Framing for 720p motion picture, with a G5 still picture viewfinder?

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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David Ing
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Framing for 720p motion picture, with a G5 still picture viewfinder?
Jan 20, 2013

I recently got a Panasonic G5, and have been wading through the user guide.  There's a lot of features that can be set on the camera!

From previous experience (with an Xacti HD-1010), I prefer to shoot movies as 1280x720p MP4.  This is an high definition format that is reasonable to edit on a PC (e.g. with the Openshot editor on Ubuntu) with reasonable file sizes (i.e. 4GB per hour).  On the G5, 1280x720p is the [HD] setting.  This is an alternative to the 1920x1080p FHD setting (for MP4) and the 1920x1080p FPH, FSH or PSH settings or 1280x720p SH setting (for AVCHD) (page 160 in the Owner's Manual).

At a skating rink, I looked through the viewfinder to frame the shot, and then pressed the Motion Picture button.  I was surprised to see the image reframed as much smaller part of the screen during the recording of the 720p.

I now see (on page 80 of the Owner's Manual), a table of "Types of zooms and recording magnification".


Feature | Optical Zoom | Extended Tele Conversion (EX) | Digital Zoom

Recording magnification | Different depending on the lens used | while taking still pictures: Max 2x (*1); when recording motion pictures: 2.4x (*2) | [2x] [4x]

(*1) When a picture size of [S] (4 M), aspect ratio of 4:3 is selected.  The magnification level differs depending on [Picture Size] and [Aspect Ratio] setting.

(*2) When recording quality setting [PSH], [FSH] or [FHD] is selected.  When [SH] or [HD] is selected, Extended Tele Conversion factor will change to 3.6x.  When [VGA] is selected, Extended Tele Conversion factor will change to 4.8x.


Thus, my conclusion is that when the camera is set for still pictures with a 14mm lens (i.e. 28mm on full frame), the motion picture 1280x720p setting is multiplied 3.6x equivalent to a 50.4mm lens (i.e. 100.8mm on full frame).  If I had used the 1920x1080p setting, this would have been multiplied 2.4x equivalent to a 33.6mm lens (i.e. 67.2mm on full frame).

I appreciate that in motion picture mode, the camera is only using the central part of the sensor.  Of the 16M available (4608x3456) in 4:3 aspect ratio, or the 12M (4608x2592) in 16:9 aspect ratio, the 1920x1080 appears as [EX][S](2M) as the smallest setting in still pictures (on page 149).  A 1280x720p picture size is available only as motion picture, not as a still picture!

Can anyone suggest a setting on the camera so that I can look through the viewfinder in still picture mode, and get at least an approximation of what the framing for a 1280x720p motion picture might be like?  Framing for an 100mm perspective when using a 28mm effective focal length is a challenge!

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