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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:59 PM   #1
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5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Thinking of trading in my 5D for the new Panny GH3. As much as i like the Canon, i've always felt it was primarily a stills camera, while the GH3 seems to be a bit more video friendly. I particularly like the idea of higher bitrates, time-lapse functions and the flip out lcd, but there are other factors too. Hopefully peaking will be arriving soon via a firmware update, though i guess there's no guarantee of that. I can't justify buying a C100 (or the other options) at present but just want a camera that better serves my needs for docos and corporate work. I'd also like a change to be honest, having owned the Canon since it came out some years ago.

Anyone else been down this road? Are you happy with your decision? What do you prefer about the Panasonic/Canon?

Since the GH3 is so new, i'd be equally interested in what people who moved over to the GH2 have to say.

Happy New Year!

Dom
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

The GH1 was recommended to me when I was looking at a first dSLR purchase. By the time I was ready to go the GH2 had come out. I ended up on a Canon 60D, and think it was the right decision for my needs at the time. Yours may be different, but here's what seemed important:

1) Everybody I know personally and collaborate with is working on Canon. Could I be an island of Panny in a Canon ecosystem? Yes, but...

2) There is great rental support for Canon here in Portland. A local pro camera shop has any Canon lens I want for $30/day (USD), some a little less, some a little more. For longer term, there are a couple online rental places with better rates. This one turned out to be most important to me.

3) Coming from conventional small-sensor camcorders, mostly prosumer, the differences between fullframe, 1.6x crop and 2x crop weren't so important to me.

4) Using Magic Lantern, I got Zebras, Waveform, Spot meter, Peaking, (and Timelapse). Kinda funny how the software you can run on a camera turns out to be pretty important; those first 4 functions make it much more usable for me for video.

5) More recently, with the intro of the C100, I'm pretty happy with my investment in Canon glass.

All these issues were indeed important when I started shooting with the 60D. E.g., a recent shoot was a multicamera video timelapse, using donated equipment. We had my 60D, a 7D, 5dM2, and 5dM3 all on one shoot, a video timelapse of an artist at work. Spot-metering the blank canvas was exactly what we needed to dial exposure across cams, with waveform confirmation. I used Magic Focus constantly as well.

The 60D has a fold-out LCD, as does the newer T4i. But being in a Canon town and Magic Lantern were really the deciding factors for me.

I've accumulated quite a few bits and pieces, but the most important is a Hoodman Loupe with camcorder strap. My buddy's Zacuto EVF is very, very nice, though.

Although I've been very happy with the 60D, I can't wait for a C100 shoot... and if the 60D is retired from my video work in the future, I know I'll be very happy with it as a stills cam for quite a while.

I am not a total Canon fanboy, it's just a camera. If you can make money with it it's a good camera for a pro.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Wow! Thanks for your input Seth, and a powerful set of reasons for hanging on to the 5D. Actually i'd forgotten all about Magic Lantern, and what that can bring to the camera. Also, you're right about the number of Canon users around, and how handy that can be when looking for collaborators.
Thanks again.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

I would say if you have invested in Canon glass, the Mark III offers more overall benefits to the GH3, even though I like the latter better on a gut level. This comparison might help: What is the Best DSLR for Video?
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

..... Any idea if Magic Lantern will be implemented on the 5d Mkiii?
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Old January 4th, 2013, 03:35 AM   #6
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Should be on its way!

Canon 5D Mark III
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

So nobody here - for now at least - wants to put forward a persuasive argument for moving to the GH3 over the 5d mkii. I'm surprised at that to be honest, and expected to be inundated with reasons for jumping ship but they haven't materialised.

As far as the MKiii goes it's a non-starter. With the C100 on the market there's no reason to go to that as someone who's ostensibly interested in video. But it does give me pause for thought, that it may be in my long term interests to stick with Canon (even though i currently own only the 24-105 Kit lens and have not invested in glass).

The flexible LCD is a big deal for me as someone with a background in "proper" video cameras. I've been renting EX1's since i bought this camera and would have saved myself a fair bit by going straight to something like the Panasonic AF100 4/3 camera in the first place but that wasn't how it worked out.

Now i'm wondering whether to move over to the 4/3 platform, with the Black Magic camera on the horizon which looks to me like a much more interesting camera than the Canon.

In the meantime, i'm primarily interested in whether the GH3 has an edge over my ageing 5D MKii. On Paper at least (not to mention functionality) it seems like a major step forwards.

Or maybe i should just make the most of what i already have?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #8
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Making the most of what you already have is always a wise first step... UNLESS you already know that what you already have is failing to deliver in terms of quality or capability.

If you had a wider lens selection, then the only solid reason I could conjure is that, in the event your needs so dictate, a GH/m43 kit is far smaller and lighter than an equivalent FOV/speed 5D kit; since EOS system lenses require so many clunky workarounds to function properly on other cameras, it's simply more efficient and cost-effective to stay within that system if it's what you have. Also, Seth speaks truth in the ubiquity of Canon's DSLR video user base, as well as hinting at an all-too-common producer viewpoint; I've had to rent 5D's, even when they weren't better suited to the project, simply because the producer wanted to use them above any other choice.

Now, if you work mostly solo, and only have one (relatively slow) lens or most of your lenses were legacy manual mounts, then the story changes... maybe. Your 5D2 body will more or less be an even trade with a GH3, so what would you lose, and what would you gain? You can run the specs to figure that out, and if it's worth it. Re: lenses, you'd likely want something faster; the going rate for a used 24-105 isn't much (~US$700), but would be an approximate even trade with something like my standard equivalent range zoom, the Leica D 14-50/2.8-3.5. Other inexpensive options to round out, substitute, and/or and complete your set (without any auto function, mind you) would be Nikon-mount Tokina 11-16/2.8, Tamron 17-50/2.8 non-VC, and non-IS Sigma 50-150/2.8. You should be able to find these three for US$1500 or under. You can find and use manual primes in any mount, length, speed, and quality your desires and budget allow, so you can augment your system for fairly cheap or go full on bonkers in PL-mount cinemadness.

The outlook changes if you begin looking for lenses with full auto functionality; unfortunately the selection is limited - excellent quality, but limited - and on the moderately expensive side. Panasonic's 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 compare favorably in range, speed, and IQ to Canon's 24-70/2.8L and 70-200/2.8L, and both have great OIS and smooth auto functionality. The pair would run you ~$2500. Adding in a fast native m43 normal prime (Leica DG 25/1.4) would bump that up to $3000 total, or slightly less with the great quality but slow focusing 20/1.7. Since the BMCC purportedly will be a dumb m43 mount (as in no electronic communication), none of those lenses will work with it if that's still in your radar. However, as hinted above, each of the Lumix 12-35/PL25/Lumix 35-100 trio sizes and weighs in the same or less than a 12oz (355mL) can of Coke. It's exceptionally easy to toss all three plus the GH body into a medium-small shoulder satchel and be fully equipped for the day. This can be a huge benefit vs a 5D/24-70/50/70-200 kit, again, depending upon your need.

Just some thoughts. You're starting with a damn good camera, and considering options that are only improvements, so there's really no way you can lose regardless of what you decide to do.
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Last edited by Kevin McRoberts; January 5th, 2013 at 09:00 AM.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 01:50 AM   #9
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Wow! you've done your homework on this Kevin. Many thanks for sharing.

There are still some clear benefits to making the change IMO.

I Flip out LCD. I really hate the current set up. I like low down shots and don't want to buy a monitor. I have a funky disk in my neck and hate having to contort my body to see the damn thing. The GH3 solves this problem.

2 Broadcast Bitrate. Very nice to have for grading etc, even if you're not going to broadcast. Should improve motion artefacts too?

3 Lenses go twice as far for less cash. I like the look of the 14-140 lumix. Very useful every day lens with a serious reach and decent width. There are affordable wide/fast lens options too. My 24-105 is a nice piece of glass, and i may even hang on to is as the red band has fallen off and the hood replaced with an aftermarket one after the original fell out of a cable car window (Doh!), but it's rarely long enough for my needs.

4 Timelapse recording in camera. A nice feature i'll take advantage of.

5 Better for slo mo. I don't do a lot but it looks like this camera is more useful than the mkii for doing it.

6 The Panny look. Not sure what that means, but i've always liked it since the HVX 200 came out. I opted for the Canon XHA1 instead due to the extortionate price of P2 back then, but had the cards been cheaper i'd probably have gone to Panasonic years ago.

7 Size. The whole package is a little smaller and lighter, even with a 280 zoom.

8 Price. The changeover should be relatively cheap, particularly if i sell the lens as well.

I could probably think of some more reasons, but i think the next step is to go and have a look at the GH3 and see what sort of trade in i can get for the 5D. It could be i end up sticking with the Canon, but i do feel that a New Year change could be creatively invigorating.

Thanks again to all who've contributed here, and if anyone else wants to weigh in with their 2c that would be great.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Dom, you haven't mentioned what you shoot.

If your style leans towards a documentary or gritty look, the GH3 might just be the right camera. For a more filmic/dreamy narrative look, I'd stick with the 5D2 - especially if you add a Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing filter.

Look at your style and needs first. Choose the tools second. :)
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Old January 8th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #11
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
... if you add a Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing filter.
That looks cool! Considering all the limitations mentioned on the website, is it worth it?
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Old January 11th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Is it worth it? It depends...

A 5D2 with VAF is cheaper than a 5D3, so it's a cash saver. And it really works. I won't shoot 5D2 video without it. I still get a small amount of aliasing, but it's quite acceptable. Many times better than line skipped video!

If you also shoot photos, it's a pain. When it's time to remove it, I seem to never have the VAF case with me. I make due.

If you're style is to shoot ultra-wide, it doesn't help. Get the 5D3. (My serious stuff is rarely ultra-wide.)

If you do live zooms, it's unworkable. (I never do live zooms.)

So, aside from those issues, it's quite transparent if you shoot only video. You forget it's even installed. It just works and looks great!
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Old January 12th, 2013, 07:48 AM   #13
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom Stevenson View Post
...So nobody here - for now at least - wants to put forward a persuasive argument for moving to the GH3 over the 5d mkii. I'm surprised at that to be honest, and expected to be inundated with reasons for jumping ship but they haven't materialised...
Hi Dom - you might have gotten a different set of answers in the Panasonic forum here at dvinfo :)

I am a GH1/GH2/GH3 shooter who came over to Panasonic from a crop sensor Canon DSLRs (550D/T2i). Here is a picture of my Canon setup:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-T...4/P1010304.JPG

I switched for reasons similar to yours - I wanted:

- a swivel LCD,

- a viewfinder that actually works when shooting video (I didn't want to buy a monitor or a loupe just so I could see my video images outdoors),

- video clip length longer than 12 minutes,

- an autofocus that kept working when shooting video, and

- autofocus lenses with silent motors that I couldn't hear grinding away on my soundtrack.

Later, I upgraded to the GH3 for the headphone jack, weathersealed body, smartphone/tablet control via wi-fi and the broadcast level bit rates (without having to hack my camera).

Since I left Canon 2 years ago, they have made an effort to catch up - with the 600D/T3i's swivel LCD, the 650D/T4i's 22 minute clip length, and the video autofocus function on the 650D/T4i (I have shot with this camera, and the "silent" STM autofocus lenses are noisy by Panasonic GH standards).

But, in my view, they have fallen short - especially with the new features of the GH3 at a price point less than half of the 5D Mark III.

Don't get me wrong, people are shooting great video with Canons (generally with lower resolution than the GH cameras, but some people like soft images :)). But Canon shooters have to work around the inherent challenges of mirror-box cameras to do it (to include extra bulk and weight and a viewfinder that doesn't work when they shoot video).

Here's a great video from former Canon shooter Marlene Hielema showing the bulk and weight advantage of the GH3 over the 5D mark II:


(To be fair, she also has a video showing the full frame 5D Mark II's high ISO advantage for stills)

And here is a great comparison of the video quality between the GH3, 5D Mark II and hacked GH1 (a 300 camera) at ISO 1250:


I still love Canon cameras for stills, and would go back to the brand if they ever put a real video camera in the DSLR form factor for less than the cost of a 1D C. But right now, for me at least, the GH3 is the best value for money for video.

You're fortunate in the UK in that the GH3 is in stock right now at Amazon UK for http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-GH3HEB-K-Compact-System-14-140mm/dp/B009T3DEQ6?tag=hybrcamerevo-21 and for http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-GH3EB-K-Compact-System-Camera/dp/B009T3DEQG?tag=hybrcamerevo-21.

If you haven't guessed - my advice is to sell the 5D Mark II and buy the GH3 :)

Cheers, and good luck with your decision!

Bill
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Old January 13th, 2013, 02:30 AM   #14
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Is it worth it? It depends...

A 5D2 with VAF is cheaper than a 5D3, so it's a cash saver. And it really works. I won't shoot 5D2 video without it. I still get a small amount of aliasing, but it's quite acceptable. Many times better than line skipped video!

If you also shoot photos, it's a pain. When it's time to remove it, I seem to never have the VAF case with me. I make due.

If you're style is to shoot ultra-wide, it doesn't help. Get the 5D3. (My serious stuff is rarely ultra-wide.)

If you do live zooms, it's unworkable. (I never do live zooms.)

So, aside from those issues, it's quite transparent if you shoot only video. You forget it's even installed. It just works and looks great!
Thanks, Jon. That's excellent advice. Would you say the benefits are similar on APS-C sensors like the 7D?

I was planning to get a 5D3, for stills and video. Maybe it's a good idea to avoid the VAF in this case, I'm assuming.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Re: 5D Mk ii to GH3. Good idea?

Yeah, with the 5D3, no VAF is needed. With a crop sensor, the VAF filters are apparently better than the 5D2 VAF. They handle wide view lenses. From what I can tell, the VAF optics are close to the sensor on the crop bodies. There is more space between the optics and the sensor on the 5D2.
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