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GH2 vs GH3 Sankor Anamorphic


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On top of my low light high ISO tests I also tested my Sankor Anamorphic 2x lens.  One thing I really learned is that anamorphics need to be focused at a specific distance to get the desired effect.  Of course I only realize this after I do this, so I'll try and do another test later.  Focus is very difficult, next time I'll bring an external monitor.  The 100mm Macro surprisingly was the most difficult to focus.  I think it has a much shallower depth of field than either of the FD 1.2L lenses.










Out of all these tests it's clear that there are limitations with both cameras.  Here are some notes:


- EX TELE mode is much improved on the GH3.  There is more detail and less noise, although it is still very noisy.  Not sure I can call it "grain" but if you really need to use it you can.  But I would still go with a prime over EX TELE mode, even if it is a great lens like the Leica 25mm.  GH2 clearly is bad in EX TELE mode, worse in very low light

- Detail is excellent for both cameras.  I still think the GH2 has more but only by a little.  Again focusing is critical.

- GH3 clearly has more dynamic range and retains more details especially in the shadows.  The last video you can see more tiles in the shadows at the left of the image.

- GH3 can shoot more flat and retain more color detail too.  The last video I upped the saturation to 150% to match the GH2.  You can't go far at all with the GH2, it is so baked into the codec.

- GH3 is 2/3 of a stop brighter at high ISOs.  However the codec isn't great for low light.  I think the 50Mbits IPB is better than the 72Mbits All-I for low light.  Just the noise grain is better and easier to remove.  In bright conditions they are about the same.


I prefer the GH3 over the GH2 for usability and for the image.  I'll still use my GH2s because they are still very stellar cameras.  But I think there are many improvements in the GH3 that overall make it a better camera.

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interesting that the gh3 is brighter, and by quite a bit,... dunno if that's a good thing or a bad thing.


you might not need an external for focus,... i've found that on my lil x2.7 crop nikon + anamorphic, i can hardly focus at f2 so it must be hella hard on the gh's larger sensors. 


so i tend to stop down to f2.8,... you should be able to nail focus better at that than f2, then while keeping in mind that your dof is going to shrink, open her up and refine the focus. 

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I will test some more with the FD lenses.  I think the 100mm Macro is out, just way too hard to focus, and the F2.8 max aperture is limiting at best.  I will try and stop down the FD lenses to see how much a difference it makes.


The GH3 has more dynamic range and a better codec.  I think it has 1/2 a stop more on highlights, 2/3 a stop on shadows.  This is good news for low light or interior shooting.  The codec is an issue, I think the 50Mbit has better noise for ISO1600+, the 72Mbit is better for ISO 200-800 and bright conditions.  EX TELE mode is very much improved, but I think it's usefulness is only for a max of ISO 800.  I did some tests but they just didn't come out well.


Overall the GH3 is a much better camera.  But shooting extreme low light is not a strength, but that's true for any digital camera.

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yeah 2.8 is limiting, and i'm a self confessed speed whore, :P ,...


but i think that if you've got one thing in sharp focus but the scene is darker,.. that tends to look better than brighter but blurry. it'll suck the blacks into an abyss of course though.


more dynamic range in the gh3? aarrghh, like i need another reason to upgrade  :P i was pretty much set to get a gh2 cos they're so cheap now,... might wait a bit and go for gh3.


cheers for the tests man!

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Don't get me wrong, the GH2 is still an awesome camera.  For most shooting I think it still produces an awesome image.  Get the right hack, especially a stable hack.  I've had great success with the Flow Motion hack.  The GH3 is just better overall.  No hack so no hang ups or crashes, better built so it can take a few hits, and longer battery life for more recording.  I suggest getting a GH2 and if you have money then go for the GH3.  Eventually the GH3 will drop in price, so you just have to be patient.  And you never know if the GH3 gets hacked, then you can buy it for less and get more.

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