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Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues

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Carlos E. Martinez
Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 8, 2013 at 5:46:57 pm

Some months ago I started to go deeper into SLR cameras to improve on my present doc shooting setup, which is based on a Sony Z1.

Since I decided to make it into a theater feature length project, some things I thought might get better.
I started shooting this doc with the Z1 in 2007, and hopefully will be able to finish shooting this year. But as I still have a few things to shoot, I thought of getting a DSLR to level things a bit up.

My main critic with the Z1 is its lack of defined DOF, as all 1/3" cameras. Resolution, detail, are other things which better lenses and a larger sensor might gain too.

Even if my first option had been the Canon 5D Mk II, my future plans to get a Blackmagic camera wouldn't justify such an investment. So I started looking at more affordable high quality options, and the hacked Panasonic GH2 seemed like a good choice. I need this camera to be both NTSC and PAL, so the GH3 is out for now.

My main problem with it is its AVCHD codec and how to make it work with Avid Media Composer 6.5.2 on a PC. This CreativeCow story got me worried:

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/11911/embracing-failure-my-first-feature-...

So I wonder if anyone here can tell me if he is currently using this GH2/Avid MC combination and doing fine.

Then I would like to discuss other questions, like which hack to use and all that.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 12:24:50 am

This is likely a software issue. FCP7 also has problems with AVCHD files, but FCPX and Adobe Premiere CS6 has no problem.

I edit using Sony Vegas Pro, which has never had any problems with high bit-rate GH2 footage.

As for GH2 hacks, the one I have standardized on for the past 8 months is Lee Powell's FlowMotion ver 2.02, which has proven to be very bullet-proof. Great detail, smooth motion, etc...

GH2 100Mbps Flow Motion v2 Patch - Banding & Blocking Be Gone!


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Carlos E. Martinez
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 1:22:10 am

So it looks as if I have to find a hack that has been proven works with Avid MC.

How can I do that?



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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 2:07:52 am

I think you're going to have issues with almost any AVCHD modifications, so what you want to do is find better Mac software to ingest AVCHD files.

One popular solution is the ClipWrap utility software...

Divergent Media ClipWrap Software


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Carlos E. Martinez
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:36:36 am

Sorry, Guy, I run a PC, which I specified on my first thread.

So any solution involving a Mac or FCP is out of the question for me.



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Jordan Westhoff
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 2:50:31 pm

Have you considered using Adobe Premier CS6?

It has the capability and the robust power needed to edit raw AVCHD and does so rather well. Here at RIT, many students swear by the GHpoo (much to my dismay, but that is a different) and editing the footage in Premier has always been a breeze.

As for hacks, Powell's FlowMotion is pretty solid, big fan.

Hope this helps!

-Jordan Westhoff

Rochester Institute of Technology
BS Digital Cinema/Motion Picture Science 2015



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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 3:47:28 pm

>>>>Sorry, Guy, I run a PC, which I specified on my first thread.

Sorry, I had assumed that you were a Mac user. ( most AVCHD problems seem to be Mac related )

In this case I would recommend using different PC software to import your AVCHD files.

The least expensive way to go would be something like the consumer version of Sony Vegas which has no problems importing AVCHD files, which you could either keep as native .MTS files or export to another CODEC like AVID's DNxHD formats.

Sony Movie Studio 12 : $125

You can download a free trial to see if this is a solution for you, just remember to import your AVCHD files using the built-in "Device Explorer" utility found under the "View" menu.

There may be other AVCHD import utilities for PC, but I don't know of any myself.


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Carlos E. Martinez
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 4:00:42 pm

Sorry, Jordan. I'm really not willing to move to Premiere.

Nowadays I think Avid has become the best editing soft around, at least for PC. But it's a fact that Pana's AVCHD are a problem to deal with using MC.

Guy, you suggest using Sony's to import the stuff, not edit, right?

How do I import it from Avid then?



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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 7:02:35 pm

[Carlos E. Martinez] "How do I import it from Avid then?"

The Vegas import utility will access all of the AVCHD file pieces plus meta-data from your SD card and generate a single .MTS video file that can be as large as the memory card you shot with.

For example I've shot a 90 minute orchestral performance using my GH2 camera that has the FlowMotion patch installed, which comes close to filling up an entire 64GB SDXC memory card. I then use the Vegas import utility to generate a single 64GB AVCHD video file on my hard-drive. ( the file has the .MTS extension )

You can now either try to import the .MTS file into your AVID software, or you can load it up into Vegas and render it out as an AVID 10-bit 4:2:2 DNxHD video file, which should open directly in your AVID software.


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Carlos E. Martinez
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 9, 2013 at 7:13:58 pm

What about this other option?

http://articles.pubarticles.com/best-gh2-avchd-mts-to-avid-dnxhd-mov-conver...



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Jim McAdory
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:05:40 pm

I use the GH2 and Flowmotion in Premier Pro (CS6) and even though the MTS files always work well I always ( unless I have a span issue ) run them through Cineform's NeoScene and use the AVI's produced by the app in PPro. NeoScene is no longer being sold but prior to my use of it I was using 5DtoRGB in the same manner. 5DtoRGB is free and it can produce Avid DNxHD output.

http://rarevision.com/5dtorgb/

Jim


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Carlos E. Martinez
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:33:35 pm

Sorry if I insist on this, but the implementation has to be with Avid MC on a PC. All other options are out, because they involve programs I do not have or wish to learn using.

I have already opened another topic on the Avid thread, but I need to know specific issues dealing with the hacked GH2s.

5DtoRGB will accept and convert files from hacked GH2s and work on a PC environment?



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Jim McAdory
Re: Getting to know some Panasonic GH2 issues
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:09:57 pm

5DtoRGB works on PC's as well as Apple, I only use PC's and have used it extensively.


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