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“I worked with two of my favourite longer lenses,” says Nick, “the Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 plus 1.4x teleconverter – this being aMFT optic that meant that equivalent longest focal length was 560mm f/4 – and the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100- 400mm f/4-6.3. The ISO setting for filming during the day was between 400 and 800, but when wemoved on to film the night scenes we switched to ISO 2500, and the quality was stunning.” Another film, a profile of artist Sam Hewitt, was filmed in and around amarket in Marrakesh, and again Nick used lower and higher ISO settings for different segments, the low light ISO 2500 coming into its own in the darker interior market scenes. Other big benefits of the GH5s include its ability to shoot at a world class 4K 60/50p, recording in Cinema 4K (4096x2160) and to offer internal 4:2:2 10 bit recording, with V-Log now pre-installed in the camera, something that was an additional cost on the GH5. “These are things that filmmakers should now be looking for on their cameras,” says Nick. “You can no longer really get away with 8-bit, while V-Log gamma delivers a wider dynamic range and flat HDR, giving youmore flexibility to adjust the look in post.” On a different tack entirely, Nick also points out that the GH5s is a formidable studio camera, capable of being operated in a two-camera or more systemwhere the master camera controls the other two in a live environment using a pro level master/ slave SMPTE timecode port. “These kinds of set-ups used to cost tens of thousands of pounds to put together,” he says, “but now that a sophisticated camera like the GH5s is available at such a keen price you could piece one together for under £8000, which
is a quite amazing transformation. It’s a brilliant camera for the price, and is already transforming the filmmakingmarket.” GH5s hits broadcast quality benchmark Another huge step forward for the Panasonic Lumix GH5s is the recent announcement that the camera has been tested by Colour Science Expert Alan Roberts according to European Broadcasting Union R.118 guidelines and, as a result, it’s now effectively been approved for Broadcast use in HD and for second camera use in UHD productions. One small rider to this is that, for acceptance in the EBU Tiering system, the camera should be used with the optional DMW-XLR1 soundmodule to allow for XLR audio connections. These camera tests produced a great result for the Lumix low-light monster, and revealed some unexpected findings. through these tests is a big feather in the cap for the Lumix engineers. Many productions are already using the GH5s and this result will give themevenmore confidence in their new choice of small camera. The report finds that resolution at HD is very good, with very little spatial aliasing, and confirms that there is a good optical low-pass filter in the camera and that the down-scaling to 1920x1080 HD is done with a good algorithm. This again is a huge result for the GH5s: decent optical low pass filters are difficult to create at lower costs, and are key to a camera producing clean pictures, which at the end of a complex production and encoding chain, will remain pristine. Another section states ‘Colour performance is good and there was no evidence of any Infra-Red response.’ This Although the EBU testing cannot be considered an endorsement, getting
BELOWAND BOTTOM Nick found the GH5S’s low-light capacity particularly useful when on-set in India, capturing footage of a tiger from a distance in partial darkness.
is important, because not all lower cost cameras include a decent IR filter. You can actually test this out for yourself very easily: simply point an IR TV remote at your lens and, if you can see the LED on your screen then your camera can see IR and your colours will be polluted. The report also found that the dynamic range on the Gh5s was about 14.6 stops in HLG, a creditable performance. It’s worth pointing out that the Lumix GH5 and GH5S are unique in their internal 10-bit SD Card recording for their cost and form factor. It’s impossible to record high dynamic range without 10-bit recording. Finally, on the noise front, the EBU R.118 noise-level target at mid-grey for HD Tier 2 is -44dB, which the GH5s meets comfortably in all modes. The target for Tier 1 HD is -48dBwhich is alsomet using all modes. Best performance appears to be at ISO 2500, with noise deteriorating at both higher and lower speeds. For UHD, the noise target of -50dB can bemet at some ISO settings. Low noise is a key tomore dynamic range, because detail can be pushed out of shadows in the grade. A further somewhat unexpected outcome from these tests is the fact that, far from reducing the effective resolution, noise reduction appears to improve it. This means that, even in low light situations, the camera’s on board noise reduction can be trusted to get decent results without a big resolution trade-off.
“It’s a brilliant camera for the price and is already transforming the filmmakingmarket”
More information The report can be read on the European Broadcast Union’s website: https://tech. ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335_s29.pdf and will also be hosted by the Guild of Camera Professionals.
SUMMER 2018 PRO MOVIEMAKER
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