The Sony A7s and the Panasonic GH4 will be compelling options for people who want to shoot video without dropping a fortune on a pro video rig. Both cameras have unique features and represent some really cool advances in video shooting. While we're busy reviewing them, we wanted to serve up a quick comparison of the two in bare form.
Our method for comparing these cameras was simply to record how most people would in an everyday situation. For the Panasonic GH4, this meant recording internally in 4K then downscaling the footage in 1080p, which is going to be the most common method until 4K displays become more accessible. The A7s only records 4K to an external device, so we simply used the internal 1080p mode.
Note: Vimeo compression degrades the original quality. To see the difference most clearly, to to the Vimeo page and download the original file.
The big strength of the GH4 is its staggering level of detail, thanks to the 4K resolution. Even when displaying at 1080p, the clarity is astounding. The A7s falls behind on detail, as would be expected without the 4K sampling, but really shines with its own signature feature: low light performance. At ISO 3200, the A7s is super clean while the GH4 is quite muddy.
These two cameras present very different options for buyers out there, and which one to go with will depend solely on what kind of material you shoot. It's low-light versus detail all the way. Stay tuned for our full reviews of the GH4 and the A7s as we get to know them a bit better in the coming weeks.