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4K Camera Showdown: Is the Under $2K Panasonic GH4 Sharper Than a $20K+ RED EPIC?

Under $2K Panasonic GH4 is Sharper Than Over $20K RED EPIC? - No Film SchoolThe Panasonic GH4 is barely on the market yet, and while we’ve seen some comparisons, some have been with cameras that aren’t shooting 4K. But what about comparing the $1,700 4K GH4 to the 5K RED EPIC MX (non-DRAGON), which runs well over $20K for a working body? That’s what Luke Neumann did, and he threw in the Canon 5D Mark III shooting Magic Lantern RAW for good measure, upscaled to 4K to keep everything consistent. Can a cheap camera really look sharper than a pro cine camera?

[Update 2] Luke also did an additional test with the GH4 and EPIC which you can download here. As I mentioned below, the Panasonic is doing a lot of processing internally, even if you turn down sharpness, which he did with the second test. The EPIC, on the other hand, does essentially nothing to the image, meaning there is no additional sharpening going on in the hardware. You can always add sharpening in post to the EPIC, which should bring it closer to the GH4, but the images still speak for themselves.

GH4 

Nikkor Ai-s 50mm f 1.2 @ f 5.6

Shutter at 180

CineLikeD: Contrast and Saturation to -5, Sharpness to -2

RED Epic

Nikkor Ai-s 50mm f 1.2 @ f 5.6

5K/FF/3:1

RedLogFilm: Contrast and white balance adjusted to match GH4 as close as possible.

This is a still from the new test (click for larger), which has been blown up to 400%:

Epic vs. GH4

[Update] Luke also shot this video with only the GH4:

What’s Going on Here?

There is no problem with the focus of the lens (it’s also stopped down where it should perform better), and Luke has actually uploaded samples so you can check them out without YouTube compression. First things first, Luke owns that EPIC, and I also own a RED, and we both own cameras of all brands — basically we don’t care what comes out on top in the end.


There is a huge difference between resolved detailed and perceived sharpness. Images can look very sharp because of edge enhancement (or high contrast), but may not actually be recording that much fine detail. Essentially there is an infinite amount of detail in the visible world, and how well a camera system reproduces this fine detail up to their pixel count is talked about in terms of resolved detail. A number of factors can affect resolved detail, including the lens, and the filter over the sensor (optical low-pass filter) that prevents aliasing or false details from showing up in the image as a rainbow pattern.

Nearly all color CMOS camera sensors (essentially most cameras you’re using), have what’s called a Bayer pattern:

Bayer Pattern Example

If you look at a straight Bayer pattern image it looks terrible, and so in processing this pattern must be interpolated with surrounding pixels to make an image that looks like the scene you were shooting. This means that the image coming into the camera can’t be translated 1:1 with your final image, and thus you’re losing some resolved detail having to Debayer the image and interpolate. The best Debayering algorithms can reproduce about 75-80% of the detail of whatever your initial resolution is, meaning a 4K color sensor can never actually resolve 4K detail, but 5K should come closer. This is also why 4K downscaled to 1080p looks good, because you’re sampling from many more pixels, and the whole system is already resolving well over 1080p.

Yes, the Panasonic GH4 Looks Sharper

Cameras that shoot RAW video, like the RED EPIC and 5D3 Magic Lantern RAW, do minimal processing internally to the image. Some has to be done to actually give you a clean image out of the box and remove fixed-pattern noise, but for the most part RAW is left to post. The Panasonic GH4, on the other hand, is a highly compressed camera, and it aims to give you the best possible image right to the card in the camera. This means it’s doing a lot more processing, which includes internal sharpening.

Panasonic-GH4-4K-Front-No-Lens-616x407

Is it actually resolving more detail at 4K compared to the RED’s 5K downsampled to 4K? It may very well be, and regardless of what you can do in post to an image, the vast majority like something that looks nice right out of the box. Could you sharpen the 5D Mark III and RED to look more like the Panasonic? Possibly, but in the end, for many people, the camera that costs the least, looks “the best,” and requires the least amount of work to get to a satisfactory image might be the one they favor, especially if it’s stuff going to the web where there may only be the slightest difference between a $2,000 camera and a $100,000 camera thanks to all sorts of factors like compression and screen resolution.

In the end, there are many factors that affect image quality, and resolved detail/sharpness is just one of them. There are plenty of others like color, dynamic range, motion rendering, etc. Each of these cameras has their own unique look, and they also have their own usability differences, which are often more important than the image, and are why one camera might be right for one job while another is not.

The test above shows that Panasonic is pushing as much detail as possible through this new 4K sensor, and with minimal correction, it stands up next to a camera that costs 10 times as much. Granted, the MX sensor is quite a few years old at this point, and DRAGON likely performs better, but we have now reached a point where you can get 80-90% of the overall quality of those high-end cameras for a fraction of the cost.

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COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 269 COMMENTS

  • Christopher John Taylor on 05.5.14 @ 2:47PM

    Well, let’s see the GH4 shoot the sun! We’ll stick with our F55.

    • You clearly don’t get the point.

      F55 = $30k
      GH4 = $2k.

      If you wanted a high-dynamic-range shot, you’d rent a RED or F55 or Alexa for a day or two… then intercut the rest with a lower-priced camera and controlled lighting. The point is, cameras are getting less expensive and with better features than low-budget filmmakers had access to 3-5 years ago. Technology is no longer a hindering factor for a quality product, leaving the filmmakers with the sole task of concentrating on giving us a good story.

        • +1 and you can get sony’s new camera A7s for shooting the sun as well ;) im not sure how it compares but in my little microcosm it does pretty amazing …. now if only it shot 24mp stills it would be one of the ultimate cameras :P good time for frugal film-makers but i aint one of them

          • Agreed. I own a F5 and I cant wait to try the A7s. I love the F5 but its so heavy and there are times like traveling in N.Z. where I wanted to take it on long walks but the weight was too much.

            Also Africa later in the year I dont want to take the F5 there. Draws too much attention. A7s will be a good size.

    • Fresno Bob on 05.5.14 @ 6:49PM

      Wow, lens flare.
      Used to be a time when people avoided lens flare as it’s unprofessional, now it’s in 99% of commercials.

      It’s hackneyed as hell

    • Well, at least you can shoot the sun with the GH4 and not get a freakin’ black or red spot (I won’t name names …blackmagic…;)

  • For a topic and video that is bound to stir up endless debate, arguing, and some very harsh words and strong opinions, I am really impressed by how fairly Joe wrote this, and how he ended on two very important points: 1.) Both of these cameras are great for different situations, and 2.) Sharpness isn’t the end-all, be-all of what makes a great image. Great write-up, Joe.

    • Altus Firh on 05.5.14 @ 2:55PM

      +1

    • That was, by far, the most awesome comment I’ve read on NFS in weeks.

    • Gavin Greenwalt on 05.11.14 @ 2:45PM

      While I would expect the GH4 to be slightly sharper due to a most likely weaker OLPF at the expense of aliasing. This test doesn’t actually show it to be sharper. All this test demonstrates is that the house is out of focus on the RED and in focus on the stopped down GH4. For a fair…ish comparison look at this:

      http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n134/im_thatoneguy/GH4vsEpic2_zps68b14171.jpg

      The Epic is actually sharper when you compare a part of the image that’s in focus. Which actually is slightly surprising to me and I attribute to: lower compression and 25% more resolution.

      • Gavin Greenwalt on 05.11.14 @ 3:57PM

        Also just a correction that’s not actually 5k Epic, that’s 4k Epic. The framing is different between the two so you would normally shoot the same framing as a GH4 and then supersample the 5k down to 4k to gain some additional resolution. So yeah… that’s with the same resolution of sensor even.
        http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n134/im_thatoneguy/REDGH4ResolutionComparison_zpsc97cb1eb.jpg

        • There’s two questions I have about the GH4 and the Red:

          1) Those frames you have do show an ever so slightly better resolution in the Red, but still, doesn’t the GH4 look better than any camera that was available anywhere in the world just seven years ago, and better than 98% of cameras available today? (I guess that’s two questions in one)

          2) Is the slight difference between the GH4 and the Red equal to the leap in price difference?

          I think the Red’s higher cost finds justification in things other than image quality, like high speed frame rate—which really is an exceptional feature of the Red. The price of a Red, ARRI, and Sony F55 is crushing to most film makers. The price of a GH4 can put a smile on their face.

          There’s two videos about moire in the GH4 that show’s there is virtually no moire in the GH4 at the 4K (UHD) setting.

          http://vimeo.com/94233203

          [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Grj67XCUk ] This second video talks about more than just moire.

          The only complaint I have about the GH’s is in the area of the color palette. I wish it had a bit less brown appearance on the color and a bit better look in pinks and greens.

          • Gavin Greenwalt on 05.12.14 @ 3:52AM

            1) Doesn’t the GH4 look better than any camera that was available anywhere in the world just seven years ago?
            I would argue film still existed seven years ago so no. But yeah, shits getting cheaper and better all the time. I would have clawed and fought my way through rabid dogs 10 years ago to get a camera like the GH4. But we do have other options today.

            2) Is the slight difference between the GH4 and the Red equal to the leap in price difference?
            For some people and some applications probably not. To take it a step further is the leap in price between the GH4 and most people’s iPhones worth it?

            My point isn’t to say the GH4 is a shitty camera. My point is that a 4k camera by and large is going to resolution wise look like a 4k camera. The dramatic difference in the moss on the shed is because the shed is out of focus in the RED shot. It’s not sharpening, it’s not OLPFs–it’s out of focus. Oops. In a perfect test I would expect them to be kneck and kneck when compressed. And I would expect the RED camera to take the lead at lower compression ratios (3:1) and get whomped at higher (10:1) compression ratios.

            All this test really accomplishes is drive hits to No Film School by posting a Gizmodo style inaccurate and click baiting headline.

  • Altus Firh on 05.5.14 @ 2:52PM

    Wow…. This thread should be fun.

  • john jeffries on 05.5.14 @ 2:54PM

    You guys made this article JUST to see the shitshow of comments

  • Let me just add some of OUR thoughts to this before people get all defensive. We OWN the Epic and have for almost a year. We love it. We bought the GH4 to replace our Mark III as a B-Cam/Behind the Scenes cam and simply wanted to see how the footage would cut together.

    • Thought you just sold it on Reduser.
      Wish the shots had split screen or
      edited back to back to compare better.

      5D3 with Magic Lantern wins this one.
      To Hell with 4K.

      • No, we have had it up there for about six months now. Been wanting to get out of it to move to the Scarlet Dragon or something. It’s tough because the MX tech is starting to show its age but the price is still pretty hefty (justifiable…but hefty) and the new Dragon tech is just awesome.

      • Cameras with mirrors are on the way out (note I didn’t say they are dead). The GH4 at $1700.00 is a godsend to those on a tight budget—which is almost all film makers. This comparison really is a pleasant surprise.

  • some doubts here, the Red doesn’t perform the same in all lenses. And it perform really bad with zoom lenses.
    I would rather make a text with prime lenses, and the difference will be obviously big and more precise.

    • I agree but it is the same lens so it just shows the disparity between Epic and GH4. A nice prime lens would sharpen up the RED but probably do that much more to the GH4 (which would be WAY too sharp IMO). If you own RED and know RED you know these things so this test shouldn’t make you think any differently. I was just surprised that it could even intercut with the RED stuff. Impressive.

      • I’m surprised by the results, I would have thought the Epic would have won this detail/sharpness test. I like that we can all buy a camera with this amount of detail at $1,700. I like that Panasonic is doing this at this price range since Canon seems to not care.

        • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:39PM

          Dave,

          Of the two companies Canon is BY FAR the more profitable.
          So if your question is, does Canon care about the R+D, marketing and production of a low volume, thin margin camera, then no, they don’t. The 1DC is still selling, even now!
          Canon have several new 4K cameras ready to announce – one of which is out testing as we speak.
          One version may arrive not too far from the GH4s number.
          Personally, I’m keeping my powder dry for just a few months yet.

          • how do you know this? Canon is marketing the autofocus features for the c cameras what makes you think we will soon see a 4k versions of the cameras and damage their current line? if they are testing now then it means Nab next year ??

          • Mark, for the love of all things holy and unholy, can you PLEASE give us a bit more detail on this mystery Canon 4K camera? Price-range? DSLR or Cinema EOS form-factor? Release date?

            Please?

          • Canon does not make better video. But they do make better marketing.

  • …and this thread will be epic… even without me trolling :)

    - Or : “How to Generate Traffic to the Website – Lesson One”.

  • Joseph Moore on 05.5.14 @ 3:04PM

    It looks like the GH4 is resolving considerably more “real” detail, not simply adding sharpening in camera vs. post. This seems especially evident looking at the blow-ups at the end. Am I imagining this, or do others see it as well?

  • GREAT article. Im certain this article was written without bias, just like I’m certain the people at Panasonic are delighted by this article.

  • so which is best for fast action sports close up .for detail and slow motion

  • Nice. Thanks Joe Marine and Luke Newman. No doubt about it. For the price that’s a decent 4K option. What we really need is someone to shoot a comparison side by side on the GH4 and EPIC – then master it for 4K Digital Cinema projection and get a bunch of DPs to the screening. I accept the challenge…. Or Joe or Luke could get in touch and I’ll sort you with a DCP for free

    • And possibly a free screening (in the UK… :) ) – but I can send you the unecnrypted DCP no problem – just get me an XYZ DCDM master.

  • Gh4 without OLPF is sharper, is this a surprise?

    Try to remove the OLPF from a Red Epic, then we see. Even BMC 2.5 looks like 4k be ause it doesn’t have OLPF. But a videocamera without OLPF can’t be used for features and important things.

    • I have been wanting to remove the OLPF on my Epic for a while…just a little afraid to get in there. Plus we want to sell it at some point and that seems like a harder sell.

    • Sony F55 has OLPF and 4K raw results visibly sharper image when compared to all Red cameras raw. Also with 5.5K – 6K Red raw image… This was verified even by Red user group moderator.

      It has been stated million times, Red puts out soft images, when compared to many other similar cameras.
      It is because way the sensor works in Red cameras and they use rather strong OLPF to “mask out” resulting imperfections. Most likely moving images from the Red cameras would look like a piece of crap without the filter…

      • Can you please send link. I saw a different comparison of the Sony 55 and Red Dragon using a resolution chart and the Dragon WAS barely sharper when downrezzed to 4k. It was actually quite lackluster.

      • Is that a trolling? Do you need more sharpness than an EPIC gives to you?

        Ow my…

      • Sony F55 is videoish, i bet the OLPF there is not strong like Red cameras.

        If you see Sony F65, it is another kind of beast: more cinematic and, for sure, better OLPF (and double the price)

        You can’t really compare F55 to Red, unless Sony will fix some quirks, and F55 will work, shoot, edit in Rec2020, that is not the standard at all right now, and it goes Rec709 or ACES.

        • I used to feel that way but with S-Gamut3 it looks just like an Alexa except sharper.

        • Jesus, I just stated a facts…

          Look: NO, I am not trolling when it comes to image sharpness for F55 vs. Red Epic / Scarlet / Dragon.
          If Richard wants to see himself, you can look at here:

          http://www.cinematography.net/UWE/index.html

          Download F55, Alexa and Red Dragon raw files, or compare .tiff files straight from example jpgs. With my computer you have to click left mouse button over the jpg image and then download the the uncompressed tiff.

          Red Dragon images have 5.5K capture resolution, Sony F55 image have (obviously) 4K capture resolution.

          • Sony wasn’t in the comparison.

          • Just took a look. Yup, it’s true. The F55 is actually sharper than the Dragon. That’s ridiculous. It’s possible Dragon has a strong OLPF which makes the image softer. I would love to see how the F65 compares as I still consider that camera the cream of the crop, IMHO.

      • Sony F5, 1080P, mpeg-4:

        http://vimeo.com/65065150

  • BobHadABabyItsABoy! on 05.5.14 @ 3:22PM

    Couple of questions. What is the sharpness level set to in camera? I have been seeing people set this to -3 but I find this way too soft for my own taste. Also were the highlight shadows adjusted? Finally.. what’s better .MOV h264 or MP4 LPCM format?

    • Sharpness was at default (0), Shadows and highlights untouched, .MOV seems better so far.

      • One (small) factor is most likely also the compression used with Red raw. It is wavelet-based, meaning it removes the high frequency data first -> resulting slightly softer image.

        This is well known slightly negative feature of wavelet-compressed images.

  • More camera talk… Yawn… Most cameras are decent nowadays… Let’s quit talking about which is better and make something beautiful with what you can get your hands on.

    • +1, though I love the camera talk and specs, the arguing is annoying. People get all kinds of riled upover their F65′s, Scarlets, BMC’s blah blah. It’s a camera. Let’s see what it can do and just know it will be “better” for different situations. Because “better” really is relative to price and circumstance.

    • john jeffries on 05.5.14 @ 7:49PM

      But nobody here can do that, is the problem.

        • I think everyone here, myself included, is scared of taking real risk and putting themselves out there, outside of their comfort zone. Started watching Terry Gilliam’s Brazil last night. That guy has a weird vision, I don’t get what he was trying to say, but I am awed by his guts to make a piece of meaningful, engaging art.

  • In my opinion the GH4 looks a bit too sharp for my taste. Though I’d love to see how it does with my vintage lenses.

    Also, I personally think the 5DmkIII holds up quite well, too, even after it’s been upscaled.

    • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:05PM

      Finally some sense!
      The GH4 is actually too sharp to be pleasing on most things. It looks like video footage from the early days of HD. RED (and others) actually got us AWAY from that :-)
      And I was shocked at how well the 5D3 held up, considering its being blown up to match frame size.
      We often blow up ML RAW to 2K DCP but I don’t think we’ve ever bothered to go to 4K.

      Horses for courses.
      The GH4 might be just the ticket for certain things, but I’m not likely to suggest shooting a major drama on one.

      /not even remotely tempted by either the GH4 or any current RED product.
      /tested the GH4 – didn’t care for it.

      • Still waiting on that Hawk Vintage hook up :)

      • You’re right on the money. A tastefully color graded high dynamic range RAW image has such a better look and feel. Take great paintings for an example, most are not painted to the ultimate level of definition and sharpness, but rather they strike a balance between reality and a dream state.

  • Thank you for all your work on this test! Me personally just very happy that we have the choice to buy great cameras. Of course we can’t say which one is better.. Better for what!?? :) They are all great and you should chose by your stile of shooting, the content you wanna create and sooooo on.. I am in love with all 3 and LOVE the image from the RED as well as have seen some wonderful works from Mark3 too! Personally, I would like a GH4 in the future simply because that is suitable for my stile (Wedding and other events with lots of instant situations..) Happy shooting everyone! ;)

  • brian merlen on 05.5.14 @ 3:31PM

    wow sorry i gotta try and stay cool on this one but i don’t think this accurate or correct. and i’d like to address this now before it balloons into some arri marketing campaign lol!

    when HD first came out PEOPLE HATED IT! more resolution does not always equal good…the talent was being over sharpened to make up for shisty codecs and shisty compression. they hated it, it happened to make all the details you didn’t want shown very much present. make up budgets ballooned. it was not pretty, and this should of been addressed i think.

    people shoot higher end systems to get better quality. some like there quality baked in like say an alexa workflow to prores, or maybe a dragon workflow to a 7q to a specific codec that isn’t r3d based? lots of cameras even lower end ones can (and should) achieve better image quality by shooting to off board recorders is the reality. some systems like alexa, f5/55, and soon the flex 4k can shoot to prores off rip, and sometimes it looks great…but all of these systems still have a raw workflow for when its needed…

    maybe sometimes its needed cuz its graphics intensive, or color correction intensive, or they just are big budget and like using the word raw? i don’t know but i see lots of people making cameras that shoot it, and productions that use it. even lower end systems are trying to get into the non baked in thing lately!

    to have the preset that “whatever comes out closest and best looking initially” is not a good mind set. your not focusing on the big picture. big picture may have extensive needs for raw, big picture may have extensive power windows.

    comparing a camera that over sharpens but is far less capable to unprocessed material from a high end system is not a fair comparison. surely the race to the bottom for 4k has started :p

    so i am trying to be unbiased as well, surely all us owner ops are biased to a certain degree. its dumb, its foolish, and its bad practice. the best tool is ALWAYS the best tool whether you own one or not, and the best is relative for the job on hand, period.

    there is no reason for arri, phantom, sony, canon, black magic, to spend time working on raw if it didn’t matter. it very much matters, and the premise of whatever looks best straight out is ignoring many other important factors i think. sure some producers worn see it…but bad codecs, coupled with baked in, coupled with lower dynamic range only means less potential malleability.

    this is bigger the one consumer camera vs red, this is a thought pattern…does looking best without processing beat processing? i think it very much depends on the budget and what niche your in, what your clients paying you…

    there are instances where you will simply need raw cuz they want to be safe. frankly is safer to not bake it…and last time i debated this i heard Arri raw and Red raw bake in the least…not sure if its changed with the many new systems now out or shortly to be out… but i think going for raw is industry standard and this is over generalizing, especially on higher end work. also not baking it in is much more like film, people like that, clients, DPs. it gives you choice, or at least more choice…usually at the loss of data space when it comes to storage, but some have worked on that more then others as far as mastering compression…

    i would further like to add I’ve used the pix240 and 7q and both are excellent solutions if you want to bake in your r3d files. i’ve also used them not on red camera systems too, like i said above many systems benefit from off board recorders that can capture better quality then some consumer cameras can with their primary recording algorithmic sources (usually crippled on purpose by the brand to force sales of the higher end system)…

    if you really talk about this stuff on a technical level you can shoot all sorts of systems many ways, and sometimes there are very silly reasons why they do it, sometimes its very genuine reasons. i’m just the guy stuck trying to get it to happen and keep it running smoothly and secure. i don’t have time to marry a brand i gotta make a living guys….this ain’t a religion its a camera brand…whether your a sony, arri, red, canon, phantom guy or in between i think we can all focus on getting the best tools for the jobs.

    end rant (i own a sony, a red, and a phantom…im an equal opportunity shooter i guess)

    • Agreed! For us (right now at least) the GH4 fits in nicely as a B cam to our Epic and our main BTS camera. I like the BTS to be closer to action (smaller sensor works for us there) and I want file sizes small and easy to edit (don’t want to grade or be worried about space when it come to BTS). The fact that it can be our main BTS cam and then turn around and be a B cam is great for the price!

      • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:08PM

        BTS cam is a good use for it, although would still not be my first choice camera for that either.
        (I tend to book cams with Canon’s new focus assist for that – for BTS its almost fire and forget).

        Hey, if you like it, great.

    • Yoinker'sVille on 05.5.14 @ 3:40PM

      Sounds like your butt hurts because you forked out all this cash and a $1700 camera just shelfed your shit brah

      • brian merlen on 05.5.14 @ 4:02PM

        im alexa tech, phantom tech, reducated, 3d reducated, and probably gonna take some more classes to be an f5 tech maybe c500 too. i think if you want to work you need to know ALL the tools on the market. i own a phantom, sony and red personally… honestly i am more into phantom stuff then red personally speaking but i made a lot of cash over the past 3 years on red jobs, the majority actually. but i personally like slow motion more then high res and always shot my epic low res for the frame rates until i placed it at a house and got the phantom. to be honest i haven’t touched my red in almost a year lol…hows that for being biased? i used a lot of other peoples red tho in that time

        • brian merlen on 05.5.14 @ 4:09PM

          also with that kind of attitude what do you think or arri products? all you guys who go on about cheap cheap tools, what your day rates? are you even professional shooters? on a professional level things cost money. a mac for a phantom costs more then a red dude. an arri is a house. or a lifetime in some countries…its all relative to purchasing power. but its oversimplifying things significantly to say least processing is best…maybe for producers but some things just cannot get done this way. on big budget jobs the camera price is so little compared to say the 3d rig, the technocrane, the DP, the talent, the director who even cares? i don’t know how anyone with a 1700 dollar camera can do much more then wedding work with it maybe or have fun with their kids…my sony cost about that much 4 years ago and got me no work at all almost…should of got the DSLR but the sony had no silly 12 minute roll time cut off. anyway there are other factors then price or ease of use, or image quality and throwing in bias like what you own is the worst thing you can even do. you have no clue what your doing if you think owning it is what matters. how many of you can possibly afford to own all the hottest cameras all the time? are you warren buffet? rentals are the name of the game…in fact i think being an owner op is seriously flawed in todays economy personally. so trying to annoy me with a taunt about money doesn’t matter to me, I’ve survived worse believe me :p

        • Fox Mulder on 05.5.14 @ 5:44PM

          Alexa tech? How is that possible when Arri doesn’t have a certification program, like Abel Cine does for Phantoms? Did you work at Arri? They offer a course on working on cameras but it by no means qualifies you as an Alexa tech. On to the next one… being on Abel Cine’s list of people that forked over 2k$ to take a Phantom course doesn’t make you a Phantom tech either, just putting that out there because I know a lot of people on that list that have no business even touching a camera. Certification lists are about as good as film degrees. No one’s gonna ask you about it if you know your stuff. Advertising it gives off the “I just graduated impression”

        • Fox Mulder on 05.5.14 @ 6:30PM

          Classes don’t make you a tech. Just because you sit through someone at Abel or someone else talking … doesn’t make you a tech for that particular camera. THERE IS NO ARRI CERTIFICATION PROGRAM, so saying you’re an Alexa tech makes no sense. You probably took an Alexa class at Abel, but guess what … means nothing. Arri has classes that they offer to some people. Those classes are generally taken by techs at rental houses in NY & LA. The classes go over taking the camera apart, some repairs, etc… but you’re not getting that from Abel. Abel or whoever outside of Arri isn’t give you the white papers that show you how to take apart an Alexa evf, how to clean it, etc…

          • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:10PM

            well i own a phantom too if that helps :p

            and yes i took that abel course and your right it means nothing at all just like most courses/degrees. i was merely trying to say just cuz I’m a red owner doesn’t make me a brainless zombie. ps last time i checked didn’t arri tell everyone the alexa is so easy you don’t even need a tech lol!

            furthermore if you want a copy of my resume i’d be happy to send it over if you really are interested (but i know your just trying to be snarky)… really i just wanted to establish i don’t have a red bias since literally everyone who talks to you assumes you have a red bias if you own one. i own 3 different brand cameras and all are good at different things and make more or less sense at different times for the situation. so all these camera holy war stuff is a lot of garbage to me, if you wanna work you learn lots of works flows its really that easy…

    • People hated HD? What people are you talking about?? Seriously! I still remember when 1080p tvs came out how people would crowd around the tvs at stores to look at the picture. People did not hate HD when it came out.

      The disconnect between internet comments and the real world keeps getting bigger.

      • I’m gonna stay out of the larger fight going on here, but yeah, people hated HD… I totally remember that. It took a couple years for a lot of people to come around to it. There was a bit of a backlash against stars looking “too real”

        • huh, really? you may have encounter all of the few who didn’t like HD.

          • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:13PM

            it was the over sharpening, models hated it. shooters hated it…not sure why you guys didn’t hear about it but i heard about it a lot… because it wasn’t real resolution it was over sharpening that resulted in uglier images…i’ll try and look up some links but i assure you i’m not making this up this was a technical level issue with HD and over sharpening

          • I’m talking about the end user. Nothing else really matters. No end user complained about higher resolution just like no end user is complaining about 4K.

      • I don’t remember exactly a backlash from viewers against HD, but I certainly remember even news stories about how there was a major adjustment process on the production end to make HD not look too harsh. Things like make-up people, costume, and set designers having to come up with new techniques and materials because the HD all of a sudden was showing all kinds of harsh imperfections that were hidden by SD.

        • There was a bit of a backlash, similar to what we’re seeing with 4K now, of actors saying they hated it for all the detail it showed. I personally never understood that complaint given that high resolution stills of those same actors existed.

          • I can understand the actor end of things having some backlash. I never saw or heard of it at the consumer end, just like with 4K.

          • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:16PM

            those stills are HIGHLY touched up… thats why they are less problematic (if any at all)

    • Great post. Great comment. Quick question.

      I’m producing a micro (is there a word below micro?) -budget contained thriller with a 2-cam setup (ala Duplass bros) to shoot in 3 months and as much as I would love to afford two REDs for 10 days it’s just not feasible with the budget constraints.

      So, two camera setup. Low light. Tight spaces. 5D III w/ ML RAW win or lose over GH4?

      I know the 5Ds has substantial time to work out a solid workflow but getting anywhere near the res of an Epic (again, wish I could) with a GH4 is mighty tempting. I know the craftsmanship of the DP is a monstrous caveat but assuming you had two (or the same) vetted DP on board, which would you guys suggest?

      Any info/comments appreciated. Thanks so much.
      Abel
      abel@spitandspite.com

  • I think most people should already know that not everyone desires an image that is ultra sharp and that image alone is not the determining factor for one’s camera choice. Good to see the comparison though.

    • I don’t know, I like that the GH4 is sharp just because you can crop into it and you can always soften a bit in post. I have never felt like I could crop into the Epic image all that much so if you’re not finishing in 4K then what’s the point? The argument has always been “at least you can crop in and re frame”. With the GH4 I feel like I can actually do that. So, long story short, I don’t mind an ultra sharp camera for certain uses…maybe not your A/talent cam but for nature shots/B cam? For sure.

      • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:12PM

        I’m with Prowlerman on this one.
        I do not miss the days of over sharp video.
        Re the reframing thing – again, that’s pretty much a no-no around here so not much help.
        I also HATE the lens crop, and don’t start talking adapters to me. Have seen a few too many lenses pop off those lately.

        • In my house re framing is A-OK. GH4 footage (so far) is much more capable of it than Epic. Also, agreed on the mounts. Rented a Speedbooster for the first time and you really have to put some elbow grease on it to get the lens to “click”. Once it’s on it’s fine though.

          • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:25PM

            How old is that Speedbooster?
            I love the concept, but we just had a large shoot with almost every cam under the sun on it and we had issues with the BMPCC AND BMCC’s Speedbooster ‘popping’ lenses. No huge heartache, only happened maybe once each over 3 weeks, but you get that flinch, you know?
            To be fair, these ‘boosters had had a rough life. :-)

            Re reframe: I used to love it even just within HD, but I have noticed more strict guidelines from networks lately warning people off. Also its verboten with most studios.
            But for music vids/corporates, have at it!

          • Would you be tempted to shoot a feature doc on it? For 2K?

          • Just to prove a point? No, not really. It could be done though. You could shoot that on any camera though. It all comes down to budget/desired look.

  • Forget the sharpness/resolution comparison. Luke made his GH4 clip look … (can I get a drum roll, please?) … filmic.
    .
    Now, when is YAGH coming out?

    • filmic? nope. looked like video to me. Cool shadows with a warm key do not equal filmic.

      • Brilliant because it is in fact a video camera. Filmic is a vague term that you couldn’t describe to me if you wanted to.

        • Haha calm down their lukey. I didn’t say anything you should be taking offense at. The GH line always has looked more video-ish than most DSLRs. And I can define filmic. Simply put it means that it looks as if the image was shot on film. For example Game of Thrones is a digitally shot production that looks as if it was a 35mm show. Something like home improvement is obviously video. The gh4 looks more like video and I’d never mistake it for film. Therefore it isn’t “filmic”. Thanks for over reacting to my comment. I’d think for someone of your talent and position you’d be above such actions but I guess I was wrong. Cheers and keep up the good work and toughen up a bit chap.

          • I’m just tired of that same old argument for digital cameras. Ha! It’s such an empty critique. You CAN create filmic images with it. To me…the shots we showed in the beginning of the video looked “filmic” but I guess that just means our definition of the word are different…

      • Here’s the breaking news – digital is the new film. Film at eleven.

        • That’s breaking new? That’s old news. Only some commenters on the internet haven’t caught on to that. Rip van Winkle, paging Rip van Winkle… ;-)

  • The Test is not relevant.
    The Red-Epic doesn’t perform good enough with the Red Lenses so how come you are testing it on a zoom lens from a brand that has nothing to deal with cinema at all.
    You want to test the Red, then test it with Prime Arri , Angenieux but nothing less.

    • Oh jeez. It’s relevant because these are the lenses we own and use. A LOT of people use vintage Nikkor Ai-s on their RED. A better lens might sharpen up the RED image but it would also sharpen up the GH4 image (which I can’t believe is possible). So it’s more about the disparity. If you own and/or know RED you know the image isn’t overly sharp. This shouldn’t surprise you at all.

      • The GH’s always look better with lenses other than Panasonic lenses. I really do love the Nikkor look with the GH4. I’m looking forward to Leica and Voightlander lenses footage from the GH4 from someone, anyone………

    • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:17PM

      But then it would actually demonstrate something useful, rather than be used as confirmation bias.
      You’ll note no high DR shots full of primary colors either.

      Its a $1700 cam, that gives you very basic 4K video. Its kind of useful, but also quite limited.
      That makes it sharper and easier to shoot with than a Galaxy Note 3 I guess.*

      *only half-kidding.

      • You just can’t win with your personal testing I guess :) First it’s “no shots with talent and lighting”, now it’s “no high DR full of primary colors”. The point is that it’s a solid entry level camera that’s 100% capable of delivering cinematic images. You just have to know how to create those images. I, for one, am sold. Going to keep it for a while :)

        • marklondon on 05.5.14 @ 4:30PM

          I agree with your summation and your frustration.
          We REALLY wanted to like it, had it in-house for a week, but the DR/lens crop/sharpness thing put us off.

          But I can absolutely see a place for it, and I apologize for the ribbing. You put some actual effort into the test, unlike most.

          • No problem man :) Wasn’t that much effort either, just a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. Mostly just wanted to see if it could mix with our Epic stuff/work as a BTS cam. If hadn’t liked the results we would have sold but it surprised us! We had been hearing bad stuff so my expectations were low…

      • Confirmation Bias? No.

        mark,

        the real bias is coming from you. Sorry, but it is.

    • brian merlen on 05.5.14 @ 4:18PM

      yes testing other glass would help i have to agree with that… before you can really say for certain…plus run some measuring tape and really make sure the focal points are the same too…id like to see this done with dragon, but personally attribute it to all the over sharpening done in camera on the consumer model would be my guess… its not always a pleasing thing though like i tried to point out above.. sometimes over sharpening looks sharper but isn’t really there is the thing and maybe accentuates thing edges strange, or items you won’t want. i’d suggest more testing before we all sell our reds and alexas for 2,000 dollar consumer cameras guys :p

      • Oh God no. If you own an Alexa and you sell your camera after watching THIS…you had no business owning an Alexa in the first place…lol!

        • brian merlen on 05.5.14 @ 4:59PM

          did you account for the sensor size difference? i know back in my pre cine days the small sensors made everything in focus, so the funny thing about red/dslr is a lot of the appeal is in the shallow DOF usually…im just trying to wrap my head around what could account for the sharpness…hmmm

    • I’m sure Luke would gladly accept any of those lenses as a gift from you.

  • Thanks for doing the test, but please redo it with the same things in focus. The Epic shot is in focus at the flowers on the left, while the GH4 shot is in focus on the trees in the background… That does not compare well.

    • We included the original shots for you to check out. Also did a 400% screen of the trees on the left because someone else thought the same thing. Not the case at all. We know how to focus a camera we have owned for over a year thank you very much :)

      • The discrepancy in resolving power looks too large to be “in-camera” sharpening. I suspect the Panasonic has a superior sensor or lens.

        • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:24PM

          well its a smaller sensor too, so larger depth of field unless that was accounted for during testing and f stops adjusted (which then changes luma levels too not just DOF so its hard to really make apples to apples when we are taking different sized sensors)

  • nice comparison…i love the not so sharp images from Red but i can also use the GH4K sharp images if that’s how i have envisioned my story…
    i usually dont get,why the camera drama?…one might be the best and cost a shit load but if the images coming out doesn’t match the one you have for the story then that would make it the WRONG camera for the job…it will surely fail you…and there is also something called personal preference that also must have its place…in the why i choose this over this and that

  • Thanks Luke for the test, very suppressing to see the GH4 holding up. I would like to see the Sony A7S side by side to these cameras once released.

  • A better comparison would be GH4 and the Canon 1 DC 4K dslr. (both stills cams). Which, I believe, other than the GH4, is the only stills camera (the best in the world) that you can shoot 4K internally. Of course I’m biased as I own the 1 DC, but I love the 1×3 crop (and incredible super 35mm option at 1×6) and the way Canon’s color just looks..right. To my eyes, the 1 DC is best for narrative filmmaking and the GH4 looks like a great cam for doc/reality show/pornography/wildlife cam. Of course the 1 DC could do any of those, however the 1 DC ooks so filmic that its best used for movies. The price of the 1 DC must be why no one ever talks about the cam here.

  • Part 2: Interested to see if Joe or Like has shot with the Canon 1 DC and their thoughts as compared to the GH4.

  • VinceGortho on 05.5.14 @ 5:02PM

    5DM3 raw VS. GH4

    http://www.eoshd.com/

    • LumberjackSatan on 05.5.14 @ 5:41PM

      Oh man, that test was MUCH more interesting.
      I believe the shots of Luke’s test are a bit messed up due to the crop factor of the sensor changing without adjusting focus. With the GH4′s smaller sensor, no wonder everything is sharp, everything is in focus.

      What I really disagree about is the fact that a ‘cinematic’ image is supposedly a ‘sharp’ image. I don’t know wha

    • LumberjackSatan on 05.5.14 @ 5:42PM

      Oh man, that test was MUCH more interesting.
      I believe the shots of Luke’s test are a bit messed up due to the crop factor of the sensor changing without adjusting focus. With the GH4′s smaller sensor, no wonder everything is sharp, everything is in focus.

      What I really disagree about is the fact that a ‘cinematic’ image is supposedly a ‘sharp’ image. I don’t know what it is the GH4 does to resolve color, movement or detail, but it just always has this weird VIDEO handycam look to it. Yes i know, it’s all actually VIDEO, but that’s the best way to describe it.

      I still find that the 5D RAW has a more ‘cinematic’ feel to it, especially when graded correctly in RAW. But hey, whatever floats your boat

      • To me “cinematic” is a combination of lighting, movement, color, texture. Resolution is great but it’s only one aspect of the big picture.

        • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:30PM

          i think cine has to do with a lot of different stuff, probably some more so then others for different viewers but i’ll try and throw some terms down:

          noise vs grain, digital noise is very different looking then grain

          colors, that sony japanese weird video look strikes out compared to shooting Log on any high end system and then coloring it more filmic looking. video has a strange sony isn look to it, like always to me.

          24p and 180 degree shutter make filmic motion to me

          those are just some of the things that look filmic to me, personally. the reality is with post filters a lot can be done these days no matter what system you own or shoot on

  • Thanks Luke. Btw, your video ‘A Coast Day’ has excellent cinematography. Hope you get your hands on a 1 DC at some point. Best

  • Well its actually happening I guess. I guess in 3 4 years there wont be much of difference between high-end and prosumer cameras. The truth is 95 percent of the people would not be able to tell you which one is gh4 or red but again you cant take a gh4 to a professional set, clients would not take you seriously.

    • Solution: in year 2017, with your 6K rez GH5, just put it inside cool looking enclosure with few blinking lights and you will fine : )

      But, yes, fact is that all the camera business will change a lot… And I do not wanna start fights here, but “wanna-be-boutique-companies” like Red will go down so hard. Only someone like Arri will survive as “boutique brand”. Lens manufactures are also other branch who will most likely stay over the surface, but anything that depends on semiconductor tech, will have reaaally hard time coping.

      Sony / Panasonic etc. will survive by selling F65 image quality at under 5000 dollars…

      Actually Sony could right now release a camera that does exactly that, and they would still be profitable. But of course they will not do it, until market forces them to.

    • In a few years Red will have an 8K sensor. Higher and higher K’s are not going to stop coming. Regardless of what you’ll read in comment threads, resolution is king—even though some don’t want to see that. I don’t see a mad dash to get improvement with any other aspect of video like with higher K’s. Yes, all other areas are being improved as time goes by. But they are secondary to higher K’s.

      Have a nice night. :-)

    • And apparently ARRI is already working on 8K.

      • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 4:34PM

        i don’t think the resolution race matters as much as dynamic range matters…6k is more then enough for me…too much in fact

        • Only a few shooters are caring about DR. Everyone else is going for higher K’s, including the end user.

        • When is the last time you saw anyone besides a few people on the internet say anything about dynamic range? Everyone is going for 4K, 6K, and as soon as 8K makes it outside Japan and South Korea, they will be going for it. They won’t come to a screeching halt if dynamic range isn’t up to some internet commenters standards. We need to major on the majors and minor on the minors. It’s clear right now higher K’s are the major and DR is a minor. All the kicking and screaming in protest by some commenters on the internet over that won’t change that.

          The GH4 is selling better than Panasonic thought it would. And it is rumored Sony is lowering the price of the soon to be released A7s from $3000.00 to $1800.00 because of fears over bad sales projections because of how good the $1700.00 is doing. Higher K’s are where the video world is going. Higher K’s are king—regardless of the protests.

  • Felipe Opazo on 05.5.14 @ 6:37PM

    First of all, congrats Luke on all the work you do and share with the community, i just have one major doubt: Since there’s a great difference between sensor sizes, shouldn’t you adjust the aperture accordingly? I mean, the depth of field in a full frame camera @f.8 is going to be much shallower than in a micro 4/3 one, right? Same with the Super 35 sensor compared with micro 4/3, maybe the huge difference in sharpness has to do with this. Tell me if i’m completely wrong please!
    It’s great videos are coming out, personally, i don’t mind sharpness that much since i always end up shooting at maximum apertures and adding grain (film convert) just to get rid of that super-sharp video look you get sometimes at smaller apertures (i know small aperture doesn’t mean video-like!!).
    All the best from Chile.

    Felipe

    • Felipe Opazo on 05.5.14 @ 10:23PM

      anyone?

      • Hey, with the subject being as far away as it is and at f 8 it’s not that important IMO. I wanted to keep the lens at an ideal f stop throughout more than I wanted to show the difference in DOF.

        • Felipe Opazo on 05.6.14 @ 11:06PM

          Thanks for he answer, i just have one more doubt: normally, if you want a sharp background, even with focus @ infinity, you would use a moderately small aperture (f.8-11) right, not f.5.6/f.4/f.2.8? Since the depth of field is shallower when using a bigger sensor, even at that distance the difference in sensor size should matter, right?

    • Martin Beebee on 05.6.14 @ 9:50PM

      m4/3 is just a crop, so I don’t think it shouldn’t affect the actual depth-of-field — just the angle of view. That’s why it’s wrong when folks say that a 50mm lens on an APS/crop sensor is equivalent to an 85mm on a full frame sensor — the two lenses have different compression effects and depths-of-field.

  • kurt lindner on 05.5.14 @ 6:43PM

    We really should be concentrating R&D on a Foveon sensor for video. Jut sayin’…

  • Shame you can’t use EF lenses with this or I’d be buying this body.

    • You can bro, red rock micro make a simple adapter that works really well. I think others do also. It even controls the elictronic iris.

      • Well it can’t autofocus, I know people will say who uses autofocus for Cinema but for event coverage I really rely on autofocus. Stuck with Canon due to my EF lens collection (i do own a GH3 that I use with Rokinon Glass).
        Also the MFT lens is mighty expensive, saw something at NAB that might be a much better solution at same price (by Apurture).

    • Youn can do it old way. Use set iris on spare EOS body, unscrew and put it on GH4.

    • Using EF lens is a terrible ideal even for web canon lens do not resolve lines /details well for professional work Even the overated l series

      • They’re not particularly better or worse than any other line of photo lenses, L-series or otherwise.
        Anyway, the reason many want to use them is that many already have them for their existing Canon DSLRs. Also, compared to many “professional” video lenses, they’re cheap and readily available.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….aw, thanks for the laugh!

  • How many people are watching this on a true 4K screen? I looked at on my Dell 32″ and it’s very different from looking at it in HD. The GH4 looks sharpened to the point of “upscaled” – strong aliasing on telephone lines, artificial details on any diagonals. The Epic looks a bit soft at 4K but precisely what you would expect for that sensor RAW. The Mark III uprezzed looks like VHS – ugh, not usable at 4K for anything.

    The GH4 Panasonic is not bad for the price. But it’s not great at 4K. Not sure I would use it for 4K projection. Not noticeably better than Sony’s 4K $2k handycam footage although a side to side should be in order. Be interesting to see Sony A7s side by side with GH4.

    Downloading the original files now and see if that’s different from YouTube stream.

  • Now do a side by side of the slow mo please.

  • How is it possible that compressed 12 stops gh4 gives better image than Red Epic. Am not a fan boy i dont owe any of these cameras, but would like to know the answer. In camera can only record 8bit 4;2;0 color space and thats very shitty. So you telling me 4;2;0 better than red epic ??? What kind of bull**** is that ?

    • Perceived resolution and dynamic range totally different things… You can have very soft 1080P image with huge dynamic range and extremely sharp 8K image with very limited dynamic range.

      Pana GH4 is also digital camera for still images. It would be rather strange to design camera like that with strong (very soft) filtering.

    • Just one more thing, look at this:

      http://vimeo.com/60927476

      50 Mbit/sec MPEG-2 (!!!) with strong 4:2:2 quantization. It is a low resolution proxy straight from the Sony F55 camera.

      In what way you would say for example Red Epic with raw would result better image in this case ? If I would be rude, I would say that you simply could not get that (especially night scenes ) good image with Epic… Raw or not raw.

      My point is, if the sensor and the internal processing is good, even highly compressed image will look surprisingly good.

      • Why this digression into talking about Sony from so many on here? If that ultra expensive Sony doesn’t look better than the GH4 then shame on Sony. But nevertheless, the Sony doesn’t look like it’s worth the $82,300.00 more than the GH4.

        • Sony F55 does not cost 80 grand. Yup its expensive but we are talking 30 grand not 80.
          Global shutter on the GH4?

          • Can’t shoot with a body.

            • Well if you are going to call a G4 a $1700 camera (which is its body only price) then you should compare it to the body only price of the other camera. F55 is $28990 at B&H.

          • Everything I can see for price goes from $50,000.00 to $122,000.00 for an F55. I took a number in the middle. Even at $50,000.00 it does not look worth that much more than a GH4. If you buy an expensive lens for the GH, a Shogun Ninja, and expensive memory cards you will pay around $5000.00 for a GH4 ready to go. The low end cost for a F55 is 10X that. You will not get 10X the quality out of it—regardless of shutter. Panasonic has hit a home run with this camera.

            Seems like there should be lots of happiness in the comments over this camera because of its low cost. ANYONE can save up enough money to buy it and all the accessories, even if they have a part time job. But there’s a continual complaint in comments that it’s not as good as this or that ultra expensive camera. Only trained eyes will see the slight difference between the GH4 and a F55. Everyone else is just B-S-ing their way through this comment thread.

            The only legitimate comparison that we should have with the GH4 could be with the soon coming out Sony a7s–that is if the a7s is priced about the same. If it’s going to be priced at $3000.00 as is rumored then there will be no comparison there either.

      • Er… color grading ?

  • Hey Luke! Great tests :) Are the R3D’s in that zip file also? I would like to throw them in Resolve to see how they look in comparison after a bit of tweaking. Cheers!

  • Holy mother of Resolution and sharpness $1700 price, is a game changer for the film making. I just changed my mind of getting MKiii & Blackmagic 4K, Instead I’ll just buy 2 GH4 Camera A and B.

  • BTW can anyone tell me how many F stops will it suffer if we put an adapter from EF to Micro Four Thirds ?

    • no stops will suffer. what you have is what you get, but you can use a 99$ focal reducer to get 1 more stop of light and super35 field of view…or a BMCC speed booster for even more

  • Panasonic had to ramp up production of the GH4 to meet demand: http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/04/25/panasonic-increasing-gh4-production-to-meet-demand

    Looks like most people aren’t paying attention to what some commenters on the internet are saying about the GH4.

  • Cool test. Red handles those highlights much better which I’m personally more keen on paying attention to. Obviously the GH4 sharpness is on another level, then again I’m not shooting films tho be shown in a cinema, so it doeskin really matter to me.

  • To me these cameras are not even comparable…the RED Epic is far superior in every way and in these test shots the epic doesn’t even look in focus. I use RED’s all the time and they DON’T look like that at all. Looks like the tree was in focus or it was a bit off. Plus 14 bit compressed RAW and 14 stops of range beat an 8-bit DSLR anyday. As it’s stated, there is interal processing going on and you can see the sharpness being added and looks digital to me. The form factor sucks as well as it’s a DSLR and also a cropped sensor correct? I guess for average prosumers it’s cool but i’ll stick to the tools that work for each job and project and continue renting.

    • The GH4 is not a DSLR.

    • Its true….. The RED does produce a better image in EVERY way…. Plus its a 16 bit sensor, not a 14 bit sensor. But the whole point of the post was that it just resolved a sharper image, not that it was a superior camera over all, because most people will agree that the Epic still destroys the best prosumer image quality out there.

      • Red’ EPIC’s sensor technology is outdated and it shows in the comparison. The GH4 is not a digital cinema camera so I’m not going to even make that comparison. Of course the RED is much better for production but that wasn’t the point of the test.

    • I prefer full frame. Micro four thirds is, meh.

      • Enjoy stopping your full-frame down to F5.6 to achieve manageable focus. If you’re a novice, F8.

    • GH4 form factor “sucks” in comparison to a RED? Please… it’s a cube with a lens sticking out of it. What exactly about that form factor is so superior?

  • In the test video, the GH4 shots all look a little “video-y” to my eye.

    The second video however looks much more “filmic”.

    Was there any difference in in-camera settings or post workflow? Is anyone else seeing this or are my eyes deceiving me?

  • Thank you Luke, and Joe. You have shown that something very significant is happening here with the GH4. It seems that just recently the promise of 4K for 4K was not properly fulfilled but now we get a very impressive 4K for 1.7K. Wow! Hey Canon get off your ass…please.

  • Raphael Wood on 05.6.14 @ 3:15AM

    The day a camera is defined as “the best” based on sharpness, is a sad one indeed.

  • Wait a minute…
    The focus of the Epic is set on the tree in the foreground, while the focus of the GH4 is on the roof.
    But anyway, since the GH4′s field of view matches the fov of the Epic, it means they used a shorter focal length, and the GH4 had more depth of field anyway.
    I don’t think this test is really relevant. I’m sure if you zoom on the tree, you’ll find out that it’s also very sharp on the Epic, which is a sharp camera.
    I’m not going to draw any conclusions from a test like this.

  • Where is the GH4 vs. a7S test?

    • It’s in the unknown future… whenever the a7S is released.
      :-P

      • Allegedly, the pricing and the release date announcement on A7s is tomorrow (midday UK, early morning US). Of course, without a portable HDMI 4K recorder and no internal 4K, it will be only a 1080p camera for a while. Shogun may not be ready until Q4.
        .
        As a side note on the camera talk, AJA Cion was demoed at Abel Cine, NYC over the weekend. According to those who were there, the IQ was quite excellent. If it’s as good as expected upon its release, it will fly off the shelves.

  • Can I ask why would you close down any replies to the thread I asked questions in? Why would an offer to create a DCP from your 4K tests be ignored? Especially with a 4K screening thrown in? I find that a little rude to be honest – just say no thanks no problem if not interested. As it goes my question about GH4 on a feature doc is relevant. Why wouldn’t it be? Why would it be “to prove a point”? Its much cheaper than a C300 to buy in for a production and nice and light for fly on the wall run and gun doc filming so no – not to “prove a point” but rather shoot high quality on a budget to grade/soften in post. You have shot on it I haven’t. My interest is to use it as a B-cam if full finance can be achieved otherwise hold it as a primary. 4K for a three month shoot is never an option hence why I asked about 2K. Not sure why everyone on this damn site is so disrespectful

  • Red and 5D look so much better than GH4. Panasonic is clearly sharper but it’s going to be damn hard to get an organic image out of it.

  • Guy McLoughlin on 05.6.14 @ 7:21AM

    Another interesting GH4 test…

    GH4 vs Canon 5D Mk3 RAW : http://vimeo.com/94057334

    • ML RAW has a harsh edge too it, always has had that, not easy on the eyes. But I know Canon users will blame that on the shooter…. wait for it……….

      • Mikko Löppönen on 05.6.14 @ 8:22AM

        That mostly comes from the sharpening on ACR. Take that sharpening down to 0 and those edges are gone. Or use Davinci Resolve.

        • It could be that easy. But in all the samples I’ve seen from ML RAW they all have that harsh edge. Do you know of footage that doen’t?

  • Mikko Löppönen on 05.6.14 @ 8:23AM

    And yeah, the Epic is focused on the tree, not on the building. Tree is sharp. Come on guys, try a little ;)

  • sebastian roland on 05.6.14 @ 11:44AM

    so gh4 is sharper and has less DR than red thats not new gh line was always sharper and had less DR then epic and other EPIC has to be softer Film is softer and has mor DR is part of the FILM LOOK .

    • That doesn’t sound accurate. But I have never shot with film, but people tell me modern filmstock has tons of resolution.

  • sebastian roland on 05.6.14 @ 12:08PM

    i found this http://vimeo.com/93500786

  • I never jump in on these but I feel someone needs to point out that different size (physical) sensors have different DoF which is probably a factor in the “sharpness” that supposedly exists.

  • It is all over for Red.

    • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 10:29PM

      i really doubt that based on all the accurate technical observations here. smaller sensors have ALWAYS had larger DOF. if you don’t believe me go pick any 1/3 inch ccd camera from the 90s. and with all this doom and gloom talk you guys don’t seem to remember that Arri is reds competitor, costs WAY more, and is in fact much much more successful production wise then any handy cam on the market. so you can be as gloomy and doomy as you want but at the end of the day the productions i go on generally have legitimate gear. the lenses cost more then the red, its insane to even think a red is expensive…go shoot film then and pay 100 times the costs as alexa or red, the reality is digital is cheaper then ever, you just need to look at it from a blockbuster perspective and not “hey i can film my kids soccer game” perspective. no real jobs even want to use reds, much less some consumer crap, i am just being honest. its typically Arri, phantom, and if they are cheaper then say red, maybe… so its kind of funny to even hear people say reds cost a lot. no reds are cheap as s*it when your talking about real budgets

  • This is the first 4k “DSLR” camera… can’t wait and see what Canon and Sony will come up with. I doubt that they just ignore it. The 4K is just starting to roll out. Get ready for more cameras to be available very soon.

  • Sorry but … I tried to color the gh4 footage you Provide … it was total disaster .. In fact this Test showed me the high value of the 5d markiii 14 bit RAW

    • greg pattwrson on 05.6.14 @ 3:12PM

      i was about to post that as well

      • Someone posted graded 4K footage that Luke shot. I won’t link to it because it’s unattributed (to Neumann Films) but I thought the grading job itself was pretty well done.

  • Too bad the color on both cameras is weird. I wish I could get into RED, love the ecosystem, the quality… everything. But that image… just can’t like it no matter how it’s handled.

    GH4 looks like overly sharpened video to me.

    Wish I could afford an Alexa or an F35 lol.

    • Hey man you’re not alone. I respect the camera it just doesn’t have that color palette I love. I’ll gladly use one and of course you can get the image you want out of it, but to me the Alexa and the BMCC produce and image I like naturally more so than the Red cams.

      All personal preference.

      • The GH4 is a great cam, and many will do great stuff with it, but in my very humble opinion I kinda really want to like the camera, but every time I compare it to F55 footage I can’t help thinking the Sony blows it out of the water. For me the ‘sharpness’ does little.

        • brian merlen on 05.12.14 @ 10:33PM

          are you guys accounting for grading and power windows? or are you talking straight out of the camera looks? also dragon is very different then MX…if you don’t believe me i’d be happy to rent you one when mine arrives back from Irvine at the end of this week…

  • Resize 5D Mark III it´s not fare.
    Are you sure the GH4 colour are nice? Really?

  • If you take a poll at a theater of average movie goers and ask them if they care if movies continue to have the look they has 20 years ago (you know, that filmic thing) just wondering how many will say yeah they want that? I wonder how many will think the people doing the poll are wasting their time asking them such a question?

  • Somehow if u zoom in the RED color tone is lil better.

  • You can see here the power of the 5d markiii 14 bit RAW

    http://vimeo.com/74459498

    Can the GH4 Provide the same colors ?

    • It is nice color. Is there anything that can be done about that slight harsh edge of brightness that is a bit hard on the eyes that ML RAW has? I haven’t seen any ML footage that doesn’t have it.

  • More tests GH4 vs BMPCC vs 5D MarkIII http://vimeo.com/93500786

  • I understand everybody wants more and more detail and definition, my experience shows me that lots of great dps are doing the contrary, for example if they go out with a red epic sometimes they choose old vintage lenses in order to lose the super high definition that sometimes is too much. I still believe its amazing what this new panasonic can do, but I personaly dont believe that more detail is better.

    • I agree. I think all of these cameras are great. What is missing from these tests is the camera in motion. I purchased a Nikon D5200 that had amazing color and dynamic range only to be very disappointed when everything fell apart when the camera moved. Rolling shutter, etc. Also on this test I would have like to see more patterns in the subjects to check for moire patterns.

  • [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MeyWTYEjUA ]
    .
    So, Hitler pre-ordered GH4 and he is not happy.

  • Gh4 is perfect for porn!! hahah

  • Another camera showing us we are living in the Golden Age. I’d love to shoot an indie film on the GH4.

    • Looks like I’m going to be in one of those…..stay tuned! Will have to do a write-up afterward…… (No more info at this point.)

    • Augusto Alves da SIlva on 05.8.14 @ 5:35PM

      Mine is arriving today…I don´t care what people say or what it will do to my huge investements in cameras. I have Canon from t3i to 1DC to C100, all the BM´s GH3 now GH4. I don´t care what I use as long as it gives a great look which is the case. What I notice is that 90% of the time I am not shooting Alexa or RED but cheaper cameras that allow me to do everything the bigger cameras can´t do. To be honest the cheaper the cameras the better. I love filming and take up the challenge of shooting side by side with expensive cameras and coming up with the same quality image :-)

  • Here’s what I’ve been looking for, for a while. CINEMATIC GRADING TESTS

    http://vimeo.com/93829317

    It would be great to see someone shoot something cinematic that is longer, but these tests are pretty impressive. All the footage up until now appears very VIDEO-looking, but this shows you what is possible with some color grading.

  • BMPCC, GH4, 5D3, which looks better? Depends on what you need it for. But personally I don’t want to pay the high cost for a 5D3 even though it has that nice color. So it loses for cost and really side by side it loses too.

    GH4 wins in this one—but maybe you won’t agree. Even though I don’t like the color in the GH4 in this one it’s an easy task to grade it differently. :-)

    http://vimeo.com/93500786

  • Man, what a beautiful country New Zealand is!

    GH4 aerial. There is no doubt a GH4 can be used as an A cam in a feature film.

  • The latest from Mark Toia and his Red Dragon 6K. It has got to be the best sensor in the world!

    http://vimeo.com/94276293

  • No mention of aliasing ? Does either camera have an optical filter in front of the sensor ? If no, aliasing ( twinkling on sharp edges spacial confusion or high detail patterns ) will be horrible with a good lens. If the Red has a filter on the sensor and Pana not then Red will be softer but much less aliasing. Lenses are not good pre filters, they need ot be defocused too much to do the job well.

  • Moiré comparison between the GH2, GH3, and GH4. There is virtually no moiré in the GH4 at 4K (UHD). This is a huge improvement that anyone working in video should be happy for. http://vimeo.com/94233203

  • Griffin Hammond also finding no moiré in his GH4. He gives other good details about the GH4 in the video too:

  • Im probably not going to be the only one thinking this… and i’m sure i will get trolled for saying this but… The GH4 looks too videoish… if i was doing reality tv or filming Cops i wouldn’t mind but the corporate videos we film these days have a more filmic look thanks to the 5D and the C100. I cant imagine moving to a camera like this, which although sharp, just isn’t giving that film like handling of movement in the frame. I don’t know how they didn’t get it right.

    Cool camera, but i just don’t dig the look, sorry guys. Dont know if theres any way of fixing it. :( If there is please let me know.

  • Testing out the GH4 on shoot this weekend. It’s small and light, sharp esp. with Olympus 2.8 lens… but the low light noise and crop factor are a bit of pain in the butt. To some degree wishing I broke out the RED but it’s nice to know how this camera handles and where it could be very helpful. user interface is also very awkward.

  • Will the image be as nice if you shoot at 1080p in the camera or is the sharpest image acquired when shooting at 4k? I like what I’m seeing from the gh4 but don’t want/need to shoot at 4k. Thanks for any insight.

  • LOL we don’t want it sharp! This Tv look from the GH4 is terrible…

  • Got the GH4 a couple of weeks ago. I’m pretty impressed by what Panasonic has been able to achieve with it. You know…for $1700. It’s not a miracle camera by any means but in the right circumstances can provide a great image. We have some good lumix and Voigtlander glass. I personally wouldn’t use it for anything but outdoor scenics and slomo. We do put it on our bird often and get some really amazing aerials. I really don’t understand all the fuss!? It seems like everyone wants a camera that does everything. It will never exist. For us, really focusing on mastering a camera takes some time. I can’t keep up with all the new cameras, taunting me with their little specs. We have a C300, C100′s w/ninja blade, MK3′s and GH3/4. By far my favorite is the C100. I love the way it handles color, plenty sharp, lowlight is off the charts, no difference compared to the C300 when the Ninja Blade is used, built in ND’s, plenty of dynamic range, XLR Audio and it’s intuitive to use. Perhaps it’s the 4K sensor? Shit I don’t know and don’t care why. It just looks good. I like reframing with the GH4 but by comparison it does look more like video to me.

    My hats off to guys like Luke for taking the time to share his findings with us. Too bad he has to defend his Sunday afternoon generosity.

  • Someone forgot to abort you

  • Yeah, I kind of concur with CT.

  • I’m working at the Pinewood Studios kid testing big toys and you?