January 6, 2016

DJI X5 vs Panasonic GH4

Quality Comparison of Two Micro Four Thirds Competitors in the Sky

Post updated January 2018: Should you go for the DJI Inspire 1 with the X5 Professional lens? Or up the stakes and fork out more for the DJI S900/S1000 with Panasonic GH4 slung under it? Check out the X5 vs GH4 video below and then read on...

X5 vs GH4

…this video has some simple levels and sharpness editing to try to match the two clips:

Well, it comes down to a number of factors:

  • Cost: The DJI with X5 (and DJI lens) is around £3,700 at the time of writing. The S1000 with Panasonic GH4 and Olympus Zuiko 12mm lens is around £4,600
  • Work: What will you use it for, what are your needs, where will you fly it?
  • Size: The S1000 is significantly larger than the Inspire 1
  • Insurance and License: The size and weight of the S1000 may take it into a higher bracket for your qualification level and insurance

Overall, I would definitely say that the Panasonic GH4 wins easily with regards to sharpness and overall quality. That was to be expected as the Panasonic shoots 4K at 100mbps whereas the X5 only manages 60mbps.

The X5 Professional needed a bit of post production to bring it "up to speed" and somewhere close to the GH4 with regards to sharpness. However, I am pretty pleased with the X5 now that it has had all of its updates and so on.

Which would I buy?

Well, I have both cameras already but both the Inspire 1 + X5 and S1000 + GH4 are good in their own right for different reasons. The DJI is a nimble, fast and much smaller machine shooting very nice quality 4K and super smooth 1080p 50/60fps.

The app is superb. The amount of adjustments you can make whilst flying as well as all the new auto modes is great fun and great for business perhaps.

The S1000 simply takes things to another level. Its sheer size makes it more stable in high winds. The GH4 is one of my all-time favourite cameras and to be honest, it looks super cool and professional to clients.

All of my clients have been impressed with the Inspire 1 and its "alien-like" slick looks but the S1000 and Panny go one stage further.

Bear in mind that at the time of writing, you can only use the Olympus Zuiko 12mm f2 lens with the Panasonic on the S900/S1000. Whereas the Inspire with X5 pro already accommodates various lenses (including a zoom lens with zoom control on the app).

At the end of the day, they are both great fun and produce stunning footage. For me, the Panny wins this battle but watch out for the DJI X5R (raw). It will have massive bit rates so I expect some stunning quality.

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aerial, camera, video

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