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Nikon D7100 vs Panasonic Gh2 sharpness test
  • I already posted that in the Nikon D7100 thread, but I thought that it warranted it own Topic as it was quite revealing and might be of some interest to the community in general.

    So I have a little time now and been investigating a bit more the video capability of my newly acquired D7100 (Nikon photo shooter) vs my Panasonic gh2. What I really wanted to know is the sharpness compared to the gh2, because the DR, low light etc... are more or less well documented. I made a series at different sharpness setting in camera, I was going to upload them little latter when I have finish uploading some work. But meanwhile I thought about doing a blind test, because I was surprised how close they looked. I use the same Tamron 17-50 at 50mm on both of them.

    sharp 1.png
    1920 x 1080 - 6M
    sharp 2.png
    1920 x 1080 - 6M
  • 39 Replies sorted by
  • So 51 views but no reply, it smells good for the D7100 then, if nobody wants to commit :)

  • Number 2 is definitely sharper. I don't know whether that is good or not for everyone?

    What color profile and setting(Sharpness and noise reduction) did you use? I would be more interested to see how the D7100 stacks up against the GH3. My GH3 is a lot sharper and just better than my GH2.

  • number 2 is sharper.

  • The gh2 was sharpness 0 and the colour profile was sooth at -2 contrast. The D7100 was Neutral contrast zero to more or less match the DR of the gh2. The Nikon was +2 sharpness. One thing to note is that the D7100 sharpness start from 0 to 9. There is no negative value, so I chose the 2 setting as it does not look to bring any hallo or over sharpening.

  • The in-camera sharpening of the GH2 is active even when set to -2, it is reduced then, but still active.

  • @danyyyel,

    I think you meant the D7100's Sharpness starts from "0" to "9". The Contrast on the D7100 starts from "-3" to "+3". I also own a D7100 and I am using a "+1" sharpness "in-camera" and applying a 32-bit "Unsharp Mask" in After Effects.

    I used to use the "+2" "in-camera" sharpness setting with the "Neutral" picture profile, However, if you select the "Standard" picture profile, It will show that the "+2" sharpness setting is a little too much. So I use the "+1" , along with a modified "Neutral" picture profile, and sharpen slightly with an "Unsharp Mask" In Post. It looks good in all the picture Profiles of the D7100.

  • Nothing dramatically different about the images.

  • @bleach551 yes you are right I corrected the mistake.

  • @mpgxsvcd, there are comparison betwen GH2 and GH3, and the results says that the GH2 is sharper, can you ilustrate?

  • @johnnymossville Yes this is the big news here because I was just testing sharpness detail here. If the D7100 is that close to the gh2 which in many test compares favorably to many high end cinema camera on test like zacuto. Then we have a very very good camera that will cure one of the big flaw of the gh2 which is DR and to a certain extent low light capabilities.

  • Major dealbreaker for me with Nikon cameras is Nikon mount.

  • @danyyyel

    Thank you for doing this test... I have been itching to purchase the D7100 but was not sure how it would be for videos. I already have the Nikon D600 as well as a Nikon F5 and also a bunch of Nikon glass so this is great news. I like the Nikon D600 for low light and also the shallow depth of field, BUT the GH2 with the Moon T5 patch is definitely sharper for videos.

    Back on topic about the D7100, Although the video quality on the GH2 is astounding with the hacks, I would rather have the D7100 for bigger size, build quality, weather sealing, battery life, etc and am willing to sacrifice a LITTLE in the video department.

    The only downfall I see about the D7100 is that it does not have an articulated screen built in. But that is easily fixed with an external monitor. There are a lot of variables and opinions on what looks good for videos. That being said in your opinion how would you rate the video quality in comparison to the GH2. I know that this is a subjective question but I would like to hear your take on it.

  • @Azo I am still in the testing phase between the two. The first thing that was important to me was the resolution. I am not a sharpness freak, but being use to a gh2, it was difficult to go back to a canon low rez for example. The rest was a little secondary not because DR or low light is not important to me, but I knew they were superior from what I have seen online at least form its sister camera (D5200).

    To my surprise it seems that my first question is being answered in a very positive way. Looking at the number of views and the amount of people committing, I think that they are very very close indeed.

  • It's all about lenses for me. If I had a bunch of nikon lenses that worked on the camera I'd be tempted to look at the 7100, but there's nothing dramatically better as far as stills or video for me to make the switch. The G6/GH3 question is the one I'm thinking about.

    More likely I'll just stay with my GH2 for another year to see how things shake out. It's just that good already, and it's paid for.

  • First have best colour, second more sharp, but images equal detailed

  • @johnnymossville

    There is no doubt that the GH2 is awesome and in a lot of ways actually better then the D7100 for video. The ability to use just about any lens from any manufacturer is HUGE, add in the fact that you have patches to choose from depending on the subject matter and scene is another huge benefit.


    It's all about lenses for me. If I had a bunch of nikon lenses that worked on the camera I'd be tempted to look at the 7100, but there's nothing dramatically better as far as stills or video for me to make the switch.

    You know what is funny about that statement. I was actually a Canon guy and switched from Canon to Nikon after using my 7D with Nikon Glass! I purchased a Nikon 28mm, Nikon 50mm, Nikkor 105 2.5, along with several other old school push and pool zooms to test out for video. The older lenses where actually sharper and had more contrast then the Canon glass that I had at the time, I was floored! I immediately sold off almost all of my Canon gear and switched to Nikon. Because IT IS all about the lenses...

    I guess different strokes for different folks, but for me I want excellent stills quality as well as excellent video quality so this is what I am striving for. I am not sure if I can achieve this but this is what I am hoping for. I also considered purchasing the Canon 5D III when I heard about the raw footage hack, but the files sizes and workflow brought me down to earth really quick :) LOL

    I guess if you are strictly into video then yeah it really doesn't make sense to consider the D7100, but if shooting stills is equally important as video then it totally makes sense. In regard to M4/3 for stills. I have a full frame Nikon D600 as well as a Nikon F100/F5 for film and there is no way that the GH2 can compete with any of those cameras.

    Prior to purchasing the GH2 my good friend had purchased the Olympus OMD and told me to sell my D600 and switch because the gear is smaller lenses are cheaper etc etc. Well I performed several tests of my friends OMD with the Oly 45mm 1.8 vs D600 with the Nikkon 85mm 1.8D lens. Long story short and no offense to anybody with the Olympus OMD there is NO COMPARISON. The D600 is in another class in terms of still imaging period!

    Here is a review of the Nikon D7100 where they actually compare it to the D600. Based on this particular review it compares favorably to the D600 in terms of still imaging. Add in the 51 point autofocus system, 1/8000 sec shutter speed, and the ability to use two groups of Nikon Speedlights and you have one heck of a APSC camera. IMO the only area where the D600 wins is depth of field and low light sensitivity. Of course this is just one review, but so far almost all of the reviews seem very positive to say the least.

    Anyway just wanted to share my thoughts on this camera.

    Best Regards

  • @Azo Here, a man once again confirms its own purchasing decision - Bullshi *, sorry

  • @Butt I am not sure what you are trying to say. If I offended you I am sorry :( This is my experience and my opinion. I am not sure what you are calling bullshit on or really what you mean buy that, but I am interested in hearing what you have to say so please feel free to elaborate on your comment :)

    Best Regards

  • @Azo your text is a self-fulfilling prophecy

  • My GH3 is a lot sharper and just better than my GH2.< ho, ho, ho - Santa is there. . . what the heck is that GH3 is not sharper than the GH2, GH3 but it produces a lot of really mud green stuff

  • @Butt

    Are you offended because I feel that Nikon glass is better then Canon? Or are you offended because I said that the Olympus OMD and GH2 does not stand a chance in terms of still imaging compared to the Nikon? Either way based on your last comment I really don't appreciate your tone. If you have another opinion I am cool with that and we can agree to disagree and as I said please elaborate. But if you are just going to post comments that are offensive please back the fuck off and don't act like a punk. Because I for one will not tolerate you acting like one.

    Just for clarification!

    I am not partial to any particular company when it comes to camera gear. What works best for me and my particular needs is what I am going to purchase. Case and point I just purchased a 50mm 1.4 Minolta Rokkor X PG lens for the GH2 because from what I had read it is supposed to be one of best 50mm primes considering the price of course. I have a Nikon 50mm prime but purchased the Minolta because it is supposedly better. More then likely I will purchase 24mm 2.8 Minolta Rokkor X as well.

    In regard to Canon glass I am not saying that Canon glass is crap, but for my needs the older Nikon lenses with the aperture rings was better suited for video. Like I said I did some testing with the Canon lenses that I had at the time and the older Nikon primes were actually sharper and had more contrast then the Canon lenses.

    We all have opinions and as the old saying goes opinions are just like assholes every body has one. As I said if you would like to counter my opinion in a constructive and productive way I am cool with that. If not then keep your comments to yourself.

  • @danyyyel @everyone else

    Sorry for going off topic and if I offended anyone once again please accept my apology.

  • You don't have too, I find some remarks to be a bit harsh. It was never my idea that this threat should descend to this level. Everyone is entitled to there opinion, from there perspective and experience and people can disagree but still stay civil. I just shared concretely with example my experience with those two cameras.

  • Sharpness is a general term that covers a bunch of different scenarios. In the famous PB test, where no one could guess which camera was which, he was very clever about picking a scene that highlighted processing flaws in the camera, and of these, bricks and long straight lines revealed these flaws. What we learn from this is two things: first, if you don't label the samples and put a bunch of them online, people will just pick random cameras including point and shoot cameras. Second, you have to be careful about the subject matter. I video a lot of musical instruments, and the GH2 and many other cameras have noticeable, annoying stair-stepping. But on a panoramic landscape, with the 14mm attached, you can get a great, sharp, hyperfocal image. So for the straight lines I use a different camera.

    So you won't know which camera is sharper, but you will get plenty of opinions. You will also get many more opinions, and different ones, if you label the samples. that is, the unlabeled opinions will be different from the labeled opinions. Good luck sorting that out.

    I wouldn't use the Rokkor PG, I like the later models better, so you can see even here you have basic disagreements about what is sharp. It should be obvious, testable, yet here, people disagree. Also, with a really old lens, it is better to buy one that hasn't been dropped. Good luck figuring that out as well. For me, the lens has to have color, microcontrast, etc. I don't use the 50mm any more because I have the Olly 45mm, which is better in all respects than any lens Minolta ever made. Sad, but true. So many Minoltas, unused, like AOL CDs.

    Lastly, whatever imagined sharpness advantage a camera may have is worth 6 months until the next model comes out, and more than negated by the lighting. It used to be--think GH1--that there were no sharp, detailed options at the low end. Now there are many cameras to choose from. For my work, I use the Canon HF G10 camcorder when I need low stair stepping and the GH2 for vistas, panoramas, and so on. It doesn't matter which one is sharper, and for sure the GH2 often looks oversharpened, even at -2.

    Old Nikkor lenses: these are great, but on the GH2 maybe too much contrast. The GH2 is kind of contrast heavy, and the super contrasty old Nikkors can give you an overcontrasted look, with odd transition areas. Also, with the new nano coatings, the Panny 20mm for example has a cleaner look to the image, Hard to identify what it is, but it is as if a film has been liften, or a filter. The Vivitar 55mm has a nice balance of sharpness, color, microcontrast, bokeh and of course macro.

    So "all you" cameras are sharp enough! Have fun and make movies. There is a new camera around the corner that will make what we have seem like a phone cam.

  • @Azo,

    I came to nikon from An almost Identical path. I started from the Canon 7D but started with all Contax Zeiss lenses( 28mm 2.8 (MM), 50mm 1.4(MM), 50mm 1.7(MM), 85mm 2.8(MM) and 135mm 2.8(MM)). Then I switched to all Nikon manual glass(35mm 1.4 Ais, 50mm 1.4 and 1.8 Ais, 55mm 2.8 Ais micro, 85mm 1.4 Ais and 105mm 2.5 Ais).

    However, the 7D just never did it for me in sharpness and the moire and aliasing was just terrible. So, I went to the Panasonic GH1(7). The sharpness was much better with the Hacks( I used most all Lpowell hacks), but the size, the crop factor, and the SD card door, which I had to tape shut made me leave it.

    Next, I thought I would try the Nikon D7000. I loved the feel and the amount of tweaking to the settings I could make, and I thought at the time that it had a better sharpness than the 7D and that it was close enough to the GH1(7) so it was great. But it had, to a slightly lesser extent, the same moire and aliasing problems as the 7D.

    Now I have the D7100. I love the resolution and, as I might have mentioned before, I have yet to get it to show moire. The only problem is the Fixed Pattern Noise that can show up in some situation more than others.