Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

“Liaison” trailer out

Posted by Phil On April - 29 - 2015

So here’s the trailer for our latest short film.  “Liaison”  Premièring this Summer in Toronto, where we filmed it last year in a hectic 2 1/2 day schedule in between Festival events. That meant starting at 1 A.M. and filming through till  5 A.M, when we had to stop as dawn made it too bright for night shots.

This was shot on a Panasonic GH4, with minimal extra equipment. No tripod. No lighting, No crew. Just 2 actors (Paul and Melissa) and myself on camera.  We used practical lighting. i.e. whatever was around, but then moulded the light with a black cloth.

Total budget 18 dollars. ..plot spoiler (for the padlock and chain),  but we filmed in exclusive clubs, on a Sunseeker luxury yacht.   …oh and  Paul almost got roughed up, as people thought we were making a porn film.  I wonder who gave them that idea?

Pitch perfect performance of Melissa and Paul. Acting drunk though they had consumed large amounts of alcohol.  What professionals!




The Panasonic GH4 looks even better.

Posted by Phil On March - 23 - 2014

Panasonic have confirmed that the GH4 (quite amazingly) outputs 10bit 4K 4:2:2 direct from the onboard micro HDMI port without the optional but expensive  YAGH accessory box.

So that means you can record in 10 bit in an external recorder , which means that colour grading should be way better.

In my last film using the GH2 and GH3, I had real problems with some shots that had been filmed using the wrong colour balance . The 8 bit images began to really fall apart when I tried strong colour correction.  So 10 bit should be fantastic.    

….on the other hand I could have got the colour balance right in the first place, as we used to have to do with film  🙂

If you can afford it, the add -on base accessory box (which costs more than the camera) has even more useful facilities, though it has to have an external power supply, which is a bit of a limitation.

The YAGH accessory box for the GH4  takes video entirely from the micro HDMI port on the GH4, which is why it can offer 10bit 4:2:2 through the full sized HDMI port it offers as well as HD-SDI.




Thanks to for the info


Now got some more details from Panasonic about what the camera can really do.

Here is Panasonic’s Matt Frazer  talking to Zacuto. Clearing up a some of the confusion about the cameras outputs.



…and another interesting hands on review with a pre-production model. Showing how it can do really nice slo mo.

Best stuff is about 10 mins in.

Panasonic GH4 £1300 in UK

Posted by Phil On March - 10 - 2014

 Just been announced. The new GH4 will be £1300…  I’ve been shooting on the GH2 for a few years and found it excellent, but the new Panasonic Lumix GH4 threatens to blow it away as it’s  the first DSLR with 4K video recording capability and it only £1300.  

I’ve used the Black Magic Pocket camera (£700)  and handled the Black Magic 4K Cinema camera (£1400) . They are both great advances,  but still awkward to use without add on viewfinders etc .  Whereas the GH range of cameras are lovely to use hand held.  See an example here   

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 will be available in the UK from 5 May – body only for £1300, with a 14-140mm lens for £1750, or with body only and an Interface unity for £2500. For those pre-ordering a free battery grip and battery is on offer from 10 March until 2 June.


The GH4 is the World’s First DSLR with 4K Video Recording Capability and can shoot 4K at 30/25/24fps at 100Mbps using ALL-Intra compression. At 1080p that rises way beyond broadcast standard to 200Mbps.

But even if you leave out the 4k which will need fast and expensive  SD cards, in  HD it can shoot up to  96 frames per second —nice slow motion –  and it has  zebra pattern to aid exposure  and focus peaking to aid with manual focusing, Master Pedestal Adjustment with 15 steps and  Gamma presets exclusively for video recording. So this is evolving into a seriously sensible video camera.

Also has  maximum 125,600 ISO,  Wifi / NFC compatibility, 1KHz Test Tone and Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) . The camera  embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code either in Rec Run or Free Run count-up methods,  to help synchronize the multiple video footage or sound source in the post production.    £1249  at  UK digital



New Panasonic GH4 launched today

Posted by Phil On February - 6 - 2014

For those who aren’t nerds, this is an upgrade to the camera I’ve shot just about everything on for the last couple of years.  The Pansonic GH2.  The GH4K is  sharper ..faster ..tougher ..cheaper ( well not cheaper but still not too expensive   …probably


Looks really sweet especially the add on interface with XLR XLR sockets for sound and HDSDI for video output.  Though how that will work with camera rails I don’t know.  It will have also wifi focus, aperture etc control from Iphone and Android apps. ..interesting.


Here’s some of the spec

– 16,05 Megapixel sensor. It’s a new sensor with semi-conductor protection tech to reduce noise and improved dynamic range.
– quad core processor and venus Engine
– ISO up to 25,600.
– 12fps, 7,5 fps with continuous focusing
– GH4 uses the new UHS I class III SD card format
– Depth From Defocusing (uses Panasonic lens database to fine tune AF!)
– AF as fast as 0.07 seconds. 49 AF points.
– 4K video at 4096×2160 pixels and max frame rate of 96fps.
– Bit rate of up to 200Mbp
– Magnesium body
– Price not unveiled yet   expected to be around £1500
– There is an optional Interface Unit. Has 2 XLR, 4 SDI, micro HDMi
output, color bar signal, audio reference signal, external time control

2_back_slant_YAGH 3_side_2_YAGH

This has  4 SDI outputs for HD 4:2:2 and 4K 4:2:2 10-bit output with timecode, listen up Canon and Nikon. (It can also be configured to record 4:2:2 to an external unit via the on-board HDMI-output on the GH4 itself.) The interface unit also has dual XLR inputs with optional phantom power and level adjustments on the unit. These inputs can be monitored on the GH4′s display. Additionally, the interface unit includes a 12v DC input for external power to the unit and the GH4.