Panasonic DMC-GH2 Review
Video and the GH2 (cont.)
Video Image Quality
One of the issues with all HDSLRs, including the GH2 is aliasing and moiré. The reason for this is that although these cameras all have AA filters on their sensors, they are optimized for high-resolution still images, not ~2MP 1080p video capture. Being a dedicated video camera, the Panasonic AF100 features an AA filter for 1080p but as a result it cannot produce high-resolution stills.The GH2 actually controls moiré very well, much better than some of its competitors. Where moiré is visible at all, it is monochromatic rather than colored, which is far less intrusive.
|Normally, in a scene like this we'd expect to see moiré in the roof tiles, accentuated by the panning of the camera. However, this video shows virtually no moiré, which is impressive from a camera designed first and foremost to capture stills. Usually we would expect to see more moiré from footage captured at 720p compared to 1080 but as you can see, footage from the GH2 in either resolution is impressively clean.|
Anyone familiar with video in DSLRs knows about rolling shutter. Also known as 'jello cam', rolling shutter (where vertical lines appear slanted when the video is panned) is a consequence of how CMOS sensors are designed. Data from the sensor is read out in lines from top to bottom, which means the bottom lines are read later than the top. This is fine for still images, but in video it can result in 'jello cam'. We're pleased to report that although the rolling shutter effect is noticeable when the camera is very rapidly panned from side to side, it is well-controlled and in no way problematic in normal use.The GH2 offers automatic focus during video recording but during our shooting we found that it is hard to get predictable results. Experienced videographers are more likely to focus manually, and fortunately, the GH2 supports a very powerful magnification mode that makes manual focus very easy. If you set the GH2 to MF and use Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds lenses, simply rotating the focus ring on the lens activates a magnified view. With other lenses the magnified view is activated by pressing the adjustment dial inwards. The Panasonic AF100 also features focus aids but they are not as powerful, or as useful as the GH2's magnified view - one area where the GH2 clearly scores points, especially when using older, third-party manual focus lenses via adapters.
Most of Panasonic's Micro Four Third lenses feature Mega O.I.S image stabilization. Whilst we have found this system to be highly effective for still photos, it isn't quite so useful for video footage. It's fine for grab shots and casual shooting, but for critical video work we really would recommend a tripod, or at least some sort of external support. When mounted on a tripod, O.I.S. is best set to "off".
Mega O.I.S 'On'
1920 x 1080, 60i, 20.6MB. Click here to download original .MTS file
|With Mega O.I.S turned 'on', footage is far from completely stable, but compare this clip with the one below - Mega O.I.S has done an extremely good job of reducing the worst of the camera shake. This clip still displays a slightly queasy up/down, left/right 'snaking' but this is partly due to the system's response to the camera being panned. It is interesting to note that this amount of biaxial movement is just enough to show the rolling shutter effect, too.|
Mega O.I.S 'Off'
1920 x 1080, 60i, 12.26MB. Click here to download original .MTS file
|This video was shot handheld using the Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6 at 200mm with Mega O.I.S turned off. If you compare this clip to the one above, you can see how much work the system has to do to stabilise the GH2's video at this focal length. Camera shake is so intense that it renders this clip completely unuseable.|
Moving on to audio, and as far as we're concerned, the GH2's internal stereo microphone is about as good as things get in this type of camera. Professional filmmakers don't tend to bother with internal microphones, but naturally they can come in handy on occasion and the GH2's built-in audio is perfectly acceptable for everyday video shooting and 'grab shots'.
Adding an external microphone to the GH2 is easy via the 2.5mm audio jack. There are plenty of microphones available to fit a 2.5mm jack (and needless to say, Panasonic makes one, the DMW-MS1) but if you already own recording equipment that uses the more standard 3.5mm, you'll need to invest in an adapter.
Something that can be a problem with internal microphones is wind noise in footage shot outdoors. The GH2's inbuilt microphone is very good, but wind noise can be an issue in some situations. Fortunately, the GH2 has an effective wind noise reduction feature for its inbuilt mic.
Wind Cut 'Off'
|1920 x 1080, 60i, 15.06MB. Click here to download original .MTS file|
|The GH2's inbuilt microphone is very good, but wind noise can be an issue, as you can hear in this video clip, shot on a windy (and rainy) day with wind cut turned 'off'.|
Wind Cut 'Standard'
1920 x 1080, 60i, 14.02MB. Click here to download original .MTS file
|With wind cut set to 'standard', the impact of wind noise on the GH2's footage is reduced, as you can hear from this clip.|
Wind Cut 'High'
1920 x 1080, 60i, 15.06MB. Click here to download original .MTS file
|Set to 'high', the GH2's wind cut function is very effective at reducing moderate wind 'boom', whilst letting (most of) the ambient noise through onto the audio soundtrack. It can't work miracles though, and in windy conditions, an external microphone with a physical wind cut filter is far preferable.|
Still on the topic of audio, modern professional audio equipment uses XLR cables and connectors. This is where higher-end video cameras like Panasonic's AF100 shine. Incorporating these big XLR inputs in a small camera like the GH2 just wouldn't be possible. If you want to create perfect sound with the GH2 you'd be well advised to invest at least in an accessory microphone, but ideally an external sound recorder.
Shooting Video with the GH2: ConclusionIn our opinion, the Panasonic Lumic DMC-GH2 defines the current the state-of-the-art for video in DSLRs and interchangeable lens cameras. The large, high-resolution EVF is a big plus compared to some other HDSLRs, and we love the manual focus assist magnification feature. For nature and wildlife filmmakers the ETC (Extra Tele Conversion) function allows long telephoto movies not possible before at this quality, price, size and weight. More fundamentally, at its core the GH2 also features an improved video codec compared to the GH1.
Comparing the GH2 to consumer camcorders at a similar price point is problematic, since the Four Thirds sensor is so large - a fact that has huge implications for image quality and depth of field control. On the other hand, the fact that the GH2 (like all interchangeable lens still cameras) does not feature a motorized zoom or built-in ND filters is relevant, and both omissions might limit its usefulness to serious videographers.
Ultimately, as well as built-in ND filters, we would like the GH3 to feature a swivel EVF with larger magnification, and some better tools (such as a waveform monitor) for controlling exposure. Also, although the GH2's video codec improves on the GH1, there is still room for improvement: 10 bit color depth, higher bit rates and 4:2:2 color compression would be nice, as well as improved continuous AF. Overall though, the GH2 is a big improvement over the GH1, and a major step into the right direction. Putting specification to one side for a moment, it is also a pleasure to use, both as a video and stills camera.
Uwe Steinmuller is a photographer, filmmaker and writer based in California, and is the co-author of Mastering Video with Your DSLR. You can see more of his work at www.outbackphoto.com
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Foggy morning by LassiM|
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.