and no way you are getting those for your own viewing pleasure :)
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:34 PM   #11
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I had same skin tone issues on occasion from my GH2.

What seemed to make the largest difference to me was the lens I used. My Olympus 12-60mm gave me best skin tones outdoors by far and was my fav lens next to the 12mm F/2.0.

Overall I do not miss the numerous issues I had with changing lenses and with weird color issues I had with my GH2s. Different lenses definitely render colors differently and gave me fits on numerous occasions.

I learned that Tamron lenses were the worst for me indoors, Sigmas likewise were unpredictable, the panny 20mm F/1.7 also seemed to perform stangely at times, being much too warm for me indoors in dimly lit venues, but not always. It was weird. The 25mm F/1.4 produced very nice images but at random venues it seemed a bit flat at times (so it seemed). I always color balanced but it seemed at times that nothing I did would work. Other times it seemed everything was perfect. Go figure.
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Old August 28th, 2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I think Pete nails it above. That is exactly what I did, utilized Cinelike D with a very flat profile and messed with the S curve. I think that setting is fine for landscapes but I think that is why I am getting such funky, unnatural skintones. I am going to try Natural, I like it better than Standard and I may try Cinelike V although when I cycle through it in interviews, Cinelike V always looks too contrasty.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

Been experiencing same orange skin tones in CinelikeD as well (Natural seems to have it too). I've been able to mostly fix it with manual white balance and setting the Hue to +2. Still a little orange but much better, getting real good at secondary corrections now.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 12:31 PM   #14
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

I use Cine-D in the GH4, I've noticed that REDs turn out ORANGE, regardless of what profile settings I've applied or saturation applied in post.

Does anyone have the "ideal" settings for the GH4. I'm used to Canon EOS cameras, where the color rendering in video is the same as what I see.
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Old July 24th, 2016, 07:28 AM   #15
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Re: Weird Skin Tones from the GH4?

Cinelike D definitely doesn't give nice skin tones. It doesn't matter whether or not you grade in Resolve, or in Cine Convert in Resolve or else. With Cinelike you do start with wrong skin tone and that 8 bit 4:2: 0 codec doesnt' have the power to recover.
As somebody mentioned it above, with this kind of cam try to get the look as closely as you can in cam.
It's not a red shooting raw, it's a 100mbs mirrorless with a m43 sensor and a shitty color space for work in post
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