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View Full Version : GH1 Arrived - Here's The First Test!



larrys
12-12-2009, 01:32 PM
Now I am excited! The Camera came two days ago and I had the chance to take my first video today. Of course, this is where I wanted to share it first, as it was the members of this forum and the inspiration of the work you have been doing that led me to buy the camera and other gear to take my video to a new level. (at least, I am working towards this)

OK, the video is straight out of the camera, no color correction or anything else. As you will see, I did try one slow motion clip (as a cutaway with the stick twirling elderly woman.)

I shot at 720/60 and at 60 frames per second. I had the camera on "Creative" movie mode and all the levels at -2. The camera was on a tripod. Also, the audio was captured on the camera mics. I have the H4n coming this week for audio.

Also, I threw this together very quickly in iMovie '09. I plan to try it in Final Cut Pro as well and see how Pro Res compares to this version.

Here's the Vimeo link:

http://vimeo.com/8141453

Let me know what you think!

midiotlv
12-12-2009, 02:05 PM
Great! I just ordered my GH1 today (!) -- so I can't wait to join you in shooting. Quick technical question -- I'm waiting on FCP to arrive so I have only iMovie on the Mac at this point (I do have Vegas available on the PC, but would rather stay Mac at this point).

How do you get 60p footage to play slow-mo in iMovie '09? Has working with the GH1 footage been a royal pain with iMovie or not so bad? (My wife will be using this cam a lot, too...and no way is she patient enough for FCP). :)

Keep it up -- look forward to seeing more footage from you and your GH1!

larrys
12-12-2009, 02:43 PM
midiotlv,

Thanks for your comments. I don't know if you have actually held the GH1 before, but you are in for a big treat. The camera is smaller than I could have imagined and feels great in the hands.

As it's my first footage, this was the first time using iMovie and the GH1, but it was effortless. If you have iMovie open first and then plug your sdhc card in, the capture window will open and then you can choose which clips you want to import. Also, although I will be using a H4n for audio, the audio of the singer that I got at the Market was pretty good. I din't know the camera mics would be this good.

As for the slow motion, iMovie asked me to "convert" the clip before it would allow changing the speed. I never saw this before, so I don't know what it was converting it into, but it worked. Maybe someone else on the forum here can explain this.

Have fun with your GH1, I am sure you will love it!

midiotlv
12-12-2009, 03:04 PM
larrys:

Thanks for the info. I am excited to go out and play -- should have it in a couple of days. Did you only shoot the slow-mo in 720P60 and the rest in 1028p24?

Yeah, I was surprised at how well the camera mic did, as well. Thanks again for the info!

larrys
12-12-2009, 03:08 PM
All of the video was shot in 720/60p. After all the research I did here, and watching many videos on Vimeo, I decided that I am going to shoot only in 720/60p. I will only be using what I shoot for my websites, so the quality will be plenty for me!

Did the video on Vimeo play fine on your computer? (I always wonder how these HD videos look on other computers.)

tflak
12-12-2009, 03:09 PM
Looks really good! Loved the cutaways -- you caught some real characters there. Nice little piece, especially for a quick edit.

iMovie did a decent job. Once you get FCP and can play around with some color correction I think you'll be amazed at how good your footage can look. Shooting Smooth with -2 for all the settings really begs for adjustments in post. You may want to try Sharpness and Saturation at 0 too. But, like I said, it looks pretty good as is - some contrast and saturation adjustment will make it really pop. And you'll have lots of latitude in post to play around with it with those settings.

Really happy for you as the fun is just beginning.

midiotlv
12-12-2009, 03:15 PM
Yeah..looked really good on my Mac through Vimeo...

Sorry to beat a dead horse here...but you shot all of it at 720p60 --- so iMovie imported all of the footage the same way, I assume? Did you just use iMovie to slow down the twirling baton? I keep reading about shooting 60p and conforming it to a 24p (or 30p, as the case may be) for really smooth slow-motion, but I gather iMovie is not quite that fancy. :)

I'm also anxious to play with the motion JPG and compare that with AVCHD - I've seen some cool stuff on Vimeo in this mode.

Looking forward to learning more and let me know if you discover any really cool things that a newb should know.

I'm sure you've read about the neck-strap rivet issue? Have you experienced any 'play' in yours? I bought a tripod mount connector that I can attach a wrist-strap to (I never liked neck straps, anyway).

Keep shooting -- can't wait to post some of my own of Vimeo later in the week.

-Don (aka midiotlv)

larrys
12-12-2009, 03:19 PM
Hey Don,

Yes, the slow motion was done in iMovie and, like I mentioned, I had to click on "convert" first to allow the speed change. I hope someone can explain what that was about. Whatever it was, it looked pretty good - that was slowed to 50%.

As for Neck Strap? I have not read about that, but I did not put the strap on the camera, I never use them as it gets in the way when I am shooting, and I will either be on tripod or a specail bracket I have when hand-held.

larrys
12-12-2009, 03:22 PM
Tflak,

Thanks for the encouraging feedback. Yes, I know some CC will do wonders, but you should see it as it is on my computer and in the Quicktime player. Even as it was shot, it looks pretty stunning, much better than on Vimeo. Now, if I can figure out how to get FCP to work. I am having big problems. Please see my other post - Can you Advise on Final Cut Settings??

midiotlv
12-12-2009, 03:31 PM
For more on the strap rivet issue, see here:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=187566

Looks like there might be an issue with build-quality on these rivets. But, like you, I don't plan to neck-strap it, anyway. And, the parts I bought will give me piece of mind (I got the same tripod connector D-Ring used in the blackrapid system (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/645435-REG/Black_Rapid_FR_2_FastenR2_.html) and will add a neoprene wrist strap to it...my preferred retention device).

Have a great weekend...talk to you later.

larrys
12-12-2009, 05:20 PM
Well, I am hard at work trying to learn how to export out of FCP.

But I can tell you one discovery that I made. Bringing the GH1 in using Pro Res in FCP is FAR SUPERIOR to the AIC in iMovie. Really, huge difference. Don, if you see this, you may want to consider using FCP.

tflak
12-12-2009, 06:17 PM
Tflak,

Thanks for the encouraging feedback. Yes, I know some CC will do wonders, but you should see it as it is on my computer and in the Quicktime player. Even as it was shot, it looks pretty stunning, much better than on Vimeo. Now, if I can figure out how to get FCP to work. I am having big problems. Please see my other post - Can you Advise on Final Cut Settings??

Posted in your other thread.

RieniO
12-13-2009, 03:02 AM
Let me know what you think!

Great shooting and fantastic editing, and that for a first test movie!

Editing in FCP is easy, but only convert to ProRes422 what you are going to work with, I blindly converted everything I shot to ProRes and before I knew it my 2GB drive was full hehehehe.

And your video proves what a great lens the kitlens is, only too bad it has a servo focus ring. How did you do the focussing for your masterpiece? Manual or auto?

larrys
12-13-2009, 05:30 AM
Hello RieniO,

Thanks for your very kind words about my little video. As for focusing, the shots of the singer were done with Auto Focus, the rest of the clips were with Manual Focus. This camera is an absolute pleasure to work with.

I have a few questions for you. First, I am using FCP 6, do you think it is worth the investment to upgrade to FCP7? Next, in the other thread on FCP, you mentioned that you are using Telestream Episode for encoding. Is this software really that superior? And, how do you use it with FCP, is it a Plug-in?

RieniO
12-13-2009, 06:12 AM
Hi Larry,

I never used any version prior to the newest Final Cut Studio, because I used Final Cut Express before that. So I don't know the differences between 6 and 7.

About Episode, I tested about 4 different product trial versions and Episode was superior according to my eyes. Some products are worse (really, really bad!) than Quicktime, Episode is better. Let's say that if you compress h264 at 2500kbps with Episode for a half full HD movie (960 x 540 pixels) you will have to compress at 3500kpbs with Quicktime to achieve the same quality. So it also depends on what you're going to do with your material. I produce for website streaming so the smaller the files, the smoother the playback, the happier the customers.

I haven't figured out how to use it with FCP directly, I just export my final edit as an uncompressed Quicktime movie which I then import into Episode. I've been doing this with hundreds of clips now and am used to the routine.

larrys
12-13-2009, 06:30 AM
I'd love to see what you are producing with the GH1 and the Episode. Do you have any videos on Vimeo? I too am doing all of my videos for streaming on the web. I am using DV Kitchen to convert to Flash files. Are you also converting to Flash with Episode?

(previously, i was shooting with a canon hf100 and editing in iMovie because it was so fast. Now with the GH1 and Final Cut Pro, I have to learn some new work flow techniques. Exciting!)

Thanks RieniO.

RieniO
12-13-2009, 07:23 AM
What I usually shoot and publish is erotic stuff and I better don't show that, especially on the Lord's day, but I will try to encode some normal stuff though and post the link later. Also, stay away from flash... encode to h264, it plays fine in the flash video browser plug-in.

I used to work with Sony and Canon DV and HDV camcorders but after shooting my first few seconds of video with the GH1 I haven't touched a normal camcorder again.

And again, editing GH1 material in FCP is really easy, now I must say that I am in France and I have a PAL version and shoot in 25fps so I don't have to remove any pull down.

tflak
12-13-2009, 07:59 AM
I am using DV Kitchen to convert to Flash files.

Am curious why you wouldn't just use H.264 (mp4) as a codec that will play in both QT and Flash. You could export that right from FCP. That way you only need to compress one file.

larrys
12-13-2009, 09:16 AM
tflak,

sorry, I don't understand. My normal workflow has been to output as h264 and then transfer into FLV using DV Kitchen so I could put the file into a flash player on my websites. I have a iWeb designed website with some professionally designed flash players. I upload the FLV files to my server and then code them into an HTML snippet on my site.

So, I need to have a FLV file for this all to work. Is there something about this I am not aware of?

Thanks!

RieniO
12-13-2009, 10:01 AM
This is very messy, Larry.... with each conversion you loose quality. AVHCD to ProRes to h264 to flv. To edit in FCP you cannot skip the ProRes part but you can either drop the h264 or the flv part and since flv is now old technology you should drop that. So export in h264 and upload them to your site, your flash players should be able to play them (all new flash players play h264 files with .mp4 extension). If not, try changing the extension into .flv . But stay away from flv encoding if you want best possible quality.

tflak
12-13-2009, 12:06 PM
This is very messy, Larry.... with each conversion you loose quality. AVHCD to ProRes to h264 to flv. To edit in FCP you cannot skip the ProRes part but you can either drop the h264 or the flv part and since flv is now old technology you should drop that. So export in h264 and upload them to your site, your flash players should be able to play them (all new flash players play h264 files with .mp4 extension). If not, try changing the extension into .flv . But stay away from flv encoding if you want best possible quality.

Right you are except for one small part. You cannot simply change the file extension to FLV. They are two completely different animals.

FYI - there is a specialized version of H.264 for Flash that uses the F4V extension. But this is only used if you need to include something like cue points. And, once again, it's not a simple matter of changing file extensions; it's encoded differently.

RieniO
12-13-2009, 01:59 PM
You cannot simply change the file extension to FLV.

Yes you can, it's a trick to fool website content management systems that only accept files with .flv extension. Just try it... put an h264 file with .mp4 extension on a server, change extension in .flv, load it in newest version of flash video player and it will play fine. I had to do it the other day again for a webmaster working with a CMS only accepting flv... and it worked fine.

tflak
12-13-2009, 03:56 PM
Yes you can, it's a trick to fool website content management systems that only accept files with .flv extension. Just try it... put an h264 file with .mp4 extension on a server, change extension in .flv, load it in newest version of flash video player and it will play fine. I had to do it the other day again for a webmaster working with a CMS only accepting flv... and it worked fine.

I guess I stand corrected if you've found that works for you. I was under the impression that FLV only referred to files compressed with proprietary variants of H.263 or VP6.

I would be very hesitant about merely changing file extension on media files. It's been my experience that doing so usually invites problems. They may not be immediately apparent, but tend to rear their ugly heads under various circumstances when you least expect it.