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GH2 + Ninja
  • First off I would like to thank Vitaliy for all your hard work on the HACK, hands down to you, but I wanted to share and have other users try this, I have been keeping an eye on improvements on the HDMI issue that we all have with the NINJA, I personally use FCS to edit, but I also have Premiere Pro CS5, and I notice that it handles the footage much better when it comes to interlaced and you wanna render to progressive, but today I tried to transcode in their encoder called Adobe Media Encoder CS5 and I got very surprised, but I'm not sure if I got it all wrong because it's just too easy. This is what I did: I recorder 24p on my GH2 connected to my Ninja, of course I get that crippled interlaced footage, then I decided to use Adobe Media Encoder CS5 to de-interlaced and see what would happen, and to my surprise, the footage looks amazingly good, but I want other to test and see if I may be wrong. Here is step by step what I did:

    1. record in 24p in your gh2, connected to ninja recording
    2. move your footage to your HD
    3. open Adobe Media Encoder CS5 and drag a clip to it
    4. VERY IMPORTANT... select clip in AMB cs5 and go to FILE, INTERPRET FOOTAGE,
    5. select "Use Frame Rate from file 30.0000 (30p) Pixel Aspect stays the same
    6. Field Order select "Conform to: Upper Field First" IMPORTANT
    7. CLICK OK
    8. now ur footage is interpreted as 30 interlaced, click on SETTINGS
    9. AND render to preferred format to 23.98, I used Apple Pro Res HQ and my footage looks good.

    can some of you confirm if this actually works? I know transcoding is an extra step, but doing it like this is pretty simple, specially if your on a mac like me and dont wanna go the PC route to transcode and fix the crippled HDMI footage.

    Cant wait for you guys to try this out.

    On a second note, I'm working on a cage specifically for the GH2, with lots of mounting options, good access to battery, hdmi, and audio input, I'll keep you guys posted as soon as I get it milled.

  • 21 Replies sorted by
  • correction AMB cs5, should have been AME CS5, short for Adobe Media Encoder CS5, sorry about that guys
  • How significant is the improvement over a stock straight to camera video image? Can you post a few frames? side by side?
  • @djhessler I'll give this a test tomoz.
  • Guys I did more testing, and I will take my words back, jagged lines are visible in sharp edges and moire seem more visible, I will give you guys frame grabs later, I'm away from my studio, mannnn I thought I had luck with this, although I'm impressed with the quality of the overall frames, I was fooled by my initial test, sorry for the confusion.

    @driftwood please keep testing the crippled HDMI, and thanks for all the help Vitaliy !!!!
  • @brianluce I use the Ninja as a backup. some of my cards have gone bad and that is my only purpose, as far as quality, I see no difference, maybe dark areas a bit less grainy but that is all, the Ninja will pay for it self once a card goes bad, I rather have a back up then a lost wedding or client.

  • @djhessler I tried another way using cineform's codec - transerring to P2 AVC Intra 100 with my GOP 1 footage in AME 5.
    Using 24p mode GH2 settings the Ninja understands (writes to Hard disk) the HDMI output as 1080 30fps (according to Cineform, fcp, etc) so I transferred to P2 just in case. Like your test it brought it in 30 interlaced! Place it on say FCPX 24p timeline and export to 24p = fail, as in no good (as in picture below) see the lines & on the exported 24p from fcpx.
    The HDMI recordings on the Ninja defo needs de-interlacing and then sorting out... More tests to come...

    Convert HDMI to AVC Intra test then 24p timeline it.png
    1920 x 1200 - 1M
    Screen shot 2011-09-22 at 03.05.22.png
    1920 x 1200 - 2M
  • After further testing this time using Final Cut Pro 7 and bringing in the same footage of HDMI Ninja recording transcoded to Intra 100 P2 and performing a Log & Transfer operation with 'Remove Advanced Pulldown' checked it still gave 30fps in the same pattern order, as in;-
    1/ 30fps = 2 frames of 'interlaced' and 3 frames of 'progressive' (in a repeating pattern lets call it 'i' for lines and 'P' for no lines as in 30 frames from frame 0 to frame 29 = PiiPPPiiPPPiiPPPiiPPPiiPPPiiPP) on the viewer BEFORE placing it on a 24p timeline. No change from the original source.

    2/ Place the 30fps footage on a 24p timeline sequence in FCP7 and look at it - moving along one frame at a time with the right arrow key you get 1 frame of 'i' lines (interlaced looking) followed by 3 frames of no lines 'P' (progressive looking) in a repeating pattern (as in from frame 0 to frame 23 = PiPPPiPPPiPPPiPPPiPPPiPP). If you then export it as is or restranscode it you get the same pattern as the timeline gave. Result still bad.

    This suggests a reverse pulldown formula to be used to get it back to 24p.
    For more info about pulldown see
  • @Ralph_B I believe the two 'ii' pictures are split and if combined deinterlaced together, they become a single progressive frames, those double i frames then become one P. Add them all up = 24. Surely someone has a way of bringing these back together very quickly?
  • @Ralph_B @djhessler
    UNSOLVED: Rendering from 30fps to 24p. Simply import your Ninja .mov files into your NLE and check the field order. It doesn't know what the field order is when it comes in, and I thought it could be LOWER FIELD FIRST as it looks good and rids us of the lines in the viewer. Place it on a 24p timeline. seems ok.... defo less jaggies... however, on deep inspection or rendering out there are still artefacts.
    summary: Everything seems ok in the picture, not sure about audio sync on the pc, seems fine on mac. However, on deep inspection there ar still artefacts.
    solved - 30fps ninja to 24p - use Lower Field first interpretation.png
    1241 x 614 - 431K
  • I'm shooting PAL 1080 25p embedded in ninja's 50i. At the beginning everything is ok, but after some shots gh2 starts to feed the interlaced signal to ninja. It seems that it happens when I switch devices on in a wrong order or after pause or I don't know why.

    Also I'm interested if I have to hack the camera to have proper 25p hdmi out?
    here is a link to my GH2+ninja 1080p PAL footage in Prores422HQ (casting with badly lit green screen) (everything lit with only 2 126 LED lights with pink filters) (sound is from old zoom h4 connected to ninja)
  • @_mike_ can you tell me your current workflow when you ingest the .mov files off the Ninja - tell me exactly what you currently do?
  • @driftwood I do nothing actually, I've set gh2 to manual movie, smooth, sharp -2, sat 0, contrast -2
    I set up white balance manually, looking at the same time at the LCD and ninja monitor. They show cooompletely different and I set up average between two ))). Gh2 is in FSH avchd mode. I first press record on gh2 and then start ninja. When I start things, I first turn on gh2 wait for picture on LCD and then turn on ninja. The most of the files are progressive. Sometime it switches to interlaced. Not crippled but just interlaced. Then just drag and drop to finder, color grading at Davinci resolve and that's all. No any avisynth mamboo jamboo. Lens is nokton. Edit in cs5
  • Ok I gotta try this myself and see if it works with the workflow that driftwood gave us, this is awesome.
  • @_mike_ Ah ok, thanks mate for that. Good stuff.
    @djhessler Yeah it seems to work for me on 24p stuff. But who knows... defo needs verifying.
  • @_mike_ Doesnt seem to matter which device is turned on first. But you have to switch record on hdmi AFTER record on gh2 else you will get stoppages.
  • Anyone had any experience with this solid state alternative to the Ninja. Would be interested in hearing peoples thoughts
  • @rsquires

    But, I have to wonder why B&H Video mentioned this about the GH2:

    "Note! The HDMI output from DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5D/7D and Panasonic GH2 is intended for monitoring only, not for recording. 2.5" SATA SSD drives are sold separately. Off-the-shelf SSDs can be used as long as they are fast enough for uncompressed 10-bit capture (158 megabytes/second is required for 10-bit uncompressed 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97fps)."

  • @driftwood I cant make the video smooth, I still get the jaggies on the edges, :-( cant seem to get that smooth, I change the field order but that makes no difference. I'm wondering if you are using the gh2 with the new patch that you are testing with Vitaliy, that may be making the difference, or maybe your settings used for the patch are helping, either way, I can't make my video smooth.
  • @driftwood by the way, I see the edges once my footage is rendered
  • @djhessler Yeah, I had rather a long convo with @Ralph_B last night, and it seems all that is, is not. Your tests along with mine today still show artefacts on deep inspection. Inverse pulldown (or reverse telecine as some call it) probably does the same. And it all boils down to the GH2's HDMI implentation which is totally erratic.
    I am still inspecting quality using Vitaliy's HDMI ST settings which takes time, please bare with me and if I see any kind of improvements you and the ST team will be first to know.
    For now, @Ralph_B 's elegant solution using AVIsynth and scripts is still the best way. Others, like @Stray have equally good results if they just output the file as tiffs and rebuild it on the edit.
  • @driftwood thanks for all your help