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mpgxsvcd
11-14-2011, 10:23 AM
Footage from the "RISE UP" ABS 13 Bouldering comp in Lynchburg VA. Shot with a hacked GH2 in 1080p @ 24 FPS mode with the "No Adverse Affects" settings.

All of the color scenes were shot in the Cinema color mode. Contrary to popular belief it actually offers the lowest noise because it is the least boosted of the color modes. However, it does require that you push the video up about 2/3s of a stop in post because it under exposes.

The smooth mode actually has the most noise of all of the color modes because it underexposes the RAW image by 1/3 of a stop and then boosts both the shadows and the highlights. This causes additional noise in the shadows and can blow out highlights. My opinion is that it is much better to record the compressed video as close to the RAW image as possible and then only boost the levels of the shadows in post instead of letting the camera boost everything automatically.

I have hopes that one day VK can create a hack that will let us boost only the shadow detail of the Cinema mode and leave the highlights untouched. Currently only the I.dynamic mode can boost the shadows and leave the highlights untouched in camera. However, the I.dynamic mode only triggers if the video is severely underexposed with blown out highlights as well. That situation is nearly impossible to replicate indoors without any sunlight.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vVE8s_gCE

No adverse Affects hack settings.

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/953/gh2-patch-vault-most-popular-patches-in-one-place#Item_5

The B&W shots were done in B&W standard mode because it has the least amount of contrast added to it(Technically subtracted from it). The B&W smooth mode actually overexposes the image and then adds in excessive contrast. This is not ideal for low light indoor scenes.

All of the shots with extreme noise were at ISO 12,800. The light did not require that much exposure gain. However, I figured I would try it out.

Everything was shot at 1/50th of a second for 1080p and 1/120 for 720p. The slow motion shots were the only 720p shots.

DrDave
11-14-2011, 08:44 PM
Thanks for this--I just did a whole weekend of footage with the GH13 and the GH2 and was definitely ready to sell the GH2 at the end. I'll give it another try on your suggested settings to see if it helps with the noise. I have only used smooth and standard.

toxotis70
11-15-2011, 01:04 AM
the link is wrong...
do you have spanning with those settings ?

mcbob
11-15-2011, 02:54 AM
I've used those settings, and it spans on every mode except 24H - 44.

eggmedia
11-15-2011, 03:05 AM
Totally agree with this. I've been shooting in Cinema mode exclusively for a while now.The little exposure push needed in post is worth it to get the low levels of noise.

strangways
11-15-2011, 05:42 AM
All of the color scenes were shot in the Cinema color mode. Contrary to popular belief it actually offers the lowest noise because it is the least boosted of the color modes. However, it does require that you push the video up about 2/3s of a stop in post because it under exposes.

The lower your midtones and blacks, the less you'll notice noise. So if Cinema color mode is keeping them low, it will appear to have less noise than other color modes that use curves with higher mids and blacks. However, if you then push the mids and blacks higher in post, you are ending up at exactly the same place as if you had simply shot that way in-camera with a different curve. Or, depending on how much compression is going on, you've simply compressed the noise in the blacks out of existence, as the encoder compresses the crap out of everything below a certain level as it expects the blacks to contain unimportant data. So, if anything, all you're doing is letting the compressor run rampant on the blacks as a sort of quick and dirty noise reduction, that would probably be better done in post with something like Neat Video.

mpgxsvcd
11-15-2011, 07:05 AM
The lower your midtones and blacks, the less you'll notice noise. So if Cinema color mode is keeping them low, it will appear to have less noise than other color modes that use curves with higher mids and blacks. However, if you then push the mids and blacks higher in post, you are ending up at exactly the same place as if you had simply shot that way in-camera with a different curve. Or, depending on how much compression is going on, you've simply compressed the noise in the blacks out of existence, as the encoder compresses the crap out of everything below a certain level as it expects the blacks to contain unimportant data. So, if anything, all you're doing is letting the compressor run rampant on the blacks as a sort of quick and dirty noise reduction, that would probably be better done in post with something like Neat Video.

This is a great point. You are absolutely correct. The problem is that neither setting is better for every situation.

The smooth and nostalgic settings will both push the shadow levels up. However, they will both clip highlights. However, if the highlights are not important to you then this may be ideal.

The Cinema mode will retain highlights but it could clip the shadows. That is where I use the I.dynamic settings. That is the only settings that can adjust the shadow detail independently from the highlights. If you get this mode to trigger with Cinema you can end up with properly exposed shadows and no need to do the 2/3 of a stop underexposure compensation.

Remember these differences are not HUGE differences. We are talking about 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop of exposure difference here. That may or may not be significant to you.

The only setting I never use is the Nostalgic setting. It simply blows out all highlights with no hope of recovering them. You also have to correct the severe Yellow white balance bias. The WB can be corrected in camera. However, it is not worth it.

flinty
11-15-2011, 09:45 AM
To be fair there is bit of a yellow bias especialy in greens in all modes,i agree nostalics yellow bias is worst.

dvbrother
11-15-2011, 10:11 AM
My only beef with the Cinema mode is that if you DO clip highlights, it looks really yellow and ugly, much like the highlight clipping on the AF100. Under controlled contrast/lighting situations, it looks really good and cinematic, but if there's ANYTHING that overexposes, it looks very harsh and ugly. SMOOTH on the other hand, rolls off highlights in a much more pleasing way, and since the midtones are already pumped up, I can usually iris down 1/3/ or 2/3 of a stop and get the highlights under control. Adding contrast to the final result shot in SMOOTH lowers noise and the whole thing looks just fine to me. SMOOTH has always been the most useful setting to me. Occasionally, NATURE actually looks kind of interesting if you want very saturated skin tones.

mpgxsvcd
11-15-2011, 10:59 AM
My only beef with the Cinema mode is that if you DO clip highlights, it looks really yellow and ugly, much like the highlight clipping on the AF100. Under controlled contrast/lighting situations, it looks really good and cinematic, but if there's ANYTHING that overexposes, it looks very harsh and ugly. SMOOTH on the other hand, rolls off highlights in a much more pleasing way, and since the midtones are already pumped up, I can usually iris down 1/3/ or 2/3 of a stop and get the highlights under control. Adding contrast to the final result shot in SMOOTH lowers noise and the whole thing looks just fine to me. SMOOTH has always been the most useful setting to me. Occasionally, NATURE actually looks kind of interesting if you want very saturated skin tones.

Smooth and Nature actually are the two closest looking settings to each other. Nature has slightly more contrast and saturation. However, both are very similar save one big difference.

Smooth meters the RAW file 1/3 of a stop darker than Nature. Therefore, it is pumping the exposure up an extra 1/3 of a stop over Nature. That increases noise. Not drastically because it is only 1/3 of a stop. However, it does increase it.

If I am shooting video without the intent to edit I always use Nature. I also use it for all jpg pictures.

I have examples from each color mode that show how the Auto white balance varies for each color mode. I will go back and check it. However, I don’t believe Cinema meters the White balance any differently from Smooth or Natural.

Lpowell
11-15-2011, 12:08 PM
The only setting I never use is the Nostalgic setting. It simply blows out all highlights with no hope of recovering them. You also have to correct the severe Yellow white balance bias. The WB can be corrected in camera...
I use Nostalgic quite often, but only for nighttime shots in incandescent light. As you point out, the White Balance needs adjustment - I set it to 2700K, with M-5 to suppress the GH2's greenish tint. (I find the GH1 needs M-5 in all WB settings to match the GH2's color balance.)

As strangways explained, the amount of noise seen in the different Film Modes is simply a matter of how much video gain you want to apply to the shadows. The actual signal/noise ratio at the dark end of the scale is predominately determined by the amount of light focused by the lens onto the image sensor. The random noise produced by the GH2's sensor varies by less than 2/3-stop across the standard video ISO range from 160-3200:

http://www.sensorgen.info/PanasonicDMC_GH2.html

As with all DSLR's, the GH2's dynamic range at the bright end of the scale decreases proportional to ISO setting. This means that if you don't want to blow out the highlights at high ISO's, you'll have to crush some of the shadow detail into black. In some cases, such as with intense stage lighting, I prefer to blow the lights in favor of capturing the shadows. This is where I've gotten dramatic results with Nostalgic.

mpgxsvcd
11-15-2011, 01:07 PM
As with all DSLR's, the GH2's dynamic range at the bright end of the scale decreases proportional to ISO setting. This means that if you don't want to blow out the highlights at high ISO's, you'll have to crush some of the shadow detail into black. In some cases, such as with intense stage lighting, I prefer to blow the lights in favor of capturing the shadows. This is where I've gotten dramatic results with Nostalgic.

Couldn't you do the same by using the I.Dynamic mode? You can let Cinema properly expose the highlights and I.Dynamic will bring up the shadows.

Lpowell
11-15-2011, 02:26 PM
Couldn't you do the same by using the I.Dynamic mode? You can let Cinema properly expose the highlights and I.Dynamic will bring up the shadows.
Possibly, but I.Dynamic was designed for still photography and it seems like its use in video is still experimental. Since I don't understand exactly how it's triggered, I'd be concerned that it might produce visibly fluctuating shadow detail during a video take. If we can figure out how to obtain reliably predictable results with I.Dynamic, it could become a good tool for compressing the dynamic range of a shot.

Stevet
11-15-2011, 05:49 PM
This GH2 chart may give you a better idea of what the curves look like. My test does not display less than 20 IRE, so it won't show this info, but it will give you an idea how these curves roll into the highlights.
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/uploads/FileUpload/3a/64ba92a9a6cac03cd812e220de8c8e.jpg

strangways is correct regarding pushing cinema in post verses smooth.

mpgxsvcd
11-15-2011, 07:32 PM
I guess the real point I wanted to make is that Cinema doesn't push the shadows or the highlights at all. It allows you to choose what gets pushed and when it gets pushed. There are some circumstances where pushing the shadows isn't necessary. In that case smooth will under-expose the RAW file and push the shadows and highlights as much as it possibly can.

Contrary to popular belief Panasonic was not trying to make the color mode with the most dynamic range with the Cinema mode. They were trying to make the most grade-able color mode possible and they did exactly that.

Smooth mode might the best color mode for dynamic range straight out of the camera. However, it is not necessarily the best choice when you know you are going to edit the footage.

dvbrother
11-15-2011, 09:31 PM
Again, in circumstances where you know some highlights in your shot are going to clip, Cinema has an ugly color shift on blown highlights, much like the AF100. I think this is because one of the color channels clips prematurely, causing a tinting of the blown highlights. I wish I had an example to show, but one I commonly run into in my shooting is a case of an interior where you want the sunlit windows to blow out. On purpose. That hot blown out window look. On Cinema, those windows tend to look yellow, and the clipping seems very hard and digital. Smooth clips the color channels evenly so the blown out window will look white, and there may be some kind of knee kicking in because the blown highlights look softer and more pleasing. That's why I use Smooth.

Imaginate
11-15-2011, 09:50 PM
this post has made me question my goto choice of Nostalgia for low light situations, actually just plugging my camera into my 42" TV tells quite a bit of the story when your looking at the difference between the settings noise wise. When it comes to Black & White I actually like the Smooth setting better than Standard ... it looks less harsh, but then again if you mean to grade the footage in post it might very well be better to shooting in Standard Mode.

Danielvilliers
11-16-2011, 10:07 AM
Couldn't you do the same by using the I.Dynamic mode? You can let Cinema properly expose the highlights and I.Dynamic will bring up the shadows.

mpgxsvcd you talked that you had a good idea how idynamic is working on personal-view care to share it with us here or there. Until now I cannot get it to work. It would be nice if we could get it hacked.

mpgxsvcd
11-16-2011, 10:56 AM
I had planned to post a demonstration of how I.dynamic works last night. However, my son got extremely sick last night so I had to shelve those plans. If he is doing better tonight I can try to post it tomorrow morning.

The problem is that words are really not enough to demonstrate what I want to show. It really takes video to show what it does. I have already shot the videos I need. I just need to write and speak the narration.

awelgraven
11-16-2011, 11:01 AM
I had planned to post a demonstration of how I.dynamic works last night. However, my son got extremely sick last night so I had to shelve those plans. If he is doing better tonight I can try to post it tomorrow morning.

The problem is that words are really not enough to demonstrate what I want to show. It really takes video to show what it does. I have already shot the videos I need. I just need to write and speak the narration.

You should make it it's own topic when you post it, so it doesn't get lost in another thread. I'd really like to know where I should be using this technique.

mpgxsvcd
11-16-2011, 11:43 AM
You should make it it's own topic when you post it, so it doesn't get lost in another thread. I'd really like to know where I should be using this technique.

My plan is to do a full video review that shows my Opinion of what all of the best settings are to use. I had planned to do this back in January. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t know as much about the settings as I had thought I did.

After testing these settings for the last 10 months I am confident I can show why I think my opinions on these settings are correct now. I will definitely make the posts their own topic when I find the time to put everything together.

DPStewart
11-16-2011, 01:08 PM
My plan is to do a full video review that shows my Opinion of what all of the best settings are to use. I had planned to do this back in January. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t know as much about the settings as I had thought I did.

After testing these settings for the last 10 months I am confident I can show why I think my opinions on these settings are correct now. I will definitely make the posts their own topic when I find the time to put everything together.

That is super helpful.

THANKS!!!

awelgraven
11-16-2011, 01:54 PM
My plan is to do a full video review that shows my Opinion of what all of the best settings are to use. I had planned to do this back in January. However, I quickly realized that I didnít know as much about the settings as I had thought I did.

After testing these settings for the last 10 months I am confident I can show why I think my opinions on these settings are correct now. I will definitely make the posts their own topic when I find the time to put everything together.

Awesome, thank you.

Danielvilliers
11-16-2011, 03:05 PM
Thank you, will wait for it.

mpgxsvcd
11-17-2011, 01:00 PM
My son was still sick last night. However, he is feeling better today. I think I will be able to complete it tonight. Sorry just really busy right now.

Noah Blackwell
11-17-2011, 01:13 PM
Hey, kids come first. Take your time. We are just glad someone is going through the trouble to do something like this. Thanks!

Danielvilliers
11-17-2011, 02:00 PM
Don't worry, if it has taken you ten month of research and gathering experience I think a few more days will be more than ok. Everyone will be grateful for you sharing your knowledge. I am just hopping that the idynamic is hackable. With the intra codec we have now, I think getting better DR will be the next big thing about the gh2.

Blackout
11-18-2011, 01:53 AM
This is interesting... this is another case where this looks too 'stroby' like it was shot at a higher shutter than 50 or 60.. is that the case?
For instance, when the little boy quickly moves his hands its very stuttery and doesn't have much motion blur

I notice the GH2, unlike the GH1, is still in some sort of auto mode when in movie mode as if it were in the Ai and you started shooting on the GH13.... how do you turn this off?

mpgxsvcd
11-18-2011, 09:09 AM
This is interesting... this is another case where this looks too 'stroby' like it was shot at a higher shutter than 50 or 60.. is that the case?
For instance, when the little boy quickly moves his hands its very stuttery and doesn't have much motion blur

I notice the GH2, unlike the GH1, is still in some sort of auto mode when in movie mode as if it were in the Ai and you started shooting on the GH13.... how do you turn this off?

Good observation Blackout. For the most part I do shoot at 1/50th for 24p and 1/120 for 60p. However, there were a few instances where I shot between 1/80 and 1/120 for 24p. I wanted to sharpen the picture up a bit at the expense of the strobing motion that you described.

I fully understand that most people don’t want to do that. However, I am a big fan of the way 300, saving private Ryan, and Immortals were filmed so I played around a little with that affect on a few clips.

The interesting part is that you absolutely cannot go over 1/120th with this type of lighting. It will produce a half dark picture from the rolling shutter and these lights. Everyone wants a global electronic shutter to remedy wobble. However, it has SOOOOO many more important things that it fixes or allows.

I think a global electronic shutter is the only thing that could convince me to upgrade from my GH2 to a GH3.


Here is one of the scenes that uses a faster shutter speed than normal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vVE8s_gCE&t=0m38s

mpgxsvcd
11-22-2011, 07:11 AM
I am uploading a 17+ minute tutorial to youtube right now. It describes how to setup your GH2 to get the most out of stills and video. It also covers the I.Dynamic settings, color modes and has some slow motion examples. It will take about 4 hours to upload but I think you guys will enjoy it. I know I learned a lot making it and I am sure I will learn even more from your comments.

Danielvilliers
11-22-2011, 08:20 AM
Thanks, will look at it as soon as I can and will get you some feedback.

mpgxsvcd
11-22-2011, 11:47 AM
The file finished uploading but youtube rejected it because it was over 15 minutes in length! Arrrrggghhh! It looks like they have changed their rules. I have uploaded 20 minute videos before.

Oh well I know a few places where I can hack off about 2 minutes of the less interesting portions.

I will have to re-edit it tonight and re-upload it tomorrow morning.

mpgxsvcd
11-22-2011, 07:32 PM
I am starting to get a little mad at youtube now. This is the second time it has rejected my file. Hopefully third time is the charm.

Danielvilliers
11-23-2011, 10:04 AM
Perhaps you could make it in two part or use vimeo.

mpgxsvcd
11-23-2011, 10:29 AM
Perhaps you could make it in two part or use vimeo.

Finally got it to work.

Here is a youtube video with GH2 stills and video tips and tricks. If you have any questions about the settings or have some tips or tricks of your own please post comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I

Chapter Index:
0:19 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Start of Basic Settings Discussion
1:28 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) I.Dynamic Discussion
2:03 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) I.Dynamic Movie examples
3:21 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) High Speed Burst mode with Live View
3:40 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) ETC mode Function 2 button
3:59 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Auto ISO
4:12 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Color Modes
5:01 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Noise Reduction in RAW example
5:13 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) White Balance
5:26 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Flash Adjustment Function Button
5:32 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Touch Screen Auto Focus
6:35 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) My Menu Screen
6:49 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) I.Auto mode
7:05 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) "P" Program Priority Mode
7:55 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) "A" Aperture Priority Mode
8:11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) "M" Manual Mode with Constant Preview Setting
8:54 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) 1080p Movie Mode Custom Settings
9:25 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Cinema Color Mode for Videos
11:18 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) 720p Movie Mode Custom Settings
12:29 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Camera Bag Demonstration
13:39 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Lens Changing Demo
13:57 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROQbbiiO2I) Slow Motion Videos

DrDave
11-23-2011, 01:17 PM
Thanks for this thoughtful and well-organized work.

awelgraven
11-23-2011, 01:30 PM
So is there a way to get a better highlight rolloff in cinema mode? I use smooth now because it rolls off so nicely, but if Cinema could duplicate this behavior, I'd switch over right away.

Lucas Adamson
11-24-2011, 03:02 AM
Finally got it to work.

Here is a youtube video with GH2 stills and video tips and tricks. If you have any questions about the settings or have some tips or tricks of your own please post comments.


I don't entirely agree with your findings. Some of them, like the use of Cinema mode, I think I agree with, for those of us that like to do CC to our videos. However, I think that you should dial both NR and sharpness right down to -2, and keep contrast and colour on 0 or take them down further if you want a really flat image for cc. The NR and sharpness are both very ugly on all film modes, in my opinion, but especially the sharpness. I will never shoot with sharpness above -2 ever again, and urge all others to do the same.

mpgxsvcd
11-26-2011, 06:30 AM
I don't entirely agree with your findings. Some of them, like the use of Cinema mode, I think I agree with, for those of us that like to do CC to our videos. However, I think that you should dial both NR and sharpness right down to -2, and keep contrast and colour on 0 or take them down further if you want a really flat image for cc. The NR and sharpness are both very ugly on all film modes, in my opinion, but especially the sharpness. I will never shoot with sharpness above -2 ever again, and urge all others to do the same.

My next video will be a deeper dive into the color modes, sharpness, and noise reduction settings. I am coming up with a way to scientifically measure those modes now.

DrDave
11-27-2011, 10:37 AM
I'm on the fence about -1 vs -2 for cc in post, but I use -1 unless noise is intrusive, so for me the settings relate to light, ISO and the presence of flat backgrounds which emphasize noise. Contrast has to come down at least to -1 for some noise reduction, but of course contrast relates a bit to the lens as well. With the Olly 45mm I have no hesitation in lowering the contrast slightly, other lenses don't yield the same terrific contrast across the frame at lower F stops. In any case, -1/ -1 is an OK place to start, new ppl to the cam have to start somewhere and many ppl will start with a kit lens that is slightly less sharp and contrasty. I'm hoping Panasonic will address the NR issue in the next firmware.

evanflys
11-27-2011, 12:51 PM
My next video will be a deeper dive into the color modes, sharpness, and noise reduction settings. I am coming up with a way to scientifically measure those modes now.

I really appreciate all your work. Thanks!

Tim

Pietro Impagliazzo
11-28-2011, 01:12 PM
I'm on the fence about -1 vs -2 for cc in post, but I use -1 unless noise is intrusive, so for me the settings relate to light, ISO and the presence of flat backgrounds which emphasize noise. Contrast has to come down at least to -1 for some noise reduction, but of course contrast relates a bit to the lens as well. With the Olly 45mm I have no hesitation in lowering the contrast slightly, other lenses don't yield the same terrific contrast across the frame at lower F stops. In any case, -1/ -1 is an OK place to start, new ppl to the cam have to start somewhere and many ppl will start with a kit lens that is slightly less sharp and contrasty. I'm hoping Panasonic will address the NR issue in the next firmware.

Contrast is easy to add but difficult or impossible to remove. So always set contrast to minimum on the GH2 (it'll not be flat like those ugly superflat Canon profiles that completely messed up the images instead of helping the grading process).

Saturation is where I don't get why people lower it. You can remove saturation easily, but adding is difficult or impossible (since it's not a RAW image file, it's a compressed H264 stream).

I always link this old example shot with my GH1 and 14-140: http://vimeo.com/17728149. In the start you have a super saturated digital looking image but through grading you achieve a more natural looking result. It's a little too sharp but that's because of the 14-140's innate sharpness and I was also using a 1/500 shutter for a special effect in 60p (since it was a flashback).

Autotrope
11-28-2011, 09:30 PM
Contrast is easy to add but difficult or impossible to remove. So always set contrast to minimum on the GH2

This is true in theory, but on the GH2 the contrast control works in a particular way. Now, obviously, by altering contrast you get no more bits to play with - you are still limited to 8 bit samples; the contrast can only affect how these are allocated. To me, I feel as if I want to get it as close as possible in-camera so that as few of these 'bins' as possible are wasted. In the GH2, I believe that when you adjust the contrast curve, the overall dynamic range isn't really altered much at all, leaving the blackest and whitest points at around the same values, and it only alters the curve in the middle. When you lower the contrast, it boosts shadows and flattens the mid tones, allowing for a flatter curve in the mid tones and highlights. As a side effect, the shadows are raised (stretched, rather than flattened) which brings out more detail (which may be noise) in the shadows.

This may be desirable if you were going to boost shadows and flatten highlights like this in post anyway, since now you won't have to manipulate as much and you'll get less banding. But if you then want to go back to a more contrasty or less "flat" look in post, you'll need to crush that extra detail in the shadows out again, which will have some small impact upon your image quality. Some of the extra bandwidth set aside for these elevated shadows will have been allocated in vain, and you will potentially increase banding in midtones by stretching them out.

I'm not saying there is one contrast setting that all people should use - I believe you should probably consider what look you want to get in the final product rather than going for a one size fits all approach. If you're interested, I personally am using Contrast "0" a lot of the time right now.



I am very keen to see the work mpgxsvcd mentioned he is doing, measuring the various film mode settings.

Pietro Impagliazzo
11-29-2011, 04:56 AM
This is true in theory, but on the GH2 the contrast control works in a particular way. Now, obviously, by altering contrast you get no more bits to play with - you are still limited to 8 bit samples; the contrast can only affect how these are allocated. To me, I feel as if I want to get it as close as possible in-camera so that as few of these 'bins' as possible are wasted. In the GH2, I believe that when you adjust the contrast curve, the overall dynamic range isn't really altered much at all, leaving the blackest and whitest points at around the same values, and it only alters the curve in the middle. When you lower the contrast, it boosts shadows and flattens the mid tones, allowing for a flatter curve in the mid tones and highlights. As a side effect, the shadows are raised (stretched, rather than flattened) which brings out more detail (which may be noise) in the shadows.

This may be desirable if you were going to boost shadows and flatten highlights like this in post anyway, since now you won't have to manipulate as much and you'll get less banding. But if you then want to go back to a more contrasty or less "flat" look in post, you'll need to crush that extra detail in the shadows out again, which will have some small impact upon your image quality. Some of the extra bandwidth set aside for these elevated shadows will have been allocated in vain, and you will potentially increase banding in midtones by stretching them out.

I'm not saying there is one contrast setting that all people should use - I believe you should probably consider what look you want to get in the final product rather than going for a one size fits all approach. If you're interested, I personally am using Contrast "0" a lot of the time right now.

I am very keen to see the work mpgxsvcd mentioned he is doing, measuring the various film mode settings.

Valid point.

I'm not sure the difference would be great, specially since the difference between the different contrast settings is so small.

But that still asks for some experimentation.

DrDave
11-30-2011, 01:25 AM
I have no empirical reason for doing this, but I go for " just a bit under". I want to be in the ballpark so I don't have to push anything too far in post, but I don't want too much of anything.
Unfortunately, this means often underexposing a tad more than I would like to avoid blown highlights.....I have had the experience with -2 sats that pushing sat in post it just went only so far....probably in combination with shooting a bit under in exposure.

strangways
11-30-2011, 06:36 AM
Saturation is where I don't get why people lower it. You can remove saturation easily, but adding is difficult or impossible (since it's not a RAW image file, it's a compressed H264 stream).

Saturation is a complex thing. Increasing saturation doesn't just increase chroma and mean more bits allocated to it. Saturation is about colour purity, and increasing saturation means removing complementary colours from a colour... a highly saturated yellow has no blue in it, for example. Changing saturation doesn't affect H.264 encoding in quite the same way contrast does. The biggest problem of shooting with high saturation is you can clip the colour space the camera records in. My advice? Pick your personal preference between -2 and 0 saturation, but you probably want to avoid +2.

Pietro Impagliazzo
11-30-2011, 04:08 PM
Saturation is a complex thing. Increasing saturation doesn't just increase chroma and mean more bits allocated to it. Saturation is about colour purity, and increasing saturation means removing complementary colours from a colour... a highly saturated yellow has no blue in it, for example. Changing saturation doesn't affect H.264 encoding in quite the same way contrast does. The biggest problem of shooting with high saturation is you can clip the colour space the camera records in. My advice? Pick your personal preference between -2 and 0 saturation, but you probably want to avoid +2.

Yes, of course. I shoot at 0 sat.

Heartfelt
12-06-2011, 11:38 AM
My next video will be a deeper dive into the color modes, sharpness, and noise reduction settings. I am coming up with a way to scientifically measure those modes now.

Do you have an ETA, yet?

looking forward to it.

mpgxsvcd
12-07-2011, 07:27 AM
Do you have an ETA, yet?

looking forward to it.

Well the new firmware came out last night so that has jumped to the top of the queue. I hope to do the new firmware video tonight. A slow motion video that is done already. I just need to upload it after that and then I should be able to do the color testing video with the new firmware after that.

The color testing video is hard to do because it is so subjective. I am trying to just keep it to reporting the facts and let everyone determine what they like based on that data. Collecting that data is time consuming though.

Heartfelt
12-07-2011, 11:53 AM
mpgxsvcd,
Can you share in layman's terms what is different with your hack, compared to the others in that bitrate range?

maarek
12-07-2011, 01:32 PM
Saturation is where I don't get why people lower it. You can remove saturation easily, but adding is difficult or impossible (since it's not a RAW image file, it's a compressed H264 stream).

Because if saturation starts to clip, (big RED or BLUE lights for example) it's better to lower it so it doesn't clip as much. Saturation is relatively easy to add back.

robjr
12-18-2011, 05:23 AM
I'm looking forward to the video on film modes also! thanks

mpgxsvcd
12-19-2011, 07:22 AM
I'm looking forward to the video on film modes also! thanks
I am shooting the demo clips for the color mode tonight. I am aware of the yellow shift that everyone is seeing in the highlights for Cinema. I will be specifically looking at what causes that and if it can be remedied in camera.

I plan on testing Cinema and Smooth for all ISOs from 160 to 12,800 for stills and 160 to 25,600 for video(Yes I believe that it actually goes that high with the shutter priority mode exposure trick). I will test those ISOs for Cinema and Smooth for hacked(176 mb/sec I frames, 42 mb/sec stock GOP, and total stock) firmware vs. new Panny firmware. I will also run through all color modes at ISO 160, 800, 1600, and 3200 for stills and video.

In addition I will test the ISO bug for changing it from a lower ISO to higher ISO vs. changing from a higher ISO to a lower ISO.

This testing is going to take a long time but I plan on doing it right. I will setup everything in a pitch black garage with a tripod and with a single bright video light to give the scene maximum dynamic range. I will make sure that the camera doesn’t move at all inbetween shots and that the video light maintains an even brightness throughout the testing. I need to get some more AAs to insure that.

I will post the review video to youtube. However, I will also put all of the original video files for any results that are questioned to Vimeo for download.

DBP
12-19-2011, 08:23 AM
I am shooting the demo clips for the color mode tonight. I am aware of the yellow shift that everyone is seeing in the highlights for Cinema. I will be specifically looking at what causes that and if it can be remedied in camera.

I plan on testing Cinema and Smooth for all ISOs from 160 to 12,800 for stills and 160 to 25,600 for video(Yes I believe that it actually goes that high with the shutter priority mode exposure trick). I will test those ISOs for Cinema and Smooth for hacked(176 mb/sec I frames, 42 mb/sec stock GOP, and total stock) firmware vs. new Panny firmware. I will also run through all color modes at ISO 160, 800, 1600, and 3200 for stills and video.

In addition I will test the ISO bug for changing it from a lower ISO to higher ISO vs. changing from a higher ISO to a lower ISO.

This testing is going to take a long time but I plan on doing it right. I will setup everything in a pitch black garage with a tripod and with a single bright video light to give the scene maximum dynamic range. I will make sure that the camera doesnít move at all inbetween shots and that the video light maintains an even brightness throughout the testing. I need to get some more AAs to insure that.

I will post the review video to youtube. However, I will also put all of the original video files for any results that are questioned to Vimeo for download.

Thanks a lot for doing this as it is quite a bit of grunt work. I'm sure many of us will appreciate it.

royfel
12-20-2011, 04:20 AM
Please, as you see your results, give us your opinion. Too many times we are presented with the raw data and told to draw our own conclusions, there is a real value to knowing what you think, especially since you are a long time poster and source of trusted information.

mpgxsvcd
12-20-2011, 10:25 AM
I disagree a little bit here. With things that are measurable like resolution I can give my opinion and feel safe in assuming that more resolutions better in everyone's mind. However, with the color modes I might prefer a little more red. Or I might prefer saving highlights over shadows but everyone else might think the exact opposite.

What I plan on doing for this test is giving my opinion in a video. For those who want the short answer and want to accept what I say without validating it then they can just watch the video and decide for themselves.

However, for everyone else I am going to post the original unedited footage and let them decide on their own what they like and what they don’t like. I just want to be the conduit for information and not really the person that changes their minds.

Kholi
12-20-2011, 11:04 AM
Okay, cam's out of my hands now for a while and I didn't get to do this test. I'm looking for this specifically:

An underexposed situation (night exterior or underexpose interior) where the primary subject, which should be a person, is at least a half stop underexposed, or a full stop. THe rest of the image can have portions exposed or over-exposed. It does not have to be a moving image.

If someone could record about 10 seconds of each and upload, that would be great.

Cinema -2 -2 -1 -2
Standard -2 -2 -1 -2
Smooth -2 -2 -1 -2

OR, if you already have footage like this with a human in it, please send.

I'm finding that I can't underexpose smooth or I lose what's important. It's more like over-exposing it (but not blowing anything out), leaving it like that, then dropping it back in post to get the right look. If Cinema mode allows you to underexpose, then it's gonna be what I use on interiors and night material.

DPStewart
12-20-2011, 11:32 AM
mpgxsvcd,

HUGE, HUGE Jedi points for this effort Sir!

Huge...

mpgxsvcd
12-20-2011, 11:47 AM
mpgxsvcd,

HUGE, HUGE Jedi points for this effort Sir!

Huge...

I lost track of time last night and went to bed at 3:30 AM. I woke up at 7:00 sharp not a happy camper. At least I got more sleep than last week. I went to bed at 6:00 AM and woke up at 7:00 AM. It wasn’t even worth going to sleep then.