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Panasonic GH4 Review


Andrew Reid
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Yeah stills are APS-C quality from the GH4 but without that flappy mirror or the silly optical eye glass thing from 1890!

 

Sensor has a very fine noise in the raw files which is very film like, and ISO 6400 is perfectly usable. I also find the electronic shutter very nice, and once you go back to mechanical shutter on other mirrorless cameras, that feels really dated somehow.

 

Sharpness is outstanding... no AA filter blurriness at 1:1 so the 16MP is easily a match for the 22MP on full frame cameras like the 5D Mark III.

In particular all the things that make the GH4 useful for video like the live view system, articulated screen and EVF are just as helpful for stills. I find I shoot better with it than a DSLR, it helps composition to have the DOF preview with the EVF and the tillable screen for low angles.

 

AF is amazing on this beast too... better than a Nikon D4 in most cases actually...

 

You can't say that about live-view AF on a DSLR haha!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Dual-pixel AF is NOWHERE as good as the GH4's AF when taking stills. In video mode, it is miles ahead of the GH4 AF.

It was desgned for video so speed wasn't the main concern, which us bad news for stills but good news for video.

I would love to see a system that can give me the GH4 AF in stills mode, and the 70D's AF when I switch to video mode.

That would certainly be the killer of manual focus for me,

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Dual-pixel AF is NOWHERE as good as the GH4's AF when taking stills. In video mode, it is miles ahead of the GH4 AF.

It was desgned for video so speed wasn't the main concern, which us bad news for stills but good news for video.

I would love to see a system that can give me the GH4 AF in stills mode, and the 70D's AF when I switch to video mode.

That would certainly be the killer of manual focus for me,

ah yes, you are correct.  I was speaking in terms of video. 

But yes, I have seen the GH4's autofocus and it is pretty fast, which would make bad rack focusing transitions -- which the 70d is great at!

 

And vice versa, where the pleasant and gradual focus of the 70d is horrible when trying to get a quick shot!

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My biggest question still is: What is the quality difference when recording 10bit on a Ninja for 1080p? Is the prores faster to work with on an iMac? Is the internal 4K better / faster / easier?

or wait for the shogun and CinemaDNG recording? I did hear that the Shogun will be late because some parts of it are hard to get right now..

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My biggest question still is: What is the quality difference when recording 10bit on a Ninja for 1080p? Is the prores faster to work with on an iMac? Is the internal 4K better / faster / easier?

or wait for the shogun and CinemaDNG recording? I did hear that the Shogun will be late because some parts of it are hard to get right now..

Hi Gzig - here is a small test I made to test the aliasing in various scenarios. Internal 1080p  /  1080p to Ninja Blade  /   Internal 4K  /  4K to Ninja Blade.  I used 24p, since there is issues with 50Hz and 60Hz to get a real progressive feed. 

 

Passw: aliasing

 

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Great review Andrew. Thanks! Pardon for the mega-reply post.

 

I'd really like to get the GH4 once I have the possibility, and wondering if can use my lenses on it with electronic control? Does the Speedbooster give you this possibility? If not, how do you control your settings with speedbooster? sorry for my ignorance and thanks in advance,

 

Currently, no you can't. Aperture is controlled manually from the speedbooster for lenses that don't have an aperture ring (Nikon G), and I don't think there is an EF to M43 version yet.

 

At this point in my tests I concluded the GH4 and BMPCC dynamic range was roughly about the same... Around 10 stops. Still less than the 14 stops of film but still up there with DSLR-stills photos.

 

...

 

On DXOMark the 5D Mark III's sensor is rated for about 11.5 stops and the GH4's sensor is rated for approximately 11.5 stops also (similar sensor as GX7 and GM1). If you look at the raw stills from both cameras you get a nice 11.5 stops, or roughly close to that figure anyway.

 

Curious, what film has 14 stops? I remember using print film for stills that had that lattitude but most projection film has about 10-11 at most. Some even had less.

 

I think the GH4 should have about 12 stops from my memory, like most current M43 cameras. It's really very good, as good as a lot of Canons. It's really a failing on Canon sensor tech. Sony and Panasonic are really pulling ahead if Canon don't start producing something new.

 

If they can do a 0.5x speed booster for m43 they can also do a 0.5x or even more speedbooster for FF. Can't wait for it, but they are going to charge a lot for it.

 

Uh, they can, but you need to use lenses that have a larger coverage than FF, since Speedboosters are focal reducers. Essentially, you're looking at 67 lenses, even then there might be vignetting.

 

Sensor has a very fine noise in the raw files which is very film like, and ISO 6400 is perfectly usable. I also find the electronic shutter very nice, and once you go back to mechanical shutter on other mirrorless cameras, that feels really dated somehow.

I'm sure you were describing separate use cases, but just to be certain: The electronic shutter still has a limit of ISO 1600 when in use, right?

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Guest d5f8611fa423d0e628c016f9d5c93b47

Hi Gzig - here is a small test I made to test the aliasing in various scenarios. Internal 1080p  /  1080p to Ninja Blade  /   Internal 4K  /  4K to Ninja Blade.  I used 24p, since there is issues with 50Hz and 60Hz to get a real progressive feed. 

 

Passw: aliasing

 

 

I can't see any difference between the UHD downscale from Premiere vs Blade here (possibly a smidge more moire with the Blade?). Have you done any other tests with UHD>Blade? I can't find any others online. I'm very curious to see if perceived colour depth or low light performance are improved at all. The GH4 is looking amazing, but vs 5D RAW it's the colour "thinness"/lower "ping" factor that I'm noticing most. I'm hoping that 10-bit will redress this a bit.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

what about h265 ? the gh4 it is the most expensive mirrorless camera from mid 2014 and it is stuck with hardware h264 compression without any hope for getting the h265 codec with a firmware upgrade ?


There are no any other cameras in the world that have the HEVC codec.

Why are you whining and asking the GH4 to have it, while there is not a single other camera on the market that has it?

Not even Red, Arri, Phantom, F55/65, or even Panasonic's own 80K USD Varicams. It's not a camera codec yet.

The H.265 will be the next generation of video codecs, or maybe Google's VP9 will be. We don't even know that. It's quite silly asking a camera that's 5 years ahead of its time, to be 10 years ahead of its time!

Edit: Sorry don't mean to sound harsh with "whining" or the tone. Having a bad day! :D
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One is called "i.Resolution" and the other is the sharpness setting in the photo style. They are subtly different in the way they apply sharpening and I use them off against one another to adjust the look of noise grain.

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I can't see any difference between the UHD downscale from Premiere vs Blade here (possibly a smidge more moire with the Blade?). Have you done any other tests with UHD>Blade? I can't find any others online. I'm very curious to see if perceived colour depth or low light performance are improved at all. The GH4 is looking amazing, but vs 5D RAW it's the colour "thinness"/lower "ping" factor that I'm noticing most. I'm hoping that 10-bit will redress this a bit.

 

Yes a tiny little bit more moiré, but its' so subtle I guess it will NEVER be an issue. I posted the most ugly moiré generating scene - I know ;-) Will post some "real" UHD>Blade footage in a minute. It's really beautiful for sure!!

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