Blackmagic Pocket 4K ISO Test vs Panasonic GH5

A comparison of different ISOs to test for skin tones, dynamic range and noise.

Then we compare the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (Amazon, B&H) with the Panasonic GH5. Which is better?

What I think

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (Amazon, B&H) has higher dynamic range between ISO 100 to 400 according to published charts in the manual. The dynamic range at ISO 1250 and above is slightly lower, and I feel this is borne out by tests.

Blackmagic Design recommends that if you are shooting at ISO 800 or 1000, say, it will be better to bump up the ISO to 1250 and manage exposure for a better quality image. You can see how noise is impacted in the above video.

As far as usable ISOs are concerned, ISO 6400 is the absolute last, when viewed at 100%. With some noise reduction the image is acceptable under some conditions.

However, if you want the cleanest image possible, stick to ISOs 100 to 400.

Compared to the GH5 and GH5s

I’ve compared the Pocket Camera 4K to the GH5 since it is closest in price, performance, and because I prefer the GH5 over the GH5s.

As you can see in the tests, the results at high ISOs are close. The Panasonic GH5s will definitely do better in low light.

Overall, between the Pocket 4K and the GH5 I prefer the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (Amazon, B&H) for two important reasons:

  1. Better colors across ISOs
  2. Cleaner image overall

However, dynamic range is similar.


2 replies on “Blackmagic Pocket 4K ISO Test vs Panasonic GH5”

  1. Did you notice the difference in detail on the candle and the shadows behind the subject when shooting at 100iso to 400 and from there to 1000iso? Can you please test and show any way this could be managed and how much this will affect in a day time hi-contrast shooting scenario.?

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