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elmerlang
05-09-2012, 10:14 AM
Am close to pulling trigger on the GH2, have handled it a bit at B&H, but googling around finding out more about it, it seems to have a color banding issue, particularly but not exclusively in the sky. And I guess its competition has similar if not exact issues. Any opinions, including fixes (none that I've found)?
And would this be found in cams like the XA10 or even g10?

M. Gilden
05-09-2012, 11:57 AM
The first day I got the camera, I tested it outdoors and noticed some sky banding. Its never come up on an actual shoot (thank goodness), but it is possible.

A user here recommended keeping the ISO higher than 320 to avoid that, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but some claim it helps. Also, many of the hacks claim to also diminish the effects of it as well.

elmerlang
05-09-2012, 11:59 AM
Thanks! And have you heard of the 320/640 bug: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2190/-320640-bug-fix.-gh2-users-liking-320-and-640-please-look./p1
My itch to buy may not get scratched.

FrameFarmMedia
05-09-2012, 12:00 PM
A user here recommended keeping the ISO higher than 320 to avoid that, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but some claim it helps. Also, many of the hacks claim to also diminish the effects of it as well.

I think the theory is that the added grain helps the camera handle or display the smooth gradation of colour better. (or at least that is what I was led to believe). I haven't tested anything so I am just recycling here.

Cosimo Bullo
05-09-2012, 12:11 PM
Driftwoods latest hacks are helping the GH2 deal with skies and smooth gradient very well.

M. Gilden
05-09-2012, 01:23 PM
Thanks! And have you heard of the 320/640 bug: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2190/-320640-bug-fix.-gh2-users-liking-320-and-640-please-look./p1
My itch to buy may not get scratched.

Hmm. Was not aware of that one.

Kholi
05-09-2012, 01:38 PM
The camera is basically not for anyone who just wants to point and shoot.

ISO Bug issues, banding, odd hdmi outputs, crunchy footage at first sight and too many patches/hacks (but advancements are pretty noticeable up to a certain point)... those looking for ease of use should check elsewhere. Even I get fed up with the ISO bugs, so on and so forth.

As for banding, it's most painful indoors with solid surfaces or any very quick changes from light to dark, and sometimes even a higher ISO doesn't help it. Price you pay for not paying a lot, I guess.

Aki_Hartikainen
05-10-2012, 04:10 AM
If the banding still continues to be a problem, may I recommend to look into this work flow which has several different potential solutions that can be tested and used either on their own or combined: http://www.fourseasonshd.com/cgi-bin/csvsearch.pl?db=db1&tp=tp19&search=bluelight7

It has eliminated majority of banding from GH1 material, so it is safe to assume similar results could be had with GH2.

If somebody has a banded GH2 source video file in MTS format that I could download, I will be happy to put it through Silkypix and see if it could be unbanded.

brunerww
05-10-2012, 06:11 AM
elmer - this is the best answer on "banding" that I have seen (from Ben Giles in the UK via dvinfo): http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasonic-lumix-gf-gh-series/507679-gh2-colour-banding-especially-sky.html#post1732497

My two cents:
- 8 bit cameras (to include 8 bit camcorders) have challenges with color gradation

- this can be addressed, to some extent, by 'replacing the sky' in post (as Ben did), with polarizing filters and/or with turning the contrast on the camera down to -2

To put this in perspective - the other large sensor interchangeable lens cameras at this price point all have problems with moire - which cannot be fixed in post.

As for the ISO bug - I have never seen it in over a year of shooting. Of course I only shoot at 160, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 - close to the film ASAs I grew up with. Who ever heard of ASA 320 or 640 anyway? ;-)

Cheers,

Bill

Aki_Hartikainen
05-10-2012, 06:24 AM
My two cents:
- 8 bit cameras (to include 8 bit camcorders) have challenges with color gradation


A good software should be able to deal with it. My suggestion is, the next time the banded sky appears, have a screen grab of it and change the EXIF info using Exifer program so that the image loads into Silkypix. Make some changes in the curves etc. in Silkypix and develop the image into a TIFF file.

If the banding is gone from the developed image, then it's safe to say that it's not just the cameras but also the commonly used software that are not handling the material properly. It's a rather simple test and I could do it aswell, if a banded source image from GH2 could be had.

I can see that the problem exists, because most of the GH2 videos seem to be banded and posterized to varying degree.

MBPRODUCTS
05-10-2012, 06:49 AM
I use Sony Vegas Pro 11 and the only time I see banding is if I do not disable forced sampling in the properties window for that clip. Once forced sampling is disabled the clip looks great. I think the GH2 is a great camera. I’ve had know other problems with it and the video that comes out of this camera is beautiful.

elmerlang
05-10-2012, 06:49 AM
Thanks to all for your replies!
I haven't purchased yet so have no video to illustrate but appreciate the offer. Coming from a long-ago purchased Canon HV20 I had hoped to take a nice step up in quality but without real photography chops it's a bit daunting putting down money on something with so many issues. I guess the XA10 or HF-G10 might give me somewhat of a step up with fewer issues tho I was hoping for a bit more. I'll have to ponder this a bit.
Thanks again!!

elmerlang
05-10-2012, 06:52 AM
I use Sony Vegas Pro 11 and the only time I see banding is if I do not disable forced sampling in the properties window for that clip. Once forced sampling is disabled the clip looks great. I think the GH2 is a great camera. I’ve had know other problems with it and the video that comes out of this camera is beautiful.

Ah, very interesting. I have FCP on a mac. I wonder if there is a similar solution there?

DPStewart
05-10-2012, 10:40 AM
Dudes...these issues are small and old.
Seriously.
The "ISO bug" is beaten in one second flat - it has long been known that the bug shows up only when you click "UP" to 320 or 640. Yup, it's THAT simple, you just click ABOVE 320 or ABOVE 640 and than back down to 320 or 640 and you don't get the bug.

As for banding - it is an 8-bit hazard on all cameras. It does get worse with the lowest ISO's but that can be worked around and it doesn't always occur anyway.
Also hacks like Driftwood's have been shown to reduce banding significantly. Even lower bit-rate hacks improve it.

That's about it for these two topics.
Really not a problem at all.

As for FCP on Mac - using a very very inexpensive program called 5DtoRGB will transcode your files as well as anything out there anywhere AND it gives you a final file format that will be interpreted the same way in other software on different computers.

I think the HV20-30-40 were GREAT cameras, but the GH2 FAR surpasses them now. The world of lenses is a beautiful thing.

Enjoy the GH2!

Kholi
05-10-2012, 02:04 PM
Dudes...these issues are small and old.
Seriously.
The "ISO bug" is beaten in one second flat - it has long been known that the bug shows up only when you click "UP" to 320 or 640. Yup, it's THAT simple, you just click ABOVE 320 or ABOVE 640 and than back down to 320 or 640 and you don't get the bug.

Depends on how you like to work. Having to do it every time you turn on the camera (yes, you do) is annoying. Small things add up to frustration when you're trying to use something for more than cat videos.



As for banding - it is an 8-bit hazard on all cameras. It does get worse with the lowest ISO's but that can be worked around and it doesn't always occur anyway.
Also hacks like Driftwood's have been shown to reduce banding significantly. Even lower bit-rate hacks improve it.

The trade-off is noise. Which is fine, but that's what's going on. You will still get it when you don't want it to show up.


That's about it for these two topics.
Really not a problem at all.

Perhaps for one person, for another it might be the small annoyance that puts them off.

Knowing about it and understanding it helps people make an informed decision. I personally would not recommend the GH2 to anyone that wanted to just point and shoot.

DPStewart
05-10-2012, 02:10 PM
I personally would not recommend the GH2 to anyone that wanted to just point and shoot.

Total Agreement there Sir.

The current crop of point and shoots are better than they've ever been.

Kholi
05-10-2012, 02:22 PM
On the flip side, it's pretty silly to complain about hoops you have to jump through to get there (guilty as charged) if you're using one. I'd probably just look at myself and wonder why I don't just use a REAL camera. haha.

If one's willing to put up with the gotchas, then the image quality can't be beat by anything (to me) under C300 and Scarlet. That's just me, though.

FrameFarmMedia
05-10-2012, 02:27 PM
If one's willing to put up with the gotchas, then the image quality can't be beat by anything (to me) under C300 and Scarlet. That's just me, though.

Given the price differences between the GH2 and the pro cams I am willing to put up with Gotchas. It seems each camera under 10k has its tradeoffs so its all how you want to spend the budget and how much you have.

Kholi
05-10-2012, 02:33 PM
Given the price differences between the GH2 and the pro cams I am willing to put up with Gotchas. It seems each camera under 10k has its tradeoffs so its all how you want to spend the budget and how much you have.

Definitely agreeing with you. I'd rather spend the extra money building around the Gh2 as a base with a view into the future as far as moving the accessories to another "brain". I do have more optimism for the Magic Cam than I should, but until that cam's out the price-to-performance (in IQ department) is GH2 territory.

It's a shame that I think A) Panasonic broadcast is going to abandon 4/3 altogether and move to S35 or larger, and B) the GH3 will be a marginal improvement over the GH2, with little to no gains in the departments that matter. Specifically, Dynamic Range and Lowlight Performance.

elmerlang
05-11-2012, 08:27 AM
Thanks, guys, for the great posts, I appreciate all info and points of view!

FrameFarmMedia
05-11-2012, 08:32 AM
Definitely agreeing with you. I'd rather spend the extra money building around the Gh2 as a base with a view into the future as far as moving the accessories to another "brain". I do have more optimism for the Magic Cam than I should, but until that cam's out the price-to-performance (in IQ department) is GH2 territory.

It's a shame that I think A) Panasonic broadcast is going to abandon 4/3 altogether and move to S35 or larger, and B) the GH3 will be a marginal improvement over the GH2, with little to no gains in the departments that matter. Specifically, Dynamic Range and Lowlight Performance.

I agree with your forcast of the future. Although I do like M43 as a sesnor size but don't find a ton of size difference between the oversized m43 of gh2 vs s35. To me the things that make a bigger difference are codec, Dynamic range, colour info etc and I agree we won't see much improvement on the low end. I think each camera maker has realized that the race to the bottom isn't good for anyones bottom line.

The GH2 is/has served me very well now as I venture into the low levels of cinematography (make my day job money as a line producer/editor) and if I can make enough $$ upgrade down the road. There is a sense of freedom to be able to generate my own content to produce/edit and not rely on others when the budget isn't there.

Zephyrnoid
05-11-2012, 09:00 PM
DI think the HV20-30-40 were GREAT cameras, but the GH2 FAR surpasses them now. The world of lenses is a beautiful thing.

I can't wait to get my GH3 with new constant aperture zooms. Who knows, they may not even need hacks.
In the meantime I am so loving my fully paid off $900 HV20. No banding and it even streams 8Bit 4:2:2 via HDMI !
Oh and it does have a zooom lens :)

PaPa
05-12-2012, 06:53 AM
If the camera shoots 8 bit, they will all exhibit the exact same issue. The lower the noise, the more visible it becomes. Don't shoot bellow 400 ISO, add a little grain in post, and hack the camera. Voila. Noise in 8 bit cameras is your friend. Noise is not the same thing as macro blocking. The more macro blocking, the more visible that gradient will become ( hence hacking the camera to turn those blocks into information/noise ).

Regardless of what you shoot with, if you intend your release for the web, you will be hard pressed the find any camera delivering gradient friendly images via web video. Also, each monitor will give more or less of this depending on the quality.

elmerlang
05-12-2012, 03:28 PM
I suppose I should start a new thread, but hope someone here will provide info to these questions:

Can't say I'm into 24fps film look but if I still want best quality from the GH2, what mode should I choose and how much less quality do the other modes provide? Is the 720p60 as good as 1080p24; can't be, right? And seems like I hear the 1080i is no good.

Also, I work with FCP. Is there a soup to nuts how to transfer footage to use in FCP? (Just watched a Creative Cow vid but doesn’t say which plugin is right for GH2. ALso read a few threads, head starting to explode. ;) )

I also have PP CS5.5. Maybe I should bite the bullet and learn it, but would still like to know the FCP workflow.

Arg!

DPStewart
05-12-2012, 04:45 PM
PP CS5.5 for sure!
I have both too...and honestly the general layouts and functions are so similar I could bounce from one to the other with only a casual refresher on a few functions.
My understanding is that one of the key designers of FCP also was a key designer of PP - hence the similarities.
CS5.5 does the best native handling of AVCHD files I have heard of anywhere yet - and the Mercury Engine just rocks - makes everything so much faster.

If you don't dig 24P then 30P will probably be your game - unless you're shooting a lot of sports and such in which case 1080i might be what you're looking for.
I once did a large piece for Special Olympics and 30P captured all the action really smoothly while avoiding an overly "video" look.
I think the 1080i looks extremely good - for 1080i. If you want the "News broadcast" style of sharpness it is right on.

The 720P on the GH2 is surprisingly good - like so good it makes your decisions more difficult!
Fortunately or UNfortunately the GH2's different modes will each give different looks depending on what you're shooting. Once you get to know them all you'll LOVE that....but it does make start-up a bit more bumpy.
I would suggest the first thing you try is doing a quick shoot of your type of scene in 1080-30P then right away the same shot with 1080i, then the same with the 720P. that should quickly allow you to get to know the major differences and which you will 'generally' prefer. 1 minute of each should be enough to get the idea.

~Cheers

elmerlang
05-14-2012, 09:07 AM
Thanks DPStewart and everybody for the info!