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Camera Shootout: GH4 Test Demolishes Red Epic (5D3 RAW too)

By Anthony Thurston on May 6th 2014

Last week, I shared a video of the new Panasonic GH4 blowing the Canon 5D Mark III standard footage and BMPCC (Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera) out of the water. It is something that we should expect, considering both of those cameras shoot 1080p max, and the GH4 is shooting at 4K. But still, the differences were clear and very much in favor of the GH4.

[REWIND: GH4 Beats Out BMPCC and 5D3]

Today, I have another similar test for you, this time comparing the GH4 to the Red Epic and Canon 5D Mark III‘s RAW video (through Magic Lantern). The results, surprisingly, are almost just as drastic as with the other test. The GH4 simply blows both the Red Epic and the 5D3 RAW footage away. See for yourself.

That last split screen shot at the end really gets it across, doesn’t it? I am honestly surprised how well the 5D3 RAW footage did scaled up, but equally with how bad the Red Epic was in comparison to the GH4.


If any of you were on the fence about the GH4, you have to admit that this is impressive. The Red Epic is a 5K camera, and a really expensive one at that. Yet the GH4 clearly beats it out in sharpness, even when zoomed to 300%. I just wish I had the money to go grab myself a GH4

What are your thoughts on this? Does this improve your impression of the GH4? Leave a comment below and lets discuss.

[via Neumann Films Youtube Channel]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Saville

    This is not really fair to the Red Epic, as IMO the shot isn’t even focused properly, PLUS RAW footage is un-sharpened while compressed footage has in-camera sharpening applied. Anyone who has ever compared a JPG image to a NEF / CR2 etc. will know this.

    Oh well, we’ll just have to perform our own testing. Anybody wanna come by the studio with a Red Epic? Sony A7S too maybe? I’ll buy you lunch! :-D


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  2. mauro

    I agree with the lens issue of not having an equal quality lens, its si plynot fair for us or for the camera.

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  3. mauro

    I would like to see tests like these with a variety of 4k cameras. It would be amazing to see gopros and pentax 4k video against everyth in ng to see 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th places! Atht would be so cool.

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  4. redrum

    Yeah, I wouldn’t say demolishes RED EPIC.

    Try again with Primes and not a telephoto from a company you’re not even testing.

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  5. Zackary Deal

    I found a flaw in the comparison. All three cameras have different sensor sizes but were all shot at f/8….This puts the MFT sensor at a distinct advantage with it’s larger DOF. Notice the utility pole, tree, and roof are all in focus, where as with the RED test, I’m not even sure he achieved critical focus in the first place?

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    • Rick

      Very good point.

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    • marco R

      micro 4/3 at f8 will have more depth of field(sharper throughout) than reds epic sensor at f8.
      so at f8 on GH4 tree and house look like its in focus because of the wider DOF.
      where as at F8 on epic looks like just the tree falls within the DOF….IDK just my 2.3 cents….

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  6. Rick

    Something’s incredibly fishy in this. The RED Epic footage looks like it was shot in 1080p and then upscaled to 4K. If really shoot the RED at 4K or 5K, you’d get much more detailed footage.

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  7. Ryan

    I’m wondering why a Nikkor 80-200 F2.8 was used for the test? Seems like an odd lens choice given that Nikon cameras aren’t even in the test. I would have preferred to see them compared with a more standard cinema prime like a 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm.

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  8. Joe

    But can we really trust in these tests? For me it seems like the other two are just out of focus….

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    • Ryan

      I’d say that is more or less just the up sampling from 1080p to match 4kp.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      The team over at Neumann does great work. I encourage you to check out their channel. I trust them to put out a quality comparison, and am confident that neither the Epic nor 5D III was simply out of focus.

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