Today we’re going to take a look at these 2 cameras: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6Kvs the Panasonic Lumix S1H.
So they’re not exactly in the same price range, but they’re certainly more close than most cameras in this category. If you’re someone who’s looking for a more cinematic option, not like a real sort of cinema full body, then you’re probably going to look at these 2 cameras.
These cameras compare head to head in a lot of ways. They both have a lot of dynamic range, they both have dual native ISO, so I think they’re pretty good competitors.
The reason I’m interested in these 2, is if you’re looking for a really good on set BTS camera, these 2 cameras are going to pair well with a lot of the more high end cinema cameras, and that’s really what they’re going for.
This is going to be using the same kind of color science that they’re using in the big blackmagic cameras, and this is using the same V-Log that they used in the very cam 35, so these guys are really meant to be matching much more expensive cinema cameras.
So let’s take a look at these!
Picture Quality Test
So when I processed this footage, I did make some tweaks here and there with white balance and a bit of tint just to make them look proper, and of course, one was shot in Log and one was shot in RAW, so you’re adjusting the contrast and gamma curve as needed.
The first thing I’m noticing here is the color chart on the black magic. It’s very vivid and contrasty, but her skin tone is not, and the Panasonic color chart is less contrasty, but her skin tone is cleaner.
If I had to pick one out of these 2, I’d probably pick the Panasonic because the colors are a little richer, but they’re both pretty great.
Mixed Lighting Test
Now we’re going to do a mixed lighting test. Mixing light is a great way to tell really good camera from not so great cameras, so here our key light is set to 3500k to be warm, out background light is a cool natural light coming through the window, and we also have a rim light set to daylight that’s lighting her from behind. Our camera is set to 3200k to match the key.
This is a fun cinematic application. We have a darker mood, and it let’s each of these cameras show how they’re going to work when you have a darker scene.
I feel like the Panasonic camera skews magenta a bit, especially in the skin tone, so I pushed it back a little bit and you can see that green in the background a bit.
I was surprised at how similar the images look once you adjust for the quirks of each camera.
She has beautiful skin in both shots and it handles that mixed lighting really well. I didn’t notice any weird color things going on with either camera.
If I had to pick one, in the image quality I liked the Panasonic, but in this I am really liking the blackmagic! I feel like the Divinci spit out the Panasonic a little too dark. It definitely could be brighter.
Dynamic Range Test
For this dynamic range test I did a bunch of adjusting. I threw on the luts at the end of the note chain, and in the middle we’re adjusting for the exposure and contrast, trying to hold that wall on the left. A lot of detail there, a lot of detail in the shadows for both cameras. Both are looking pretty similar and they’re looking good.
Both are struggling to hold that wall at normal exposure, you have detail there, but it’s about 5-6 stops over exposed there.
Moving into +1 stops on her face, and we light metered from her face, so this is the value we are going off of.
The wall in the back is holding on.
The wall has finally clipped and there is no detail back there, and you see that on the leaves as well.
Her skin looks great – no problems there. The background of course is blown out, and now there is moret happening on her shirt on the blackmagic and we’re not seeing that at all on the Panasonic.
+4 stops and her skin is still holding well on both cameras. Background is totally gone but her skin is holding.
I see a little bit of noise here on her cheek. It looks like the blacks are crushed a little more, and it looks like there is a red tinge in the blacks on the Panasonic.
The lens is getting pretty soft here as we go down. Seeing noise on the cheek, and the noise on her shirt is dancing on the blackmagic!
Look at how alive her shirt is now at -3! This lens is crazy soft when you stop down. There’s a lot of noise happening! It’s turning really red in the Panasonic and so much noise overall.
At this point it’s gone! It looks like snow on a TV. I feel like the Panasonic tries to hold on to that color but it boosts the red sooo much and the noise is just crazy.
You know, it’s almost starting to feel to me like these are a waste of time! haha
The ISO is so good on cameras these days that it’s hard for it to look bad at ISOs I would never use!
We started here at 640 because that’s the base ISO for the Panasonic, but they’re both going to be pretty clean, so no reason to show 400 on the Blackmagic.
You do see noise coming out in the Pocket camera in the wall behind her, and I’m not seeing that in the Panasonic.
This is the dual ISO setting for the blackmagic. It’s starting to be alive in the background and on her shirt, but I’m not seeing anything in the Panasonic!
This is the second native ISO for the Panasonic, so we wanted to show that. The Blackmagic is having a hard time with the ISO, it’s still usable, but it’s not as clean as the Panasonic for sure.
The Panasonic is still really clean, and the Blackmagic has a lot of noise.
Blackmagic at 12800 is not doing very well. Her hair is alive, I mean everything is alive at this point. This is the first time I’m starting to see noise on the Panasonic, but it’s still very usable!
Now it’s becoming a little much on the Panasonic, and the Blackmagic is pretty much gone.
Extreme difference there! The Panasonic held together a lot better than the Blackmagic!
Keep in mind, you’re not usually shooting at 25600, 3200 maybe in a pinch, both these cameras are going to perform really well!
So what do we think overall?
Both cameras are beasts! Both cameras are so heavy.
I really like the stabilization in the Panasonic! We didn’t test it, but I’ve used it before and Panasonic has always had really good in body stabilization, and that’s a huge advantage to this camera over the Blackmagic.
That’s the thing, this is 6k full frame, 4k super 35. I just feel like you have so many options when it comes to formats with the Panasonic. The Blackmagic shoots pro res, RAW and 3-1 compression, so I expected it’s footage to be superior, especially when I exported the cards and the Panasonic has 10BG and the Blackmagic has 80GB. BUT, the 2 cameras were very head to head!
So if you’re on a budget, you’ll buy the Blackmagic and you’ll be really happy with it. If you have the money, get the Panasonic and you will be super happy! They’re both really good cameras, and it just comes down to what you need.
Let us know what you think.
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickin.