Saturday, July 19, 2014

Terrific GH4 vs A7s Shootout from Learning Cameras - and a Wakeup Call for Canon

This is the best comparison of the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony A7s I have seen to date, with insightful observations on features, ergonomics, lens selection and the importance of 4K in a 1080p world.

Here's the review:

As readers of this blog know, we are partial to the GH4 - but to be fair to the A7s, Dan doesn't mention the advantages of using the Metabones  EF to NEX Smart Adapter with the Sony. The Smart Adapter mitigates the A7s' lens selection challenge somewhat by opening up the possibility of using fast, wide Canon glass with image stabilization and auto-aperture.

He also leaves out any mention of the Sony's APS-C crop mode as a partial solution to the A7s' jello problem.

But these are minor nits.  Overall, I agree completely with his bottom line - at $1700 for a compact handheld 4K solution, the GH4 is the clear winner.

But beyond the competition between the two new kings of the mirrorless world, there is a deeper message from this shootout.

Two of Dan's quotes stand out as particularly bad news for a company whose cameras aren't seen in the video - Canon.  Dan says:
"Honestly, [4K] is making it tough to go back to 1080p", and
"Both of these cameras have redefined my view of what video should look like from cameras in this price range - they have just both stomped on [emphasis added] my Canon 5D3 and 70D so hard that it will be nearly impossible for me to pick them up and begin video shooting after seeing the quality these cameras were able to generate."
That's pretty tough language from someone who has thousands of dollars invested in Canon bodies and glass.

In my view, as more and more shooters get their hands on these cameras, quotes like these will start to become the conventional wisdom - and it will become more and more difficult to sell 8-bit 1080p mirror-box DSLRs for serious professional or enthusiast film-making.

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