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5D mark III ML - is there any camera that matches the colors?


Jonas D'Hollander
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Hello guys,

 

I have saved some money for a new camera for documentary and commercials.

I am in love with the results the 5D mark III with ML gives, especially the colours. Somehow i feel there is no other camera that gives you these - real life, vivid colours.

but i am also hesitant to buy a camera that is almost two years old.

 

I like the possibilities of the GH4, especially the quality audio breakoutbox and no need for expensive flashcards. I almost allways shoot run&gun shooting so maybe the GH4 has other advantages i am forgetting?

 

But will i ever have the possibility to get the same colour results, the deth of field?

I am not a specialist and this is just a feeling i get by watching hours of vimeo and youtube.

 

GH4 colours just seem grey, lifeless... Whereass 5D mark III makes everything beautifull.
The 4K is a plus, but hounestly you will only use that to reframe shots that are to wide, no?

I know that by colour grading you can do a lot, probaby also with other cameras. But is there any other camera that with some exercise you could get the same results as the 5D mark III?

Thank you guys for any advise.
Also i am new to this forum so forgive me if i made any mistakes...


 

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The 14 bit 5D raw files contain an enormous amount of color information that almost no other company gives you access to the same amount of information, and that's for good reason, file sizes and manageable media.

Other cameras cut your color gradients to 8 bit, other ones simply remove half or more the color information to 4:2:2/4:2:0, and then apply consumer H.264 compression on top.

This amount of information, coupled with Canon's pleasing colour science makes the 5D raw images way more gradable in the color suite than almost any other camera, and the colors just feel real.

The GH4, the A7s, Fs100, C100/300, all don't match the 5D raw files in terms of color and gradability. They do have their pros though.

Only the the Blackmagic cameras give you the access to similar amount of color information in 12 bit raw, but then the colour science is different and they do have their quirks.

If you need color, nothing matches the 5D raw, and nothing will for quite some time.

For example I personally find the GH4/A7/h.264 colours good enough for me, so I use these as they outperform the 5D in nearly everything apart from colour. I don't like relying on hacked camera too, but that's just me.

The 5D is still a valid purchase for the 14 bit raw feature.

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Judging by your post I am guessing that you have never shot with either of these cameras. I own both a gh4 and cannon 5dii. Every time I would prefer to pick up the gh4 if I have the choice. For what you listed as uses 100% get the gh4.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Interesting post from Squigs over at DVXUSER.  He has a great reputation and I have read a lot of his posts and seen his videos from both raw and a7s.

 

After 3 weeks of testing I think the A7s is best suited as a b-cam for the 5D MK3 raw. The biggest issue is the 8bit S-log files (including prores), there's not much info there and it's a lot harder to get a solid image in post (this may change when new LUTs come out). The A7s is very good in high contrast scenes (as long as you can avoid the highlight aliasing) and it does have a bit more dynamic range than the MK3. Beyond 3200 ISO the A7s has the edge but for everything else I think the MK3 is a better camera. There's nothing about the A7s that makes it worth giving up the versatility and quality of a digital negative which you can manipulate as much as you want in post. There's just too many compromises with the A7s, it's just not good enough to give up raw and go backwards. I hope somebody does a raw hack on the A7s but until then I'll just use it for production stills and for low light scenes. Having said that I've been known to change my mind on occasion smiley.gif

 

Guess I am keeping my 5d3 and working on some new glass now :)

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Having shot with Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Red camera's, I have to agree.

Canon's colour science is unique, especially when it comes to people/skintones.
Unfortunately, for me being able to shoot slo-mo and getting more detailed pictures is more important than the colour science.
 

Shooting RAW is no option for me, considering the postproduction and the delivery schedule I have for my work.

 

So I'm shooting with a GH4, G6 and A6000.  Haven't managed to reproduce the Canon colours yet in grading, but getting there slowly.
And shooting in 4K is good because the GH4 can convert in camera to 2K in ProRes with an Atomos Ninja.  This gives you incredibly detailed footage, ready to edit.  With all the benefits of 4K without the hassle in post.

If you don't need slow motion and if you can live with the relatively soft image, or if you don't mind shooting RAW and dealing with the post processing, definitely get a 5D MK III.

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Interesting post from Squigs over at DVXUSER.  He has a great reputation and I have read a lot of his posts and seen his videos from both raw and a7s.

 

After 3 weeks of testing I think the A7s is best suited as a b-cam for the 5D MK3 raw. The biggest issue is the 8bit S-log files (including prores), there's not much info there and it's a lot harder to get a solid image in post (this may change when new LUTs come out). The A7s is very good in high contrast scenes (as long as you can avoid the highlight aliasing) and it does have a bit more dynamic range than the MK3. Beyond 3200 ISO the A7s has the edge but for everything else I think the MK3 is a better camera. There's nothing about the A7s that makes it worth giving up the versatility and quality of a digital negative which you can manipulate as much as you want in post. There's just too many compromises with the A7s, it's just not good enough to give up raw and go backwards. I hope somebody does a raw hack on the A7s but until then I'll just use it for production stills and for low light scenes. Having said that I've been known to change my mind on occasion smiley.gif

 

Guess I am keeping my 5d3 and working on some new glass now :)

 

 

I wouldn't base your purchases on one person's findings.  Reading that thread, actually I found Squig's findings to be questionable - he still never posted a single clip or still where he got acceptable colors, and yet many other people have; it may be that his aesthetic is peculiar.  Anyway, can't make decisions based on these forums.

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Judging by your post I am guessing that you have never shot with either of these cameras. I own both a gh4 and cannon 5dii. Every time I would prefer to pick up the gh4 if I have the choice. For what you listed as uses 100% get the gh4.

I guess I don't understand.  Are you saying you'd pick the GH4 because it looks better?

 

Because 5d mark iii raw is 14bit.  You are losing color information with the GH4's 8bit.  

 

I have both the 5d mark iii ML RAW, and GH4 also.  

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I would never make it based 1 person's decision just bringing a long thread and someone's conclusion here for discussion.  He has posted plenty of videos throughout the 140+ page thread so I believe you've missed a lot of the discussion over there.

 

There seem to be a series of thought processes going into our decisions especially when you boil it down to trade-offs.  The GH4 is the sharpest of the lot as a result of 4k downscaled to 2k...and it doesn't have to look like "video" if you bring down the internal sharpness and apply some nice LUTs to it, yet the color overall can't match Canon or even Sony.  Sony clearly is the middle-man, at least in my eyes, it has great ISO advantage has excellent 1080 sharpness while not being as video-like as GH4 still retains some elements and the color isn't as bad as GH4 but not nearly good as 14-bit Canon.  And Canon is the least sharp, or maybe on-par with a7s, but the color advantages are very clear, it has better ISO than gh4 but not nearly as good as a7s.  The post-processing of raw is what kills people most, then again I don't do this for money just personal use so it is fine with me, though I'd rather have a native codec that did this automatically and save me trouble.

 

In the end...something to really put into perspective:  the end video we create is not going to EVER be a/b'ed by those who watch it, including us.  I've watched TV and hollywood where there is something moire/aliasing on the cameras used and if i hyper focus on it I can get distracted from the totality of the image.

 

At the end of the day any of the three cameras works perfect for most uses.  I still feeling having the power and knowledge to grade effectively is the second most important part, behind a great narrative and a highly competent DP who can capture the proper lighting, angles, focus that is needed to grade properly. 

 

I will be keeping my 5d3 and work on raw until I am financially able or bored enough to get another system and work with.  

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Don't forget that you can shoot 10bit 4:2:2 4K downscaled to Prores 1080 on the GH4 with the help of an Atamos Ninja (the Ninja Star makes most sense to me). That will give you a very full pallet of colours to work with in a very manageable format. Add a speed booster and you have S35 FOV. The GH4 really is hard to beat unless you plan on shooting in low light a lot.

 

Personally I think the colours everyone is getting from the A7S are just next-door to horrible (cue the backlash ...).

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5D Mk3 raw for documentaries doesn't make any sense. Storage will cost a fortune, plus other headaches

 

Commercials, short films are perfect for 5D Mk3 raw though. 

 

A BMCC is a good compromise. You can shoot in Prores for documentaries (and you have audio), and you can shoot RAW for commercials. 

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