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Why GH2 Is Ever Out Of Cinematic Look, Even After Hacks...
  • Some of you know me here as opposed to the direction the hack patches went from the very beginning. That's why I know in advance that this thread will be followed by spitting of many persons here, but this is my opinion especially after I saw this: and I just want to share it shortly.

    So, let's put aside the most common theoretical arguments about that GH2 is not a full frame, not a RAW video camera, about the codec, etc. Ok, the video quality of GH2 after the most of the hacks gets increased - little less noise, higher image details and everything else described for every single patch.

    BUT!!! THE BIG "BUT":

    Just take a look at the examples "Before" and "After" below and see the difference. At first sight nothing surprising - the "After" frame (with GH2 Intra Patch) looks higher detailed at all, no doubts! Let's save all that can't be said about that more.

    Let's see the "Before" frame now - ok, less detailed, loss in the shadows, little burnt highlights, etc.

    But what are my own impressions and conclusions - the "After" frame has all the characteristics of a digital video, lacked of dense and getting flat. No, I don't mean the "flat image style"!!! I mean that the hacked picture simply lost its material depth!

    While the "Before" frame produces much more characteristics of a movie look, looks much more cinematic closer to the Hollywood motion pictures.

    And before some of you are ready to post reply, now it's time to pay attention to the 3rd attached frame, which is from "Tokarev" 2014 (with Nicolas Cage). So: simply compare this frame to any of the "Before" and "After" frames. WELL, WHICH GH2 FRAME IS DEFINITELY CLOSER TO THE 3RD MOVIE FRAME IN EVERY ASPECT??? Of course, I've found hundreds of movies with EXACTLY the same characteristics, and NO ONE with hacked GH2 image characteristics! Just don't let me to upload with hours :)

    Like it or not, that's the general reason why every hacked GH2 video, raw or graded, looks always far from what everyone calls "filmlook". Yes, I've seen only few with clear detailed and nice look, but compared with ANY movie production frame, the resemblance is saying at least minimal. Since the GH1 era I posted some ideas about where the hack work should be turned to, but the history of this forum can show you the reactions.

    Anyway, it would never happen, but at least I wrote it.

  • 32 Replies sorted by
  • I think it all comes down to lens choices, lighting and grading. Make sure you protect your highlights (diffuse the light if it's to harsh) and fill in your shadows to get that extra dynamic range.

    For me, Musgo pretty much nails the look in many of these shots:

  • what do you mean by "material depth"?

  • What exactly is your before and after showing?

    They are exactly the same frame. This is obviously not a hacked VS non hacked comparison.

    The only difference between those frames is white balance and a slight difference in the exposure curve. Both of which should be able to be adjusted either in camera or in post.

  • And since they are exactly the same frame what you are in fact saying is that grading can make the image look "filmlike" or not.

    You just haven't said what you used to grade the before and after examples.

  • I think you're talking about depth in the image. And any effect a hack would have is minor compared to depth creating lighting assisted by grading.

    What makes video look like video is too sharp, too artificial, no softness from the highlights to midtones and shadows, poor highlight rolloff. A hack would help by holding up better in grading. Looking at the work of many in this forum, if things are done right, the gh2 can look as much like film as any dslr and many cinematic cameras.

    But why pick such an in descript film to compare to? The after one looks more like the film, I think. The before one looks videoish around the light. But I don't think any of the images are something to aim for.

    Look at Shian's work with singularity. Looks like film to me.

  • @jpbturbo "producer" is one of the users that begs for this place to have and ignore function. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Yes, exactly what I expected...

    Well, why does everyone write one and the same words and phrases of what has been heard or read? But never self experienced or made? And everytime the "Musgo" is the only example given by everyone as a prove?!? Give your own GH2 work as a prove. Actually, maybe the best GH2 production is "Mandorla", but a professional equipment and only pro cine lenses are used. "Musgo" is also one of the best GH2 productions, but the look there is not generally because of the lenses, it's the post editing. The a la Shadows and Highlights/Unsharp filters is what makes the look, don't you see, although it's over used in my opinion.

    At the end, to be clearer for all who still misunderstood my point: take a frame from any kind of GH2 video, scene, settings, etc. and try to make it anyhow closer to the characteristics of the frame below! No need excuses or explanations, just do it and upload it here. Then all of you will surely get what I meant saying "material depth". Chauncy is close to.

    Tokarev Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Nicolas Cage Thriller HD_(720p).mp4_20140210_175953.043.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 94K
  • I Think that my footage is pretty cinematic. Moon t7. T5. All my work si on Gh2 exept slomotion. Check my page.

  • Ithink what you meen y cinematic is good exposure on the highlights. I un der. Expose all my footage -2 on exposure compensation and run shutter of 40 on 24p no 50 or 60. Shutter 40gives the cadence Of cinema on gh2

    In post thanks to the high bitrate you can get more information from the shadows.

    The rest is coloring

  • @endotoxic: I've seen some of your videos time ago and honestly I like them at all. You successfully keep the "atmosphere" of what you shoot. But this is the right moment to confirm my opinion: the image characteristics and the "material depth" I mentioned in my 1st post - that's what your pictures miss. A serious missing. Here I attached some frames from the flattest movie trailers I've found to be similar to your scenes. In every case your frames look significantly blown out, like shot on a very archaic reel. I accept that as a conception of yours, no problem. But that's the truth, right? Do you get my point now?

    1920 x 1080 - 195K
    1920 x 1080 - 171K
    Homefront Trailer 2013 Jason Statham, James Franco Movie - Official [HD]_(1080p).mp4_20140118_213034.462.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 153K
  • Yes get it.

    What you referente to material depth is color resolution. Working on an 8bit code ruins it all. Greens skin tones all messed up

    Gh4 should avoid this issue with its 10bit 4:2:2 color.

  • did you look at these other films in the thread? They look not flat or blown out to me. I can create depth where none exists in a sequence by power windowing around the character and changing their color slightly to pop out of a background or raise exposure with the window or defocus the background so it looks like boken. As can many others.

    There's nothing in any frame you've included that the gh2 could not do in the right hands.

  • I will be a happy man, if my movie doesn't compare to Tokarev in any way. :D

  • I'm happy enough with the colors I get out of the GH2.

    This shot is a bit noisy because of how I exposed it but it captured enough of what I wanted it to which was to keep the sky from blowing out to white. The stills photographer was shooting a 5DMkII and she was complaining about the lighting and dynamic range in the scene.

    I think part of the softness comes from the 14-42 kit lens and the ND2.1(7 stops) filter that I had on so I could keep the shutter at 1/40.

    1920 x 1080 - 2M
  • @producer

    I took a look at images you've posted on forum previously, as well as Youtube channel that would seem to be yours. Forgive me for making assumptions, but what you appear to be looking for is simply more dynamic range. In practice GH2 is limited by hardware (around 10 stops IIRC) and then further by video codec. If it was easy to improve in a hack, someone would have done it already.

    As of now, only way around it is lighting within limits of what GH2 can handle. If you shoot in available light that cannot be controlled, and dynamic range of the scene exceeds what GH2 can save to video, only choice is to expose for what is important in the scene and let other areas suffer. Same with any low DR video cam.

    GH4 is somewhat better but not quite magic either. Maybe consider BMPCC for your needs? It's still a video camera, but arguably better if getting "cinematic" kind of image is your first priority.

  • @producer My take is that if you are not pleased with the way a camera shoots or looks for your particular tastes then you should probably go find one that does. Life is too short to be trying to do something you aren't cut out for, or trying to make something fit the image you have in your mind when either you don't have the skill to do it, or you find the equipment you are using is not capable of achieving that ideal.

  • "Musgo" is the only example given by everyone as a prove?

    There's also "Upstream Color."

  • Always thought this looked pretty good from a look standpoint.

  • @johnnymossville that was cool! I loved the stuff with the clock.

  • What a crock of BS! If @producer was able to understand the article that he posted a link to, he would see that his whole argument is unfounded. BOTH sample images are the hacked GH2, before and after grading. Producer says 'While the "Before" frame produces much more characteristics of a movie look, looks much more cinematic closer to the Hollywood motion pictures.' Well in effect he is saying he likes the UNGRADED HACKED GH2. End of argument. I would be very pleased if electronic camera sensors could capture the colour space of film stocks, but they don't, yet. One day it might happen. Meanwhile I choose the best looking cameras for my work and get on with it. Cinematic is a word I never use because it is a purely emotional term that means different things to different people.

  • The Tokarev image @producer posted is shot on a RED One, which has a larger (super 35mm) sensor and a dynamic range much wider than the GH2.

    Also, the shot has some motion blur in it, making it softer than the "videoish" GH2.

    Maybe the BMPCC with the custom made Speedbooster could be what he's looking for?

    The Sony A6000 could also fit the bill, albeit being an 8 bit camera. Philip Bloom seems to like it, and most of the footage I've seen is very pleasing to the eye.

  • @oscillian: Oh, yes! Although I'm not a Sony fan at all, A6000 just melts GH2 (and not only!). The look, details, shapes, depth, nuances that it produces by itself are much far better. Even with its 8-bit, it can be graded wonderfully because the colors and all the nuances it gives - they don't need much tweaking in post to get what you'd never get from GH2 even with serious grading.

    A friend owns Sony a57 which gives very pure and organic image characteristics, no matter that the model has some things not better than hacked GH2.

  • I think, since you have such an unusual idea what comprises a cinema like picture, you should find another camera.

    Up until the last 3 months with the gh4 and sony a7s along with the magic lantern Canon 5dmarkIII and BM, I don't think there's any camera in the gh2 price class that is even close to the video image quality of a hacked gh2. I'm far from alone in that conclusion. I think you're pretty much alone in yours, though.

  • I love gh2 for its superior image quality. I'm not filmmaker so I'm not bothered with some minor problems it has