In a recent lengthy and complicated shootout involving a wide range of HD cameras, an $800 consumer entry beat out a $65,000 pro rig.
Many pro filmmakers—professional directors, editors and DPs, including Francis Ford Coppola—chose the Panasonic GH2. As did this writer.
The tests, conducted by Zacuto USA, included cameras ranging from the Sony $65,000 F65 and a RED Epic down to the Panasonic and even an IPhone 4—which I thought looked pretty good.
Reports Gizmodo: "It's impressive that a consumer camera could stand up to professional cinema rigs, but there is a great degree of subjectivity at play here. The skill and decisions of each cinematographer definitely played a key role, as did the personal preferences of those voting."
Zacuto paired a different crew with each camera, with all shooting the same scene—at different times, of course. Each crew had control over lighting an other factors. The judges were not told which camera shot which scene.
Here are the links to the tests. Warning: It takes a little time: Part 1 and Part 2 of the documentary.