GH2 vs T4i for video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jpine, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Well, my HDV camcorder is about to die and I need a replacement. I was leaning towards the GH2 because of its continuous record ability, but the T4i now is limited only by the card size as well. Since both are similarly priced, does anyone have any thoughts about the two choices? I should say that 85% of what I shoot is indoors and in an environment where I have control of lighting and sound which is recorded separately. I have no Canon or Panasonic glass since I'm coming from a camcorder. A fast normal lens is probably just fine in most circumstances. If I need something different, I can rent.

  2. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The GH2 has significantly better image quality (especially with the hack) and the t4i has much better ease of use (in post, too; you need to transcode with third party software or highlights clip in FCP).

    If you can afford a good fast wide lens for the GH2 I would say it offers noticeably better IQ. But EVERYONE is shooting Canon and the t4i will be better for stills, too, and there are way more lenses and accessories. Also, how much does IQ matter? The t4i should still produce excellent results, the GH2 is just significantly sharper with less aliasing.
  3. jpine thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    IQ will trump ease of use any day. Stills are a rare occurrence or me, and I'm sure the GH2 will be more than adequate. And thanks thanks for the 411 on getting a fast wide-angle. Any suggestions on that particular glass?
  4. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Depends on your style....there are panasonic f2.8 zooms, an olympus f2 zoom that no one can afford, or even the tokina 11-16 and primes and adapters. Or you could get the voigtlander and slrmagic primes, which are significantly faster than f2 and can cover your entire focal length range (14-40 is kind of necessary, then beyond that its' a matter of style), but they are expensive. If you love the shallow focus effect you'll have to get the latter.

    With the t4i...the 17-55mm f2.8 IS. Easy. And the larger sensor is nice for shallow focus. With the cost of good lenses taken into account, the GH2 is surprisingly expensive, but not worse than the 5D III and with better image quality at normal ISOs.

    Getting the best IQ out of the GH2 is a pain. You need to install hacked firmware that can cause overheating and potentially bricking the camera, then transcode your footage using 5D to RGB to retain highlight detail. And the footage still has clipping, skew, and a bit of aliasing maybe...still dSLR footage. But relative to the t4i it's much sharper and with less aliasing. That said, I'm currently intercutting 5DIII footage with Alexa and Epic, and it has similar IQ to the t4i so if you don't mind softness Canon performs okay. But the GH2 remains the best still camera for video from an IQ standpoint. Nothing's perfect, but it is is very, very good.
  5. jpine thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I don't mind hacking the firmware but not at the risk of bricking the camera, even if it is a smallish risk. What is the image quality if I don't hack the Panasonic?

    I don't mind a soft image, but that's my personal taste. Maybe I'll just stick with the Canon.

    Thanks again!
  6. Babybandit macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2008
    I use the GH2 Regularly, and can vouch for it's excellence. Though Image is not as soft as Canon's. The Beauty of the GH2 (And really, Mirrorless Cameras) is their abilities to get adaptors for vintage glass. And Vintage Nikons really do standout to give you amazing images, without being too expensive. On top of that, the aforementioned Voigtlander 25mm and 17.5mm f0.95 lenses are amazing. Not only so, but they're in fact T lenses (With Marginal Error). I can't live without those two lenses.

    I've hacked the camera numerous times (on and off, depending on my needs) and have never bricked it. It's impossible to do so if you follow the instructions as is. The only occurrence would be doing so with a battery that hasn't been charged. And really, the hack doesn't cause much or any issues. Overheating rarely if ever occurs (Outside of one incident in a beach - but that was a minor incident, and more… my fault :eek:).

    This was done without the hack (Because I was on holiday, I didn't want to carry too many SD Cards).

    The GH2 is an amazing beast for video. I highly recommend it.
  7. Policar, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    I'm not sure what the risks are, but I have heard of problems from people who went for crazy bit rates so there are some if you're not careful.

    The hidden cost of the GH2 is in the lenses. You need at least 14mm wide to get an equivalent to your 18mm Super35 prime (standard wide for cinema work, though they go to 8mm rarely and you can get that for APS-C and a 14mm for full frame, but what for m4/3?) and depth of field is a stop deeper than with APS-C/Super35 and two stops deeper than with FF (roughly). So on the 5D you need a 24mm or 28mm, which is easy and affordable and you gain two stops in terms of shallow DOF (if you like it, stopping down costs light so that makes the GH2 better for low light than it seems if you prefer deeper focus, as most capable DPs do!). So those expensive (overpriced relative to vintage glass) voigtlander and SLR magic lenses are hard to live without, I imagine, whereas I can get a 28mm f2.8 Nikon AIS prime and an adapter have the same experience optically (in terms of DOF, better in terms of image quality) on the 5D for $120.

    Sorry about the convoluted logic, but it boils down to this: research lenses first. We all have different needs; price yours out first for each system. And invest in filters (NDs) and if you want to do video production then lights, camera support, sound, etc.

    I'd get the GH2. I have a 5D III and envy the GH2's video quality, but my lenses are best suited to the 5D system and the low light and versatility are excellent, at least. Everything is not equal in terms of lenses. Research that...and then probably get a GH2.
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    I have used a canon t2i and GH2 (hacked) and now own a 5dii.
    If you are serious about this and can finance, lease or payment plan a 5d, it's epicly better.

    I loved the t2i more than the gh2 for a few reasons.
    1. durability - i banged the hell out of that t2i and it still keeps ticking to this day. the gh2 left me terrified at every moment
    2. crop factor - its less on the t2i and i think it makes a difference.
    3. hack- my gh2 overheated and shut down, even with on and off shooting. the t2i never did that.
    4. better stills - the t2i was great for photos.

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