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Two G6 Cameras or One GH3
  • I just sold my GH2 and I am going to have about $1500 or so to spend on a camera. I don't need it until early October. I will be using it for a feature length movie. My Options:

    1- Two Lumix G6 cameras Now.

    2- GH3 now

    3- Lumix G6 + Better glass

    Things to Ponder:

    • Numerous shorts, First Feature. Easier is better for me at this point.
    • Two G6 cameras will let me shoot scenes a heck of a lot faster.
    • I do most of the visual editing, color correction, color grading (I am okay, but far from great.)
    • I will be lighting for the look I want
    • I will be putting this in a few theaters myself and maybe a couple small festivals.
    • I have a pretty good sound guy, so that side is covered.

    I am working on bettering my skills between now and October. Every day I am working with footage and studying. Still, I know this will be a challenge. What do you guys think will work best for my needs?

  • 30 Replies sorted by
  • i love my gh3 , i really do. there are certain things i feel it does much better than gh2, it has noticeable more DR, more efficient codecs, less green colour cast, and many more frame rates / codec options which make it a much more complete beast. however for an indie production i'm not sure how much more superior it is in image quality , if at all. it does however handle much better and my workflow is much improved. g6 looks promising but i haven't used one personally so don't feel qualified to give an opinion - I will say i find i shoot most stuff with one main cam anyway and tend not to use multi cam set ups... this may just be me im just not used to it so take it with a pinch of salt. the bmpcc may not be out or with you for ages , i love the look the bmcc gets and have little doubts that the pocket cams footage will be great but for me deciding to use a product that we have no idea if it will be with us by the time we are shooting is risky and far too much of a headache . i would get some nice glass and a gh2 again personally but seeing as u just sold ur gh2 i realise this isn't what you want to hear . nonetheless this is honestly what i would do .... alternatively g6 deal from PV deals section and set of glass that matches well . my 0.02$

  • I'm picking up a G6 tonight. Using as a b-cam with the GH3.

  • The third: one g6 whit the best lens you can take.

  • @jakepowell I know how you feel. I loved my GH2. Got a really good offer on it and decided to upgrade. I agree about the unknown. I am not guaranteed to have a BMPCC by my next shoot.

    Has anyone here had a chance to compare footage from the G6 and GH3? I know G6 has focus peaking (Which I love) and 60p (Which I can use).

  • If you don't need live video/audio monitoring, get G6.

  • I've used G6 for several weeks now and focus peaking on it is not 100% accurate on camera's screen without zooming in as you'd do on GH2/3. The screen on G6 is 720x480, and since G6 does not output live HDMI image, screen and peaking is all you'd have for focus pulling. Could be nightmare to get critical focus in shallow DOF shots, especially on fly-by-wire lenses, so I'd advise to be careful and test before buying.

    Also, there are cases where video compression quality on G6 is not sufficient. Smaller shot sizes with people as subjects it'll likely do well enough, wide shots with plenty of fine detail, not so well.

    If image quality is top priority, I'd say GH3 or BMPCC. GH3 you can buy without waiting, and there'll be time to test how to get the best out of it. BMPCC, if you can get it, will likely give best image for grading and will be closer in usability to proper cinema cams... tough decision.

  • i forgot about the whole hdmi out issue on the g6 .... no i could not handle that i always use a evf or 7" monitor when doing any serious work with my gh3. so have a good think on this as to whether this would bother you ? how about a BMCC MFT ? you can get that now. and also now the price is not too far from that of 2 g6's / a gh3 !

  • @all Papalapap-GH2 hack Vitaliy with a patch from Nick is the best choice still

  • Finding another GH2 is very difficult these days. Though the BMCC is looking pretty good after the price drop.

  • 3- Lumix G6 + Better glass

    With your limited budget it seems to me that option 3 is best.

    As good glass matters!

    Early October is not that far away, while I am very confident that some users will have a BMPCC by then.... will you be one of them? I would not trust a pre order being placed now to be fulfilled by early October.

    Plus the benefit of getting a good camera NOW means you can practise with it right away, and a camera you're experienced with will undoubtedly perform better than a new camera you haven't used yet.

  • It'd have to be a 'very' good offer for me to sell my GH2. I'm waiting for the BMPCC which will become my A-cam. Take my GH2? Out of my cold dead hands!

  • Maybe consider spending most of your budget on good glass and then rent a BMCC MFT in October and then either buy one (or a BMPCC) later? No matter how great your camera is, sticking a coke bottle on the front of it probably won't result in the images you want.

  • Looks like I got rid of the GH2 a bit too soon. Moon T7. Still on the fence about the GH3 versus the G6. I am running a PC with decent ram and Sony Vegas. Would have to buy a completely new system for the BMCC. Either that or a different editing package.

  • The answer is here, 'I will be lighting for the look I want' If you can light effectively the camera is less important. The subject matter of what you're shooting should drive your equipment selection. If it was a comedy, then you would NOT want a BMCC because it would give more dynamic range than you need and more difficult workflow. If you're shooting a drama about a boy who hides in the shadows, then getting the BMCC would be best. If you want shallow depth of field, you need good glass. Same for low lighting. If you're outdoors perhaps two cameras would be best, if you're filming improvs. Lastly, figuring out a new camera is that last thing you want to do when trying to something new, a full-length feature. So @Butt is probably right!

  • Looking like getting either of the Black Magics will lead to me having to purchase new editing software at the least or an entirely different setup. I am running a pretty decent PC with Sony Vegas. I have had no problem with any of the hacked GH2 footage.

    ProRes, on the other hand, will mean jumping through a few extra hoops with my current set up. Upgrading or replacing what I have to easily edit the BMCC or BMPCC will add more costs than I can probably afford.

    Open to ideas, though. What do you guys think?

  • The Black Magic cam is now out of the running. Stuck between the GH3 and the G6.

    Anyone have any experience with either on the big screen? I am especially concerned about the G6 image holding up since it only has a bitrate of 24 mbps.

  • Actually the max bitrate is 28mbps. I know, not that much from what you wrote, but, yeah... My G6 should arrive any day now and from what I've read all over the web, it's an awesome camera.

  • All I can say is I would not shoot a feature with a 28mbit codec...

  • @imrx Thanks.

    @tosvus That has me a bit worried. Having serious seller's remorse. My GH2 was in pristine condition.

  • I would have kept the hacked gh2 and bought a voigtlander 25mm, slr magic 12mm and an 85mm Rokinon f/1.4. the lenses will far outlast any camera upgrade. but that's just me.

  • in that case i recommend gh3 far superior codecs for post (although not near perfect still much better) the more i use mine the more happy i am with it (just waiting for the day vk tells us hes cracked it and we see the extra missing peices resolved like high bit rate intra codecs and some work to tweaking to get a little more cinematic look out of the cam ) but regardless im finding i can coax a very nice cinematic image out of it the more used to it i get.... deal breakers for me are hdmi out while recording for evf's/monitors, and aforementioned higher bitrate codecs. i had sellers remorse at first with my switch from gh2 to gh3 but it is fading the more i use it. the ergonomics and features are a real step up and some stuff that bugged me with gh2 is finally gone!

  • I've been on the fence with getting a BMPCC or the BMCC, but now I'm rethinking a GH3. The main thing that's changing my mind is stability. I'm doing a lot more live event style shootings lately and I've had write failures multiple times with the GH2 hack, even running in lower bitrate mode, and I finally had a failure on a critical moment that will make me never hack my camera again. The GH2's stock 720p out resolves a stock 7D's 1080p, that's good enough for me.

    I quadruple the GH3's advantage of HDMI output, even though it's not full uncompressed. Also it will work with the new cheaper UH-I SD cards like the Sony 40mbs/95mbs, that are half the cost of the Sandisk extreme pro, yet should be more than enough for stock bitrates and allow you long record times.

    You might want to look at a GoPro Hero3 as your B cam. It would also give you 1080 at 60p, plus the 2.7k option. I hear the GoPro also outputs full HDMI. Whichever route I go, GH3 or BMPCC, I'm definitely getting the GoPro also.

  • @jakepowell @CRFilms Thanks for the advice. I had a couple problems with the hacked GH2 and write failures in 24H but not 24L.

    I have been doing a lot of thinking about the GH3. It does seem to have some build issues (hot shoe, etc). Never knew how much I would miss the GH2, warts and all.

  • I have both the GH3 and the G6. The G6 is a great interview/gonzo run and gun type camera...but I find the image breaks up slightly when there is a lot of fine moving wide shots of traffic, people, and landscapes with trees and tall grasses waving in the wind. That might be due to the avchd codec. When shooting with the GH3 in 50mb mode, I've had numerous positive comments about the quality and dynamic range. It kills the Canon 7D in terms of image quality. If I had to choose one camera--I'd go with the GH3.

  • Will do more research on the GH3 bitrates. Was really looking forward to focus peaking, but I could just buy a monitor. What lenses are you using? What works well with both cameras?