Is the Panasonic GH4 as Game Changing as Everyone Thought 3 Months Ago?

by Hugh Brownstone50 Comments

When guys like Michael Reichmann, Philip Bloom, Caleb Pike and Dave Dugdale write about either buying or switching entirely from Canon to Panasonic;  video comparisons here, here, and here offer unequivocal demonstrations of superior GH4 footage; and guys at local meetups all talk about the GH4 and possibly switching as well, you have to ask:

Is the GH4 the game changer that everyone thought it would be?

The answer is: we’ll see.

But here’s what to look for:

  • A major TV show shoots an entire episode with the GH4 (as HOUSE did with the Canon 5D Mk II for a season finale a couple of years ago).
  • A big budget movie sequence is shot with the GH4 (as Canon DSLRs were and are, first displayed in THE MATRIX and subsequently in a number of Hollywood films including THE AVENGERS).
  • An amazing advertising sequence is shot with the GH4 (as Rip Curl did with 52 Canon Rebels).
  • Market share numbers change in Panasonic’s favor.
  • Canon responds very directly to the GH4 by trying to kill it off with a new camera aggressively matching or exceeding the GH4 function/value proposition (7D Mk II, anyone?).

Panasonic GH4

Even if only this last item occurs, the answer will become: yes, the GH4 is a game changer. The game changer that everyone thought it would be? That’s another story, still to be told.

What do YOU think?

 
Have any of you made — or are about to make a switch?  What have you learned?  If you're in the market for a camera like this for the first time, whose vision and value proposition is more compelling to you — Canon or Panasonic?  Is the GH4 a game changer?

(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)


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Comments

  1. William Sommerwerck

    Good grief.
    I’m 67. I remember when technology changes in photography and electronics ran on a three-to-five-year cycle. I remember when Motorola introduced all-transistor color TV two years “early”. I remember what a big deal it was when the Nikon F was superseded by the F2. Technical changes now run on a six-month cycle — and here you are talking about the GH4 not being quite so wonderful as it seemed just three months ago!
    Some of this is understandable, given that digital imaging remains a rapidly evolving technology, and product features can evolve as quickly as programmers can write new code. What I want to know is… what happens if the next series of Canon products meaningfully leapfrogs Panasonic’s? Will you go through another round of “hardware thrashing”, selling your Panasonic stuff to return to Canon?

  2. ptaylor999

    The ability to shoot RAW video is still a huge consideration for me, and as far as I know, Magic Lantern is still not available for Panasonic cameras. So, it becomes a trade off – resolution, or dynamic range. Which is more important to you?

  3. Ruben Fernandez Naar

    Does it need to be a game changer? No, it just needs to produce a superior product than the current line of DSLRs. Speaking for myself I am taking both an A7s and a GH4 (along with an F5) on a month long documentary to Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Easter Island. I am carrying Canon glass yet no Canon bodies. The new cameras are far superior as far as I have tested them to the 5D mark III (even in raw video mode) which has been my main camera for the past two years. Time for a change. I don´t care if the new bodies are “game changing” or not. What is a game changer anyway? Is it more important than the creativity of the person using the cameras?

  4. MacMarkIIHD

    Here, here…I totally agree. Although this comparison and what-if stuff might be fun to read about, in the long run, it’s a total waste of time. Any one of these new cameras are absolutely incredible technology, so just be thankful you have the ability to enjoy it, and quit wasting your time talking about things that really don’t matter.

  5. DonFunk

    Yes, I think the consternation with the folks who bought into cameras like the 5DM3 is the remorse they feel when they’ve invested upwards of $3K and another player (Panasonic) comes in with a product that costs almost half. Folks need to realize that technology is ever-changing and it’s becoming more and more like the nascent PC days where things that start out costing $3K will eventually cost < $1K.

  6. Todd S

    Kill it? When? Panasonic can’t make enough GH4s to meet demand. They are selling like hotcakes. By the time this “killer” arrives Panasonic would have sold tons and prob getting ready for GH5…

  7. Nick Josh Karean

    No-brainer, and it’s just a matter of time before you see at least one of those criterias, if not all, fulfilled. And who knows what the GH5 has installed for us. ;)

  8. kikojiu

    I´ve had GH´s since GH1. Always been an amazing cost effective camera and very versatile. Still I also keep shooting with Canon and Sony and RED doesn´t matter what. The C series is amazing 1DC, C100 etc…which I own use and paid for with work. The GH4 just brought the 4K to what was already very good. Would I like it to have a better codec and better lower light capabilities? I definitely would like that. But for the price it is the best all round camera today. To me it wash´t a game changer…GH1 was. The rest of the series it was just keeping what was already excellent updated.

  9. kikojiu

    ptaylor999 To me raw doesn´t interest me. Most of the shoots I had with Alexa always shot prores 422 HQ. RAW takes a huge amount of disk space and in most cases (99%) I can´t see significant differences unless WB, light are way off.

  10. kikojiu

    DonFunk I think most people try to buy a camera that lasts years like it was before. Nowadays cameras last 1-2 years and they´re outdated. I only buy if I am absolutely sure I will pay them in a couple of jobs. I´ve been doing that since GH1 and I can´t complain. :-)

  11. kikojiu

    Ruben Fernandez Naar Canon should have gone mirorless by now. My GH4 Doesn´t overheat and I shoot all day with 1 battery although I always carry 4 around.

  12. roxics

    I switched from a GH2 to a 60D a year ago and I’m very happy. I liked the Canon color better and the way they render subject motion compared to GH line. My next move will be to 7D2 or a full frame Canon. 

    I plan to stick with Canon because I know that it’s only a short amount of time before they also offer a 4K DSLR with modern bells and whistles. I have no interest in jumping around from system to system chasing the next best camera that comes out every six months. I’m still producing client work with my 60D that clients are very happy with. 

    The technology itself may be evolving fast, but it’s too fast for audiences to absorb it. DSLR video from 5 years ago still looks plenty good to most eyes. It’s only the pixel peepers and latitude junkies that constantly chasing their next high. 

    I plan to stay with Canon long term, invest in a nice arsenal of glass and continue to hone my stills and motion picture skillset.

  13. DigitiFILMS

    I historically I have been a Canon guy, and was tired of all the GH users telling me how good their cameras were. Then I bought the GH4, now I am one of those guys. I am shooting 4K, and bringing it down to 1080 and 720 in FCPX projects. The quality of the video is so much better than what I was shooting using my Canon’s. My video kit was two 60D’s and a 70D. In the beginning I had been shooting with both the Canon 70D/60D, and the GH4, then comparing the video. Sorry but the GH4 kicked butt. The quality of the video I edit now using the GH4 on projects is so much better. Also I do not need to have a 4K monitor since my projects are 1080 and 720 anyway. I am so sad that Canon seems to be so far behind. If they come up with a cost effective 4K camera then I would buy it. But if it is more expensive that a GH4, or a GH5 by that time, then I will not. Also now that I have gained experience with using 4K in my workflow, I am looking at what the Sony and the BlackMagic 4K cameras can do too. The leveraging of 4K video into an existing workflow, and getting a higher quality product is a no brainer. 
    I purchase the best tools to do my work, and the GH4 is my new one. Hopefully Canon will wake up and do something to provide a cost effective 4K camera, and not a costly camera that I will never use.
    On workflow, I am editing 4K video in 1080 and 720 FCPX projects on a Mac Mini i7 with 16GB ram. I will be looking to getting a new Mac now that I am confident that 4K video is very useful. This is of course my personal opinion and I am not suggesting everyone should feel the same way.

  14. cameragirl5000

    I’m planning on buying my first camera body sometime this year and am waiting to see if Canon does release the 7D Mark ii and what kind of bells and whistles it has.  I hadn’t even considered the GH4, but recently spoke with a few dp’s I really respect who all swore by it.  Right now it’s neck and neck for me.  If the new 7D has a lot of cool stuff and price is right, that’s what I’ll get.  Otherwise, it’s definitely going to be a GH4.

  15. William Sommerwerck

    kikojiu DonFunk  The problem is that you’re not buying a new camera, so much as you’re buying a new image sensor / image-processing system, “In the old days”, the “sensor” was silver-halide film, completely independent of the camera. It was reasonable to expect a camera to last at least 10 years.
    If your GH4 got you jobs you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten… then the expense is moot.

  16. DonFunk

    William Sommerwerck  You do bring up a point about image sensor/image processing system. Maybe there should be a Moore’s Law with regards to image sensors that’ll help folks in deciding how much to invest in a particular camera system to reduce the effects of buyers remorse.

  17. ChristophBee

    People laugh at our production team and ask us why we use audio recordings for a photoshoot. As long as they laugh we’re happy. We’re shooting a movie in New Zealand right now on the Gh4 and we’re absolutely stealth. Rigging it with all kinds of hardware doesn’t make sense. The batteries last you a day. We work 12 hours sometimes and only need 2 batteries (internal 39 euro ones) and one 64 gb sd card to make all the shots. We brought all kinds of lights but hardly use them. With the right settings you can use almost 13 stops of exposure. Enough to shoot in al kinds of conditions.
    We have a 3 axis gimbal, amazing to use it whilst doing positive action scenes according to our script. Holding it up with the Gh4 is daunting but very do-able. Yesterday we worked on a scene for an hour holding it up. A good lunch made the operator forget the artistic work-out. The footage from the internal SD recordings looks amazing. And grading it is so much fun! I can only compare just a few cameras since I started filmmaking with the mark III, bought a pocket cinema camera because it sounded so cool and now own the Gh4.
    I’ve been wanting to make movies since I was 15. I’m now 43 and can finally do it thanks to Panasonic. The Gh4 is a dream come true. Anyone that says something negative about this camera and it’s abilities should re-think. When was the last time you could buy a new Porsche car for the price of a Volkswagen Up? You see? Panasonic gave us a dream and we can make it come true. Hale to the king!
    Movie The Greenstone
    vimeo.com/m/100796834

  18. theSUBVERSIVE

    What? I hardly think those are really the parameters as for defining what a game changer is, those parameters are just for one or two POV, mostly commercial ones. A game changer is not defined by just that, but by the leap it brought with it simple existence and moreover, how much it made the others adjust to it. These parameters are more like, how much is the GH4 like the 5DMKII rather than what kind of changes the GH4 brings instead. This formula is simply writing down what changes the 5DMKII brought when it was launched, while it was evolving, and asking the GH4 to do the same, That doesn’t make much sense for me. The GH4 is a different camera, with a different sensor size, it should be asked what kind of changes the GH4 already done and what kind ofadjustments it will demand for competitors. For instance, making tons of Canon video shooters selling their gear and going GH4, this is quite a change to start with. If the advertising and Cinema crowd are going to adopt it, it’s another story because the 5D gives you a FF look, which is much more cinematic than a 2x crop sensor, I think the GH4 will please other type of crowd – and let’s not forget about the A7s, that aside for rolling shutter situations, it performs great. Sure, there might be people out there that will use the Speed Booster, but we can’t know now how this is going to turn out – even more when the active mount EF-mount to Micro4/3 is on the way. Anyway, I just think that those are the wrong questions to see if the GH4 lives up to the “game changer” label.

  19. aozaki

    All of this talk about the GH4 is interesting.  While I think it’s a great camera, I decided to go with the Sony A7s.  It isn’t that I necessarily think the  Sony is a better camera, but I feel it suits me better.  I wanted a really good low light camera.  I wanted a camera that didn’t have the 2x crop factor because that would have meant I would have to purchase new lenses as well.  My other two cameras are the Sony fs-700 and Canon MkIII, and I love them both.  In this debate about which is better, I think it depends upon what you are doing. 

    That being said, I do think the GH4 has been a game changer because it has raised the bar for the other companies, challenging them to come out with better equipment at lower prices.  I agree with William.  We live in a great era when we have some many great choices, and I think it is interesting when people make this a black/white issue when to me it seems like different shades of gray.  I’m not selling my Canon gear.  I think that Canon will come out with some great cameras in the future and I don’t want to lose my investment in Canon glass.  Incidentally, that is also one of the reasons I went with Sony.  They work better with my Canon glass.  

    So if I happen to have an extra few grand laying around, I think I’ll pick up the GH4.  But if I don’t, I’m not going to feel like I totally missed the boat.

  20. markdphoto2000

    I think the fascination of large sensor video on the cheap was the major reason for the obsession with the Canon 5DmkII. While I am not familiar with the GH-4 the specs imply performance exceeding the 5D series of bodies. Except for extreme shallow DOF and ultra low light performance it would seem to be every bit the capable machine.

  21. markdphoto2000

    kikojiu ChristophBee Softness can be made. Sharpness cannot be reclaimed.

  22. DagKaszlikowski

    I’m using an ML-hacked 5D Mk III in RAW mode.  Any thoughts how gh4 compares to this?

    I’m asking because the difference between 5D Mk III outputting to Ninja in ProRes 422 and 5D Mk III in RAW mode is literally incomparable.

  23. DagKaszlikowski

    roxics The same here. I’m currently shooting with 5D Mk III in RAW mode and, frankly, I can’t be more happy. It’s astounding.

  24. DagKaszlikowski

    DonFunk Still Canon has a larger sensor, which might be something you want to have.

  25. logrithmic

    The Sony A7s is a better camera for me. However, the GH4 was definitely game changer.

  26. Nick Josh Karean

    ChristophBee – I am on the same boat as with you. A well-written comment and expression. Thank you for sharing this. :)

  27. HughBrownstone

    DagKaszlikowski Would like to learn more about this — care to share?  Do you have footage to compare?

  28. HughBrownstone

    logrithmic I suspect this is not uncommon — the GH4 begins as the impetus to reconsider Canon, and at that point the A7s goes onto the short list of others worthy of consideration.

  29. HughBrownstone

    ChristophBee “I’ve been wanting to make movies since I was 15. I’m now 43 and can finally do it…”  Yes!  We do live in amazing times.

  30. HughBrownstone

    Just a shout-out to everyone for sharing their experiences with us.  Honored to be part of such a vibrant community of filmmakers and communicators.  We all learn from one another, and it is a joy.

  31. igarti

    Hi. I’m already a switcher. I’ve sell my 5DMKII and my 5DMKIII for the GH4 + YAGHE. Results really awesome!
    24-70 and 70-200 also gone away now the 12-35mm, Leica 1.2/42,5 and 35-100mm. Significant improvements in all sense, even my shoulder is happier !!

  32. kikojiu

    William Sommerwerck kikojiu DonFunk I keep thinking that there is a difference about someone who buys a camera to make money(professional) and others who buy a camera as an hobby. To be honest I don´t really care about the prices unless they are not the same to my competitors. There is a profession called film making which means that someone has to make money with it. What happens now is that equipment is so cheap comparing to 10 years ago that even hobbyists every now and then try to “force” their way into the professional market and work for nothing just to pay off their cameras just because they use  the same cameras as some professionals do. Film making is not only about the camera but also all the accessories and lenses etc…but mainly Knowledge and experience. When we talk about these cameras we are talking about “disposable” equipment meaning that if a cinematographer using one of these cameras doesn´t pay the investment on a one time job should consider changing business. I have seen amazing jobs shot with these cameras and terrible ones shot with 60k cameras. The hobbyists please understand that pricing is not the most important thing about a camera and also  you can´t bring a knife to a gun fight. I never seen anyone commercially preferring a GH4 or a 5D to an Arri Alexa or a RED Dragon as an A cam. It is just a matter of being reasonable and not trying to make a DSLR look like it will replace everything that is being produced. DSLR´s and mirrorless are great but still we can´t expect them to be a cinema camera. Even those cameras which are made to be closer to it have many issues due to the manufacturers attempts to make them compete with others 20x more expensive. It is jut not possible. I make my living with these cameras (DSLR´s and such) but also I have to use the “expensive”ones because there are standards that the industry demands. It is a revolution but there are still many roads to travel until a cheap camera replaces a full grown cinema camera… I know manufacturers could give us “THE” perfect camera. They have the tech and research to do it…but surely would kill their business. They could make a 4K camera with global shutter amazing codec ultra low light etc…etc…and then they would sell tons. Perhaps they would only replace it in 10 years and ruin their business. It is not just development it is also financial interests and game. Enjoy your cameras and don´t worry…new things will be available soon.

  33. AI Wintermute

    I was saving up for the GH4 when they dropped the price of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera… So I would say the BMPCC is a game changer. :)  However, I still plan on getting the GH4, after I spend a couple thousand on fitting my BMPCC.

  34. CharlesMaring

    The more I use the GH4 the more I realize just how amazing it is. I’m hooked, and glad I sold my C100’s.

    I just hope that at least one of these manufacturers continues to build on this technology, and create the end all be all camera. 

    In a perfect world, what more could I ask for in a camera that the GH4 doesn’t have?
    1. Better Low light performance (It’s better than I thought it would be at 3200, but would love to be able to pull 6400 clean)
    2. Super 35 sensor (although, fingers cross, metabones will fix this issue with Canon glass, which would give best of both worlds.)
    3. Larger EVF (like the Olympus EM-1)
    4. In body Stablization (like the Olympus EM-1, who wants a shoulder rig when in body 5 Axis IS is far superior)
    5. Improved dynamic range (It’s quite good, but we always want more.)

    Beyond that it’s a near perfect camera, that makes video shooting actually enjoyable!

    I am definitely a Canon fan, and their creations truly helped shape my 25 year career as a high end still photographer. (Thank you!)
    Today there is zero growth in still photography unless your new and doing it on the cheap, and that income level caps out very quickly. There is endless potential in video right now in my experience, which is why us pros desperately need cameras that make our lives better.

    The Canon DSLR or a 1DC are really no way to shoot video. Adding all the loops and gadgets makes it more like work than enjoyment. They do shoot beautiful video, but we used them because we had no other option. I bought C100’s, which helped in some ways, but was still adding monitors, and/ or a Zacuto EVF, or Zacuto loop gadgets because the built in EVF was sooo bad. C series camera make no sense whatsoever once you grasp the concept of what a mirrorless system can, and should be. Granted, Canon cameras do create some gorgeous footage, but what about actually being able to enjoy the video shooting process?

    My top 10 reasons why small mirrorless cameras are ideal for high end video, and even stills!
    1. They travel incredibly well, and the best camera is the one you take everywhere because it’s convenient.
    2. You can capture scenes in stealth like situations without somebody shutting down your production.
    3. You can be even more unobtrusive at weddings and events than ever before.
    4. There are camera moves you can achieve that you would have never pulled off, (with such ease anyway)
    5. Small cameras work dramatically better on 3 Axis Gimbals, saving your back and shoulders at the same time.
    6. Who would have thought that an articulating screen could allow you to get low shots?
    7. Say goodbye to monitors, loops, and whatever else you used to try and get the shot.
    8. Variable ND filters work just fine. (although I do miss the built in ones on the C100)
    9. There is freedom in shooting with mirrorless cameras because your aren’t bogged down with gear. Truly liberating.
    10. There is actually a return on investment.
    11…. The autofocus is sooo much faster. (whoops the dial goes to 11:)

    So… if Canon is listening please build a full frame mirrorless system we are dreaming of? I know the C series cameras are pretty to look at, and somewhat ergonomic, but they are just overwhelmingly large and heavy. They just don’t make any sense outside of the Hollywood setting where there is a full crew to carry all this stuff.

  35. kenyee

    Game changer = changes the way people do things and makes other companies take notice that there’s new competion in town

    I remember people kept saying “who needs 4K when there aren’t any 4K TVs yet?”
    All the GH4 users are using 4K downsampled to 1080 for better DR/resolution and/or to crop/pan in post to a 1080p timeline.
    Seems like a game changer to me ;-)

  36. surftom

    To much good info for me to repeat… But let me just say this:
    The best thing I ever did for the plethora of Canon lenses I own was buy a gh4. I’m shooting a lot of nature at the moment and my 70-200 F2.8L with the 2x converter gives me an effective 800mm lens on the Micro Four Thirds sensor. Stunning footage and pictures!
    My 16-35 2.8L is effectively a 32 to 70 so I may spring for a native lens to get super wide again.
    Until MetaBones comes out with an intelligent adapter that does both autofocus and aperture control, it’s all manual.
    My 5Dmk2 has effectively become a way to set the aperture on the lens and then taking it off and mounting it on the GH4 so….
    I am going to sell my 5d2 as soon as MetaBones is ready
    Whatever camera I buy next though will definitely be mirrorless! The EVF on the GH4 and tilt screen are simply a joy to use.
    The only thing I miss on the GH4 is native GPS but I can do that with an external device and LR5.
    Game changer… Yes!

  37. RoyceDa5Dime

    What is crazy to me is that the widely embraced and adopted, truly innovative cameras for video / cinema have worse ergonomic design and in many cases worse functionality and image capability than the popular SD 24p cameras of 10 years ago. Rolling shutter and narrow lattitude / minimal color space are ignored as the setbacks they are. 4k is now saluted as a need…. even though 1080 is the maximum resolution most projects will ever be exhibited in.

  38. aozaki

    RoyceDa5Dime I know what you mean.  I always wonder why they keep making these wonderful video cameras in a still camera body when ergonomically, I think it is much easier to shoot video with a camcorder such as my Sony fs-700.  I think it’s more of a marketing thing.  People now look for DSLR cameras to shoot video so the companies put it in that form factor.  Thanks for your comment.

  39. cinebootcampfletch

    I was forty seconds from buying the GH4.  

    Credit card was out. Salesman was busy. I came back to reality and was reminded of what I tell my students at the CineBootCamps, “Rent it before you but it.” So I rented it and tested it.  I’ll post the article and the tests on Mitch’s site later today.

    THE TESTS
    I’m pragmatic.  So my tests were based on what improves my game now….cinema verite/documentary style/ run and gun / “reality feel” projects.  

    FOCUS
    No knowledgeable clients in that sphere are asking for 4K right now.  But all clients demand something in focus.  Focusing, the primary job of the filmmaker, was slow on the GH4 during filming when compared to Canon’s touch-screen, dual-pixel technology.  

    LOW LIGHT
    The GH4’s performance in low light was too noisy to bump the Canon 5DM3 as my go-to, low light camera. 

    MONEY
    So I’m waiting for Canon to drop the bomb and run the table with a dual-pixel focusing, 4K camera.  That way I get to keep my Canon glass and not have to buy a bunch of workarounds, adapters, third party non-EF lenses and deal with odd crop factors.

    If you don’t think Canon can do incredible things with their sensor check out  the Magic Lantern tests we ran.  

    My “epiphany’ test with 5DM3 shooting ML versus 5DM3 shooting h.264
    vimeo.com/74455311

    Blonde Ambition (Low Light tests with 5DM3 with ML versus the RED One MX)
    vimeo.com/77719173

    5DM3’s ML performance on green screen:
    vimeo.com/88580181

    If unpaid, dedicated chaps and ladies can pull this much performance off the Canon sensor, imagine what Canon’s pro engineers will do next.  Can’t wait.  I paid about $129 at LensRentals.com for the GH4 but it saved me $1400. which I could use for the next 5DM4 or 7DMk2.

    fletch@cinebootcamps.com

  40. ed617

    cinebootcampfletch Your passion for Canon (as a company) is misplaced. My heart froze over a long time ago when it comes to them. It’s not that I hate the Cams – it’s the company that’s behind them – I don’t want to pay them a penny for anything – Here’s why:

    First, they told Dave Dugdale they weren’t going to do anything – “the market didn’t demand it”. Translation: they won’t endanger their high end stuff by giving the “poor folk” (that’s you and me) anything close to the GH4’s performance until they are absolutely forced to. The G4’s built in OLED viewfinder (with peaking) has already been a big success on my set. I don’t need to lug around a monitor anymore – and my focus is tack sharp. As for Canon’s “pro” engineers – they deliberately crippled the 5D3 – the Super Heros at Magic Lantern are the ones that unlocked the potential – not Canon. All they wanted was to keep it from you. 

    I dumped my 7D years ago – (for Nikon) because once again Canon refused to give me the (much sharper) 24MP sensor I wanted. And they’re still pushing the same old tired 18mp standard that most other companies gave up years ago. It’s because Canon users still have a sentimental soft spot for Canon – and Canon loves that you love them. But they’re not loving you back – they’re just taking more of your money and giving less every year. Just like a bad girl friend – a girl friend it’s time to break up with.

  41. ed617

    Reward companies that innovate by buying from them. The GH4 is the best cam I’ve ever had. Canon has become a complacent stick in the mud that doesn’t do anything for filmmakers whose budget is less than $5000. Lets not forget that they sell Cams that are deliberately crippled. It wasn’t Canon that gave the 5D3 RAW – it was Magic Lantern.

  42. roxics

    The GH4 just came out this year so you have to give Canon time to respond. Which it sounds like they’ll be doing this September. So I would hold judgement until then.
    As for crippling the 5d3. I don’t agree. I don’t see any Japanese company releasing raw shooting video cameras, including Panasonic. It’s not their style. Japanese companies are all about small and efficient, cars, cameras, whatever.
    I’m not a Canon fanboy, I just think that in regards to a longer term investment I’m better off with Canon. This is me correcting a mistake I made 15 years ago by not sticking with them and jumping from camera system to camera system chasing the sharpest lenses. Had I just stuck with Canon back then I’d have a nice arsenal of Canon glass now that I could also use for video.
    As it stands I’m not all that unhappy with the quality I get out of their cameras now. Less moire would be nice but other than that I like the images. They’re only bound to get better as time goes on.

  43. MacMarkIIHD

    And if that focus is totally dependent upon the camera body talking to the lens, or shall we say a glorified auto-focus; well then, one might say that says something about the filmmaker.

  44. ed617

    roxics I suppose so – The long term “investment in glass” argument really makes sense – I completely agree – and perhaps the 7D Mark II will break new ground – I’d heard that Canon is a very conservative company and that the 5D Mark II was a happy (but unintentional accident) that was embraced by filmmakers, who then loved Canon for it (as did I).

    But then it seemed like they deserted us and went off making all those high end models while ignoring those who put them at the top of the heap in the first place – the “it was a business decision” excuse was brought up – I guess I’m really tired of so many companies (in General) endlessly justifying greed in this way – would it really have hurt Canon’s high end business to have come up with that (clean HDMI out) update a little sooner? I mean really, did they have to drag it out like that? Stuff like that.. it sends a message…

  45. ed617

    MacMarkIIHD Actually, let me clarify – I use no autofocus at all – only manual, by my eye alone. Part of it is that I use Nikon lenses (with a Metabones speed booster adapter) so there is no communication with the body at all. And I use the GH4’s viewfinder – not a monitor – to do this . No Zacuto needed for this cam – it has all the Zacuto viewfinder options built right into it’s OLED viewer – peaking, pixel to pixel “push in” for focus assist, a histogram – that’s the marvel here – 

    This tiny cam has features no other DSLR has…people were saying the DSLR revolution was over – maybe this will give it a boost again…This camera allows for in camera “LUT” like picture adjusts that are unimaginable in any other DSLR – I recommend James Miller’s settings (found on Vimeo) 

    The thing is, you have to look a little deeper to discover all this in the cam, because it’s so completely unexpected – it even has a smpte color bar display (with reference tone) for broadcast calibration – whats that doing in a crummy little DSLR?

  46. MacMarkIIHD

    @ed617, that wasn’t directed at you, sorry! That was for @Cineboot, and his slow focus comment.

  47. MacMarkIIHD

    You should have waited Forty one seconds and you might have bought the right camera! Just kidding, they’re all great cameras, but I have to agree with ed617, in that Canon has/is losing a ton of video specific customers for the exact reasons he talks about. And, I might add Canon really doesn’t care, because their entire market share has and will always be geared to the still photographer. When it comes to Panasonic that isn’t the case, their entire line is geared specifically to the Video professional, so when you compare the two companies, you really are comparing apples to oranges.

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