April 21, 2015 at 12:27AM


GH3 + $500 lens or GH4 + $100 lens?

I have a $1200 budget for a new video camera.

In the past I've rented a T2i, T3i, 70D, GH4, and A6000.

However I want to own a camera for myself, but I have never used a GH3.

Basically I have a Sigma 18-35mm EF lens and Metabones Speed Booster that I need to sell, which after the losses from buying them and then selling, is about a $400 loss :(.

That lowers my budget from $1600 to $1200.

I can acquire a GH4 used for about $1250, however it would come with no lens, so a $100 lens would be used from my Amazon Gift Card (used Amazon section or eBay).

Since I've never shot with a GH3, I wasn't sure how large the differences are.

I know I will not keep the Sigma 18-35 to use for a Canon DSLR, as they just typically look worse.

One requirement I would like, is some type of AF.

Before you start calling me out for using AF, I ONLY use it when filming myself for an personal video/vlog, and not continuously, just when I sit in a chair to get the camera to focus.

When I'm filming someone else (like usual) I use manual of course ;).

Before I forget, I can acquire a GH3 around $700, which is why I figured $500 for a lens.

Which will give me better video quality? Thanks to anyone who responds, I would like some opinions/advice!


Also forgot to mention, I prefer to shoot around 18mm for product shots, so about 28.8mm full frame equivalent. When I'm talking in front of the camera, I would use either 30mm or just the 18mm.

But I do need that slightly wider look, so 12mm-14mm on GH3, on GH4 that would be around 12mm due to 2.3x crop.

April 21, 2015 at 12:30AM


I would by the GH4 and try to find a used 14-42mm Panasonic kit lens. ( preferably the version II lens if you can find it )

For still-photos there is not a huge amount of difference between the GH3 and GH4, but for video the differences are huge. The GH4 is far better for video work.

April 21, 2015 at 5:10AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Panasonic was shocked by how people were modifying the software of the GH3 to make the video mode more functional when the camera first came out. The GH3 became an unexpected hit because of these hacker improvements. So, once Panasonic finally realized what they had created, they basically took all the tweaks ad mods that the hackers invented, and jammed them ALL into the GH4. Putting the better hardware of the GH4 aside, I think you'd just get pissed off if you had to deal with all the silly software limitations of the GH3.

Plus, there's no point in spending a lot of money on a nice camera, if you're only going to put cheap glass in front of it. So I say get the GH4, and if you have to wait a little bit to save up for some nice glass, then just just wait and save.

What kind of video projects do you want to produce with this?

April 21, 2015 at 9:11AM


I think you meant the Panasonic GH2, which had dozens of hacks available for it. My favorite was Lee Powell's "Flow Motion ver 2.02" hack.

The GH3 has never been hacked. Panasonic did a better job of encrypting the firmware with the GH3 after what happened with the GH2, which is too bad as I think the hacks helped to make the GH2 a lot more popular.

Guy McLoughlin

April 21, 2015 at 1:23PM

The GH3 has not been hacked yet. Only the GH1 and GH2. The Driftwood hacks are the best. My favorite are the Moon T7 and Drewnet 9 hacks for the GH2. Here are two of my videos with the Moon and Drewnet hacks.



Lee Vang

April 25, 2015 at 12:56AM, Edited April 25, 12:56AM

I would go with the GH3 and a good lens. GH3 is an awesome camera and it is more about the lens you use instead of the body. I recommend taking a look at some rokinon lenses because they're cheaper and high quality.

April 21, 2015 at 10:20AM


I assume your speedbooster is not EF-m4/3 otherwise I would say keep that for the GH4. Either way the GH4 is just far superior for video. And you can get a lens like this for cheap http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/736393-REG/Panasonic_H_H014_Lumix_...

April 21, 2015 at 1:35PM

Liam Leyland

Hi Thomas,

It depends if you want and need 4K. I got both cameras and can tell you that the full-HD image from the GH3 is very nice, but the 4K video image from the GH4 goed beyond that. It is very impressive, very detailed and the GH4 offers you way more video settings for your contrast, highlights and shadows, pedestal levels etc. Within 1 or 2 months V-Log will be coming to the GH4, which gets you something like 12 stops dynamic range. So the GH4 has the future. I would go for that. If you like MF lenses, take a look at the Rokinon Cine lenses.

April 21, 2015 at 1:36PM

Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer

By the way, a new GH4 is now around 1299 USD. Look here: (B&H)


April 21, 2015 at 1:50PM

Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer

For what it's worth, as a hobbyist (and a burgeoning one at that -- I've just used camcorders prior to this), I went GH3 with a nicer lens. I really don't have any use for 4K, and since I'll be learning the Panasonic system as is (and at my level of knowledge), I don't think I'll be able to appreciate all the ins and outs of the GH4, and its advantages over the GH3. I was working with the same budget as you ~$1400. So with a used lens, GH3 and some filters I came in at just about that. Long term, I'd like to get a lot of experience with the GH3, and then say, when the GH5 comes out, upgrade to that in a few years.

It sounds like you have a lot more experience with video, so the GH4 might benefit you more, but I think the GH3 will get the job done.

April 24, 2015 at 9:43AM

Bradford Paik
Graduate Student/Enthusiast

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