Just got the Ronin M – First impressions

 

After researching the many different low budget gimbals, I decided to go with the Ronin M. I was weighing the Ronin M against a few others. I’ll list them below.

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GH4- ‘M-Log’ Field Test

After Panasonic confirmed that they are working on a V-Log profile for the GH4, a lot of us were waiting anxiously to see what the profile could do for us film makers who want a little more from the color response of the camera.

The V-Log profile is a bit of a wish as it stands because there is no release date or hope of one soon. While in one of the GH4 forums, I saw that Matt Mosher had come up with a new combination for the cameras Cine Like D as a response for the delay with V-Log, calling his own version ‘M-LOG’. I decided to try it out on my next two projects. Here are some frame grabs and some very quick bits of footage.

Opinion time:

I think its a little hit and miss. The big problem with Cine Like D is that it makes skin tones very strange and hair brittle looking. This still happens here. Of course the skin tines can be fixed, you can grade around it but that is another thing to have to work around with this camera. The other issue I have found time and time again in the camera, is the shadows can have a lot of noise, actually anything that has black in it (pants, jackets, t-shirts etc). Once you crush the blacks a little it will get rid of this (within reason).

 

I know this is a little bit of a moan but can we just get a camera that doesn’t need so much re-jigging? I know there will never be the ‘perfect camera’, we have a pretty incredible camera here though, the problem that is weighing me down with the camera is the low light response but hey, I can live with that, the result is that it deals with the shadows/blacks in a terrible way, my term is ‘caked in noise’. Since really getting to know this camera it is a lot less ‘caked’ but there seems to always be something to have to work around. If they could make the GH3 with 4K, V-Log and 96fps we have the perfect camera in that budget, that’s what the GH4 should have been!

 

Would this be my go to setting? No. But will I keep it in my tool bag as my preferred ‘Cine D’ combo? Yes. It is one of the least defective and destructive settings I’ve seen with Cine Like D.

Saying all of that I’m quite happy with the look of the footage. Have a look at the stills below and don’t forget to check out the excellent Film Assets in my Shop to give your project the Film Look

Click Here For My Shop

grain header

 

Source of article info

GH4 Stills

dr 2 shv dr3 cf shv 1 cf2 dr shv1 cf shv 2 P1250279.MOV.10_30_10_19.Still001 shv 3

 

 

GH4 Picture Style- Best Settings

This will also be a somewhat of a review/opinion on the GH4.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the camera. I use it for one project and it blows me away and then on another I lose faith in it. Something that has really killed me is the struggle to get somewhat of a flatter picture profile and not have the shadows obliterated with noise and just general MUD!

I’ve been trying this camera in different settings. From Doc’s to Films. My issues are two fold;

1. ANY hint of over exposure and this camera turns to a baked heat ball. You just get hot spots that bleed and glow. It’s horrible!

2. The camera can look very plasticy and over sharpened with the wrong picture profile

The danger with having Cine Like D and the highlight/Shadow setting is that you will set it to something like ‘Cine Like D, H-5,S+5 and Master Pedestal at +15. We all have a fair idea of how horrible that will be but you understand what I’m getting at. I just with I could get my GH2 look just a little flatter (and 4K of course)

So what do we have to work with? We have a 4K Camera with a nice set of user controls. I’ve been experimenting with a few of these different settings. Have a look at the video below where I test a few different settings

The documentary side of footage wasn’t great, the noise level even at low ISO’s made the run and gun style very hard. Of course I don’t expect the camera to see in the dark but I do expect it to at least perform as well as its predecessor the GH3.

When I got the GH2 I was totally in love with it. I shot some of my favorite work with it. Here’s an example of my favorite piece on the GH2

After this I Shot with the BlackMagic 2.5K MTF. The image was a dream. If you could port that image into a GH4, then we have the perfect camera in my opinion but I digress. I then traded up my GH2 for a GH3 and after I eventually returned my BlackMagic because of reliability issues. I though the GH4 would be a no brainer based on the results I have gotten from previous incarnations…

Back to the image.

The GH4 can produce some stunning work when set correctly though. The setting that I have found the most success with is Cine Like V set with H-2 (sometimes -4) and S +2. This is the important part, Master Pedestal at +10 to +15 depending on the situation. i-Dynamic and i-Resolution set to OFF! I repeat SET TO OFF! more on this later…

The reason that I would use this set up over Cine Like D is because I find that Cine D makes fine lines very brittle and high detailed and textures very muddy, I’ve found this particularly bad with women’s hair. MY GOOD GOD does this camera fall apart when you shoot hair! Cine V gives you something a little more contrasty and gives you a sort of go between Cine D and the Natural setting we all know from the GH2&3. Now the issue is it actually is still quite punchy and this is where the highlight/shadow and MP comes into play. By setting them to the above settings I’ve found that you can achieve a more flat milky style picture without your image being caked in noise

WARNING! DO NOT USE ‘i -Dynamic’ EVER! IT WILL RUIN YOUR FOOTAGE!

I shot a little promo recently for a film that I am crowd sourcing for at the moment called RUBBLE. I had been experimenting with some of my Canon Flashes the day before shot on a few different modes, in the process I must have inadvertently switched i-Dynamic to AUTO. This actually made my footage look like it the promo was shot on a cheap phone. I was able to grade a lot of it out but it thank god I intentionally Over-lit the scene knowing I’d be grading down (which you have to do a lot on the GH4 I find)

When we shot the intros I had resolved the problem but this is a setting to be left off.

In all the camera gives good bang for your buck, with the 96fps mode and assortment of video settings, headphones port and of course 4K image, is what makes this camera worth it, the important thing is to use the right picture profile for the right situation, sometimes the Cine D profile is great but it is just a case of knowing a few ‘go-to’ profiles and settings and then having them ready to go!

As far as the new V-Log goes, I really hope this is something great. My worry is that it will do the same things to the image that Cine D does. we are dealing with an 8-Bit image after all. It may be a case of V-Log being a companion for an external recorder but this means another 2 thousand Euro to have to get the most out of it.

Time will tell with this camera, even though its been out almost a year it feels like a new camera that we will grow up with…. Until the GH5 comes out!

S