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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #1
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RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

This is a somewhat David and Goliath story. It is safe to say that a GH2 does not belong on a film set but with some care and stable hacking, this little cam does what it does. I was extremely careful conducting these tests. Every shot was focus assisted, all apertures matched and each cam was on its highest setting. No effects were added or taken away. White balance was adjusted and so were the levels to match each other. Please leave constructive comments. This is an evolving industry full of challengers, large and small, old and new. Feel free to visit some of our work at saratogaweddingvideo.com Thank you.


Saratoga Wedding Video - wedding video blog - Memories for Life
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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #2
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

Nice test. On the face of it, the GH2 stands up very well to the RED. I'm not going to say one is better then the other, because personally I don't care, but with the prices as different as they are and the picture as close as it is, It feels good to own a GH2. Both to my wallet and my back. The RED is really 25lbs? That alone would give me a reason not to buy that camera.

Thanks for posting
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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

Stunning video, your technical skills are amazing. I cannot make any real criticism, your video skills are so far out of my league it gives me a headache. I have trouble simply maintaining correct white balance on a shoot.

The Olympus F/2.0 zoom, the shorter one, is on my list, outstanding lens.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

It's a great lens. I prefer the 35-100 because it has a servo driven focus and the 15-35 does not. But both are extremely sharp and negated the need to keep changing primes. Which I used to do. RED is awesome for 5k delivery but for 1080??? GH2 can clear hold it's own. The RED has more color range and you can see that in the vector scopes as come colors bottom out on the GH2, the RED keeps them smooth all the way down the range. But for 10 times the price, um no, no thanks.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

The video link on your page was not working as of 12pm EST but I managed to find the video on your Vimeo page.

In terms of your presentation (that is HD video on Vimeo), the two cameras are astoundingly similar. The Panasonic has the typical blue cast we have all noted and in some of the fall leaves the GH2 seems to find places to add blue where the RED doesn't. Yes, the RED lens seems soft as the GH2 has better detail in the desk shot but sometimes detail isn't better. Overall the image quality was very similar with the only place where the RED was definitely better was in the grain on the top right corner of the desk shot. The GH2 recorded the blotchy noise typical of h264 recording where the RED has a pleasing grain.

Quite frankly, for HD the GH2 really does an excellent job. Certainly for wedding shoots the RED is 100% overkill. Now the next question is how the two cameras project in a large theater or transfer to 35mm (although that will be a thing of the past in 5 years). Certainly the RED is better choice if you can afford it and get someone to lug it around.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

The Epic is not heavy. Body weighs only 7 pounds. The RED One is another story though. That thing weighs more than a bank vault.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

Shooting 4K would be wonderful for 1080 delivery as you could easily add movement in post without compromising quality. It would also give decent quality stills so you would be great for weddings where you could offer a dual photo/video package. The Red Scarlet announcement is set for 3rd November & if they can actually deliver on the $6K price point I am really seriously considering selling a load of my gear & buying a couple of Scarlets.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

We have a Red One at work and we love the camera but she is a bit soft. We use Assimilate Scratch to process the material sometimes and I end up adding a bit of sharpness back into the footage. Typically I have found really good HD video will always look sharper then Red footage due to the nature of how it is recorded. Remember Red is raw direct from the chips with no processing. All video cameras use some form of electronic sharpening to make the video look sharper. Ever take a video camera and turn the sharpness completely off or all the way down? Thats what the chips are actually capturing just like with the Red cameras. Of course we shoot Red for many other reasons other then raw detail. Dynamic range, 12 bit color and virtually uncompressed 4:4:4 images typically mean more for our end product then detail. We have shot Red footage that was virtually pitch dark and were able to pull the colors to a point where it looked close to perfect.

With the hack we can get much closer although we will always be limited to 8 bit color at 4:2:0.

On another note we also have an old Sony F900 HDCAM camera. I recently did a green screen shoot in our studio for some internally promotional material. I shot with the F900 because the Red One and our Sony F3 were out on shoots. I captured the HD-SDI signal from the F900 live to uncompressed however. Just for the fun of it I grabbed my GH1 and handheld a few segments just to check it out. My GH1 kicked the crap out of the uncompressed live capture from the F900 HDCAM. The colors and detail were so much richer and they key was 100x easier even though it was 4:2:0 compared to 4:2:2 from the HDCAM capture. Just goes to prove specs are not everything.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 01:45 AM   #9
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Re: RED Epic versus Panasonic GH2!!!

Great test Philip, especially appreciated the high ISO comparison at the end of the video. Great stuff, cheers!
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