OSGFilms Ultimate GH3 Guide : Jump to other content:
1. The Hybrid Mentality | 2.Whats new? wifi and more | 3.Choosing the right SD Card | 4.Choosing the right Lens | 5. Essential Gear | 6. The GH3 for Video & Filmmaking | 7. The GH3 for Photography | 8. Workflow for Film and Video | 9. Workflow for Photography | Conclusion
Panasonic GH3 Guide Ch. 1 The Hybrid Mentality
If this is your first camera then get happy, you will not find a better way to learn both professional photo and video workflows at the industry standard all in one body. Hybrid cameras unlike digital SLRs are true digital cameras, DSLRs are basically 35mm film cameras with digital sensors. They still use a mirror for the view finder and incorporate the classic internal prism. Micro Four Thirds cameras do not, they can be much smaller and lightweight thanks to removing the mirror and prism for the viewfinder system. Lenses can be closer to the sensor so they can be designed to be much smaller and lighter. This is also why the cameras can be much smaller than dslrs. This day and age the hybrid / MFT has come along way from simply being lighter more travel friendly cameras. The GH3 is a complete and able competitor to professional video cameras as well as professional photography cameras, all in one body.
The GH3 offers unique capabilities by adding some built in features that make for a true mash up, features such as being able to take a single frame from any video shot in camera and turning it into a separate photograph while running the video. All by simply pausing a video and selecting save still as a separate photograph, as if exporting it from the video stream. You can do this as many times as you like per video for a few perfect moments. Outside of the video for photography features, the quality of the raw format and jpeg photographs the camera can shoot are up to par for professional photography work as well. Pro raw performance combined with the best in class video capabilities truly make this a unique piece of equipment. Video quality as you may know is the focus of the GH3 and we will take a good look at that in the Video sections.
In this chapter I will push the hybrid idea a step further and see how well video for photography performs by comparing the the built in frame grabs to stills saved from videos in post production or exported from your video editor. I feel that this feature is an amazing addition to the GH3 vs the GH2. Previously, in order to accomplish a frame grab… you had no other option than the NLE export. . Many a times the moment was not caught in a single lucky photograph but over the course of a video. As a result you would hope the still frame holds up being turned into legitimate photography. Before the GH3 i had only done this from exporting stills via GH2 videos from my NLE. I wonder if the internally exported frame compares to the old way of doing it. Let’s find out!
Here is a clip i shot for the weather sealed examples, turns out i like the image of the guy shooting the statue so I want a photograph of it.
I saved a frame in camera by pausing the video and selecting “save this image” right from the GH3 menu. This created a 355 KB jpeg in camera and was saved in camera. I figured it would be a good idea to compare this to a frame saved in post using less compression than a jpeg such as a TIFF or PNG. So i exported the same frame from my Premiere timeline as a TIFF. This created an 8 megabyte still frame in comparison to the jpeg.
Next i applied the same color correction and grading to both stills and got the following. Here is the GH3 still vs the Tiff from Premiere Pro
And here is a pixel peep of the two:
The GH2 did not have a way to save images from video, you simply had no choice but the NLE export. Video for photo works well in many applications outside of large poster printing but even then it can get the job done. The GH3 adds the workflow in camera and there is little difference between the images compared to the old way of doing it from your video editor. The jpeg compressed from the footage in camera fairs well against the NLE still frame. The quality the video is compressed at, even with the new Higher bit-rates can be appreciated in the smaller in camera jpeg exports.
Even if you need to grade the image you wont benefit much from the NLE export, there is only minor improvement over the jpeg. The reason is that the images are already fairly compressed in the video stream. Obviously this will not compare to a raw photograph in photo mode but if filming a scene was the only way to ensure you captured the perfect moment, then you will make good use of this feature. Perhaps when the hack comes out this workflow will change but for now go ahead and enjoy the in camera video to stills feature as the new way to get the perfect frame.