First short 2K DCP footage experiment from GH2

Posted: March 17, 2011 in colorbyjorg

Martin Beek from Marvels Film has posted a first 2K “blown up” video from the GH2 on the Marvels’ YouTube page that we together made earlier today. It demonstrates two major things; first, the image holds up beautiful in respect to detail if blown up to 2K, and – alas – the codec is totally worthless for any kind of professional use. Color banding in the sky, in shadows, on jackets, on faces… brrrrrr…. Horrible.

If Panasonic doesn’t come up with a fix for the color banding or leaves the HDMI output crippled (so no recording can be made from it’s output), i see no way of using this camera for any professional work. Such a shame – the detail is great and i like the look of the picture.

Here is what Martin writes on the YouTube page:

2K (2048×858) DCP footage test originating from the GH2. Shot using the 24H cinema mode with WB corrected Nostalgic style. All style settings on lowest. Exposed to the right on histogram.

AVCHD internal recording on class 10 SD card.

Zeiss 35mm 2.8 prime lens.

Graded (only contrast & saturation) with Magic Bullet and exploded to 2K DCP-format using FCP. Added very slight TMTS Regrain filter afterwards (postproduction by Jorgen Escher).

Serious problem encountered: colorbanding in sky due to poor 8-bit colorspace codec. Tried different filters and recoding to get rid of this without avail… This same banding occurs in all gradients!! See weird blue and green color patches on leather coats, in shadows and sometimes even on faces. GH2=gradients=banding= unusable!!

If GH2 HDMI recording (e.g. via Atomos Ninja recorder) is indeed not possible, then the GH2 will need a serious firmware update to cope with the poor codec and noise performance. Poor codec and crippled HDMI output renders this camera useless for DCP and/or professional production as it is now.

Panasonic, please uncripple the HDMI output on the GH2 so it delivers 1080p23.98 or 1080i with proper uncrippled pulldown. You will sell a massive amount of extra cameras by this.

Panasonic, you have shown us pre-production cameras that were capable of producing 23.98p via HDMI and made us buy your camera. It’s not fair to remove (cripple) such a feature before they reached the shops. Will you refund me? I doubt it… I settle for a firmware update 😉

Here is the link (select “Original” for resolution to see the 2K quality):


  1. yellow says:

    I’m just venturing into playing with DCP. Could you expand on the process that was used to go from GH2 AVCHD? Such as:

    Final DCP would contain jp2000? Gamma 2.6? 8bit?

    What was the AVCHD decompressing codec used?

    If using ETTR of histogram, did the workflow maintain levels as captured or did the coded used squeeze the levels on import into FCP?

    Scaling and crop. In native video space or RGB. Linear or gamma encoded? What interpolation?

    Contrast and Saturation by Magic Bullet. Nothing to say there. 🙂

    Where was banding first seen?

    Would there possibly be a sample of untouched GH2 video of the shoot available to tinker with. 🙂

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