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Autor: Redaktion


DSLM in direct comparison (2 / 2)

Pros and Cons of actual DSLM in direct comparison.

Data Rate

The current trend in data rates seems to be: the higher the better. Of course, it is true that a higher data rate improves image quality. The question, however, is how far you can still see this difference in quality and how practical is the codec in terms of file size, storage space requirements and copy times. Of course, this depends on the project. Do you shoot a commercial in the studio or a documentary in the Amazon forest.

It should also be remembered that Sony's XAVC -S codec, for example, is an interframe codec. This one works with a Group- of- Pictures (GOP ) compression, whereas the Lumix for example also offers Intraframe- Codecs, where every single frame is coded entirely. The different encoding techniques then lead to different data rates with a similar quality impression and also to a different load on the CPU in editing and postproduction.

Therefore, it is difficult to highlight a model here.

From the editorial point of view, the Lumix series offers an excellent selection of high-quality and practical codecs (both intraframe and interframe). This also applies to the Pocket Cinema 4K, which however offers higher and possibly somewhat impracticable data rates in the spectrum. The 100 Mbit/s at 4K of the Sony Alpha series corresponds to the valid transmission standard for broadcast (50 Mbit/s in FHD) and is an interframe codec that manages good results with a lower data rate due to the compression method (GOP). The same applies to the Nikon and the Canon.

Slow Motion

There are clear favourites here. The Lumix series from Panasonic offers the best possibilities for both MFT sensors (GH5/ GH5s) and full format sensors (S1) without sensor cropping.



Autofocus

Here, Sony and Canon traditionally compete for the top spot. The Sony Alpha6400 (with 425 measuring fields) has probably the fastest autofocus at the moment. The Canon EOS R (384 fields of view) with its Dual Pixel CMOS AF originally developed by Canon itself also offers a very fast  autofocus. The performance of the Nikon series is very good, too. The opinios on Panasonic's autofocus have been somewhat mixed so far. But after the last updates, the GH5 and GH5s are also fast in automatic focusing. The S1 is just as fast, but tends to "focus pump" in unfavorable lighting conditions. Future updates will almost for sure improve this. As the Pocket Cinema 4K doesn´t use sensorpixels which are combined to measuring zones for autofocus, it isn´t possible to mention a concrete amount of measuring zones here. Our question to Blackmagic, how their autofocus-system in fact works, isn´t answered until now. As soon as we have reliable information on this issue, this article will be updated.



Battery Life

In terms of battery life, Canon and Panasonic in particular are well ahead. The Lumix GH5, the Lumix S1 as well as the Canon EOS R manage up to 150min with a standard battery. The newer Sony models (Alpha6400 and Alpha 7 III) are in midfield with about 120min. whereas the Alpha 7S II and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K do not perform well with just 60min.



Conclusion

In addition to these parameters, other questions also play an important role. How is the case (e.g. large ventilation slots on the top and relatively loud fan noises on the Blackmagic), how good is  operation and how are the switches and knobs (e.g. GH5 and GH5s with a handy, robust case and good pressure points on the knobs)? Are all important inputs and outputs available (e.g. Alpha 6400 without headphone output) and how do I like the basic characteristics of the recorded images (Panasonic tends to be rather sharp, Canon and Nikon somewhat softer, Sony with fine shadowing)?

Downloads:
DSLM comparison table

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