(Above: Quick footage shot with the Panasonic GH5 using Natural profile and no color correction or tripod.)

The Panasonic GH5 is a worthy successor to the venerable GH4 and the best sub $3000 HDSLR-esque camera on the market. I prefer the images out of it to my Sony A7S2 and plan on moving from Sony to multi GH5’s.  The GH5 appears to be closer to the look from our Canon C300 Mark II than any of the Sony units we own.

Blah blah blah.  Insert technical specs here.  Blah blah blah.  Insert pixel peeping comment here.  Blah blah blah. Insert gratuitous “Panasonic rocks” comment here in hope of getting their attention and a loaner for the GH6. Done.

As of this writing, I’ve shot with the GH5 for a little over a week.  It’s a  great camera and I’m ready to sell my Sony A7SII and A6500 and roll with the GH5.

What stands out to me about the Panasonic GH5 is:

The 10bit internal recording capability pairs nicely with the sensor and makes this camera’s footage appear sharp and lush in post.

The 5 axis image stabilization is fabulous and blows away any other in-camera stabilization and rivals a small handheld gimbal.  We have a Came-TV Optimus and I can mimic those results with just the GH5 handheld.  It still doesn’t touch my MoVI M10 when it’s properly balanced and rigged.

The ability to have a waveform and vectorscope on the viewfinder is amazing.  My Sony FS-5 doesn’t have either.

The full size HDMI out is great and alleviates one of my big concern of the A7SII- the micro HDMI port.

The ability to record internally, have an image on the viewfinder/LCD AND record 4k externally is huge and can’t be understated.  Both the Sony A7SII and  FS-5 are hobbled by allowing only 1 viewpoint- either the built LCD OR an external device.

The dual SD card slots and NO time limit on recording really pushes this toward the pro video space.

What I don’t like:

The crop factor STINKS.  I know you can buy a Metabones Speedbooster to reduce the 2X crop.  I know.  But I LOVE the full frame look of the A7SII.  Especially with a wide zoom, like my Canon 16-35L.  The micro 4/3rds format just can’t match that.

The low light is not that great.  It’s a lot cleaner than the GH4, but can’t hold a candle to the A7SII.  One of my clients is an industrial (steel) mill, and I don’t think I would get the same quality low light footage from the GH5 as I do the A7SII in that environment.

The color cast does trend a bit toward yellow, especially with CineV.  We are shooting a project tomorrow in CineD to see how that fares.

Premiere Pro CC 2017 on a Mac has a hard time with the MOV UHD 10bit 4:2:2 files.  I tried it on a 2013 6 Core MacPro with dual D500 and got stalls and a crash or two.  It plays much better in our custom built PC suites with an Nvidia 1080 card.

I have- and do own- a lot of cameras.  The GH5 is toward the top of the list right now.  My order, based on what I have in shop, of which camera I would reach for is:

Canon C300 Mark II
Panasonic GH5
Sony A7SII
Sony FS5
Canon C300 Mark I
Sony A6500
Canon 5D Mark III
AJA Cion

My value for the money order:

Panasonic GH5
Sony A6500
Sony A7SII
Sony FS5
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon C300 Mark I
Canon C300 Mark II
AJA Cion

I think about what if my shop burned down tomorrow, how would I repopulate my gear.  Right now I would buy 3 GH-5s and 1 Canon C300 Mark II (hopefully at a post NAB discount).

Each camera has it advantages and disadvantages and NO camera is perfect.  They are all pretty good, especially compared to my old Sony 637/PVV-3 combo. What an interesting time we live in.

April 16, 2017 0 comment
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I thoroughly enjoyed teaming up with Tony Cacciarelli, Director of Technical Sales 
Vitec Videocom, to teach a 2 day camera/lighting workshop at FMC’s Editor’s Retreat 2017 in Nashville.

For those who attending, here is the PDF of the slide notes:

LINK TO PDF HERE: 2017 Editor’s Retreat Camera Workshop

Thanks for everyone who attending.  It was a blast.


February 17, 2017 0 comment
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A product demo video is helpful to your current and future customers.

Youtube could actually be renamed Demo-tube. There are millions of product demo videos, tear-downs and tutorials all over the video sharing site. But what makes a good product demo video?

At its heart, a product demo video shows a few aspects and benefits of a product and how to operate it for maximum effectiveness. Basically it says, this is widget X, this is how you turn it on and this is how you make it do this or that.

There’s a few things to keep in mind when you produce a product video.

Don’t spend all your time introducing yourself as an expert and giving your credentials. Your viewers probably are watching because they have a level of frustration with the product you are demo-ing. They are eager to learn, so get the demo going.

Clearly state what the product is and what you are going to do with it. Limit your demo to one or two specific areas. Don’t try to demonstrate every feature and potential problem with the product. It’s better to produce multiple videos, each concentrating on one specific feature than to try to jumble them into a single video.

Aim for high production values. Make sure the camera is in focus and zoomed in to the specific area of the product where the demo is happening. Lighting must good and audio needs to be clear.

Consider using a second camera. The most effective product demo videos use a wide angle shot and a close-up to maximize usefulness. It is very helpful to give a context of the specific area you are working in by showing a wide shot and then zooming in with a second camera to show any small buttons, dials, switches or screws.

Record a recap at end and tease any other demos for the same product. Chances are, if the viewer has gotten to the end of this demo, they might want to learn from you about other aspects of the product.

Product demo videos are an easy way for companies to help with after sales-training and make the lives of their customers easier. They provide a valuable after-market value for your products in a cost-effective way.

A product demo video we did is linked above.  It’s a short effective video that concentrates on a single aspect of a product. It’s a good example of how you can combine high production values with a simple message to create an effective demo video that can enhance your product offerings.

January 2, 2017 0 comment
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A brand story video is used to introduce customers to your company.

The idea is to tell your story and explain why you started producing your product or service. A brand story video is more about who you are and why you do what you do rather than focusing on a specific item for sale. Think warm and fuzzy like Budweiser and the Clydesdales or brash and funny like Dollar Shave Club.

A few basics on how to create a brand story video:

Simple is best. Start with a single idea and stick to it. Don’t barrage the viewer with a bunch of ideas and hope that one sticks.

Keep it brief. Make your video length under 3 minutes. In fact, aim for 2 minutes. Or even 60 seconds.

Message at front. Don’t bury you message in the body of the video. Get to it as soon as possible. Viewers lose interest otherwise and quickly will move to another video.

Avoid small graphics. More and more video consumption is happening on mobile devices. (Source:  Don’t make your viewers pull out a magnifying glass to see your on-screen graphics when viewing on a phone or tablet.

Make it interesting. Is your product anther in a long line of widgets that does the same as every other widget? Or does it do something different? Or can you do something different with it? Blendtec has taken their “Will it blend” videos and created a viral sensation by blending almost anything. It’s a great way to take an ordinary appliance — like a blender — and turn it into something fun.

The brand story video we did for the farm-to-table movement in Starkville, MS is linked above.  It’s a short film told through the eyes of the chefs and farmers making the change. It’s a good example of how you can promote your brand in a storytelling fashion.

December 3, 2016 0 comment
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In this lighting BTS video, Margaret Buell, former creative director for video at Tellōs Creative and Broadcast Media Group, walks us through the set up of a typical interview scene. Margaret discusses the different lights used and how they were placed and set.

Equipment used: Canon EOS C300, Canon Cine Prime 50mm, BMPCC (b-cam), Lowel Rifas, Chimera softbox, Arri 300 W fresnel, Frezzi mini, various flags and gobos.

April 21, 2016 0 comment
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