The War Over Nothing

It’s been interesting to watch the Internet Intensity Engine fire up with the Blackmagic Design 4K Pocket Cinema Camera (4KPCC). Starting the day the 4KPCC was announced, threads all over the Internet began exploding with “Panasonic’s done” messages. 

Apparently the 4KPCC is going to cause everyone to stop buying Panasonic GH5 cameras because this new 4K camera is half the price. 


Realistically, these two cameras are different in so many ways that it’s difficult to enumerate them all. Moreover, Blackmagic Design is a bit more focused on film-like looks, while Panasonic is a bit more focused on video-like looks. That alone is enough to distinguish the two. 

Then there’s the smaller swivel LCD on the GH5 versus the big fixed LCD on the 4KPCC, the autofocus abilities (or inabilities), the IS differences, and more, more, more.

To me, I’m likely to try using a 4KPCC on a fixed support as a B camera. I’m more likely to move around with the GH5, and more likely to use it as a prime camera. It’ll be interesting to see if I can cut between them and grade them well enough that they look the same. If so, I’d be very happy owning both. 

The really funny aspect to this is that Panasonic already created a firestorm with the GH5s: which one do you buy, GH5 or GH5s? Again, there are differences, and they’re important.  

These nonsensical X is better than Y posts just gets us back to the “do you really know what you’re doing and what you need” thought. Almost none of those posts declaring a “winner” seem to have much analysis to them on the need side. It’s all emotional fandom. 

Look, I’m happy I have another video camera choice that uses my m4/3 lenses without a crop. I can see a couple of 4KPCCs as secondary cameras in my studio, but probably not as main cameras (basic autofocus need, for one). Ditto in the field. 

But I’m also not going to form any real opinion on this until I’ve had the opportunity to test them. I had real trouble grading the original PCC footage into my timelines with my main cameras. And low light performance wasn’t particularly good, either. 

So I’m just sitting back and enjoying the fan-flamed filmmaker fora follies as pure entertainment. I suggest you do, too.

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