major reasons for making panny better in video than oly

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Questions thread
Dr_Jon
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Re: major reasons for making panny better in video than oly
In reply to j9300, Jun 30, 2013

I wrote a very long post them lost it due to a minor glitch, here's the short version (actually got quite long by the time I was done). Summary is I think the GF6 will be a bit better but neither are really aimed at videographers.

EPL5 video is 1080p at 30fps and 17/20 Mbps or 720p at 30fps and 10/13Mbps all recorded in Quicktime .MOV containers. It doesn't support rates over 30fps or PAL rates in PAL countries, which could be somewhat limiting in PAL regions. ISO is fixed once recording starts. Touch focus is supported during movie recording (I think someone suggested it doesn't do this, but it does). Has a better sensor (e.g. re low light video noise) than the GF6's (although the Codec will probably lose a bit of that lead).

GF6 adds PAL speeds of 25/50fps or 30/60 in non-PAL regions at, however the sensor reads out at 25/30p so the 50/60 modes are somewhat synthetic. It records in AVCHD (17Mbps for 1080/50-60i) and MP4 (20Mbps for 1080/25-30p) containers. Touch focus during movie recording. It's screen is over twice the resolution of the EPL5's.

I don't think either are great video cameras, but should be okay. they are more stills cameras with fairly decent tacked-on video modes. Neither do "real" modes faster than 30p and neither support bitrates over 20Mbps. For casual use 17-20 Mbps is pretty good though, but if you want to go to 50p/60p then 28Mbps is a nice speed to get at least as high as.

General Panasonic plusses:
They have a big Camcorder business and a Codec chip business, so tend to put quite good Codecs (Video/Audio compressors/decompressors) in their Cameras.
There is much more interest in Panasonic video on the web than Olympus, largely due to the GH series cameras. This means there is Hacked firmware available for a number of the cameras (even my old GF1 has a video hack available adding extra features). I don't believe there is anything for the GF6 yet.
They use optically stabilised lenses which is usually better for video, especially when it comes to keeping the sensor cool. The down-sides to IBIS are you can't mount the sensor on a nice heat-sink block and connect it to the camera body plus you have a bunch of kit getting hot moving the sensor around right beside the sensor. This limits how long you can shoot for and will increase noise on long takes if it's dark out.
Good video AF (generally better than Oly) but as there is a limit as to how fast you want to change focus during recording the difference isn't huge.

My main m43 video experiences are with my GH3, here the main issue is having more Moire than I'd like. You really have to think about it. In the last week I had a shot ruined by Moire which I can't repeat (I got much closer to a particular type of bird than I'd ever been before, but the Moire on a few of the feathers was really bad, I even used a not-that-sharp lens to try to help). I suspect Olympus, who are after sharp stills, will have the same issues and you need either a video camera or a camera that can read out all the pixels to help. (I don't know a m43 camera that can read the whole frame out at video speeds, so they just skip chunks of it.) I actually think for casual (!) video shooting my RX100 in its 28Mbps 50p mode is the best camera I have, it always gives great results.

If you really have video as a priority then consider getting a GH2 and applying one of the not-too-adventurous hacks. (Some run it at speeds where it will cook.)

All IMHO of course.

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