Posts Tagged ‘ninja’

I have been doing many hours of testing and measuring with the different types of recordings made with the GH2. I have one GH2 with the original firmware and one with the hacked firmware, both that can be connected to the Atomos Ninja.

I will post my findings in a number of future posts, but want to make one important fact clear.

People have asked me several times if the hacked avchd footage is better than the Ninja recorded footage, and this is my answer:

The Ninja recording still dwarfs the GH2 avchd, even the hacked version. There is a lot of  processing going on before it reaches the codec on the avchd part and the hdmi signal follows another path through the camera’s hard- and software.

I for example can understand if panasonic has digital lowpass filters installed in their 10-to-8 bit conversion, because that’s what you do when downsampling to another bitrate.

You can hack the camera’s codec, but should look further down the processing line.

It’s a bit simplistic to think that you can upgrade a camera’s quality by just raising the codec’s bitrate; you’ll need to upgrade the limiting factors along the processing line all down to the sensor.

I’m afraid that there are also hardware components involved that can’t be hacked.

More news to come…

Jorgen.

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Wizard Ralph B over at DVXUser has revised the AviSynth script DRAMATICALLY. Please update your GH2 HDMI Recording Script from the original page at: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237584-HDMI-Capture-Problem-SOLVED-AviSynth-RULES!

If you have downloaded my “quick start” make SURE you update that script!
Martin Beek has also posted a copy of the essential script at http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/

Ralph B and PDR, thanks!

Jorgen.

Hello GH2 freaks.

I’ve done some tests last month together with Martin Beek over at Marvels Film, and read his latest post yesterday about recording from the GH2 HDMI port, and the problems (and workflow) you are faced with if you want to go that route. It looked pretty complicated at first sight and i imagine it confuses a lot of people, withholding them from buying a Ninja or KiPro recorder for their camera.

I have been tinkering with the installers and other files, and i have constructed a zip archive that contains everything you need (just a few files to install) including a ready-to-use setup including directory-structure and scripts. In fact, it’s nothing more now than just drop the zipfile in a harddisk location of your choice, unpack it, run a few automatic installers. Add footage & run!

The calling script is even multi-file aware, so it can do batch processing.

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Download and unpack this zip file (78 MB) on your Windows PC. Make life easy for yourself and put it in the root of your C drive.
  • Browse to the directory that has been created “GH2_AviSynth”
  • Browse to the directory “INSTALLERS”
  • Install in this order:
    • AviSynth
    • ffmpeg
    •  ProResDecorderSetup (ignore any warnings)
    • QuickTimeInstaller (ignore any warnings)
    • PC Avid Codec
  • Go back to the GH2_AviSynth directory and browse to the PROCESSING directory
  • Dump a HDMI recorder ProRes .mov file here
  • Double-Click on the demo script (this is the original script from the DVXuser thread) “GH2_CHROMAFIX.avs and Notepad will open the file
  • Edit the name of the video file to match yours
  • Run! Do this by double clicking “process_all.bat”
    • ffMpeg will run in tandem with AviSynth to process your footage and reports any errors along the way (hopefully none)
    • The resulting processed file will be a DNxHD 4:2:2 file in a MOV wrapper, ready to import on both Mac and PC editors such as Premiere and FCP
  • Done!

Note: if you want to output an AVI file (if you edit on Windows), edit the process_all.bat file and remove this part:
-vcodec dnxhd -b 175M or replace it with a reference to another codec, e.g. -vcodec huffyuv

I hope this all makes things a bit easier to understand and easier to work with.

DO NOT FORGET TO STAY TUNED TO THE ORIGINAL DVXUSER POST, BECAUSE SCRIPT IMPROVEMENTS APPEAR REGULARLY!!! 

Jorgen Escher.

EDIT: Sorry! I posted the wrong URL to the GH2 HDMI fix. See below for the corrected link.

I own a Lumix GH2 already since december 12, 2010.

I have been discussing this camera with friends (and a lot of new twitter and blog friends) ever since. The resolution is great, the noise is OK and somewhat more pleasing to the eye than the noise some other cameras produce, and the dynamic range is not bad at about 7,5 to 8,5 stops – depending on which ISO and which method of measurement used (IN VIDEO MODE).

If it wasn’t for the weak AVCHD codec at approx. 24Mb/sec, this would be the best super mega mega DSLR for video use.
Why does the codec fall apart? 24mbit should be OK for AVCHD at this resolution?! Indeed, but the image of this camera is TOO sharp and too detailed.
Using a flat profile and dialing down the sharpness does still produce a too sharp image that has ugly electronic halos and ringing, amplifies the noise and stresses the codec to such an amount that horrible compression artifacts show up in parts of the image where they are best visible: in the grays and blacks.

Panasonic, please give us SHARPNENING OFF. This is so depressing: I have beautiful detailed footage, but swarming with macroblocking (those big coloured compression blocks) and micro blocking (typical jpeg-like strange garbage around detailed areas). This all because of the extreme detail in every part of the picture. If i zoom in 100% on bricks or skin, i can see into every pore. Something i’ve never seen with pictures from my 5Dmk2.

But, hey, a solution seemed at hand: the Nanoflash or Ninja external recorders could record the signal from the (“clean”) HDMI output! But, alas… the hdmi output on the GH2 seems to be crippled in an ugly way (messing up the interlace cadence; adding double interlaced frames each 7 seconds, or skipping frames each 7 seconds). Both the Nanoflash and the Ninja recorder can record the 1080i60 signal including a 3:2 pulldown – that’s OK –  but the recorder wil go crazy if the interlaced cadence is (randomly) messed up approx. every 7 seconds. The Nanoflash will stop recording. The Ninja is not yet available but i assume it will do the same. Normally, FCP or most other NLEs are capable of removing the 3:2 pulldown and Bob’s your uncle. If your’e clips are shorter than 7 seconds… no problem…

So, what to do now?! I was pretty depressed after finding this out. Imagine!! A GH2 + Ninja is a sub 2000$ full HD 4:2:2 high detail camera! A kind of mini scarlet for a 1000 bucks.

I will write Panasonic about this and report it as an error, just to trigger a reaction, but i assume it is a built-in trick to prevent recording from the HDMI output.
Why? AF-101 .., that’s why. At least, that’s what i suspect. You could build yourself a min-af101 for a third of the price, with better video recording. If this is the case, Panasonic is missing the point; that DSLR film makers are NOT per-se AF-101 buyers.
I know people that can afford an AF-101 but stick to their 7D. It’s what they like best and, of course, it’s a totally different market segment budget-wise.

So what should we do?!

– write panasonic and report an error in the HDMI cadence mechanism
– write to sales@atomos.com (makers of the 900 dollar 4:2:2 prores hdmi recorder) and ask them to please please please make the device’s firmware compatible with the GH2

Interesting links:

One point of light at the end of the tunnel (not a train…): someone who does not want his name or position to be disclosed, gave me a hint: “some people” are hard at work to make the GH2 work with the Ninja recorder. But i haven’t said that of course.  Nobody can promis anything, although things are looking promising…
That’s as vague as the general new Scarlet announcement, only without a new price tag…

Jorgen.