Part 1 and 2 now live!! The Christmas mini shootout with the C300 (pre-production), F3, FS100, hacked GH2 and more!!


EDIT: PART 1 is now live! I decided to break it down into two parts as it’s too damn long! I will start editing part 2 tomorrow, it will be up within the week hopefully. 

I would like to have included the Scarlet but as I didn’t know anyone in the UK with one and the unfortunate behaviour of the minority who feel it’s OK to be as nasty as possible, it is not included. Sorry! Am sure the next Zacuto shootout will include it!

Huge thanks to Paul Joy of, Suresh Kara of, Joel Conder of and Suresh Kara.

Also thanks to Nick Millen of Canon UK for supplying the C300 for my full review which you can see here. 

Remember this shootout and it’s results are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Real world, unscientific, lots of variables. Never base a camera purchase on things like this. Research in loads of places and try and get your hands on one!

Kind of hypocritical to say this as this whole shootout is about it, remember pixel peeping will make you go blind and give you hairy palms!! Shoot with the camera you have/can afford! There is a lot more to filmmaking than pixel peeping! 🙂

I have not been paid to do this, it was done because I wanted to see this and I am sure you did too. If you want to thank me for all the hard work I have done in making this 🙂 then please consider donating to the “Make a wish” foundation who grant magical wishes to children with life threatening diseases. Such a wonderful charity, even more so at this time of year. This is the UK one but feel free to donate to your local one!

Picture profiles used:

Sony NEX5N, Flat PP


C300 C-LOG

GH2 Driftwood Hack nostalgia and dialed down

5Dmk2 Marvels Advance

7D Marvels Advance



F3 S-Log

Nikon D7000 Flat

So interesting results from Part 1. Bang for buck the clear winner was the Gh2 with the Driftwood hack but this is purely on resolution. The F3/ C300 are damn close to each other and the FS100 not far behind. Part 2 moves onto skin tones and low light where the camcorders come into their own. I also take a look at how well each of the internal codecs hold up to colour correction and grading.

Orignal Post:

Tomorrow for shits and giggles myself, Paul Joy, Joel Condor, Sarah Estela and Suresh Kara will be pitting various cameras against each other in yet another one of my “legendary” real world shootouts!

The reason this has come about is Canon UK have kindly loaned me a pre-production C300 for a week. I will be doing a full on review and taking it over to France to Mont St Michel to shoot with it there. Just one of my beauty pieces. But a great challenge, as much of it will be at night so let’s see how good this low light is! There will be an accompanying on-camera and written review!

In the meantime I wanted to get this done as I myself want to see this, and I am sure many of you will too!

So what cameras will we be using tomorrow? Here they are!

Why these cameras? Well they are mine so it’s easy for starters.

C300 of course as it’s the catalyst for this test, F3 (with and without Slog) as this is the best camera in its class, the FS100 as it’s the budget F3, the AF101. DSLR wise, the 7D for a change rather than the 5DmkII as it has a similar size sensor to Super 35mm, the Gh2 with AVCinta Driftwood hack and the NEX5N. I had to draw the line at which cameras to do with just a short winter’s day to do it in. The 7D may not be the best low light Canon DSLR (that is the 1Dmkiv) or be full frame (5dmk2) but it generally represents the quality of the Canons pretty well!


For the resolution test I used the 7D, GH2, NEX5N, D7000, FS100, AF101, F3, C300

For the skin tones test I used the 5Dmk2, 7D, GH2, AF101, NEX5N, D7000, FS100, F3, C300

For the low light I used the 5Dmk2, 7D. Gh2, NEX5N, FS100, AF101, F3, C300 (we forgot to do the D7000! Sorry!)


So this will be an evolving post, so do check back especially if you are on RSS as it doesn’t update!

Two frame grabs from the C300 below, one from the hacked GH2

The outdoor shots we had on C-Log gamma curve but the not the most neutral profile. This was accidental but it still looks good. For the shots after that it was on C-Log but cinema locked which gives it a flatter image. Sharpness and resolution where not affected.


Gh2 Driftwood Hack 70mb/s


Skintone test…which camera is which?! Please ignore the web compression of the JPEG…just look at the skin tones…Lens was a Nikon 80-200mm F2.8

Remember these are NOT graded. Once graded, I could make them match pretty damn close…Which ones do you prefer and can you guess which is which?!

EDIT: Someone in the comments got in right!

Sony NEX5N, Flat PP


C300 C-LOG

GH2 Driftwood Hack nostalgia and dialed down

5Dmk2 Marvels Advance

7D Marvels Advance



F3 S-Log

Nikon D7000 Flat


Number 1


Number 2


Number 3


Number 4


Number 5


Number 6


Number 7


Number 8


Number 9


Number 10




  1. Great Phillip, wondered how long it would be until canon lent you a C300 and glad that it has happened now. Would be really interested to hear your thoughts on canon Log vs s Log, if you have any real concerns with 8bit after testing and grading thoroughly and lastly your thoughts on ease and speed of use for real world doc situations. Just flying back from La Rochelle myself now, it’s been a very windy, showerey couple of days so wrap up well.
    Have fun…..

  2. Lined up according to size and the C300 fits perfectly nestled between the rest. Should make for a fun test and fortunately for us some great information and beautiful images I can only imagine. Hope you enjoy every moment Philip

  3. i really hope, that you will get the chance to test the scarlet. sure, probably not this time and probably not one, that you own ;), but i really hope to see it in your hands.

    there would be somthing missing and the trolls need to be muted.

  4. I think that for a change there should be a cinematographer shootout. This would be where several different models of cinematographer are lined up and told to make something interesting.

    For example, Geoff Boyle could be given a GH2 and teamed with Mark Gatiss to write. John from ACME Cheap Wedding Productions Ltd could be given an Arri Alexa with his mate Phil to write, while Shane Hurlbut could be given some Casio thing and teamed with Victoria Wood to write a comedy.

    The result can then be placed up and analysed and the results posted on the web. Custard pies would then be thrown at the people who made least popular film.

  5. Hi Philip,
    Please let us know about C300 “VF” and also how easy/difficult/slow it is to change IRIS using Canon’s EF mount Lenses…….
    Is PL mount version the best option in a “long run”?
    Is Canon C300PL with RED PRO 17-50 and DUCLOS 11-16 Zoom best option for quick iris precise controls.?
    I really dislike having IRIS wheel on left hand side of the body at the back….
    Another option is to use SAMYANG Manual Primes..


  6. Well this is what we’ve been waiting for – fantastic. Hoping the weather works out. There has been very little C300 daylight exterior scenic/architectural presented in the demos thus far. Yes, there have been some, but for the most part the focus has been on the talent and not scenery. Can’t wait to see what Philip can get from the camera.

  7. Twas the night before shooting and all through the room,
    Not a creature was stirring except Philip bloom.
    With a C300 waiting there on the shelf,
    He thought of great shots at Mont St Michel’s.

    He had waited so long to play with this toy,
    And finally Canon allowed him some joy.
    So soon his review will be up on his wall,
    And the joy will be shared with his bloggers and all.

  8. It has been a long, long time coming with you and GH2 driftwood hack. I literally follow the progress every day. It’s astounding. I greatly anticipate your results, Mr. Bloom. Thanks.

  9. this is great news.. I look forward to reading about it all 🙂

    It’s a big shame that you don’t still have your Epic or were able to borrow one. Epic at 24fps (no HDRX) is Scarlet so that would have been (I think) a world first C300 vs Scarlet test 🙂

    I totally understand that they aimed at different markets, though both companies would strenuously deny it. Scarlet at indie filmmakers and the C300 at broadcast/documentary/lots of fast turnover corporate stuff. But they are the big cameras of the moment and we all want a side by side test LOL

  10. Thanks for doing the comparison! Might be too late for this, but I’d love to see a flat profile on the FS-100. Perhaps something like:

    G-LOG B:
    Black Level: +11
    Gamma Cinematone1
    Black Gamma: High, +7
    Knee: 75, -3
    Color Mode: Standard, +8
    Color Level -5
    Color Phase -7
    Color Depth: R-1, G+2, B-3, C+5, M+1, Y+3
    WB-Shift: LB-7, CC+1

    These are settings from Frank Glencairn’s blog. Out of the box the FS-100 camera seems contrasty to me and probably does not represent what it is capable of. Can’t wait to see how they all compare. Especially ISO 20,000 on C300. Is it really beating these other cameras by 3+ stops into the shadows? If so, it’s a big deal.

  11. I’d love to see you shoot some stuff with the 60D.
    Oh well, I can already tell that this Shootout will be Awesome!
    I can’t wait.

    I’ve been really Impressed with the footage from the NEX-5N, I can’t wait to see more.

    And Finally the C300 in the hands of Phillip Bloom!!!!

    Hey Phillip, I heard that there is a possibility that the AF100 might be hacked. Do you think that it will be possible?
    If it were what would you like to see?

  12. Understand your choice of the 7D, should make the shoot a bit easier for you as well !! I expect the cat’s native ISO will far exceed the C300 + F3 S-log however 🙂

    Looking forward to the results, killer location!

  13. Don’t tell me you were on the Portsmouth – Caen ferry last night? I was on it coming home. If I’d have known I’d have bought you a beer!

    At least the weather should make for some great moody shots around the Mont, it’s wet’n’wild here in Normandie today.

    Good luck with it, let me know if you’re stuck for anything.

    Cheers, Adrian.

  14. New registry, very long time reader here…
    I am curious about how your cameras have stood up to salt air corrosion over the years.
    I understand you live inland, but it looks to me like you have worked near the ocean(s) some.
    Any ill effects on any of your gear yet?

  15. If it’s at all possible, might I suggest swapping the 7D for the 60D?
    You’re using a hacked GH2, which is great! However, the Canons benefit just as well from the Magic Lantern software that Alex has been toiling away on for awhile now.

    Especially w/ an external recorder, you can get clean HDMI out, which I’ve done plenty of times w/ my ML hacked 60D and using an Atomos Ninja.

      1. How recently have you used magic lantern? The Newer Unified build seems really stable and has a great selection of features, if your bricking happened a while ago maybe its time to have another look. On the other hand, if it was resent maybe I need to get rid of it!

  16. Have you ever had a chance to try out the new Zeiss CP 2’s he used? Specifically the 25mm and the 50mm? Sorry for highjacking this comment section. I just went for your most recent blog entry. Good luck on the shootout!

  17. Super cool! I’m curious about this camera stuffs. Honestly in this situation neither the C300 or F3 look super pretty. I think the skin tones would have more potential with the right beauty lighting. Looks like you had a diva up and off to the right, a bit above the eye line. I’d love to see if the canon’s mid tones get noisy and weird if you tried to bring them up from there like with its counterparts….thanks for sharing this!

  18. I like how your original intent was to keep the selection smaller, and now every time I keep checking back, it keeps growing and growing.

    That reminds me, you really should test out how the C300 performs against my old VHS camera. Just to keep us all humble about the progress of technology.

  19. The C300 looks a little dark and too saturated for C-Log in the screenshots. Did you actually use custom settings on the cameras, like changed contrast, color, Gammes and any Picture Sytles for the 7D, etc.? Or did you just use the default settings on them?

      1. One thing I would like to see when posting shoot out comparison tests, is if you could perhaps post the clips first, with NO details of which clip is from which camera. I am sure that as soon as the camera is identified alongside the clip, then it can biased the opinions!

        I know it shouldn’t, but I bet it does!

        Only reveal which one is which after peeps have decided what they think is best!

        Cheers for you efforts on such great unbiased reviews.

        Stu Morgan

  20. Can’t wait to see the finished results of your shootout. Nice to see some screen grabs already however there’s no high res version of the Sony F3 skin tones. Are you able to upload this to your post?

    Also, what lenses were you using for this test?

  21. Never mind, I ripped the high res F3 image out of your source code… 😉

    Not sure if you did this but placing a Macbeth colour chart in the frame would be really helpful for judging the way how the camera’s resolve colour.

    I just spent 20 mins grading both images in Photoshop. The C300 definitely has better shadow detail. While the F3 has marginally better highlight detail.

    However, the S-Log F3 is a lot less saturated which isn’t actually a good thing as it’s much better to decrease the saturation rather than add to it, unless it’s an HDR 32bit image.

    After grading them to look as similar as possible, both F3 and C300 are so close to each other. You’d never be able to pick which is which without them being labeled.

    Let me know if you’d like me to post the results.

          1. Awesome! The ever so slight green color cast seems to give it away. I wouldn’t say it’s noticeable per se, but comparatively speaking it has just enough to make it distinguishable. That said, it corrects pretty easily I’ve found. Lastly, thanks a lot for including a D7000 in your comparison since there always seems to be an anti-Nikon bias amongst other sites. Thanks!

      1. knowing that, i guess that:

        10 7D
        9 NEX5
        8 FS100
        7 F3 Slog
        6 F3 AB
        5 5d
        4 C300
        3 d7000
        2 af100
        1 gh2

        not assumed by quality, but style. these tests drive me nuts and always when i see them, iam shocked by the huge diffrences. to me, choosing a camera can´t be based on resolution, sharpness codec or the bitrate… it´s all artistically, because the image itself is so different.

        glad iam not a cameraman 🙂

        1. Second guess actually. changed #2,3,5

          1- 5DmkII (90% sure)
          2- GH2 (60% sure – same bokeh size than 5 slight yellow tint)
          3- Nikon (75% sure – different look and tint than #2&3)
          4- C300 (verified by PB)
          5- AF100 (60% sure – same bokeh size than 2)
          6- F3 AB (verified by PB)
          7- F3 Slog (verified by PB)
          8- FS100 (verified by PB)
          9- NEX5 (90% sure – smallest bokeh)
          10- 7D (verified by PB)

  22. Also trying to look at the size and shape of the bokeh for clues here…1 is zoomed in more because of the football shape of the lights. Since the sensor is so big and I’m assuming you didn’t move the camera, you’d have to zoom in more…now that I look at it that way, the smallest bokeh has to be the smallest sensor, which means 3 is the AF… are my sleuthing skills? Or am I cheating?

  23. 1: 5D Marvels Advanced definately!! – you see from big BG bokeh effect 🙂
    2: AF101
    3: NEX5
    4: C300
    5: FS100
    6: F3 AB-Range
    7: F3 S-Log
    8: FS100
    9: AF101
    10: 7D

    was not sure about the 7D, but the rest was relatively easy to sort because of bokeh size 😉 hehe … good little contest

        1. ok i was wrong on some 😉
          but it’s a rare great test to see so much cams that we know side by side and how thee perform. It’s really surprising how some cameras look like in the same condition, but I think nearly all these cams can provide better image quality when choosing other Custom Picture Settings or Picture Styles, etc. For me that is always a great challenge to finetune picture parameters on new cameras to get the most out of them – regardless if they are cheap or expensive 😉

  24. Tough call (for me at least) on attributing the stills with the cameras.

    10– pretty dark
    7–her skin looks a bit like a zombie’s 🙂
    5- I don’t like the skin

    2, 4 and 6 are my favourites. I think 6 might be the c300 and 2 the f3.

    I own a 7d, but I don’t use that picture profile, so that’s no help for spotting it.

  25. Any chance you could post the pictures without the Javascript stuff that shows instead of the 1080p frames low resolution boxes in the center of the browser screen. Someone above had got the files from looking the page source, but I have better things to do than reverse engineer the files from your page source to see them in full size. Could you maybe please add direct links to your blog post to the pictures?

      1. wow,

        i was 100% wrong… (after pb confirmed 4,6,7,8,10). meh… might because i see just the graded endproducts.

        first i assumed, that no.1 is the 5d, but it felt too ugly and i thougt, the big bokeh fooled me. i changed my mind and guessed, that it would be impossible to use the same lenses and settings. so i thougt, it was the gh2 with the voigtländer wide open and closer to the lady. i noticed before, that the voigtländer-bokeh creates round bokeh in the center and becomes asymmetrical offside, when it´s that close… that appeared logical, because this geometry was only noticeable in picture no 1. i felt pretty smart, when i gave my guess 😉

        but iam also a little underwhelmed with the gh2 then. the gh2 has so many fanboys and i thougt it would be quite good, but i becomes obvious why you only see gh2 testfootage and it´s hard to find actual pieces. the photo reminded me on the look of “booth and bodies”. i really liked “booth and bodies”. it had a very stylised look, but if this is the look out of the cam… it´s a little limited.

        … i really need to find a dp and get my mind free of that timeconsuming nonsens 😉

      2. @ philip: just read and delete! you wrote “EDIT: Someone in the comments got in right!” and after that, you name the tested cameras. this is a little misleading, because one could think, that this is the right order. better change it to the right order (but not below the photos, so new readers can still make there guess, if they want!).

  26. Would you argue the GH2 with driftwood be a better bargain over the 60D and 7D, I have only just got my 60D body and its great but I always wish to acquire the most out my camera before editing or grading and it seems that the GH2 which is priced nicely with driftwood is a better deal. thoughts?

    1. so, if no one else is answering, i try to give you a thougt, but iam not a dp!

      this is a form of an often asked question and philip always remindes people, that the lenses are your investment and not the camera. a body is outdated pretty fast, if you always wish to acquire the most out your camera. so you must think about the future.

      if you already got some good canon lenses and might upgrade to a professional camcorder in a few years, stay with canon (but zeiss-lenses might be an option, because canon-lenses need an electronic adapter or the canon-mount. but zeiss is more expensive). a better lens is better than a better hack.

      you should read (even if it´s not the newest article)

      the gh2 has many die hard fans, but do you see anything else than testfootage? take a look at number 9 and tell me: is this the big deal? it´s easy to get nuts with the technical stuff, but it´s the most irrelevant part for a cameraman or a filmmaker in general. the craft is everything else, but the camera. so my adwise is: stay with your investment and make something with it. this is the only investment, that will make your work better and that pays off till the end of your life.

  27. 1. 5d
    2. gh2
    3. af100
    5. nikkon
    9. sony nex5n

    just a stab at what’s left, the only one I have any confidence on is 5d being #1

    My favorite, probably cause it is the least flat out of the bunch, is #3 followed by #10, then #6

    My least favorites are #5, skin looks slickly, and #9 way to much contrast, looks crunchy.

    1. I’d say:
      9 Gh2 – slight band across bottom, magenta color balance that needs to be dialed out
      5 AF100 – less detail that GH2, but same DOF
      Ones I’m not positive on
      1 Nex – stange color cast, nikon contrasty
      2 5D better low light performance, nice DR, hard to tell resolution since it is on neck
      3 D7000 – nikon contrasty, codec is falling apart in macroblocks – I’d really hope this would be the NEX, but that has already been proven wrong.

  28. 9 is the smallest sensor and 1 is the largest. Just look at the Bokeh and you can tell the difference in crop factor.The larger the sensor the more compression. You have to widen from a Full-frame crop to a 2x crop to get the same frame. Wider lens = smaller bokeh.

  29. Okay, Hannah has done all the work. So here is some pure guess work on my part:

    1. Nikon D7000 Flat
    2. GH2 Driftwood Hack nostalgia and dialed down
    3. 5Dmk2 Marvels Advance
    4. C300 C-LOG
    5. AF100 AB-RANGE PP
    6. F3 AB-RANGE
    7. F3 S-Log
    8. FS100 G-LOG A
    9. Sony NEX5N, Flat PP
    10. 7D Marvels Advance

  30. Excited to read your conclusions! Regarding the 5D, and the skin tones / low light tests, is it safe to assume you are testing without the Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing / moire filter?

  31. Loved #7 Philip … let us have that to grade and we’ll have another ‘A Day At the Races’ on our hands 🙂

    Maybe you should come over to LA and shoot the F65 and let’s see what you can do with 16 bit Lin RAW at your disposal … thanks to your work we managed to get LIKE CRAZY into theaters this year .. shot on the Canon 7D with PL mount Zeiss glass … don’t’ know if you’ve had a chance to see it yet?

    When are you next in sunny LA?

    Hollywood DI
    LA. CA. USA

  32. Hello Mr. Bloom,

    Awesome job you are doing testing all of these cameras in relation to each other. I am new to the site, so maybe you have discussed this, but is there a specific reason you are using “marvels advanced” over “cinestyle”?



      1. I had read the blog Phil – but having got up far too early this morning and being a bit thick had thought that the initial information related to the first set of pictures you posted, not the camera comparison set – silly me – thanks

  33. You’re all wrong. Philip became so excited with the C300 that he happened to bump the bag with the rest of the cameras into the sea. These are all shot with the C300’s Cinematic Looks Mode. Just press the big red “C” button on the front and dial in the look you want with the wheel.

    1. Blockbuster
    2. Dambuster
    3. Matrix
    4. Matrix – Reloaded
    5. Matrix – Revolutions
    6. New New Wave
    7. Blaxploitation
    8. Super Bloom
    9. “Epic”

  34. Interesting test in all. Cant wait to see the full result!

    From the first test I would prefer nr 2 & 8 for further cc and grading. Maybe not the nicest to look at in this stage, but all is there in details.

    So thumbs up for the Sony Nex 5n & Fs 100!

  35. Thanks for doing this test and you’ve confirmed that there’s no perfect camera.

    I’m actually more interested in your lens choice today. I shoot with an EX-1 and I’m thinking of an upgrade to an F3. I’d love to have a good zoom lens but don’t want to shell out 10k for the Sony Zoom just to use the F3’s rocker.

    Which adapters do you use on the F3 and what combination gives the most bang for the buck?

    I have a T2i and the 50mm 1.4 but in order to use that, I would also need the adapter with the electronic aperture adjuster, right?

  36. Phillip Bloom has proved that the majority of viewers can’t tell the difference between cameras, and certainly don’t know which are better or worse, Phillip Bloom is the next Orson Welles 😛

  37. Hi Philip – thanks to you & your friends for this series of comparisons. I’ve always noticed in past shootouts the difference in the width of the face and attributed it to the different lenses used for the different mounts. Here I see vast discrepancies in the face using the same lens on all cameras. Is it the sensor size and geometry? Would you ever choose one sensor over the other in regards to how wide or narrow your subjects face looks. In the above example there looks like a 15 lb. range in your subject’s weight. This seems to be an issue more important than skin tone. Thx-Alan

  38. I think it is so interesting a valuable that you did not preannouce the Cam IDs. That allows me to pick my favorites, for whatever reason, and then, hopefully at the end of all the rounds, have some practical info as to what gear I would like to use.
    Most of the stuff on the net is already labelled, and so there is no way to avoid personal bias when looking at the material.

    Please continue the practice of “show then tell” !

  39. i think you should release this shootout first without any references to which cameras used and let everyone guess again. the most telling thing about these type of shootouts is seeing how enthusiasts including myself can’t really distinguish which image is coming from which camera, or better yet, which image is produced by more $$$ spent. when even so many enthusiasts can’t tell the difference it makes you wonder how much more of an impact can you really make on the average viewer by spending all that extra $$$. when people on here are confusing the C300 for a GH2 or 7D it makes you really wonder.

    1. I agree and don’t.

      I can easily make most match but that’s not the point.

      There are stark differences and it’s not “the emperor’s new clothes” here. People who guessed the right ones are the ones who colour for a living.

      They may not look great in the grabs but the info is all there!

    1. Yes but it’s a crop compared to a 35mm still frame. I know a few who never shot with DSLR’s and came from cinema film environment and they don’t miss a beat because super 35mm film is actually the same size as the super 35mm sensor and very close to the APS C as well. If you come from shooting a 5D you will notice a 1.5 crop factor in field of view.

      The DSLR revolution caused this comparison and many look at it as a negative. It’s not in the technical sense, it’s just a matter of what you are used to.

  40. “Two frame grabs from the C300 below, one from the F3, one from the hacked GH2”

    i have just realized how much more spectacular the boat seems to apear, when filmed with the c300 and the f3 framegrab is just to flat. c’mon, to much is to much!

    1. There is no F3 framegrab there. That was from a previous version of the post. It is now in the skin tone section.

      I am sure you understand about shooting flat and the ability to make it look great?! The C300 shot is graded.

      1. so flat that i can´t tell the diffrence to the backround… that was the joke. i wanted to make you aware of the missing framegrab with a wink (which hopefully is the right word to be understood as blinking with the eye to point out irony). ok, iam not english and humor is the hardest thing with a second language, but i tried :(. and yes i now about the abilities of shooting flat

        obviously i need more practice to hit the nail (but i just have my schoolenglish and only read your blog or watch vimeo in english, so don´t judge me to hard ;)).

        but please don´t tell me, that you didn´t got the first joke with the boat. the gh2 framegrab shows an old little boat and the c300 shows a shiny little ship on the same spot…? ok i give up and quietly ask myself how many of my post ended up like this.

  41. I find it very frustrating to realize that the F3 and the FS100 share the same sensor and that the internal processing (and probably some Sony marketeer’s decision) is responsible for the video-ish highlight handling of the FS100. Especially colored highlights suffer badly from its knee/slope principle . See Adam Wilt’s comments on it. If they’d only added a hypergamma the fs100 would’ve really shined. (BTW: the cinegammas in the FS100 are the opposite of what you’d expect: contrasty and quite hard shouldered.)
    I wonder, if you’d tone down the saturation on the “LOG-A” pp (matching the look of s-log of the f3) would the lights in the back still blow out in the red and green channel? Depends on where in the chain the saturation is processed. If it’s done before the knee processing you could gain some latitude.

  42. Hi Philip

    What program did you use to convert the avchd files from the NEX-5n. My editing software wont open them and I have tried mpeg streamclip. Help please…

    Thanks for the great blog. As always full of inspiration…

    PS It’s your fault I bought the Sony so give me a hand 🙂 DS

    1. What version? Starting with Premiere CS4 it should take AVCHD natively. Do you have that codec option when you make a new sequence? There should be a folder named AVCHD that has a few options in it as far as resolution and frame rate.

  43. If you did a small tutorial on this I’m sure that you would get a hit increase on your blog. I have since my last comments searched the web and there are so many bad explanations out there concerning this problem. I solved it with a small program called Clipwrap.

    Thanks again

  44. 1 – lots of banding
    2- not bad
    3 – even more banding
    4 – could not enlarge, but less exposure then the others.
    5- seems ok
    6 – seems ok
    7 – banding and lack of color
    8- banding again
    9 – no banding but too contrasty. if this is the GH2, then try processing with RGBto5D using a 1.8 gamma and no other adjustment and it should look a lot better. (lower contrast)
    10- banding, a lot, less exposure then the others.

  45. It would be amazing to be able to download even just one frame of the raw footage. Or even a full res uncompressed still. HD is not that big as a still image.
    I do really appriciate the time and effort spent in order to do these tests and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but skin tone is so easy to adjust if the color information is there. I don’t really get what to look at. The other thing is to know how the raw file was prossessed. For example if a 5d has the cine style setting and has no LUT applied it looks dramaticly different then one that does. Same goes for the gh2 prossessed at 1.8 vs 2.2 gamma. onced prossessed you can not see the possibilities.

  46. Very cool, thanks Philip.

    F3 at 400% does look better than C300 to my eye, as C300 shows a lot of aliasing around the letters and lines on the boat, plus I think the bricks were less defined than in the comparable shot of C300.

    Seems like F3 holds its ground, as it did in the Zacuto shootout half a year ago. (And yes, GH2 did look crazy great!)

  47. Hey guys, the Nex 5n has image deinterlacing on. Check your Premiere settings that it’s not incorrectly seeing the material as interlaced (interpret footage option) because it has incorrectly deinterlaced it and dropped the resolution 50%.

      1. Hmmm…where did my response go? Oh well, same issue applies to FCP too. Check that the material is not improperly seen as interlaced in a progressive sequence. FCP will deinterlace material it thinks is interlaced.

        You can absolutely see this as the 50p nex5n material has way less aliasing and is actually properly seen as progressive by FCP. The previous shot with 25p material looks horrible and clearly deinterlaced.

  48. After watching part one, I was amazed at the quality of the GH2. (I also liked the C300 and F3 but they are out of my price range)

    Someone mentioned this earlier but do you think the Driftwood guys (or someone else) will hack the AF-100? That camera is more in my price range (and is a proper video camera), but I would love it if it looked like the GH2!

      1. Hi Philip and Mark,

        Figured I’d help Nick out on this one since he’s been giving so much time to our collaborative projects. 🙂

        He mentioned that the patch used for this shootout was Quantum V5 beta. You can see the post mentioning it here.

        And the permalink for Driftwood’s newest popular patches is here, along with a discussion of the specific patches.

        You can find most of the popular GH2 patches in that same thread at

        Currently, one of the only popular patches that’s not listed there is Ralph B’s “Sanity” patch. Here’s a link to Version 3.

        Hope that helps!


  49. Philip I know how to record audio for slow motion. It’s a little wacky but it should work. There are two things you need a camera that records audio in slow motion maybe a cheap Sanyo or Panasonic with a Rode mic, and then use a camera flash the CMOS sensors can not handle camera flashes that well and you will get a break up in the video you can then use that to sync in post.

    Here is a movie made on a Sanyo with a Rode Stereo mic.

    James Bond – Operation Fireball

  50. So the GH2 at 70 Mbps has a Ridiculous amount of Detail, I was wondering, Had you recorded externally at Prores HQ on say the AF100, FS100, C300 and F3 do you think the Image would have been around to same Margin?

  51. Outstanding effort Philip, what a great Christmas gift to us shooters! Obviously amazed with the GH2, very pleased to own a camera that in some cases *can* hang with the $6000+ cameras! But I suspected as much, having used each Driftwood hack as it came out. Can’t wait for part II, we shall see if the little GH2 can take some “abuse!” Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  52. Woah GH2? That was a surprise.

    I have an un-hacked GH1. Late model and can’t be hacked (which I was unaware of upon purchase). Under ’24p’ settings in video it records at 29.97. I’ve done some 720/60p shoots (59.94) and the finished product for either looks like archaeologist grade MiniDV video. Filled with artifacts.

    I am *astounded* by the image quality you’ve squeezed from the GH2. It’s just this kind of result that got me excited about the GH1. And I’m glad that I did because I’m not inclined to buy a Panasonic consumer grade stills/video hybrid again. Lenses? Panasonic is way behind on glass. I like the 20mm pancake, but I hate using it in the real world. Support? A good friend has a 5D (“mark I”). That, now outdated model is still top notch, still pro-grade and is a class act, relevant instrument. My GH1 is an inaccurate, end of line, error filled joke. How many years between 5D and 5D markII? Four. GH1 and GH2? Two.

    True, not in the same class, by a stretch. Sure, price point, target audience, intended use all quite different.

    I’m glad you included the GH2 in this laid back test, as with the very much celebrated NEX-5n. I think the real take away point is that while technology continues to advance and exciting things are possible with some consumer grade products, if you’re looking to separate the toys from the tools of the trade just look at the price tag.

  53. I hope this is not too much to ask. I know the resolution test is done but I was wondering if you can do the resolution test of the GH2 in slow motion at 720 60p. If the resolution is fairly good at 720p then this could be a great camera for indie film makers.

  54. GH2 images are stunning, Im still weary about using hacked firmware for professional jobs though. Has there been any reported problems to date or is it holding up well?

    Are there any limitations such as clip length etc I should know about before considering a hacked GH2?


  55. Hi Philip,

    Thanks for doing all this hard work to share with the rest of us. Cannot wait to see the rest of this series.

    I was a bit on the fence on the C300 but after seeing your test film, I’m fully convinced that I am getting the C300 as soon as possible. (Possibly you can arrange with Canon a discount code? :D)

    I’m curious if you used a stock setting on Magic Bullet for the majority of the grading on the C300 test film or if you tweaked each scene with more in-depth color correction?

    Cheers and Happy Holidays!

  56. Best Images were from C300.
    FS100 was bad as was F3 without S-log. Clipping in highlights on FS100 was bad. Both Panasonics were OK for what you pay for. GH2 nothing special …
    What i ma really looking for is some portrait shots with movement.

      1. Hi Phil,
        i know this was a resolution test…
        Perhaps for these test using charts as a supplement could be the the way to go.
        Love the the look from C300 out of the box.
        Anyway have a GREAT NEW YEAR 2012 and see You Down Under Soon.

  57. Hi Philip,

    You mentioned that the technicolor picture style causes noise. Could you elaborate on this as I have found the same problem but haven’t seen any other mention of this? Do you know why it is susceptible to noise?

  58. Hi Philip, I’ve noticed that some of the C300 demo videos have shown the camera to have a “video-like” look to it (usually when there is a lot of abrupt motion or handheld shots, perhaps it’s the highlights too). Have you seen any tendency towards a video look during your testing? You’ve worked with the RED extensively, I know.. How would you compare the C300 to the RED’s ability to achieve a “filmic look”.

  59. What was the deal with the interlacing on the 5n? I use it as a Bcam for some FS100 shoots and it doesn’t look like your footage…can you clarify?

    I’m shocked by the GH2…wow! Also I would put money on the C300 doing some sort of in-camera sharpening (even when you dial the settings down to the lowest). Looks almost like what you see when you add an “unsharp mask” to any video.

    Would have been funny if you had Steve Weiss show up and threaten to sue you and all that…haha.

  60. Thanks for that Philip, it was great, looking forward to see the rest of them.
    You mentioned the compression artifacts a few times, which could be reduced/avoided with an external recorder. Many people using these cheaper cameras can not afford an external recorder, and even for those who can, in many occasions it becomes too cumbersome and slows down the entire shooting process for some styles of shooting.
    I’d love to see a review/comparison on how an app like 5DtoRGB can improve the footage out of these cameras, and how well does it handle compression artifacts removal.


      1. Thanks Philip. What’s your opinion on it though, should it be used even if it doesn’t completely remove all the compression artifacts?
        I always run all my 7D footage through 5DtoRGB for every project I do, but I sometimes wonder if there’s any drawbacks to it. I would need to transcode it to Prores anyway even if I didn’t use 5DtoRGB, so I figure I might as well use it, do you know of any disadvantages in using it? Any situations where it could actually degrade the image quality?


  61. Man, I had already fallen in love with the C300 before seeing this. What a camera!

    One thing you mentioned about the 7D that I wanted to ask about – you mentioned doing the 10X digital zoom function to focus. I have been doing this with my DSLRs on a regular basis but have found several times that I wasn’t pleased with the accuracy of focus when I got back to edit. (Subjects focused in this way seem just a bit soft – very frustrating!) I started questioning this technique a bit as a result. I’m talking about a subtle (but still noticeable difference) in doing it using the digital zoom vs. just tweaking the focus by eye with the natural focal length. I’m wondering if the digital zoom is not as pinpoint accurate as doing a manual zoom-in and/or focus using the lens’s natural focal length? I don’t know… any thoughts from you Philip, or anyone else on this? Am I seeing things?

  62. Hi Phillip,

    Have you had any luck using a GH2 with an external recorder? I heard there were issues with the format of the HDMI feed and also potential workarounds…


  63. Hi Philip — I currently own a 5dMkII, but I’m so tempted to get the gh2 based on tests and reviews people are posting about it. I do freelance video (weddings, music videos, etc) to get by after just graduating college. I was wondering which camera you would recommend if I only had to choose one between the 5d and gh2. Cause if the GH2 outperforms the 5d, I will sell mine right away and get the Gh2 with a good lens.


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