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Old Oct 30, 2010, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default GH1 video

Yesterday I shot some quick videos with my GH1 to see how good it is (after all, the video function is one of the biggest differences between the G1 and it, so it better be worth it!). I set the camera to HD recording (but not AVCHD because from what I've been reading, dealing with it is not an easy task). I uploaded them to my computer but they did not play right (using Quicktime). The video would start and then stop and then jump ahead without motion til it reached the end. One of the videos got stuck and it would not go forward. Then I change the camera settings to simple VGA (not even WVGA), recorded a few short videos and then I was able to play them smoothly on the computer. However, the quality was poor (my very old Sony H1 recorded better motion pictures). The camera firmware is at V1.3 and I'm using an SDHC type 6 card.

Has anyone experienced anything similar with your GH1 to what I described? Is the problem related to the SD card being too slow for HD recording or to the lens (I'm using the Lumix 14-45mm kit from my G1)? I've read about the hacking of some GH1 bodies but according to some of the sites, the serial number of my camera is not hackable, so that's not an issue.

Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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have you had trouble with any other kinds of video that is HD on your computer. the true 1080p is very resource intensive if your computer is not new or your graphics card is out-dated.

i would think the class 6 card should be fine.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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To be honest, Dustin, I usually don't shoot video. All my old cameras that have video capability don't record HD. The ZS7 does but because I don't want to deal with the AVCHD processing (many say it's a pain), I just have it set to VGA. However, one of the strengths of the GH1 is its excellent video recording capability. It will make no sense to get the GH1 just for photos (even though it supposedly better than the G1 in terms of high ISO noise) when I already have the G1/EPL1. So, unless I can reliably play HD videos taken from it, it will go back.

You raised a very good point, though. I will try to play the HD video on my laptop to see if there's any difference. My laptop is much newer (and faster) than my desktop. We'll see. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 1:30 PM   #4
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Well, from your description in the first post, and from the information you have given that you don't usually try to play or process full HD video, I think lack of computer processing power sounds like the most likely explanation for the jerky/skipping video.

Let us know how it fares on the laptop.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 3:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
Well, from your description in the first post, and from the information you have given that you don't usually try to play or process full HD video, I think lack of computer processing power sounds like the most likely explanation for the jerky/skipping video.

Let us know how it fares on the laptop.
Hey Tullio just caught up with your posts following you receiving the GH1.

I have to say, I agree with Dustin. In your first post you mention that your PC will play VGA movies smoothly, but things get jerky trying to playback HD footage that definitely suggests to me that computer processing power is the problem. Hopefully things will be smoother on the laptop

I use Transcend Class 6 cards in my GH1, and don't have any issues with video recording. Out of interest, when you say your PC won't play the clips, have you actually imported them into editing software (or perhaps copied them to your hard drive), or are you trying to play them directly off the card in a reader..?

Quote:
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...one of the strengths of the GH1 is its excellent video recording capability. It will make no sense to get the GH1 just for photos (even though it supposedly better than the G1 in terms of high ISO noise) when I already have the G1/EPL1. So, unless I can reliably play HD videos taken from it, it will go back.
I'd go as far as to say that the strength of the GH1 is its' video capabilities, however that would be doing it an injustice as a stills camera the fact that you can switch from creative photography and family snapping to shooting smooth, crystal clear HD video really is the big draw, at least for me.

FWIW I pretty much exclusively shoot in 720p (50fps) AVCHD. The quality is fantastic, with smooth motion and sharp results. I'm fortunate that I have an iMac for editing my family movies at home, which I just do in iMovie. If needs be, I can draw on the more powerful tools I have at my disposal in the Studio (MacBook Pro and/or MacPro 8-core both with Final Cut Pro). I'm not bragging here by the way, just emphasising that when it comes to HD video capture and editing, you do need to have some horsepower under your PC's hood I've heard too many times people expect their PC (or Mac) to cope, and it just doesn't cut the mustard for HD playback.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 3:31 PM   #6
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You got it, Dustin. I downloaded the HD video to my laptop and it played flawlessly. The only thing is the exposure. It appeared to be OK while I was recording the video and played in camera but on the laptop it looks way under exposed. It could very well be the laptop's monitor, which is not that good anyway. Nonetheless, I need to keep that in mind and not set the camera's exposure compensation to under expose unless I'm shooting video in very bright conditions. I also lowered the brightness of the EVF so what I see is more in line with reality.

Next, PC upgrade!!!

Thanks a bunch for the suggestions.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 3:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrmacmusic View Post
H... Out of interest, when you say your PC won't play the clips, have you actually imported them into editing software (or perhaps copied them to your hard drive), or are you trying to play them directly off the card in a reader..?
I download the file to my external HD and play using Quicktime (which is the default player for .mov files).

[QUOTE
...
FWIW I pretty much exclusively shoot in 720p (50fps) AVCHD. The quality is fantastic, with smooth motion and sharp results....[/QUOTE]

I keep reading people having a hard time playing/editing AVCHD files, reason why I haven't set the camera to record in this format. Do you know what's required to play this file on a Windows PC?
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 4:10 PM   #8
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I keep reading people having a hard time playing/editing AVCHD files, reason why I haven't set the camera to record in this format. Do you know what's required to play this file on a Windows PC?
Magic spells! Only kidding. Seemed appropriate for halloween

Did you get any software with the GH1..? There will no doubt be something in there that helps, or perhaps could be downloaded from Panasonic's website? I don't use a PC, so can't say from personal experience, sorry

My iMac naturally doesn't have any issues with Quicktime files .mts AVCHD files get imported and transcoded for editing, regardless of whether I use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. AVCHD wasn't really designed for editing, but it is a very efficient codec, so don't be afraid to use it! It's also the only way to do 1080i on the GH1 if you want/need the extra resolution, where MJPEG tops out at 720p (30fps). Personally, I stick to 720p (50fps on my UK PAL unit), and it works a treat high frame rate progressive capture, perfect for instant half-speed slo-mo and better for capturing motion.
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Old Oct 31, 2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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OK, I will give the AVCHD a try. Thanks for the very helpful info. I very much appreciate it.
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Old Oct 31, 2010, 1:00 PM   #10
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I shot a 1 minute video in AVCHD and was able to play it in Quickview. The file was recorded at a bit rate of 30.43 Mbps. Does it sound right?
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