May 1, 2015 at 11:50PM, Edited May 2, 12:00AM

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Upgrade Time - 6D or GH4?

Dear friends I reside in Pakistan and from over 2 years have used 650D/T4i for videos though now I want to upgrade, already sold my T4i and in the market for something reasonably priced.

I got max budget of $1500 (actual is $1250 and max is $1500 and going beyond means living on beans for a month or two :) ) and in that budget I can only see two options which are Canon 6D and GH4 though the more I read about both the more I am inclined towards GH4 though GH4 is more demanding when it comes on related stuff.

All my lenses (6 or 7) are of EF mount (excluding Sigma 18 35, rest are all vintage lenses converted to Canon EF mount)

Currently GH4 body is for $1500 in Pakistan without warranty and $1550 with warranty, the Metabones Adapter EF to MFT is for $600 (add another $50 to $100 for shipment to Pakistan), for 4K editing I see serious upgrades to my laptop which is Dell Vostro 3450 i5 second generation with 6GB Ram and built in 1GB graphic card with dedicated 1GB RAM or just getting a proper desktop (means probably a year on beans).

I know as compare to 6D the GH4 is razor sharp with far more better image details though on the other hand in 6D I see Full Frame + Very good Low Light Performance (nothing more then that).

I am honestly lost because 6D means just getting a body for $1300 and using my old lenses and laptop being happy with the over hyped full frame and low light. Though GH4 means far more pro level results (metabones $600 + shipment), magical 4K (serious upgrades on my PC, A LOT MORE BEANS) etc.

It has been 3 months that I am CAMERA-LESS and just going through review after review and have reached a point where I am so fedup that I want to quit all this and become a monk, seriously.

I want to use the Camera for shooting documentaries, music videos for local bands and short films for film festivals and some photography.

Please guys help me out.

19 Comments

Another victim of the canon EF lense trap. Been there. But honestly the G4 is one heck of a camera, it's a considerable investment so I can't recommend which to use. But what I would do if I was in your shoes, is get the $ exact figure of everything you need, use my current camera (instead of selling) and work as many jobs as I can to purchase it from money earned from the work. I no longer spend money I earn from my primary job on film equipment. The discipline has helped me financially and I am working more than ever. So good luck hope you make the decision that's right for you.

May 2, 2015 at 1:07PM

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Luna Videography
Videographer
609

Really thanks for your repply and advice, I will definitely look into it. Thanks.

I may only have one or two Canon EF lenses, rest are 3rd party with factory installed EF Mounts or locally customised FE mounts though still its a pain to for a whole new different mount.

Thanks.

S M Sabir

May 3, 2015 at 3:51AM

I recently purchased a 7D Mkii and I think it might be (not completely, but somewhat) a happy medium between the two cameras you mention based on your situation. I have shot with the 6D and GH4 and the GH4 is a clear winner between the two for video.

In the 7D Mkii you gain the Dual Pixel Autofocus, 60p at 1080, along with a few other video-friendly features.

I needed a camera for photography that could, in a pinch, deliver decent video results and I have been really happy with it. If you are needing something for stills, be aware that you lose autofocus capabilities with the Metabones adapter and your Canon glass on the GH4. It will produce a decent image but nailing focus is much more tricky.

So my recommendation is either wait till an eventual price drop on the GH4 or opt for the 7D Mkii in the mean time. I have seen the 7D Mkii on eBay for as little as $1,199 recently.

May 3, 2015 at 12:53AM

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Really thanks Taylor Armerding, I appreciate your friendly reply. Thanks.

To be honest the more I am looking into 7D Mark ii the more I am thinking to go for 6D (due to its low light capapilities) which is right now of cheaper then 7D Mii though in my experience (whatever I have read or seen in videos) that Full Frame images are a bit softer then MFT and Crop Sensor images.

Also today morning when I wokeup then without thinking I started to bid on a few used Black Magic Pocket Cameras, lets see if I will win something good or not :)

Once again thanks for the reply.

May 3, 2015 at 3:55AM, Edited May 3, 3:55AM

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S M Sabir
Filmmaker in MAKING :)
350

The 18-35 won't work with the 6D, it's the Sigma 18-35 right?

May 3, 2015 at 7:01AM

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Looks like the canon 6D is the only option that fit you budget. You obviously can't afford all you need to make gh4 work in your workflow. Be carefull with the 6D as your lenses might not be full frame compatible.

Seeing your situation the wise choice would have been to wait before selling. What I would do if I where you is buying two or three used T3i so you can shoot in multi-camera wich is nice for music video and documentaries, and wait to have enough to upgrade for something way better like the GH4 or a Canon C100, that might fit well your actual gear and workflow.

I'm kind in the same position right now, I have a lot of canon glass, and a few canon bodies : t3i, eos M, etc. and the issue is that, even if there are pleinty of situation where I wish I had a better camera, those cameras are actually more than ok for most of the paid work I have to do, so I will change only when I have a regular job that require better gear, if it's a one time gig, I rent.

May 3, 2015 at 9:11AM, Edited May 3, 9:23AM

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AvdS
1370

6d or any cannon is pretty much not an upgrade unless you own no camera at all imo.
stick with your current setup and save up some more

May 3, 2015 at 3:35PM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1433

Have you considered buying a used GH3 camera and the Metabones EF adapter. You should be able to afford this with your budget, you won't have to deal with 4K footage so your DELL laptop should be fine as it is, and when you are ready you can sell the GH3 and upgrade to a GH4 or maybe a GH5 next year.

One thing that's nice about the GH3 is that all of your accessories will fit the GH4, so battery grip, batteries, lens adapters, etc... will all work with the GH4.

May 3, 2015 at 6:13PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32198

I would definitely go for the GH3....or GH4 if you really need 4K. As far as the lenses go.....get something like a Fotodiox EF to M 4/3 adapter with iris control ($49.95 on Amazon) until you can afford the $650 for the Metabones. Just keep in mind the 2X crop factor with the M 4/3 format.

May 4, 2015 at 9:31AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
581

Unless you have anything wider than that 18mm I'd recommend going with the 6d, although I don't believe you can use that lens on the 6d since it is aps-c (you would be better off selling the lens and getting an equivalent ef version.) You won't have to buy another adapter and there is always a huge advantage when you go with full frame over mft, I've seen footage from full frame dslr's that look sharper and better than mft 4k cameras. The gh4 is a heck of a camera but if you already have ef lenses just stick with the canon dslr's.

4k is overrated...The only thing I like about it is the ability to crop and stabilize without having to sacrifice too much resolution.

I hope this helps!

May 4, 2015 at 3:09PM, Edited May 4, 3:20PM

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jack khorram
Cinematographer
81

Given your investments in EF mount lenses, I'd say go with the full frame baddie. Remember, it's you that tells that story through direction, lighting, editing, and so on so forth. Neither camera does, you do.

May 4, 2015 at 11:01PM

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I've had a 6D since late 2012. It has awesome low light performance and the benefits of FF (shallow DoF you'd want for your work), but it also has pretty bad moire and aliasing. For short films, you can control it; but for the doc and music video work, you're going to see moire if you're out of luck. If you do get the 6D, absolutely use the Technicolor Cinestyle profile and settings.

To get a rough idea of the kind of quality you can expect on your music videos, check out some videos I shot of a Diwali program last year on YouTube at https://goo.gl/mbCz6D. Not quite music videos, but they should give an idea.

May 5, 2015 at 12:15AM

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The 6D may be good in low light, but it's terrible in weird light. I shot in a location that was lit entirely with red lights, admittedly bringing out the worst in Canon's codecs, but the footage was straight up unusable and we had to reshoot it with a C100. Also, moire was a massive issue. So that whole thing put me off of those, and I say that as someone who used exclusively Canon DSLRs until about five months ago.

I'm not madly in love with the image from the GH4 like some people are (I think it's extremely "sharp," but in a displeasing way), but it's a serious step up from any Canon DSLR that isn't running the ML Raw hack.

My recommendation would be to maybe sell a lens or two and buy a GH4 + Metabones adapter. And if you're worried about 4K, just shoot in 1080p. You're not required to shoot at the higher resolution just because it's an option. It's just that: an option.

May 5, 2015 at 10:34AM

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Alec Kubas-Meyer
Writer/Director/DP
308

I agree with Alec. The image of the GH4 is just too sharp for me.

However, I would still go GH4 + metabones adapter for future proofing reasons. I do not recommend any adapters other then the metabones. The $50 ones on Amazon just feel flimsy whenever I use them.

Graham Sheldon

May 5, 2015 at 2:22PM, Edited May 5, 2:22PM

We own the GH4 and 6D and I think they make a pretty good team. If I could only choose one, I would choose GH4 in a heartbeat. We mainly do doc, sports and weddings and the gh4 is just more video focused for those applications. The image is sharper, no record limit, real audio monitoring (combine it with a tascam audio recorder for a cheap solution for any interviews), 4k allows for nice punch-ins for small interview setups, better slo-mo. We too have all EF glass, but the metabones is fantastic. Metabones + sigma 18-35 allows us to shoot in all but pitch black and still get acceptable noise for web based doc work. Sell one of your less used EF lenses and use it to buy the metabones.

6D is nice and we will probably end up keeping it around just for stills even if we upgrade to something like an a7s later. We use it with an 85 for nice shallow portrait FF looks and with a 14mm for super wide establishing shots (watch your moire, sometimes we just have to deal with it). Moire is the biggest annoyance with this camera.

As another poster said, If you go with the GH4, you can shoot regular HD instead of 4k. Our computer isn't great so we adopted a proxy workflow for editing. It works but the trade-off is added hassle and time spent re-linking. I plan on using this footage for reviews/reels later so I'd like to capture at the best quality but it has been a lot of work for probably a little gain down the road.

May 5, 2015 at 12:50PM

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Sony A7R II it's got 4K internal, good ISO range, Image stabilization, S-log picture profiles

June 16, 2015 at 12:31AM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
407

Sony A7S will drop in price soon, as the Mark II version is coming soon. Keep what you got until new things come out, I had a 6D, freaking great pic/video camera, but I upgraded to an A7S because of 4k and incredible ISO. Be patient and the cameras will drop down to your budget, and remember its not the camera that makes your videos better, its story.

Cheers man!

June 22, 2015 at 6:20PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
407

i think GH4 good for u

May 25, 2016 at 8:50AM

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Sohel rana
Producer/Story & script writer/director/Actor
2

I would definitely keep the camera you have and get a gimbaled stabilizer, get the free magic lantern software and shoot raw assuming your laptop will handle it. Making a move to the Gh4 etc doesn't sound like an upgrade to me, but simply another camera choice, you have a fine camera with the rebel and learning to use it effectively and creatively, those techniques will work with any future camera store bought or rented. In addition any money left over invest in training which will make a bigger difference that replacing your camera as does adding sound recording.

July 30, 2017 at 10:04PM

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