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GH4 alongside EX1

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Dave Edwards
GH4 alongside EX1
on Jan 9, 2015 at 11:03:39 pm

My work is overwhelmingly run and gun and I use a Sony EX1 and an NX5 but the latter is rather soft and not wonderful in low light. I'm toying with the idea of replacing the NX5 with a GH4 plus a few accessories because I'm attracted by its image sharpness and maybe 4K for downscaling. The alternative would be to buy another EX1 secondhand. I'd be interested in any thoughts on this.


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Bill Bruner
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Jan 12, 2015 at 9:39:45 am

Hi Dave - I'm a GH4 shooter and I love the camera, but it might not be the best choice for low light run and gun.

You might want to consider a $2300 Sony PXW-X70 camcorder instead.

This camera:

- records to 10-bit 4:2:2 XAVC internally while the GH4 records to 8-bit internally (one caveat - you'll need the $149.99 Catalyst Prepare software from Sony to transcode X70 XAVC to something your editing software can deal with)


- features Sony's Optical Steady Shot system for steady handheld footage while on the move (for a similar level of stabilization with the GH4, you would have to pay a lot of money for a counterbalanced or gyro stabilizer)

- has a 1" sensor (several times larger than a traditional camcorder and only slightly smaller than the GH4's 4/3" sensor),

- has a 12x f2.8-4.5 power zoom (the GH4 is compatible with two f3.5-5.6 power zooms that are 3x each)

- includes XLR inputs, dual card slots and a built-in ND filter - all features missing from the GH4.

Here is what the X70 can do (please watch at 1080p):


CAMERA TEST:









NATURE:









TYPICAL NIGHT NEWS FOOTAGE:









One downside to this camera is that is is not able to shoot Ultra High Definition "4K" straight out of the box. Sony is advertising it as "4K ready", however, and plans to offer a paid upgrade sometime this year.

All of that said, this camera costs about the same as a GH4 with a decent low light lens and an XLR adapter. Add in the in-camera stabilization and it becomes a very good value for your money.

Hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Dave Edwards
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Jan 12, 2015 at 10:41:34 am

Hi Bill, thank you very much for your comprehensive response to my request for ideas: the PXW X70 is a very interesting camera in my price range and one I had been looking at.

On the PRO side the shallow DOF is very impressive as are the optical stabilisation and the handling of low light.

On the CON side (for me!) if buying a conventional camcorder I might miss the three discrete rings which I have on the EX1 and NX5. I have a few doubts about the build quality. Again, Avid Media Composer is not fond of ingesting the various flavours of AVCHD which I have on some cameras but gives me no difficulty when importing .MXF from my EX1 or .MOV from my BMPCC, say.

All that being said I haven't yet ruled it out.

I would have thought that the GH4's MFT sensor would be at least as good as this camcorder in low light given its size,- has that not been your experience?

Thanks again for your thoughts.


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Wayne Krszwda
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Mar 18, 2015 at 3:06:38 pm

HI...I'm an amateur videographer and I own the GH4. After purchasing it ( and experimenting), I researched a lot of videos and articles about the GH4. The weak issue in the GH4 is of course its low light performance. I purchased the the Metabones Speedbooster adapter for Canon FD type lenses. The old Canon FD Zoom 35-105 mm produces astounding video/stills on the GH4. There are many old FD lenses on the market and Metabones makes several types of adapters for micro four third mount cameras. Believe me when I say the strengths of the GH4 outweigh the negatives big time! I suggest you do the research on the Metabones Speedbooster and see how this little device can improve the low light performance of any micro four thirds cam that it's made for. I own several old Canon FD lenses and the F Stop is improved by 1 full stop when using the speedbooster. The GH4 has many video settings that will allow you to be more versatile and creative with your video shooting. I love the GH4 because it's teaching me how to become better at capturing good footage. I shoot in all manual settings and this camera will not disappoint if you - guaranteed! Thanks. Wayne

Wayne Krszwda


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Dave Edwards
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Mar 18, 2015 at 4:13:41 pm

Thanks, Wayne: in the end I've had my cake and eaten it. I sold a camera I was no longer using and bought both a used EX1 (prices have dropped) and the GH4. I'm still getting to know the latter but like both the crisp downscaled 4K and the 96 FPS slow motion. I shall certainly consider the speedbooster though at present I'm using the MFT lenses I already had for the BMPCC.


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Wayne Krszwda
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Mar 18, 2015 at 6:04:11 pm

Hi...great...like I said I'm only an amateur however I'm trying to boost my skills and become professional someday. I also have the Leica 1.4 25mm and another Canon FD 1.8 55mm - a great portrait lens ( of which I only paid $30.00 Canadian) - it's almost as good as the Leica of which I paid almost $700.00 Canadian. Check this link out and it will explain a lot about metabones and the GH4







I'm planning a local newscast using virtual news room sets and Final Cut Pro X. I'm looking for a good studio microphone within my budget ( 400.00 to 600.00)...any suggestions?

Thanks
Wayne

Wayne Krszwda


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Bill Bruner
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Apr 4, 2015 at 12:44:24 pm

Hi Wayne - if you're looking for a studio boom mic, you might want to consider a battery/phantom powered Rode NTG-2. You can get one for $280 Canadian.

Some people prefer the Sennheiser MKE 600 in this price class. You can get one for $420 Canadian.

Here's a nice side-by-side comparison of the two microphones:









Hope this is helpful and good luck with your new studio!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Bill Bruner
Re: GH4 alongside EX1
on Apr 4, 2015 at 12:32:03 pm

Congrats on the new cameras, Dave! Sounds like the best of both worlds.

The GH4 is a great camera - I'm sure you'll get good results from it.

Best,

Bill


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