Tag Archives: Panasonic GH4

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What is your typical Multi-camera Setup when recording a performance, recital, concert, etc? Well here's a quick look at my most basic gear for three static camera angles. I typically go with (3) Panasonic GH4 cameras as I love the super long battery life, and 4K video recording all day (deliver 1080 but flexible in post for faux zooms and crops).

cheesycam-core-multi-camera-angle-shoot-gear

If i'm doing a 3 camera angle shoot, I find it's easier to match footage when you have the exact same cameras (same color profile, set same exposure, etc).

I also make sure to add a good microphone to each camera as you need really good scratch audio to do a quick sync in post. As a backup I also run timecode on all cameras and match them as close possible for post sync. In the photo you'll see i'll use either a Rode VideoMic Pro or Azden SMX-30.

I also try to use Sandisk 128GB SDXC Cards so I don't have to swap cards during the event, and record each video clip as long as possible. I find it's easier to sync a few long clips in post than a hundred small clips. Once the clips are synced in post, it's easy to cut out all the dead time.

For audio, I make sure to bring a few portable audio recorders (like Zoom H1) and set them up close to Audio Speakers, but i'll bring a Multitrack recorder (like Zoom H6) to plug directly into the sound board. The Zoom H6 offers dual recording in case sound peaks, and worst case scenario I can sometimes grab audio from the cameras (since they are mic'd up).

aspenmics-eartec-ultralite-headset-wireless-communicatorLearn-More-sm Ultralite Full Duplex Wireless Headset Kit

I also break out my hands free wireless headsets for each camera operator to make sure everyone is on the same page. Good communication is key between multiple operators.

Finally and totally optional, i've rigged up a dual monitor setup with Camera Motion Research Connex Wireless Video Kits. Super reliable and long range systems. So while i'm operating the main camera, I can get a feed from the two other camera angles and make sure I have a clear visual what everyone is covering. With our wireless headsets, I can direct the other two operators to make sure we cover the entire performance.

So that's a quick look at the core parts of how I tackle these quick Multi-camera angle shoots. Do you have any favorite pieces of gear of tips you'd like to share?

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If you find yourself swapping lenses throughout a project, or cutting between multi-camera angles you'll find your footage will be easier to match looks if you have a matched set of lenses. Color, Contrast, Sharpness, and more could look quite different if you're just using a random set of mixed lenses. Probably the most talked about affordable set of lenses for video use are the Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. The 'DS' is a more improved version of the original Rokinon manual photo lenses that has better optical coatings and have been 'matched' to have a more consistent look across the set.

Even though I feel Canon L series lenses are optically better, I ended up selling many of my Canon L series Autofocus lenses just because I wanted to work more with Manual Focus lenses, de-clicked apertures, with a matched 'look' when doing video projects. Not to mention I haven't been shooting much with Canon DSLRs. In fact, just one Canon 85mm F/1.2L lens paid for an entire bundle of Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. That's just how affordable a complete set is.

Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Deal Sale Discount GH4 Sony A7sII A7s A7RII A7r
Personal set 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm Rokinon Cine DS Lenses seen w/ GH4 and A7sII

If you're working with many of today's mirrorless cameras, these lenses are highly adaptable and cover a full frame sensor. Unlike camera bodies, lenses like these also hold their values really well, so I feel it's a good investment for people starting out in video. You can always sell them off later if you decide to upgrade to set of true Cine Primes. Though, it's not uncommon to see just how many people are throwing these lenses on even high end cameras like the BlackMagic Design or RED these days.

So if you're looking for a decently matched set of lenses for video work, the '4pc Lens Bundle' is currently discounted an Instant Savings of -$350 OFF which includes the most popular Rokinon focal lengths 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (found here).

rokinon Cine DS Lens Kit
Learn-More-sm Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens Bundle

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I could remember just a short time ago it was a struggle to find an affordable interchangeable lens camera with 4K internal recording. Even the original Sony A7s didn't offer this, and the Sony A7RII had issues with overheating when recording in 4K. The Sony A7sII is an excellent camera but the price tag of $3,000 is not quite budget friendly. For quality internal 4K recording on an ILC there are cameras such as the Panasonic GH4 or G7, but it's also a smaller sensor camera which some people aren't fans of.

Sony's recent announcement of the A6300 with 4K internal recording at just $1,000 dollars is very exciting news. 4K Video Internal recording (100Mbps) with an APS-C sized sensor (throw a speedbooster on this one!), offering up with SLOG2/SLOG3 with 14 stops of Dynamic Range, and 120fps HD (100Mbps) high frame rate are just a few notable features. It is certainly offering a lot of what the more expensive A7sII has, with some features far better like the new Auto Focus system.

Now there are some features that are limited such as no headphone out port, and 30 minute video clip lengths. It's not clear if the videos longer than 30 minutes will continue, or if it will just stop. But by using and external recorder, you could probably get around that. Regardless of some of the small cons, for the price there's a lot to like in the new Sony A6300 that could pull a good market share away from current some Panasonic GH4 shooters. This is a camera I think will work very well next to my A7sII and i'm planning on getting one, unless of course Panasonic announces a killer GH5 soon and then i'll have to rethink...

sony a6300 4k mirrorlessSony A6300 4K Camera
Learn-More-sm Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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One of the concerns with shooting on micro four thirds is with it's cropped view. In addition, shooting at 4K on the GH4 camera will further crop your view. If you follow the blog, you would have seen me testing some de-fishing techniques using a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens. Though not perfect, i've been able to use this for some smaller projects with acceptable results. Check out the video below for examples.


[Tip: When using this technique with a person, keep a distance and place them in center frame whenever possible. Side distortion is not always flattering..]

Though not a perfect solution, this sub $300 dollar lens defished is still capable of capturing a wider field of view than the $1K 7-14mm F/4 Lumix. Of course with the defish technique your project will look it's best at a final output of 1080p. Here are a few screengrabs showing how much view is lost during the defish process.

fisheye
Original Fisheye View - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish
4K Defished to 1080p - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

fisheye-master
Original Fisheye View - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish-master
4K Defished to 1080p - GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

The small form factor and light weight also make it easy to carry and perfect for small stabilizers. So if you're shooting with a GH4 and have to work with interior or tight spaces, defishing from a 4K file is an interesting option to be aware of. Definitely a lens GH4 shooters should have in their bag, and available for just under $300 (click here).

Rokinon Fisheye MFT Micro four thirds fish eye lens cheesycam GH4 defish lens
find-price-button Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for MFT Cameras

Panasonic GH4 order stock inventory
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 MFT 4K Camera

Here's another example of a video shot with the GH4 and the Rokinon Fisheye Lens (de-fished).

FCPX has it's own fisheye plugin, but may not work very well for some corrections. You can also check out the FCPEffects Plugin to remove the Fisheye Look (found here).

Fisheye-Removal-Plugin_mediumfisheye plugin video
find-price-button FCPX Fisheye Removal Plugin

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Just shared a short video over on my Instagram with the GH4 balanced on my modified CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal. I've uploaded a copy to my YouTube channel seen below. I chose the Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye as it's lightweight and I can correct some distortion to simulate a UWA (ultra wide angle) lens when shooting in 4K mode.


Instagram Video GH4 2 Axis Video Gimbal

Absolutely no issues getting this camera balanced on the CAME 6000, and this is a ready-to-run gimbal system with no programming or assembly necessary (find it here). Just charge the batteries, balance and go. Mine was modified with side handles, but shortly after my modification they now offer these side handles as a standard.

Of course you won't have the third axis (Pan stabilization) which is extremely helpful as you walk swiftly or run. If you just plan on stabilizing your handheld shots free from rolling shutter and keeping the horizon level, this compact super lightweight carbon gimbal works perfectly.

CAME 6000 Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button UPGRADED CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

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While Full Frame DSLR cameras have the advantage on the wide shot, these mirrorless cameras have advantages for distant shots due to it's crop factor. As an added bonus, the Ex Tele Conversion mode in these Panasonic cameras switch to using pixels in the center of the sensor creating a further cropped view (I believe an additional 2.6x crop). Since it's still using a 1:1 pixel readout, there is no loss in resolution for full 1080p video.

GH4 tele mode sample review demo video 4K

This is extremely handy as you can easily more than double the focal length of any lens. With this mode, my Lumix 12-35mm F/2.8 (24-70mm equivalent) quickly turns into something like a 31mm-90mm F/2.8 [60-180mm 35mm equivalent], and all without losing a stop.

lumix 12-35mm gh4 vario ois
find-price-button Lumix 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

Having so many options in a single camera is new to me, so i'm still learning the best ways to use the GH4. Knowing that I can crop in on a 4K video file is a great option, but is it better than using the EX Tele Mode at 1080p? I shot this very short clip to test this out, let me know what you think.

Certainly cropping from 4K still retains plenty of details. To the average viewer, they may not pick up on such subtle differences, but judging from my eyes I think the Ext Tele Mode in 1080p is better. If i'm considering my final output to be 1080p, I can use this mode with the 35-100mm F/2.8 (70-200mm equivalent) essentially giving me something around a 90-260mm F/2.8. Remember that if you compare this to 35mm equiv it's like shooting with a 180-520mm F/2.8 on a Canon 5D (but for a lot less money).

35-100mm lumix lens
find-price-button Lumix 35-100mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

Keeping in mind that you double the focal distance on an M43 lens to get that 35mm equivalent, I decided to grab some samples from my new Lumix 100-300mm OIS which is 35mm equivalent to a 200-600mm. With Ex Tele Mode this lens should be around 260mm-780mm which should be like working with a view similar to a 520mm-780mm - again without reducing the amount of light like a teleconverter extension would on a Canon 5D.

Here's another short clip testing out cropping from 4K as opposed to using EX Tele Mode in 1080p with my Lumix 100-300mm OIS lens.

panasonic lumix vario 100-300 ois
find-price-button Lumix 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens

Here's a few other GH4 clips from my trip to the Academy of Science in San Francisco yesterday. Nothing special, just me learning.

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I've been fortunate enough to operate many stabilizers over the years, and it's amazing how they continue to improve while at the same time become more affordable. Here's a look at yet another new product - the CAME H4 ultra portable Hand Held Video Stabilizer.

As a bonus, i've taken the time to walk you through the steps on how to balance most hand held stabilizers. During the (lengthy) balancing process in this video, you will learn the importance of many key features that will benefit you when shopping for any stabilizer.

Although you may find cheaper stabilizers on the market, many of them will lack a quick release plate with multiple mounting options, fine tuning knobs, an adjustable Gimbal handle, telescoping post, and folding counterweights. Without these features it would be extremely cumbersome to dial in perfect balance.

Cheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer Top StageCheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer

If you're looking for great example footage from this unit, hang tight i'm still working on this. For now at least I have a short demo in the video above. I can assure you that this CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer is as good or better than any portable stabilizer i've used in the past. The CAME H4 build is a combination of Carbon Fiber and Aluminum with a very high quality anodized finish.

For DSLR Cameras relative to the size of a Canon 5D Mark II/MarkIII, the baseplate fits nicely with access to the battery door. The stabilizer folds down to a minimum height of just 12" inches and comes with a padded travel case. For more information, visit the product page at http://CAME-TV.Com

Cheesycam CAME H4 Hand Held Stabilizer Compare
find-price-button CAME H4 Ultra Portable Hand Held Video Stabilizer

You can also find this product available via Amazon (found here) and for International eBay (found here).

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Warning: The following video may cause motion sickness! I shot this video when I was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with GH4 mounted to a baby stroller. It's one idea on how to use the variable framerate feature on the Panasonic GH4, but of course i'm sure you guys can do it better.

It's a fun feature to have built right into the camera since it requires no post processing. The moment you hit stop you end up with a single video file ready for playback.

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On the fence about the new Panasonic GH4? This Zacuto product overview video could change your mind. The intro starts out slow, but later gets deep (really deep) into the Panasonic GH4's ground breaking features - including that of the DMW-YAGH Interface Unit.

No need to sell me on the GH4, I'm already actively shooting with several Panasonic GH3 cameras. I've even tried implementing it into my Live Switch Broadcast project. It's a great all around camera, but nothing compared to what the new GH4 will be offering.

Panasonic GH4 pre-Order

I'll often reserve the cliche term 'game changer', but I really think it suits this camera perfectly. They've added so many more features not just for Photography, or consumer video, but for broadcast, cinema, and not to mention the push for 4K. Once this camera starts shipping, you'd better expect for a very long waiting list, so maybe it's time to rethink about putting your name down on that pre-order list (found here).

DMC-GH4 GH4-7
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 with DMW-YAGH Pro Audio Video Interface Unit