Finding a New Camera... Help?

edited July 2017 in Filmmaking

Looking for a new camera for filmmaking/vlogging with the following features in mind: (Asterisk = must have feature)

  • In Body Stabilization*
  • Flip or rotation screen (vlogging)*
  • Microphone input*
  • Wireless phone connectivity (Transfer photos/video to phone)*
  • 1080p 60fps*
  • Sensor size (larger better)
  • File Size/codecs (something small and easy to edit but retains detail)
  • Color Bit Depth (10bit would be ideal)

I've narrowed it  down to the  following cameras:

  • $800 - Olympus E-M5 II (rotate screen = good, video quality = meh)
  • $900 - Canon M6 (APS- C sensor = good, flip screen = bad, no 4k, canon lenses)
  • $900 - Panasonic G85 (Rotate Screen = good)
  • $2300 Panasonic GH5 (Perfect by soooo expensive)

If you can help narrow down the decision making process in any way, I'd be extremely grateful.

Currently using a Samsung NX500 with a dummy adapter for Rokinon EF mount cinema lenses. Thus I'm not partial to any brands as long as the camera as internal stabilization I can use my Rokinons.  


  • You'll have to relax your codec requirement, and accept either a bulky codec that retains detail, or a crappy one that is small. If you want reasonably small + detail, your only real options are RedCode and Cineform, which isn't going to come anywhere near to fitting your budget.

    The GH5 would be the winner on your list, by far... and the only one on your list that I'd even consider for film work... but then, I just finished up a feature film shoot with a Red Helium, so my standards are a bit skewed. 

    Truthfully, for what it offers, the GH5 is dirt cheap. And Panasonic color is excellent, plus the GH5 actually has solid codec options, and you can give it a significant upgrade down the road by adding an Atomos or Convergent recorder some day.  


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Gotta agree on the GH5, especially as it's actually a very cheap camera (I know $2k seems a lot, but, yeah, it's a cheap camera). Right now the two best DSLR/mirrorless cameras for video are the GH5 and A7sii. Oh, look, I picked two mirrorless cameras! 

    If I were starting from scratch and didn't already have $5k+ in Canon mount glass I'd get one of those two. Heck, I could get a Metabones to use my Canon glass on those, but, my current purchase requirements are all based around an Antarctica trip, and I think I'm going to get a 5d mk iv... But that sale ends in three hours, so if I pull that trigger it's tonight. 

  • Yeah, I'd go for one of the Panasonics. Of course, the GH5 is the best one of the two, but also really expensive. Here's a good review of the G85...

    So, if I had to buy one, G85 it is.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Looking at the G85 specs, PLEASE tell me it's a typo on the spec sheet that the 4K video is at 100Mbps and the 1080/60p video is at 200Mbps, because that's utterly ass-backwards from what it SHOULD be!

  • Definitely... 100Mbps is barely adequate for 4K, it crushes detail into mush, not pretty at all.

  • Thank  you everyone for your input. Despite the Canon having a larger sensor, it runs on digital stabilitzation vs the Panasonics with sensor shift. 

    The Olympus is just difficult to find good lenses for and the resalability is meh at best.

    I think I'll go for the G85 for the time being and upgrade to the GH5 when I save up enough :)

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator


    "The Olympus is just difficult to find good lenses for"

    Sorry but that doesn't make any sense. It's an MFT mount with in body stabilization. That has to make it one of the easiest cameras to find quality glass for. Put another way, any glass your considering for a G85 or GH5 will work with the Olympus too. 

  • edited July 2017

    I was referring to the electronic lens stabilization. I was under the impression that OIS lenses has to be Olympus brand to work with Olympus cameras unless you use an electronic adapter, which wasn't in budget.

    Mixing camera brands with OIS and lens brands with OIS can lead to wearing out of motors due to them not communicating properly and fighting each other in order to stabilize the footage.

    My ideal set up is to only have one lens that is somewhere around zoom 18-70+, OIS, and close to f2.8. I forgot to mention that above.... my bad :(

    The NX500 has excellent quality but its incredibly inconvenient to the point I dislike using it, so much wasted time. (external audio recorder, no internal stabilization, transcoding from h265, ect...). I'd happily sacrifice  20% quality if it would allow me to increase my quantity by 50%. @aladdin4d ;

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    5 axis in-body sensor stabilization means you don't necessarily have to have an OIS lens. The Olympus. G85 and GH5 all have in-body sensor stabilization that'll work with any lens or adapter. If you have OIS lenses, they may or may not work as expected. Some will work with lens OIS only, some will work in a dual IS mode with the in-body stabilization and with others, the OIS won't at all leaving you with just the in-body stabilization. The different combinations give you different results with Dual IS sometimes giving you the least pleasing result. There's no hard rules on what's "best". I even heard where disabling the in-body and lens stabilization and going with Panny's software E-Stabilization produced the best results even though that involves cropping the image in camera. Basically it's very similar to HitFilm's stabilization. 

    As far as which camera to get, the GH5 is obviously the best for video but the Olympus is the better stills camera. The G85 is no slouch and I think you'd be happy with any of them.

  • Micro 4/3 is an open standard by design, initially created by Panasonic and Olympus to avoid exactly that problem... and it succeeded. 

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