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Andrew Reid

5D Mark III raw versus Panasonic GH4

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Wow, this thread is fired up.  I really think the GH4 looks good, maybe surprisingly so, but then so does the GH3. Both cameras can hang with the 5D3R raw if you put them in the right setting and use them in the right way.  I see the GH4 as a nice improvement over the last generation, but it's lack of raw support means it's not for me. 

 

Resolve 10 actually now does a better job than Adobe at debayering DNG. Resolve 9 was ugly and had no noise reduction capability at all. You need at least a very light colour noise reduction going on, which ACR applies by default. When you convert the 14bit raw files to 10bit ProRes, you will not notice a drop in image quality (as long as you grade in 14bit before the conversion). 10bit is enough. Most of our screens are 8bit. 8bit as an acquisition format, now that's different... it isn't enough for everyone, which is why the GH4 has the 10bit 4K output over HDMI for the Atomos Shogun. Problem solved. Granted not yet... but by the time the A7S is out the GH4 will be shooting 10bit 4K compared to 8bit 4K from the Sony. A considerable advantage but not as noticeable to the viewer as the effect a well handled full frame sensor has.

 

I'm planning a more in-depth test between full frame 5D3 raw and 4K GH4. First the 2.2x crop needs to be tested more, without Speed Booster. Secondly more variety of subject matter needs to be shot including people, but with a variety of camera positions and focal lengths. It will be interesting to see if full frame loses it's edge when we go to a longer focal length and tighter framing, because here the smaller sensor is actually an advantage.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

GH4 will be shooting 10bit 4K compared to 8bit 4K from the Sony. 

 

 

I have asked this before...

 

Which is better 10 bit low sensitivity versus 8 bit high sensitivity?

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I have asked this before...

 

Which is better 10 bit low sensitivity versus 8 bit high sensitivity?

 

Depends how much light you've got!

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Wind forward 4 years...

 

You see a 5D3 and a GH4 on ebay --- which would you buy?

The 5D. High capacity SSD's and CF cards will be much cheaper by then.

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Depends how much light you've got!

With audio the answer is simple 16bit is better than 12 bit because the signal is always 1volt peak to peak

 

The situation with video is not that straight forward especially when slog2 is factored in.

 

I still dont know the answer though

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Wind forward 4 years...

 

You see a 5D3 and a GH4 on ebay --- which would you buy?

 

 

I think even in 4 years the 5D still shines as an amazing stills camera, build quality and full frame retains more value - even though in 4 years it might be a bit outdated in the video realm. On the other hand, GH4 would probably be much cheaper in 4 years.

 

 

I think anyone who feels so strongly that either camera smashes the other is blinded by being too emotionally involved. My eyes don't see such a dramatic difference, I think it boils down to being a matter of preference . I'd prefer go full frame - but if I had a collection of m43 lenses I'd be delighted with the GH4. 

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We should not lose sight of the fact that its the person behind the camera (and the lighting ) - its been said many times of course, but is an inalienable truth.

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At the end of the day both the 5D3 and the GH4 represent the best of what is an incredibly privileged time for tiny budget filmmakers. For money that almost any working person could save within a year or so, you can buy a camera that offers a genuinely superb cinematic image. It's insane. 

 

5D RAW is a pain in the neck to shoot with and the GH4 has some image limitations compared to larger sensor cameras - but which one is "best' is a completely moot point. It just comes down to your specific needs and tastes. Employed correctly, each will deliver images that 10 years ago you would have to have been either stupendously rich or a successful filmmaker to even get close to. Now almost anyone can create genuinely stunning cinematic images.

 

It seems almost ungracious to argue over the two cameras - like spoiled children wanting each others toys. We're all brothers here - "soldiers of cinema" as Werner Herzog puts it. It makes sense to take some time to decide which camera one likes best, but no one is going to be right or wrong. No need to argue. 

 

But the 5D is better in low light.  ;)

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We're all brothers here - "soldiers of cinema" as Werner Herzog puts it. 

 

And sisters! Sorry Chris  ;)

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I would extend this viewpoint to all cameras.

 

Like lenses, some cameras have a look which is unique to that camera. So if you want that look -use that camera.

 

Today we have choice, rejoice!

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I would extend this viewpoint to all cameras.

 

Like lenses, some cameras have a look which is unique to that camera. So if you want that look -use that camera.

 

Today we have choice, rejoice!

 

This guy shoots everything he does with a Rebel T2i and Sigma 30mm, all handheld:

 

 

I need to go make a film ...

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Moral of the story: if you want a filmic image, learn how to grade. Of course, some cameras will give you a better starting point than others. But if you know your gear, the limitations, and how to get the best out of it, combined with good grading skills, you can make filmic stuff with whatever camera from €300 to €30.000.

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Moral of the story: if you want a filmic image, learn how to grade. Of course, some cameras will give you a better starting point than others. But if you know your gear, the limitations, and how to get the best out of it, combined with good grading skills, you can make filmic stuff with whatever camera from €300 to €30.000.

 

These days there are so many drag and drop plugins and presets to do grading for you, I wouldn't attribute grading as being the moral of the story regarding the "film look". Obviously understanding grading and color helps, but I would insist that mastering the principles of photography dictate the real moral of the story. That, coupled with even an entry level camera is the perfect start.

 

The "Filmic" term is ridiculous really... but ultimately what people mostly mean is:

 

Watch a high budget movie and lets forget about narrative, score, acting and directing for the time being. Your average movie has great photography. The slick visual image is always attributed to a great DOP, using "a great camera" with appropriate lenses, access to powerful locations and a careful selection of lighting. Click record. There you have the "filmic" look. Grade it, and it looks even better.

 

The "great camera" becomes the point of contention, but the truth is that even an old GH1 or nex 3 can still achieve that filmic look. If you think 10 years ago, a $3000 Sony PD170 could in no way achieve this look - no matter the DOP. Its ironic for beginners to spend $3000 on the best current camera, while assuming that the better sensor will make up for a lack of basic photography skill. They say it takes ten thousand hours of practice to be an expert. Thats a lot of shooting time. The truth is that even a used GH1 or GH2 for a few hundred bucks can achieve more than what most of us are capable of.  

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