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Andrew Reid

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

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Andrew

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?

 

But if it's conformed, wouldn't that mean that the result was already recorded in some type of codec already? The HDMI out should show live stuff direct from the sensor and it can't possibly make a "live" conformation from 96fps to 24fps because that would not be live at all. And if it's playbacking, it can't show more information that the file has and as all internal recording is 8-bit 4:2:0, outputting 10-bit 4:2:2 would be impossible.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

This is such a step in the right direction. It seems that Panasonic have really listened to their customers and thank goodness for people like Andrew who do the talking for us. I remember as a kid pretending to make movies with a DSLR camera and now I use them for work in the same way. I am so used to the form factor and lens choices I find it hard to go back to shooting with a more conventional TV camera. When I travel it's usually just me shooting, so Micro 4/3 has been liberating to say the least. This ultimately means more shooting days, more bucks on screen and hopefully better docs. I said to a director the other day, there has to be something wrong when you are spending more money on the kit than you are on the person using it, the GH2 and now this, have changed that for me.

 

All this and House of Cards, series 2 next Friday on Netflix, it's all too much, I need a lie down!

 

Andrew, one question please, I am led to believe the sensor has been developed by Panasonic for the GH4, does it have the look and feel of the GH2 or the GH3?

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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.

 

Well, it really depends on what you want from the camera. And knowing that these rumors that the GH4 would be announced by now have been floating on the net for a while and that the E-M1 is not aimed at videographers, I would assume that although you have some interest in it, your primary use is photography. And regardless of the GH4, the E-M1 is more than capable photography tool and as Andrew reported in his recent article, the E-M1 may not be made for videos, but within its limitations - like framerates, codecs, etc - it's a pretty good video camera, even more adding the 5-axis IBIS, something that nobody else has, including the GH4.

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But if it's conformed, wouldn't that mean that the result was already recorded in some type of codec already? The HDMI out should show live stuff direct from the sensor and it can't possibly make a "live" conformation from 96fps to 24fps because that would not be live at all. And if it's playbacking, it can't show more information that the file has and as all internal recording is 8-bit 4:2:0, outputting 10-bit 4:2:2 would be impossible.

 

You're probably right!

I guess it's gonna be 10bit @ 60FPS...

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I'm curious Andrew, you liked the RX10 seemingly a lot for it's great feature set (for a run and gun shooter), but hated the AVCHD codec. You are also (obviously) very keen on 4K at the minute. So my question is this - It's been weeks since CES and not one peep from you about the AX100? Obviously it is not in direct competition with the GH4, but it does seem to fix the issues with the RX10 and add a similar 4K capability into the bargain... And at $1999 no less! 

 

Seriously don't get why this wasn't plastered all over EOSHD? This is the first 4K for $2K camera ever, has a 2.7x crop sensor (vs 2.3 in the Panasonic) with a decent ranging lens, 100Mbps 4K, scraps the crap AVCHD in 1080p, even supposedly does 120fps. So what gives?

 

It was like a week after you proclaimed going to 4K and everyone else should follow... So, could your trip to Panasonic have had something to do with both of those things (your post about everyone should go 4K and your complete silence on the AX100)?

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Great article, Andrew, as usual. Thanks very much.

 

I know it's an exciting new prospect, with lots of features to look forward to, but I'm really surprised it's not possible to record 4:2:2 internally. Especially since the new cards are so damn expensive.

 

I mean, the BMPCC can record 10bit 4:2:2 internally on sub $100 64GB SD cards, why not this camera?

 

And a remote 12V brick to power the brick?

 

You've said it in the past, and it's equally true here - no one has combined the features most of us crave (Olympus-style internal stabilisation, pro-audio in, focus peaking, zebras, broadcast-quality internal recording capability, nd filters, ergonomic design, high frame rates) at the moderate end of the market.

 

We know they can do it.

 

To take advantage of all the features this camera has to offer it's gonna mean a shoulder rig, an external 12v power supply, external evf, external recorder, and all the cables and clutter that we already deal with.

 

It just ain't elegant.

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Thanks Andrew, and well done Panasonic for giving it a try.

When I was reading the rumours, I was wondering how this camera could be spoilt. Now we know. No internal 4.2.2 recording.

The GH4 is a small, extremely portable camera that can only record 4.2.2 video from a tripod?

 

Sorry, but I'm not going to attach all that non-sense just to get 4.2.2 when we know it's possible in 2014, to record a 1080p broadcast codec (which includes 4.2.2) in a pocket camera. Heck, I'd rather take out a mortgage and get the C300. At least I don't have to attach two boxes both with separate power supplies and cables.

No internal 4.2.2 = No sale.

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Great article, Andrew, as usual. Thanks very much.

 

I know it's an exciting new prospect, with lots of features to look forward to, but I'm really surprised it's not possible to record 4:2:2 internally. Especially since the new cards are so damn expensive.

 

I mean, the BMPCC can record 10bit 4:2:2 internally on sub $100 64GB SD cards, why not this camera?

 

And a remote 12V brick to power the brick?

 

You've said it in the past, and it's equally true here - no one has combined the features most of us crave (Olympus-style internal stabilisation, pro-audio in, focus peaking, zebras, broadcast-quality internal recording capability, nd filters, ergonomic design, high frame rates) at the moderate end of the market.

 

We know they can do it.

 

To take advantage of all the features this camera has to offer it's gonna mean a shoulder rig, an external 12v power supply, external evf, external recorder, and all the cables and clutter that we already deal with.

 

It just ain't elegant.

 

I'm sure if it was easily done somebody would be doing it and making a killing. We just took a big step forward with this offering and we'll continue to take steps forward.

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I am curious to see the picture profiles, the specs are quite amazing. You dont want a pro level camera? Buy the body. You want more? Buy the extender. I do wonder what the dynamic range will be like but 10-bit 4:2:2 is very impressive, my experience with color grading on h.264 is a pain. This really is a world camera, so many customizable switches is fantastic and welcomed. 

 

The only thing now is the price, as long as it isnt priced with the same mindset as canon style of thinking, im sure i'll be ok with it.

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I really hope this camera takes off and is adopted by the masses (ie; indy filmmakers, schools, bloggers, news people)!

 

I can totally see this being my next purchase! That xlr makes this a really nice package! I'm glad I mostly shoot on a monopod.

AAARGH! WHY oh WHY don't camera manufacturers understand the importance of ergonomics? Adding a pro audio and output module to a DSLR?  Great idea, we've all been shouting for something like this for a long time. So why forget to add internal power to it?  This is so infuriating, I just don't understand why they don't talk to the people who actually use these cameras for video. Look Panny, it's really simple:  Adding a pro video module is great, adding one that is neither practical for use without rigging v-lock batteries nor small enough for run and gun is totally pointless.  If you're going to make a video module, then do it right - make it big enough to include batteries, audio, outputs, physical switches, maybe a larger monitor with peaking etc, perhaps even a *gulp* handle so we can, you know, actually hold the thing? If you're going to turn a DSLR into a video camera then ACTUALLY do that, don't go half way and lose your nerve. It makes me SO mad  - they know what we need and they just can't see the blindingly obvious solution.  Sorry John_d, you're not going to be able to use this camera on a monopod.

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"*1 Motion image can be recorded up to 29 min 59 sec depending on the recording format and the camera’s sales area."

This is rediculus.

They really kept to this stupid 30min Limit in a professional video recording camera!!!

Are they out of their minds?

 

That's not their fault - it's a tax thing.  If they declare it as a video camera, they have to pay more tax per unit sold.

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I'm sure if it was easily done somebody would be doing it and making a killing. We just took a big step forward with this offering and we'll continue to take steps forward.

 

Actually, my Sony XDCAM PMW-200 does all of this, right now - for just over $8K, in Australia.

 

The Sony delivers tons of features and works, exceptionally well, in a chunky yet discreet package.

 

Yes, I wan't the bigger chip look, with lots of lens choices, and 4K. 

 

Sony are already having a budget 4K go with the AX100...

 

It isn't that hard. The manufacturers just want to protect their higher-end products, and for us to pay more. That's business, I guess.

 

If Atomos is correct, and 20 different 4K offerings are on the way by NAB this year, maybe we'll soon find something that comes closer.

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It was like a week after you proclaimed going to 4K and everyone else should follow... So, could your trip to Panasonic have had something to do with both of those things (your post about everyone should go 4K and your complete silence on the AX100)?


I was wondering about this also, good pick up.

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Sorry, but I'm not going to attach all that non-sense just to get 4.2.2 when we know it's possible in 2014, to record a 1080p broadcast codec (which includes 4.2.2) in a pocket camera. Heck, I'd rather take out a mortgage and get the C300. At least I don't have to attach two boxes both with separate power supplies and cables.
No internal 4.2.2 = No sale.


Yeah, what gives, did they just want to sell us the brick? If a BMPCC can do it for $999 why did panasonic CHOOSE not to do it? They held themselves back so they could sell us a brick? Or are they not as competent as Black Magic? I find the second one hard to believe.

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