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GH4 Blows Both Canon 5D Mark III and BMPCC Away

By Anthony Thurston on May 3rd 2014

If you are a video shooter, then there’s no doubt you likely had your eye on the new Panasonic GH4. One of the things you may be interested in is how it compares to other high quality cameras with video capabilities on the market.

Well, today I have a treat for you. I just came across this pretty telling camera comparison between the Canon 5D Mark III (a very popular video shooter’s choice), the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, and the new Panasonic GH4. Ask most people and they would say that, as far as DSLRs go, the 5D Mark III has good quality video. Let’s see if any of you still think that after watching this comparison…

Say what you will about trying to compare 1080p footage against 4k footage, but that is sort of the point here isn’t it? I mean just look at what you get with the 4K footage vs the 1080p footage. It’s like night and day. The BMPCC holds up better than the 5D Mark III, but is still quite a bit worse than the 4K from the GH4.


Just look at the screenshot comparison above (taken from video screengrabs), that pretty much says it all doesn’t it? Anyone on the fence about the GH4, or 4K shooting in general should get a kick out of this. Even if you don’t plan to output your final videos in 4K, shooting in 4k gives you a ton of latitude in your 1080p output.

So, what are your thoughts after watching this comparison? Share them in a comment below and let’s discuss.

[via 4/3 Rumors via Camera Zone]

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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. Nicolò Bugato

    Well it’s an old nice comparison, but Bmpcc footage is RAW in 400 ISO , when native ISO best dinamic range is at 800, at this point u lose almost a stop of DR make the cameras look more close. Plus in RAW u can push far more without degrading the image due to uncompressed images samples. I think for a very fair comparison those two element should be considered too. And at 800 ISO with ND and IR cut u should do real ETTR, with raw, push down the blacks and clean that noise in the Moirè comparison, over the water flow.

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  2. israel

    Sorry I dont understand your comparation:

    The image in all the case is RAW, it is not the same a image 8 bits than 10 Bits per channel.

    Second Also you only speak relosution in a fix shoot… I now that have 4K , but the sensor it is the same size, the same EV

    Thank you for all

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  3. hippase

    Hum…not a good test…and personnaly what it just did was make me more sure to buy the bmpcc !
    I really prefer the filmic kind of image it had…the gh4 is really detailed but very video type of image, i really don’t like it.

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  4. david

    I had GH3, and now I have BMPCC .. I agree that 4K is sharper than fullHD and have more detail..but on the other hand, I think that 2.5k is a sweetspot for resolution .. 4K is too sharp..and is needed only for nature shots or fair-promos with big screens..

    I like BMPCC with speedbooster that much, that I dont care for 2.5k BMCC that is bigger and more expencive. Full HD is enought for me.. RAw is SUPER!!

    I could sell BMPCC and buy GH4 easely, but I hate picture qualities of it.. Yes, it is more for TV stuff and fast promos..but for music videos and commercials – BMPCC all the way..

    Only cameras I would consider are Sony F35 and F65 ( if I would need 4K for clients.. which I don’t )

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    that was meant to say biased ^^^^

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    This is really a poor test. First of all, to be fair, you should compare the GH4 to the BM4K Production Camera so its 4k vs 4k. If you include the 5d you might as well get clean HDMI into prores, otherwise this just feels like a Panasonic unbiased endorsed video. Sorry, not convinced. Also you need to mention if you are using the $2000 adapter for the GH4 or not.

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  7. Gekko

    At 2:45 did you really compared BMPCC 1080p (?) to GH4 4K? Why not 4k at BMPCC?

    At 2:59 really a 5dMk3 with nikkor lens?

    Graded footages at the end are a bit khmmm…. grade E

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  8. ken

    So just to confirm, you’re taking all the GH4 4K footage and downsampling it to 1080p for these comparisons?

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  9. Brent

    Why put the NIkkor lens on the 5D MIII? And how?

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  10. Robert

    Stunning footage from the Gh4. Do you know if this was recorded in camera (4:2:0) or externally with adaptor (4:2:2) ?

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  11. Bruce

    Guess I’m the only one who prefers the 5D3 image straight out the camera. The GH4 obviously has more detail, but for me it’s not all about the detail. Look at the skin tones and colours it picked up in the trees, all missing with the GH4 and the BMCC.

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  12. daihard

    Ive been using Nikon glass and Canon glass for a while with my GH2. There are a ton or adaptors out there that’ll allow you to use your glass on a Micro 4/3rds cameras. That was kinda the beauty and popularity of the GH1 when it was first introduced, you could throw any kinda glass on your camera with a simple $20 adaptor!

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  13. Dennis Manske

    That actually looks like a pretty poor example of the 5D3’s abilities. When shooting the 5D3, kill in camera sharpening, then sharpen in post. Do NOT do that with the 5D2. You may actually want to shoot in focus as well. One last note, I don’t know of anyone that plans to use 5D3 for cinema. Why are you comparing it to 4K? WOuldn’t it be better to compare it to other cameras in that class?

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    • Black Z Eddie

      It’s not necessarily better to compare like classes if the intent is show the difference between old and new. In this case to show how much better 4K is. Kinda like back in the day there were reviews that showed how much better Blu-Ray is to DVD.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I didn’t do the comparison Dennis, I am just sharing it. But to your point, I know plenty of people that use the 5D3 for their video work (Not Cinema), and I know many of them have had an eye on the GH4.

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    • Florin

      Actually i think is a bad ideea to kill in camera sharpness in Mk3, that was done in the Mk2 to hide the moire/aliasing problems . In Mk3 is quite ok to leave it at default and add 15-25% sharpness in post. And it would still be miles away from the GH4`s sharpness .. and i`m a Mk3 owner… but this GH4 is absolutely amazing, if i could use my Canon lenses on that GH4 i would consider switching to GH4.

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    • Slavik Gurmeza

      Metabones speedbooste Canon mount to Micro 4/3

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    • Joven

      IIRC, many parts of the last season of House were shot with the 5Dmk3

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