BACKGROUND: Last year, when the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera arrived, I made a video to break into it – http://vimeo.com/hpmoon/nyc – and posted a comment to share some insights – http: // Vimeo. com / hpmoon / bmpc. I challenged the camera to known weaknesses while designing a fully formed lyrical piece in addition to the rough tests and presentation clips.
With the launch of the Panasonic GH4, we are back in the moment, without missing out on test runs, but with only a few big jobs. Getting my early GH4 group happened at the same time on the way to the Chicago Film Festival I was in, so after a couple of days of exploring, I spent the last day running around town before the evening flight home. This time, I was interested in the wider focal points that influence 4k's strengths, thinking that Chicago's unparalleled focus on art and architecture would be an appropriate topic. I also stuck to my head the Duke Ellington mix, which matches what I saw. The combined result is grandiose and top-notch, but so is Chicago ("my type city") …
TECHNICAL NOTES: Most shots are handheld, sometimes using Adobe Warp mail stabilization. A couple of shots also used cheap skater-dolly, but all fit in a small backpack, including the Panasonic 12-35mm / 35-100mm / 45-200mm and the Rokino 7.5mm lenses. Balancing brightness and color by clip, I then applied Kodak Vision 3 250D 5207 FilmConvert bases to the GH4's smooth Cine-D profile at default settings. Due to GH4's variable speed limitations, slow-motion 2 fps images are at 1080p (UHD scaled), and this is also true for time-delay shots, which really do not need to be limited to 1080p (GH4 error, since sub-frame footage is even less demanding). To keep the aperture wide open in broad daylight, I used Light Craft Workshop's new variable RapidND filter with a visible vignette at wide focal lengths, but overall sharpness and minimal color selection.
The challenges I set around this time include the roller blind you see in those side views of the L train; pointing to the sun with black holes or a flowering sensor; playing in the depth of field to isolate focus, and aliasing patterns that hardly appear because the transducer is not removed in UHD mode. The highlight's protection and color depth are reasonable, but not great: the GH4 still can't beat Blackmagic movie cameras with more dynamic range and internally record in 10-bit 4: 2: 2 much faster.
Panasonic Lumix GH4 – http://focuspull.in/lumixGH4
Panasonic 12-35mm f / 2.8 – http://focuspull.in/hs12035
Panasonic 35-100mm f / 2.8 – http://focuspull.in/hs35100
Panasonic 45-200mm f / 4-5.6 – http://focuspull.in/hfs45200
Samyang 7.5mm f / 3.5 Fisheye – http://focuspull.in/sy75mft
To see the creations, comments and tips of other filmmakers using that camera, join the user community I created at:
Tweets by GH4users
And for more information, visit the portal for multiple user groups at http://focuspulling.com, where you can access daily user-submitted sample videos, tips and news about your favorite gear.