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Andrew Reid

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

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Seriously hope this gets Canon to rethink their strategy with the C100 or a newer DSLR. In fact we should all promote the GH4 just so that other vendors give us better options at similar price points.  

 

Can't wait to see Canon's response!

 

What are they going to do on strategy now?

 

Their 4K cameras are mainly aimed at Hollywood. C500 is not really aimed at the C300 crowd. They don't have a 4K camera for the masses yet.

 

The GH4 is a consumer camera which has appeal to pros. Smashes a price barrier.

 

Suddenly upgrading from a GH3 to C100 with external recorder lost a lot of appeal.

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Even with all the muddy youtube compression it's lovely to see that much detail on my humble 2.5K iMac display.

 

Wait until you see it over HDMI to a 4K TV, then it looks mind-blowing.

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here's the GH4 4k footage.

dont forget to adjust your playback settings to 4k on the Youtube playback window. 

nice job Bryan..what rig did you use on the helicopter..??

 

(some of these shots make 4k = 3d)

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yes Andrew this is the dawn of a consumer 4k revolution with Panasonic first out the blocks , I like this new camera as Im a Panasonic shooter and all my glass collection is usable on it.

 

Im sure this is their first version of a 4k camera and over the next few years the spec will just get better and better

lets see what the others can come up with ! Canon, Olympus, Nikon etc

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The source signal is 10bit 4:2:2 from the sensor.

 

Isn't the sourcce signal 14bit, and then it is compressed to 10bit 4:2:2? I think this is one of those things where we will not know how good the 10bit is until we actually see it.

 

Maxotics, correct me if I am wrong, but i see the true 10 bit process as:

 

take 16 MP raw image data, impute the RGB values for the output resolution (4K or 1080), throw away some chroma info (chroma sample at 4:2:2) then compress it to 10 bit.  In this example, you are basically left with a 10 bits of pure pixel readouts for whatever your output resolution was. So for 1080, you would have 10 bit readouts of 1,036,800 Green, 518,400 Blue 518,400 Red. But this would be more like 500Mbps than 200Mbps, so the rest of the compression is done by the codec.

 

BMCC ProRes is about 220Mps, so there is a chance that the GH4 image is comprable, but it won't be capable of doing it in-camera.

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here's the GH4 4k footage.

dont forget to adjust your playback settings to 4k on the Youtube playback window. 

 

Nice, my first chance to use my new 3200X1800 screen. Looks pretty darn good. They weren't going for cinematic, but the detail is pretty darn amazing.

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I don't know enough about the external add ons that enable camera's to film at better bit rates and resolutions. 

 

but would it be possible for a third party device to attach to the GH4 and make it

1. film 1080p 10bit 4:2:2

2. film 4k uncompressed 10bit

3. not have the XLR ports (as a lot of filmmakers record sound separately), thus making it smaller/cheaper

4. be internally powered, i.e. not have to be pluged into the wall 

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nice job Bryan..what rig did you use on the helicopter..??

Almost everything that could go wrong on a shoot DID go wrong on this one. Without going into details, I feel like the video is 60% of what it could have been. I had a MoVI that went down on the very first day of shooting, which forced me to rely on our backup brushless "FauxVI"  Alexmos based gimbal. Also had a lot of MoVI handheld shots planned, but those had to be cut obviously.  The prototype GH4's had some quirks that were challenging to deal with but I'm sure they are solved by now with firmware update. All in all I was really impressed by the image coming out of the GH4. We posted this in front of a 60-some inch 4k monitor and the shots looked stunning to me. 

And responding to someone previously, yes all 8 lenses and two bodies absolutely did fit handily in my carryon backpack, minus the ocotcopter of course! ;0)

 

BryanHarveyFilms.com

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@Bryan To my eyes, the closing shots of the parrot, the caterpillar and the temple at night (?) were the most impressive, from solely a resolution standpoint. And I watched this at the highest setting on a 15" Retina. And sorry about my sarcastic comment, I realize you couldn't fit the copter and tripod in your bag (at least I don't think you could!)

Could you comment on the viewfinder? is it an improvement over the GH3?

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Fantastic overview!
You hit all the key points, so I have little else to add except to ask....
When will Panasonic change to a larger sensor and when will the break from this excellent hybrid and finally give us the whole package in one sweet boxy video-centric camera!

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Almost everything that could go wrong on a shoot DID go wrong on this one. Without going into details, I feel like the video is 60% of what it could have been. I had a MoVI that went down on the very first day of shooting, which forced me to rely on our backup brushless "FauxVI"  Alexmos based gimbal. Also had a lot of MoVI handheld shots planned, but those had to be cut obviously.  The prototype GH4's had some quirks that were challenging to deal with but I'm sure they are solved by now with firmware update. All in all I was really impressed by the image coming out of the GH4. We posted this in front of a 60-some inch 4k monitor and the shots looked stunning to me. 

And responding to someone previously, yes all 8 lenses and two bodies absolutely did fit handily in my carryon backpack, minus the ocotcopter of course! ;0)

 

BryanHarveyFilms.com

 

Shame MoVi gave up the ghost, I feel the GH4 and MoVi could have a good marriage if only they'd get on better ;)

 

GH4 is going to be popular for aerial multicopter shots I feel. The detail on the ground just pops out at you. Currently other 4K solutions are either not as good or much larger. Even the Blackmagic Production Camera is much heavier.

 

I can't wait to see what it looks like with my Cooke PL lenses on, try as I might PL to 5D Mark III just won't go ;)

 

Did the 4K internal codec stand up well in post Bryan?

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@zephyrnoid What size sensor would you like to see Panasonic use? For all I know, they might be planning to roll out a full-frame camera in April... but for myself, I'm happy I can use the same lenses and accessories I use now with my GH3 and the incredible GM1. From what standpoint is this system camera not "the whole package"? Is it incomplete somehow? I even read somewhere that this system was deficient in lens choice... There's something I'm not getting here...

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@Bryan To my eyes, the closing shots of the parrot, the caterpillar and the temple at night (?) were the most impressive, from solely a resolution standpoint. And I watched this at the highest setting on a 15" Retina. And sorry about my sarcastic comment, I realize you couldn't fit the copter and tripod in your bag (at least I don't think you could!)

Could you comment on the viewfinder? is it an improvement over the GH3?

Sorry I cannot compare with the GH3 as I have not used any Panasonic mirror-less cameras prior to this project. Also, I mostly plugged in an external EVF to the micro HDMI port to achieve critical focus. For sure 4k can be unforgiving in regards to critical focus. The style of this project was designed to highlight the 4k detail, so we shot everything deep focus at F9 or F11, with very subtle camera moves.  Typically I'm doing just the opposite and trying to shoot everything wide open with more dynamic camera movement.  I was most happy with the aerial flamingo shots as they were pretty amazing to see in true 4k on proper 4k monitor. It's the big wide shots with lots of detail where I really notice the 4k difference. The parrot and caterpillar type shots also resolved well. 

 

BryanHarveyFilms.com

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@Bryan Right, I recall watching the making-of where you specifically mentioned preferring using an external EVF. And I think when I get this camera, an external monitor or loupe (which I've been putting off basically because of my confusion as to which to get) is going to be necessary. And I apologize for my snotty remarks earlier.

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Shame MoVi gave up the ghost, I feel the GH4 and MoVi could have a good marriage if only they'd get on better ;)

 

GH4 is going to be popular for aerial multicopter shots I feel. The detail on the ground just pops out at you. Currently other 4K solutions are either not as good or much larger. Even the Blackmagic Production Camera is much heavier.

 

I can't wait to see what it looks like with my Cooke PL lenses on, try as I might PL to 5D Mark III just won't go ;)

 

Did the 4K internal codec stand up well in post Bryan?

 

 

 

MoVI and GH4 are perfect together! Even a Canon 5dIII can get heavy quick on the MoVI. 

 

You are spot on about the multi-rotor world. The 4k detail is really noticeable on the wide aerials. This camera is going to be hugely popular in this space, and 4K rez allows for guilt-free Warp stabilizer in post if needed.  I hope Panasonic  "loans" me a production model. ;0)

 

4K looked great in post for the most part, but for sure you must nail your exposure because there is not much room for grading the 8-bit output.

 

BryanHarveyFilms.com

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