from a 6D to a GH4

Hello all, I wanted to get some advice on a gear purchase. I recently bought a canon 6D, even though some on the forum here advised against it. I'll admit it, you were right. I really don't see much of a difference in image quality between my 550D and my 6D, which is really the main reason I upgraded in the first place (and frankly, the low-light performance isn't as spectacular as I'd expected, based on reviews of the 6D). I am now thinking I want to sell it and buy a GH4 with the metabones speedbooster (ef to mft). I understand that the major benefit of the GH4 is the higher quality image (4k out of the box), but are there any other major benefits to upgrading? Conversely, are there any negative aspects I should be aware of (difficult to use interface, weird video codec, etc)? Anyone with a GH4 w/ the EF - MFT speedbooster, your comments would be extremely helpful. Below are the specific products I'm looking at.
gh4
metabones ef to mft speedbooster
 
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Hello all, I wanted to get some advice on a gear purchase. I recently bought a canon 6D, even though some on the forum here advised against it. I'll admit it, you were right. I really don't see much of a difference in image quality between my 550D and my 6D, which is really the main reason I upgraded in the first place (and frankly, the low-light performance isn't as spectacular as I'd expected, based on reviews of the 6D). I am now thinking I want to sell it and buy a GH4 with the metabones speedbooster (ef to mft). I understand that the major benefit of the GH4 is the higher quality image (4k out of the box), but are there any other major benefits to upgrading? Conversely, are there any negative aspects I should be aware of (difficult to use interface, weird video codec, etc)? Anyone with a GH4 w/ the EF - MFT speedbooster, your comments would be extremely helpful. Below are the specific products I'm looking at.
gh4
metabones ef to mft speedbooster

I came from the T2i/550D to the GH series (most recently the GH4) and the major benefits to upgrading are:

- the electronic viewfinder - it is hard to explain how much of a difference it makes to have a viewfinder that is not blocked by the mirror when you shoot video

- a standard 3.5mm headphone jack with manual audio level control and on-screen audio meters (no need to modify your camera with ML)

- hours of continuous video recording instead of minutes (very useful for plays, speeches, sermons, concerts, events, etc)

- the same Quicktime .MOV codec as your 6D

- 1080/96fps slow motion

- lenses are a lot more compact and lighter

- bodies are somewhat more compact and lighter

- almost no moire

- autofocus almost as fast as the Canon 70D

If you want to save some money, you can get the GH4 for less than the price listed in your B&H link, but with a case, an SD card and a few accessories.

And the Metabones adapter you linked to is not the EF to MFT Speedbooster, it is a $399 Metabones Smart Adapter - which does power the aperture and image stabilization on Canon lenses, but does not give you the extra stop of light or the focal length reduction.

If you want the EF to MFT Speed Booster, it's a couple of hundred dollars more.

Hope this is helpful and good luck!

Bill
 
Have used both. Why go from DSLR to DSLR? You're just going to get marginal improvements.

Sure, the GH4 is better but it's not light years better. Save the money and take the leap when something amazing comes out.
 
Have used both. Why go from DSLR to DSLR? You're just going to get marginal improvements.

Sure, the GH4 is better but it's not light years better. Save the money and take the leap when something amazing comes out.

I also enjoy taking photos, which is a big reason I would stay in the DSLR range. Also, it's just what I know.
I'm just saying I could sell the 6D and pay only a few hundred more to get the GH4 and speedbooster (thanks for the clarification, Bill!) which would be relatively easy for me as my job pays quite well and I don't have a lot of bills. If the difference is marginal, what would be a bigger leap in image quality (in a 2-2.5k price range)?
 
I'd disagree that the difference is marginal - put GH4 footage (especially shot at 4k) side by side with any of the canon DSLRs on a decent sized screen and the quality difference is pretty noticeable. Add in the functional improvements and it's certainly a decent upgrade considering the marginal price difference after selling the 6D.
 

A.D.

Inactive
I'd disagree that the difference is marginal - put GH4 footage (especially shot at 4k) side by side with any of the canon DSLRs on a decent sized screen

White Opus - will any of your films be seen on 4k projector/screen? If not then I wouldn't bother.

As for stills, do you really want 16mp jammed into a mft size sensor? If quality stills are important to you then I wouldn't touch the GH series with somebody elses bargepole. Ack! (though If you're going to keep your canon then this doesnt really matter of course).

If half decent 4k vid at a reasonable price is what you want, then that's a different matter. Go get one and smug it up! Just be aware of the extras you'll need to get it running how you will no doubt want it to.
 
I'm thinking a 60" HD LCD, not a 4k projector, and footage from the GH4 shot at 4k and downscaled to HD. The difference is pretty significant in terms of fine detail.

I do agree on the stills side - the canon would be the better choice. That's the thing though - which one is 'better' depends entirely on your priorities between stills/video, every camera is a tradeoff in some way. Fortunately we live in a time where there are a lot of different cameras to choose from - unfortunately there is no one 'perfect' camera for everyone so choosing the 'best' camera is a personal decision based on what matters most to you.
 
Thank you for the replies. I'm definitely wanting the GH4 for video more than for stills; however, I am sometimes involved in doing event photography for the NPO I work with. Are you guys saying that the still images would be unusable? A simple google search shows images that look comparable to the 6D, but again, I'm not a professional photographer. I am more interested in the detail 4K can pack into HD - I won't be having my films played on a 4K projector anytime soon (though I do have a couple films premiere at film festivals each year, displaying them on a WAY bigger format than my 21.5" mac screen :D)
 
I also enjoy taking photos, which is a big reason I would stay in the DSLR range. Also, it's just what I know.
I'm just saying I could sell the 6D and pay only a few hundred more to get the GH4 and speedbooster (thanks for the clarification, Bill!) which would be relatively easy for me as my job pays quite well and I don't have a lot of bills. If the difference is marginal, what would be a bigger leap in image quality (in a 2-2.5k price range)?

I'm just writing from experience and have a GH4. My thinking would be to stay with the lovely 6D. The 6D does the job, it's a great DSLR. The only thing I can do with a GH4 that I can't do with a 6d is decent slo-mo. I can do everything else.

With the 6D, the only thing it does better than the GH4 is shoot wide. The GH4 is a real pain and you'll need to spend another few hundred on decent wide angle lenses.

So swapping a 6D with a GH4 is a trade-off from a visuals perspective. Bigger frame sensor on the 6D means you can shoot wider whereas better slo-mo on the GH4. Personally, I'd just keep the 60.
 
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A.D.

Inactive
Are you guys saying that the still images would be unusable?)

For my standards, yup. With current technology I personally will not use a sensor smaller than apsc size for pro stills. This is a totally personal decision entirely dependant on my needs and requirements. There are pros and cons to any format.

We really need to look into equivilency though before we can understand this fully, and this thread will get real messy, real fast if we do! It's such an expansive topic that you're best of just googling if you want to know more about the pros and cons of the different formats.

Edit: Interestingly enough, I've just had a quick googling and found a consensus that the GH4 can have IQ issues. Too many pixels methinks.

Bottom line - You really gotta want/need that 4K.
 
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so i guess my final, bottom-line question is: will I see an improvement in detail and color depth from the 6D to the GH4? My main concern is that I haven't been all that impressed with my 6D, especially at longer distances or with very wide lenses.

Also, does anyone have a suggestion for a non-DSLR video camera in the 2-3k price range?
 

A.D.

Inactive
will I see an improvement in detail and color depth from the 6D to the GH4?

Detail? As in video resolution? Sure, 4k vid has better detail than 1080p. Colour depth? Feck knows. :P Given the smaller format I very much doubt it though. Google can answer any tech detail questions better than us lot. :)
 
Yes - you'll see more detail. It's more than just the difference between 4k & 1080 - while the Canon DSLRs do put out 1080 files, the actual resolved resolution is lower, closer to ideal 720 material which has been scaled up. Additionally, the line-skipping used to read the data from the sensor introduces aliasing & moire to the image. On the GH4 by downscaling from 4k you can achieve detail approaching the ideal resolution limits of the 1080 format - and because they don't appear to be doing any line-skipping when shooting 4k it nearly eliminates aliasing artifacts.

Additionally, by downscaling from 4k you retain significantly more actual detail in the color channels - it's possible to create a true 4:4:4 1080 file from the onboard 4:2:0 4k on the GH4 if desired. Both cameras will still only do 8bit color, which is probably the biggest limitation color-wise of any of the DSLRs currently available.

Also, does anyone have a suggestion for a non-DSLR video camera in the 2-3k price range?

The main options in that price range will be from Blackmagic - the 1080 pocket camera at $1k, 2.5k cinema camera for $2k, and 4k production camera at $3k. All three give you the option to shoot in raw or 10bit prores, both of which will give you better color depth than any of the DSLRs. None of them have any still capabilities though, and they all have their own particular quirks and workflow complications - but from a quality of video standpoint they are probably the best available in that price range.

Are you guys saying that the still images would be unusable?

"Unusable" is pretty extreme - it's all going to depend on your particular needs and preferences. It may not be ideally suited to a particular task, but the truth is if you can't get a good image out of any of these modern cameras it has more to do with your skill than the hardware. A friend of mine has both the 5DmkIII and GH4 and isn't particularly happy with the GH4 for stills because of the appearance of the noise, especially in shadows. Does that make it "unusable"? You'd have to make a similar comparison and decide for yourself. It might be worth renting a GH4 for a weekend ($60 from borrowlenses.com) before deciding, because it'll tell you a lot more about how it meets your personal needs than any advice we can give you.
 
If Depth of Field is a concern, then realize the Canon has a bigger sensor and getting the bokeh effect is easier on the Canon compared to the GH4 Mirco 4/3rds sensor.

I've shot with these and even recently went from T2i to GH3 as my home DSLR camera even though I prefer a more shallow depth of field. I agree with the statements that it is a purely preferential, not technical choice between your two cameras. They aren't that different in form or function overall.
 

A.D.

Inactive
'ang on a mo. What's all this talk of the GH4 being a DSLR? :D hehehe

Dut yeah, DSLR's are for stills, video cameras are for video. Get a Red. :P

Additionally, by downscaling from 4k you retain significantly more actual detail in the color channels - it's possible to create a true 4:4:4 1080 file from the onboard 4:2:0 4k on the GH4 if desired.

As the great philosopher Butters once said - Neato. :)
 
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another huge reason why I want to stay in the DSLR arena is because it's relatively cheap to get new lenses, adapters, storage space, batteries, etc. With cameras like the RED, even the adapter for EF lenses is like a grand.
 
...does anyone have a suggestion for a non-DSLR video camera in the 2-3k price range?

If you don't mind a fixed lens, the new Sony PXW-X70 is less than $2300, has a 1" sensor, built-in XLR inputs, a built-in ND filter, records to 10-bit 4:2:2 XAVC and Sony will offer a UHD upgrade in a few months (rumored to cost about $500).

Here is what this camera can do: http://vimeo.com/104434534

If you don't mind the non-traditional form factor, you can get Ultra High Definition with the Blackmagic Production Camera "4K" EF or PL Mount for $2995.

This camera has a Super 35 sensor, a global (no skew) shutter, records to 10-bit ProRes or 12-bit RAW and was used to shoot the upcoming feature, Checkmate, starring Danny Glover and Sean Astin: http://hdslrshooter.com/shooting-feature-blackmagic-productioncamera4k/

Here is what this camera can do:

Short Film: http://vimeo.com/101765673

Doc: http://vimeo.com/97197169

Broadcast TV Promo: http://vimeo.com/100710793

Again, hope this is helpful!

Bill
 
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