Kauai sunset: LUMIX GH1 slow motion

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.








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[vimeo 4441911 640 360]


  1. 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….

  2. 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. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?



  9. 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)

  10. 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. 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. 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. 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…

  11. 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?!

  12. Philip,

    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).


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


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

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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. 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.

  18. 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. 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

  19. 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?

  20. 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

  21. 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. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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??



  27. Hi,
    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.

  28. Hello,
    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. 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).

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