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Andrew Reid

5D Mark III raw versus Panasonic GH4

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Pardon my ignorance. But what is the S-curve?

It just means it's been graded to crush the ugliest noise/macroblocking. As far as I can tell the GH4 isn't much fun in low light. Other than that it's looking amazing in every way. As an all-rounder it's surely going to give the C100 a run for its (very large amount of) money. 

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Pardon my ignorance. But what is the S-curve?

 

A S-curve is simply an adjustment curve that is shaped as an S. 

Such as this:

 

2.jpg

 

As you can see in the above pic an S curves increases contrasts.

As shadows are darkened and highlights brightened, resulting in increased contrast in the image.

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Pardon my ignorance. But what is the S-curve?

 

contrast.

 

But real professional doesn't say I raised the contrast. No, never! He says: I applied S-Curve. :lol:

 

 

BTW, If he is smart, he is actually just moving contrast slider most of the time and not spending hours by these graphs...

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Where I feel compelled to get a GH4 is the size. With gimbals, coptors, and rigging cameras into tight spots, in demand, I can see myself bringing one to every shoot, even if it isn't listed as our "A" cam. And the smaller chip could be an advantage as with floating shots focus becomes a dicier operation. Considering the money I'll be shelling out on a gimbal soon with FI control, wireless FF, and wireless feed, 1700.00 is looking like the cheapest component.

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Good low light test:

 

https://vimeo.com/94391188

Suggestion for doing an ISO test. Change only the ISO but keep exposure and all other variables the same. As you raise the ISO add different strengths of ND filters (or scrims when using lights) to keep the exposure consistent. It's truly one of the most un fun boring things to do, but you'll isolate what you're testing and be able to know with certainty what its thresholds are.

 

Unfortunately with this test, because the exposure goes up with the ISO to the point of being badly overexposed, it's difficult to judge noise thresholds when different ISO's are properly exposed.

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For my uses, if I had to choose one, I'd take the 5d3 as it offers full frame. Someone dismissed it as "Just a look". That's the point. It is a look that carried the golden age of photography for almost a century. I can't get this with an Epic, F55 or an Alexa.

 

It's worth pointing out that the sensor in an Alexa, Epic, F55, APS-C DSLR or a GH4 with a focal reducer is closer to the size of 35mm movie film that carried the golden age of cinema for almost a century than a 5d3.

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Also interesting to think that, moving forward, what audiences consider "cinematic" is likely to be defined to a considerable extent by the Alexa and Red (and their offspring), simply because that is what people will be seeing (and coming to expect) when they go to the cinema. But that is getting off topic I think.

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It's worth pointing out that the sensor in an Alexa, Epic, F55, APS-C DSLR or a GH4 with a focal reducer is closer to the size of 35mm movie film that carried the golden age of cinema for almost a century than a 5d3.

 

Good point. Can we drop the 'small sensor' accusations at the GH4 yet?
 

However I still love full frame for certain things. I am trying to match it with the GH4 in 4K and 1.4x crop with BMCC variant Speed Booster. I can get close to a 50mm F1.2L on full frame but still not there. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 is closest at the 35mm end wide open! Nikon 55mm F1.2 has the most similar look to bokeh and shallow DOF but the framing is tighter, FOV not the same as a 50mm on full frame.

 

I am still torn on what to use for an upcoming music video shoot. This has a set built in a basement of a tattoo studio and very little room to position the camera and we have a lot we want to obscure with focus tricks. The 5D Mark III in this situation would probably be the better bet.

When I go to Taiwan and do more documentary style shooting punched in on people and subjects from a distance, then that is where the GH4 is going to shine over full frame.

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However I still love full frame for certain things. I am trying to match it with the GH4 in 4K and 1.4x crop with BMCC variant Speed Booster. I can get close to a 50mm F1.2L on full frame but still not there. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 is closest at the 35mm end wide open! Nikon 55mm F1.2 has the most similar look to bokeh and shallow DOF but the framing is tighter, FOV not the same as a 50mm on full frame.

 

 

Wouldn't a 35mm f1.4 be your best match? (e.g. Samyang, Sigma) Personally I'd go for the Nikkor 35mm f1.4 AI-s. You can still buy them new I think.

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.
 
I am still torn on what to use for an upcoming music video shoot. This has a set built in a basement of a tattoo studio and very little room to position the camera and we have a lot we want to obscure with focus tricks. The 5D Mark III in this situation would probably be the better bet.
.

Wonder what you will end up using?
FF with an 85mm 1.2 or 1.4 for stills ...would that work for video?

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It's worth pointing out that the sensor in an Alexa, Epic, F55, APS-C DSLR or a GH4 with a focal reducer is closer to the size of 35mm movie film that carried the golden age of cinema for almost a century than a 5d3.

Good point. I totally get that. What I'm trying to say, is Full Frame is its own distinct aesthetic that none of the digital pro cameras cater to (for now). I started ages ago with 35mm film before touching anything digital. The reason few would shoot Vista Vision or 65mm was because it was almost three times the cost in stock and processing as well as the gear being cumbersome as hell. With full frame digital cameras you can achieve a similar optical aesthetic at pennies to the dollar of yesteryear. In the Golden years of film, if it were economically viable to shoot on a bigger chip many more would have. Instead it was saved mostly for Epics, Sword and Sandals, Seven Bride/Seven Brothers, etc.

 

I guarantee in the next few years, the big boys will roll out Full Frame or 65mm, Alexas, Reds, Panavision, etc. 

 

At the end of the day chip sizes are like different brushes so to speak. Which is why I'm somewhat loathe to compare a 5D vs a GH4 as opposed a 5D to vs A7s. I'd choose the right tool for the right gig.

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I am still torn on what to use for an upcoming music video shoot. This has a set built in a basement of a tattoo studio and very little room to position the camera and we have a lot we want to obscure with focus tricks. The 5D Mark III in this situation would probably be the better bet.

When I go to Taiwan and do more documentary style shooting punched in on people and subjects from a distance, then that is where the GH4 is going to shine over full frame.

 

Tilt/Shift lenses?

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It's worth pointing out that the sensor in an Alexa, Epic, F55, APS-C DSLR or a GH4 with a focal reducer is closer to the size of 35mm movie film that carried the golden age of cinema for almost a century than a 5d3.

 

It's also worth pointing out that "Golden Age" is full of anamorphically shot films which give a way different dof than spherically shot 35mm.

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"This is something I’ve been really trying to draw a conclusion on in recent weeks for my own sanity!"

 

Simply keep and use both cameras and keep your sanity. If it's not necessary, trying to decide between two totally different cameras is as silly as trying to choose between two totally different lenses. Why would you, if you didn't have to?

If it's so essential to choose, then simply choose the camera that suits your visual style.

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However I still love full frame for certain things. I am trying to match it with the GH4 in 4K and 1.4x crop with BMCC variant Speed Booster. I can get close to a 50mm F1.2L on full frame but still not there. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 is closest at the 35mm end wide open! Nikon 55mm F1.2 has the most similar look to bokeh and shallow DOF but the framing is tighter, FOV not the same as a 50mm on full frame.

Andrew, there is a nikkor 50 1.2. It goes for around 300-400€ on ebay zermany. I guess you know but just in case (maybe the speed booster is not compatible...).

 

For very tight spaces the samyang 24 1.4 might work ( I have the nikkor 28 1.4 so I never really thought of it)

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It's also worth pointing out that "Golden Age" is full of anamorphically shot films which give a way different dof than spherically shot 35mm.

Not nearly as much as many people think. The aspect during Hollywood's actual "Golden Age" was 1.37 -- the Academy ratio, in use into the 1960s. That's why TV's are 4:3. Anamorphic didn't debut as a mainstream format until the early 1950s. Even then it was mainly reserved for epics and roadshows. The vast majority of "widescreen" films are flat -- simply cropped 1.37 (until the invention of super35mm which is also flat).

 

My point is that much of what some people consider to be "the cinematic look" is simply one kind of look used in cinema -- and a rather uncommon one at that. Most dramatic narrative film sets are still lit to a minimum of f5.6 and narrow DOF shows of actors are achieved by using longer lenses, not wide open apertures. There's a simple reason for this: actors are moving around on the wide shot and the focus puller needs to be able to keep everybody who's name appears in the opening credits in focus at the same time or he gets fired. You always keep the money in focus. Unless your name is Terrence Malick and you are willing to burn bridges with practically every Hollywood star you have worked with. (and don't get me wrong: I love some of Malick's movies).

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