for handheld video and long lens shooting, GH3 or EM5?

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
amtberg
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Re: for handheld video and long lens shooting, GH3 or EM5?
In reply to OniMirage, Feb 1, 2013

OniMirage wrote:

rbattsall wrote:

OniMirage wrote:

That's a tough one, the codec used in the EM5 for AVCHD is not implemented properly (low bitrate/high quality) so as a result you WILL get muddy frames every so often when using the FINE quality because it simply picks up too much detail between sudden movements. Used in Normal quality the limited bit rate lowers the amount of detail captured BUT allows for much more flexibility during sudden movement as a result.

Allow me to explain further.

The bitrate in the EM5 is set to VBR with a max of 20MB/s. The problem with the EM5 is, it picks up TOO much detail forcing the camera to the far end of the bitrate near 20MB/s at all times. This unfortunately does not give the camera any room to increase the bitrate for sudden movements and WHAM the camera hit its VBR wall of 20MB/s and the codec starts mudding up the details. This can easily be seen shooting drops of water in a pond, only 2 out of the 30 frames, the keyframes, will actually look clean while the rest will be a mixture of ok to horrible and it's simply because the camera has nowhere to go because it has reached its limit.

Normal on the other hand lowers the bitrate somewhat and the compression is slightly higher so there is actually some breathing room for the camera to flex with. This mode is fine for pretty much anything and you would have to try to actually get the mud look to show up. Even still, 720 Fine or Normal would still work better for home video and are virtually impossible to get to show the mud. That's about it really regarding video. You know of the EM5's stabilization, suffice it to say it's alien technology especially for video, nothing like it.

If you planned to shoot a short film you would use the mjpeg modes anyway. I have seen some videos people have recorded using that mode, upscaling to 4k and rendering at 1080p, the camera picks up that much detail and the results are big budget quality. I have done this myself to great effect but the demand for memory is really high.

It's interesting that you have managed to get good footage from the e-m5 despite the poorer codec.

I have the e-m5 and a gh2 and I'm no video expert and perhaps don't notice the differences in some of the codecs but what I do notice is that the 5 axis IBIS is far superior to Panny OIS. I have hand held clips taken with the e-m5 and 45-175 zoomed full in and I have been astonished by the stabilization.

I have previously had bad experiences with the GH2 and 14-140 at a wedding at far wider FOV and it seems the GH3 would be no better as the OIS performance is determined by the lens.

It takes some experimentation, I was trying hard to cause the codec to fail and was only able to consistently get it to mud up with extremely detailed low contrast textures. The water experiment was only done recently and clearly shows what is actually happening as too much detail captured. Moving forward as long as I have the scene in mind that I am going to shoot I can choose between fine and normal and end up with fantastic footage constantly. The difference between 20MB/s and 17MB/s is relatively small but the flex it gives for the camera to capture great quality is unmistakable.

It's really not that hard to get the OMD codec to fail.  Just move the camera.

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