January 30, 2015 at 4:25PM

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T3i ML CineStyle VS GH2 Hacked?

The title says it all. I currently own the Canon T3i, loaded with CineStyle and Magic Lantern. I've seen some posts about the GH2 hack makes it overall better than the T3i loaded with Cinestyle AND Magic Lantern? What would you guys suggest? My main points in looking for a camera is:
1. Dynamic Range
2. Color Space
3. Resolution
Thanks in advance!
-Christian Gentry

14 Comments

I have had very little experience with the T3i, but as an owner of a GH2 I can tell you that I love it. I have the high data rate hack installed and I have been very happy with it. A couple things to note from my experience:

1. Note the crop sensor, it does make it tougher to get shallow DOF with any kit glass.
2. I really enjoy that I can use most vintage glass on my GH2. I have a few Canon FD lenses and even picked up an Olympus f1.4 from a garage sale for cheap. I find that these lenses mean that I don't notice the crop sensor as much.
3. The resolution on the GH2 is great, and I would say it is sharper than the T3i, and I have heard that it is a lot more on par with the 5DmkII.

Are you shooting in RAW with the T3i? Remember that the hack does not enable RAW or any Log type shooting styles on the GH2, it just helps with things like macroblocking and compression issues.

Let me know if you have any specific questions for the gh2.

January 30, 2015 at 6:12PM

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Jonathan Goossen
International Videographer
239

Thanks! I'm not shooting RAW with the T3i - I can only shoot about 1060x720 resolution before my buffer shuts down. Is there a significant difference in low-light compatibility? Would it be better for documentary shooting than the T3i?

Christian Gentry

January 31, 2015 at 2:32PM

I shot with two hacked GH2 cameras for a couple of years, then moved up to the GH3, and now the GH4...

>>>1. Dynamic Range

Probably a tie. Neither camera has much dynamic range. A Blackmagic Pocket Cine camera would blow either of these cameras out of the water.

But if you know what you're doing you can still make a great looking film. Shane Caruth's Sundance winner "Upstream Color" was shot with hacked GH2 cameras.

>>>2. Color Space

Again, it's probably a tie. The Blackmagic Pocket Cine camera or any of the newer higher end cameras will skunk both of these cameras.

>>>3. Resolution

GH2 by a mile. Much much sharper than any of the Canon DSLR cameras, even beats the 5D Mk3 for resolution.

As Jonathan mentioned you have to be prepared to deal with the crop factor of the GH2, which means either adding on a Metabones SpeedBooster ( turns the GH2 1.82x crop into 1.29x crop, which is much wider than the Canon APS-C 1.6x crop ) or buying Micro 4/3 wide angle lenses. The Metabones adapter gives you another F-stop of light and makes the DOF one F-stop shallower.

January 30, 2015 at 11:48PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31835

Thanks for the advice. Metabones are a little pricey for me right now. Do you suggest a cheaper alternative?

Christian Gentry

January 31, 2015 at 2:35PM

I'll second Guy's replies, the dynamic range and color space aren't much of a difference (GH2 shoot s a little bluer), but the resolution of an unhacked GH2 is way better than the T3i. Once you add hacks, its not even a fair comparison.

The one advantage the T3i has is that it would be more stable for long recording times (you mentioned doc work). GH2 hacks are great, but, some of them don't span on cards, so you end up with a 4GB (or 10-12min) limit. Others sometimes will glitch out if there is a lot of movement or if you are shooting high ISO.

I just used my GH2 as my primary camera for a doc project, and I loved it. Didn't even really notice the extra crop factor (2x vs 1.6x). But, I always had a second camera rolling during interviews in case the GH2 stopped recording.

Chris Preperato

February 1, 2015 at 11:56AM

>>>Metabones are a little pricey for me right now. Do you suggest a cheaper alternative?

If the Metabones Speedbooster adapter is too much for your budget, the Mitakon Nikon F "Turbo" adapter works quite well and costs a lot less. Keep in mind that this adapter will only work with Nikon F mount lenses, like the older Nikon AI-S lenses with manual aperture control. ( the Metabones works with both Nikon F and G lenses, so it will work with pretty much any Nikon lens, including the latest ones )

Mitakon Nikon F to Micro 4/3 Lens Turbo Adapter : $138 US
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1072737-REG/mitakon_mtkltm1aim43_l...

January 31, 2015 at 6:06PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31835

Also, the guys at Personal-View (who did the GH2 hacks) have this one the push: http://www.ebay.com/itm/360845797671?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Definitely use the "Make An Offer" feature. I got mine for $125, but I probably could have even offered $100 and gotten it

Chris Preperato

February 1, 2015 at 11:58AM

>>>The one advantage the T3i has is that it would be more stable for long recording times (you mentioned doc work).

Actually it depends on the GH2 hack you are using and the type of memory card you shoot with. I mainly shot with the excellent FlowMotion 2.02 patch for the GH2, which has no problems spanning at 100 Mbps, and is specifically designed for high-motion images.

So with the FlowMotion 2.02 patch you could shoot for hours ( or until your battery dies ) and you could shoot any type of subject, including highly detailed things that are moving at high speed.

February 3, 2015 at 12:30PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31835

I downloaded the Flowmotion patch a few days ago (before seeing this post). It looks great, but would my Sandisk Extreme Pro 80mb/s card handle the 100mb/s bitrate? What about even my Sony 40mb/s cards (all of them are class 10).

Christian Gentry

February 3, 2015 at 3:44PM

I used Flowmotion and Cake and a variety of others. Doesnt mean they didnt all fail once at some point. It's a hack, its not 100%...sometimes it'd be a card issue, sometimes it just needed to be re-hacked. But with every hack I used, I had something go wrong, which you have to weight the risks of.

In my time with the 60D, aside from when I started and was using a Class 6 card, Ive never had it quit recording on me once. I'd still take the risk for the IQ and resolution I gain with the GH2, but, there is ultimately a difference in stability.

Chris Preperato

February 4, 2015 at 4:08PM

I shot for two years with the FlowMotion patch using 64GB SDXC Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec cards and NEVER had a single failure with this patch. ( I still use these cards with my GH4 at 100 Mbps 4K ) Reliability requires testing and using the right gear for the job, and getting rid of gear that can't hack it.

Guy McLoughlin

February 5, 2015 at 8:56AM

>>>I downloaded the Flowmotion patch a few days ago (before seeing this post). It looks great, but would my Sandisk Extreme Pro 80mb/s card handle the 100mb/s bitrate? What about even my Sony 40mb/s cards (all of them are class 10).

One of the nice things about the FlowMotion 2.02 patch is that you can shoot on the 24H setting where the bit-rate goes up to 100 Mbps, but it also has a 24L setting where the bit-rate goes up to 50 Mbps. The 24L setting still produces a really nice image, so if your Class 10 cards can't handle the 24H setting, you can switch to the 24L setting.

Lee Powell did an amazing job in creating the FlowMotion patch.

February 3, 2015 at 5:25PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31835

I have several ap-c Canon cameras including the T3i. I think it is capable of making stunning looking video. I cannot compare it to the GH2 since I have never used a GH2, having magic lantern is a slam dunk for Canon in my opinion. I also think that how you use your camera is more important than specs. How it fits into my workflow? The ergonomics. The answer if should I buy a Canon or Panasonic. The answer is Yes with either choice. I don't quite understand all the emphasis on resolution over all other factors. I tend to have my images a bit on the soft side in general which I like the look of. There is no one size fits all and I think you will be happy with either camera.

April 2, 2015 at 10:38AM, Edited April 2, 10:38AM

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Yes and no. It depends on how you shoot and what you're shooting. An unhacked Canon T3i can shoot for a certain amount of time, while a hacked GH2 can shoot much longer. The GH2 may require a Speedbooster to get around crop factors. And then there's resolution; once you hack a GH2, so much more color and detail is preserved. A lot of things to consider.

Sathya Vijayendran

August 16, 2016 at 5:07PM

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