RED KOMODO vs BMPCC 4K vs GH5 – Global Shutter vs Rolling Shutter Test

If you twist, spin, pan quickly, or take a ride in a bumpy car, you know that there is a serious problem in the world of cinematography.  It affects every camera manufacturer from Olympus to ARRI, and as much as we try to cover it up, shoot around it, and correct it in post, it still looms over every frame we capture. This dreaded curse is, of course, the rolling shutter.

Whenever a new camera is released we say “How bad is it?”, “It’s only a problem if…”,  and “you barely notice it” but we all know it’s there.  Fortunately, RED may just have made it a thing of the past with the release of the fantastic “baby dragon”, the RED Komodo. Let’s have a look at how the rolling shutter of the Panasonic GH5 and the Blackmagic Pocket 4K compares to the global shutter of the Komodo.

From Wikipedia, “Rolling shutter is a method of image capture in which a still picture (in a still camera) or each frame of a video (in a video camera) is captured not by taking a snapshot of the entire scene at a single instant in time but rather by scanning across the scene rapidly, either vertically or horizontally.”

When you’re shooting with almost any digital video camera sold today, you’re filming with a rolling shutter. This can have a wobbling, “jello” effect on your footage and can make for some really terrible video in the wrong situations. IE: It’s almost impossible to film with someone driving in a golf cart without things looking pretty terrible.

But unlike most, the RED Komodo uses a global shutter, which reads all of the pixel on the imager at the exact same time, eliminating all of the artifacts we see with a rolling shutter and one-upping every single camera in its price range.

In other words, automatically beats the other cameras in this test. But, is it really that much better?

It’s a little difficult to detect on the whip pans on the street, but if you look at the still frame grabs Justin pulled of the fan it’s obvious. There is motion blur present in all 3 camera, and the rolling shutter warp is there in both the GH5 and the BlackMagic Pocket 4K.

It isn’t that bad in the GH5, but the blades of the fan look like something from another world from the Pocket 4K. Depending on how and what you shoot, this could be a real problem.

If your shots are going to be locked off without a lot of movement or flashing lights, you’ll be completely fine using most cameras with a rolling shutter. For fast-paced environments, you’ll really start to notice a difference and would want something like the Komodo or a CCD camera that doesn’t suffer from these motion artifacts.

On the whole, they aren’t that bad and should deter anyone from shooting on a P4K or a Panasonic Mirrorless camera but it is great to know the option is out there and it sure is nice to have.

[source: Justin Philip]

Order Links:

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (B&HAmazon)
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Mirrorless Camera (B&HAmazon)
  • RED DIGITAL CINEMA KOMODO 6K Digital Cinema Camera (B&H)

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