GH2: Choosing recording mode

Started May 12, 2012 | Discussions
elmerlang
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GH2: Choosing recording mode
May 12, 2012

Am very interested in the purchasing the GH2 kit with 14-42 lens, plus the Lumix 20mm f1.7 prime lens.

Can I say, I'm not so crazy about needing the 24fps film look. What kind of quality is the 720p60 and 1080i60 modes, and is there a 1080p60 mode with a hack?

Also, there are a sh*tload of hacks. Down the line, I could see maybe the 44mbps hack, but any opinions on favs that're stable and what makes them so good? Is there any list of hacks and the pros and cons?

Is there a good tutorial for setting up the gh2 for video?

I'm considering purchasing the Light Craft Fader ND Mark II Filter, giving me 2-8 stops of neutral density. Any reason not to or to purchase another?

Any rec on cards for unhacked needs?

Is a uv filter a necessity on top of the nd filter at least for protection?

(I'm coming from a Canon HV20 so some questions may be a bit stupit.)

dezignman
Senior MemberPosts: 1,591
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As far as video...
In reply to elmerlang, May 12, 2012

...this is a great place to start with the hacks:

http://www.dvxuser.com

Just follow the bouncing ball to the GH2 forums for hacks, and other additional interesting information regarding video.

I tried several top rated fader filters and they didn't work out for me. I found them to be unacceptable at longer focal lengths, and they produced color casts. Other people shooting in "normal" viewing love them. It's a great concept and I wanted it to work out, but as I said, it didn't.

Good luck. The GH2 is a great video camera.

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Promit
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Re: GH2: Choosing recording mode
In reply to elmerlang, May 13, 2012

elmerlang wrote:

Can I say, I'm not so crazy about needing the 24fps film look. What kind of quality is the 720p60 and 1080i60 modes, and is there a 1080p60 mode with a hack?

You can hack all of the modes to whatever quality you want, and as of the latest firmware 1080p30 has been added. 1080p60 is not supported sadly, I know a lot of people have it on their GH3 wishlist.

Any rec on cards for unhacked needs?

Pretty much anything Class 10, honestly.

Is a uv filter a necessity on top of the nd filter at least for protection?

That is the subject of much debate. The short answer is UV filters degrade image quality. How much depends on what you buy and how closely you're paying attention and how much you care. Personally I prefer to rely on a hood rather than any filter for protection, and use the ND when I need ND.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: As far as video...
In reply to dezignman, May 13, 2012

Good site, thanks

dezignman wrote:

...this is a great place to start with the hacks:

http://www.dvxuser.com

Just follow the bouncing ball to the GH2 forums for hacks, and other additional interesting information regarding video.

I tried several top rated fader filters and they didn't work out for me. I found them to be unacceptable at longer focal lengths, and they produced color casts. Other people shooting in "normal" viewing love them. It's a great concept and I wanted it to work out, but as I said, it didn't.

Good luck. The GH2 is a great video camera.

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Adventsam
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Re: GH2: Choosing recording mode
In reply to elmerlang, May 13, 2012

720P50/60 is awesome on the GH2 and you will see little difference if you upsample the final o/p to 1080p if you need it.

Fader is good and all you need to know is lock-down your camera for 2x fps(prog) rate so 1/100 say for 720p50 and 1/50 for 1080i.
The 720p can be hacked, I recommend cake 2.3, see http://www.personal-view .

you will yield 44mb in 720p with incredible detail that is superior in 720p to the 5dmk3, seriously!

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jeffharris
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Re: GH2: Choosing recording mode
In reply to elmerlang, May 13, 2012

elmerlang wrote:

Am very interested in the purchasing the GH2 kit with 14-42 lens, plus the Lumix 20mm f1.7 prime lens.

Is there a good tutorial for setting up the gh2 for video?

Yes. EOSHD.com is a video-centric site and has lots of info on the GH2. They also published a video guide for the GH2 in PDF format.
http://www.eoshd.com/gh2-guide-book

I'm considering purchasing the Light Craft Fader ND Mark II Filter, giving me 2-8 stops of neutral density. Any reason not to or to purchase another?

Is a uv filter a necessity on top of the nd filter at least for protection?

No.

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bg2b
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Re: GH2: Choosing recording mode
In reply to elmerlang, May 13, 2012

elmerlang wrote:

I'm considering purchasing the Light Craft Fader ND Mark II Filter, giving me 2-8 stops of neutral density. Any reason not to or to purchase another?

It might be OK, but my experience with a couple of these cheapish faders hasn't been the best. One problem is that despite various claims to the contrary, they often introduce some color cast. This can be fixed using a custom white balance, so it's not too big a deal. The filters generally do odd things when getting into the higher numbers of stops (crosses or other patterns appear), so take the "up to 8 stops" sort of claim with a grain of salt. The other problem I've had is that they've work OK for wide-to-normalish sorts of focal lengths, but have introduced noticeable degradation in IQ from about 50mm up. Maybe a more expensive version would wok better (or maybe the Light Craft is OK), but I've read other people's similar-sounding complaints about even very expensive ones.

I finally decided to bail out on the variable ones and just go with fixed ND filters. For low light, you probably don't want a filter at all, and during the day, something like a 3-stop will get you to a usefully moderate aperture, especially if you're shooting 720p with around a 1/125 shutter.

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elmerlang
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Re: GH2: Choosing recording mode
In reply to bg2b, May 13, 2012

Thanks for all the great responses, I appreciate it very much!!

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Pete Berry
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A couple of interesting points:
In reply to elmerlang, May 13, 2012

First, the Extended Teleconverter (EX) function is quite amazing for video work, as it magnifies by a fixed 2.6X in 1080i mode, and 3.9X in 720p - with absolutely no loss in resolution. Since the FHD format is about 2MP, the full 16MP sensor must be either pixel-binned or dropped to obtain this and maintain full FOV. With the EX function, the sensor is cropped to the unbinned central 16:9 2MP, for lossless mag., and preservation of lens speed. AFAIK, this is a unique feature - one the OM-D lacks.

The real beauty of this is in low light or shallow DOF work with fast primes, where, eg, the little P-L 25mm/1.4 becomes a 65mm/1.4 in 1080, or close to 100mm/1.4 in 720! With the Fn1 button set to call up EX in my custum video setup, it's nothing short of a miracle! And with my "normal" P-L 14-150, I've got a 390-585mm/5.6 lens on the top end for birding.

Second, a relatively unknown fact for low light work is that in Auto-ISO mode, the upper video limit for the unhacked GH2 is 6400, whereas manually 3200 is the max. And 12,800 is reached by dialing exposure comp up to +3 (nothing happens until +2, then three 1/3 step increases to 12,800!). None of this is in the manual, but was found by serandipity. The same for the GH1, but with 1600 manual limit, 3200/6400 max. in auto ISO.

Pete

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