“End of the World” skydive video with Panasonic Lumix GH2

The world will end only after the gospel is reached to all nation, all people groups. The Rapture Day, 5/21/2011, was a dud, as predicted. Only a false prophet would predict something like that.
I planned on using the portable green screen to make some skydivers ‘disappear,’ but it didn’t work out. I did, however, video nine skydivers who were having fun jumping as if there was no tomorrow. GH2 performed nicely, as expected. I got a chance to use the new ND filter for the ground footage. It seems like there is no deterioration of the image like it was with cheap Polaroid filter, even shot at 720p upscaled to 1080p on the timeline, for the ground footage.
I left all settings at -2 other than saturation at 0. It color graded nicely. All I had to do was touch ’em up a bit with Colorista II, balancing lumina and boosting a bit more saturation. I was pretty pleased with the results, especially for freefall stuff.
The second skydiving footage is shakier than usual due to not clipping the left camera wing properly, preventing it from inflating. I had to fly in a really weird boy position to compensate!


23 comments on ““End of the World” skydive video with Panasonic Lumix GH2

  1. God damn, these are the coolest videos I’ve seen in a while! I’m a Canon guy but I’m thinking of getting a GH2 to use it with that superfast Voigtlander .095 lens. It does shoot, 24p1080 natively, huh? Not like the GH1 that needed a hack to get that.

    • I use both Canon T2i and GH2, and I prefer GH2 for outdoors. Yes, it shoots 1080p/24 quite nicely. It also shoots 720p/60FPS much sharper than Canon. DOF is quite poor, however, unless you have really fast lens and open it up all the way, such as in Vogtlander .95, which is way beyond my budget because I am a cheapskate! 🙂

  2. I loved the footage. When you say poor DOF you mean wide. Well, is there an age/weight limit to take up skydiving? I’m seriously thinking about it, but in my forties and a big guy.

    • You know all the artsy farsy super shallow DOF they use in the movies that Canon 5D is really good at — it’s very difficult to do that with GH2, unless you have a very special lens, such as Vagtlander. GH2 has 2.0x crop factor, so the wide angle lens selection is pretty limited fore desired super shallow DOF for ground footage. My dream setup, at the moment, would be Canon 5D Mark II for general stuff and GH2 for freefall footage.
      Oh.. skydiving — you have to weigh less than 250 lbs. If you weigh more than than, it’s a great incentive to start jogging/biking! 🙂
      USPA.org lists all the dropzones in the United States.

    • Depends on each dropzone. The place I jump at, http://parachutecenter.com/, it costs only $100 for the first tandem. Most other places, however, charges around $200. Almost all dropzones have websites, listed at USPA.org
      They usually have FAQ’s and price list. Good luck and post your video afterwards!

    • Depending on the dropzone, the whole AFF jump course (around 7 jumps), with instructor/s, costs around $1100 – $2300, before you can buy your own rig (around $5000 new) and jump by yourself. Just call your nearest dropzone and they will answer all the question you might have.

  3. BTW, thanks for the convo, your skydiving videos are serious eye candy. I’m inspired to get in shape so I go do it, shoot some stuff and show you up, buddy! BTW, have you seen the GoPro videos where the guys parachute from a cliff? I don’t know what these are called “base jumping” or something.

    • No, no, no… it costs around 1-2k TOTAL for you to finish the AFF (accelerated Freefal) course, to get off student status, that includes gear rental, instruction, instructor/s, etc. THEN you buy your own rig and pay only for the airplane slot, which is around $20 each jump. Just call the dropzone. They will answer ALL your questions about the course and skydiving.
      GoPro is nice when the lighting is good, but it’s nowhere close to the quality level of Canon or Panasonic, especially when color graded nicely.

  4. What setting do you use for your lens ? focal lens set to 14mm?
    Have you thought about using the fixed 14mm lumix ?
    I currently own the Gh2, with the 14-140mm (too heavy/too much vignetting at 14mm?) and the 20mm (not wide enough?), and am eager to use it when I get C-certified, which should be the case end of august 🙂

  5. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/769428-REG/Rokinon_FE8M_C_8mm_Ultra_Wide_Angle.html

    Yeah, I decided to go with the GH1 as my camera of choice for my next video camera platform. So, I picked up a few because the combination of price/image quality (especially the hacked version)/interchangeabiity of inexpensive quality lenses makes it irresistible. And I started buying used Canon FD lenses for it, which can be had on Ebay for a song. But the 2x multiplication/crop makes the wide angle a difficult proposition. I picked up a couple of those 14-42 Lumix lenses, which are slow on the long end, but wide are 3.5, which isn’t too bad. And if you bought them in a kit they were only $100. But any wider gets expensive, as for example with the 7-14 Lumix, or the 20mm 1.7. But that Samyang/Rokinon seems a pretty decent deal and I’m reading good things about the quality of those Samyang lenses and of course you can use it at 1.6 magnification with the t2i etc.

    • That’s one big disadvantage of having a 2x crop factor, not having a good choice of fast wide angle lens like for Canon 5D Mark II with NO crop factor.
      I bought the camera mostly for freefall video, where fastness is not important since I shoot mostly at f16-f22 under the bright sunlight.
      For indoor shoot, it’s hard to get that movie-like shallow depth of field though.
      Good luck.

  6. It is a disadvantage but I mainly shoot events (weddings, etc) and with the price of this camera currently, ($400) I can shoot multi-camera events for the price of one Sony HDV camera of say three years ago. But the disadvantage is not really the shallow depth of field. You can get that with a 50mm 1.4 or even a 50 mm 1.8, which you can get for $60-80 and $25-40 on Ebay. And you get shallow depth of field. The problem is getting really wide shots, if you want to have a wide establishing shot or something. For that the 14-42 kit lens is not a bad choice, as it costs $100 if you buy it with a body. It gives you a 28mm, field of view at f 3.5 which is not too bad. It’s 5.6 on the long end, but at 42mm you can use faster Canon fd lenses. The problem is going wider than that, where it gets expensive. You can only use that 7-14 Lumix which is expensive. And they have a 20mm 1.7 also, but you can find 20mm FD lenses cheaper. So, if you want to go really wide your only option is the Samyang and I don’t know how distracting the distortion would be, but at $300 is not that expensive.

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