Can the £500 Panasonic GH2 Produce Better Video Than the £3,000 Canon 5D Mark III?

By Michael Hession on at

The Panasonic GH2 is a mid-range micro four thirds camera that runs to about £500. It is a decent product, but would never be expected to compete with professional DSLRs. Right? Wellllllllllll...

Turns out, the GH2 has one unsuspecting video feature that beats out the current standard of DSLR videography, the Canon 5D Mark II, not to mention its recently reviewed predecessor, the 5D Mark III. Amazingly, the GH2 cranks out video with detail and sharpness clearly superior to either of the 5Ds. The results are visible in the test video above, conducted by EOSHD, along with a detailed analysis.

So does that mean you should run out and buy a GH2 whilst laughing in the face of those who just dropped thousands for a 5D? Well, no, not exactly. The thing is, detail and sharpness are not the whole story of what makes a great video camera. In almost every other benchmark, a 5D is going to win out—especially the Mark III. Low light performance, audio controls, shallow depth of field, lens options -- all of these contribute to your ability to make a kick-ass movie.

EOSHD goes off on Canon for its inability to improve on this spec in the 4 years between the release of the 5D Mark II and Mark III. Point taken. But there is a bigger picture. The GH2 may produce a clearer image, but if you are looking for a professional tool with well-rounded capabilities, the cost of a 5D might be worth it.

Of course, the talk about the Nikon D800's performance is heating up the debate. We haven't seen any direct video comparisons between that and the Mark III yet, but they will surely be flooding the internet soon. [EOSHD]