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View Full Version : Am I too stupid or is there a bug in the codec?



ThomasS
06-06-2009, 02:11 PM
When I received my GH1 last thursday, I was very happy - this camery was litttle, neat and offered me all manual controls ever needed, plus an excellent image stabilizer in the stock lens.
But after shooting some test clips, disillusion came: Low light performance with the stock lens is pretty bad. As soon as you zoom over 14mm, f4 goodbye! On portrait focal lenghts 35-50mm you have at least f5 to f5.6, one stop less.
Cranking up the ISO to 1600 shows horrible color blotches and banding (see screen capture). The banding is on constant columns, so with small panning, it shows up even worse.
Even on smaller ISOs, e.g. skin tones become very unnatural (see http://vimeo.com/5035691, NOT due to vimeo recompression, already in the MTS file)

But the biggest problem is, the camera skips frames (see http://vimeo.com/5035635, starts at 5sec and then continues through the entire clip) and this is not a matter of the SDHC-card (I used a Sandisk Extreme III, class 6, rated 20MB/s read and write), as I shot about 100 clips with it, and a handful of the total show these effects.

Do I do something terribly wrong, is my copy of the camera defective or has this product a severe problem?

Thomas

Park Edwards
06-06-2009, 02:20 PM
your camera is skipping frames because you're not removing pulldown properly.

ThomasS
06-06-2009, 02:22 PM
It is a PAL version, so I assumed, there's no pulldown removal necessary !? And it only shows up in 5 of about 100 files?

Abstract Photog
06-06-2009, 02:34 PM
i dont think that screen grabs all that bad for ISO 1600.
and for low light...go get your self a nice prime + adapter and shoot your
heart out. for what it is, and what it can do the kit lens is pretty cool.

weird that its dropping frames though. thats the first iv heard of it.

Jean Dantes
06-06-2009, 02:40 PM
It is a PAL version, so I assumed, there's no pulldown removal necessary !? And it only shows up in 5 of about 100 files?

That's really strange mate. And you're right, PAL requires no pulldown removal.

John Caballero
06-06-2009, 02:49 PM
For interior shots you get yourself a nice lighting kit and light up the place for proper shooting. That is for pro work. Anything else get a video light and put it on top of the camera the good old fashion way. Skipping frames? Well there must be something going on with your cam as you are the first one to report the problem.

Isaac_Brody
06-06-2009, 03:36 PM
Are the frames skipped in your original footage? Or on vimeo? Vimeo converts everything to 24P, even if it's 30P so everything ends up getting skewered. If you upload the original MTS it might be easier to check if it's something software related. How are you importing your footage?

ThomasS
06-06-2009, 03:41 PM
The frames are skipped in the original footage. Even when playing back on the camera display. And it's 25p, as it is the PAL version, so I'd expect constant frame dropping throughout the cilp. But the cli - as well as the other corrupt ones - show this at random times with a random number of dropped frames (up to 5 I counted).

squig
06-06-2009, 04:06 PM
upload a source file to megaupload for the lads to have a look at

squig
06-06-2009, 04:07 PM
and as Isaac asked what software are you using?

PappasArts
06-06-2009, 04:11 PM
Why is it that the Phil Bloom material exhibits the least artifact issues?

I have his 1080P from Texas, then two other pieces he shot in 1080P converted to 720P, and they're better as in artifact/codec issue's then any of GH1 footage I have, seen.

Earlier I was on the Phone with Elton and we discussed this, and I was made aware of the 60i version of the GH1's may be inferior do do the encoding vs the Pal50i encoding.

Is this true?



.

squig
06-06-2009, 04:27 PM
well it's less data to encode. bloom doesn't do any crazy whip pans. However I've seen subject movement mud in his footage.

DrBlaz
06-06-2009, 04:48 PM
ThomasS


I've downloaded http://vimeo.com/5035635 , its 25p, and as you say it has some frames skipped and repeated, very strange, but could you upload the original m2ts to megaupload to check it?

Justyn
06-06-2009, 07:48 PM
ahhh... mudd movement. Sounds like a night out at Taco Bell.

John Caballero
06-06-2009, 09:31 PM
There is a lot of dry mud and nasty cactuses on Bloom's video. I saw that. There is a lot of heat from the sun hitting the dry mud and creating some strange dificult to describe cloud of something in about 6 seconds of the footage. The snake's skin also looks suspect as well as its movements were a little slow. The woman's hand holding the rope looked fake, like a prop. The font for the titles was adequate.

squig
06-06-2009, 10:16 PM
was all done in a studio just like the lunar landings

ThomasS
06-06-2009, 11:41 PM
The original MTS file can be found here (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AH5X5W4O). BTW I looked at it in VLC player and it shows some really strange movement pattern.
The clip on vimeo in the original post was processed with FCP, a straight export to Quicktime.

Has anybody an idea, why we see these ugly color patterns in skin tones @ ISO200-400, like in my 2nd clip?

Uwe Lansing
06-07-2009, 03:26 AM
The original MTS file can be found here (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AH5X5W4O). BTW I looked at it in VLC player and it shows some really strange movement pattern.
...

Thats really strange. I watched it with PP CS4, AE CS4 + Edius 5 - always the same. It skips several frames, varying in amount - instead it repeats frames. Thats unusable footage. Can someone of the other pal-users confirm this quirky behavior? What about the 720p50 footage? Same BS?

DrBlaz
06-08-2009, 08:36 AM
I've checked the m2ts and the file is OK, I mean it is not broken due to data corruption, the repeated frames have all macroblocks marked correctly.

Isaac_Brody
06-08-2009, 11:04 AM
You might have gotten a lemon. That footage doens't look right, definitely looks like skipped frames. I think there's about eight frames missing when it jumps.

ThomasS
06-08-2009, 11:14 AM
Thank you all for your effort analyzing the footage.
I'll return the camera and will most likely go the Canon 5D route. Not too bad for me, because I already own several EOS lenses, and with the new firmware, they become usable.

snicky
06-08-2009, 02:56 PM
First: it's my first post so... H E L L O
Second: it should be the most important topic here. Anyone had the same problems?

Nighthawk
06-08-2009, 03:08 PM
First: it's my first post so... H E L L O
Second: it should be the most important topic here. Anyone had the same problems?

HELLO, snicky. Sad for ThomasS but this is the first cam that shows these particular symptoms and may just be a 'lemon' as stated earlier. The real big issue is at this thread.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=172958

This is the number 1 issue. So take a couple of weeks, grab some popcorn and read. Informative AND entertaining.

Uwe Lansing
06-09-2009, 04:18 AM
You might have gotten a lemon.

Where one lemon is, there are more for sure. Its pretty unlikely that pana has produced only one pal-camera with this flaw. I`d recommend to everyone in a pal-land to check it out immediately after purchase. Cheers.

Ozpeter
06-09-2009, 05:17 AM
Unless I missed it, nobody has asked what card was in the camera - that could at least have a bearing on skipped frames. Even if it was a good quality card, I'd suggest trying another in case that particular one was faulty.

Voytech
06-09-2009, 06:34 AM
He did say he was using a Sandisk Extreme III Class 6 card. But I too would suggest trying a different card just to eliminate the possibility.

ThomasS
06-09-2009, 06:55 AM
Sorry guys, bad news.
I have bought two of these 8GB cards, only for using them with this camera, and the problem occured with files on both of them (I'm not that unexperienced with defective media to rely only on one card).
If there's not a general problem with these Sandisk cards, it'a bug in the codec, because DrBlaz (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/member.php?u=9969) (post #19)checked the MTS files and they are OK, which would not be possible, if the media is defective.

Isaac_Brody
06-09-2009, 08:49 AM
If there's not a general problem with these Sandisk cards, it'a bug in the codec, because DrBlaz (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/member.php?u=9969) (post #19)checked the MTS files and they are OK, which would not be possible, if the media is defective.

I don't think your MTS file is ok. I looked at the original and saw the skipped frame issue in it. You should take it back and get it replaced. This happens to every camera when it's released. Some of them are lemons and that's just reality. Someone in the 5D forum got a camera that also skipped frames and he's getting it fixed/replaced.

I'd be careful about trying to make definitive conclusions without being certain about the problem when the easiest thing to do is swap out your camera for a functioning one.

Martti Ekstrand
06-09-2009, 10:08 AM
Sorry guys, bad news.
it'a bug in the codec, because DrBlaz (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/member.php?u=9969) (post #19)checked the MTS files and they are OK, which would not be possible, if the media is defective.
I beg to differ with your assessment that it's a bug in the codec. I'd venture that the read-out from the sensor is interrupted prior to the encoding for some reason. When viewing the file straight in VLC without conversion it doesn't actually skip frames but the stream is damaged yielding short strange interlaced sections. I doubt that this can be caused by the codec or a bad SD writer-reader / SD card for that matter. I've attached a screen grab from VLC as an example. When converting this in FCP the damaged sections are ignored causing the resulting file to have freeze-frames here and there.

So in all likelihood you got a defective unit. Unless of course your kid is possessed by a demon who causes a rift in the space-time continuum just to tease with you.

Daniel L.
06-09-2009, 10:10 AM
It may be just VLC struggling to decode the video... The artifacts you see may be created during playback.

Isaac_Brody
06-09-2009, 10:18 AM
That's VLC struggling to decode the video. It doesn't play MTS files properly. If you play it in Toast 10 it should play fine and you can see where the frames are skipped by scrubbing frame by frame.

Martti Ekstrand
06-09-2009, 10:24 AM
OK, but then shouldn't I see such artefacts in all files I play, not just in this one?

DrBlaz
06-09-2009, 10:25 AM
the h.264 encoder "chops" the image in macro-blocks and if these MB don't change simply mark them as "SKIP", in the MTS provided by ThomasS all MB in the repeated frames are marked correctly as SKIP.

What does it mean? at least the mem card is not corrupted! but it could be due to a lot of reasons, we should know more about GH1 hardware.

if the processing before the codec sends repeated frames then the output will be a perfect ACV file with repeated frames.

Martti Ekstrand
06-09-2009, 10:27 AM
Make that all PAL files, I do see some odd stuff in NTSC files.

ThomasS
06-09-2009, 01:50 PM
My assumption to take that as a bug in the codec comes from a different perspective.
In my day job, I'm working in the software industry. Seeing that panny managed to deliver this product excactly on time (beginning of june, as announced) can nowadays only mean, that they have put an enormous pressure on the developers to bring it on the market.
If your primary goal is to manage the given target date, you're willing to accept, that you deliver with a certain number of errors, or you simple shorten the test phase for e.g. unlikely test scenarios.
This has nothing to do with conspiracy theory, it's simply common business practice.

That can mean, that it (probably) can be fixed with a new firmware, but I cannot predict if or when, depending on the development schedule/ priority.
For my part, I'm not willing to give Panny a credit, put the camera on my desk and wait for an update that eventually fixes this problem. Or use it only in a way where I absolutely can control the environment where I'm shooting, restricting the freedom in the way I'm shooting, because I bought this cam exactly for these unpredictable run'n'gun or stealth shootings. Otherwise I would use my HVX, which in many situations unfortunately attracts too much attention.

Isaac_Brody
06-09-2009, 05:40 PM
My assumption to take that as a bug in the codec comes from a different perspective. In my day job, I'm working in the software industry. Seeing that panny managed to deliver this product excactly on time (beginning of june, as announced) can nowadays only mean, that they have put an enormous pressure on the developers to bring it on the market.

In my experience there are always lemons. It sounds like your camera isn't functioning properly. I've looked at other PAL footage that looks perfectly fine.

ThomasS
06-09-2009, 10:03 PM
Isaac, I don't doubt that most of the footage is fine, also 95 of 100 clips i shot were fine. It's the 5% corrupted ones I'm worried about. Actually, I' d prefer for my own peace of mind that I only got a bad copy. But considering this problem, the panning mud issue and the color rendition in critcal situations, I for my part find, that the cam is - not yet - a finished product.

Isaac_Brody
06-09-2009, 10:49 PM
I hear where you're coming from and the AVCHD issues are why I haven't placed an order yet. It's the reason I'm pushing hard for an mjpeg firmware update that bypasses the AVCHD codec altogether.

John Caballero
06-10-2009, 12:34 AM
the panning mud issue and the color rendition in critcal situations, I for my part find, that the cam is - not yet - a finished product.

Tell that to whoever shot these two.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHgAu...eature=channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHgAuO2ltKg&feature=channel)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvxah...eature=channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvxah2_4Xw8&feature=channel)

ThomasS
06-10-2009, 12:12 PM
John,
this footage surely looks good. Although, if you observe the shadow areas of the trees on both sides of the river you'll see, that it "muds" the details (not shure if it's youtube or the original footage).
I also did several terrific shots with this cam, but that's not the point. From a camera with these specs and price point - compared to other consumer AVCHD cams, I'd simply expect it to work not only in 95% of the clips I record.

ROne
06-10-2009, 12:29 PM
I'm not so sure about this hypothetical firmware "fix."

It clearly states in the user manual that fast movements will lead to picture break-up. So they know it's there by design.

Whether they could improve it or not - who knows.

With my GH1, I'm much happier with the 720p/50 in AVCHD. It edits slightly faster and I can't see any bad break-up. Running with a 1/50 shutter things look good on a 25fps Edius timeline. Less aliasing too in that mode.

I had less successful results with the M/JPEG based mode purely because 30p in 25fps leads to some blurring.

ROne
06-11-2009, 01:17 AM
Here is the exact line from pg. 105.

"When recording fast-moving subjects in the [FHD ] setting, some afterimages or distortion may be particularly noticeable during playback."

It's pretty obvious that it applies just to 1080p.

I would, to save future disappointment, don't pin anything on a firmware upgrade and don't buy it if you must have robust 1080p.

720p/50 is however, great.

ThomasS
06-11-2009, 05:26 AM
Bummer!
Same line can be found in the german manual, that I've obviously overlooked.
So if my son in the test clip is a already a fast moving subject, I'm happy that I returned the camera.

Uwe Lansing
06-11-2009, 06:11 AM
Here is the exact line from pg. 105.

"When recording fast-moving subjects in the [FHD ] setting, some afterimages or distortion may be particularly noticeable during playback."


Its a joke, right? Pana deliberately brings out products with such a flaw - skipped frames when recording fast moving subjects? Unbelievable...

ROne
06-11-2009, 07:29 AM
I would say this is the trade-off for full HD at this price point on this stills camera.

All manufacturers have a range of products with cross-overs. This camera has stretched what a DSLR is capable of for the money.

commanderspike
06-11-2009, 10:07 AM
Full HD mode has clearly stretched the GH1.

But yes, I suppose we should be happy that it's in there at all for the price. The D90 only has 720p. The 500D only has 20fps full HD. The much more expensive 5DMII has more jello and no AF.

Only first gen of video DLSRS... what did we expect?

Great footage can be shot with all of these cameras, but they do have flaws.

Firmware fix is only hope for GH1. It comes a lot closer than it's immediate competition to being perfect. The 'mud' flaw & poor AVCHD codec implementation is really it's only major shortcoming.

Uwe Lansing
06-12-2009, 03:15 AM
...
But yes, I suppose we should be happy that it's in there at all for the price. ...

Right, after all what ive read + seen so far, it could be a real good avchd-720p50/60 + 720p30-mjpeg cam. Im pondering about buying one. And with the pal-version there is no need for pulldown removal (luckily).

ThomasS
06-12-2009, 02:31 PM
Just to get it this discussion right: if Panasonic brought e.g. the HDC-SD300 (which cost €500 less) with these bugs to the market, everybody would have screamed out loud.
Now, that we have a product that offers interchangeable lenses and MFT mount but evidently shows problems in the very basic application of a camera - capturing properly a sequence of images - you're all saying, the flaws are not great, but you get a good value for the money?
I really don't want to start a flame war, but sometimes I wonder about human reasoning.

timbook2
06-12-2009, 04:07 PM
did you have OIS engaged ? I have some strange artifacts when viewing with VLC and the cam was fixed but OIS was on...

And yes VLC is not reliable to view AVCHD footahe.

ROne
06-12-2009, 10:28 PM
Just to get it this discussion right: if Panasonic brought e.g. the HDC-SD300 (which cost 500 less) with these bugs to the market, everybody would have screamed out loud.
Now, that we have a product that offers interchangeable lenses and MFT mount but evidently shows problems in the very basic application of a camera - capturing properly a sequence of images - you're all saying, the flaws are not great, but you get a good value for the money?
I really don't want to start a flame war, but sometimes I wonder about human reasoning.

It's a stills camera first and foremost, that's where the money goes.

Would you complain the SD300 takes poor stills?

ThomasS
06-12-2009, 10:56 PM
It's a stills camera first and foremost, that's where the money goes.

I disagree, it is based on the G1 (that you can get with the 14-45 kit lens for around 575, almost a difference of 1000), but the main feature of the GH1 is video, nothing else. Just look at the guys in the photography forums (e.g. dpreview.com): baseline their discussion is, that there is no reason to trade up from a G1 to the GH1, if you're only interested in still photography.



Would you complain the SD300 takes poor stills?

Yes. I'd complain, if the company's selling this product with this USP and it doesn't keeps the promise.

What I'm wondering - and not complaining - about is, why do people defend this camera as if it is some friend?
Take it as it is, a tool that is not reliable.

Uwe Lansing
06-13-2009, 12:09 AM
I disagree, it is based on the G1 (that you can get with the 14-45 kit lens for around 575, almost a difference of 1000)..............

What I'm wondering - and not complaining - about is, why do people defend this camera as if it is some friend?
Take it as it is, a tool that is not reliable.

Yep, i got the same impression sometimes. But........... regarding the price id say its ok. The major part of that price is the lens at around 800-900,- bucks. I suppose pana invested a lot to get a real good af-lens. Do you have this feature with a canon 5DII or nikon d90? Its a fine thing for run + gun, travelling... etc.

If i got you right, the only thing youre complaining about is the skipping-frames flaw in 1080p25 mode. But what ive seen so far 720p50 works really good => almost no visible skew or bad aliasing (take a look at some stuff of the 5DII in that regard), clean image in lowlight situations.... Furthermore only a few points: swivel lcd, long recording time (5DII: 12 min., D90 5 min), no overheating... etc., and yes manual control. And now that we know the downsides of 1080p we could use it accordingly => no fast moving subjects, only pretty slow pans.

There are still some doubts but at this stage now, id say this cam is worth considering...

ThomasS
06-13-2009, 01:58 AM
Yep, i got the same impression sometimes. But........... regarding the price id say its ok. The major part of that price is the lens at around 800-900,- bucks. I suppose pana invested a lot to get a real good af-lens. Do you have this feature with a canon 5DII or nikon d90? Its a fine thing for run + gun, travelling... etc.

If i got you right, the only thing youre complaining about is the skipping-frames flaw in 1080p25 mode. But what ive seen so far 720p50 works really good => almost no visible skew or bad aliasing (take a look at some stuff of the 5DII in that regard), clean image in lowlight situations.... Furthermore only a few points: swivel lcd, long recording time (5DII: 12 min., D90 5 min), no overheating... etc., and yes manual control. And now that we know the downsides of 1080p we could use it accordingly => no fast moving subjects, only pretty slow pans.

There are still some doubts but at this stage now, id say this cam is worth considering...

Good glass is expensive, I know 'cause I own several L-lenses. The price is not my point. If the camera would deliver, I'd even spend 1000 more for the kit, because I know what the camera is capable of, if I compare the footage to my HVX200 footage.
If panny only had implemented a good codec (like those from their consumer lineup) or limited the cam to 720p50, I'd also be fine.
BUT, stressing an analogy: If you buy a car and it offers on paper an excellent price-performance ratio would you be willing to accept, that on the street you could only use 4 of 5 gears properly (as a workaround you could limit yourself to using only the lower 4 gears)?

Uwe Lansing
06-13-2009, 08:13 AM
....
... would you be willing to accept, that on the street you could only use 4 of 5 gears properly (as a workaround you could limit yourself to using only the lower 4 gears)?

Id say thats cheating. But has pana promised a perfect image in 1080p during panning? - Of course, i know what you mean. The majority here is surely thinking in the same direction. We all want the perfect camera for around 1500,-. Perhaps pana will do some touching-up on the codec in the future - that would be great + desirably. At the beginning i was as disappointed as you. But in the last days, after some contemplation, i got a clearer idea whats really important for me personally.

So, 720p50 is enough for me in general. There is no problem to convert it to 25p. 1080p25 is definitely tripod work in adequate situations. Either i blow up the rest to 1080p (InstandHD) or i resize it to 720p. Either is no big deal. But all the rest seems to be all right.

And ultimately i want to mention that i have worked now for around 10 months with the d90. And guess what, i had to deal with every workaround you can imagine to get a roughly clean image. This problem here is maybe my easiest exercise :-). But surely, everybody has to make his own decision.

ROne
06-13-2009, 10:49 AM
I disagree, it is based on the G1 (that you can get with the 14-45 kit lens for around 575, almost a difference of 1000), but the main feature of the GH1 is video, nothing else. Just look at the guys in the photography forums (e.g. dpreview.com): baseline their discussion is, that there is no reason to trade up from a G1 to the GH1, if you're only interested in still photography.



Yes. I'd complain, if the company's selling this product with this USP and it doesn't keeps the promise.

What I'm wondering - and not complaining - about is, why do people defend this camera as if it is some friend?
Take it as it is, a tool that is not reliable.

Fair points but I'm happy with the camera, next to my 4000 HPX171 it looks a decent purchase.

It's quite reliable, realiability is one thing and codec that isn't robust during panning is another, and this is pointed out in the manual.

I agree it could be better, but that's why Panasonics more expensive camcorders exist.

TrueIndigo
06-13-2009, 11:37 AM
I think this camera would have had an easier ride if it had only provided 1280 x 720. Compared to the Nikon D90, this would be seen as a step forward in usability. Sure, the Canon 5DII has 1920 x 1080, but that camera is almost twice the price and would not have been seen as a direct comparison. As a 720 video camera, the GH1 would have been rightly praised for robust quality video at a good price. Unfortunately, giving the GH1 1080, which it appears to struggle with, gives grounds for dissatisfaction. In spite of the good 720, it's the so-so 1080 which gets all the attention. I wonder how many less people would have bought the GH1 if it had been 720 only? However, if there is a future fix (official or unofficial), then I agree the ambition of including 1080 was worth it.

sdhurley
06-13-2009, 11:59 AM
excellent summary TrueIndigo.

dmoreno
06-13-2009, 12:37 PM
I think this camera would have had an easier ride if it had only provided 1280 x 720. Compared to the Nikon D90, this would be seen as a step forward in usability. Sure, the Canon 5DII has 1920 x 1080, but that camera is almost twice the price and would not have been seen as a direct comparison. As a 720 video camera, the GH1 would have been rightly praised for robust quality video at a good price. Unfortunately, giving the GH1 1080, which it appears to struggle with, gives grounds for dissatisfaction. In spite of the good 720, it's the so-so 1080 which gets all the attention. I wonder how many less people would have bought the GH1 if it had been 720 only? However, if there is a future fix (official or unofficial), then I agree the ambition of including 1080 was worth it.

To me, 1080 24p is a BIG plus. Even knowing I cannot do fast pans.
There are SO many camcorders out there that can do good fast pans in wide high detail shots, but SO little that can have a 35mm DOF on static cinema-like shots. I am planing on shooting a fiction short soon, I have a $700 Canon HV30 that I can use for any wideshots I like, I will use the GH1 for all the rest. I am happy I can get true 24p 1080 with nice resolution from BOTH.

For everyday shooting (family, friends, and even for event videography) I can use 720 60p from the GH1 and 1080 30p from my HV30 and mix them in post (the 60p will perfectly convert to 30p by dropping every other frame and I will have the "overcranked" footage for perfect slomo.

John Caballero
06-13-2009, 01:13 PM
Regarding the fast pans everybody should do what I did in the past few days. My interest at the moment for the camera is for a television series idea. So I sat down and watch about maybe 8 different series which styles interests me. To my surprise no one, none, nada of them had a pan like the ones shown around this threads that had cause so much distress. The only ones that had something like that were 24 and Southland. And I particularly don't like their kind of filming styles. All the other ones had very elegant track shots, crane shots, tilt shots, crane and pan shots. None of that left to right or right to left camera pans. Very stylish, slow and well put together. Lots of MS and CS and a few LS. Over the shoulder and a second or two of slight movements here and there. My conclusion after this was that I will have no "mud" problem as long as I know how to shoot the way is supposed to be. Take your time and check a movie or two and see what you find out in terms of panning and moving the camera.

ThomasS
06-13-2009, 01:58 PM
I thought, everything that has to be said, was already said. But it seems that some of you haven't looked at the clip that showed the problem: It is an absolutely static shot, camera was mounted on the tripod, no panning at all. A highly detailed background and just one moving object in front. The problem wasn't the mud, but the fact that the camera skipped some frames, i.e. the object stood still for some frames and then was somewhere else.
All the fuzz I'm making here isn't about the mud - choose an adequate shutter speed and this can be hidden in motion blur. It's about skipping frames.
Tell me how you want to use this cam professionally, if you cannot be sure, that all the images in a sequence are properly recorded?

Boz
06-13-2009, 02:05 PM
It just depends on your shooting style. If you're more of a "24", "ER", "Bourne" style shooter, the 1080P mode is going to be troublesome. If you tend to shoot static shots, then 1080 on GH1 should be no problem. I'm still hoping for a 720-24P mode added to the GH1, regardless if they fix the 1080 mode. That would be perfect for me. If it had it already, I wouldn't have canceled my pre-order.

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for someone to post some video of a shot that would turn to 'mud' in 1080P mode, shot in 720P mode then converted to 24P. Everyone says that's the workaround, yet I haven't seen any proof. The only successful conversions I've see so far are shots that probably wouldn't be 'mud' shots in the first place. Anyone have any examples they can post? Anyone? Bueller... Bueller...

I want to believe... I really do! :)

John Caballero
06-13-2009, 02:37 PM
How many clips from how many shooters have shown the skipping frames? 2, 3, 4 all of them. The "mud" was reported in many different cameras. This too?


If you tend to shoot static shots, then 1080 on GH1 should be no problem.

Not only static shots. Crane shots, tracking shots sideways, forward or back and many other camera moves that don't require a sideways panning movement. Take a look at a few movies and series, they are all there with the exceptions of the ones mention in which those movements were on purpose.

Boz
06-13-2009, 10:44 PM
Yeah, sorry 'static' was a poor choice of words. Obviously one can move the camera in 1080P mode, just not too quickly.

I've been hearing about this skipping frames thing too. In fact, I remember seeing some weird frame anomolies in some of the very first clips posted (remember the notorious 'trees from a train' shots?). At the time I thought my computer was freaking out when displaying the footage, but it sounds like that's a problem in the camera instead. Man, Panasonic has some work ahead of them.

timbook2
06-13-2009, 11:40 PM
with ntsc cameras having to do the pulldown thing, I bet there are so many "in between" factors that can cause errors, that panasonic is quite relaxed about those "problems"

already the transcoding which I have to go through in pal world here, is liable to cause errors if the software coder had a bad day...

once we got free transcoders and a choice of apps to pick from to turn our avchd files into something useful, we can really point the finger.

Until then I avoid bee hives and try to keep the camera still ;-)

commanderspike
06-13-2009, 11:42 PM
Not only static shots. Crane shots, tracking shots sideways, forward or back and many other camera moves that don't require a sideways panning movement.

I feel that to be speculation at the moment, because nobody has used the GH1 for such shots and proved that 'mud' never occurs.

For the record, I have had mud on zooms too. Granted, again it isn't pro film making 101 stuff. But it's not just there on smooth medium speed fluid head tripod pans or handheld pans and whip pans.

Martti Ekstrand
06-14-2009, 12:09 AM
I did a quick 'steadycam' test in both 720 and 1080, link and info here; http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=174324

John Caballero
06-14-2009, 12:33 AM
Martii, downloaded your stuff and liked them both. Movement looked fine to me. Thank you for sharing. Even though I don't have a cam yet there is no doubt in my mind that crane shots, dolly shots and such will work fine. In the last two days I watched about 8 different T.V. series, which is where my shooting interest lies for the near future, and not once they panned straight sideways for any shots. Tracking shots, crane shots, brief MS pans, short tilts, stabilizer shots and the like was always used. The only ones using all kinds of wacky pans were Southland and 24. And of course there wasn't a single zoom shot. The series were Stargate, NCIS, The Listener, Monk, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and Legend of The Seeker. Based on Martii's footage and many others in Vimeo and You Tube I can forsee the GH1 on 1080p working very well for most moving camera work.

This mjpeg footage looks pretty nice too:

http://vimeo.com/groups/gh1/videos/5130468 (http://vimeo.com/groups/gh1/videos/5130468)

TrueIndigo
06-14-2009, 10:32 AM
Yes, it's been talked over quite a bit, and looking through the GH1 threads nothing has changed much for a few weeks now; there are no great breakthroughs yet. The consensus seems to be: 720 has a satisfying image quality for most people, 1080 satisfies a lessor number of people on ultimate image quality but has a reassuring frame size. But these are early days; most people have not yet got their cameras. There may be a discovery or fix for the 1080 codec/processing issue in the future, but perhaps not in time for people who want to shoot a project this summer. For optimum image quality (and who doesn't want optimum image quality?), this puts some of us in the difficult position of having the courage to shoot 720 with a camera capable of 1080. Though remember, the best cider tastes better than the worst champagne. Like most other cameras, the video DSLRs (Nikon D90, Panasonic GH1, Canon 5DII) all have limitations of some sort or another. But with the GH1 in 720 mode, the only problem is that it's 720! Is 720 really a big problem as such? The 5DII might have a VistaVison-size sensor, but Panasonic have effectively produced a pocket super-16mm camera. Well, with the kit lens it's not exactly a pocket camera, but certainly a low impact HD camera capable of serious work in 720. Let's try and stay positive and enjoy its strengths for this summer's projects, and maybe there will be an improvement for 1080 later in the year to further extend the life of this useful camera. Technology moves so fast these days that I tend to end up getting a new camera for each project, and I'm happy to make this summer my GH1 summer. For the price, I couldn't see any alternative. Cheers...

nathankw
06-15-2009, 03:01 AM
I agree. I've seen stunning HD footage in 720p - for instance the BBC Galapagos series was mostly shot 720p.

Companies like BBC and Discovery will accept 720P as part of their gold standard for HD - as long as the bitrate is high enough.

I also love the option to shoot slomo, so I'm planning to almost always be shooting 720P, even if the 1080 issues are fixed.

Boz
06-15-2009, 10:10 AM
Same here. Even the 1080P stuff I shoot will be brought down to 720P. It's just easier to deal with in every way.

Joe Shaw
08-23-2009, 06:09 AM
Had my first experience with the camera dropping frames today. I've shot quite a bit with the camera with no problems. I have a tested workflow - using Edius 5 and AVCHD2HQ converter and I'm using a PAL camera - so no pulldown issues.

One clip - a long take - has several moments upfront where it drops frames.

I shot for several hours - using a card I have used many times before.

Playback in camera confirms the problem - there in the original footage.

Could be an issue.....

Joe Shaw
08-23-2009, 07:00 AM
It also seems that from the skipped frames onwards the sound goes out of sync.

Nighthawk
08-23-2009, 10:12 AM
Yes, it's been talked over quite a bit, and looking through the GH1 threads nothing has changed much for a few weeks now; there are no great breakthroughs yet. The consensus seems to be: 720 has a satisfying image quality for most people, 1080 satisfies a lessor number of people on ultimate image quality but has a reassuring frame size. But these are early days; most people have not yet got their cameras. There may be a discovery or fix for the 1080 codec/processing issue in the future, but perhaps not in time for people who want to shoot a project this summer. For optimum image quality (and who doesn't want optimum image quality?), this puts some of us in the difficult position of having the courage to shoot 720 with a camera capable of 1080. Though remember, the best cider tastes better than the worst champagne. Like most other cameras, the video DSLRs (Nikon D90, Panasonic GH1, Canon 5DII) all have limitations of some sort or another. But with the GH1 in 720 mode, the only “problem” is that it's 720! Is 720 really a big problem as such? The 5DII might have a VistaVison-size sensor, but Panasonic have effectively produced a pocket super-16mm camera. Well, with the kit lens it's not exactly a pocket camera, but certainly a low impact HD camera capable of serious work in 720. Let's try and stay positive and enjoy its strengths for this summer's projects, and maybe there will be an improvement for 1080 later in the year to further extend the life of this useful camera. Technology moves so fast these days that I tend to end up getting a new camera for each project, and I'm happy to make this summer my GH1 summer. For the price, I couldn't see any alternative. Cheers...

Good thoughts here. I'm at that awful stage of deciding whether 1080 or 720 for my project starting up. My thoughts at the moment are 1080 for everything except scenes that have extreme motion then it's 720 and work it all out in post. If anybody knows if this is a bad idea I'm all ears. I just want to do the best I can with what I've got.

For what it's worth I haven't noticed the dropped frame issue yet. @jshaw300 how early in the clip did this take place and how long had you been using the camera before you noticed the problem?

Joe Shaw
08-23-2009, 12:15 PM
Nighthawk - Shot about 40 clips over 4 hours. Have 2 clips with definite skipped frames and then sound sync issues. One is from about halfway through the shoot- the next is towards the end. The sound sync is basically because the sound continued to record fine - so each time the frames skipped, the sound goes further out of sync.

I was shooting with the stock lens and I have worked out that both corrupt clips have a crash zoom in about 7-8 seconds after the skipped frames.

If there is a delay in writing to the card - then I could believe that the zoom caused the skipped frames as the camera becomes temporarily overloaded.

Another reason to skip the stock lens perhaps?

Nighthawk
08-23-2009, 09:42 PM
I've heard from other threads of definite delays writing to the card but nothing on the measure of 7-8 seconds. If it's a Transcend card I've heard they're not holding up so well. I'd recommend a different card and do what you did before including the 'crash zoom' just to see if the same thing happens.

I am definitely keeping clear of the stock lens unless I absolutely have to. There seems to be too many little problems popping up when it comes to it's use.

Joe Shaw
08-23-2009, 11:06 PM
I think the card is a factor. I've never really looked at it because it came with the camera. Now I realise that Panasonic didn't include it with the camera - the vendor did. Which means I don't trust it. It says it's a class 4 Toshiba.

I'll get some decent cards in and re-test.

Martti Ekstrand
08-24-2009, 01:13 AM
I always re-format the card after having copied it's content to my harddrives instead of just deleting the clips. This way it starts fresh again. A lesson learned the hard way with a Nikon camera, lost a whole day's worth of stills some year ago due to file & directory corruption on a SD card. Card was fine again after re-formatting (and still is).

ROne
08-24-2009, 02:38 AM
Had my first experience with the camera dropping frames today. I've shot quite a bit with the camera with no problems. I have a tested workflow - using Edius 5 and AVCHD2HQ converter and I'm using a PAL camera - so no pulldown issues.

One clip - a long take - has several moments upfront where it drops frames.

I shot for several hours - using a card I have used many times before.

Playback in camera confirms the problem - there in the original footage.

Could be an issue.....

Another one here in UK that this happens to.

I get one shot on my Kingston card approx every shoot that drops frames. And it's on playback from camera.

Uwe Lansing
08-24-2009, 04:50 AM
Another one here in UK that this happens to.

I get one shot on my Kingston card approx every shoot that drops frames. And it's on playback from camera.

There are several complaints from gh1-users here in germany too. It seems to be only a pal-problem!?. You can check out your footage with this little tool:
http://96.30.23.131/showthread.php?t=175165

Joe Shaw
08-24-2009, 09:34 AM
Excellent tool. Thank you to the creator of that.

I've got some Sandisk Extreme III's coming - so I'll test them out.

And FWIW I had three clips that had missing frames. One clip - a long take - had four sections of missing frames ranging from 2-25 frames missing...

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
08-24-2009, 09:51 AM
Hello Joe Shaw: I don't know if you've already tried this, but formatting your SDHC cards relatively frequently might possibly improve their performance. (Formatting will eliminate file fragmentation.) I'm not certain if file fragmentation can cause record/play frame dropping, but if so then formatting the cards "before each use" should address this.