HANDCRAFTED FILMS

This past week Panasonic announced their highly awaited successor to the popular GH4, the GH5 and the internet is buzzing about it. This camera packs a ton of very, very impressive specs, and the sample footage that has been released so far looks downright beautiful.

Now, I obviously do not have a GH5 to test, but based on what I’ve seen online there is no doubt that this camera will produce an amazing looking image. The real question is, should you buy this camera to shoot wedding films? There has been a ton of talk in the Wedding Film School FB group this week about this camera, is it better than the Sony A7SII?, etc. And this leads me to ask the question: what factors should you consider, as a wedding filmmaker, when purchasing a new camera?

So, I’ve made a list of 5 things I think are most important when choosing a camera for wedding filmmaking, and then I’ll give my opinion as to why I think you should or shouldn’t buy the GH5 at the end of the video. Let’s jump into it.

Disclaimer – The opinions shared in this video are mine. I’m interested in opening up the discussion to get people thinking about why they’re making a purchase. I think the priority is investing in good glass over a new camera. A great camera is only as good as the lens you put on it. I’m very aware that you can make a wedding film with ANY camera. I don’t think there is necessarily a “right or wrong” camera to buy but by taking these points into consideration it will help you select a camera that is best for YOU.

  1. Price
    1. This may seem like a strange place to start, but the reality is everyone has a budget, and you need to be realistic with yours. You need to figure out how much money you can invest in a new camera, and then use the rest of this list to determine which one to purchase in your price range.
    2. Don’t blow all your money on a new camera just because you think it’ll make your films better. Investing in good glass and audio equipment will have a much bigger impact on the overall quality of your films, than a new camera will.
    3. I’m a firm believer that you should be able to purchase all your film gear with cash. It’s not worth it to finance a new camera. Work with what you’ve got until you’ve saved up enough to upgrade.
    4. But once you’ve determined you’re ready for a new camera, here are some things to consider…
  2. Practicality, Versatility, Functionality

Wedding days are fast paced. You need a camera that you can work with easily and quickly to nail the shot you need, the first time, everytime. You need a camera that you can use in a variety of situations no matter what the scenario. Regardless of your style, you need a camera that can handle anything a wedding day throws at you. Here are some things to consider that can be super helpful on a wedding day:

    • Battery life
    • How easy it is to get a well exposed image
    • Video Features
      1. Focus Peaking
      2. Zebras
      3. Waveforms
      4. Zoom in while recording
    • Flip out Screen/EVF
    • Speed: On/Off, menus, buttons
    • Record Time

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3. Lens Selection Available

  • Lenses are a better long-term investment than a camera body. Lenses have a huge effect on your image quality and they hold their value much better than a body. Like I said before, I think it’s smart to invest in good glass before dropping a ton of money on a new camera body
  • With that being said, it’s important to consider the lenses you currently own, as well as the variety of lenses that are available for the camera you are looking to purchase.
  • If you’re fully invested in Canon glass, switching to Sony lenses will be a huge investment.
  • How affordable are they? How easy are they to come by?
  • Do you need an adaptor?

4. Computing Power / HD Space

  • Shooting 4K/6K/8L is great, but not if you can’t work with the footage. Make sure your computer can handle the footage you’re planning on capturing.
  • 4K takes up a TON of HD space. Just keep this in mind when selecting, you’ll definitely need to be investing in HDs if you do.

5. Image Quality
The last thing I think you need to consider is image quality. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hype about 4K, and how sharp something is, and 4:2:2 versus 4:2:0 color space. Now, don’t get me wrong, you want your films to look good. But sacrificing everything we mentioned above SOLELY for image quality is a mistake in my opinion. Your couples are never going to say to you “I just love our wedding film, the color bit depth is just astonishing!” Of course, that being said weddings call for shooting in a wide variety of lighting situations and scenarios. Your camera needs to be able to produce a good looking image in all of these situations.

  • Dynamic Range
  • Sharpness
  • High ISO Performance
  • Color/Skin Tones

Okay so, what you’ve all been waiting for. Should you purchase the GH5 to shoot weddings? I’m going to say, it depends. If you are new to filmmaking, and you’re looking for a first camera, then NO this camera is not for you. The GH5 is just a very tricky camera. You need to have a very good technical understanding of the different color profiles, all of the micro 4/3rds lenses, speed boosters, etc to get a good looking image with this camera. When you’re first starting out you need a camera that you can trust to work well in any situation. You want to be able to focus on telling a great story and getting the shots you need, as opposed to worrying about your camera. You’d be better off starting with a Canon 80D or Sony A6500 that will be easier to work with.

That being said, if you are willing to work with the weird lens ecosystem, are confident in your ability to avoid low light situations and are willing to do some tinkering with picture profiles, then YES the GH5 CAN be an awesome camera for weddings.

So friends, what do you think? Are you considering investing in the new GH5?

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy:

I Love YouTube: How a video sharing platform transformed my everyday life

Setting up your Canon DSLR to shoot video

Wedding Film Breakdown 01: James & Maggie Highlight Film 

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Meet Tyler

Ty’s gift for storytelling began as just a young kid with a camcorder filming skits of his siblings. Often found browsing the latest tech reviews, Apple products, and industry trends; he’s a sharp dresser, quick thinker, and an avid explorer.

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