I do some video of miniatures and I'm looking to upgrade my Canon T2i. A lot of the functionality for good macro videography has to do with the lens, but higher resolution helps as well so one can digitally punch in in post.

It seems for the $1-2k range, there are three cameras dominating the video market:

  1. Panasonic GH4 - Lower price, records 4k internally
  2. Sony A7S - Superior low light
  3. BMCC 2.5k - Records RAW internally

Considering my use case (miniature videography + talking head), it would seem that the GH4 is the best option simply for the higher resolution and cost. Does anyone else find this to be the case? Also, anyone have any favorite macro lens for photography or videography?


1 Answer 1


You are absolutely correct that a good macro lens is crucial for a specialty such as shooting miniatures. You are also correct that cropping into a 4K source to get an HD frame will still give you good video quality. And it's also true that a RAW image format like BMCC is somewhat forgiving of not only cropping in, but zooming in to some extent. But I would also caution that once you actually start zooming into consumer-grade digital video, it falls apart way, way faster than when you zoom into typical stills photos. Since the SONY cannot record 4K natively, but only with an expensive external recorder, and you've set a budget ceiling of $2K, that means no zooming with the SONY.

I have three Canon macro lenses that are each great at what they do: the 100mm f2.8L, which is the simplest to use, the 180mm f3.5L, which is better for shooting nature (more working distance), and the 65mm f2.8 Macro Explorer, which shoots between 1:1 and 5:1 magnifications (great for bugs and other tiny, tiny details). I don't use my Canon lenses on my GH4 (I also have a RED WEAPON with a Canon mount), but to answer your question, I'd pick the 100mm macro with a speed booster (not for f2.0 performance, but for field of view) and a GH4. And I'd make great use of my K*FLect light reflector system to light my tabletop scenes.

  • Great info. Thanks so much. What's difference between cropping in and zooming in? You mean literally zooming in with a camera lens/moving the camera forward? How does a RAW format help that? Jan 19, 2016 at 15:10
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    Two-part answer. Part 1: If you have a UHD source image (3840x2160) and you select a sub-image that's at least 1920x1080, then you have at least one (and as many as four) source pixels per output pixel at FullHD resolution (1080p). I.e., you crop the image and then further scale down. However, if you crop in further (for example, a 1280x720 sub-image) and then you need to scale it up to 1920x1080, then you are zooming in, not cropping. Jan 19, 2016 at 15:15
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    Part 2: When you shoot RAW, each source pixel is its own thing. When zooming into such pixels, it can be filtered (blurred) to look somewhat natural so even when you have one source pixel trying to do the work of four image pixels, it doesn't look stupidly blocky. However, if your pixel is part of a macroblock, its value is correlated with its neighbors not only in the source space, but in the compression space, and when one of those pixels has to be scaled up, the filters tend to highlight the shape of the macroblock, not the source image details. Jan 19, 2016 at 15:19

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