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Jitter/choppy playback - solution? GH4 same issue?
  • I'm still having trouble to playback MOV 1080 60p footage from my GH3 on my macs (a macbook retina displays and a MacPro 8core 24GB Ram). Those files playback normally on the camera, but it's quite choppy or jittery on my computer, specially on pan movements. Does it has a solution? conversion or transcoding? Is it a mac problem? a codec problem? or GH3 problem? I also got jitter recoding on all setting of 1080 60p, using my other camera, NEX 5N, that also records 1080 60p AVCHD I got no problems at all, the files playbacks just right, but I also think the NEX footage is 59,94i converted on camera to 60p or 59,94p... I don't now... I think if maybe the gh3 were capable to records 60i in MOV mode it wouldn't happen.... I think the problem is due the progressive fields, or YUV to RGB conversion problem....I don't know... because when I transcode the files using 5dtoRGB software, it gets better, less jitter, but they still there! If we're having trouble to playback 1080p 60p, can you imagine what gonna happen with the 4k files? I've pre-order a GH4, but I'm thinking twice if it's worth to... I don't want more headache with playback issues... I'm thinking to move to Sony A7s.... That's SAD!!! Anyone knows the real reason why we can't playback those files??? what should I say to my clients that got choppy footage? my camera is rubbish! or your computer is rubbish!??? WTF? That's just sad!

  • 16 Replies sorted by
  • It sounds like your computer is powerful enough... Have you tried hooking the camera up to a television set via HDMI and viewing the clips? or playing the files using VLC or Movist?

  • It's not just computer power alone that's relevant. Player with the correct codecs is critical.

    I've been using a couple of GH3's for a year. When I travel to remote locations I playback/check the native files straight off the SD card every evening on a fairly basic i5 Sony laptop. I only shoot in 50p...absolutely no problem with playback.

    I can't advise about the Mac (I personally can't tolerate them) but assuming there is something comparable to Klite available try installing some alternative players/codecs. You can also try replacing the HDD with an SSD...this will always improve laptop playback performance.

    And please don't be so parochial...just because your fucking Mac can't play GH3 files doesn't mean there's something wrong with the GH3...or the GH4.

  • Try VLC Player, I always install it on friend's Macs when they can't play something, it usually works great.

  • I don't have a MacRook® Retina™ or MacPro® with 8 Cores ... only a Samsung laptop (no idea how many cores, but the case is red) and a lowly 5 yr old HP workstation with 6 gigs of ram. It does have a rather bitching video card (for the price), though. GH 1080 footage plays back perfectly. Playback, editing, compositing - smooth, realtime, no problems.

    Maybe the problem... is your Mac.

    Actually, strike out the "maybe". The problem is your computer. Or both of them. Now, whether you solve that problem by purchasing a different camera is completely your decision. ;)

  • The files play perfectly on my Macbook Pro Retina 8GB. @GH2UW you should watch your language: foul language doesn't make you appear smart, it makes you look foolish. Correct codecs? That makes no sense whatsoever. MOV files will play perfectly fine on a Mac. And those suggesting the OP buy a new computer or camera make no sense either.

  • @jonpais

    MOV files will play perfectly fine on a Mac.

    They don't play fine on his, which is why he's asking the question to begin with. Are you offering to trade Macs with him?

    You said in your earlier post "It sounds like your computer is powerful enough" - he's got an 8-core 24gig machine. That's certainly more powerful than both of the systems I have. There's more than enough CPU power.

    And those suggesting the OP buy a new computer or camera make no sense either.

    No one has suggested this - though the OP did ask if getting a different camera was the solution. I did point out the advantage of a good videocard.

    If he can't get help here, I'm sure the Apple Community forums can be of help, without the swipes at Apple and without the gutter language.

    I'll save him some time, and offer the standard Apple Community forum for nearly every problem:

    1. Repair permissions.
    2. Update to Mavericks, if you're on a previous OS.
    3. If you're on Mavericks, roll back to whatever you had before.
    4. Run that ever-popular RAM check utility for several hours and see what happens.

    If none of those help, then usually AppleCare, replacing RAM or a Genius Bar are mentioned.

    Seriously, your reply is like so many others on Apple boards...

    Q: "My Acura isn't running on BP gas." A1: "Try different gas." A2: "Try changing your driving habits." A3: "I have a Honda, with a smaller engine, and it works well with BP gas. I don't think the gas is necessarily the problem."

    Your Answer: "MY Acura runs fine on BP gas. There's nothing wrong with Acuras."


  • @cogumelo What operating system are you running? Is it Maverick?

    I'm thinking it might be a mac/codec issue because you're having the same issue with more than one mac. I googled and found this article on Macworld:

    It suggests a couple of solutions, including downloading a codec package on the apple support website:

    If all else fails: maybe you can convert the file in vlc or something? Before you convert a file, make sure you have a back-up of the original just in case.

    Good luck.

  • Are you watching the files with QuickTime X (the one with dark minimal interface) or some older version (with bigger light gray interface)? QuickTime X should generally be able to handle 1080 60p H.264 on recent MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models, though playback may not be perfect on all systems.

    On Macs as well as Windows PCs there are many ways of decoding material, and not all H.264 material is exactly same from technical perspective. So it is good idea to try different playback programs, even if only to check where the problem is. As others have mentioned, VLC is good one to try.

    For troubleshooting it is useful to see how much CPU gets utilized when decoding - run Activity Monitor, select Window menu and from there "Floating CPU Window" and/or "CPU History". Then you can test the file with different programs and see how they handle it. When decoding H.264 at 60p, even with hardware decoding there should be some CPU utilization. Not much but noticeable when compared to when computer is idle.

    For those interested, here is some basic info about H.264 decoding on Macs:

    Also it's good to check if the drives from which the files are played back are too slow. Some external USB drives have surprisingly slow connection, especially when going through a hub. Internal drives are better, but with higher bitrates they too can be a bottleneck.

    You mentioned transcoding with 5dtoRGB, was that to ProRes 422 or ProRes 422 HQ? At 1080 60p, ProRes 422 HQ has a bitrate of over 400Mbps, which in practice can be too much even for some internal drives as well as external ones. In such cases regular ProRes 422 at 1080 60p is worth trying.

    When it comes to delivering 1080 60p to clients, if those clients are people with ordinary computers, one should not expect miracles. Even with best media player program 1080 60p may not playback well on older hardware, but 30p is more likely to work well. If 60fps is important for motion in the material (sports etc.), 720p is a good choice. Or even 960x540 if it is known that clients have old systems.

    As for 4k 60p, AFAIK for next few years that will only work on high end systems and media devices specifically designed to handle it. It's easy to test - upconvert some 1080 60p into 4k 60p and different codecs, attempt playback on your systems ;)

  • @johnpais

    "Correct codecs? That makes no sense whatsoever."

    What an ill-informed and unhelpful comment. Surely if the hardware is "good" then it's all about finding not just the most appropriate player but the best possible codecs for the video file/wrapper that's being played.

    Assuming the Mac is infallible but that the fault lies with the GH3 and the GH4 is ridiculous...hence my wake up call to the OP. If only to prevent him making a very bad decision.

  • @GH2UW

    Please keep comments constructive.

    Of course decoders used are important. Even settings of decoders are :-)

  • So, I'm running Mavericks 10.9.2 on a SSD drive, I'm pretty sure I have enough machine to handle those files, my graphic card is not recently but it's not weak, it's a ATI Radeon HD 4970. And I also have a internal RAID 1 using 4 hard drives thats can reach enough transfer rate to handle even fullhd raw footage... I tried VLC, MOVIST, MPEGSTREAMCLIP, Quicktime X e dozen of other players and encoders, but no success... The file when playback on camera plays fine, even connect to a external hdmi monitor! I've tried to record the hdmi signal during playback using a external recorder like nanoflash, but I didn't like the results... (nanoflash can just records 1080i).... I've tried to use a matrox mxo2 to capture the content from the camera using premiere cc, but no success... I'd like try to playback those files on a powerful pc, but I don't have one....

  • I Think you need To get a video monitoring card, like the intensity pro and Connect it To a tv. I never could get good smooth motion playback on a computer screen. If your playback is sloppy and not realtime you have some other problem.. 24 fps is best viewed in 24 hertz 1080p 60 i have not used yet so dont know.

  • @cogumelo, here is a link to 1920x1080 60fps clip where a white line moves one pixel per frame. Useful for focusing on jitter. It's in ProRes 422 and because it's mostly just black background, bitrate should be no problem for any recent computer.

    Does this play back well on any of your computers with QuickTime 7 and QuickTime X? Test both on external displays and laptop internal display.

  • This thread addressed the GH2 but it's basically the same problem. Lot of useful info there

  • I've downloaded the file linked by @neokoo and it runs (almost) smoothly with MplayerX and Mpegstreamclip, not so smoothly with QtX and Qt7 (player, not Pro), a total mess with Vlc... I'm on a MBPro 2008 with only 2Gb of ram...

  • @trafficarte

    I've tested that clip on a 2011 MBP (i7 2Ghz, 8GB RAM, Radeon 6490M, 5400RPM HDD, external 1920x1200 monitor at 60Hz connected through MiniDP-DVI adapter). Tried QuickTime 7 and X, VLC, MPlayerX and MPEG Streamclip. QuickTime X and MPlayerX performed best, and QuickTime 7 was practically as good (which I expected for ProRes).

    With best players, on internal laptop screen the playback was very good (both in actual size and rescaled to fit 1440x900) but on external monitor there was always small amount of jitter. I'm not sure why.

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