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Sony A6500 or Panasonic GH5...?


Secret Garden Films
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I started filming weddings about a year ago using my GH3 which I recently sold.

I am looking to replace the GH3 with either a Sony A6500 or Panasonic GH5.  I am leaning towards the GH5 just because I am very familiar with this format and the spec on the GH5 looks amazing.

Obviously the A6500 will perform much better in low light than the GH5, however, I still feel I want to buy the GH5.

I am at a crossroads as I have sold my camera and glass, so I have an opportunity to either reinvest in the M43 system and buy the GH5 or change and to a new system such as the Sony A6500.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

James

 

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48 minutes ago, Secret Garden Films said:

I started filming weddings about a year ago using my GH3 which I recently sold.

I am looking to replace the GH3 with either a Sony A6500 or Panasonic GH5.  I am leaning towards the GH5 just because I am very familiar with this format and the spec on the GH5 looks amazing.

I had the same dilemma. Ordered the A6500. Main reason: existing Sony-E-mount ecosystem.

So for the same reason I would buy the GH5 if I were you. As far as image quality is concerned, they will both have their often discussed pros and cons.

If the specs don't lie (and why should they?) the GH5 has WAY better ergonomics for wedding videographers. Or to put it the other way: the A6500 would be a big PITA for weddings (ergonomics, battery life, shitty monitor).

The final argument for an easy decision is that you don't marry a camera. If somewhen I realize, damn, I should've bought the GH5 instead, look how good the images are on youtube, I can sell the Sony (and compare the, er, A7000 to the GH5 then). 

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I don't like way a6500 has implemented movie mode right now.  Histogram on separate screen.  No af-s, tap to focus only on af-c and slower - no focus confirmation. Screen zoom in movie mode is horrible and blurry compared to photo mode, and is 4x max instead of 10x or more.

Color science is still weird in mixed lighting run and gun (all cameras have problems though).

Image quality is good but you need more time to set each shot up.

I don't know if they are planning on fixing any of these issues.  I was really excited for this camera but I am looking forward to getting gh5 later on.  I still plan on using my a6500 for shoots when I am not constrained by time though. The ergos and menu are sad.  For example center lock on AF - you hit a button - it takes you to screen where you select on or off.  Wtf why isn't this just a toggle button - 1 click becomes 3 for no reason...

 

Maybe I should sell it :( imagine that - keeping $500 Panasonic g7 and selling a6500 even though I think files from a6500 are better

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I can guarantee that most of the replies will favor the GH5, but honestly I think the right answer depends on how important cost, sensor size, low light and AF is to your work?

With a $600 price difference the extra money saved with the a6500 can be used to put toward lenses. With the larger sensor, you will have a built in Super 35mm aesthetic and all the bonuses that entails. Between the sensor size and cleaner high ISOs, the a6500 will be better in low light. With the touch screen and PDAF, the a6500 will have better AF. 

With all that being said, the GH5 will probably offer a more stable production with less chance of overheating and better rolling shutter. If 4K 60p is important to you, the GH5 will offer that. If you're interested only in 1080p, the future firmware updates will give you lots of great high bitrate, high framerate, All-I options. But if 1080p is all you need, the overheating issues of the a6500 won't be an issue... of course I haven't had an issue with overheating in 4K with my a6500, but I never shoot a clip that is longer than 2-3 minutes at a time... being a wedding videographer, YMMV.

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dual SD cards with backup; you can't risk a card failure in a wedding. That alone is enough for me but... No risk of overheating, no 30 mins limit, an everlasting battery and the simple reality of having a proper Panasonic battery grip that Sony has never produced for their apsc line. 3600 ISO with a 1.4 lens is more than enough low light for me, if 6400 is mostly clean I won't need anything else. I'm just waiting for the AF-C performance when the need rises, as tracking in a gimbal or a one man band interview that can't always check the focus is the biggest win Sony has over Pana.

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Lens selection is way worse on e mount right now.  No apsc f2.8 standard zooms.  And the FE standards that just got released are really expensive. What lenses are you shooting weddings with? 

 

I don't consider af-c useable with adapted lenses - the focus motors aren't built for whatever is currently happening and sound like the lens will kill the AF motor. So native is the only way to get video AF without worrying about that.

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What did you like about the GH3?     What didn't you like?

I think in your situation the GH5 makes a lot more sense.      I mainly shoot stills and not for professional use so I would likely go the other way.

IF a lot of the weddings are in really low light, then maybe the Sony makes more sense but then I would go with an A7sii or original A7s anyway (I shoot a LOT over ISO 1600 and much higher often).       It seems to me that one of the two cameras has been made for you while the other can be made to work for you and either would be good.

 

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4 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

I don't consider af-c useable with adapted lenses - the focus motors aren't built for whatever is currently happening and sound like the lens will kill the AF motor. So native is the only way to get video AF without worrying about that.

To get both AF and Dual IS on the GH5 you are restricted to Pana glass, which is expensive while not being very fast and not looking too spectacular. Comparable to Sony. But with the bigger sensor and better SNR of APS-C, the Sony lenses perform better. 

But you can shoot handheld with non-stabilized, adapted lenses with the GH5, because it has virtually no RS. Not so easy with the A6500. 

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I am a weddingshooter and mainly use panasonic camera's, unless your intention is to switch to Sony completely then the GH5 is a overall better videocamera for weddings, Ivanhurba mentioned the most important differences in favor of the GH5 and if you get the DMW-XLR1 you have a workhorse that will get almost any job done. I also never had any issues when it comes to low light with my gh4 or with my gx80 and g80 which are cleaner at high iso and retain color better as well, the advantage of shooting with m4/3 is that you can shoot wide open all the time if needed with fast lenses, like f1.4 and still have a manageable dof and focus which is more difficult with APS-C and very difficult with full frame, considering that would be your next step after getting a a6500. 

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13 minutes ago, eleison said:

Rolling shutter on the a6500 sucks.  Unless you plan to use the sony on a gimbal or locked down on a tripod most of the time.  I think the a6500 and the gh5 are on a different market segment.  You should probably compare the gh5 vs the a7sii/a7rii, etc...

Although the RS isn't good at all, on the 6500, the 5-axis IBIS really tames it if you are not doing fast pans and walking. 

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Lowlight is not much better on A6500, I got both G7 and A6300 and their lowlight is not bad but cant hold candle to A7RII or A7S/A7SII, FHD on A6300 is soft which is a problem when I paired with camera which are sharp (ie fs5/a7sii/c100 mkii etc)

 

over the past years I got 2~3 cards fail (all using sandisk extreme card btw) so I definitely prefer dual cards for safety,

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4 hours ago, Ivanhurba said:

dual SD cards with backup; you can't risk a card failure in a wedding. That alone is enough for me but... No risk of overheating, no 30 mins limit, an everlasting battery and the simple reality of having a proper Panasonic battery grip that Sony has never produced for their apsc line. 3600 ISO with a 1.4 lens is more than enough low light for me, if 6400 is mostly clean I won't need anything else. I'm just waiting for the AF-C performance when the need rises, as tracking in a gimbal or a one man band interview that can't always check the focus is the biggest win Sony has over Pana.

Yep. As you point the AF is the problem on the pana. For this reason I will get the A7S3, which will be close in spec with GH5 but with:

way better low light 

way better AF (I expect A6500 level) 

swallow DoF when needed 

better DR

 

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22 minutes ago, wolf33d said:

Yep. As you point the AF is the problem on the pana. For this reason I will get the A7S3, which will be close in spec with GH5 but with:

way better low light 

way better AF (I expect A6500 level) 

swallow DoF when needed 

better DR

 

I think u mean A7RIII lol   A7S is CDAF only

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