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In depth test - 5D Mark III and 7D Raw vs Blackmagic Pocket vs GH3


Andrew Reid

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Pretty easy one for me. The Pocket camera wins hands down with prores 10 bit 4.2.2

Canon raw is to many steps and for my money what comes out of the camera  is not as good as the pocket pro res.

The GH3 just plain has zero chance with 8 bit

Thanks for the test Andrew it confirms what is fairly obvious to me.

 

The only problem I have with the pocket is users are reporting perhaps all the cameras have hot pixels.

The camera I would love to own is the canon 1dc But then with the BMD 4k on the ever moving horizon the £8600 price tag the price of a car for a DSLR is a canon step to far removed from reality.

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For real. Like we've never had the content is king rant here before. Thanks for stopping by bro. We had no idea.. Lol

If you expose for blown out highlights, push shadows, clean with neat video, you can capture just as much dynamic range from the GH3 as you can from Magic Lantern RAW.   https://vimeo.com/76030718

hello friend, you seem lost.   this is a thread about nuances in cinematography: its an "In Depth Test" of Camera A vs Camera B vs Camera C vs Camera D

A brilliant test answering many question a lot of people were asking!

 

What's interesting is that (as was discussed in another thread) the BMD cams have loads of recoverable highlights, but noisy shadows. This hints at the native sensitivity being placed in an odd place: the cam appears to have huge over exposure latitude, but it looks like the whole range is shifted somewhat...

 

It's an amazing price for what it does, pretty mad.

 

Those GH3 clips in this thread may have dynamic range, but the colours appear to turn into surreal plastic in all the shadow-recovered GH3 clips I've seen!

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How about derailing it with actual camera tests? With a bit more scientific style? Instead of shooting a random scene, you could actually shoot a resolution chart and a dynamic range one. You could check out how much sharpening is doing to the image (now you compare a heavily sharpened 5d raw to the BMPCC, with god knows what software used).

 

I know a place where such tests are performed with almost every new camera. 

 

But test charts don't show aesthetic aspects, which to be honest bother me more than scientific ones. Had the naked facts been of real relevance ever, the classic Mark 2 could never have become famous, because it didn't perform well resolutionwise. This was published from the start.

 

Isn't it funny that we got a bunch of affordable cameras that all have amazing image quality? They are more different in their requirements for individual usability. My non-scientific ranking:

 

1. The BMPCC for reducing all advanced 'features' to one: Think cinema with raw, for under 900 €.

1. The 5D MIII raw, still for the aesthetically most pleasing images.

1. The GH3 for ergonomics. And clearly it looks as if it had the best resolution of them all.

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It's encouraging to see that a sensor as relatively small as the BMPCC's is capable of such good low light performance. I'd be interested to know why this is - is it just the level of information the camera takes from each pixel, or the processor, or what?

 

If Panasonic were able to improve the low light performance of their GH line I'd stay with MFT forever (or as long as they do).

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I found this informative, yet frustrating. 

 

Even if I take to one camera's still image, and decide it has cinematic qualities (5D III Raw wins by a landslide to my eyes),  the limitations of each camera are crippling for most practical and professional settings, and if the GH3 is supposed to lead the bunch for handling/features, that's pretty shameful. More power to those who can get around overheating cameras, record limits, or plastic mini bodies stripped of basic camcorder features. 

 

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How about derailing it with actual camera tests? With a bit more scientific style? Instead of shooting a random scene, you could actually shoot a resolution chart and a dynamic range one. You could check out how much sharpening is doing to the image (now you compare a heavily sharpened 5d raw to the BMPCC, with god knows what software used).

 

Instead of getting some random information and "scores" we could actually get something usable? If you are doing scientific camera tests and discussions, I would agree, but these are quite far from them.

I totally agree with this, Dtest and Andrew completely overstated my comments, I was not saying we have to create a movie and get actors, sets and entertainment, popcorn or whatever else...thats typical of forums, people misread and misunderstand one another all the time, then they post over the top reactions.

Like it or not, to a large degree image content is whats being posted here to show dynamic range, highlight rolloff smooth gradation of midtones and whatever else.

So these are content and image tests to a large degree, if you want to make it technical, then make it technical and scientific, otherwise people will judge the camera on the image (as I did) when I said thedtest's video looked totally boring, he also said the GH3 could never produce images like these.

But to my eye the video Sofoly Wedding Collection filmed on the GH3 looks far better, nice rolloff, the skintones are nice, lighting great, and lots of favorable comments... (and I'll bet if there was a blindfold test...most would pick the Wedding Collection)....so I rest my case.

If you are going to post images and say how great they look or great the camera is...then those images should look great...to say (in so many words) that images are simply tests and content does not really matter is contradictory, if thats the case then why not simply post a scientific test!

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But test charts don't show aesthetic aspects, which to be honest bother me more than scientific ones.

 

But they do show aesthetic aspects, just not directly. Things like sharpness, noise and dynamic range are trivially correlated with aesthetic judgements, so controlled measurements of these properties are much more useful for comparisons than trying to generalize about the character of different cameras by watching finished films produced under different conditions by different film makers.

 

In principle, any aesthetic quality that is sufficiently well understood can be measured scientifically.

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It's encouraging to see that a sensor as relatively small as the BMPCC's is capable of such good low light performance. I'd be interested to know why this is - is it just the level of information the camera takes from each pixel, or the processor, or what?

 

Matt, you, like every new person to photography/video, think always in finished images, usually jpegs.  Consumer cameras (photo or video) take an image with a sensor and compress it down to manageable file size, both for photo and video.  Welcome to a world of confusion and pain :)

 

The larger the sensor, the better low light performance because the sensor pixels are larger and the light has to bend less.  

 

The better the processing/compression of an image (in camera software) the better the low light appearance.  

 

So it's possible that a badly processed image from a full-frame, might not be as good as perfectly processed image of a small sensor camera (though usually that isn't the case).

 

If you don't compress the original image, or save more information when you do so,  it's possible to get better low-light results later on.  In fact, it's possible to do a lot of things--but at the expense of faster cards, cameras, PCs. etc.

 

In short, I wouldn't be surprised if the BMPCC gives better low light performance than a 5D3 in H.264 mode because the (small sensor) BMPCC is saving all the sensor information (RAW), and the (full-frame) 5D3 is throwing a lot of it out to stay within certain file-size/bandwidth requirements.  However, the 5D3 in RAW mode would probably do better than the BMPCC.

 

Hope that helps.

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This article as many shoot out reviews do, has evoked many fan boy comments, it's almost like a comment section from IGN on the Xbox One vs PS4 debate.  it's clear that a lot of people on here aren't really being objective. The GH3 users are here to convince everyone and themselves that GH3 is king, even though it isn't. The GH3 produces a nice image and it's easy to use = best camera. I don't think so.

5DM3 is a fantastic camera and RAW makes it a beast, but again, is it the best RAW cinema camera? possibly but you also have to remember Magic lantern is not canon, if Magic lantern were to stop doing what they're doing, it would all be over. Which leads me onto my next point, it's a hack, so paid Jobs are something you most likely would never use it on. And before people start saying you would never use RAW on a paid job anyway? says who, you? a lot of people here seem to speak in absolutes. I work on paid Jobs and use RAW, but I do it with a BMCC. The workflow is a lot easier than converting the RAW files from canon DSLRs. Also it's not hacked, the software works with the hardware and it was intended to from the get go. I

 

I've been a DSLR shooter for years, Before that if I wanted the cinematic look, I had to set up a rail system with a 35mm adaptor from Redrock Micro with the Sony EX3 . What we can do now, it's mind blowing.

 

Again A lot of users here seem to be speaking in absolutes, like my way is the only way and what i'm saying is true because i've used X Y and Z camera therefore I know better. GH3 users saying the GH3 is the best because it's just as cinematic and it's so easy to set up and use with minimal accessories. What has ease of use have to do with the final image? 

 

I'm a narrative and advertisement film maker, we use blackmagic because despite their flaws, they work well and the final image is great, for people saying the 5DM3 blows it away in low light, I work in a stuido and we have lights, I thinnk huge sensors have made people lazy, not using lights because the sensor can cope in low light. I never shoot anything that doesn't have a proper lighting. We also have 5DM3 on set but we don't use them for filming in raw because it's paid. Why use RAW, you don't need it you say? we do because we do a lot of green screen work, I'm also a visual effects artist, anyone who is will know that working with 8 bit 4:2:0 DSLR footage will know it's terrible for keying, and before people say, I can key DSLR footage and it looks great, let me tell you, there is a big difference between, it looks ok, and something that looks professional.

 

I think people are downplaying a lot of what blackmagic does, Take the pocket cinema camera which I own (FAN BOY TALKING), It's under $1000 and shoots Prores 422 and will soon Shoot 12bit RAW CinemaDNG. No other camera does that, The GH3 is a lot easier to use and it produces fanastic images, it's also got a great view finder and it's files are smaller and easier to manage, guess what, I don't care about any of that stuff, I and my clients care about the end image, not how I got there, just what it is. The GH3 does not produce better images, I don't care what you say, it just doesn't. For me colour grading matters a lot, and RAW enables me to push it much further than any non hacked DSLR, the GH3 crumbles if you push it too much in the grading department. Even the pocket cams prores grades beautifully without RAW.

 

I thought I would just give a different perspective, I wasn't going to comment but I seen too many GH3 users saying why the GH3 is good enough and overall a better camera when you factor in it's easy of use. Like that's all that matters. I read someone saying in regards to Dynamic range, there was only a little difference between the 5D and the BMPCC, i'm sorry but I can tell a huge difference. 

 

I know i'll probably get shot down but i'm sorry I think a lot of people are missing the point, which is the end image. For run and gunners, yeah the GH3 is the way to go. For me, at the moment Blackmagic is my brand, expecting good things from the 4K version.

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I suppose what you're saying is, for what you do Black Magic cameras make sense.

 

If you were primarily out and about in the street you may want something different!. Or if you were shooting a corporate talking head your client just wouldn't care about raw and you'd have a footage headache for nothing, you may as well make life easier!

 

You'll find my reasoning elsewhere here for cancelling my BMD order and going 5D MKiii, but of course it's all very personal, relating mainly to a desire for great full-frame stills as well as H264 and raw, and the focal lengths of my lens collection. As such, image quality isn't the sole deciding factor. Even if a pocket cam had a nicer final image (debatable, they are close), selling every lens and piece of kit I own to swap is not practical, so there are other factors.

 

what's great is that the BMD and 5D iii are so close. It gives us a lot of options. I can't say I really like the GH3 at all, but then I've never liked any Panasonic M4/3 for video so it's just taste.

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I know i'll probably get shot down but i'm sorry I think a lot of people are missing the point, which is the end image. For run and gunners, yeah the GH3 is the way to go. For me, at the moment Blackmagic is my brand, expecting good things from the 4K version.

 

Yes, but.

 

You saw the Sofofly clip. You have to admit that it's more than just 'okay video'. The camera compresses allegedly up to 11 stops of internal raw into the 8-bit file it finally writes to the card, and that's not bad at all. If you grade a raw image for 8-bit, you do the same, only that you have more flexibility. 

 

But I agree. I am looking forward to receive my Pocket and start with raw 'videography'.

 

In my view, it's a good thing that the camera is so user-unfriendly (didn't find a better term in english, help me out). It is not for wedding filmers and that kind of video. I am prepared to treat it like a big fat A-camera, with awareness of all the factors that contribute to an image that is as well technically a.g.a.i.g. and aesthetically stunning and that tells something meaningful about it's motif. I find myself being extremely bored by all enchanting beauty shots on the net that just show off. And  I start looking at photography as an art with a capital A, That's where a recording differs from an image. 

 

Not that this approach was prevented by, say, a GH3. 

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Lots of good points back and forth here- but what about folks who want the best non-RAW camera for news/event gigs? 

I love the cinematic look as much as the next guy, but when I interned for a news team, faster workflow always won over better image quality. 

 

I was recently offered a position in a company to handle video-PR for them- ie, make little promotional clips about what they are doing lately, sometimes record events and lectures. Its a mix of creative work and live event work. I'm trying to figure out which camera would be a worthy upgrade from my GH2 I currently use, so I was excited to see this test. But clearly a hacked 5Dm3 is overkill with a workflow not conducive to what I'm trying to do, and I sort of feel the same way about anything from black magic. 

 

So, for us shooters who are not interested in RAW, where's *our* shootout, Andrew? ;)

 

Can we get a D5200 vs G6 vs GH3 vs whatever shootout? A non-RAW test, if you will. 

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in that!

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So, for us shooters who are not interested in RAW, where's *our* shootout, Andrew? ;)

 

Can we get a D5200 vs G6 vs GH3 vs whatever shootout? A non-RAW test, if you will. 

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in that!

 

Sony RX100 or RX10 would be a good addition to that list

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GH3 is the over all winner for me. Top features: Full HD at 60 fps, continuous recordable time, time code (for mutli cams), easy post workflow, practical ergonomics.

 

https://vimeo.com/72737956

D.L. Watson, I thought your grade was fantastic. Very impressive vid. And the above vid is just incredible. It's impressive what the GH3 can do in capable hands. As far as the test, I thought the BMPCC was the clear winner. Awesome dynamic range.

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Quick question Andrew,

 

In the Pocket Cam + Sigma 18-35 + Speedbooster article comments you mentioned that the GH2 + Sigma 18-35 + Speedbooster seems to get murky corners with the Sigma.  Does the 1.86x crop factor of the GH2 vs the 2.0x crop factor of the GH3 make a difference?  In other words how does the GH3 play with the Sigma 18-35 + Speedbooster when at 18mm (12mm effective)?

 

I know this was a touch off topic but I am giving it one more try, since you tested the GH3 with the Speedbooster + Sigma 18-35 in this test any word on vignetting when at 18mm with the GH3/Speedboster/Sigma (like on the GH2)?

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I know this was a touch off topic but I am giving it one more try, since you tested the GH3 with the Speedbooster + Sigma 18-35 in this test any word on vignetting when at 18mm with the GH3/Speedboster/Sigma (like on the GH2)?

 

I've heard that it only happens on the GH2, because your FOV is wider than the average mFT sensor. The coverage of a speedbooster with a regular mFT mount isn't that far off from APS-C. But don't take my word for it, I'd love to hear a confirmation from someone who's tried.

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That Sofoly clip is lovely, well executed and graded.

 

It's also flooded with light, we are talking a bout a very very low contrast scene, which does play to a compressed camera's strengths.

 

It's when you work with higher contrast ratios then the raw cameras wipe the floor with 8-bit squishy cams, it's just a fact

 

As far as the test was concerned I liked the 5D MKiii, The shadows appear much cleaner than pocket cams for high-contrast scenes, though I agree 100% with Andrew that the 5D colour needs taming, it's extremely rich.

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Each camera has it's own merits and the cameras are not the limiting factors anymore. Each is capable of producing professional looking footage.  BMPC is small, great image and  cheap. GH3  has the best skins tones i've  seen as  the wedding video clearly shows.  The 5D3 Magic lantern is amazing because of the full vista vision size sensor with crazy depth of field when shot with fast lenses.  The video shot in Korea

was incredible . Reminds me of Terrence Malick .Which was what  I think that was what he was referencing .

    Being able to go shoot some thing like that with just a couple people is mind blowing. And, each of these cameras are capable of it.

 Get over the camera and get to work. Because others are .

Thanks,

Tim

 

www.tjphoto.net

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