panasonic gh5 vs sony a7sii

Choosing the right Camera for Filming or Vlogging, GH5 or A7Sii?

Investment received

Since we got an investor for our sitcom ”The Joboundu Show” 2 month ago I started to have a look at which camera to use for this production with the purpose of buying one that could also be used for future projects like feature films, commercials, vlogging and interviews.

I had then to approach a new market which I had no idea where to start.

Let’s check experts on Youtube

I went on youtube and I found tons of video that were comparing many different cameras and lenses, and after a while I realised that as long as you pick one of the bests you will be fine because Content is King.

Content is King

I watched ”How I met your mother” for 3 times (I know it’s too much..I am not proud of it!) and ”House of cards” for 2 (Proud of it!) and not because of the video quality but because of the content.

In ”How I met your mother” the video quality is quite poor but the story is extraordinary. It makes me laugh a lot and I think that the characters are perfectly designed as well. Many scenes are noisy or out of focus but still I can’t stop watching it!

While ”House of cards” instead has been shot with an absolute top video quality and attention to perfect shots. Almost all the scenes are symmetrical and the lighting technique is superb. Plus Kevin Spacey is a master of the acting techniques.

But even though the 2 different video qualities and formats what comes out is that Content is the Key to have a great product and to have people to watch it again and again.

The Choice

I was then down to 2 choices: Panasonic GH5 or Sony A7sii

Micro fours third VS Full frame sensor. Right about that…

The differences about these 2 sensors are only about lenses length and light.

So basically the full frame sensor or 35mm, is 4 times the size of a Micro four third or MFT, therefore every lens will have twice the light performances of a MFT camera.

Small Trick

This mean that if you need low light performances on a MFT you just need to buy a lens that has half the aperture of what you need, or simply using a Metabones Speed Booster Adapter XL 0.64x (for full frame lenses) or Ultra 0.71x (for both Full frame and APC-S lenses).

The Speed Booster crops both the focal length and the lens aperture of a lens by a factor of 0.64x or 0.71x depending on which model you will get.

Full Frame Lenses on a MFT camera

Let me make an example: a Full Frame 50mm f/1.4 lens on a MFT becomes a 100mm f/2.8, because you have to multiply both the focal length and the lens aperture by 2

now thanks to the speedbooster 0.64x it becomes a 64mm f/1.8 because you have to multiply both the focal length and the lens aperture obtained by 0.64

or if you get the 0.71x it becomes a 71mm f/2

or you could get native MFT lenses Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 and Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 which simply become respectevely a 50mm f/1.8 and a 35mm f/1.8

Lenses Choice, Look at the future

The choice I made was to get equipment that would last in the future so I went for full frame lenses that I could put on every future camera like a Black Magic Ursa 4.6K or Canon C300 or Red.

And so I did, I got a Sigma Art Lens 35mm and Sigma Art Lens 50mm f/1.4 which are incredibly sharp and make every project, video or picture stand out.

Now to the camera GH5 or A7Sii?

The Panasonic GH5, because of the MFT sensor which again is a quarter of the size of the Sony A7Sii, needs a quarter of the iso to achieve the same light.

In fact it is true that the Sony A7Sii can shoot up to 25600 iso without any noise (depending on the lens) but it is also true that the equivalent on the GH5 is 6400 iso and if you use the right lens you will get the same results in terms of low light.

So because I needed a flip out screen, and be able to record in 6K 420 and 4K 422 10 bit I decided to go for the GH5.

Of course I took a Metabone Speedbooster Adapter XL 0.64x and I can say that low light is absolutely superb.

Exceeded my expectations

Plus now that it is so bright, I don’t even need so much light. Even late night in a street I can just shoot at 800 or 1600 iso and it is brilliant. Of course the same ISO in the Sony would have been multiplied by 4 so 3200 and 6400.

The quality of this camera and the battery life are unique.

I absolutely love it.

I hope this will help you make the right choice!

Keep Learning Keep Dreaming

Marco