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Watch the First Film Shot on the Panasonic GH3

While it’s not set to be announced until Monday, a promotional video for the new Panasonic GH3 was accidentally released yesterday. The video has been taken down numerous times but thanks to various YouTube users it has been uploaded again each time. In that video there were a few shots of Philip Bloom and Bruce Logan, ASC (who was in charge of the recent Zacuto Shootout) making a film with the new camera. That film, Genesis, was written and directed by Bruce Logan and DP’ed by both Logan and Philip Bloom, and you can watch it below to get a brief glimpse of what this new Panasonic camera is capable of.

Here’s a little from Philip about what they used for lenses on the project:


Lens wise we used all micro 4/3 or 4/3 glass…A lot on the great Voigtlander 25mm F0.95, used on almost all the low light stuff as well as the SLR Magic 12mm F1.4. The Olympus 14-35 F2 was out workhouse. Used this A LOT. Also the 35-100 F2. Great glass. Not ideal for movie shooting though with the loss of focus when zooming in and fiddly focus. Lots of lumix glass was used to especially the brand new lenses coming out soon!

For some reason I like what this looks like more than anything I’ve seen from the GH2 so far. I can’t quite put my finger on it yet, but according to Bloom the file will be available to download at some point after the announcement on Monday. Rolling shutter is still there, of course. For those who are looking for that to be fixed in any future cameras, I wouldn’t hold your breath. The C300 does a very good job, but it’s very expensive to fix, and even cameras costing $40K and $50K still have it! The two easiest ways to combat it right now are a mechanical shutter or a global shutter. Global shutters greatly affect noise and dynamic range, so until their development improves, we’ll be dealing with that for the foreseeable future. Personally I’d rather have excellent dynamic range than no rolling shutter.

I’m sure this went through a decent color grade, but I think it’s a great display of what the new camera can do. It’s hard to say how much dynamic range has been improved, especially without a side-by-side comparison. The GH2 was one of the cameras that needed a ton of fill light in the Zacuto Shootout to deal with the limited dynamic range, so it would have been interesting to see how much better this new camera would have fared. Either way we’ll be finding out more on Monday when the camera is announced.

Would any of you still purchase this camera even if it costs around $2,000? Are the new features enough of an improvement? What about those who have never liked the image from the GH2 — does this short change your mind?

Link: New short film “Genesis” shot on pre-production new “G” camera from Panasonic…more on Monday! — Philip Bloom

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I’m allergic to the Panasonic look and this represents little progress for me. The teeny fiddly lenses are a dead end investment.

    DSLR video had a good run but has come to a close I’m afraid. What it did was raise our quality/price expectations and gave us pro cameras within reach such as the FS700 and C100. Kids will still cut their teeth on things like this and there will always be a fringe of hacker type devotees, but the lenses and rigging needed aren’t any cheaper than ones with a future, and something like the RX100 wins on size and cost. For dual-use with stills, people will want full frame and are getting it affordably with products like the D600 and likely 6D, or at quality with the 1DX.

    Pass.

    • Shane Hurlbut seems to be gearing up to shoot a Deamworks feature film with multiple DSLRs shooting 4K (Canon 1DC) so maybe not yet the end of The DSLR Run?

    • I got a kick out of this. Especially when thinking of Peter responding to everything in his daily life in this manner: “This breakfast sandwich is pedestrian, while it may be fine for poor slobs who have to eat on the go, it is beneath me. Pass.”

      I could see the dismissive hand gesture he was making as I was reading.

      • Our standards in low-budge land have to be guided by a far harsher and more dismissive audience: the YouTube commentariat. Will they press the Like button, or even better, the Share button? Or will they backswipe with their hand and pass.

        Having the highest standards in this business generally heads you up the scale. Thankfully, (and in large part to the 5D2 and its offspring) we don’t have to go broke anymore getting on that train. There are exciting developments every week, Sony just released a vista-vision camcorder with a truly universal lensmount and all the ergonomics save ND’s for $3000. Uhm…DSLRs? Very 2011.

        And yes the last place I skimp is on what goes in my belly. Good taste a plus in this biz?

        • antelope_264 on 09.15.12 @ 7:16PM

          That’s an interesting response to your critics. Shooting video for the ‘Tube mob is extremely low standards, perhaps the lowest of lowest of low. Unbelievable that so many well-intended but misguided people want to target a gansta audience. Numbers? Yeah, throw a party and have 11,666 homies show up or a dozen decent denizens attend. Your choice.

          • I far prefer vimeo to Youtube of course, but client work lives and dies on Youtube at this budget. For more exclusive venues such as festivals, theatres, netflix/hulu etc. you have no business shooting with DSLRs either. Sure people do it but really is that by choice? Or of any sense? Cameras under $5,000 are Youtube machines whether we like it or not. And standing out amidst a lot of crap is what can help get you out of that cesspool.

        • LOL! Sooooooo….. You mean to tell me if a director loves the look of a dslr and has a huge budget to shoot a film with it, he can’t/shouldn’t enter that film in a festival or have it distributed and played in theatres at all because he felt he could best express his idea using a DSLR? That’s like saying “you shouldn’t drink water unless it’s bottled” or “you shouldn’t drive unless you drive a BMW 745″ or “you shouldn’t jog unless you have NIKE cross training shoes” or “you shouldn’t bowl unless you have your own bowling ball” If so, you restrict artistic expression by confining it within the barriers of technology. Doesn’t really make sense. When I first move to this city I slept on an air mattress because I didn’t have a bed. I guess I shouldn’t have went to sleep.

          • Dear “Prowla,” I suggest going back home with your GH2 & GH3 and toy lenses and making the most of the talent you can find there. The talent in (I’m assuming you moved to) LA is already well enough served with technology well ahead of that. Anyone reduced to having to shoot with such equipment came to LA far too early in their development.

          • Wow Peter…. wow….
            You know this little film called “Like Crazy” was shot on a DSLR… won this little thing called the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It’s just a tool. I just loooveeee all the shit talking on these forums. It’s so easy to come off as a bad ass behind a computer. For all the people talking all high and mighty, I think we should play a game called “post your work.” I bet it would shut some people up real quick, because I’ll bet you anyone who’s good at what they do only come to these forums for information and not to try and have a pissing contest with everyone.

          • Hi Marko,

            As they are discussing downthread, anyone whose work gets posted on these forums full of anonymous hacks gets their name dragged through the mud…”Awful script and cinematography!” I would be very happy participating in a forum where everyone had to post under their real name with a link to their vimeo feed etc. so any potshots they took could be returned. That would be a great idea and I will sign up for it.

            For me the anonymity lets me be more honest rather than less though…I really try to be helpful even if it is tough love. Earlier this year shooting films on tourist cameras some considered legit, but the tech is developing too fast to rest on that. People who are stuck on that system, fine, make the best work you can and get out of it. People looking to invest ought to do so in gear that has a future. People looking for a specific “look” might be interested in something like the Digital Bolex, but that would likely be a one-off project and not your A cam so rent accordingly.

            Such logic will anger people who have made the investment in tourist gear thinking it would help them develop professional credentials, and some of those will make personal attacks. Because I and they are anonymous, they can go ahead, it’s all fair I suppose. But the logic stands.

        • LOL! Ok I get it now. Peter is simply stirring up words in order to get a reaction from people lol. He’s not really that close minded. It’s all a sham. Nice one Peter! You’re a great jokester haha!

        • Well, last summer we shot a low-budget feature on unhacked GH2, and it is quite successful. It was finished this summer and immediately won all the festivals (3, as far as I know) it was sent to.

          That was made with a “YouTube camera”, you say?

    • Agree. I only lasted 30 sec in. There’s a reason very few features have been made with hacked/non-hacked Panny DSLRs. I tried the GH2. Hated it. This only looks slightly better.

    • Gary Simmons on 09.20.12 @ 11:09PM

      My thought is technology is still changing to fast to make predictions about how anything is going to be I believe its a little early to say DSLR’S are on the way out but one prediction I will make is pro video cameras will move to smaller form factors because of the flexibility of needing less room to work with which I’m sure isn’t a revelation to anyone. economics dictate that I use a dslr for now but I dream of the day I can afford a pro cam because nothing beats having the control you get from one.

      • Gary Simmons on 09.20.12 @ 11:11PM

        oops forgot to say I thought the video was very promising they did a good job especially considering the tools they used.

    • And…what blockbuster movies do you have under your belt that entitles you to bashing the DSLR?

  • Crikey that’s a bit harsh – the story is a bit cringe making but the images look pretty smashing for a little camera don’t you think?

    • I agree that the GH3 short looks very good. The image looks clean and reasonably free of artifacts. For comparison I went and watched the D600 short referenced above, and I don’t think looks as good as Bloom’s GH3 short or as good as the D800 Joy Ride short.

      • I’m hoping for a better encode 91080p) of the GH3 short next week – looks promising though. There is a 1080p downloadble version of the Nikon D600 demo here: https://vimeo.com/49436646 that looks amazing to me.

        Remember GENSIS had a FULL crew with big budget, CHASING THE LIGHT was made by just 2 guys, albeit pro photographers.

        Great week for DSLR world – which is not even close to being dead in my opinion…

        • Chasing the Light was made over 4 weeks so even though it was just 2 brothers they
          had a much better chance to capture great imagery.
          Genesis was shot in probably 3 days with a full crew. But they couldn’t wait for good light.
          They just had to shoot nonstop BECAUSE they had a full crew.

  • This looks really nice, and was not a terrible film either. Can’t say much about detail/resolution until a higher res version is out, but the DR and ALL-I codec seem to be capable of quite a filmic look. The simplest thing I can say is it just doesn’t scream “shot on a dslr!” I’m definitely looking forward to get my hands on one of these!

  • “For some reason I like what this looks like more than anything I’ve seen from the GH2 so far. I can’t quite put my finger on it yet”

    Colour, skintones look fantastic, GH2 they rarely impressed.

    • It might be color yes, but it could also be the dynamic range. I have an idea, I just mean I wasn’t sure which part made me like the image more. :)

      • Apparently its a sony sensor, re-watching the 1080 version colour/DR/gradiation have all improved in favour of small sacrifice in sharpness, banding looks a tad better but not much.

        • It’s certainly possible, but I doubt very much Sony was involved in the sensor design. Panasonic is definitely capable and they’ve been doing it for a while now. Part of the reason I’m doubting it is that Sony doesn’t make any Micro 4/3 sensors right now, and the sensors that they make for other manufacturers, like Nikon, they already use in their own cameras as well (except the D800 sensor – for now at least).

  • I don’t know what it is, but imo, the GH2, and from I can tell in the GH3 video above, just doesnt have that film look. I should say, comparing to other cameras/dslrs in its class. Dont get me wrong, the quality is amazing! I just hate that “trying to look like film” look. its cringe worthy. Im in no way a camera aficionado, which was probably obvious by not mentioning any facts to my claim, its just a personal opinion.

    I know color grade and other aspects in post production could help to try and achieve a more film look, I just never seen any videos that would change my opinion. I would love for you guys to prove me wrong. Ive been looking online, and havent found anything yet. If you guys got any recommendations id love to see them.

    • I think the trick to that is the fact that there are countless film stocks, each with their own qualities, and many different ways of exposing and processing any given film stock. All of these things add up to different looks that traditional cinematographers have scrutinized for decades and had their own arguments over “which is best”. Then we come along and try to find a camera that “looks like film”. Which film? Unless you trained in traditional film cinematography (which I did not), you may have an idea of “filmic” that is one particular stock or process; or even type of lens. Nonetheless, studying the work of cinematographers you love and digging into how they created their images is a great way of developing your own. With the improved codec out of the GH3 (or any improved codec), there is going to be more room to push that image in post and make it look the way you think it should.

  • She totally forgot her bags. That’s going to suck in the morning…

  • look pretty good for a camera that size and if its gonna be in the price range of the GH2.

    On the other hand what a terrible script, terrible acting…

    • john jeffreys on 09.15.12 @ 11:27PM

      Its PB bro. The only thing he knows is filming flowers and ducks at wide open aperture.

      • What a silly thing to say

      • @John Lol dude u r too funny. I think you comments are needed sometimes

      • You should start posting some of your work for critique :)

        • john jeffreys on 09.16.12 @ 2:21AM

          john jeffreys has never made a film.

        • I think JJ’s an ass, but I agree re PB. Sorry. He’s a TV doc cameraman. His global audience would die if they knew his rep in the UK. Please Philip, please stop making music vids, and anything with dialogue.

          • This is not just a response to you, but regardless of resume, disrespecting other people that work in the same industry as you is not only a waste of time, but a sign of insecurity. There’s enough negative energy out there, if anyone is the least bit professional, they won’t take to deriding fellow filmmakers on the internet.

      • Neither the script nor the direction of actor have anything to do with Phillip Bloom but rather Bruce Logan who wrote and directed the film. PB was just DOP.

  • That was a terrible short… Looked good though!

  • $2000.00 seems too high to me when we have the D600 full frame going for around that price.

    $1700.00 (or whatever the price was for the 7D when it was released) seems about right.

    • john jeffreys on 09.16.12 @ 5:00PM

      the 7D was 1899 on release, which after tax and memory cards and stuff was essentially 2000. Now you can get one used for 900 bucks. My, how times have changed.

  • Considering the great improvements to the GH2 once it was hacked, I’m extremely eager to see how this camera will function once it has a viable firmware hack. Could potentially blow every other DSLR out of the water in terms of video. At that point, even a price of around $2000 could be pretty damn attractive. I guess only time will tell.

  • As expected, lame script and bad cinematography!! I knew he can’t direct from day one. He is only a good camera evaluator and fortunate enough to get his hands on all the great tools!!

    Anyway, if it has a clean uncompressed HDMI out and below USD 1500 (body only), i will definitely buy this!

  • [•] InFrame on 09.15.12 @ 11:27PM

    I feel the film look is determined by the lens choice… Why did Phillip Bloom decide to go with the Voightlander Nokton? Why not a Leica M known for being the best lens on the world or a Canon FD? I’m excited about the GH3 and the opportunities for film makers it’s another tool to produce stunning videos. I really rate Panasonic for giving videographers a fantastic camera.

  • If there was no D600 then yes a price close to $2k would be OK. Now though they will need to put this at $1500 or less. Personally Im excited about using the GH3 for the increased DOF it will give you compared to full frame. In

    Also it now means you can buy both the D600 for extreme/silly shallow DOF and the GH3 all for LESS than the price of a 5Dmk3 – best of both worlds!

    Good times :-)

  • $2000!?

    - Just go with the 5D mk ii in which case… and get it for under $2000.

    • Why the hell would you go for a used 5d when you can get a brand new D600 for the same price with a much better image, HDMI out and loads of other features?

      No wonder canon get away with those over inflated prices they charge.

      • john jeffreys on 09.16.12 @ 2:13AM

        Well, there are already a ton of accessories that work with it, because its been out for 4 years.

        • Yeah, so the accessories are going to give you uncompressed 422 hdmi output, much better DR, resolution, rolling shutter, audio monitoring etc. more so a new camera.

          • john jeffreys on 09.21.12 @ 3:10AM

            The funny thing is, NONE of those will make your films better.

            Get off all this gearhead bullshit.

    • That’s a joke, right? The Mk. II is, bar none, the single most frustrating and limited DSLR to use for video on the market. It was special in its day (…4 years ago), but it’s a downright joke today, given the alternatives.

  • Justin Minich on 09.16.12 @ 3:16AM

    Just popping in from DIT land to give my 2 cents. I don’t understand the comments saying that this short doesn’t look filmic. I think it looks great (I especially like the skin tones). The only thing that really stood out to me was the amount of crushed blacks in the cop scene. And yes, there was rolling shutter in the subway scene, but no more so than in the AF-100. Can’t wait to see the official announcement on Monday!

  • I don’t really see any upgrade compared to the hacked GH-2. Looks heavily compressed even for Vimeo. Maybe a bit more DR but considering that Philip always get’s looks way above the average footage you’d find out of any camera I don’t think it’ll sell until it’s hacked. btw. There’s an even better looking (NSFW) video called “Farewell” that was shot in and around the same hotel. It’s even got a better story, google it ;-)

  • having commented on the clip on vimeo i found out it was removed, can’t say why, so here it goes

    given the size of production and setup i expect much better stuff sorry not sold on this the idea is to sell the camera, right?

  • Impressive, but it does not look any better than 80 Mbit+ hacked GH2.

    • You mean to say that a compressed web video doesn’t reveal a dramatic difference in the detail level between two high-bitrate camera models? Shocking!

      • Everyone talks about how degrading Vimeo compression is. When rendered in most optimum setting with high enough bitrate, Vimeo upload looks really good, even for picky people. With the greatest respect to Mr. Bloom, I have a feeling that this movie could look a lot better on Vimeo if the render/upload was optimized better. Judging purely from this particular upload, I have seen much more rich and sharp footage from hacked GH2′s. The only way to tell, I guess, is to see the original files.

        Bill Voelker

  • I know it’s a grading choice, but it’s hard to tell how much detail is in the shadows when the blacks are that crushed. I’ll be curious to see what the download looks like without the Vimeo compression. Looks nice though. If it really does end up being $1299 they’re gonna sell a lot of ‘em.

  • For me, this short shows two things:
    1) that current “consumer” gear is already good enough to forget about its limitations and concentrate on storytelling (from purely showreal video perspective, it has totally sufficient quality for indie productions)
    2) the main difference pro vs indie (or amateur) is in storytelling itself: script, acting, scene composition and pacing, etc… (in this video, some sequences were good enough to think it is a real movie, some just weren’t…)

  • “Personally I’d rather have excellent dynamic range than no rolling shutter.” – Amen to that, Joe. Frankly, rolling shutter isn’t an issue to me often. I do a lot of documentary-style DSLR work and nearly never have a problem with it – although, admittedly, I don’t do any work hand-held without a steadicam, so that has to help.

    Rolling shutter is something that can be avoided – low dynamic range is something that is much harder to work around.

    • I thought the RS on the whip pan as they follow the car out onto the highway was nauseating. The telephone poles bend and snap back into place. That’s not exactly pro, but it was pro for the filmmakers to include that shot to let us know the problem. The C100 should shine here.

      One last word on the MFT toys: keep in mind that compared to FF the F-stops are 2 stops down. So your Voight 0.95 is just a 2.0 on FF. And more expensive, and harder to mount a follow focus to, and narrower angle of view, and far worse in low light, and lower resale value, and…

  • Bradley Wiggins could probably win the Tour de France riding my bike, I couldn’t win it on his.
    Give this camera, locations, even actors to Wong Kar Wai ( or whoever is your favourite filmmaker at the moment ) and you’d have a short worth watching and talking about; and we wouldn’t be talking about the camera too much.

  • People need to stop making these really cheesy shorts. I know it was about showcasing the camera, but that short was so cheesy it distracted from the footage. PB should stick to filming surfing etc.

  • Floyd Marshall Jr. on 09.20.12 @ 8:37PM

    I thought the footage and the film was pretty damn good. Sometimes you just need to watch it as a layperson and not as a fill in the blank. We tend to get caught up in Oh I would have used this lens or did a close up or made this better or that this. But the one question that needs to be asked is this. Will the AUDIENCE receive it. I don’t care what you shoot on or how much you spend on your equipment, if it doesn’t resonate with the AUDIENCE it doesn’t matter.

  • I was ready to make a couple of comments, but frankly the tone of many of the remarks here is so unpleasant/arrogant/sarcastic/intimidating that there’s no point.

  • John Stockton on 09.21.12 @ 5:08AM

    ‘Festen’ (The Celebration is a 1998 Danish film, produced by Nimbus Film and directed by Thomas Vinterberg.) This ‘Dogma’ film was shot on a low end video camera with minimum lighting if any, other than natual light. The focus and the budget all went on story, actors and locations. The story is amazing and that’s what counts. There’s been plenty of rubbish produced over the years and most of it churned out by Hollywood using incredible top line equipment with top line crew and big budgets, enough said.

    Story is KING.

  • At the end of the film, all I could say was WOW!. Impressive. Sure I own the FS100 and lots of Zeiss glass, but what this taught me here was STORY , STORY, STORY, screaming out loud and clear. Add the suspense and drama of night, the chase, the emotions and you have a winner, an emotional, heart stopping, tear jerking winner. Oh, what did they use – a GH3? uhhh, OK! Fine by me. Hell, I could care less if it were a Sony F65. Yup – John Stockton is right – story is king.

    The point I am making is that there is a tendency to get caught up in pixel peeping and I am guilty as charged. Or even being a Zeiss gearhead. I love gear. Somehow this disease gets into your head and states this “Buy the latest and greatest gear, best camera, uber fine optiks and you are Steven Speilberg II. But actually make the film? Nahhhh. So, Logan and Bloom did and whether or not it was a GH3, a 5D2, a FS100, F3, F65 or iPhone 5, if you can get something like this – who gives a care?

    Get what you can that works reasonably well and start making good stuff, Indeed if you could do it on a bottom feeder camera, your victory is even so much better and talent astounding. Time to shoot good stuff guys! End of story – or rather, beginning of story.

  • I have done quite a few music videos and other video productions using My Olympus SP 610UZ.
    This is probably the most unheard of camera in this type of ball field, but I have had demand for video production – even film. My completed projects are viewed via You Tube and Conventional Television Stations

    Well, until I can buy the dream equipment I just have to use what I have: My Olympus SP 610UZ.
    Whatever I gain from each project will sure will bring me closer to my dream equipment. There has to be a start.

    The best things to know about your tool are:
    1. What it can do
    2. What it CAN NOT do.

    This music video was shot with my Olympus SP610 UZ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL9oWByAoi8

    Looking forward to hearing your criticisms (harsh or constructive); they only exist just to tell us what we did not do right.

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