Panasonic GH4 and Canon EOS C100 side by side comparison – which one is best?

by planetMitch32 Comments

We've been seeing a lot of stuff on the new Panasonic GH4 because people are crazy interested in its performance – and this side by side visual comparison with the Canon EOS C100 gives us some great idea of how well it performs or doesn't… but which one wins?

I am not going to give you my opinion yet, I want to see what you have to say down in the comments…

Note that they did the right thing here and shot with the same lens (Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II) on both cameras eliminating that common complaint.

I really am curious about your opinions – does the Panasonic GH4 stand up to the Canon EOS C100 or does it beat the pants off of it?

Have you ordered a Panasonic GH4? Do you have it? What do you think of its performance?

Canon C100 VS Panasonic GH4 (Which one is better?)

Published on May 24, 2014

Please download the Uncompressed RAW video below (479MB)

Canon C100 VS Panasonic GH4 (Which one is better?)

This is the Canon Cinema EOS C100 VS Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 comparison test. The reason why I'm doing this video test because both cameras are designed for serious film making. So I would like to see how these two camera performs. And which one has better image quality. As we know Canon C100 has the same 4K sensor as the bigger brother C300 and C500. But the camera itself outputs as 1080p only. So to make it fair, I shot everything 4K on the GH4 and downscaled to 1080p. And I used the same Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens in the test. So they should both look the same. So which one do you think looks better?

C100 Pros and Cons (My personal opinion)


Super 35mm Sensor

Awesome low light performance

2x SD card slots

Build in 6 stops ND Filters



GH4 Pros and Cons

No Slow Motion at all

GH4 Pros and Cons (My personal opinion)


4K Video

High Bitrate in 1080p (200mbps)

96fps slowmo

Compact size


2.3x crop in 4K mode

Poor Low light performance (Comparing with C100)

Thanks for watching, for more video please subscribe to my channel. Thank you ^.^

DSI Pictures Entertainment 2014

Filmed and Edited by Steve Chan

Music by Berni Law

Lens Used:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM (Both Cameras)

Coming up next: Panasonic GH4 VS 5D Mark III RAW

via Canon C100 VS Panasonic GH4 (Which one is better?) – YouTube.


  1. The GH4 appears to be sharper, but the C100 retains more detail in both highlights and shadows. Is the apparent sharpness of the GH4 due to higher contrast setting in the GH4 profile? Could the C100 appear just as sharp with increased sharpness setting either or both in the camera profile or editing? Could the GH4 retain more highlight and shadow detail with a lower contrast setting? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. I’m a newbie here, but to my untrained eye, I really like the Canon better.  It looks more filmic to me.

  3. I’m a bit (ahem) confused. In my mind, there’s a difference between downsampling and downscaling. The latter includes data averaging that would improve the quality of a 4K-to-1080 conversion, over what would be obtained from shooting 1080 directly. So I’m not sure your comparison is valid.
    A quick browse of Wikipedia and the Web did not provide an answer.

  4. These sorts of debates can (and do) go on forever.  Create a blog post titled “My Mac is better than your PC” and the rabid response will be similar.  I look at the comparison and think the GH4 looks (and BTW is) truly amazing.  I also think a Canon fanboy (I was among their ranks until about a month ago) might say the GH4 looks too sharp and has a slight green tint.  Thankfully, the GH4 has a multitude of controls to adjust for those insignificant observations… Along with many more adjustments that allow shooters freedom to “season to taste.”  Beyond that, though, is the fact that you have the advantage of shooting in 4K.  I’m not buying any comparison that doesn’t take into consideration shooting a much larger image that you can “move around in” in post.  Want to crop out something that spoiled an otherwise award-winning shot?  You’re covered.  Thinking a pan or push-in would make the shot more powerful?  Not a problem.  As a 30+ year director, I can tell you that trumps nearly everything.  I switched to Canon from Nikon several years ago because I conceded that Canon was leading the way in DSLR video.  Now I plan to do my productions with the GH4 (certainly until Canon and others catch-up).  I’m certain there will be countless folks with huge investments in Canon gear who vehemently disagree… perhaps for reasons driven mostly by that huge investment.

  5. Director Bob — Though digital is obviously (???) superior to silver for still color photography, I remain generally unimpressed with digital motion pictures. Perhaps I’d be more impressed if such films weren’t graded to look like movie film — but then they’d look like video. *
    For me, VistaVision remains the standard of motion-picture image quality, exceeded only by IMAX. (Really.)
    * There’s a generation of young’uns so accustomed to video they find motion-picture film of unacceptable quality. For me, the slight “softness” and overall “richness” of film is basic to the motion-picture viewing experience. Video is so accurate, it looks “sterile”. (In case you’re wondering… I hate phonograph records. To paraphrase Michael Flanders: “SA CD for me.”

  6. William Sommerwerck   I hear you.  There is a difference – if it matters.  Many years ago when we bought our first CineAlta camera we wanted to encourage agency folks to consider shooting spots digitally rather than on 35mm.  So, we created a blind side-by-side comparison to show our clients – shooting several demanding scenes on film and digitally.  Several folks could see a difference between the two images.  No one could tell which was film!  I’m not getting into the “film is better” debate… I only offer that as a real world experience.  There are many, many things to consider when the subjectiveness of art and the mechanics of business meet.

  7. Director Bob  Ignoring the question of subjective “quality”, how can anyone /not/ tell the difference between film and video? You have to get to 30fps (or faster) for film to look like video. What was your frame rate?

  8. William Sommerwerck   Absolutely some could tell the difference and of course we were trying to make digital look as much like film as possible – it was so long ago I don’t remember every setting used – I’m certain it was shot at 24fps and it’s possible we added grain in post.  My point was “deeper” than that.  Prior to 1999, no Hollywood director would consider shooting on anything other than film… Yet look where we are today.  Right or wrong, for good or for bad, things change.

  9. After viewing the video, all I can say is that it seems to prove nothing. The Panasonic images seem to have been shot at about a one-stop greater exposure which (to me) invalidates the test.
    I did a lot of subjective audio reviewing for “Stereophile”. You can’t make judgments without a reference — which for sound, is the (possibly faulty) memory of what a live concert sounds like. In this case, I have no idea what the original scenes look like. So any preference — especially as to which camera produces the “better” images — falls into the “de gustibus” category.
    As Director Bob points out, there are reasons other than “image quality” for selecting one camera over another. But if one is testing for image quality, why not explicitly test for it? For example…
    Why not adjust each camera to obtain “the closest approach to the original scene”? The testers can then describe in what ways the camera image failed to match what they were looking at. This puts the subjectivity where it belongs — with the people doing the test — and provides far more practical information to potential buyers.

  10. In my opinion these tests are somewhat ridiculous, as they accomplish absolutely nothing, other than we can all agree to disagree. Neither are better, it all depends on what looks good to you and to your client, end of story.

  11. I believe each camera has it’s merits, and they are tools. Currently I am using the GH4 because I love the results I am getting. Shooting 200 mps 1080pHD is great, and also shooting 4k then reducing to 1080p. This does not mean I would not use a C100 if I had one.
    Next I would like to use a Blackmagic 4K camera 🙂

  12. A side note is how the Cinema EOS uses it’s 4K sensor. Canon uses two green, one blue and one red. Giving 2K to two green helps with noise too. The two green Gr and Gb components are spatially offset with respect to each other and form a single 2K green component. As per the Canon white paper “..the traditional first order horizontal and vertical sidebands cancel which eliminate a major source of aliasing. As a consequence the optical low pass filter can be better optimized for an unusually high green MTF.” This is probably why the GH4 appears sharper but is also noisier in ISO levels above 800.

  13. C100 consistently has more dynamic range in the hi lights. being conservative its 2 stops, but probably more like 3. Its hard to judge noise levels based on YT videos at its bit rates tend to just flatten that all out. the minor difference in sharpness is a camera adjustment…. if your deliverables are 1080 and you have no concerns about needing your footage to be 4K for future use, we know which on is the winner. for that matter most of the cheap 4K cameras all seems to have limited DR compared to the older 1080 cameras or the newer much more expensive ones.  

    either way GH4 is still a decent performer if you aren’t shooting in max dynamic range situations, or you can filter or light to control it.

  14. I am a still photographer but I have been watching the GH4 with some interest.  How exactly do you fit a Canon lens on the GH4?  Do you lose AF but that is ok for video?  Do you lose auto aperture?  I assume the GH4 does not have a EOS mount so please walk me through it.  Thank You.

  15. BrucePhotography you can buy an adapter on ebay. the bad thing is that the electronics between canon lenses and the lumix doesnt work, so you can’t auto focus, but you dont use it much on video mode, nor you can change the exposure from the camera. There are some adapters, like the one I got, that is manual, so you dont have to worry about exposure. hope I helped you!

  16. BrunoMarinLliso BrucePhotography I shoot both Canon and Nikon.  Are there any adapters that preserve auto aperture?  How about auto focus?

  17. BrucePhotography BrunoMarinLliso Redrock Micro LiveLens is an electronic adapter, but it requires a 9 volt battery to be mounted on the camera. It’s kind of sloppy but works if you’re set on using EF lenses.

  18. BrucePhotography Check out some of the many GH4 sites.  One of the things I love most about the GH community is that there are tons of enthusiasts who are pushing the envelope and sharing their knowledge and experience.

  19. cameragirl5000  Search for some of the GH4 forums.  Wow, there are truly wonderful and truly awful examples out there.  ;^)  I have a feeling that these “comparison” posts are often designed more to drive clicks than add value.  FYI, I’ve seen some very film-like footage from the GH4 – there are so many settings that can be adjusted on the camera and so many file formats to choose from that it’s really a matter of how those settings were tweaked.  I think what most people are finding is that – just like one film stock isn’t perfect for every shot – there is not one “set it and forget it” setting for the GH4.  I personally love that added feature… and you don’t find that sort of flexibility in many other cameras.  But as another poster noted, we’re just talking about cameras.  It’s the person behind the camera and how they use the tools available that makes or breaks a shot.

  20. ErikNaso  Aren’t all Bayer sensors laid out that way? Look at the “Bayer filter” Wikipedia article.

  21. William Sommerwerck ErikNaso Yes however Canon C100 and C300 uses two different shades of green as opposed to one.

  22. The C100 with CLog had at least a stop or two on the GH4 which was shown on the last shot of the bridge detail.  Also the depth of field was much smaller on the C100.  Color looked similar.  But is should be required by law that all camera tests include at least one human face.  skin tones are after all just about the most important thing we shoot.


  23. ErikNaso  Interesting. Sony had a camera with a four-color sensor, the fourth being a kind of turquoise. I assumed it corresponded to the overlap between the human eye’s green and blue sensors, perhaps making possible a wider color gamut.

  24. Len Kaufman Yeah, I think it’s important to note that apparently both images were
    graded, which kind of throws out some or most of the dynamic range
    arguments. The C100 seemed to have more DR in some shots (like that
    bridge one), but then about the same in others. Some of the shots showed
    evidence of differing lighting conditions (due to cloud movement),
    making it hard to compare exposure levels on the same objects across

  25. William Sommerwerck ErikNaso I think you are right. These interesting formulas make the sensor more efficient on how it handles color and noise. This just plain and simple nerdy fun! Ha!

  26. I’ve been using both cameras for over a month on commercial shoots.  They are similar in post color, but the color profiles used in this test are quite different from each other.   I’ve been very happy with the GH4, but the Cinelike D mode is not an ACTUAL log mode.  Log spaces are defined by the equal number of bits from stop to stop throughout the dynamic range of the file format.  There is some gamma shifting from stop to stop in the GH4 D mode which makes it different in response curves to the Cinema Log mode on the C100. Film Convert will soon have profiles for this, but until then, the C100 cLog profile in Film Convert is quite different from camera to camera.  As discovered by others, the Alexa Rec709 profile in Film Convert is a bit closer than the cLog one, but none of them are spot on yet.

    Oddly, I’ve found that the Cinelike V mode actually captures nearly the same dynamic range as the Cinelike D mode, but does it in a way which looks very good out of the camera as long as your exposure is spot-on.  The whites still clip at the same place, but they are compressed in-camera which makes it harder to lighten or darken later in post, but can look superior out-of-camera.

    One of the more useful comparisons would be the Cinelike V mode with contrast and sharpening backed off vs the C100’s Wide DR mode since both of these are similar in purpose.   They store the data into the 8-bit color space so things like shadow noise, etc would be more consistent from camera to camera.  This would be a good comparison.

    I love both cameras but lean to the GH4 in most cases recently since the Viewfinder is better and I seem to be addicted to the cropping capability of all those extra luminance pixels.  It is easier to use on my Steadicam Merlin without too many counterweights.  If only I could buy a Speedbooster or Smart Adapter for Canon EF on the m43 mount… that will be the killer combo once it ships.

    One last thing I have noticed is the GH4 sensor shows more dust more often than the Canon.  I do keep a blower handy when changing lenses, but I believe Canon’s sensor is less likely to have dust spots in similar circumstances.   This is particularly an issue with my 7-14 lens which needs to be stopped down in daylight since it doesn’t take threaded ND filters.

  27. By the way, all this talk of the C100 having and demonstrating a wider dynamic range is not consistent with my experiences.  As one of the first GH4 production unit owners, I’ve shot for over a month using both camera on the same sets and scenes.  I’ve found there is quite a bit of confusion about the use of different Luminance settings on the GH4 and whether these are properly supported by your software, so perhaps this is the culprit.  The cameras are almost identical when it comes to white/black clipping points.  The main difference is that the C100 uses a Log profile which makes those upper stops of detail slightly more visible to most software, wherein the GH4’s pseudo log color space simply appears to clip off more readily if your exposure is off since the Rec709 color space simply doesn’t have as much latitude as a log one in the highlight regions.  It is harder to nail your exposure in Cinelike D mode.   A general rule is to be slightly underexposed on the in that mode and simply raise the shadows to compensate if necessary in post or via the in-camear Highlight/Shadow tool.  

    For best results, I switch the GH4 to the Cinelike V mode to preview exposure, then switch back to the Cinelike D mode for shooting once I’ve set it optimally. I can do this quickly using the Q-menu.  It would be nice to view it in Cinelike V while recording in Cinelike D, but alas, switching before critical shoots is a fair workaround.  

    Lastly, a spectacular feature of the C100 which I miss in the GH4 is the Auto Peripheral Correction, which lightens your corner vignettes automatically. I think this feature alone may be causing some of the exposure differences between the GH4 and the C100 in similar scenes and could also aid in contrast reductions around corners where we often find bright windows, skys and roads.  I believe some of these exposure differences result in people perceiving more contrast in the GH4 scene, but in reality, the Auto Lens Correction circuit of the C100 is essentially reducing edge contrast without your knowledge.

  28. Director Bob William Sommerwerck GH4 beat c100 even using canon lens.  If he was to use the lumix g x lens it would of been game over.  Any one can see GH4 was super clear unless you are blind right?

  29. manth15 Director Bob William Sommerwerck  I own extremely high-quality speakers, and non-audiophile friends immediately notice the great clarity of sound. But there are other things about these speakers that are equally important.
    Simply looking at two images and saying “I like this one better” reveals nothing about the absolute quality of the camera or lens. The images shown here differ so much, in ways that might be the result of image processing, that it is difficult to make any kind of intelligent assessment. Anyone impressed by the GH4 //simply because it was “super clear”// doesn’t know much about photographic imaging.
    If all you care about is the subjective impression of the cameras’ images, then it doesn’t matter. But as an audiophile, I’m interested in how accurately they render the scene in front of them.

  30. William Sommerwerck Ha!  Let’s not get started on speakers.  ;^)  I agree with you that one comparison or one feature alone does not make a great camera.  And THAT is why the GH4 truly is a great camera!  There is simply no other camera at present that excels in so many areas – mind you, I did not say EVERY area.  This camera is now the “one to beat” and is the one that will determine how other camera manufacturers reshape their future offerings.

  31. Director Bob William Sommerwerck No, let’s not get started on speakers (except to say, up with planars, down with moving coils)!
    I have no problem (I’m not being sarcastic) with your professional opinion that the GH4 is the overall “better” camera. It probably is.
    What bothers me is that I don’t see how the photos demonstrate this. If you would like to take this discussion off-line, I would be happy to discuss the problems of how to perform meaningful testing in depth. We could start with the question “What exactly is it that I’m testing?”

  32. William Sommerwerck Probably no need to go much further – although I understand and appreciate the offer to discuss off-line.  I think the issue is on my end… In that I’ve been researching the GH4 for months and have seen many tests and comparisons on other blogs.  The GH (not just GH4) fanatics often post original comparison files for downloading.  There is a robust GH community – even more so than the Canon DSLR community.  So, what I’m saying is that this example is just one of many tests – some more scientific than others – that clearly show this camera is unlike any others.  You are correct; one comparison (this one) only shows that the camera excels in one set of circumstances (i.e. similar lenses, less than 4K resolution, on-line compression, etc.).  For folks interested in how the camera performs under these circumstances, I think this comparison does have value.  “Forget the specs.  How will it look to me and my clients?”  I’ve continued to post these comments because I feel they will be valuable to folks interested in the GH4 (and contemplating switching from their current camera system).  Thanks for your contributions as well.  With respect and kind regards, Director Bob.

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