GH5

Help Please: GH5, ATOMOS, MixPre HDMI Timecode and Control

I'm hoping that our community might be able to solve this together.

I've received the same question 4 times this week alone: How do I get timecode and Record Start/Stop controls to work with the GH5, ATOMOS (Ninja V, Sumo, Shogun, etc.), and the MixPre (3, 6, 10T) via HDMI?

I was NOT able to get all of them working by routing and HDMI cable from the GH5 to the Sumo, and from the Sumo to the MixPre. However, I confirmed with the same cables that it works when you use just the GH5 and MixPre or just the GH5 and ATOMOS recorder.

One hypothesis is that an HDMI splitter might solve the problem: Route an HDMI cable from the GH5 to an HDMI splitter, and from there, one of the splitter outputs to the ATOMOS and the other output to from the splitter to the MixPre.

Has anyone had success with this?

If this works, there's still the problem of how to power the HDMI splitter as most of them require power. But I believe there are some which are USB powered so that might work.

Thanks if anyone has information on whether the HDMI splitter approach or any other approach works. I'll create another video if we are able to find a solution.

I know that this is a bit of a Frankenstein type of rig. I don't usually shoot this way but I used to and many others still do for various reasons.

Thanks!

Copyright 2019 - Curtis Judd

Exposing for V-Log/HDR with Panasonic GH5 and Atomos Ninja Inferno

When I first added V-Log to my Panasonic GH4 a few years ago, I was disappointed with a lot of the V-Log footage because it was so noisy. I was hesitant to add V-Log to my GH5 but went ahead and spent a little more time experimenting with it to see how to get the best possible footage. With the help of an Atomos Ninja Inferno HDMI recorder, I’ve learned that it is really just a matter of making sure that you set your aperture and ISO a little differently to optimize the exposure for V-Log. And with the ATOM-HDR feature on the Ninja Inferno, it is even easier to quickly dial in the exposure for V-Log. So here’s how to shoot great looking V-Log video footage on your Panasonic GH4 or GH5.

Gear used to record this episode:

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic V-Log Firmware Upgrade

Atomos Ninja Inferno HDMI Recorder (simplifies exposing for HDR/LOG and records amazing 4:2:2 10-bit footage from GH4 or GH5)

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Lifecharge USB Battery (for powering the MixPre-6)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Panasonic GH5: My Thoughts After One Month

The Panasonic GH5 has gotten a lot of attention among enthusiast filmmakers in the last couple of months. After three years of heavy use, it was time for me to replace my GH4. I’ve been shooting with the GH5 now for about a month and these are my thoughts on who this camera is for, and who it may not suit as well.

Gear used to record this episode:

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st generation)

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens (talking head shots)

Panasonic V-Log Upgrade Code

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2r3giOd

Panasonic DMW-XLR1 Audio Adapter (So that you can use XLR microphones with GH5)

Kyno (Transcoding and Pre-edit App)

Atomos Shogun Inferno 4K HDMI/SDI Monitor & Recorder

Aputure Tri-8C LED Panel Light (Used as fill light on outdoor talking head shots, and back light for blue backgrounds) Review coming soon…

Aputure COB 120T LED Light (Key light on most of the product shots)

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone (all of the dialogue audio except Kyno demo, recorded with this mic)

Sound Devices 633 Audio Mixer/Recorder

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Panasonic GH5 XLR Microphone Adapter DMW-XLR1 Review

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is an incredibly capable little camera for video and filmmaking. It’s imaging capabilities are impressive given its size and price. But one thing it lacks for producing high quality film is inputs for XLR microphones. This is where the DMW-XLR1 audio microphone adapter comes in. The XLR1 allows you to record one or two XLR based microphones or wireless microphone systems directly to your Panasonic GH5. So you won’t need to sync audio in post like you would with a separate audio recorder and the sound quality is very good with shotgun or other boom microphones. Let’s have a listen!

Gear used to record and featured in this episode:

Panasonic GH5 Camera (talking head shots)

Panasonic DMW-XLR1 Microphone Audio Adapter - All audio in this episode recorded to the GH5 with this adapter

Sanken CSS-50 Stereo Shotgun Microphone - Used to record talking head and voiceover audio for this episode

Blackmagicdesign Ursa Mini Pro Digital Film Camera - all product shots made with this

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper Cardioid Boom Microphone - my go-to microphone for recording indoor dialogue

RODE NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder

Tascam DR-60DmkII Audio Recorder - Good budget recorder with XLR inputs. The XLR preamps are impressive, the 3.5mm input is not

Sound Devices 633 Audio Mixer/Recorder - with automix

Aputure Light Storm COB120t LED Light - Key light for all the shots in this episode

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - Makes the COB120t key light very soft. Great type of light for talking head/interview

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens - My most versatile lens for the Panasonic GH5

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Panasonic GH5 and Ursa Mini Pro? Both?

Before I start, I just want to explain my purpose in writing this. The main thing you should take away from this is that cameras are tools. When deciding which camera to buy or rent, consider the priorities for the jobs you need to accomplish. I am NOT trying to convince anyone that they should make the same camera buying decisions as me, particularly if you're not shooting the types of things I shoot (corporate and educational pieces). But perhaps there is some benefit in here to see how I made my camera buying decisions.

Also, I am of the opinion that upgrading no more often than every 2 to 3 years is best. More often than that and I don't find that I get as much benefit for money spent. Also, it takes time to get really familiar with a camera. And you need to be intimately familiar with your camera to solve problems when production issues arise and you need to solve them.

My main production cameras for the last two and a half to three years for my corporate and educational video work have been the Panasonic GH4 (98% of the time) and the Nikon D750.

The GH4 is a great little camera that has held up reasonably well, with one repair for the rear thumb dial after 2 years of daily use. I'm not a low-light shooter in most cases so the noisy performance at ISO 1600 and above wasn't a problem for me. The only other issue that bugged me was that it always seemed that the audio was out of sync by about 2 frames. Maybe that was just my copy or perhaps it was a setting that I never figured out. Not a huge issue since I generally used a slate or clap to manually sync sound to the video.

But aside from those two main factors, I really, really love the GH4. It helped me produce a lot of content that my clients appreciated.

I like its color science straight out of the camera and almost never find myself doing secondary color corrections to pull the look back into reality. I generally find myself shooting with the Neutral profile with the contrast, sharpness, and saturation reduced a couple of notches. I turn off all of the other little gizmo features like the i.Resolution and i.Dynamic. Those just made the footage look unnaturally crunchy and over-sharpened and flattened them without a much benefit, even with post color correction and grading.

The battery life is quite good, and I find that I can get through an entire production day with 2 or 3 batteries. The 4:2:2 10 bit color which I record as ProRes using an Atomos Shogun makes my post workflow much smoother, especially with 4K footage. 

So I was excited when we finally heard the GH5 announcement. For me the big news was the ability to record 4:2:2 10 bit internally, in-body image stabilization, and a full-size HDMI port. There are lots of other little additions as well including waveforms and dual SD card slots. This makes the GH series even more helpful to me at a practical level. Now I don't need that massive Shogun and a huge Anton Bauer battery attached to my rig when I need to fly the camera on a gimbal or travel light.

So last night, I brought home a new Panasonic GH5. I used it in my most recent episode to shoot some of the insert shots and b-roll. I'm obviously not ready to do a full review or even a give my high level impressions aside from saying that it seems really promising. Everything feels right and the footage it produces is every bit as good as I would expect. The in-body image stabilization looks good with a very short informal test.

The GH5 looks like it will be a good, solid B camera for me, and an A camera when I need to keep things light, like when flying the camera on a gimbal or going to a job where we won't have the luxury of lots of set-up or strike time before and after the shoot.

I have the Panasonic XLR audio interface on order with B&H and will be testing that when it ships in a few weeks.

And my new A camera? The Ursa Mini Pro. With some recent jobs where I needed to turn things around to the client quickly, it became very clear that a DSLR or hybrid mirrorless camera wasn't going to make this an easy job for us. In fact, using the D750, which we did for a few reasons, we actually cut significantly into our profit margin. We essentially built good will with a client and came very close to breaking even. This is a situation that pro shooters eventually encounter when growing their business. And so we had to make a decision...

While you can create beautiful work with a DSLR, there are some workflow considerations that make them a less than ideal tool for the job. Yes, I could have and should have used an audio adapter and fed the audio from the Sound Devices mixer into camera so that we didn't have to sync approximately 12 hours of footage (whether using Pluraleyes or any other method). Battery power was an issue - these were long form interviews so we ran two cameras for angles and to have the opportunity to swap out batteries. We added Atomos Ninja HDMI recorders so that we could record ProRes which are larger files but much better to work with in editing.

So the weight of our Nikon D750 rigs, once we added Atomos recorders, an audio adapter, rods, battery plate, and cinema battery would put us in the same league as an Ursa Mini Pro.

If I had had the Ursa Mini Pro for that job, I could have plugged in to AC or used an Anton Bauer battery which can power the camera for four hours. I could have recorded straight to ProRes in camera. And of course with the XLR inputs, I could have fed a stereo mix from the Sound Devices 633 straight to camera. Our first round of post would have included syncing up camera angles and delivering to the client rather than also syncing audio.

Also, one of the biggest things missing from my kit was a camera with a wider dynamic range. And I realize that I am not shooting the types of things which require film profile (log) for every situation. And I certainly do not need to shoot raw in most cases. In fact, I don't see myself using raw all that often. The ProRes 422 files shot in film profile seem to provide all the latitude that I need. The highlight rolloff looks good as well, much less digital than any other camera I have shot to date.

I had been waiting for Canon to announce a C100mkIII but they haven't done that to date. And when Blackmagic Design announced the Ursa Mini Pro, I found that it met the criteria I was seeking. And because it has been almost three years since my last camera upgrade, I had enough money saved up to make this a reasonable decision.

Now I need to really learn these cameras and get back to shooting!

More to come...

 

Panasonic GH5 Live Event

For the last 3 years, the Panasonic GH4 has been my workhorse video camera for my corporate, education, and YouTube videos. It is a great little camera that has served me well, producing a beautiful image with color quality that I like and doing so reliably. As a daily camera for three years, it is time for me to consider a replacement. Not because I don't like the GH4, but its got a lot of miles and while I plan to continue using it as a second camera, I need the insurance of a new camera to keep my business rolling.

Panasonic's new GH5 is the natural upgrade path for me. And as soon as the funds are available, I'll be getting one ordered. In the meantime, B&H has arranged for a live event with several prominent GH camera filmmakers to discuss the GH5. Looks like a worthwhile way to learn a little more than just the specs and get the impressions of the people that have already been using it in their work. You can add the live GH5 event to your calendar which is scheduled for 1PM EDT on Wednesday March 29th. You can also submit a question for a chance to win a free GH5. Not a bad deal.