This is not a scientific test. It’s mainly for fun.
Because during my search, I couldn’t find a single thing on the Internet comparing the still image quality of something like a Canon 60D or 70D, the heart of Canon’s entry prosumer’s, and the GH4 or even the GH3 for that matter.
This is simply a look at the image quality and color correction results of stills from the two cameras.
I spent far more time researching new cameras to replace my trusty Canon 60D than I’d ever want to admit. After 5 years of solid use, I had put it through everything. It was the tool that helped me truly fall in love with creating images and films.
I practically slept with the thing, but knew it was time for an upgrade.
After months of research, pixel and feature peeping, you name it, I ended on the GH4. I was between that and splurging for a new Sony alpha series, decided to save some money, go with an insanely solid option in the GH4 and use the rest of the money to snag couple great pieces of glass, buy a Sony RX100 M4, and go backpacking (<– you should watch this, it’s the intro to my film series!).
Anyway, to the test:
I knew the GH4 would blow the 60D out of the water in terms of video quality. And it absolutely does. It’s detail and dynamic range are astounding. Noise is another story, pretty much on par with the 60D, although sometimes I think it could be even worse.
The real question for me was how the GH4 would hold up stills wise to the Canon with similar quality glass (namely primes, or high-end fast zooms).
The 60D is an accomplished stills entry prosumer type camera but it’s a bit outdated, so I wanted to see how the new-age, top of the line micro four competes with it.
Here’s the results. I’ll show the original, untouched photos of the same thing, zoomed for your pixel peeping and corner loving enjoyment. Then I’ll show basic edits and my quick thoughts on how they both felt reactively to my workflow, with an emphasis on color and dynamic range.
Took really random photos for this test, not really any focus on composition or anything, just wanted to get similar images. Brick wall test, landscape test for detail, and a macro.
If you don’t even want to look, I can tell you, the GH4 held up much better than I would have expected and I think I might even prefer it’s image to that of the 60D.
Check the image carousel below and the description of the image to see what type of edit you’re looking at.
Canon: Sigma F2.8 17-50mm
GH4: Panasonic 12-35 F2.8mm
Overall IQ: do the pixel peeping and you’ll find these are VERY similar in quality.
Dynamic Range: GH4 wins- consistently can pull more out of the shadows and see the details in fine areas, such as grass.
Color: The canon has a more natural straight out of the camera color feel, but that’s Canon’s signature. They’ve always nailed color. The GH4 does extremely well in its own right. In terms of editing, I felt these were both super capable (referencing raw formats) of color correction.
Bokeh: on a bigger senser, there is always going to be cleaner bokeh. The Canon wins here, but again, GH4 makes an awesome image.
Bottom Line: If you happen to be between these cameras and have any plans to shoot video AT ALL, go with the GH4. The overall image quality is very similar and it has a higher dynamic range than the Canon.