Monday, February 2, 2015

Bought the Panasonic GH-4 (Vs. Canon 5D Mark II)

Figured it was time to own a nice DSLR video camera, and the GH-4 with its in-camera 4K looked like the right ticket for me. I did a lot of research first, and it certainly appeared to be the best you can own for under $2000.

I also bought a couple of adapters so I could use my T2i lenses with it. I know I'm going to need a decent micro 4/3rd lens sooner or later, but figured I'd get the camera and do some experiments with it. Here's just about the first things I shot with it, fully unprocessed, un-color corrected. This is right out of the camera--we started getting snow so I figured I'd shoot it.

Don't forget to up the resolution. The first part is 4K, the next couple of parts are 1920X1080 and I'll tell you why in a second...

I tinkered with the camera a bit. First off, LOVE the touch-screen settings from the LCD--the fully swivelable, tilting LCD. Thank Christ--no more lying down on my stomach to see the LCD to get an ultra-low shot!

I like the feel of the camera a lot. Everything's set up the way I'd expect it. Nothing counter-intuitive about the build or placement of any buttons. There are two swivels on it--one controls your aperture, the other controls your shutter speed. Very nice.

Anyway, all the videos here were shot with the same lens--my 35mm 1.4 Rokinon that I bought for my t2i. I used this adapter to mount my EF-S lenses to the Micro 4/3rd mount. Note that this Fotasy lens mount is cheaper than most, but it still feels like very high quality metal.

(It's cheap enough that I bought two so I could just put them on two lenses and not worry about taking them off for different lenses--and don't sweat the reviews that say they couldn't remove the adapter. If you can read directions, these adapters come off pretty easy)

Now note with this lens--which I have always loved--you have to adjust aperture and focus manually. This is why my younger brother hates it. Me, coming from a film background, have no problem doing everything manually. 

So I was anxious to try some slow mo. True 96fps 1920X1080 slow mo! Make sure you look at it in 720P.

This is using only available light. (there's a spotlight in my backyard on both sides that you can see in this shot:)

Still, it's pretty impressive. Of course I have the bonus of not only the snow reflecting everything in the picture but also my 1.4 lens that is now a 70mm 1.4 lens. But from what I've read(and seen footage of) I can go up to 1600iso and still not worry too much about the grain.

What I can't seem to figure out is why most of the actual micro 4/3rd lenses still seem to imply that if I buy them for a micro 4/3rd mount then their focal lengths will still be doubled(so if I buy a micro 4/3rd 20mm, it will act like a 40mm on the camera).

Anybody out there know if this is actually how it goes? (I understand why this would be so if you were buying a lens made for a large chip sensor and putting it on a small chip sensor camera--is that actually what's going on here? )

Ah sweet slow-mo, I have missed you.

For comparison, here's some footage I shot this summer with my brother's Canon Mark II using his L-glass. Keep in mind that I lit the SHIT out of my backyard for this. I couldn't believe how dark it still was on the Canon. And I think I went up to 2000 iso at one point.

And again, no color correction(or proper white balance--I was a little lazy that night)

Anyway, will update with some more footage once I start really digging in and shooting interesting stuff.


  1. If I understand your question correctly, the micro 4/3rds lenses have a focal length the "equivalent" of double their value if you were shooting on a sensor the size of 35mm full-frame film. So a 20mm lens (on a 4/3rds) has a field of view of a 40mm lens (on a 35mm sensor).

  2. So if I buy the 35mm MFT it should perform like a 35mm on the GH4?