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Author Topic: GH2 color banding  (Read 2671 times)


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GH2 color banding
« on: February 04, 2012, 06:34:58 AM »

after "reactivating" my GH2 i found now a final reason not to use it:
color banding.
its ( get more visible in colder light temp as  6000 - 8000 kelvin but its always there )
unusable with smooth color gradients, most in the blue and green color range.
this gets VERY visible in water and soft blue skies.

after seeing it i investigated in the internet and yes, this is a system flaw due to
bad in camera rendering/processing and known ( and admitted!!!! ) as well by panasonic as by several users. there is no hack or workaround or solution.

how helpfull would it be to read sometimes findings as this in an "official  " review ....
but no. every and all of this deeper issues one has to find out for oneself, or search it deep in forums because only few customers and testers get aware of such and so its easy to find 100s of hi praises if one camera or a system is hyped at this moment, but so few real ( and critical ) knowledge ....
this seems to be true again and again and is unfortunately completely independ of price or category of the product.
so all this GH2 hype is for nothing cause thats a real deal breaker for me in nearly every prof. application.  even in 100.000 mb/s files such bandings create  crapp files.
i suppose it has to show up not only in nature but as well n skintones, although i havent tested, i saw enough.

see here an unprocessed 422 file.
if you want to see it better download it  cause it will take long in the browser. its about 700 mb so not too big. look at the river but also the sky.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 07:32:15 AM by rainer_v »
rainer viertlböck
architecture photographer
munich / germany


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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 07:54:27 AM »

Hi Rainer,

Just came back to the studio now and saw your thread.

I fully support this post.

Also found this issue and not really at the beginning, it took me time to realise it because it shows-up under certain conditions one might or might not experience at the beginning.
I thought it was me, that I did a mistake, a bad setting or whatever 8 bits factor, and that there was or will be a solution.
This is a factory issue that has no known cure to date and after investigating yesterday, I came to the same conclusions as Rainer.

Panasonic hasn't adressed a reliable solution: therefore, I recommend to any potential buyer NOT investing in the GH2 and be very cautious when they will release the GH3.
If Panasonic wants to protect their pro market, it doesn't mean by that that they can sell zillion of cameras that have a serious issue that can ruin the footage.
Personally, until Panasonic doesn't adress this issue in firmware, I will stop to buy their products.

It makes the GH2 virtually UNUSABLE for any serious work.

Yes, for entertaining the youtube-vimeo crowd with hacks that in the end are useless if not for shining with videos of the dog or garden fence about how great and detailled is the latest 60000 mb/s etc...

It's shocking that those kind of technical issues are ADMITTED as NORMAL, as you point regardless of the equipment price. It's even more shocking that the informations that are circulating over the internet by both, the reviewers and the users aren't indignated by such facts and remain as laconic as difficult to find.

I'm totally indignated  by this situation, and have the feeling that we, consummers, are really been taken for perfect idiots.

I urge this forum users to create a black list of equipments that present known uncurrable issues, list in wich we could look into when it comes to buy equipment for the active pros, where revenue depend in part on the correct choice of an equipment, regardless of it's price-reputation.

Those things are not tolerable any longuer.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 04:26:36 PM by fredjeang »


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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 10:52:59 AM »



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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 12:12:42 PM »

Isos 160 is yes by far the most affected.

200 it's there in fact but better

360 gets pretty bad too. (160x2)

the phenomenon starts to decrease in higher isos. It's marginal at 500, absent at 800 and above. This fact has been also described in the link you provided and I confirm it: it tends to disappear when increase the isos but really doesn't completly. What happen is that the added grain is giving an optic ilusion. It's totally unconsitent, unreliable and no general rule can be extracted.

The banding is present in the very crappy QT, but not only, in any viewer, so as in Nuke viewer under any config, so it's recorded by the GH2 and not a QT issue. It is a sensor processing (8bits )badly conceived or technically unacheived. A Beta.

It means that you can say bye bye to isos from 160 to 500 on common conditions, unless you want to take the risk of ruining your footage, and even so, nothing's guarantee.

It is present in any configurations (the factory curves), and adquisition format like motion jpegs or avchd.



Can somebody tells me what the hell is that in those price-range? for ex:

More people should be aware that when you read a ww consensus, "the-best-bang-for-the-buck", "the-epic-killer" etc etc...we end getting hypnotized  but they are wrong and uncomplete infos on what reveals to be an unreliable-problematic product.
And all the noise and good press made arround this camera is pointless. It's only usable for youtube amateurs or indy filmakers, at their own risk.

This camera has issue with and without the hack. it's not the hack, what does the hack is that it enhance the crapperies, it doesn't create them.

Also, there is another different sort of banding issue with the GH2 that has not to do with this one, an horizontal banding in higher isos within the 2/3 lower part of the footage. It's a very known fact now. Those both issues are PANASONIC RESPONSABILITY imo. Who else?

So we're trapped. to reduce the first banding issue, you have to increase isos, but if you increase too much, you may end to get the other banding issue.


as everybody is busy hacking it to pixel-peeping the hair of the talent whaoo... whaaaaa...oooohhhhhh....
I think that those compagnies can peacefully keep going producing unfinished products without being very much disturbed by their busy clients.

NOTA: the GH2 is a 8 bit camera, the issue described may be softened by recording to an external device like the Ninja. But there is no guarantee that this issue can be solved nor easy to do.
See a note in Marvels film and see how tedius the process is:

see the DNxHD 175 in a .mov wrapper.
You want to go into this? I don't.

Bottom line: this is not serious equipment and it should be avoided.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 08:16:13 PM by fredjeang »


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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 12:17:03 PM »

Thanks for the heads up! I wonder what sensor the upcoming Olympus's modernized OM-D will use...

Bern Caughey

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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 01:16:07 PM »

I couldn't get the link to fully load so never saw all the problems.

That said I standby the premise the GH2 can produce remarkable footage. But it must be remembered it's an 8-bit $700 consumer camera.

Then again the F3, FS100, C300, AF100, 5D, 7D, & most any camera below $20k, are all 8-bit, so can band in gradients like skies.

One common solution is too add dithering (aka noise), which helps mask the banding. External recorders, & high bit rate hacks, more faithfully reproduce noise, which similarly masks banding.

This example in particular could have looked much better with a high bit rate hack as the fine detail, & motion, would have been much better defined. But the GH2's rolling shutter is more pronounced than the more expensive dedicated motion camera's, so not a great choice for aerials.

I've never argued for using the GH2 as an A-Cam, rather for B-Roll footage, & stills. And only when a small camera package is preferable. In this application it's a remarkable tool.

And if I was an indy film maker I'd certainly choose it over any of the current dSLRs. Given how well 5D-filmed movies have done over the last year's film festivals....

« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 01:26:05 PM by Bern Caughey »


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Re: GH2 color banding
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 03:16:29 PM »

Of course Bern,

What you point here is right.

But there is IMO something indignating in all that.

This issue, in the case of the GH2 goes further than a simple 8 bits limitations. And Panasonic is totally aware of it.
They won't admit it publically but yes unoficially to the people who have complained to them.

I have other 8 bit footage from other camras that are free of this issue, and when it occurs it's not as pronunced. There is a factory engineering problem behind in the case of the GH2.

Both Avid and Edius show me that the Rainer's footage is a more than a 110mb/s one. We are talking about a high perf hack. The hack doesn't solve the posterization.

It's amazing that not one review over the internet has warned about that. Because if I agree with what you say, BUT, potential buyers should be aware of it and then decide knowing first, and even as a B camera, even considering that this is a "consumer product", this is a serious enough issue to think twice when buying.

Yes the camera is amazingly good, but that isn't just a 8 bits problem. It is a conception problem. Big difference.

If you read in DXusers people who have sent letters to Panasonic, the company answered: "we are aware of this problem, we are working on it". Saw it several times. This is clear that the company is aware of that this is their responsability and not just a 8 bits limitation.

Those politics, are unfortunatly more and more common. A company release a "beta" product with issues they know perfectly. They have pressure to do it. Then, if there is no major complains by users, they just let it go and do not solve the issue because it's very costly.  After all, a camera lasts so little...who cares. But this politics is destined to failure on the middle term.

And it's also amazing that the crazy ww fashion and enthousiasm on this camera, has occulted its problems among users, reviewers etc... or that, even worse this is admitted as normal !!!! I can't follow that path even for a consumer product that supposed to be "the little motion bomb".

It's amazing.

Amazing that Red seems to be the only one actually in this industry who understands really where the wind is blowing.

- For one side, the north, we have the sleeping arrogant MF manufacturers that aren't producing nothing exciting if not unreliable backs sold a fortune for an each time more limited bunch of wealphy amateurs.

- Then the south, little DSLRs - EVIL cheap cameras that want to play in the video league lacking reliability, usability etc...full of issues of all kind and limited on purpose to protect the existing pro market

- On the est the monster cams like the Alexa, old fashion ultra-expensive cine style or extremely specialize equipment in rental

- Then on the west, those video-gear, that look like a virgin teen with the spots on the face, made to do a live interview for the local tv, the F3, the Thomson stuff etc...

None of those systems are responding correctly to a part more and more important of what is going to be shooted in motion and how in the next decades.

Except one brand:

The RED cameras, out of all that crap. And Red IMO is going to be the big major player if there is not a serious awakening from the competition.

The Scarlet is very very well priced. The tactical cage is amazing, it's made to be compact, ultra-efficient.
All the system is extremely well thought.

If the Scarlet-Epic tandem is reliable and don't have major issues,

it's going to dominate this market.

To me the dslr - evil escapade in motion has come to an end.

All I want is a reliable system that works without major issues under any condition and deliver assignement-standard output. All I want is something you "plug-and-it-bloody-works" . In other words, a tool, not a toy.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 05:26:36 PM by fredjeang »
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