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Panasonic DMC-GH2 announced at Photokina 2010


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#21 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:59 PM

Some good news concerning the GH2's live HDMI output:

Richard Travis has bought a Japanese final production (shipping) GH2 camera and created a brief video showing how its live HDMI output behaves on his HDTV when he presses the camera's DISPLAY button:



There are still some unanswered questions, but at least the Japanese final production version GH2 can output "clean" HDMI video uncluttered by icons & text.

As of this writing we don't have confirmation as to other characteristics of the live HDMI signal of production/shipping GH2 cams, such as whether or not it's proper 1080p24 progressive, or if it includes audio, and so forth.

Travis' test is also being discussed here:
http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2150761

Meanwhile, videos shot with Japanese final production GH2 cams are beginning to appear on YouTube & Vimeo. Search for "panasonic gh2" or "lumix gh2" and sort by date to find the most recent.
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#22 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:47 AM

Sob. Wail. Gnash.
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#23 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:21 AM

Hi Phil: I take it Panasonic is not yet offering the GH2 for sale in the UK or other PAL regions?

I wonder if there's any chance the delay might mean they'll ship it with 1080p25, instead of only 1080p24?

Personally, I wish they'd ship it worldwide with both 24p & 25p, but that may be asking too much ...
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#24 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:38 PM

My friendly neighbourhood photo store has it listed and keeps promising they'll have one to look at imminently, at which point I shall go and look at it, but I have no information suggesting anything other than that it will lack 25p, and without that, my interest is zero.

P
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#25 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 10:01 AM

Hmm.

http://www.43rumors....ech-adjustment/

Still, my sense of cynicism (which, as I'm sure we're all aware, is a well-developed and prominent part of my personality) says they're just putting on some pointless thirty-minute time limit of interest to nobody but wedding videographers, as opposed to actually fixing the problem. We shall see.

I notice Mr. DeCrescenzo is ahead of me as usual :)

P
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#26 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:17 PM

Mr. Bloom's son [grin] has started posting his initial impressions of a GH2 he has on loan from Panasonic.

This GH2 is the 2nd copy he's received from them: The first unit was so defective he couldn't shoot with it, and this 2nd camera has a dead pixel on the left side of the frame. Hopefully these were flukes and not an indication of Panasonic quality control going forward!

He says a full review will be forthcoming, but so far his impressions of the GH2 are overwhelmingly positive:
http://philipbloom.net/2010/11/21/gh2/

Philip used the GH2 & a Voigtlander f0.95 25mm lens to shoot a video of his Mum cooking lunch. Watch the 1080p "HD" version on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZaQzb2OjTY

Vimeo members can download the less-compressed 1080p original edit:

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#27 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:24 PM

Would quite like to plug one of these into my uncompressed SSD recorder and see what I get.

OK, it'd be back to the days of having the recorder slung over your shoulder like a particularly masculine handbag, but hey.

P
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#28 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:41 PM

... like the old Sony PortaPac "portable" camera-recorder combo using those huge 20-min. U-Matic cassettes. Ugh!
http://www.labguyswo...ony_VO-3800.htm

Can't wait! :-)
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#29 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:41 PM

Well oddly enough it's just slightly more than 170x170mm, first person to tell me why that is wins an after-eight mint.
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#30 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:25 PM

This just in (tune in tomorrow for further updates) from Philip's blog:
http://philipbloom.net/2010/11/21/gh2/

"... Best of all…I have just checked this…the HDMI out is totally clean, no graphics (unless you want them) and the great thing is you can have as many graphics on the GH2 LCD without affecting the clean HDMI. Once caveat. If you use the EVF it for some reason disrupts the HDMI out if you move your eye away from it. To get round this make sure you disable auto EVF/ LCD switching in the menus and it won't do this…My Marshall says it is outputting 1080i 60i once recording but it certainly looks progressive rather than interlaced. I will connect it up to my Nanoflash tomorrow …we shall see! Great news though as the pre-production version I had two months ago had a record bug and timecode on the HDMI out. I asked Panasonic to remove this as we needed clean HDMI out. I think they may listened to me. Hurrah! ..."


EDIT 11/22/10: Hold on! "Makoto" comments on Phil's blog (link above):

"The HDMI live-view output is not suitable for recording use, using nanoFLASH or Ki pro, Ki pro mini, etc..
You will get one freezing image every 17 seconds.
It happens because of the difference between 60 fps, which is the frame rate at which the sensor reads the light, and 59.94 fps, which is the frame rate of the HDMI output.
This is the explanation I had from Panasonic.
Although you can not use it for recording, I found it great that you can view the recording image at 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The most beautiful thing about the new GH2 is that its image sensor reads at 60 fps.
So, the 60i is a real 60(59.94)i and 60p, although at 1280 x 720, is a real 60(59.94)p.
I am sure that you will do the slow motion by converting 60p to 30p soon, and you will see the difference.
The 4/3 image sensor is smaller than EOS’s, but EOS’s image sensor can read only at 30fps."

Someone else commented asking what about when the PAL version of the camera is in 50i mode, wouldn't the HDMI output be constant w/o hiccups (although interlaced)?

I suspect we'll have further confirmation on all this soon.


EDIT: 11/23/10: Hunter Richards just received his Japanese NTSC GH2 and reports:

"... Regarding the 17 seconds "freeze frame" myth: I don't have an HDMI recorder, but I just did three tests where I did a continuous pan while pixel peeping on a 1080p monitor (via HDMI out) while recording, there are no frame studders anywhere (I recorded for 60 seconds and was scrutinizing the 17 seconds area) looks like its pumping true 23.98 out of the HDMI 4:2:2 with no noticeable compression and no "freeze frames". ..."


See:
http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2166751

Awaiting further confirmation ...

Edited by Peter J DeCrescenzo, 23 November 2010 - 07:06 PM.

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#31 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:42 PM

Hrn, nanoflash, though. That's just "a bit less compressed".

Compression is for girls.

P

PS - Waitaminit. Timecode? Or does he just mean the record duration timer?
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#32 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:59 AM

Downloadable PDF files of DMC-GH2 user manual available in several languages, including UK English:
http://dlc.panasonic....s/default.aspx

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#33 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 11:55 AM

Bloom's site now mentions a 25p mode for the PAL-regions camera. I'm not sure if that's a slip or what, but it doesn't seem to be couched as a big announcement.
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#34 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:01 PM

Possible HDMI "gotcha" -- or not -- see addendum above:
http://www.cinematog...ndpost&p=338013
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#35 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:24 PM

Well, yeah, but if it's a full time 60i output one was always going to have to do a bit of smart decimation to get back to whatever we were shooting, assuming it runs the sensor at 24, 25, 30, or whatever, in progressive modes.

Nixing duped frames could trivially be part of that.

P
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#36 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:47 PM

Curiouser and curiouser: Page 159 in the GH2 user manual (UK English edition; linked to above) says:

"... • During [24P CINEMA] and [VARIABLE MOVIE MODE] playback, please set [HDMI MODE] to [AUTO]. For settings other than [AUTO], it cannot output at 24 frames/second. ..."

This may explain why some early GH2 users report different live HDMI results, depending on how this feature was set.

The above note in the manual was pointed out in a comment on DVXuser:
http://www.dvxuser.c...l=1#post2165945
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#37 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:22 PM

This may explain why some early GH2 users report different live HDMI results, depending on how this feature was set.


This info is coming from an early user forwarded to me from a co-worker of mine:

«(...) Well your email prompted me to get up and hook the camera up to the TV again. These are my observations: before recording the HDMI signal is definitely at 1080 and definitely running at 60 cycles per second, it is smooth and fluid and the quality looks great (it looks like 60p but then again so does the 60i...more about that later). When I hit record in 24p cinema mode it slows down to the same 24 fps rate on the screen. Whether it is outputting the same exact 24p on the sensor that is being recorded I don't know, they could be wrapping it in a 60i container like they did with the GH1 but that seems like a lot of trouble to go to for a mode they don't even offer. Now when I switch it to FSH (60i 17 Mbps) the quality goes back to that same great fluid motion I see onscreen, I certainly can't see combing or other nasty interlaced artifacts. When I play the stuff back in FHS mode though the quality does appear to have been compromised, it's not as good as the live feed was, there seems to have been some posterization and generally lower quality. I'm really surprised it's so hard to tell "real" 60i from the "fake" wrapped ones like the GH1 and Sony's have.

So to answer your question, it's a definite "maybe", all I can be sure of is that HDMI out in cinema mode is refreshing at 24 fps and at 60 fps on the other modes and that they are all 1080. Hope that helps some

R.

UPDATE:! I forgot to mention - I tried recording at 720/60 with the HDMI cable connected and it would not let me. I had to disconnect the cable before I was able to access 720 (or mjpeg) on the menu pulldown
»
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#38 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:35 PM

Beyond everything you can follow up @ dvxuser.com (GH2 official discussion thread; page 212 and following), there's this new report that comes up to my hands tonight through the same via from the same early GH2 user on the HDMI output quality (seen on TV and described as progressive, not recorded though) compared with 1080p24 AVCHD recorded in-camera.

«If anything the quality looks a little higher but it's hard to tell a difference. I do know that it is recording in 24p and is sending that out to the TV, otherwise the shutter speed wouldn't be able to go so low. As I said before, the only thing I'm unsure of is whether the camera is putting the 24p out over HDMI in a 60i wrapper or whether it is leaving it as 24p. My guess is that it's leaving it as 24p, otherwise the manual wouldn't tell you to set the HDMI out to "Auto", though in my case I can set the HDMI out to whatever setting I want (auto, 1080i or 720p) and it looks just the same, it's like the camera knows how to negotiate with my TV and ignores whichever settings are in the camera. It also ignores the 4:3 or 16:9 setting, videos always play back at the 16:9 ratio so I'm not sure what's going on with the communication between TV and camera.»
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#39 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:42 AM

Immediately I can get my hands on one of these I will put it on an Intensity board, record some output, and really have a good look at what's actually coming out of it. Until then we have variably qualified people speculating on what looks "smooth" or not, and that's not really solid information.

P
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#40 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:05 AM

I agree. We should know more substantial information once there are already some units floating around. Do not forget this is a consumer product, though. It is natural such kind of user reports. I doubt the conspiracy theories may be true but who knows? Especially now that Jannard announced the replacement of Scarlet for an Epic Light. AF 100 will definitely be a success by itself. No reason to cripple the HDMI output of a harmless $1,000 consumer camera.
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