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Is Panasonic GH4 going to change the industry?

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That XLR base looks super bulky. Stacked on top of rods or even a quick release plate, this thing is going to be pretty tall. Not sure that I'm a fan.

 

I'd love 5 axis stabilization too, but I'm not going to be picky.  It is what it is and that's plenty good enough all things considered.

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I hope the camera is a hit for various reasons. 

 

1) It seems Panasonic is putting hopes in the 4k and rushing it to market because the Imaging Department seems to be be under pressure from above as they've already sold off 51% of the Imaging Department based on an article I recently read. 

 

2) I hope it succeeds because I like what Panasonic has been doing for the enthusiast/pro market. 

 

3) I hope it succeeds because I find the the general support for Canon in America to be annoying and counterproductive and would like to see Panasonic make inroads in that market and push the other companies to offer more for less.

 

3) I hope it succeeds for the sake of MFT's future.

 

I'm enjoying my BMPCC, don't get me wrong, but this 4k could be a great kit for documentary filmmakers. I don't think it's too big or bulky. Looks a lot smaller than the Canon XL-1 from the late 90s.

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I hope it succeeds because I find the the general support for Canon in America to be annoying and counterproductive and would like to see Panasonic make inroads in that market and push the other companies to offer more for less.

 

Considering Panasonic has about zero retail visibility here, I'd be surprised.  I'd like to see it, but certainly don't expect it.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

The camera will be announced tomorrow. Is it going to be a game-changer? Yes. In a way. It will present a much higher-priced image quality to the low-priced market. Definitely something to be excited about being an independent filmmaker. I can already imagine a lot of youtube homemovies in 4k, and that's a good thing :)

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Funny.  That argument is the exact reasoning why I tend to believe content is indeed king.  When everyone finally has it within their means to hold the ultimate paint brush in their hands, what are they going to paint with it?

 

That may be true but that's not the part of the curve we are playing on at the moment.  Low end video equipment still sucks.  I can go out right now with a $300 DSLR and a $100 lens and take pictures that will rival pro photography quality.  You can't say that about the video aspects of that same camera.

 

Photography cameras have gotten so good that really the camera body has in many ways ceased to be the limiting factor.  So for photography what you say is definitely true.  If someone says I can't shoot nice pictures because all I have is a Canon t3i then I know they suck at photography.  A 5D MK III isn't going to make their work noticeable better.

 

People always tell this lie that the chase for specs is never ending.  Well with digital photography it's ended for most of us.  Another 2, 3, 4, or 5 megapixels is not going to change our work dramatically.  Video will get to that point as well.  The number of people worrying about specs will get less and less as the technology improves.  People only rarely print pictures bigger than 11x14.  And likewise TVs will only get so big.  If you can fill a 70 inch screen with a sharp picture there really isn't going to be a lot of demand for even more resolution.

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$300 DSLR and a $100 lens and take pictures that will rival pro photography quality.  You can't say that about the video aspects of that same camera.

 

I get what you're talking about, but I will disagree a bit as I do think video is already there.  And I LOVE low-end DSLR equipment and really don't think it sucks at all.  

 

It's not even as good as it's going to get, but it's very valid for "pro" work.  I've been paid a lot over the past few years shooting on an old 5DII and a few primes from the 1980's.  

 

My last personal DSLR film projected on huge festival theatre screens @1080 and it looked awesome.  Was it the film with the most resolution?  Maybe, maybe not...but unless you really tried, you couldn't tell.

 

Here's a for instance:  I recently snagged my GM1 for $600 and sold the kit lens for $300.  I can put a used $100 Nikkor 24mm lens on the thing and get pro level images.  Easily.  $400 bucks, a great film idea, and some disciplined talent that's pretty much all you need now.  You can get it done.  

 

I could get a used 5DII for about $700.  A used Rebel for less than $400, etc.

 

If you know what you're doing with that gear you can do pro level stuff without any trouble.  That's my personal testimony anyway.

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What's the pricing on these? $1500ish?

 

I can definitely see the usefulness of 4K in a lot of the day-to-day stuff I shoot, especially talking head stuff where at the moment I'm rigging up 2 or 3 GH2s on tripods to get the talent in a close, medium, and wide. If I could shoot everything wide and punch in, it would be great for that. Of course, you lose some of the more esoteric image quality things like bokeh increasing/altering as you cut to longer lenses, etc.

 

For personal projects where I'm more interested in crafting the most beautiful, uncompromised images possible, I could see still preferring RAW on my BMPCC and 5Dmk3. But we haven't heard yet what the latitude will be like in the GH4 so I suppose it's a wait and see thing. There's also the option of 10bit 422 with an external recorder, that could really give Blackmagic a run for its money.

 

My gut tells me there's no free lunch here and there WILL be tradeoffs in getting 4K at a sub-$2k price point, at least for now.

 

But still, hats off to Panasonic for addressing a lot of the things people have been asking for (peaking! clean HDMI! overcranking! XLR via that ungodly bulky looking external thing! etc), and I could very easily see this earning a place in my kit.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Aha, so -4k at 100mbps/ up to 30fps/8bit&4:2:0
-1080 at 200mbps/ up to 96fps/8bit&4:2:0

and with external recorders:

-1080 at 10bit & 4:2:2 (without simultanuously recording in-cam)
-1080 at 8bit & 4:2:2 (with recording 4:2:0 8bit in camera)
-4k at 4:2:2 & 10bit

Is that correct or am I misreading?

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As the Panasonic GH4 is going to introduce 4K Filming, 10 bit 4:2:2 and all other features as focus peaking etc, Do you think its is going to change the standard of videoing? the level of tech quality for amatures?

 

The "standard of videoing" is about a lot more then the number of pixels... What it does is allow access to higher resolution capture at a lower price point than before.

 

I'm in the "perfect 1080p" camp more than the "4K" camp, I'd like a small camera with 1080p ProeRes 444 like the Alexa. but the 4K number will sell this body to a lot of people I'm sure, regardless.

 

What this means (unfortunately) is that Canon will doubtlessly release a cheaper 4K body soon, but still with 4:2:0 8-bit recording. Seeing 4:2:0 8-bit in specs has now gone beyond annoying and started to become just... boring... :(

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It's not even as good as it's going to get, but it's very valid for "pro" work.

I didn't say it wasn't good enough for pro work.  I've sold pictures for front page publication from a 4 megapixel camera.  I just said it is not on the same level as pro equipment.

 

 


 

 I've been paid a lot over the past few years shooting on an old 5DII and a few primes from the 1980's.

 

I wouldn't call a Canon 5D mark II "low end."  A Canon t3i is low end.  And I was referring to camera bodies not lenses.  I don't think anyone is going to come out with a 50mm lens five years from now that is going to be markedly different from a good 50mm lens from the 80s.

 

I could get a used 5DII for about $700.  A used Rebel for less than $400, etc.

 

In the United States used Canon 5D MK IIs don't sell for $700 unless something is wrong or some other unusual circumstance.  They are usually going for $1,000.  I got my refurbised Canon T3i with one year warrenty for $300 from Adorama... That's what I mean by low end.

 


 

My last personal DSLR film projected on huge festival theatre screens @1080 and it looked awesome.  Was it the film with the most resolution?  Maybe, maybe not...but unless you really tried, you couldn't tell.

 

 

I used to think 4k was pointless... till I saw it.  Even on a monitor with less than 1080p I could see a dramatic difference in a STREAMED 4k video on YOUTUBE.  If someone can't tell the difference between 1080p compressed Canon 5D MK II output and decent 4K output they need their eyes checked.

 


 

If you know what you're doing with that gear you can do pro level stuff without any trouble.  That's my personal testimony anyway.

 

Like I said I have published front page images in major national newspapers with a 4 megapixel camera.  But I don't go around saying you can't tell the difference between 18 megapixels and 4 megapixels.  Neither do I say people shouldn't ungrade to 18 megapixel DSLRs.  Just because someone somewhere has pulled something difficult off doesn't mean we should forgo the equipment that makes things far easier.

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I used to think 4k was pointless... till I saw it.  Even on a monitor with less than 1080p I could see a dramatic difference in a STREAMED 4k video on YOUTUBE.  If someone can't tell the difference between 1080p compressed Canon 5D MK II output and decent 4K output they need their eyes checked.

 

Well of course 4K can look better, there's more resolution.  I'm just saying 1080, properly and dramatically shot, looks great as it is.  

 

My local camera shop has a pretty scuffed but otherwise perfectly functional used 5DII for sale at $730, so I exaggerated a bit on that one.

 

Anyway, my main point is the tools are cheaply there to create and create wonderfully on par to a pro level.  It's not to deny that better gear exists.

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The "standard of videoing" is about a lot more then the number of pixels... What it does is allow access to higher resolution capture at a lower price point than before.

 

I'm in the "perfect 1080p" camp more than the "4K" camp, I'd like a small camera with 1080p ProeRes 444 like the Alexa. but the 4K number will sell this body to a lot of people I'm sure, regardless.

 

What this means (unfortunately) is that Canon will doubtlessly release a cheaper 4K body soon, but still with 4:2:0 8-bit recording. Seeing 4:2:0 8-bit in specs has now gone beyond annoying and started to become just... boring... :(

canon might answer by just discounting the 1dc??

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Not a fan of technological progress are we Quirky?

 

Quite the contrary, Mr. Reid. Perhaps I'm just "old" enough to have some perspective.  ;)

(Re: my slightly cynical comment in another, now locked thread)

 

In fact, I'm pretty sure most of us here will be drooling, if not quite obsessing over the 8K GH6 and the rivalling products from the usual suspects after a few years, and soon after that, many of us will be reaching for our wallets (again) and trading our still great GH4's for the new and even better 8K version. Then, a few years after the launch of 8K it all starts all over again, as the next generation... you get the picture.  :)

 

As for the GH4, I'm glad if the street price will be no more than 2k€ from the start, which would put it within the reach of mere mortals, too.  I doubt that I'll actually go for one any time soon, though, if at all. I'd rather wait and see what the other options from other players like Sony will be like, and perhaps from Blackmagic, too. Eventually. Until then, the dodgy ol' HD will have to do. 

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