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5D Mark III vs GH2 vs NEX 7


Andrew Reid
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[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/eoshd/sets/72157629696433851/"]Get the 1080p frame grabs here[/url]

There’s a large difference in the image from these 3 cameras. See how they compare in this test video.

Later in the video there is also a test of the Contax Zeiss 300mm F4 in Ex-Tele crop mode (1:1 1080p from the centre of the sensor) on the GH2. In this mode you can see into people’s windows from 2 miles away sat on a hillside. It is insane!!

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/7722/5d-mark-iii-vs-gh2-vs-nex-7/"]Read full article[/url]

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GH2 still resolves so much detail!  Wish we could hack the NEX because it looks like the compression is what holds it back.  Can't wait for Sony's new full frame camera and what it might deliver.  Then again the FS700 might be all we ever need!  These are very very interesting times indeed!  And great lens test too!  Now we can map the surface of Mars from your house! LOL
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So the GH2 resolves more detail!!! Wow, never heard that one before.

The thing is it doesn't look cinematic/filmic. It's sharpness looks harsh and videoey to me, not to mention the rest of its image.

Until 2K projection and beyond, in the days of 35mm prints in the cinema, release prints barely resolved 800 lines. When HD first came on the scene, the jump in detail didn't look good at all for many Cinematographers (along with all the other videoey traits). But resolution was a bugbear, suddenly actors faces just had too much details, and the softness of 35mm projected was gone. Back then that softness was 'cinematic' and visually pleasing.

I think the 5D does look cinematic, and closest to being filmic of all the DSLR's. Put that camera in the hands of a decent Cinematographer and it will do amazing things. So, it depends what you want to use it for. If you need high resolution it isn't the camera for you, but for drama work and feel to the image, it can be amazing, that's why it was used for House, and why Gale Tattersall said it was a camera truly capable of cinema quality, and that was the MKII with all it's foibles, most of which are now gone.

I think that many people here aren't even able to get the best out of the 5D MKII, let alone the MKIII. It's a camera that is already above many moaners skill level. If you use it for simple shooting corporates or whatever, then i can understand why resolution might annoy you, you need a different camera!, but for indie film-makers/story tellers, it's an incredible tool at an unbelievable price.
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Katon might think it looks more harsh and videoey,  but I think he's mistaking harshness for clarity, and videoey for clarity.  The old "Filmic" argument only holds water if you mean filmic as being slightly blurry.  As far as color reproduction goes, it's all opinion.  Some (Me Included) love the color the 5D puts out, but then taken on it's own, the GH2 looks fantastic as well.  Color isn't limiting factor for either camera. They're just different.

Now if you want soft, do as Andrew said and add a gaussian blur to your GH2 Footage so it makes GH2 footage look 5D blurry.
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Always interesting to look at comparisons. Thanks for adding more!

Since I already have 70-200mm f/2.8 and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L series zooms from Canon, and especially since I spent a couple weeks using their 600mm F4 L series in December on both the GH2 and Canon crop bodies, it is hard for me to get excited about another 300mm telephoto, even if it is light. With a 600mm in EX mode on the GH2, the moon`s largest crater dominated the screen.

As to Katon`s comment, I in know why mean to disrespect your experience or background when I say that there is no reason why more resolution has to look harsher. The biggest problems going from film to HD digital production was the high contrast and harshness and overly sharp look of things, not the (alleged) increase in resolution (which was really much more a situation specific question as some film prints were clearly superior to others and they wore over time).

I agree that there are many times were a softer look can be beneficial and that having access to that option is very important for most (if not all) cinemaotgraphers. But while the GH2 (using the same lens as a 5DMkIII) will tends toward clarity, it does not have to tend toward harshness when used properly. The obvious solutions (finding faster lenses, etc.) are part of the solution, as are post options (just as surely as for the 5DMkII in the opposite direction) but the fact of the matter is that both theses lenses can skew towards desirable filmic looks, not just one or the other.

If you think of anything from a classic like Patton, or Kubrick work or Blade Runner to more modern epics like Hero, you will find several gorgeous high detail exteriors. The GH2 lends itself beautifully to filming scenes of this nature and may have an edge in conveying their epic scope relative to the 5DMkIII just as the 5DMkIII may have  an edge in epmhasizing the depth of a more closely blocked scene while masking unwanted details.

They are two different  cameras with a lot to offer any cinematographer, and neither one should be thought of as limited to "doing commercials" or "just not cutting it".  That is  my 2 cents  on the topic.

Edit: Started typing this before the    last comment.
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[quote author=johnnymossville link=topic=515.msg3371#msg3371 date=1333388400]
Katon might think it looks more harsh and videoey,  but I think he's mistaking harshness for clarity, and videoey for clarity.  The old "Filmic" argument only holds water if you mean filmic as being slightly blurry.  As far as color reproduction goes, it's all opinion.  Some (Me Included) love the color the 5D puts out, but then taken on it's own, the GH2 looks fantastic as well.  Color isn't limiting factor for either camera. They're just different.

Now if you want soft, do as Andrew said and add a gaussian blur to your GH2 Footage so it makes GH2 footage look 5D blurry.
[/quote]

I'm not 'mistaking' anything. This is purely a question of personal aesthetics. I saw 'the tree of life' digitally projected  (thanks to the 4K scan of the neg they did), it's sharpness and clarity did not look videoy. The GH2 does to me. I do not find the image pleasing. The 5D however feels more filmic and cinematic to me. 

I watched the C300 short with the 'bladerunner' theme. Then watched some of blade runner. I found the C300 horribly plastic looking in comparison and did not like it's type of 'sharpness'.

It's all down to what we find personally cinematic. Shane Hurlbut (terminator Salvation, Act Of Valor etc) for example does not like the GH2 at all. When asked how it compared to the 5D and if it was better/more filmic, he said "not in a million years". That's down to what is filmic to him, what his eye prefers.

For people who like the GH2 image, rejoice. You've got an incredible camera for next to nothing.
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[quote author=Per Lichtman link=topic=515.msg3372#msg3372 date=1333389521]
As to Katon`s comment, I in know why mean to disrespect your experience or background when I say that there is no reason why more resolution has to look harsher. The biggest problems going from film to HD digital production was the high contrast and harshness and overly sharp look of things, not the (alleged) increase in resolution (which was really much more a situation specific question as some film prints were clearly superior to others and they wore over time).
[/quote]

It's not about resolution, it's about the feel of the image. I find some high resolution cameras/images pleasing to my eye, others i don't. I'm sure overly sharpened film looks horrible.
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After seeing James Miller's really nice footage, I would have to say that the 5D3 probably does resolve higher than 700 lines. His 5D3 stuff looked really nice, but I would like to see a 5D3 un-altered shot next to the altered 5D3 to have final judgment.

I completely agree with what people are saying about feeling. Canon has always had the disadvantage of resolution when compared to the GH2, but table is flipped when it comes to aesthetics; that's where the GH2 falls short and probably why it hasn't been more widely adopted.

It would be nice to have a bit more res. on the 5D3 though.
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Katon - not sure who you're preaching to.  I have a GH2, 5d mkII and 5d mkIII and they all fit together.  Using the right lens you can get a more "filmic" look on the GH2 without having to sacrifice resolution.  You can get some old Leica glass that produces some gorgeous "filmic" video on the GH2 and I'd bet you wouldn't know the difference. Just look at Andrew's test for what it is - just a test.  And cameras are just tools for filmmakers.  I think Johnnymossville and Per Litchman are both right.  Quote whoever you want, but you can get good results with any camera.
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[quote author=christianhubbard link=topic=515.msg3379#msg3379 date=1333398539]
Andrew, can you do a rundown of contax zeiss glass that is available for DSLR work? there isnt a detailed list to refer to and much of the information out there about converting these lenses are strewn about several different sites.

Thanks
[/quote]

Dude! This is 1st result in Google. Great list, bit wordy but does the job [url=http://photo.net/equipment/contax/shea-lenses]http://photo.net/equipment/contax/shea-lenses[/url]
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[quote author=Per Lichtman link=topic=515.msg3372#msg3372 date=1333389521]Since I already have 70-200mm f/2.8 and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L series zooms from Canon, and especially since I spent a couple weeks using their 600mm F4 L series in December on both the GH2 and Canon crop bodies, it is hard for me to get excited about another 300mm telephoto, even if it is light. With a 600mm in EX mode on the GH2, the moon`s largest crater dominated the screen.

As to Katon`s comment, I in know why mean to disrespect your experience or background when I say that there is no reason why more resolution has to look harsher. The biggest problems going from film to HD digital production was the high contrast and harshness and overly sharp look of things, not the (alleged) increase in resolution (which was really much more a situation specific question as some film prints were clearly superior to others and they wore over time).[/quote]

Ah but I bet the 600mm F4L from Canon is not £350!  ;D

You are right about HD digital production re: contrast and harshness. Harsh highlights, sudden roll off, crushed blacks, over sharpened footage, it all conspires for a less cinematic look.

There's no single benefit to the 5D Mark III which solves all of this compared to the GH2. Neither are an Alexa.

The trick is to expose well, choose the right image profile on location, avoid heavy grading and most importantly use a cinematic looking piece of glass. Using a good ND also helps, by keeping shutter speed optimal in bright light. I didn't use one with this test because it is purely a resolution test not a test of shutter speeds and 24p.

Beyond that basic technique, the main difference between non-cinematic footage and cinematic footage is the way it has been shot by the idiot behind the camera!
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[quote author=nahua link=topic=515.msg3381#msg3381 date=1333400864]
Katon - not sure who you're preaching to.  I have a GH2, 5d mkII and 5d mkIII and they all fit together.  Using the right lens you can get a more "filmic" look on the GH2 without having to sacrifice resolution.  You can get some old Leica glass that produces some gorgeous "filmic" video on the GH2 and I'd bet you wouldn't know the difference. Just look at Andrew's test for what it is - just a test.  And cameras are just tools for filmmakers.  I think Johnnymossville and Per Litchman are both right.  Quote whoever you want, but you can get good results with any camera.
[/quote]

No need to be defensive, i'm not 'preaching' anything. Just tired of the constant 'but look at the gh2, look how much [i]sharper[/i] it is' I mean how many times does Andrew need to post the same message?
Anyway, i do appreciate the blog, there's just too much hysteria sometimes and i find things taken out of perspective. You find the GH2 filmic, great. I don't compared to the 5D. I would use it but it wouldn't be my choice if i had the 5d3 due to my personal aesthetics and what i find to be cinematic. Sure, Leica could be described as more filmic (i own a full set), but it doesn't change the GH2 enough in my own experience, certainly not to the point where i'd choose it over the MK3.
Btw for those interested the 5D is shown to resolve 890 lines.
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Andrew - Any further details or thoughts regarding NEX-7 Night profile, or Creative profiles in general? Was it used as is or did you dial down sharpness, contrast and saturation? I've been using this profile lately and find it among the most usable for video work with this camera.
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I think this video perfectly illustrates what Katon is talking about.

[url=http://vimeo.com/39147880]PLAN B - Lily Juniper[/url]

This was shot by James Miller on his new 5D3. Conceptually, it's nothing special. However, the look it gets from the 5D3 is absolutely amazing. For the 5D3 (and even the old 5D2) this is a fairly easy look to achieve. On the GH2, it would be very difficult. You might get within the ballpark, but I am willing to go the distance and say you simply cannot achieve this very organic look on the GH2 without seriously pulling teeth.

The 5D3 (and the Canons in generally) just have a different look than the GH2 in that they film people very well and make things just look more sexy. With the GH2, you get a much more realistic look.

Of course I wish the 5D3 resolved a bit better, but for my personal choice since I tend to do lots of close ups and people, I would take the Canons over the GH2 in most instances.

But once again, that's personal choice. You just have to decide which look suites you and get that camera.
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@gene_can_sing,

The guy is light whacking his lens and it's a full frame sensor; of course it's a different look. Light whacking is a unique look and I've never done it so not sure how easy that is to achieve.

It's not jaw dropping good though is it? In fact if I watched an entire film shot like that I'd soon tire of the mushiness.

GH2 footage has a baked in look (even with the hacks), but I'm finding that I can take the edge off it playing with colour finesse in after effects. Somebody with some real talent in the grading room could easily give GH2 footage a more 'filmic', 'sexy' etc look. Of course it would be nice not to have to do this extra work, but with a 5d III people are voiding their warranties, removing internal filters/adding sharpening in post.

It does all boil down to personal taste, and both are good cameras if you ask me. Only the 5D III costs a lot more and let's be honest and say canon held back with this new offering.

All the best
Sam
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The light wacking does look cool, but even on the shots that don't have lens wacking, it still has a very different look than the GH2 (obviously due to the DOF and colors).

I think my point is, resolution is not everything as many GH2 users seem to think. Color rendition and DOF control have a lot to do with an image if not more, and the Canons and the GH2 treat that very differently.

They're just very different beasts and I guess for myself, I just prefer a bit less work in post trying to make it look more filmic.

I do wish the 5D3 image was sharper, but at the same time, I wish on the GH2 you could achieve a shallower DOF and had a different color rendition.

What more important? I guess it's up to the user.
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[quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=515.msg3383#msg3383 date=1333401691]
[quote author=christianhubbard link=topic=515.msg3379#msg3379 date=1333398539]
Andrew, can you do a rundown of contax zeiss glass that is available for DSLR work? there isnt a detailed list to refer to and much of the information out there about converting these lenses are strewn about several different sites.

Thanks
[/quote]

Dude! This is 1st result in Google. Great list, bit wordy but does the job [url=http://photo.net/equipment/contax/shea-lenses]http://photo.net/equipment/contax/shea-lenses[/url]
[/quote]

I appreciate you responding me, Ive checked that list a few times and done some investigating on my own. But I mean like for a complete novice. Zeiss is particularly confusing for novices because of the different names of the lenses (planar, distagon, etc) and only certain types of contax lenses adapt to DSLRS, (MM, from what I understand). Also, I'm having a hard time finding information about adapting them. Is all I need is a single fotodiox adapter?

Like I said, I have found most of the information on my own, and I could do without, but i think it would very useful information to other shooters out there who dont have has much time to scour google as I do. :]
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Tomorrow, I'm doing a write-up about why I use my GH-2s for weddings, and I'm going to use this clip to get at two of my main points: flexibility and value. Using only native M4/3s glass, you can cover from 7 to 300mm at F5.6 or more open, and hit 12, 17, 20, 25 and 45mm with primes for a total of less than $6000 (including body). Open the door to adapted glass and you can get F2.8 at just about any focal length you could ever want for less than $250 a lens. Bam.
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[quote author=JesseB link=topic=515.msg3396#msg3396 date=1333425973]
Tomorrow, I'm doing a write-up about why I use my GH-2s for weddings, and I'm going to use this clip to get at two of my main points: flexibility and value. Using only native M4/3s glass, you can cover from 7 to 300mm at F5.6 or more open, and hit 12, 17, 20, 25 and 45mm with primes for a total of less than $6000 (including body). Open the door to adapted glass and you can get F2.8 at just about any focal length you could ever want for less than $250 a lens. Bam.
[/quote]

I would very much like to see that.
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