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Final Answers
© 2000-2018   Gérard P. Michon, Ph.D.

Cinematography, Video
Using  DSLR's  or  Mirrorless Hybrids

Reflections on the Seventh Art  (1923)
Ricciotto Canudo  (1877-1923)
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Articles formerly on this page:

Related articles on this site:

Related Links (Outside this Site)

DxOMark:  Camera & lens independent image-quality measurements.
MFT Lumix G 42.5mm f1.7  vs.  Olympus 45mm f1.8   by  Gordon Laing.
Warning :   Why focus-by-wire sucks  (PetaPixel, 2017-09-17).
With focus-by-wire lenses, you can't use a  simple follow-focus shifter!
8 Top Video Editing Software  David Beren & Patrick Hyde  (2017-10-12).

Manufacturers :

Panasonic (lenses) | Olympus (lenses) | Tamron (US) | Sigma (DN)
 Panasonic Lumix GH5

Panasonic Lumix GH5   (released March 30, 2017)

The GH5 is the successor of the GH4 (released in May 2014).  It's topmost in the lineup which includes the G7 (May 2015) and the G85 (Sept. 2016).
The  Ninja Inferno  from Atomos is a 4K 60 fps video recorder and HDR monitor (high dynamic range) which matches the capabilities of the GH5 and extends them to 10 bits  (1 billion colors)  through an HDMI cable.  Compared to the flagship  Shogun Inferno  the Ninja only lacks an SDI connexion  (RG-8 coaxial cable)  which isn't used in the GH5.

Wikipedia  |  Specs  |  B&H  |  Panasonic  |  Firmware  |  Training Guide
Monitor & 4K Video Recorder:  Atomos Ninja Inferno (Specs, DP Review).

Lumix GH5  &  Atomos Ninja Inferno Launch :

10-bit  4:2:2 color  (2:50)  by  Griffin Hammond  (2016-10-25).
GH5: Sean Robinson from Panasonic  (1:16:07)  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-01-12).
GH5: Sean Robinson from Panasonic /2 (39:28)  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-02-17).
Panasonic GH5  (1:26:32)  B&H discussion panel  (2017-03-31).
GH5 unboxing & Nikon 0.64 Metabones  (6:48)  José Castillo  (2017-04-04).
Atomos Ninja Inferno & GH5 Setup  (3:57)  by  Atomos  (2017-04-06).
GH5 No Autofocus Drama  (3:57)  by  Lee Zavitz  (2017-04-11).
GH5 External Buttons Overview  (8:24)  by  Michael The Maven  (2017-04-16).
Lumix GH5 Autofocus Best Settings  (18:33)  by  Timothy Sunday  (2017-04-19).
Why do Micro 4/3 lenses cost so much?  (11:12)  by  Lee Morris  (2017-04-22).
GH5 Review: Is it better than the A7s II?  (10:09)  Ryan Connolly  (2017-04-28).
Q&A:  GH5 External Flash, etc.  (52:05)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-05-01).
Panasonic GH5 Review  (14:37)  by  Tony Northrup  (2017-05-03).
Make your GH5 a Filmmaking Camera  (9:49)  Hyper Projector  (2017-05-07).
GH5 Cinema Set-up & Tests  (14:26)  by  Tom Antos  (2017-05-09).
GH5 Review: 4K/60p, Autofocus, Low Light  (10:38)  Colin Ross  (2017-05-09).
5 Panasonic GH5 Accessories  (10:04)  Andru Edwards  (2017-05-12).
Panasonic GH5, after 1 Month  (13:18)  by  Curtis Judd  (2017-05-13).
Atomos Ninja Inferno:  A great GH5 companion  (6:29)  by  Jeff  (2017-05-18).
* GH5 Comprehensive Review  (1:03:54)   Sareesh Sudhakaran  (2017-05-22).
Atomos Ninja Inferno and GH5  (8:48)  by  Kaiman Wong  (2017-05-26).
Exposing V-Log in the GH5  (43:57)  by  Sareesh Sudhakaran  (2017-05-28).
GH5 Top 5 Features for Filmmakers  (13:43)  by  Andy Slye  (2017-05-29).
Grading V-Log in the GH5  (28:39)  by  Sareesh Sudhakaran  (2017-05-31).
Panasonic 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Lens for MFT  (9:59)  David Thorpe  (2017-06-01).
Shooting with the Panasonic GH5  (12:58)  RYMovieMachine  (2017-08-05).
GH5 detailed hands-on review  (31:24)  by  Maarten Heilbron  (2017-06-20).
Panasonic GH5 Best Autofocus Settings  (9:13)  by  Nick Stubbs  (2017-06-20).
GH5 vs. Olympus OM-D EM1ii  (30:24)  by  Michael The Maven  (2017-07-09).
Atomos Ninja Inferno & GH5  (1:05:23)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-07-12).
GH5 Anamorphic Goodness  (6:46)  by  Daniel Peters  (2017-07-17).
Panasonic GH5 Full Review  (15:02)  by  Dan Watson  (2017-07-23).
My Custom GH5 Settings  (1:04:07)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-08-01).
I Use the GH5 and Atomos Ninja Inferno  (7:47)  Jonathan J. Scott  (2017-08-24).
Atomos Ninja Inferno vs. Video Devices PIX-E5  (12:24)  TCS  (2017-08-27).
GH5 Firmware Update V2.0 Released  (50:18)  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-08-30).
Atomos Shogun Inferno Review  (13:56)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-08-29).
GH5 Firmware V2.0.  Did AF improve?  (9:06)  by  Scott McKenna  (2017-09-27).
GH5 Tips and Tricks, 6-Month Review  (10:29)  by  Toby Gelston  (2017-10-03).
Best SD Cards for the Panasonic GH5  (6:07)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-10-10).
7 Lenses for the Panasonic GH5  (9:54)  by  Arber Baqaj  (2017-10-23).
I Prefer the GH5 over Sony A7sII  (4:14)  by  Chrystopher Rhodes  (2017-10-24).
A Wedding Filmmaker's Review of the GH5  (50:13)  Matt Johnson  (2017-11-01).
Panasonic GH5 v2.1 Review  (18:57)  by  Sareesh Sudhakaran  (2017-11-03).
Atomos Ninja Inferno  (30:22)  Sean Nipper & Joseph Linaschke  (2017-11-15).
Panasonic Lumix GH5 vs. G85.  Why?  (5:51)  Andy Nicholls  (2017-11-27).
Cage, Atomos, Veydra  (9:01)  by  Joshua Martin  (2017-11-29).
GH5 Guide Trailer and Upcoming Videos  (4:14)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-12-12).
Behind the scenes: GH5 4k anamorphic  (4:40)  by  Joshua Martin  (2017-12-16).
GH5s vs. GH5 Comparison  (19:58)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2018-01-08).

Proper Tutorials :

Set up your GH5 for Filmmaking  (19:54)  by  Griffin Hammond  (2017-04-15).
Panasonic GH5 Overview Tutorial  (1:58:29)  by  Tony Northrup  (2017-07-26).

 Visible spectrum accurately rendered in RGB on grey background
 International Year of Light 2015
Year of Light
Light-Based Technologies
 International Year of Light

Technical  Aspects  of  Digital  Cinematography

(2015-05-26)   Capturing motion:  From movies to video.
Achieving a cinematographic look with digital video equipment.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

How to achieve a Film Look: DSLR film making   |   How to Make a Music Video

(2017-11-04)   Video Formats.  Resolution.  Color depth.  Bit rate.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Wikipedia :   4 K resolution 
What is the Resolution of the Human Eye? (9:43)  by  Michael Stevens  (Vsauce, 2014-03-10).

(2017-11-22)   Video Lighting
LED panels and Fresnel lights.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Basics of Lighting (29:59)   Basic Filmmaker  (2017-11-12).
DIY White Background (9:31)  by  Basic Filmmaker  (2016-08-27).
Black background with two lights and a reflector (5:46)   by  Curtis Judd  (2014-08-02).
White background  /  Apple look (9:15)   by  Curtis Judd  (2014-02-08).
Whitest paint ?   Behr's Ultra Pure White flat 1050   |   Titanium dioxide

(2017-11-04)   3-axis Gimbal Stabilizer

A  single-axis gimbal allows one object to rotate freely around a fixed axis.  The earliest extant description of the device is by  Philo of Byzantium  (c. 280-220 BC)  who used it to suspend an  inkwell.  It was again described in detail by  Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) who never claimed to have discovered it.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Zhiyun USA (Zhiyun Crane Gimbal v2)
Nebula 5100 Slant Gimbal (9:29)  by  Lok   (2017-09-20).

(2017-10-26)   Panasonic Lumix 4K Cameras

The GH4 (released in May 2014)  was the first interchangeable-lens camera capable of shooting 4K videos.

Its successor is the GH5  (released in March 2017)  which is topmost in a lineup which includes the G7 (May 2015) the G85 (Sept. 2016) and the more expensive low-light GH5s (Jan. 2018) which has a lower resolution and no image stabilization.

The main technical specification of the Lumix GH5 are listed below:

  • Sensor :   Sony Exmor:
    Micro 4/3 (MFT) size.  20.3 Mp (Digital Live MOS).
    12-bit pixel depth.  200 ISO native,
  • Processor :   Venus Engine 10 Image Processor
  • Twin SD Memory Card Slots :   Both supporting SD UHS-II type.
  • Top Video:   4:2:2 10-Bit, 4K 24/30 fps (internal) or 60 fps (external).
  • Video connector:   Full-size (Type A) HDMI terminal w/ cable lock.
  • Burst shooting:   12 fps,  1.5GB buffer  (70 uncompressed shots).
    Estimated time to clear buffer with UHS-II cards:  14-15 seconds.

Digital Camera Database

The rest of this page focuses mostly on that GH5 camera.  The GH5s,  officially released on 2018-01-08,  is a different beast optimized for low-light video due to a lower resolution multi-aspect  10.2 Mp  sensor with a basic sensitivity of 400 ISO and  no  sensor stabilization.
Recommended purchases with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5
Camera BodyPanasonic Lumix DC-GH5 $2598
Kit LensLeica DG 12-60 mm f:2.8-4 ASPH
Extension TubesFotodioX Pro Auto Tube Kit for MFT $43
Firmware UnlockV-Log L Function Activation Code $97
Extra BatteryPanasonic DMW-BLF19 $69
Dummy Battery &
AC Power Supply
Panasonic DMW-DCC12 DC Coupler
Panasonic DMW-AC10 AC Adapter
Internal StoragePair of V90 UHS II SDXC Cards 2 x $90
Fast Card ReaderDelkin USB 3.0 Dual Slot (UHS-II and CF) $20
Fast Card ReaderTranscend RDF9 $17
XLR Microphone AdapterDMW-XLR1 $398

Both UHS I (one row of contacts) and UHS II (two rows of contacts) SD cards can be used in the Lumix GH5  (both SDHC and SDXC cards are usable but the former type isn't recommended).  However, the data transfer rate to a UHS I is limited to about 35 MB/s  (280 Mbps)  which isn't enough to accomodate 4K video recording.  With a UHS II interface, that limit is more than doubled  (about  75 MB/s  or  600 Mbps)  which is well above the consistent 400 Mbps required for 4K video recording.  However, some UHS II cards can't achieve that speed.  The V30 class falls short and V60 isn't quite reliable enough.  V90 always works.  V90 UHS II SD cards aren't cheap at this time  ($150 to $200 a piece).

The combined cost of $130 required to power the GH5 from the mains with Panasonic parts can be reduced down to $30 or so with third-party parts.

On the other hand,  the pricey  XLR1 adapter  is a must.  Without it, the audio capabilities of the GH5 wouldn't match the quality of the rest of the camera.

Wikipedia :   MFT mirrorless system

(2018-01-01)   Downloading firmware updates.  Unlocking software.
Upgrading cameras, lenses, etc.  Unlocking V-log on the Lumix GH5.

Like the rest of this page, this article is mostly about Panasonic hardware  (more specifically G-cameras, including the GH5)  but the procedures are similar for other members of the  MFT  family.

The normal procedure for updating the firmware of lenses and other accessories is through the camera body they are connected to.  Before updating the firmware of lenses and such, it's a good idea to first update the firmware of the body itself to the latest version available.  In particular, the updating of an Olympus lens on a GH5 can only be done if that GH5 is running firmware version 2.1 or later.

SAVE  YOUR  CAMERA  SETTINGS  before any firmware update.  It seems the upgrade procedure may leave the camera in a weird state:  After updating the GH5 body and  kit lens,  I found that turning on or off the teleconverter function had no effect at all.  Even resetting the camera wouldn't change that.  I got back the functionality only by restoring previous settings from a saved file.  So, if you've never saved camera settings, then you're out of luck!  (Well, almost.  The solution is to download somebody else's saved settings and start from there.)

The update procedure is the same for the camera or for a lens attached to it:

  • Obtain the proper update file and use a computer to put it on the root directory of a  blank  SD card, freshly formatted  by the camera itself.
  • Insert that SD card into  (slot 1 of)  the camera before turning it on.
  • Start the update by hitting the PLAY button  (normally marked with a circled right-pointing triangle).

The battery must be fully charged or the camera will refuse to proceed  (updating an  EEPROM  may require voltage levels which aren't reliably available from a partially-depleted battery).

For example,  at this writing, the latest  DC-GH5 firmware  is  Version 2.2.  For that update,  you must use Panasonic's procedures to extract a file named GH5_V22.bin (68,057,600 bytes, 2017-11-17) which you place on the root directory of an SD card freshly formatted by the GH5 itself.  Then, use that SD card to execute  Step 2  and actually perform the  GH5  update.

For a lens update, the procedure is identical  (Panasonic calls it Step 3)  except that the update file has an "lin" extension.  For example, the file corresponding to the 1.1 firmware revision released on 2017-08-07 for the Leica 12-60 f/2.8-4 (H-ES12060)  is called  ES103011.lin (471,104 bytes, 2017-07-27).  Don't ask me why that name isn't related to the part number.

The above procedure must be repeated from scratch for every device you wish to update  (there's no shortcut for multiple updates).  For a friendly introduction to the processus, see one of the videos given in the footnotes below.  It's good to gain some familiarity with the process before attempting the  (paid)  software unlock described next...

Unlocking  V-log  capability on supported Lumix cameras :

V-Log  is a paid upgrade for the  GH4, GH5 and FZ2500 cameras.

The upgrade is more tedious and intricate to install than a simple update.  The unlocking code is normally found in a box sold by Panasonic.  In the unlocking procedure, you let Panasonic know online the serial number of the camera you are unlocking.  They pair the unlocking code with the serial number and provide you with a small personalized text file which you can then use the same way you would use a regular update file  (see above).

V-Log Installation & Firmware Update  (40:41)  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-05-02).
GH5 Uploads: Firmware, V-Log, LUTs  (27:59)  Bernard Bertrand  (2017-06-30).
GH5 v.2.1 Firmware Update  (28:29)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-10-13).
Joint update service for Four Thirds lenses (including MFT lenses).
Index of Panasonic firmware updates   |   GH5 firmware page
Olympus update index   |   Olympus firmware updates

(2017-12-18)   Neutral-Density  (ND)  filters  (and polarizers).
An essential tool when shooting video in broad daylight.

Video work calls for the use of  ND filters  more frequently than still photography,  because traditional video shooting dictates the shutter speed to create just enough motion blur in each frame.  The rule  (which can be violated)  is to use what's called a  180°  shutter,  which means that the shutter is open for half the duration of a frame:  1/60 s  when shooting at  30 fps,  1/120 s  (1/125 s  close enough)  at  60 fps,  etc.

Now,  the venerable  Sunny 16 Rule  states that,  in broad daylight,  the proper exposure at  f/16  is roughly obtained with a shutter speed numerically equal to the  ISO  sensitivity rating.  The lowest native sensitivity on the GH5 is  200 ISO  (you can go down to 100 ISO only at the expense of a reduction in dynamic range)  which would impose a shutter speed of  1/200s  at  f/16.  A proper 180°  video shutter at  30fps  would be 1/125s.  Therefore, to maintain proper exposure at that speed,  you have to stop down  2/3  of a  stop;  to  f/20.  Some lenses can't stop down that low and those which can do so only at the expense of a loss in sharpness due to diffraction effects.  The solution is to reduce the incoming light with an ND filter by two stops or so to reach the  sweet spot  of most lenses  (f/5.6 or f/8).  That's precisely what an  ND4  filter would accomplish.

Note that the V-Log setting in the GH5  (with optional firmware installed)  starts at  ISO 400.  Likewise, the new GH5s lowest native sensitivity is 400.  This means that an  ND8  filter would be needed if shooting in broad daylight  (although an ND4 could still do).  If you want to use large apertures for better  bokeh,  you need even darker filters.

Be aware that the popular  vario  ND filters are actually two polarizing filters with a rotating front element.  Well, the orientation of the front element determines the polarization and the orientation of the back element attenuates the light so polarized.  If you want full control, you'd have to stack two polarizing filters so either polarizer can be rotated!  The image degradation is the same as the less-flexible  vario  configuation  (which makes density depend on polarization).

The darkest ND filters available are marketed as  Solar Eclipse Filters.  They reduce light by 20 stops and are  only  suitable for direct images of the Sun.  Nothing else.

100 mm  (4" by 4")  Square Filter Systems :

The  Cokin  brand of square filters was first launched in France  (1972)  by  Jean Coquin.  The French establishment entered bankrupcy protection in 2012.

Several other companies now make unmounted "Cokin Z" 100mm square filters  (out of expensive Schoii glass or the cheaper CR39 optical resin used by Cokin).  The matching holders have up to  3  slots,  which can also accomodate 100mm by 150mm rectangular plates  (typically used for ND-gradated filters,  which can thus be shifted more than 25 mm off center in either direction).  The standard thickness is  2mm.  Some square filters are only  1.6 mm  thick and a few specialty filters are 4mm thick, requiring spacers which not all holders can accomodate.

Smaller sizes are available  (e.g., Cokin P, 84mm width)  at a lesser cost but they accomodate neither the  ultra-wide lens  mentioned below nor the wide angle and telephoto described elsewhere.  Larger sizes are available for which I have no need at this time.  (The largest made by Cokin is their X-series,  136mm wide.  Other manufacturers provide  150mm  width.)

Makers of  100mm  square filters include:

You normally need one adapter for each filter thread in your lens kit.  ultra-wide lenses without a filter mount require a special adapter.

The need for adapters can be bypassed entirely if the camera is mounted in a  cage  with rails and a  DIY  matte box  (with  French flags and barn doors to prevent flaring).  In that case,  the filter system is at the rear of the  matte box  and isn't mechanically connected to the lens.

Filter sizes   |   ND filters nomenclature   |   Matte box
The case against polarizing filters (29:38)  by  Tony Northrup   (2016-01-15).

(2017-12-21)   Most popular  kit lens  for the GH5   (H-ES12060):
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH  (Power OIS)

 Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH (Power OIS)  When bought with a GH5 body, this lens adds $600 to the price.  It costs $998 when purchased separately.

14 elements, 12 groups
Mass:  320 grams

Dual stabilization.
Weather sealed,
dustproof, freezeproof.
Parfocal design.
Min. focus:  20-24 cm
9-blade diaphragm.
Min. aperture:  f/22.
62 mm  filter threads.

Video reviews :
Max Yuryev (7:46)
MirrorLessons (7:04)
David Thorpe (10:00)
4K 50p sample (5:50)
Firmware update
Tutorial 1.1   (2017-08-08)

(2017-12-21)   Native MFT  ultra-wide-angle zoom   (H-E08018):
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH   ($1098).

 Panasonic Leica DG 8-18mm f/2.8-4  15 elements, 10 groups
Mass:  315 g
Height:  88 mm

Weather sealed,
dustproof, freezeproof.
No optical stabilization.
Varifocal zoom.
Min. focus:  23 cm
Magnification:  0.12
7-blade diaphragm
Min. aperture:  f/22

This ultra-wide lens does have a  front-filter  thread  (67 mm).
Bayonet hood.

Video reviews :
MirrorLessons (7:32)
David Thorpe (8:01)
4K 50p sample (13:49)

Some reviewers  called this lens  best lens of 2017.  It was a  B&H  top-wish  for the Holidays.  Yet, I chose the  better lens by Olympus  which was lowered to the same price point at  B&H,  with a year-end  $200  rebate  (which is already permanent elsewhere).  That Oly lens is better in every way,  except weight and filter mount.

ePHOTOzine review

(2017-12-31)   Best  MFT  ultra-wide-angle zoom  to-date:
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens   ($1299).

This lens improves upon its  2004  legendary brother,  the   Olympus ZD ED 7-14mm f/4  (see 8:40 review by  Gordon Laing  on 2007-06-21).  The older version is discontinued but is still being sold new on  Amazon  for an  outrageous  price of  $1799  (misleadingly so, if you ask me).

This new version,  released in June 2015,  is one full stop brighter.
It's one of the most impressive MFT lenses ever built.

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO  14 elements, 11 groups
Mass:  534 g
Diameter:  79 mm

Weather sealed,
dustproof, freezeproof.
No optical stabilization.
Parfocal design.
Mechanical focus (distance scale).
MWD:  7.5 cm.
7-blade diaphragm.
Min. aperture:  f/22

Programmable button.

Built-in petal hood.
LC-79  lens cap.
No filter threads
(adapter needed).

Video reviews :
MirrorLessons (9:56)  2015-05-11
Darren Miles (12:41)  2015-05-25
DPReview (8:40)  2015-08-10
Blunty (5:01)  2016-03-29
Mitchell Millennial (4:49)  2016-05-04
GH5:  Johnny Amiri (5:01)  2017-09-18
Firmware update
Version 1.1   (2015-11-26)

Like the  latest Panasonic Ultrawide,  this lens relies entirely on the camera body for image stabilization.  This is fine on the GH5, but the newer GH5s has no body nostabilization at all  (yet, you can normally hand-hold a wide-angle lens at  1/30 s  or faster without much trouble).

Pulling the focus ring engages a purely-mechanical manual focus and reveals a functional distance scale.  This is a great design which allows classical follow-focus techniques in video work.  In other words, the lens can  really  be focused manually; not through some  focus by wire  ersatz.  It's  parfocal ;  the focusing distance doesn't change when the focal length varies.

The  L-Fn  button is programmable on Olympus cameras  (up to 27 choices, depending on the body)  and on a Panasonic GH5 with firmware 2.2 or above.  Otherwise, the lens button only has the default "Focus Stop" functioniality  (it freezes auto-focusing when pressed).  When this lens is mounted on a GH5 with firmware v2.2, the following seven choices appear in the menu entitled  Lens Fn Button Setting  (found in the  Lens / Others  submenu at the bottom of the third main menu):

  • Focus Stop  (default).
  • AF/AE Lock.
  • AF On.
  • Stabilizer.
  • Focus Area Set.
  • AF Mode / MF.
  • (Depth-fo-Field)  Preview.
  • Off.

The choice applies at once to the button of every lens which might be connected to that body.  At this time, it seems only one Panasonic MFT lens is endowed with a programmable button;  It's the example they chose to illustrate this new feature of firmware 2.2:  The  $3000  Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 OIS  (#H-ES200).

With such short focal distances,  one millimeter can make a big difference:  A  7 mm  lens covers an apparent area  30.6%  larger than an  8 mm  lens.

The lack of front-filter threads in this ultra-wide lens may be a blessing in disguise:  It's an excellente incentive to switch from circular filters lens-by-lens to a proper  filter system  for every lens in your kit.  Especially for video work.

However,  you still need a way to affix the filter holder to the lens hood  (unless your filter-holder is at the rear of a  matte box  mounted on a pair of  15 mm  rods  attached to the bottom of the camera).

Several solutions have been proposed for this.  Most of those are reviewed by  Chris Eyre-Walker's  (a self-described fan of this particular ultra-wide zoom)  in a specialized  guide  (2017-08-08).  Some links in the following footnotes provide complementary information and/or DIY alternatives.

Olympus product page   |   NewsShooter   |   DPreview   |   Amazon   |   B&H   |   dxoMark
Adapter for Lee Filter-Holder  ($120).
Filters for the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens   (DPreview forum, 2015-07-13).
Fotodiox Filter Holder for Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens:  WonderPana FreeArc Core  (product page).
DIY Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 filter holder for Lee 100mm (5:04)   by  Nhat Phan   (2016-05-08).
Phil Norton's NiSi filter adapter fot Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 (12:54)   by  Jamie MacDonald   (2016-04-03).
Lucroit filter holder ring for Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 (6:01)   by  Eric Gibaud   (2017-03-31).

(2017-12-25)   Cinema Lenses:   Veydra  mini-primes.
Smooth T-stops,  geared follow-focus,  no focus breathing.

They all have the same form-factor, including an 80mm front diameter, taking 77mm filters.  The focus scale is normally marjed in feet  (metric markings available by special order, at a hefty markup).

Veydra Mini-Primes Cinema Lenses for MFT Mount
Veydra 85mm T2.2Covers APS-C / Super 35 $999
Veydra 50mm T2.2Covers APS-C / Super 35 $799
Veydra 25mm T2.2Covers APS-C / Super 35 $899
Veydra 16mm T2.2Covers MFT only $999
Veydra 12mm T2.2Covers MFT only $1199

Veydra Mini-Primes (12:46)  by  Chris Niccolls  &  Jordan Drake  (2015-05-30).

(2017-12-18)   Still Lighting.  Flash strobes.
Shooting hybrid means taking still photos once in a while.

The "H" in GH5 means  hybrid.  Although the emphasis is on video, such cameras are very capable of shooting still photos.  A small flash strobe may come in handy, as the GH5 has no pop-up flash.

The GODOX units are full-featured and seem well-built.  Their price is low enough to stamp out the competition.  I selected the smallest unit, which takes 2 AA batteries,  because of weight and bulk considerations  (for what I anticipate to be only occasional use).  For $25 more,  you have a heavier full-power unit which takes 4 AA batteries.

GODOX also sells a Li-ion model for $179, which has the same GN of  60 m  at maximum extension  (200mm reach)  but actually delivers  less  energy since the other units have a zoom head with a lesser maximum extension  (105mm reach).  The same remark applies to the GN of  54m  (177')  advertised for the  Nissin Di700A Flash,  which takes 4 AA batteries  ($299 with commander unit, $259 without).

For my Nikon system, I have both a 2-AA and a 4-AA strobe.  It turns out that the smaller one is in my bag at all times and the heavier one stays at home most of the time...  I figured I'd spare myself the same dilemma.

A selection of TTL strobes  (flash)  for still photography with the Lumix GH5
ClassLEDReachGuide NumberReferencePrice
FullNo 20060m197'GODOX TT685o $110
MiniNo 10536m118'GODOX TT350o   $85
FullNo 10552m172'Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 $319
MediumYes 10544m144'Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 $230
FullYes 20060m197'Nissin i60A  (for MFT) $340
MediumNo 20054m177'Nissin Di700A  (for MFT) $259
MediumYes 10540m131'Nissin i40  (for MFT) $269
FullYes 10058m190'Lumix DMW-FL580L $499
MiniYes 8536m118'Lumix DMW-FL360L $227
CompactYes (24)20m66'Lumix DMW-FL200L $228

A checkmark in the LED column indicate units which have a buit-in LED video light.  The two larger Lumix units are rated  100 lux at 3.3'  and curiously, the smallest one outputs twice as much.

What I call  compact  units are flashes without a zoom head.  Their lower guide numbers reflect the fact that the beam isn't focused for telephoto use.  Typically, the actual power is similar to that of a strobe in the  mini  class. 

The  reach  given is the focal length  (in mm)  of a full-frame lens covering the same angle of view as the flash beam when the zoom head makes it narrowest.  For compact units without a zoom head, the number given between parentheses is the reach of the fixed beam width specified by the manufacturer.  All units nowadays have a diffuser screen which yields wider coverage for very short lenses.

Flash photography  |  TTL Flashes for Lumix Cameras (12:34)  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-05-01).
HSS off-camera flash tutorial (4:35)  by  Big G photo   (2016-07-23).

(2017-11-01)   GH5 cages   (also fit the GH5s).

Cages provide many standard mechanical connections around the camera to attach various accessories.  The need is more obvious in video than in still photography because of the greater variety of available accessories.  (Microphones, video lights, external monitor, etc.)  It's possible to use a generic half-cage  (three-sided)  loosely connected to the camera via its  ¼''  tripod mount,  but a four-sided customized full-cage is more compact and more robust, albeit more pricey  (sometimes insanely so).

Typical standard mechanical connectors on a cage include:

  • 1/4''-20  &  3/8''-16  threaded holes  (lots of them on a  cheese plate).
  • Several  3/8-16 UNC  threaded holes with Arri locating points.
  • Cold shoe sockets.
  • NATO  rails  (STANAG 4694, originally designed for firearms).
  • Clamps for  15 mm  rods  (more rarely,  19 mm  rods).
  • Strap eyelets.  (A top-bottom pair at right for a  hand-strap.)

This is a bit like a  Meccano-Erector® set.  The whole cage may consist of several subassemblies with couplers between them.

Cage rig fitting the Panasonic Lumix GH5  (or GH5s)
Camera cageSmallRig 2049:  GH5 Cage $90
Extra cold-shoeSmallRig 1241  (using 1/4'' and 2.5mm on right-side) $5
Top handleSmallRig 2017:  Top Handle & DMW-XLR1 Helmet$90
Left-side handleCAMVATE: Wooden NATO-lock Grip (Left Hand)$30
Left-side handleCAMVATE: QR Deluxe Wooden Grip (Left Hand)$79
Monitor MountSmallRig 1842:  Flippy Base (1.5 kg max)$40
EVF MountSmallRig 1587:  $52
Articulated MountSmallRig 1497:  Magic Arm $13
Arri AdapterSmallRig 1978:  Anti-rotation Magic Arm Adapter $28

 Rubber-coating aerosol  The SmallRig cage doesn't have any rubber padding on the platform which supports the camera,  allowing the camera to skid and loosen the bolt over time.  Self-stick rubber pads are not a good solution,  for they would  rob  too much thickness from the bolt and jeopardize the sturdiness of the assembly.  I've had good success with spray-on rubber and nothing else!  To add just a little bit of thickness, I sprayed the platform and the two tabs with  5  thin coats of rubber  (you have to wait at least 4 hours between two coats)  after protecting from overspray the rest of the cage  (with scotch tape and aluminum foil).  Rubber-coating aerosol has many uses and is quite affordable  ($6 a can).

It's much easier to position the camera in the cage if there's no lens attached to it  (use a body cap, or you're asking for trouble).

Wikipedia :   Jam nut  |  Locknut  |  Washer  |  Threadlocker
8Sinn GH5 Cage: World's first Panasonic GH5 Cage  (4:21)  by  Jordy Vandeput  (2017-03-10).
Custom GH5 Rig & 8Sinn Cage Review  (6:06)  by  Jordy Vandeput  (2017-05-02).
Atomos-Compatible Zacuto GH5 Cage  (5:37)  Jens Bogehegn  (Preview, 2017-06-06).
Zacuto Lumix GH5 Cage  (5:37)  Zacuto  (2017-07-10).
5 Universal Cages under $100  (12:37)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-07-11).
NATO Lock & Magic-Arm Tutorial  (4:13)  by  Wooden Camera  (2015-01-13).
Movcam cage kit for Panasonic GH5  (5:51)  by  Erik Naso  ($315, 2017-10-08).
Smallrig Half-cage for GH5 with battery grip  (5:01)  by  Arber Baqaj  (2017-10-20).
Ultimate Panasonic GH5 Rig  (7:05)  by  Adam Murtland  (2017-11-14).
SmallRig: The Svelte Cage for your LUMIX GH5  (36:36)  by  Joseph Linaschke  (2017-12-01).

(2017-12-28)   No-Stitch Hand Strap for Camera Cage
Just use  flat nylon webbing  and a pair of small  triglide slides.

A do-it-yourself hand-strap can provide an unconventional way to hold a hybrid video camera without griping it  (top tension, bottom pressure).

It's so thin that you'll never have to remove it.  The design I advocate also provides a way to attach a tiny pouch,  known in the trade as a  coin purse  to store Allen keys  (hex tools)  and/or SD cards  (a spare battery is probably too heavy).

The components listed below are available from  StrapWorks  in your choice of colors.  I don't recommend using side-release  buckles  in this application, forgoing the simplicity ans sturdiness of triglide  slides  (French:  boucle-coulisse, double-passant).  You just need:

  • About  5''  of  wide  flat nylon webbing:
    3/4'' wide ($0.35/ft)  or  1'' wide ($0.45/ft)  or  1½'' ($0.45/ft).
  • About  12''  of  narrow  flat nylon webbing:
    3/8'' wide @ $0.23/ft  or  1/2'' wide @ $0.27/ft.
  • Two  triglide slides  @  $0.25 a piece  (narrow  ones;  3/8'' or 1/2'').

Either that or you can  sacrifice  a neck-strap you don't like,  as suggested by  Ken Wheeler.  My design is inspired from Ken's; the only difference is that I chose to keep the narrow webbing in one piece mostly for aesthetic reasons  (I like the look of a narrow black stripe in the middle of a dark-red wide strap).  The middle part of the narrow webbing doesn't carry any load,  You may thus either get rid of it  (if you prefer a solid color)  or use it to attach a  tiny  two-slot accessory pouch...

DIY Wrist-Strap :

In some situations, common-sense and/or regulations may impose a secure tethering to your body beyond what a loose hand-strap can provide  (e.g., when shooting out of an helicopter).

On the  SmallRig cage for the GH5  (#2049)  there's a shallow  3/8''  notch  (on the rear of the battery-door hole)  which is begging for a tight loop of  3/8''  flat nylon webbing.  That makes an ideal soft anchor point for a D-ring where a safety wrist-strap can be attached without interfering with anything else.  This D-ring can be used for either of two quick-release attachments  (they're never both needed at the same time):

  • A strain-relief for the AC power cable  (in tethered studio work).
  • A wrist-strap for safety,  in risky outdoor situations.

Adequate commercial wrist-straps are available where camera equipment is sold.  For critical conditions, however, you may want to consider more secure options,  like the  shortened  surf leash  suggested by  Hey Just J,  (he quotes one branded by  ClarkLittle Photography).  Other  armband leashes  are marketed as  GoPro  accessories:  $15, $28, etc.

Either that or simply make your own  paracord  bracelet for the purpose.

It's also a good idea to tie the camera to its cage with two short strips of paracord through the eyelets on the camera which are normally intended for standard neck-straps  (just in case the tripod mount would be detached, for whatever reason).

$2 DIY camera hand-strap  (5:43)  by  "Angry Photographer"  Ken Wheeler  (2015-12-17).
(See  Best Cheap DIY Wrist Strap for DSLR Video  by  Hey Just J  (Hey Just J, 2015-07-17).

(2017-11-05)   Micro Four-Thirds  (MFT)  Communication Protocol
How an MFT camera body and an MFT lens talk to each other.

The MFT mount in an open mirrorless standard derived from the earlier  Four Thirds System  which could accomodate the mirror boxes of DSLR.  Without that design requirement, the MFT flange distance could be made shorter  (namely, 19.26 mm)  which open the possibility of mechanical adapters for lenses originally designed for reflex cameras.

Electrically, the MFT standard is similar to the  Four Third System  with the addition of two mount signal contacts.  This makes it possible to make adapters for MFT cameras at the $30 price point, maintaining full functionality without active electronics.  The MFT (and/or 4/3) communication protocol itself is nowhere described on the Internet, although Panasonic and Olympus have claimed it was an "open" standard.  They may have communicated it privately only to fellow manufacturers of MFT lenses, including Zeiss, Tamron and Sigma...

Many manufacturers offer "dumb" adapters  (no electrical connections)  to use Canon EF lenses on an MFT camera,  for $20 or so.  Several advertise electrical compatibility and communication protocol conversion, maintaining autofocus, aperture control, image stabilization and EXIF data transmission.  Mileage may vary.  For example:

  • $499: Kipon-Baveyes converter (0.7 optical factor).
  • $285: Kipon adapter (no optics).
  • $169: Commlite adapter (no optics).
  • $119: Fotga adapter (no optics).
  • $119: Fotomix adapter (no optics).
  • $119: LAMZIX adapter (no optics).

Canon has never licensed the  EF mount communication protocol,  forcing third-party developers to reverse-engineer it, more or less thouroughly.  Thus, some of the above autofocus adapters may not be perfect, especially at lower price points.

At this writing, it seems that only "dumb" adapters and converters are available to use Nikon F-mount lenses on MFT bodies, with manual focus only.  Some of them provide mechanical aperture control on G-lenses  (which have no aperture ring of their own).  None of them provide aperture control for E-lenses  (lacking electrical control such lenses remain wide open).

Micro Four-Thirds  official page.
MFT lens communication protocol?  by  T. Andersen  (2013-02-05).
Four Thirds Communication Protocol  by  Lasse Bayer  (2013-12-11).
Reverse Engineering (Micro) Four Thirds lens protocol  by  Marcus Wolschon  (2013-12-11).
The MFT lens protocol at the #30C3 hacker conference  by  Marcus Wolschon  (2013-12-29).
Olympus debuts hackable MFT camera at Japan Hackathon!  by  Mike Tomkins  (2016-01-10).
Open-Platform Camera  "OPC Hack & Make project"  by  Olympus.
Camera 2.0
Nikon's F-mount pinout and electrical protocol  by  Gerard Michon  (Numericana, 2015-06-14).

(2017-10-28)   MFT Converters  &  (Metabones® ) Speedboosters

By definition,  an  adapter  doesn't contain any optics.  It's mostly a mechanical element which allows a longer-mount lens designed to fit on a shorter-mount body.  The effective thickness of an adapter is equal to the difference between the nominal  flange focal distances  of the lens and body  (the former must be substantially greater than the latter). The flange distance of mirrorless cameras being much shorter than reflex cameras,  such adapters allow the use of DSLR lenses on mirrorless cameras, including MFT cameras.

For example, the Nikon F-mount flange is 46.5 mm while the MFT flange is only 19.25 mm.  Therefore, a 27.25 mm adapter with a female Nikon mount and a male MFT mount will allow the use of Nikon lenses on MFT cameras like the Panasonic GH5.

Nikon-to-Sony Autofocus Adapter: COMMLITE EN-EF1 PRO  by  Sean Michael  (2017-09-02).
Nikon F to Sony E Adapter, with Autofocus & Stabilisation (12:41)  by  Matt Granger  (2015-08-25).
Fotodiox:  Smart Nikon F to Sony E Adapter (8:47)  by  Matt Granger  (2016-12-10).

Converters  (adapters, teleconverters and speedboosters)

Unlike mere adapters, converters include optical elements which effectively multiply the focal length of the mounted lens by a certain  conversion factor.  This factor is greater than  1  for  teleconverters,  it's less than 1 for  speedboosters  (a mere adapter is effectively a converter of factor 1).

The first thing to know about a converter is that its front glass may be in the way of the rear elements of some lenses, making such lenses utterly unusable with that converter.  For example,  the Metabones 0.64 speedbooster is unusable with the Nikkor 50 mm f:1.4 lens.

Optically, vignetting will occur if the conversion factor is greater than the ratio of the  crop factor  targeted by the lens designers to the crop factor of the camera  (namely 2 for MFT cameras).  For example, to use full-frame (FX) Nikon-F lenses in the MFT system  the conversion ratio should be greater than 0.5.  To use Nikon DX lenses without any fear of vignetting, we would need a conversion factor  greater  than:

(3 / 1.955) / 2   =   0.7672634271...

To put it bluntly, the condition is satisfied for FX lenses by all currently available speedboosters  (they all have a conversion ratio greater than 0.5)  but,  strictly speaking,  none  of them meet the requirement for DX lenses:  The 0.71 Metabones "Ultra" is  7.46%  too strong and Zhongyi's 0.726 "Turbo II" is still off the mark by  5.38%.  Either of those  may  thus cause some vignetting with DX lenses.  The  0.64 "XL" Metabones model is  way  too strong and  will  cause vignetting on most DX lenses  (even if they fit mechanically).

Using  Nikon DX  (or FX)  lenses with an MFT camera  (e.g., Lumix GH5)
SpeedboosterMetabones Ultra 0.71x for Nikon G Lens to MFT $479
SpeedboosterMitakon Zhongyi Turbo II  0.726x  for Nikon (G) $149
Nikon-F (G) adapterFotodioX Nikon to MFT Adapter (DLX)   $80

At this writing, MFT adapters or converters for Nikon lenses only allow them to be used in manual mode  (no automatic aperture, no autofocus, on optical stabilization).  No off-the-shelf protocol conversion is available  (and not enough information is available to hack it).  The newer "E" series of Nikon lenses can only be used wide-open  (this includes the 200-500).

MFT mirrorless system
Adapting Camera Lenses: What Works (27:37)  by  Tony Northrup  (2016-11-08).

(2017-10-30)   Serial Digital Interface  (SDI)

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Wikipedia :   Digital Video   |   SDI (1989)   |   75 ohm BNC connector (1951)

(2017-10-30)   High-Definition Multimedia Interface  (HDMI)

  • HDMI 1.4   allows 4 K video at 30 fps.
  • HDMI 2.0   allows 4 K video at 60 fps.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Wikipedia :   VGA (1987)   |   DVI (1999)   |   HDMI (2002)   |   Forward compatibility

(2017-11-31)   External Video Recorder  &  Monitor
May also serve as a somewhat heavy  electronic viewfinder  (EVF).

In the  Atomos  line,  only two units are able to extend the internal capabilities of the Lumix GH5 to the full 10-bit 4:2:2 4k video format at 60 fps.  The usual recommendation for the GH5 is the  Ninja Inferno.

For $300 more,  the flagship  Shogun Inferno  only adds  SDI  connections which are irrelevant to most GH5 users  (reportedly, it provides 240 fps HD video over SDI for Blackmagic cameras).

Recommended accessories for Atomos Inferno Monitors / Recorders
External Video Recorder
& 7" HDR Monitor
Atomos Shogun Inferno (& accessories)
10-bit 4:2:2, 4k 60fps
External Video Recorder
& 7" HDR Monitor
Atomos Ninja Inferno (& accessories)
10-bit 4:2:2, 4k 60fps
HDMI 2.0 cableAtomos Full-to-Full HDMI coiled cable $89
HDMI 1.4 cableAtomos Full-to-Full HDMI coiled cable $20
HDMI 1.4 cableAtomos Full-to-Mini HDMI coiled cable $20
Atomos SSDG-Technology Atomos Master Caddy (1 TB) $350
2.5" Solid State DriveSanDisk 1TB Ultra II SATA III 2.5" SSD $280

Atomos Shogun Inferno Review  (13:56)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-08-29).
Panasonic GH5 and the Atomos Ninja Inferno  (23:32)  by  Hugh Brownstone  (2017-11-06).
SmallRig Shogun Inferno Cage  by  Lester Cohn  (2017-10-23).

(2017-11-06)   Monitors  &  Colorimeters
Reproducing colors accurately.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

X-Rite i1Display Pro  ($234)   |   How to Make a Music Video

(2017-11-09)   Codec Standards
COompressing / DECompressing  or  COder / DECoder/

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Wikipedia :   Codec

(2017-11-05)   Lookup Tables  (LUTs)
Describing a function by a table of its values at many preset points.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

3D LUT Creator   |   Leeming LUT One  by  Paul Leeming.
How to add LUTs to the Lumix GH5 (3:45)  by  Luke Neumann  (Neumann Films,  2017-04-18).

(2017-12-09)   Shooting Video
The basics.

Proper Exposure :

Proper Color :

Proper Sound :

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Best SD Cards for the Panasonic GH5  (6:07)  by  Caleb Pike  (2017-10-10).

(2017-11-05)   Video Editing
The basics.

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

How to Sync Video and Audio in Final-Cut, Premiere CC   iMovie  (10:13)  by  Ted Forbes  (2017-01-07).
Premiere Pro Tutorial:  Editing LTT from start to finish (4:19:05)  by  Taran Van Hemert   (2017-10-30).

(2018-01-21)   Montage

 Sergei M. Eisenstein

Montage   |   Soviet montage theory   |   Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948)   |   Doodle (2018-01-22)

(2017-11-04)   Video tips from some successful YouTubers.
Behind the scenes...  Teaching by example.

Numericana Hall of Fame   |   Science YouTubers (7:25)  by  Brady Haran (2012-08-02).
BrainSTEM-2012:   Vsauce, ViHart, John Green, MinutePhysics, CGPGrey, SixtySymbols, SED (7:25).

(2017-12-21)   Monitors
Better screens.

  • Lilliput A12 12.5" 4K Monitor   ($599).

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

(2017-11-12)   Teleprompters
Black-cloth hood, 70/30 beam-splitter glass and computer screen.

  • $264: LCD4Video teleprompter kit for iPad 3.
  • $171: Caddie Buddy teleprompter kit for tablet up to 12x9".

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 still working on this one...

Numericana Hall of Fame

visits since June 27, 2015
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