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View Full Version : GH2 More important: The lens, or the hack?



Julie_Freed
05-18-2012, 03:50 PM
I've always wondered this- If all things were equal (same cameraman, same lighting, no post), would it be better to have a great lens, say the Voigtlander 25mm 0.95, but with no hack? Or have the kit 14-42mm lens with a great hack? Purely hypothetical of course, I am just curious to know. :)

awelgraven
05-18-2012, 06:01 PM
Lens. The GH2 shot great footage before the hack and can shoot even better footage after the hack. It's hard to beat a really nice piece of glass.

my opinion, of course.

GrahamH
05-18-2012, 06:55 PM
Depends what you shoot. If lowlight or narrative then the lens. If 720p60 (which I use a lot) then the hack. But since the hack is free and reversible, there's no reason not to simply have both!

DPStewart
05-18-2012, 07:03 PM
Lens again.
But they really operate in 2 different ways.
Lenses - especially a low-light monster like that Voightlander - give your image its character.
Hacks will marginally improve the resolution of that character.
Improving the resolution of an underexposed shot is not really going to help you.

The REAL difference between lenses and the hack is that the hack is FREE.
Personally - I am more concerned about lens choice in most shooting conditions.

maranfilms
05-18-2012, 08:35 PM
+1


Lens again.
But they really operate in 2 different ways.
Lenses - especially a low-light monster like that Voightlander - give your image its character.
Hacks will marginally improve the resolution of that character.
Improving the resolution of an underexposed shot is not really going to help you.

The REAL difference between lenses and the hack is that the hack is FREE.
Personally - I am more concerned about lens choice in most shooting conditions.

GrahamH
05-18-2012, 09:11 PM
Hacks will marginally improve the resolution of that character.


The improvement to 720P60 isn't marginal - IMHO it's barely useable unhacked.

DPStewart
05-19-2012, 12:37 AM
The improvement to 720P60 isn't marginal - IMHO it's barely useable unhacked.

But only weirdo's use 720P60.

Ha! I am one! Good point. -I forgot about that because I never even used 720P60 un-hacked.

nigelbb
05-19-2012, 01:36 AM
Lens again.
But they really operate in 2 different ways.
Lenses - especially a low-light monster like that Voightlander - give your image its character.
Hacks will marginally improve the resolution of that character.
Improving the resolution of an underexposed shot is not really going to help you.The hack makes absolutely zero difference to the resolution of the image.

ed_lee83
05-19-2012, 04:50 AM
For me it's glass first, no matter the subject.To this date the majority of my 'best' videos were unhacked. But damn, the glass I've used: Lomo (and anamorphic), Angenieux, Zeiss...

Gary Huff
05-19-2012, 06:59 AM
The hack makes absolutely zero difference to the resolution of the image.

Technically, no, but in use, yes it does. The encoder has more bits to work with in representing small details in the image, details that allow us to see "resolution" in the image.

stefancolson
05-19-2012, 10:59 AM
Lens. Period. The hack buys you more latitude in post and helps eliminate macroblocking, compression artifacts, etc., but doesn't provide the night and day difference that a decent lens will over the especially evil stock panny kit lens. Even in 720P60.

stoneinapond
05-19-2012, 11:33 AM
Lens.

Jaime Valles
05-19-2012, 11:56 AM
I think the lens makes much more of a difference. But that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money on lenses, either. I have the Voigtlander 25mm, and it's excellent. But I also love my Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 which I bought on eBay for $80. Either one is miles better than the kit lens for creating a more cinematic look to your footage.

As others have said, the hack is free, so there's no reason you can't have both the nice lens and the higher bitrate images. And, yes, the hack helps a lot with removing macroblocking artifacts (mud) and adding a nice film-like grain. Especially the INTRA high-end hacks like Driftwood's Orion V4b (what I'm using nowadays) make the footage feel more crisp and organic.

flinty
05-20-2012, 12:19 AM
It makes me laugh with comments like evil stock lens,footage like waterfalls in the motion galleries show thats silly.

Gary Huff
05-20-2012, 08:25 AM
It makes me laugh with comments like evil stock lens,footage like waterfalls in the motion galleries show thats silly.

What?

flinty
05-20-2012, 08:56 AM
What?

So Dan Carters films like the ones in the motion galleries look bad with panasonic lenses.

Gary Huff
05-20-2012, 09:16 AM
So Dan Carters films like the ones in the motion galleries look bad with panasonic lenses.

Based on what?

spamrakuen
05-20-2012, 09:49 AM
On the GH1, it is the hack. On GH2, the lens.

flinty
05-20-2012, 09:56 AM
Based on what?
Based on what you either agree or not.

No i think they are very good,and i am saying very good footage can be taken with Panasonic lenses,or any lens good lens for that matter.Evil stock lens sounds way over the top.

Sangye
05-20-2012, 02:02 PM
I would agree that lens is more important than hack, but I would also point out that most any lens can be made to look good, if used right. By the same token, expensive lenses can fail to impress if they aren't used right. Some of the best GH2 footage I've seen was shot on the kit 14-42mm lens. I've also seen some pretty mediocre footage shot on the Voigtländer.

DPStewart
05-20-2012, 03:52 PM
I would agree that lens is more important than hack, but I would also point out that most any lens can be made to look good, if used right. By the same token, expensive lenses can fail to impress if they aren't used right. Some of the best GH2 footage I've seen was shot on the kit 14-42mm lens. I've also seen some pretty mediocre footage shot on the Voigtländer.

BINGO!

Waterfalls: Dan Carter shoots stock with panny lenses and his stuff is GORGEOUS! But he knows exposure.
I have recently done some stuff with the panny 20mm pancake with the black diffusion 3 filter on it and I have been amazed by my own results...
Agree with Sangye - the lenses can have a greater altering effect but it's for better or WORSE depending on how you use it.
One simply must learn their tools.

Gary Huff
05-21-2012, 06:21 AM
No i think they are very good,and i am saying very good footage can be taken with Panasonic lenses,or any lens good lens for that matter.Evil stock lens sounds way over the top.

Flinty, you need to take some moments to make sure what you are trying to communicate is getting across. Your first post read like the exact opposite point you just made, and the second post seemed to be saying that you thought Dan Carter's movies were terrible looking, which is obviously not what you meant.

mcbob
05-21-2012, 07:38 AM
The most important part of any camera is what's immediately behind the viewfinder/lcd.






Yes, the loupe. That's the critical part.

flinty
05-21-2012, 08:37 AM
Flinty, you need to take some moments to make sure what you are trying to communicate is getting across. Your first post read like the exact opposite point you just made, and the second post seemed to be saying that you thought Dan Carter's movies were terrible looking, which is obviously not what you meant.

Post 14 was clear ie saying pana lenses are EVIL is silly when there are films like Dans,
Well i admit the word do should have gone in post 16 for it to be clear for most people,but i mistakingly asumed my admimation of Dans films in the motion galleries to be known.

stoneinapond
05-21-2012, 09:51 AM
Post 14 was clear ie saying pana lenses are EVIL is silly when there are films like Dans.

Don't worry, I understood what you were trying to say perfectly well the first time. :beer:

flinty
05-21-2012, 02:20 PM
Not sure if that is meant as complementary or disparaging,anyhow i will drink on it for sure :beer:

stoneinapond
05-21-2012, 02:49 PM
No, I fully understood that you were taking to task the poster who labeled the 14-42 as evil. It was a silly comment. (Complementary in case you didn't get it.)


Let's have another.


:beer:

Julie_Freed
05-21-2012, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the terrific comments everyone. Again I wasn't suggesting this was a trade off. I was just wondering which one (the lens, or hack/unhacked) affects the footage more.

Gary Huff
05-21-2012, 08:19 PM
You will see more of a difference with the hack than if you put on a better lens, if that puts it in perspective.

stefancolson
05-21-2012, 09:49 PM
No i think they are very good,and i am saying very good footage can be taken with Panasonic lenses,or any lens good lens for that matter.Evil stock lens sounds way over the top.


Obviously it was an exaggeration. I don't think that the stock panny lens (14-42) is secretly plotting malfeasance behind any of our backs, or that a lens (or any inanimate object for that matter) is capable of nefarious deeds of any sort. That being said, the 14-42 all-around sucks if you're interested in a cinematic look. It is decently sharp and contrasty, and a great tool to have in your bag any time you want to make your footage look less cinematic (which, when not a product of poor or inadequate technique, I consider to be evil).

Also note that I did not condemn all Panasonic lenses to a position high atop my sh**-list. Panasonic makes some good lenses. The 7-14, 14-140, 20 1.7, 25 1.4, fisheye, etc. are all fine lenses. The 14-42 is definitely not among them.

"Havasupai" (Dan Carter's Waterfall video) is great because the exposure, composition, edit, colors, etc. are great. It does not look cinematic, and looks more like a great video shot on a small chip camcorder than it does a large sensor camera. This is (in my opinion) the fault of the lens. The same video would look much better if shot on better glass.

Dan Carter is obviously skilled and makes great videos. The fact that, wholly independent of his ability or execution, they could look much better than they do, is evil. I thusly stand by my original statement: The Panasonic 14-42 and 14-45 are EVIL!

(I would also gladly contribute a small amount to a "Buy Dan Carter Some Better Glass" fund)

mpgxsvcd
05-22-2012, 01:32 PM
The improvement to 720P60 isn't marginal - IMHO it's barely useable unhacked.

With the right settings and framing it is fine even unhacked. It does benefit greatly when hacked but it isn't totally unusable.

Just wait till the GH3 has 1080p @ 60 FPS unhacked. Everyone will complain about that until we have a hack. I will just be glad we have 1080p @ 60 FPS and go about figuring out how to get the most out of the stock codec.

mpgxsvcd
05-22-2012, 01:35 PM
Technically, no, but in use, yes it does. The encoder has more bits to work with in representing small details in the image, details that allow us to see "resolution" in the image.

The hack makes absolutely no difference in resolution for the high bit rate standard options like 1080p @ 24 FPS and 1080p @ 30 FPS. The compression in those settings is not enough to really see a difference unless you are pixel peeping at 300%. For 720p @ 60 FPS I think the Hack does make a difference. It just isn't as big a difference as some people have lead you to believe.

mpgxsvcd
05-22-2012, 01:36 PM
Lens. Period. The hack buys you more latitude in post and helps eliminate macroblocking, compression artifacts, etc., but doesn't provide the night and day difference that a decent lens will over the especially evil stock panny kit lens. Even in 720P60.

This is all that needs to be said.

Lpowell
05-22-2012, 01:53 PM
For shooting moderately-detailed static scenes, the GH2's unhacked 24Mbps bitrate in 24H video mode works quite well. Where the limited bitrate of the stock AVCHD encoder becomes painfully visible is when shooting highly-detailed, fast moving subjects, for example, a shaded stream of running water:

53911

The upper half of this frame grab is an unfiltered 200% crop of an unhacked AVCHD file in 24H mode. You can clearly see rectangular macroblock artifacts due to the encoder's inadequate 24Mbps bitrate. The lower half is the same scene shot with Flow Motion v2.0 at 100Mbps (which I'm planning on releasing in the very near future). These videos were shot with a Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4 lens in Four Thirds mount. With this type of subject matter, the sharpest lenses require higher bitrates than the stock firmware provides.

MattRobertson
05-22-2012, 02:11 PM
Lens absolutely.

Julie_Freed
05-22-2012, 06:42 PM
You will see more of a difference with the hack than if you put on a better lens, if that puts it in perspective.

Interesting, you are the only one who chose the hack over the lens (or did I misunderstand?). Or maybe you're the only person who understood exactly what I was asking? :)

Personally from watching videos on Youtube and Vimeo, I see more of an improvement in hacked + kit lens than I do with unhacked + superior lens. Unfortunately however, not all the videos I'm watching are by the same person so it's not exactly comparing apples to apples.

Ian-T
05-22-2012, 07:35 PM
The hack makes absolutely no difference in resolution for the high bit rate standard options like 1080p @ 24 FPS and 1080p @ 30 FPS. The compression in those settings is not enough to really see a difference unless you are pixel peeping at 300%. For 720p @ 60 FPS I think the Hack does make a difference. It just isn't as big a difference as some people have lead you to believe.

I notice you keep saying the same thing over and over again in several threads but manage to ignore what others who have used this camera (also) say. The hack most certainly DOES make a heck of a difference....especially when it comes to motion. One does not need to pixel peep to witness this. Just look at lpowell's thread above...THAT is what we see when there is motion in the image (pans. trees blowing in the wind etc.).PLUS...the fact that shadow detail with the hacks are now holding their own in terms of detail (no more smearing out fine detail in the shadows). This has been witnessed and stated over and over. Then there's the issue of noise....it's now like fine wine. If you chose to keep it...your doing well. But if you chose to remove it...Neat Video loves you for it because it makes it so much easier to discern noise from compression artifacts. It's a win-win situation. There is definitely a perceived increase in resolution. We don't just shoot static images. Why would you steer others away from that type of truth?

flinty
05-22-2012, 11:36 PM
Obviously it was an exaggeration. I don't think that the stock panny lens (14-42) is secretly plotting malfeasance behind any of our backs, or that a lens (or any inanimate object for that matter) is capable of nefarious deeds of any sort. That being said, the 14-42 all-around sucks if you're interested in a cinematic look. It is decently sharp and contrasty, and a great tool to have in your bag any time you want to make your footage look less cinematic (which, when not a product of poor or inadequate technique, I consider to be evil).

Also note that I did not condemn all Panasonic lenses to a position high atop my sh**-list. Panasonic makes some good lenses. The 7-14, 14-140, 20 1.7, 25 1.4, fisheye, etc. are all fine lenses. The 14-42 is definitely not among them.

"Havasupai" (Dan Carter's Waterfall video) is great because the exposure, composition, edit, colors, etc. are great. It does not look cinematic, and looks more like a great video shot on a small chip camcorder than it does a large sensor camera. This is (in my opinion) the fault of the lens. The same video would look much better if shot on better glass.

Dan Carter is obviously skilled and makes great videos. The fact that, wholly independent of his ability or execution, they could look much better than they do, is evil. I thusly stand by my original statement: The Panasonic 14-42 and 14-45 are EVIL!

(I would also gladly contribute a small amount to a "Buy Dan Carter Some Better Glass" fund)


Dan i suspect is too much of a gentleman to respond to your comments,
Regarding Pnasonic lenses i have the 14-42 as well as the 14-140 which you say is better than the EVIL 14-42 and is nonsense.
Mine at the same settings f stop/ shutter/ picture settings give identical video,as do my other Pana lenses and olympus lenses,it is in lower light that i can see differences.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 05:53 AM
I notice you keep saying the same thing over and over again in several threads but manage to ignore what others who have used this camera (also) say. The hack most certainly DOES make a heck of a difference....especially when it comes to motion. One does not need to pixel peep to witness this. Just look at lpowell's thread above...THAT is what we see when there is motion in the image (pans. trees blowing in the wind etc.).PLUS...the fact that shadow detail with the hacks are now holding their own in terms of detail (no more smearing out fine detail in the shadows). This has been witnessed and stated over and over. Then there's the issue of noise....it's now like fine wine. If you chose to keep it...your doing well. But if you chose to remove it...Neat Video loves you for it because it makes it so much easier to discern noise from compression artifacts. It's a win-win situation. There is definitely a perceived increase in resolution. We don't just shoot static images. Why would you steer others away from that type of truth?

If all you ever shoot is flowing water at close range then by all means hack away. If you shoot pretty much anything but fooliage blowing in the wind and running water then compression artifacts really won't ruin your shot.

The hack definitely has its place and has its merits. In some cases those merrits are essential. The problem is that so many people portray it as an absolute must have for any shot. That simply isn't true.

Good lenses on the other hand are essential for just about every shot. Try to shoot with the 14-140mm in anything but bright light. The noise in it will ruin even a static shot with a 189 mb/sec hack. That is not to say that there is a single lens that fits every scenario.

However, given the choice to have the right lenses or the right hack settings but not both I will choose the right lenses every time. I can work around the limitations that the stock bit rate offers. However, I cannot overcome the fact that many of the lenses are simply too slow to use for the things most of us shoot.

The good thing is that we don't have to choose one or the other. We can use whatever works best for our individual situations. If we need perfectly stable settings with moderate bit rates we have a hack for that. If we need extreme settings with fast memory cards we have a hack for that. If we need super fast prime lenses and moderately fast zoom lenses we have that(Soon will have the 12-35mm F2.8 and 35-100mm F2.8) as well.

I am not trying to disparage the hack. I just want to express to everyone that ridiculously high bit rates are not essential for anything but test shots. They may help and they may not actually help. That doesn't mean you are doing it wrong if you are not shooting at 100+ mb/sec.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 06:01 AM
I notice you keep saying the same thing over and over again in several threads but manage to ignore what others who have used this camera (also) say. The hack most certainly DOES make a heck of a difference....especially when it comes to motion. One does not need to pixel peep to witness this. Just look at lpowell's thread above...THAT is what we see when there is motion in the image (pans. trees blowing in the wind etc.).PLUS...the fact that shadow detail with the hacks are now holding their own in terms of detail (no more smearing out fine detail in the shadows). This has been witnessed and stated over and over. Then there's the issue of noise....it's now like fine wine. If you chose to keep it...your doing well. But if you chose to remove it...Neat Video loves you for it because it makes it so much easier to discern noise from compression artifacts. It's a win-win situation. There is definitely a perceived increase in resolution. We don't just shoot static images. Why would you steer others away from that type of truth?

Your arguments are full of emotional comparisons and lack any empirical data. It is a lot like when someone tries to explain religion to a scientist. If you simply don’t have faith then there really isn’t any evidence to prove your point.

Llpowell’s example does show a good use of the high bit rates. If I am shooting flowing water I would definitely consider those settings to be necessary for a good shot. However, I can’t recall ever wanting to shoot water like that.

As far as shadow detail and resolution go. Show me examples of that. Here is my example of how it doesn’t affect those things at all. I really think the Placebo affect has more to do with this than actual differences do.


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

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 06:11 AM
For shooting moderately-detailed static scenes, the GH2's unhacked 24Mbps bitrate in 24H video mode works quite well. Where the limited bitrate of the stock AVCHD encoder becomes painfully visible is when shooting highly-detailed, fast moving subjects, for example, a shaded stream of running water:


The real difference in shooting something like this isn’t that the subject is moving. It is that the entire scene is moving. In fact it is moving in a chaotic motion. That absolutely wreaks havoc on a codec trying to do compression. Noise does essentially the same thing.

The good news is that shooting an entire scene that is moving chaotically rarely ever happens in real world shooting. Sure if you are shooting Niagra falls or a flock of birds you need higher bit rates like this. However, if you are simply shooting an athlete doing fast action without aggressively panning it won’t tax the compressor that much.

The problem is that most people show a scene like this and then equate it to a scene where the subject is in motion but the surroundings are static. They are two totally different things.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 06:28 AM
mpgxvcd, since your Vimeo page is filled with video after video of mostly static camera tests, I'm not sure what kind of shooting situation you're using the GH2 hacks (and are you even using the newer stuff like Sedna?) in that allow you to make these statements.

I have shot both hacked and unhacked with the GH2 in actual shooting situations, and the hack does make a ton of difference, especially in resolving finer detail.

Oh, I also watch everything I do on a calibrated 1080p monitor in full screen. Can you say the same?

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 06:54 AM
mpgxvcd, since your Vimeo page is filled with video after video of mostly static camera tests, I'm not sure what kind of shooting situation you're using the GH2 hacks (and are you even using the newer stuff like Sedna?) in that allow you to make these statements.

I have shot both hacked and unhacked with the GH2 in actual shooting situations, and the hack does make a ton of difference, especially in resolving finer detail.

Oh, I also watch everything I do on a calibrated 1080p monitor in full screen. Can you say the same?

Yes I use the Vimeo page almost solely to show the results of the many tests I have run through. I do those tests because so many other people would rather spew on about how pretty the noise is with high bit rate hacks than actually do a test case to show it.

I pay for the upgraded Vimeo page so that anyone can download the original files and see the evidence for themselves. So many other people are unwilling to do that.

I use my youtube page for the actual content I shoot. None of it is shot for anyone else. I just shoot things for myself and if anyone else is interested in the subject then they can watch it as well. However, most of it does involve the subject moving but the overall scene remaining static.

I would much rather reduce the noise by using a fast lens than to have it accurately represented with a slow lens. That may just be me. However, I really don’t think noise looks good in any shot whether it is like a “fine wine” or sour grapes.

I have said it before but I feel like people are still missing the point. The hack is great for a lot of things. However, it simply is not necessary for every shot.

Yes I watch the content on a calibrated 55" 1080 screen. Not all of my screens are calibrated. However, when I need to do critical viewing I use the large calibrated 1080 screen.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 06:56 AM
Yes I watch the content on a calibrated 55" 1080 screen. Not all of my screens are calibrated. However, when I need to do critical viewing I use the large calibrated 1080 screen.

Your TV is not a calibrated monitor. And how are you playing back GH2 hack clips on your TV? That could also make a difference.

EDIT: And I should add the video evidence you submitted is a YouTube video that doesn't appear to have a counterpart on Vimeo, so it's rather pointless to see exactly what's going on, don't you think?

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 08:36 AM
Your TV is not a calibrated monitor. And how are you playing back GH2 hack clips on your TV? That could also make a difference.

EDIT: And I should add the video evidence you submitted is a YouTube video that doesn't appear to have a counterpart on Vimeo, so it's rather pointless to see exactly what's going on, don't you think?

My TV is calibrated when it is hooked up to a computer and playing the original AVC-HD files off of the hard drive. I calibrated using the H.264 DVE Blu-Ray in the same program that I play the GH2 videos with.

If you calibrated your display using anything but the program you play the GH2 files with then it is likely that it is not actually calibrated for those files.

You obviously did not read the description for the youtube video. It has a link to my Vimeo account that house the originals.
https://vimeo.com/user442745/videos

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 08:40 AM
My TV is calibrated when it is hooked up to a computer and playing the original AVC-HD files off of the hard drive. I calibrated using the H.264 DVE Blu-Ray in the same program that I play the GH2 videos with. If you calibrated your display using anything but the program you play the GH2 files with then it is likely that it is not actually calibrated for those files.

You're not exactly inspiring confidence that you can legitimately make statements concerning the quality of the AVCHD encoder hacks outside of personal opinion.


You obviously did not read the description for the youtube video. It has a link to my Vimeo account that house the originals.
https://vimeo.com/user442745/videos

You link to the video page, of which there is a lot of videos all of the same subjects. You need to link the specific video that you think demonstrates that the GH2 encoder patches do not help resolution in fine detail areas.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 09:10 AM
You're not exactly inspiring confidence that you can legitimately make statements concerning the quality of the AVCHD encoder hacks outside of personal opinion.



You link to the video page, of which there is a lot of videos all of the same subjects. You need to link the specific video that you think demonstrates that the GH2 encoder patches do not help resolution in fine detail areas.

You have done absolutely nothing to back any of your claims up. A TV is nothing more than a monitor when hooked to a computer. If the output of the computer and the setup of the TV are properly calibrated then it is no different than using a smaller monitor instead.

Really you are starting to sound like you believe your last name qualifies you to be an expert without actually providing any sound advice.

The videos you requested are available at that link. If you are too lazy to click on them then there really isn't anything I can do about that.

Kholi
05-23-2012, 09:20 AM
You have done absolutely nothing to back any of your claims up. A TV is nothing more than a monitor when hooked to a computer. If the output of the computer and the setup of the TV are properly calibrated then it is no different than using a smaller monitor instead.

A Television is not a calibrated monitor, and must be calibrated by a professional for each source it's being fed. Simply connecting a monitor to a computer does not mean it's calibrated. Calibration itself is an employable and tedious task.

There's a good reason why a Dreamcolor costs more than I suspect most of our televisions cost. And, there's a good reason why an engineer costs 150/hour to come out and calibrate plasmas, etc.

If you were running your monitor through an AJA card HD-SDI out into a Plasma or LCD with an HD-SDI interface, likely the things you see would change. That's how most of us in post houses work.



The videos you requested are available at that link. If you are too lazy to click on them then there really isn't anything I can do about that.

But, I think Ian and Gary have a very valid point.

What do you shoot?

As filmmakers, we often comment from a very narrow-minded place which is born from "things that we do". You made the statement that compression won't ruin your shot. Well, that's quite a statement. I wonder what the creators of several external recording devices to bypass sub par compression would think about that? Or the industry employees that spend time and money employing them to make sure that compression artifacts aren't something that they have to deal with?

Believe it or not, most working professionals that understand digital image acquisition and delivery do everything they can to avoid compression artifacts. Why? Because they feel that they ruin footage. You start with the very ground floor and work your way through the chain, which means start with eliminating them at the camera level.

Maybe you aren't doing anything where it actually matters, but I am.


As far as Resolution and Detail goes, no, technically the hack does not increase resolution or anything like that. However, it's pretty clear that it increases the amount of detail that remains through compression. That's pretty obvious, and that's why you use it or an external recorder, so on and so forth.

Whether that has value or not to one person is that person's deal.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 09:55 AM
A Television is not a calibrated monitor, and must be calibrated by a professional for each source it's being fed. Simply connecting a monitor to a computer does not mean it's calibrated. Calibration itself is an employable and tedious task.

There's a good reason why a Dreamcolor costs more than I suspect most of our televisions cost. And, there's a good reason why an engineer costs 150/hour to come out and calibrate plasmas, etc.


Look I think the problem here is that you both don't really read what others say. You just jump to conclusions. I said I calibrated both the computer output and the TV for the actual program that I use to play the videos. I spent years studying calibration for my specific TV and while I am not a certified calibration technician. I know how to calibrate my specific display after spending all of those years learning from people who are.

If you are doubting the validity of the DVE Blu-ray then that is one thing. It isn't perfect but it was the best calibration disk I have access to. If you have better reasonably priced calibration material then please let me know about it.

Yes I agree we should always try to avoid compression. If the GH2 could shoot full uncompressed RAW we wouldn't have ever had this conversation. However, the fact is that it can't do that and in order to get it to shoot even high bit rate compressed video you have to introduce some other limitations.

I would love it if the GH2 could shoot 180 mb/sec GOP = 1 without ever failing. Then if you had the space to store it there wouldn't be any reason to use anything else. The fact is that there are still write errors and specific scenarios that those settings will not work for. There are far more circumstances where not getting an error is far more important than reducing compression artifacts to zero.

Let's see some real world examples where a moderate bit rate or even the stock 24 mb/sec bit rate is simply not sufficient for. All I shoot are real world scenarios. I don't shoot staged scenes professionally for other people. I understand that in some of those scenarios compression artifacts are not acceptable. However, write errors would not be acceptable there either. You have to balance between the two.

I think we are starting to get off of the original topic though. I don't really see any argument as to why the hack would supersede the lens choice. The hack simply does nothing to affect what the right choice of lenses would do. I can overcome the limits of non hacked footage for almost all scenarios. For those scenarios where the hack is required they simply do not occur that often in real world scenarios. If I had to shoot those scenes then I would just suffer through the compression before I would use the wrong lens.

Are you guys saying that you think the hack is more important than the lens choice?

DBP
05-23-2012, 10:04 AM
To me, the lens is more important because the GH2s stock 24mbps is 'good enough' in most cases.

I think if the bitrate were capped at 5mbps, this would be a non issue. It'd be the hack all the way. GH2 + Voigtlander @ 5mbs VS GH2 + 14.42 kit @ 150mbps. Which would you choose then? (sufficient lighting for each)

At some point, the bit rate gets lowered enough that the quality loss is blatant and unacceptable, beyond any difference a lens can make. Where that ends up being is at least a bit subjective to individual tolerance of compression artifacts.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 10:05 AM
I would love it if the GH2 could shoot 180 mb/sec GOP = 1 without ever failing. Then if you had the space to store it there wouldn't be any reason to use anything else. The fact is that there are still write errors and specific scenarios that those settings will not work for. There are far more circumstances where not getting an error is far more important than reducing compression artifacts to zero.

Funny, I shot a 13-minute short film in January and two music videos since then, pretty much all close to that 180Mbps scenario you mention (like 147-ish, but what's 40Mbps amongst friends?) and have had zero issues with write errors. Have you even shot with such patches as Quantum X or Sedna?


I think we are starting to get off of the original topic though. I don't really see any argument as to why the hack would supersede the lens choice. The hack simply does nothing to affect what the right choice of lenses would do.

You are going to see the biggest difference, right off the bat, with a quality encoder patch, moreso than any lens. I don't even understand why this is an issue, since it's not a question of one or the other. You can easily have both.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 10:15 AM
Funny, I shot a 13-minute short film in January and two music videos since then, pretty much all close to that 180Mbps scenario you mention (like 147-ish, but what's 40Mbps amongst friends?) and have had zero issues with write errors. Have you even shot with such patches as Quantum X or Sedna?



You are going to see the biggest difference, right off the bat, with a quality encoder patch, moreso than any lens. I don't even understand why this is an issue, since it's not a question of one or the other. You can easily have both.

Yes I have shot with both of those and I get write errors when using m4/3s lenses with AFC and ETC. I understand most people shoot with MF glass and those settings work fine for those scenarios. However, I have not encountered any high bit rate settings that work 100% of the time for all resolutions with all lenses.

I am always open to suggestions though. I haven't tried all of the versions of the settings. If you know of any high bit rate settings that will work with all scenarios then I will definitely try them.

I don't understand why the question was asked either since you can have both. However, that is the question we are responding to. I simply don't agree that the quality encoder patch is more beneficial.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 10:22 AM
It seems like your poor personal experience is leading you to a personal opinion that the encoder patches are not worth the effort. And that is absolutely fine. However, to state unequivocally that those patches don't make that much of a difference is a statement that you have not shown you are qualified to make in a professional sense, and is not borne out by others experiences who have actually used these patched cameras on paying jobs for clients.

Again, outside of the typical bugs that are well-documented and affect hacked and non-hacked users alike, I have encountered no problems. But that's probably because I purchase higher-end SD cards since this is what I do for a living.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 10:31 AM
It seems like your poor personal experience is leading you to a personal opinion that the encoder patches are not worth the effort. And that is absolutely fine. However, to state unequivocally that those patches don't make that much of a difference is a statement that you have not shown you are qualified to make in a professional sense, and is not borne out by others experiences who have actually used these patched cameras on paying jobs for clients.

Again, outside of the typical bugs that are well-documented and affect hacked and non-hacked users alike, I have encountered no problems. But that's probably because I purchase higher-end SD cards since this is what I do for a living.

I have never said they are not worth the effort. I do believe that lens choice is more important but they do have benefit. The problem is that some people show extreme scenarios and say see look what happens if you don't use this. What they fail to mention is that it fixes one thing but causes so many other issues.

Can you point me to specific settings that will work with any lens? I think that is what this whole thread is about. If you have the choice to use lower bit rate settings that work with any lens or use higher bit rate settings with only a specific lens that it works with which one would you choose.

If you can provide high bit rate settings that work with any lens then this whole question won't matter.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 10:37 AM
The problem is that some people show extreme scenarios and say see look what happens if you don't use this.

Can you be more specific?


What they fail to mention is that it fixes one thing but causes so many other issues.

Only if you are not prepared. If you want to shoot 140Mbps on your $20 Class 6 card, well, you're out of luck.


Can you point me to specific settings that will work with any lens?

I have used Quantum X, Sedna AQ1, and Canis Major (just throw-away tests so far), on Nikon F, EOS, and Lumix G glass (both ETC and non) and have never found any of the hacks to be unstable on the recommended Sandisk 64GB 95MBps SD card. I just used Sedna AQ1 on a long-form shoot using Nikon and Lumix G glass and 24L Sedna AQ1 on the Sandisk and then a Transcend 32GB Class 10 card and a Patriot LX 32GB Class 10 card and clips spanned without error. These involved takes of 30-40 minutes in length.

Lpowell
05-23-2012, 10:45 AM
LPowell’s example does show a good use of the high bit rates. If I am shooting flowing water I would definitely consider those settings to be necessary for a good shot. However, I can’t recall ever wanting to shoot water like that.
Ever notice what happens to a leafy tree in a stiff breeze? A flock of birds startled by a dog on a beach? A stadium crowd rising to cheer a touchdown? Some of us take the GH2 outside the studio on occasion...


If you can provide high bit rate settings that work with any lens then this whole question won't matter.
Yes, any lens, in all video modes and options. Stay tuned, reliability testing is almost complete...

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 10:56 AM
Ever notice what happens to a leafy tree in a stiff breeze? A flock of birds startled by a dog on a beach? A stadium crowd rising to cheer a touchdown? Some of us take the GH2 outside the studio on occasion...


Yes, any lens, in all video modes and options. Stay tuned, reliability testing is almost complete...

Is that the Flow Motion Patch in your sig? I will try that one now as well.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 11:03 AM
Only if you are not prepared. If you want to shoot 140Mbps on your $20 Class 6 card, well, you're out of luck.


No I don't expect it to work with a class 6 card. I would expect it to work with a good 30 MB/sec class 10 card though. I simply can't afford to pay $160 per card and have more than one of them. I know I am not alone in that respect.

stefancolson
05-23-2012, 11:04 AM
Dan i suspect is too much of a gentleman to respond to your comments,
Regarding Pnasonic lenses i have the 14-42 as well as the 14-140 which you say is better than the EVIL 14-42 and is nonsense.
Mine at the same settings f stop/ shutter/ picture settings give identical video,as do my other Pana lenses and olympus lenses,it is in lower light that i can see differences.

I don't see how I did anything other than praise Dan. I said that he obviously has talent and skill, only that I though the lens he was using was the weak link in the chain. If lauding somebody for their ability but criticizing an inanimate object that they happen to own can be considered a personal attack then I don't know what f'ed up alternate reality I've stumbled into. I had nothing but positive things to say about Dan and his work, and I don't make a habit of bad mouthing people in public forums, only crummy lenses.

I have a 14-42. I have compared it extensively to other lenses (from Panasonic and other manufacturers) in both controlled and real-world scenarios. I do not like it. At all. This is my opinion (which the OP asked of all of us). Deal with it.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 11:08 AM
I simply can't afford to pay $160 per card and have more than one of them. I know I am not alone in that respect.

Then you can't expect to get reliable 180Mbps recording when you don't want to pay the price to get there.

Lpowell
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
Is that the Flow Motion Patch in your sig? I will try that one now as well.
No, the patch I shot the flowing water test with is a major update - Flow Motion v2.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?282740-More-important-The-lens-or-the-hack&p=1986148324&viewfull=1#post1986148324

Tested on Class 10 SD cards, 30Mb/sec and up, at bitrates up to 135Mbps peak. I plan on releasing it in the very near future, once reliability testing is complete.

Here's another comparison between the unhacked GH2 and Flow Motion v2, in SH 720p50 mode. This was a static tripod shot of a placid creek bed, with some gentle ripples on the surface of the water. In the upper half of the unfiltered 200% crop frame grab, the unhacked GH2's limited bitrate fails to capture the details in the submerged brown moss. The lower half of the frame grab shows what the GH2 can do with Flow Motion v2's 100Mbps peak bitrate.

53959

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
Then you can't expect to get reliable 180Mbps recording when you don't want to pay the price to get there.

You are right I don't want to pay the price to get there. We shouldn't have to pay 2x-3x the price for a 2% increase in functionality.

mpgxsvcd
05-23-2012, 11:22 AM
No, the patch I shot the flowing water test with is a major update - Flow Motion v2.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?282740-More-important-The-lens-or-the-hack&p=1986148324&viewfull=1#post1986148324

Tested on Class 10 SD cards, 30Mb/sec and up. I plan on releasing it in the very near future, once reliability testing is complete.

I would be glad to do some testing on it. I have 30 mb/sec cards. Just let me know if I can get access to it and I will fully test it.

I tried the Flow Motion v1.11 and Sedna A settings just now. The V1.11 flow motion failed after 56 seconds with ETC and 720p SH mode. The Sedna A settings failed instantly with 720p ETC mode. Both were tested with a Sandisk 30 mb/sec class 10 card.

I stand by my claim that they are not reliable even with moderately fast cards. I hope someone prooves me wrong though.

stefancolson
05-23-2012, 11:23 AM
You are right I don't want to pay the price to get there. We shouldn't have to pay 2x-3x the price for a 2% increase in functionality.

But that's exactly how almost everything works. It's the law of diminishing returns. A $60 bottle of wine is typically only slightly better than a $20 bottle of wine. The same can be said of cars, consumer electronics, clothing, food, musical instruments, and even cameras. 95%+ of the maximum possible quality/functionality of a product is available at a low-mid pricepoint. If you want the best you will have to pay a disproportionately higher price to get it. What does the Epic offer over the Scarlet for 3x the price? The F3 over the FS100?

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 11:26 AM
We shouldn't have to pay 2x-3x the price for a 2% increase in functionality.

In your personal opinion. I have paying clients and a level of quality that I wish to achieve. The Sandisk card and the GH2 encoder patches have helped me in both categories.

DPStewart
05-23-2012, 04:15 PM
Then you can't expect to get reliable 180Mbps recording when you don't want to pay the price to get there.

Howdee Gary,

You mentioned "recommended Sandisk 64GB 95MBps SD card. I just used Sedna AQ1 on a long-form shoot using Nikon and Lumix G glass and 24L Sedna AQ1 on the Sandisk and then a Transcend 32GB Class 10 card and a Patriot LX 32GB Class 10 card and clips spanned without error."

I am only familiar with the Sandisk Extreme 64GB 95MBps cards as that's all I've seen for sale locally - Are the Transcends and Patriots you mentioned also 95MBps? And what's their price generally? I would love to get into some killin' cards without needing to buy the Sandisk 64 every time.
Thanks Sir!

DPStewart
05-23-2012, 04:25 PM
Hey MPGXSVCD - love your instructional videos!

As for cards and reliability: I have seen a lot of users report that they must use the big Sandisk Extreme 64GB 95MBps cards to get reliable performance on the ~100mps hacks...but then some cats get no errors using only more standard class-10 cards. I don't know why...not sure anyone knows why. I do NOT seem to be one of the lucky guys when it comes to cards... I ponied-up for one of the big cards but man I WISH I could get away with ones that are less expensive too.
I'll google it all of course...but I tend to get more useful reports from users here who really put the stuff to the test and can be more specific with us.

Driftwood's hacks have been ground-breaking to say the least...but right now I'm on hold waiting for LPOWELL's V.2 too... he has quite a rep for stable hacks.

Ian-T
05-23-2012, 05:22 PM
Your arguments are full of emotional comparisons and lack any empirical data.

Ok, if you say so. But really one does not have to look far for evidence...it's everywhere. :)


It is a lot like when someone tries to explain religion to a scientist. If you simply don’t have faith then there really isn’t any evidence to prove your point.
Ha ha... Been there done that. You must be referring to my posts over at hv20.com.
Though I don't think this comparison adds up.... that was a nice jab. :)


Llpowell’s example does show a good use of the high bit rates. If I am shooting flowing water I would definitely consider those settings to be necessary for a good shot. However, I can’t recall ever wanting to shoot water like that.
I'm glad you have a sense of humor.

But really, the GH2 is no different from the GH-1 with it's bad implementation of AVCHD. Both cameras were notorious for the footage breaking apart with just about every type of moderate to fast motion. The GH-1's 60p was a bit better than its 24p...but still had issues.

As far as shadow detail and resolution go. Show me examples of that. Here is my example of how it doesn’t affect those things at all. I really think the Placebo affect has more to do with this than actual differences do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLDYyGQhYbc
As someone mentioned earlier...you really have to take that camera out of the studio and do some real world tests. Given the right circumstances I can probably make just about any camera out there look good.

Look, I initially responded because to me it seems like you often overstate your POV (IMO). If the hack doesn't make that much of a difference to you I can understand. But on the same token I have not seen you shoot anything that really challenges the codec. I admit I have not been to your site (in a while) but the plethera of (other) test videos on sites like Vimeo etc. and my own shooting are enough to convince me (and others) that the hack is more than just a placebo effect. As I've said earlier we don't have to pixel peep to see a difference.

Oh...and there's nothing wrong with a purely emtotional response. Isn't that part of why we shoot movies? To evoke some sort of emotion out of the viewer (I know...not quite the same as what you were referring to...lol)? If I can do that with a camera without any artifact distractions then I'll consider that as being halfway there. It's not to say that one can't shoot great movies with the stock camera but if you are looking for even more quality...then the hack is the way to go.

As to the OP...my thought is the answer depends. I think both the hack and lens are equally important. I can't imagine having a lens worth tens of thousands of dollars while using this camera only to have certain key shots ruined because of compression artifacts (which would have otherwise looked stellar). Then again I've seen very cheap lens on this camera perform beautifully.

Gary Huff
05-23-2012, 07:28 PM
I am only familiar with the Sandisk Extreme 64GB 95MBps cards as that's all I've seen for sale locally - Are the Transcends and Patriots you mentioned also 95MBps? And what's their price generally? I would love to get into some killin' cards without needing to buy the Sandisk 64 every time.

Transcend 32GB Class 10 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VNKNF0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rustyauto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003VNKNF0) (looks different from mine, I have the more orange background, but it should be the same I would imagine)
Patriot LX 32GB Class 10 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002TABU5I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rustyauto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002TABU5I)

None of these are 95MBps, and you won't get the full 140Mbps-ish of the higher-end hacks, but I've tested both of these with the 24L setting of Sedna AQ1 and they spanned.

flinty
05-23-2012, 11:02 PM
I don't see how I did anything other than praise Dan. I said that he obviously has talent and skill, only that I though the lens he was using was the weak link in the chain. If lauding somebody for their ability but criticizing an inanimate object that they happen to own can be considered a personal attack then I don't know what f'ed up alternate reality I've stumbled into. I had nothing but positive things to say about Dan and his work, and I don't make a habit of bad mouthing people in public forums, only crummy lenses.

I have a 14-42. I have compared it extensively to other lenses (from Panasonic and other manufacturers) in both controlled and real-world scenarios. I do not like it. At all. This is my opinion (which the OP asked of all of us). Deal with it.


(I would also gladly contribute a small amount to a "Buy Dan Carter Some Better Glass" fund)

Is what i was referring to
Does it not sound obnoxious,
i have never said the kit lens would be ones choice for making a film production,but its not meant for that and using ridiculous words like evil is preposterous,
Deal wit it.

mpgxsvcd
05-24-2012, 05:37 AM
Ok, if you say so. But really one does not have to look far for evidence...it's everywhere. :)


Ha ha... Been there done that. You must be referring to my posts over at hv20.com.
Though I don't think this comparison adds up.... that was a nice jab. :)


I'm glad you have a sense of humor.

But really, the GH2 is no different from the GH-1 with it's bad implementation of AVCHD. Both cameras were notorious for the footage breaking apart with just about every type of moderate to fast motion. The GH-1's 60p was a bit better than its 24p...but still had issues.

As someone mentioned earlier...you really have to take that camera out of the studio and do some real world tests. Given the right circumstances I can probably make just about any camera out there look good.

Look, I initially responded because to me it seems like you often overstate your POV (IMO). If the hack doesn't make that much of a difference to you I can understand. But on the same token I have not seen you shoot anything that really challenges the codec. I admit I have not been to your site (in a while) but the plethera of (other) test videos on sites like Vimeo etc. and my own shooting are enough to convince me (and others) that the hack is more than just a placebo effect. As I've said earlier we don't have to pixel peep to see a difference.

Oh...and there's nothing wrong with a purely emtotional response. Isn't that part of why we shoot movies? To evoke some sort of emotion out of the viewer (I know...not quite the same as what you were referring to...lol)? If I can do that with a camera without any artifact distractions then I'll consider that as being halfway there. It's not to say that one can't shoot great movies with the stock camera but if you are looking for even more quality...then the hack is the way to go.

As to the OP...my thought is the answer depends. I think both the hack and lens are equally important. I can't imagine having a lens worth tens of thousands of dollars while using this camera only to have certain key shots ruined because of compression artifacts (which would have otherwise looked stellar). Then again I've seen very cheap lens on this camera perform beautifully.

That was a well thought out response. Good job on that. I guess it all boils down to we don't have to choose. We can have our cake and eat it to. Or we can just be selective and try a little icing with a scoop ice cream.

Gary Huff
05-24-2012, 07:39 AM
We can have our cake and eat it to. Or we can just be selective and try a little icing with a scoop ice cream.

As long as you don't go around telling people that the cake is terrible simply because you prefer chocolate cake instead of yellow cake.