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Hands-on preview of the powerful 4K shooting Panasonic GH4!

Andrew Reid

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gh4 and external HD-SDI XLR unit

Based on a pre-production model

Since the GH1 I have been shooting with Panasonic's mirrorless system for video. Without this series of affordable cameras my early work as a cinematographer and filmmaker simply wouldn't be the same. The GH4 marks a much needed major leap for the line, the first to shoot 4K to an efficient internal codec AND output 10bit 4:2:2 1080p over HDMI to an affordable external recorder like the Atomos Ninja!

On a visit to Panasonic I got to see the camera, see 4K sample footage and give my feedback. Here's an account of what I saw...

Read the full article here
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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

This is a pretty amazing looking camera, and even if I were still doing purely stills, I'd still consider it. 1/8000s shutter with 1/250 flash sync, and hopefully a better EVF are all solid upgrades. The increase in burst shooting and the new defocus AF thing look interesting as well. I might get it regardless. I just hope I can afford it!


On using a video stream as a way to get stills: Not until they have the software to help with sorting 30000 photos. There needs to be some way to streamline and automate this process. First company to get it right will kick off a new style of shooting stills.


Unlike your suggestion of stills vs video, I don't think Panasonic should split the line. I want a camera that is capable of both stills and videos - that's why I bought the GH3! What Panasonic should do instead, is to *market* it better. Highlight the stills improvements strongly in stills oriented sites, and video in the video sites.


Granted, with the GH4, it might not be so easy, since 80% of the engineering went towards improving the video side, but Panasonic can do a better job, me thinks.

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If this camera had an Olympus' IBIS, it would be the ULTIMATE run and gun video camera - 4K, this new 1080p codec, VFR, etc!


I have a question, one of the advantages of shooting in 4K is not only the better resolution but it solves the image better due to less pixel binning, which also increases DR, etc.


So theoretically - and considering the new codecs - which one should have better IQ and will the difference be any significant? A straight out of the camera 1080p or a 1080p render from the 4K footage or a1080p 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes via HDMI out? And I also wanted to add a cropped 1080p from the 4K footage as well.


Considering this new codec I wonder if the difference will be significant enough to choose the other alternatives.


Also, the 4K gets a bit cropped but is that also true for the 1080p output? If not, the 4K image will look different from the 1080p straight out of the camera when compared side to side, right?

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First, thanks for taking the time to write this article! Much appreciated!

I've been thinking, is it possible to get those 96FPS in 10bit?

In your article, you pointed out that the 96FPS is conformed to either 24P, 25P, or 29.97P. Now, a lot of external recorders, when recording 10bit ProRes of DNxHD, max-out at 24, 25, 29.97, 30FPS - the Odyssey 7/7Q can go up to 60FPS when recording 10bit 1080P.

I was thinking, since the GH4 conforms the 96FPS to either 24P, 25P, or 29.97P, shouldn't it, theoretically, be possible to get those 96FPS in 10bit to an external recorder - since those 96FPS are conformed to a lower frame-rate that the external recorders can actually handle?

What do you think?

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Yesterday I bought an Olympus M1!!  Somebody please tell me why I shouldn't be really annoyed with myself right now.

Because you have a great camera, one perfectly capable of capturing beautiful images? One that actually exists right now?

Don't be too torn up about this - you're looking at probably a $4000 package with the base brick, plus more on top for all your cords and cabling. And if, down the road, you want to make the switch, you're in luck - these MFT bodies actually hold their value reasonably well (especially the Olympus ones).

In the meantime, don't stress! You still have a highly capable shooter. There will always be new gear!

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