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


Andrew Reid
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  • 2 weeks later...

From the few sony videos I've seen, I am under the impression that the A7s  IQ is better than GH4. Not to speak of the DR.

 

If one cares about 4k, it seems obvious to go with the pana. But for someone like me who simply wants a great full HD 1080p quality, the dilemma is not so easy to overcome.

 

I am hoping that we'll see some decent and unbiased reviews / comparisons regarding the IQ of both cameras NOT ONLY at 4k, which has suddenly become the holy grail for everyone, but also at 1080p.

 

It is evident that gh4 has more features but what i'd like to see is a comparison focused strictly on the image quality at 1080p. Hopefully around mid May someone will be kind enough to make one.  :)

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As I mentioned, I am interested in learning more about the IQ difference. I too get many times into the consumeristic syndrome and want everything now, but I can do my work as I did earlier, with the equipment I have been using so long. Two months is not the end of the world. It could be really bad though, to get now the GH4 and in May /June see reviews raving about the IQ difference of A7s.

 

Saying that I do believe everyone on the marketing division of Sony A7s should be fired. They could at least post more videos and try to convince the consumers that this horrible rolling shutter is a firmware problem that will be eliminated.

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Coming bak to the "on paper battle" though, I've been reading that the 4k on GH4 is 100Mbps (Long Gop) while the 4k quality on the A7s XAVC-S according to sony: "decoding performance is quite equivalent between Long GOP 50Mbps and Intra 100Mbps".

 

In few words GH4 sends HALF the data out 50Mbps vs 100Mbps of the A7s.

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Speedbooster on A7S is a kind of medium format. Most FF lenses will vignette in this case; might be a useful effect. MF lenses should work ok.

From Sony rep in video sounds like ISO6400 is the top practical level, so extra light is still helpful.

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Speedbooster on A7S is a kind of medium format. Most FF lenses will vignette in this case; might be a useful effect. MF lenses should work ok.

From Sony rep in video sounds like ISO6400 is the top practical level, so extra light is still helpful.

Speedbooster doesn't work, with the nex speedbooster you still only get a aps-c sized circle (I asked someone to test this)

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A lot of gh4 test videos here

Thanks for the link. Very illuminating. Looks like somewhere between 800-1600 ISO is the noise threshold. I found the test with the bridge especially useful. The high speed driving tests showed few CMOS artifacts. 

 

Does anyone know of an objective DR test out there? You know, boring grey card/macbeth chart, subject and frame with dark and bright areas measured with a spot meter so we can interpolate the relative limitations as we over and underexpose the frame (with filters not with aperture to keep contrast the same). I know some here don't find these tests useful. But as someone who sees potential in this camera as a pro tool, it's great to know exactly what its thresholds are especially for narrative content. Informs me on what window control, practical bulbs, what colors break down, fill needs, etc. 

 

If anyone's interested in doing such a test in NYC area, PM me.

 

Overall, I'm not blown away by the image yet. I've seen some good daylight footage (one in Nevada and Panny's original promo) but most the night, high ISO imagery is somewhat disappointing for me. 

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From the few sony videos I've seen, I am under the impression that the A7s  IQ is better than GH4. Not to speak of the DR.

 

If one cares about 4k, it seems obvious to go with the pana. But for someone like me who simply wants a great full HD 1080p quality, the dilemma is not so easy to overcome.

 

I am hoping that we'll see some decent and unbiased reviews / comparisons regarding the IQ of both cameras NOT ONLY at 4k, which has suddenly become the holy grail for everyone, but also at 1080p.

 

It is evident that gh4 has more features but what i'd like to see is a comparison focused strictly on the image quality at 1080p. Hopefully around mid May someone will be kind enough to make one.  :)

 Agreed. From what I've seen, I like the overall image of the A7s considerably more. I'm also most interested in 1080p delivery. Though I haven't heard anything definitive on Gh4's DR, from what I've seen this seems to be its biggest limitation. The DR on the A7s looks quite amazing, giving IMO just better more natural IQ. What's the word on rolling shutter? 

 

Just found this: 

 

Interesting how it grades.

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In a couple of days we'll know for sure, but for now rumors point to a competitive price:

 

http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/sony-a7s-priced-at-1800

 

If it's in the ballpark of that amount, or simply under 2000$, the GH4 is going to have some nice competition... and it would seem logical.

 

Thanks Pablo... If this is true, great news indeed.

 

Obviously more tests and comparisons need to be done before getting too excited, but this definitely is a reasonable price. I'm eagerly waiting for the announcement and sample videos like a child before christmas.  :ph34r:

 

As much as I think the GH4 looks amazing, I want a small camera for video and great stills as well. Having GH and NEX bodies - I think I've decided that my next upgrade simply must be full frame (and I'd rather not lug around a MK3). I'd rather keep investing in old primes and legacy lenses at the focal view they were intended for.

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As much as I think the GH4 looks amazing, I want a small camera for video and great stills as well. Having GH and NEX bodies - I think I've decided that my next upgrade simply must be full frame (and I'd rather not lug around a MK3). I'd rather keep investing in old primes and legacy lenses at the focal view they were intended for.

 

I am like you - 4K video isn't where its at for me. I also have micro four thirds gear (Olympus). But I will not be able to do decent amateur video hand held with my Olympus lenses on a GH-4 IMO, due to lack of internal stabilisation.

 

I will very much miss the touch screen and focus interface on the Olympus LCD, but I think the low light ability of the Sony especially the video will allow me to achieve lots that I can't easily do with Olympus or a GH-4.

 

As far as stills resolution goes, the Sony zooms actually out resolve Olympus's best lenses from the tests I have seen. The slower Sony zoom lenses aren't an issue for me because they have less depth of field than similar priced Panasonic or Olympus zoom lenses. With the broader shadow tone range, and greater ISO settings, the camera will be better in low light, which is something valuable to me. But I expect focus will be poor in such low light, but perhaps the A7S focus's a bit better due to its good light capability should enhance the contrast focusing.

 

If Sony's price is right, I'll likely jump and use both platforms.

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Speedbooster on A7S is a kind of medium format. Most FF lenses will vignette in this case; might be a useful effect. MF lenses should work ok.

 

Even if the Speed Booster had  big enough an image circle to cover a full frame sensor, what would be the point of having one? Using Mamiya or Pentax 67/645 lenses with a GH4 or A7s wouldn't serve any practical purpose, IMO. Using a focal reducer made for crop sensors sounds like an awkward way of getting a vignette, too.

 

One of the main benefits of getting a camera like the A7s instead of a one like the GH4 or the BMPCC is the fact that you won't need a focal reducer between the body and the lenses made for full frame. If the S35 cine lenses work in APS-C mode, that'll be an added bonus.

I wish someone came up wit a high quality anamorphic focal squeezer of some sort. That would be cool, especially with the mFT bodies, wouldn't it.

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I wish someone came up wit a high quality anamorphic focal squeezer of some sort. That would be cool, especially with the mFT bodies, wouldn't it.

 

Count me in for a Focal Reducer Squeezer. Now that'd be awesome :)

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I'm pretty sure (based on the diameter and mount style) the SLR shaped camera shown at NAB was actually FZ mount and NOT A-mount. The A-mount rumors came later—and I think there's a good chance we'll see a A99 lineup that mirrors the A7 lineup but with much faster AF and FPS. So an A99S with 12MP that shoots 4K internally.

 

Regardless, the FZ mount is a bit of hybrid between PL & E-mount. Similar registration distance but with a positive lock. It is designed for adapters as there are very, very few native FZ lenses.

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