Kauai sunset: LUMIX GH1 slow motion

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Nice discovery…If you shoot in 720p mode, not full HD, with the Lumix you go into 50p mode. This is useful as it means you can record slow motion if you reconform to 25p in cinema tools. Click here for a short tutorial on how to do it.

still2I was out with my client, Jimit Mehta, taking a look around some spots for filming tomorrow with the Letus Ultimate and EX3 when we saw that the sunset was going to be beautiful…so we pulled over. All I had on me was the little red GH1 and an SLR Gorillapod. So not ideal. But I set it up on the sand, got myself covered in sand and filmed this beautiful sunset. All in 1280×720 mode…

still1One important thing to do. Make sure the shutter is at least 1/50th or when you come to slow in down to 25p it becomes jerky.

To slow it down open the clip in cinema tools, conform to 25p and it instantly turns it into 25p slow motion. As if you overcranked in camera but even better as you still have sound if you want it. 

The music is actually from an old Twilight Zone episode from the last season in 1964. Check out this link for more info and where you can buy it. I got it from Late Night Tales by Air

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to grade the footage because of the low bit rate but had no problems with Magic Bullet Looks…Check out two ungraded still grabs below.










[xr_video id=”80451d02941a4cd6b47303518104bd25″ size=”lrm”]

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  1. JelleSE says:

    Still not uploaded… CAN’T WAIT :p
    Thanks for doing this! And have a nice time there!

  2. Great stuff. The slo-mo works atreat

    1. pbloom says:

      couldn’t have done it without you Steve…I at least got 3 hours sleep because of you rather than none!

  3. Jack Kelly says:

    Absolutely lovely. Great work.

  4. Hanno di Rosa says:

    just while I watch this, somebody near here is burning some wood and for asecond I thought this was “smell” tv 🙂

    very nice pix Phil! wish I could own one now too….

    1. pbloom says:

      mmmm…maybe I should add some nat sound as it was all captured…was edited very quickly whilst very tired!!

  5. Well done… definitely worth waiting for. – Tim

  6. Jeroen says:

    Awesome! Good choice of music.

    Especially considering the fact you are using the stock lens. I am not a video pro, but it looks as if this camera does a better job at low light compared to most “normal camcorders”, is this right?

    I am planning to do short movies, what would you recommend as a lens in addition to the stock one, for “general purposes”?

    1. pbloom says:

      i really don’t know enough about this system…but you def need faster lenses…check out my first blog post on this cam for a comment about lenses you can use…

  7. VJ says:

    Really inspiring video. I have a Sony TG3. I amseriously thinking about getting a GH1 now. Thanks a lot.

  8. Dan Gaud says:

    Awesome stuff as usual, Phil. What lens did you use? The kit lens?

    1. pbloom says:

      kit lens! says so at end! 😉

  9. Joe says:

    Which lens was this shot with?

  10. I really like the willingness and interest in experimentation with all of the various motion capture capabilities of the GH1. It sounds like you had dim hopes when you pulled over, but were more than pleased by the end result. Terrific explanation and overview. Thank you.

  11. Avery says:

    Sweet! Philip, you not only have a wonderful talent for making great images but your music selections are always top notch.

    I have learned a lot from you and FYI, I am going to purchase a JVC HM100 in large part due to your review of it.

    Thanks again,

    Follow me on Twitter-Averys

    1. pbloom says:

      cheers! it’s from a Twilight Zone episode. Will find link and stick it up!

  12. rawmeyn says:

    wow…that was wonderful!!!

  13. Really impressive. I was wondering if you did any grading on this video or is it as it came out of the camera? I assume FCP would manage to do some useful grading on the 720p GH1 footage, but I note you mentioned the 17mbps bit rate could restrict how much. I am not experienced enough to know why the 17mbps bitrate is low enough to cause some grading difficulties, but would be very interested to know if one of the Magic Bullet ‘Looks’ could be applied to the 720p video from this camera for showing at normal speed. Hope you are enjoying yourself in Hawaii.

    1. pbloom says:

      yep you can grade! this was graded and at half speed is just 7mbps…so normal speed is even better to grade…

  14. Sorry Philip, please forget my question below. I didn’t check out the titles at the end until now and note you did actually grade the footage with Magic Bullet. This is very encouraging. Thanks again. I am excited about this camera.

  15. Akira Wing says:

    Thanks for this. Very good music selection.

    1. pbloom says:

      thanks I adore that song. used it once before…my first footage on sony a1e if you look up hdv demo under other clips

  16. Wil La says:

    Hey mate, your videos completely sold me on a GH1. A very general slightly off topic question, what kinda of computer do you have editing this GH1 clips? Should a intermediate process be used?

    1. pbloom says:

      i use a macbook pro…importing in FCP using apple pro res using log and transfer. Large files though…

  17. Shaun says:

    I remember in a previous post on the GH1 that you were concerned with grading it. With this video I noticed that you did grade the video. The images look great. I am curious to your thoughts about shooting and grading with the GH1?

    How do you travel with your gear? Do you carry any gear with you on board as a carry on or do you check it in as luggage? Also, what do you do to prevent theft if you check in gear as luggage?



  18. Roger Bloemers says:

    As a musician, I totally agree, your choice of music is always excellent. Good Show!
    I’ll say it again, I am one of your biggest fans. I look for new stuff all the time. I am hopeing to use my OM Zukio lens with the GH1, when and if I ever get one. :o)

  19. LFK says:

    Hi Phil,
    you can have the same slow motion (and the sound)with an EX1 while shooting in 720/60p @1/60th (not overcranked-normal) converted and conformed in 24p with your editor software 😉
    …But i’m sure you already knew that 😉

    1. pbloom says:

      yep…almost correct! advantage of overcranking in 720p mode rather than 60p or 50p is you keep the 35mbps. Shoot at 50p or 60p and slow done in cinema tools then you halve your bit rate

      1. Michael C. says:

        Phillip, I did not get it. Are you saying, that with “real” 200% overcranking the EX (or whatever other “proper” camera) doubles the datarate, in this case to 70 Mbit/s, so that when you slow it down, it keeps 35 Mbit/s as if it was originally shot this way?

        Also, when slowing down 60p or 60i footage, you are losing bitrate in terms of bits per second, but you are not losing data in terms of bits per frame. Your video gets twice longer, but your frame rate gets twice slower, so each frame retains all its data, there is no loss of information.

        1. pbloom says:

          yes. when you roll on overcrank on the ex it records twice as much information so when you put it on timeline you keep the 35mbps…thats why it eats up card space…

  20. Andy Michael says:

    For Eff’s sake, man. Everything you touch, turns to gold. All you do is travel, try out awesome gear, and drink. I’m sure there’s more to you than that, but WTF?!

    1. pbloom says:

      i do other stuff…have you seen me sing?

  21. Ryan Hinman says:


    Thanks for all of the info on this camera. I really believe this is the true game changing camera (even with all of the 5D furor).

    Your thoughts on 720p would be greatly appreciated. I am considering the T1i as a second cinema camera for ceremonies (sounds crazy, I know), but the 720p has me a little concerned. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again also for the tutorial on Magic Bullet. Probably the best tutorial I have seen period. Magic Bullet could use some good lessons to accompany the software (something that would help them sell more copies I believe).


    1. pbloom says:

      I don’t know the T1i, what is it? Will be doing more tutorials..many more!!

      1. Ryan Hinman says:

        The Canon Rebel T1i. Shoots 720p at 30fps. Sensor is almost as large as the Red One Mysterium and the camera is only 800 bucks. Mind boggling.

        1. Sam says:

          He’s talking about the 5OD.

          1. Ryan Hinman says:


            Yes, I think it is the 50D outside of the states.


          2. pbloom says:


            Was wondering why I hadn’t heard of it!

            720p 30fps 1080p 20 fps…

  22. andrew burke says:


    Very inspiring piece!

    Thanks for sharing and working yourself when tired.

    Please let us know over at DVXUser when you post your next piece.


  23. PetrD says:

    Hanalei Bay and part of Napali Coast, waterfalls on green walls, longboarding … I love that place! Wish to be there again.


  24. Thomas Gibson says:

    Just came here from Engadget after your post on there…absolutely fantastic work. Music really compliments the video. Inspiring.

  25. I just want to thank you on behalf of Planet Earth for posting these. I wrote an article 100% prompted by your posting of these vids.


  26. Janne says:

    Sorry for a stupid question, but what does that “grading” mean?

    1. pbloom says:

      don;t worry. you aren’t being stupid. It’s basically colouring. Take a look at http://philipbloom.co.uk/tutorials/grading/

  27. S. says:

    Hi Philip. Thanks for this!

    A possibly somewhat silly question:

    I’m planning on buying a faster lens(es) for GH1. I won’t have any other use for the glass apart from this camera. So I’m wondering whether it makes more sense to buy the glass made for the 4/3rds system (with an adapter of course) as opposed to standard 35mm Nikon, etc, glass + adapter. The Nikon option seems somewhat cheaper, but is there a quality issue? There seems to be some nice, fast zoom 4/3rds glass by olympus, leica, and sigma. Any thoughts for people in my situation?

    1. pbloom says:

      35mm glass will double the focal length as the GH1 chip is smaller….so a 50mm becomes a 100mm etc…

  28. Hahn says:

    Beautiful work! This wasn’t shot with the kit lens was it? Or did you manage to get a faster Nikon lens on there? Thanks for sharing your work!

    1. pbloom says:

      Kit lens!

  29. Bob Callway says:

    Nobody is mentioning the killer combination of this camera with Leica M lenses…surely the attraction of using a Noctilux .95 is something us film-makers are looking out for…..i have a number of m mount lenses (from russian copies to voightlander to leica) and the results off the G1 for stills have been mind-blowing.

    The access the camera will give in all sorts of situations is going to be awesome.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!

    1. pbloom says:

      it has been mentioned in many places Bob. I think the problem is cost of lenses, more than the camea 😉 But I certainly want to try them out! Camera just price at $1500.

  30. jay says:

    Great video, this has tempted me to get one!
    What ISO did you shoot these with?

    1. pbloom says:

      200, 400 and 800

  31. Bo says:

    Philip, if you had to choose witch would you prefer, the Nikon D90 or the Lumix GH1 ?


    1. pbloom says:

      oh for video? def the GH1

      1. Bo says:

        You’ve been a tremendous help, thanks so mush.

  32. Ivan says:

    Pleas can you help me, to choose between the GH1 and the Panasonic HDC-TM300, image quality of the video is for me most importantly, many thanks

    1. pbloom says:

      i don’t know that camera so it wouldn’t be fair for me to comment…don’t forget the GH1 is a stills cam first, video cam second…but a very very good video cam

  33. r2m says:

    is the GH1 that much superior to the D90?

  34. Rupert says:

    Hi Philip,

    Great footage from Hawaii. Your’re obviously having too good a time!

    One question — is it possible to monitor sound whilst recording on the GH1?

    1. pbloom says:

      no I wish it was! I believe a third party solution will come out with XLR inputs

  35. Michael says:

    I want to buy the GH1 as soon as I can get my hands on one. You mentioned iMovie. Did you experience any problems importing AVCHD and did you try to burn through iDVD (or other) to DVD in AVCHD format readable by a BR player? Thanks, Michael

    1. pbloom says:

      no not tried it..but colleague i was with today plays native AVCHD files though his PS3!

  36. jkoch says:

    Does the GH1’s auto-focus drift or “hunt” when in 10x zoom or light levels fall? Is the EVF so small or grainy that you rely pretty much on the LCD? With the primary lens attached, is it pretty much as heavy or protrusive as a tourist’s typical DSLR? A side-by-side comparison to a DSLR’s Hawaii shots might help: respective sky blow-outs, high ISO, or high-contrast dynamic range tests. Thanks.

    1. pbloom says:

      it’s much smaller than say a 5dmk2…as you can see in my hands in other blog posts. I also have quite small hands!

      The auto focus worked well in most light and did little hunting. The EVF is small but actually quite usable. Sorry couldn’t do a side by side and I don’t have the camera anymore!

  37. Ben says:

    I am watching the video… and I notice it is very boxy even in HD… What is that? You’ll have to forgive me, I am kinda new to things… ha!

    1. pbloom says:

      what do you mean boxy? have you downloaded the mp4 version? Don’t forget this is a web compressed flash version

  38. […] on it was difficult, although I did manage to knock off a quick slow motion test during a sunset which you can see here. That was just knocked off quickly over an hour using nothing but the stock lens, no filters, no […]

  39. […] auch 30 Bilder/s in 1280×720 Pixeln und Motion-JPEG. Wie Philip Bloom in einem hübschen Strandvideo zeigt, eignet sich die 50p-Betriebsart auch gut, um das Material in 25 Bildern/s und damit leichter […]

  40. knoptop says:

    Philip, your review of these products are GREAT! Thank you for your help. I’ve been able to learn more about these SLR cameras and DOF adapters for video cameras here on your site, so much more then spending weeks searching the web. thanks again!

  41. […] samples on DPreview. Or check the GH1 test video by Retroleum on Flickr. And be sure to check out Philip Bloom’s amazing slow motion results with the GH1. As a last resort, go visit the DMC-GH1 page on Panasonic.com. Specifications straight […]

  42. […] Please also check out my latest GH1 blog post about shooting in slow motion and low light here […]

  43. Jason says:

    I love the video you are putting out with the GH1, it’s some really impressive stuff for the equipment. My wonder though is whether this camera is just for video or is it worth getting for photography?

    Everything I have seen is about the video but I want to know if I’m spending money on another video camera or a camera for photography that happens to take great video?

    Are there any pictures that aren’t stills from the videos it takes?

  44. Super Gab says:

    Hi Philip,

    I got a question. Would it be possible to only shot 720/60i footage with this camera (the GH1) and then conform it to 24p and have it play at “normal” speed when needed (video and audio) ?

    Many thanks for your time and help.

    1. Super Gab says:

      Ok.. this video of yours answers my question

      Thanks 🙂

  45. Your my hero Phillip. I discounted the G1 as an “expensive toy” but now that the price has dropped, and after seeing the amazing video’s your putting out….It has changed my mind!

    A great camera to carry around all the time so you can get high def video on the go! And have DOF.

  46. […] dann kann man mit 50 oder 60 Bildern/s schon ordentliche Zeitlupenaufnahmen machen. (Siehe Beispiel bei Philip Bloom (mit der Panasonic […]

  47. […] See the results here: http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/05/02/kauai-sunset-lumix-gh1-slow-motion/ […]

  48. John says:

    Hi Philip,

    Thanks so much for your website…great stuff.

    Is there a budget way to convert GH1 720 60p to slow motion? Ie without the expense of FCP??



  49. Harry keenan says:

    Phillip Van also did a great film to this song, check it out.


    1. pbloom says:

      great great film

  50. Aram says:

    I am videographer in salt lake city UTAH, I have my video production company in Salt Lake City and I provide Wedding Videography, I want a start do Photography as well, but I am confused about choosing Photo Camera, I have my professional Video Camera, V1U which helps me do my videography in Salt Lake City, Now I want a start photgraphy in Salt Lake City utah, I need some help to choose, what kind of Photo Camera I need to use for my Photography service in Salt Lake City Utah.
    Please help me to choose my Photo Camera.

    1. Aram says:

      Sorry I forgot to leave my contact information:

  51. Robin says:

    I recently purchased the GH1. As I’ve been learning the camera I am noticing that the LCD goes blank/black while I’m shooting. It happens most when I have the camera lower to the ground and the LCD is parallel to the ground. Have you heard of this? I’m wondering if the camera is defective or I’m doing something wrong.

    1. TomB says:

      The GH1 has a sensor on the viewfinder that automatically shuts of the LCD when it senses and eye (or anything) near it. It’s an energy saver. This feature can be disabled. I don’t have my camera near me right now, so I can’t tell you where to look for it in the menus. Anyway, disabling it leaves both the LCD and viewfinder ON at all times (when the camera is on).