Panasonic EVA1 Review — Why I'd Skip This Camera

In this review I'm taking a look at the brand new Panasonic EVA1 and I'll be talking about how it compares to other cameras like a Canon C200.

(Note: This video is not sponsored in any way. I paid $314.50 to rent this camera just to do this review.)

Pro's

- Image quality is stellar. The 10-bit 4:2:2 image is really great, especially when you're just filming to an SD card.
- V-Log comes with the camera (and isn't a paid upgrade like on the GH5), which gives the camera much better dynamic range.
- It also has 5 other picture profiles that are closer to Rec. 709 or not as flat of a picture profile as V-Log.
- Top handle is solid and with two screws there is no wiggle to it. It also has a ton of mounting points to add monitors and other accessories. 
- The LCD monitor moves around really easily into different positions depending on how you're filming.
- This camera features a dual native ISO (both 800 & 2500), which means that you can switch between those two native ISOs and you'll get better low light performance with it set to 2500. With the 5.7K sensor being scaled down to 4K, the amount of noise you're getting is much lower.
- The slow motion recording on this is pretty good. Whether you're recording at 60p in 4K/UHD or 120p & 240p in 2K/HD.
- The rolling shutter isn't too bad. I've seen way worse on other cinema cameras.
- The electronic image stabilization works pretty well. Here is an example of filming on a Canon 85mm f1.2 without EIS and then with it enabled.

Con's

- Don't like the LCD screen. It is not bright enough to use outside, even with the shade, because it is extremely reflective. If you want a screen outside while filming, you'll need to add on a brighter one from SmallHD or Atomos. And the touch-screen doesn't work very well either compared to a Canon camera or a smartphone. Also, all the information on the top and bottom of the screen is so small you can barely read it. At least they set it up so it doesn't cover what you're filming.
- Doesn't have an EVF, which I know makes the camera lighter-weight, but for run and gun filming outside, that has been a must have for me lately.
- The auto-focus really hunts to find what you want to focus on. I can't see myself using the autofocus while recording something important that can't be interrupted. It focuses correctly, just not smoothly like a slow rack focus. 
- What they chose for the default options on all of the buttons don't make much sense to me. I ended up wanting to customize almost everyone of them to things like zebra, peaking, autofocus, and more. I like the button layout on Canon cinema cameras MUCH better.
- I don't really care for the side handle. At first it felt nice to have the extra bit of plastic go over my hand between my thumb and index finger, but that eventually started to hurt and limit reaching some of the button on the handle.
- Doesn't shoot in Raw. (Yet.) The ability to shoot in Raw is supposedly a firmware update that they are working on.
- The shotgun mic holder doesn't fit my NTG-3 (which was also a problem on my C100, but it does fit on the C200.)
- I'm sure the menus start to make sense the more you use them, but I didn't really care for how you navigate them with the dials on the side or on the handle.
- Especially when wanting to change between 24p, 60p, 120p, and 240p. You have to go into the system settings, then system mode, and there you need to change the sensor mode, then you have to wait a couple seconds for the camera. Next you have to going into camera settings, into FPS, into value, then scroll to the number of frames per second that you want.

Conclusion

Since I mentioned a ton of things I didn't like about the EVA1 you probably think I hate this camera. Well, I don't. This is still a solid camera and I'm sure if I was able to shoot with it more than the few days I rented it from Lens Pro To Go I bet it would grow on me.

I'd get used to a bunch of the quirks it has because at the end of the day the most important part of a camera is the image you get out of it and the EVA1 has a beautiful image. 

So if you're invested into other Panasonic cameras (like the GH series) or have a bunch of EF lenses you want to use on a 4K camera, this is a great option.

If I had to choose though, I'd go with the C200 over this if I had to choose though. Mainly for the autofocus features, the EVF, the ability to film in Raw, and the ergonomics. 

Check today's price at B&H.
Rent the EVA1 at LensProToGo.

 
Caleb Wojcik