GH4 vs Blackmagic for Chroma Keying: GH4 Wins According to Video Alchemy’s Paul Shillito

by Hugh Brownstone1 Comment

What begins as a very clear and impressive comparison of the GH4 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera for chroma key work (man, the guy knows how to work with After Effects AND create an appropriate test bed) quickly becomes a larger assessment.

Not only does he conclude that the GH4 wins the chroma key test, but says that it’s footage is sharper (very easy to concur while watching on YouTube) even when down-res’d to 1080 — and with file sizes smaller given that it records as 8 bit 4:2:0 with the H.264
codec vs. Blackmagic recording ProRes 422 or DNG (raw), easier to work with in post.

While all three pieces of footage look good – not an unimportant point! – the clear winner, Shillito says, is the GH4.

What about Blackmagic’s 4K camera, or the GH4’s ability to output 10 bit 4:2:2 in ProRes via an external recorder?

Doesn’t change the outcome, Paul says. The Blackmagic 4K still has problems, he asserts, and the GH4 straight into the SD card will do a very good job.

I confess I was a bit surprised, only because I’d thought the Blackmagic with its excellent dynamic range might hold sway. But with this written, the green screen was well-lit and Paul knew exactly what he was doing.

And what IS the difference in dynamic range between the two cameras?

What do you think? Is this a surprise outcome?

Panasonic GH4 4K vs Blackmagic Cinema Camera Green Screen / Chroma Key Comparision

Two similarly priced cameras, the 4K Panasonic GH4 with a standard compressed output and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with a 2.5K uncompressed output but which one will be the best for green screen / chroma key work.

Normally when working with chroma key or green/blue screen you would look to use an very high quality output like cinemaDNG RAW or ProRes 4:2:2 but can a 4K camera like the Panasonic GH4 with a compressed output work as well.

In this video I do a quick and simple comparison test in a green screen setup using a simple key matte which almost any user of After Effects could do to see which one works the best and show the results in Adobe After effects and Adobe Premier Pro CS6.

After Effects Section 1:41
Results Comparison 9:06
Conclusion 14:12

The lens setup up for the cameras were as follows :
Panasonic GH4 with 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix lens
BMCC EF with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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