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Panasonic GH4 vs Sony A7S compared - who wins the 4K battle on paper?


Andrew Reid
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Amazing - like turning night into day - unfortunately the day part just looks like a normal cloudy day with bad light :)

 

Anyone else think this is an absurd way of presenting a test anyway?

 

It's so compressed that ISO 1600 looks noisier and blockier than ISO 25600.

 

Cannot get a proper impression of anything from YouTube.

 

This is why I put my camera tests on Vimeo instead.

 

Get the original file up somewhere!

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Anyone else think this is an absurd way of presenting a test anyway?

 

Nah, it totally shows the point of the test: you can turn darkness into daylight.

ISO 102.400 looks workable even on YouTube, imagine with proper processing.

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Amazing - like turning night into day - unfortunately the day part just looks like a normal cloudy day with bad light :)

 

Anyone else think this is an absurd way of presenting a test anyway?

 

It's so compressed that ISO 1600 looks noisier and blockier than ISO 25600.

 

Cannot get a proper impression of anything from YouTube.

 

This is why I put my camera tests on Vimeo instead.

 

Get the original file up somewhere!

 

 

Well I think if I was in charge of marketing the most light sensitive prosumer camera ever designed - effortlessly turning dark into light and effectively "seeing in the dark" - I'd definitely do some more polished promotional work. Design an award winning site devoted to the A7s with downloadable full res files, hire the best videographers and do various studio tests to show exactly how this camera is so vastly superior. 

 

Marketing creativity is everything and selling a product that is a creative marketing tool in its own right, you'd expect a bit more. Well, at least I do. Its a bit bizarre that they leave it up to bloggers to do all the tests but I suppose they know what they're doing. When I create a multi billion dollar company I'll be in a position to tell them how to do things... maybe the public suspense and indepnendant parties blogging is far better PR. But then again Canon had no interest in Magic Lantern and neither did Panasonic care much about Vitaly's hack... I wonder what the guys up there in the labs and boardrooms really are thinking.

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Version 1.0? Very nice.

 

Yep. Preproduction body with firmware-update! I shot with firmware 0.5 a few weeks ago, not sure if anything changed though.

 

Did you figure out the 'best' settings yet? Should I leave sharpness/contrast to 0 or dial it down in the Cine-modes?

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CineLikeD does grade nicely. I think sharpness at -5 would help the codec and allow you to choose sharpness in post - add it from a lower baseline setting if needed.

 

I keep contrast at 0, haven't really experimented much with the flatter -5 contrast image and CineLikeD yet.

 

The standard profile gives good results too and the CineLikeV is very contrasty with blacks crushed if you don't plan to grade it.

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In regards to price, this might shed some light on a possible price (although they state in the article that it might change before the actual release)

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-a7-gets-a-provisory-price-in-uk-2500-pounds/

 

And a fun little ISO comparison:
http://petapixel.com/2014/04/11/sony-releases-another-insane-a7s-low-light-demo-much-will-night-vision-cost/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PetaPixel+%28PetaPixel%29

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After having seen the ISO comparison I've been wondering is it's fair to compare these to cameras? 
To me they are to very different cameras with very different specs aimed at different people. 

I would pick the A7s over the GH4 any time, but that's only because I value dynamic range, full frame sensor, ISO performance and quality photos higher than internal 4K, high bit rates, small sensor, M43 mount and small form factor.

Other persons have their own features that makes either camera suited for them.  

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I'm not sure how else to embed frame .tiff grabs from my computer to the post but i too two a7s and two gh4 clips and a7s feels cinematic while gh4 looks like a camcorder with super high resolution.

 

Am I really the only person who agrees with this sentiment because layman friends I ask agree and I am looking to shoot to appeal to the masses not spec battles...maybe I am missing something?

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a7s 1.tiff


For whatever reason this A7S frame is more visually appealing than GH4 ... I don't think I am alone on this... forget specs for a moment.

I think 14 vs 12 stops says it all. But again, people have different opinion as to what makes an image cinematic.

And no Jason, I don't think you're missing anything. Although (how stupid it might be) this is a post with "who wins the 4K battle on paper" in the titel (and we are still commenting on it)
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Thanks for the feedback.  I've found a few clips that show the GH4 in a better light:  

>

 

Still can't tell which one I'd like better...I guess i'll have to wait until around May/June when people have had a real go at filming and editing, as well as comparing.

 

I am an amateur.  I am a public school teacher looking to make narratives as well as interview documentaries that are both visually stimulating and with a meaty storyline.  I don't have a huge budget and love the look of 5d3 Raw, yet do not possess the equipment or knowledge on how to maximize my usage of raw filming and footage.  I could go out and buy the extra storage etc. but at the end of the day with the a7s and gh4 on the horizon why hamstring myself?

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Interesting.  Thanks for the feedback.  Maybe anamorphic would be the way to go but are there inexpensive (relatively) ones to be had?  There is a reason well-made documentaries and movies tend to use some of the same/similar camera bodies.  I personally am liking the a7s so far, but some gh4 footage does look pretty incredible.  

 

Not sure if either trump 5d3 ML raw

 

on paper: gh4

gut: a7s

overall: ML raw?

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Interesting.  Thanks for the feedback.  Maybe anamorphic would be the way to go but are there inexpensive (relatively) ones to be had?  There is a reason well-made documentaries and movies tend to use some of the same/similar camera bodies.  I personally am liking the a7s so far, but some gh4 footage does look pretty incredible.  

 

Not sure if either trump 5d3 ML raw

 

on paper: gh4

gut: a7s

overall: ML raw?

 

Why do people keep comparing ML raw when it's not stable in any way. 

 

Gh4 is out the box stable. I would never do a paid gig banking on ML raw. 

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"people" is such an expansive term...I am a "people" who is a full-time public school teacher and looking to get into the creative side of arts and photography/video for passion not pay so I care about some of the same issues as paid "people" such as DR, latitude, detail, ease of use...

 

I have not tested ML on my 5d3 but from the thousands of raw video being used and posted, even in paid gigs, it is definitely worth comparing...in fact it should be the litmus test....if the new 4k downed to 2k video can't compete with ML Raw (especially for those who have more freedom/time) then why on earth would myself and those like me purchase codecs that don't compete with ML raw}?

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If you're new to filming, you have more than enough firepower in the 5d Mark III. I would try learn more about principles of photography and film - and do some tests of your own before even dreaming of selling your 5D in order to upgrade. If you can't pull off the look you're wanting to get on a 5D - you won't get that look on any camera. Have you any video samples that you've done, where you see the results are not satisfactory - prompting you to upgrade?

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