Runtime - 2:15
Panasonic GH2 - Quantum v9b
Nostalgic -2,-2,0,-2
Panasonic 20mm f1.7
Hand Shots - iso 800
Picnic Table - iso 1600
All other shots - iso 3200/6400
Music - Sync24/Replicant

Edit: Sony Vegas Pro 11 - Usually use Premiere Pro but giving Vegas a try for a change. File rendered as 2 pass variable bit rate ~ 30mbs.

About the test video:

No sharpening, color correction, or creative planning was involved in the making of this test clip. This isn't art - this is just a test. 30 minutes of fun in the snow and 5 minutes of quick editing.

This is not a "stress test" but a "hack test." I used these extreme iso settings to help get decent exposure under mixed lighting. I wanted to see how much detail and color I "could" hold on to if I were to shoot at iso 3200/6400. Black and White iso 12,800 GH2 results can be seen on Andrew Reid's incredible

The Good:

Is there video noise in this test - heck yes, but iso 3200/6400 isn't easy for any DSLR. I turned off noise reduction in the camera and have not scrubbed the files. The massive GH2 bit-rates along with GOP1 make using Neat Video a dream however.

All the short clips were shot at F1.7 - not the sharpest aperture of the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens and this lens isn't the sharpest lens I own either - I love it, it is fun, but it is not a macro and not a Leica/Zeiss. Plus it was covered in mist, water drops, and light frost. Even with my ebay aluminum hood it was tough to keep clean - this softened the image even more.

For the GH2 to hold onto this much detail in both the shadows and highlights is mind blowing. Small specs of rain and snow are visible even with the heavy compression I used to create a 500mb file. Look closely at the road detail as well. No nasty aliasing or moire.

Again this is a 500mb file created from 16gb of data. I will register for a pro/plus account and load a larger version soon.

The Bad:

While resolution, motion, and high ISO are being conquered on the GH2 - the limited 4:2:0 color space is the final battle that GH2 owers will have to work around. Look closely at the nasty flaring of the colored lights. While the uncompressed files have less banding (some of this flare is the 20mm lens), the overall tonality and gradation is still poor (same as all current DSLRs).


Some iso 6400 shots exhibited a lot of horizontal banding. I deleted them. Strangely some shots from the exact same location - same exposure - didn't have excessive banding. Every GH2 camera sensor behaves differently and mine is somewhat unpredictable above iso 1600. Many GH2 users claim that they notice an increase in horizontal banding as their cameras get warmer - it was 28 degrees when shooting these clips and overall my banding was minimal.

Don't be afraid of the noise if you are using one of the newer GH2 hacks. Watch how the noise moves in this video. Wach how little intrusion there is into the midtones and highlights of the clips. And if you still can't handle the noise, Neat Video it away - attacking the color noise only. GH2 luminance noise is very pleasing with the newer hacks.

Big thanks to Vitaliy Kiselev, Nick Driftwood, Chris Brandin, Lee Powell, and Andrew Reid.

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