April 27, 2016 at 6:59AM

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GH4, 5D Mark III, A7 or 6D, best DSLR for live concert and nature videos

Hello all,
After 4 or 5 years making live concert videos, I'm now looking for my future gear. I learned a lot about these not-so-new DSLR but I'm still looking for my next buy.
Which one would you pick and why?
I was wondering that the GH4 is a good choice but... I'm still don't know.
Thanks a lot.

7 Comments

Nature videos...macro, telephoto, landscape, or time-lapse? Underwater, desert, mountain, or forest? Daytime, nighttime, or golden hour? Locked-off, gimbal, or drone?

The 5D3 is as great a platform for time-lapse as it is a horrible platform for video (unless you hack your camera with Magic Lantern and deal with all the challenges therein).

The A7 can see almost better than your own eyes, which means if you are stalking nocturnal animals, it's almost the only option. (At $20,000 the Canon ME20F-SH does compete, https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/camer...)

The GH4 is a fantastic all-rounder, and its 4k sensor can make excellent images, provided you can feed it enough light. The GH4's m43 lens format enables one to pack and hike with much smaller lenses than traditional FF35 glass. The newly released 300 f4 is much more human-friendly than the FF35 equivalent of a 600 f4 lens. The 100-400 zoom is also much more human-friendly than the Sigmonster 300-800 f5.6 super-zoom. Both are much, much easier on the wallet, too.

A common mistake I think people make with the GH4 is to buy a speed booster and bulk it up with FF35 lenses. The whole point of m43 is smaller, lighter, less expensive lenses. For nature work, that's a real blessing, especially if you have a gimbal or drone platform.

My favorite nature videographers work is Asgeir Helgestad: https://vimeo.com/90373546

April 27, 2016 at 7:47AM

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Hello Michael and thanks a lot for your detailed answer, I really appreciate it.
The GH4 look really great but is not very suitable for concert video right ? (very dark indeed so I need a dslr who can handle this). I think the A7s is a better choice isn't it ?

April 27, 2016 at 1:02PM

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NLSNLNI
56

The big thing the GH4 brings to the table is unlimited shooting time, so you can shoot a 6+ hour event as one single shot with a GH4 and it's battery grip. ( for our European friends you have to buy the GH4R which has the same unlimited shooting time as the North American GH4 does ) Otherwise you will need an external recorder to be able to shoot one take longer than 30 minutes with the other camera brands.

The GH4 won't be as good in low-light environments, which means you have to shoot with fast lenses ( there are plenty for the GH4 ) and maybe the Metabones SpeedBooster with certain lenses.

The GH4 is also really good with audio, provided you feed it a good audio source. The noise-floor is about -72 dB RMS, so you've got up to 72 dB of dynamic audio range, which is pretty much equivalent to what you would hear on a typical music CD disc. The key to getting the best audio performance with the GH4 is to feed it a good signal ( about -35 dB is ideal ) so that you can set the camera's internal pre-amp to it's lowest setting where you will get the full 72 dB of audio dynamic range.

April 27, 2016 at 7:49AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30851

Hello Guy and thank you for your answer.
The GH4 is indeed a good DSLR but I really need something better for low-light. So I'm going with the A7s I think ! Thank you a lot for your answer.

(N.b. I always record audio from the mixing table during concert with a Zoom H4n ! :-) )

April 27, 2016 at 1:04PM

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NLSNLNI
56

Exspecially on concerts it can be very dark because most of them are under night skys or in dark halls. So I would go with the A7s because of... low light!

April 27, 2016 at 12:42PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
1714

You're right! I think I'll go with it... I'm just checking the big differences with the upcoming Mk II (except the 2000$ of difference, thank you Switzerland...) and if it really worth it... or I'll go with the A7s mk1

April 27, 2016 at 1:05PM

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NLSNLNI
56

The A7S has a history of overheating, in both domestic environments as well as nature. There have been several firmware updates that have claimed to fix this, including the current one. You can search these forums for comments from users about such problems (and, potentially, solutions). I suggest you rent one before buying to ensure that whatever actual limitations it has in real life don't make it impossible to shoot concerts and/or nature in ways you expect.

April 27, 2016 at 2:34PM

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