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Andrew Reid

Panasonic GH4 Review

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I am sorry to say that it seems to me that this review is somehow biased. Subjective qualities shouldn't be confused with objective ones.

There is a strong emphasis on the pros, which are undoubtably many and a trivialisation of the cons. Mainly noise and DR.

From the various videos posted, it is objectively evident that the GH4 performs very bad above ISO 1600. Many users say the wouldn't use it above 800. Also since most shoot 4k fot a better HD, i am focusing on HD. As another poster noted, and this is also not subjective, there is a huge DR difference between BMPCC (and obviously the A7s) and the GH4.

Personally i'd go further an add that the image from the BMPCC is miles better and it costs 4x -that is four times! less. Is it as crisp - no, is it 4K - no, but the quality is not just crispness as many have noted and to which I totally agree.

And also I don't understand why compression and small size is a good thing when comparing the GH4 to higher end cameras with higher bit rates and it is a bad thing when the A7s does it, compared to the 200mbps HD of the GH4.(which almost no one uses anyway as they shoot 4k which is HALF the data rate of the A7s. A 50mbps rate which is constantly under attack).

Again, I believe that the GH4 is a great overall camera from the many different reviews I have read/watched but a rounded review, if it wants to be unbiased, should point out- not hide, the cons. And to my opinion, and I believe to many others, these two points Dynamic Range and Noise are quite vital.

I might have misread the review, bu this is how it comes out to me.

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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

I am sorry to say that it seems to me that this review is somehow biased. Subjective qualities shouldn't be confused with objective ones.

There is a strong emphasis on the pros, which are undoubtably many and a trivialisation of the cons. Mainly noise and DR.

From the various videos posted, it is objectively evident that the GH4 performs very bad above ISO 1600. Many users say the wouldn't use it above 800. Also since most shoot 4k fot a better HD, i am focusing on HD. As another poster noted, and this is also not subjective, there is a huge DR difference between BMPCC (and obviously the A7s) and the GH4.

Personally i'd go further an add that the image from the BMPCC is miles better and it costs 4x -that is four times! less. Is it as crisp - no, is it 4K - no, but the quality is not just crispness as many have noted and to which I totally agree.

And also I don't understand why compression and small size is a good thing when comparing the GH4 to higher end cameras with higher bit rates and it is a bad thing when the A7s does it, compared to the 200mbps HD of the GH4.(which almost no one uses anyway as they shoot 4k which is HALF the data rate of the A7s. A 50mbps rate which is constantly under attack).

Again, I believe that the GH4 is a great overall camera from the many different reviews I have read/watched but a rounded review, if it wants to be unbiased, should point out- not hide, the cons. And to my opinion, and I believe to many others, these two points Dynamic Range and Noise are quite vital.

I might have misread the review, bu this is how it comes out to me.


Dynamic range with 10bit pro-res data (via external recording) ought to be just about even with blackmagic pro-res. 

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Looks excellent! What camera settings? (other than UHD and 422 10-bit enabled over HDMI)

The first two were CineD, Contrast -5, Sharpen -3, Curve: Shadow +2/Highlights -2, Two girls/Tamron I think was at 70mm non-speedboosted at f 2.8

 

The last was CineV, Contrast -5, Sharpen -5, Noise Reduction -5, Pedestal +15

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Andrew are you aware of any kit in the works to protect that micro-HDMI port when connected, short of buying their $2000 "breakout" brick?  The mini-HDMI port on Canon DSLRs has been that line's achilles heel and mini is a lot stronger that "micro".  The wrong pressure on this area can break the PCB and destroy the camera, so the solution needs to be as near bullet-proof as possible.  Plus not impede any rigging options. 

 

Anything?

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Thanks for the review Andrew, great read!

 

Really excited to see what June 3rd is all about! An EF Speedbooster with electronic connection would be amazing. I've had my GH4 for about a week now using a focal reducer that does the job, but aperture control and IS would be nice.

 

Here's my first test, shot the day after I got the camera and could put a lens on it with the focal reducer I got off of Ebay. Tried out the VFR mode and I must say I'm really impressed. My expectations were a lot lower after reading people's opinions and watching their tests. So excited to see what this camera is capable off

 

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The first two were CineD, Contrast -5, Sharpen -3, Curve: Shadow +2/Highlights -2, Two girls/Tamron I think was at 70mm non-speedboosted at f 2.8

 

The last was CineV, Contrast -5, Sharpen -5, Noise Reduction -5, Pedestal +15

Cool thanks!

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Dynamic range with 10bit pro-res data (via external recording) ought to be just about even with blackmagic pro-res. 

From the clips I have seen using external recording it is far from the bmpcc DR.

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How does 100Mbit/s = half the data rate of 50Mbit/s on the A7S?

 

100Mbit/s to transfer 4K data = 25Mbit/s to transfer FullHD data.

The A7S uses 50Mbit/s for the same FullHD data.

 

There seems to be a lot of criticism about this 50Mbit/s of A7s but no one complains about the 4K from GH4 being "crippled". The equivalence if I understand correct would be to have 4K at 200Mbit/s.

 

Regarding the FF myth, it seems to me that besides those who seek the extra shallow dof, there are many who prefer it for the qualities I mentioned earlier, namely better DR and less noise.

 

I hope my criticism didn't come across very harsh. :(  The GH4 seems a fantastic camera, but as I said, I believe for the sake of information the negative sides should be pointed out very clearly for those readers who don't spend so many hours as others have been doing, reading dozens of reviews per day. 

 

But, I must thank you for the effort you made to make all these reviews possible. I guess nothing is perfect. 

 

 

p.s. One last thing, a camera that wants to be considered pro level, with this audio grounding issue? Works only with panasonic's mic? Seriously? 

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From the clips I have seen using external recording it is far from the bmpcc DR.

 

The BMPCC does 13-stops with RAW. The GH4 is doing 12-stops.

 

At the end of the day, unless you are shooting outside and can't control the light, 1 stop of light isn't going to make-or-break a camera system. 

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DR is not only about the blacks and whites. It is also about the in-between tones. It is not about controlling the light, it's about how this light spreads.

 

I guess there are people who see the IQ of GH4 better than BMPCC and the ones who think that the BMPCC is miles ahead. I am in the second category and I believe that higher DR plays a big part on that as does the 10bit prores and the 220Mbit/s.

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Thanks for the review Andrew, great read!

 

Really excited to see what June 3rd is all about! An EF Speedbooster with electronic connection would be amazing. I've had my GH4 for about a week now using a focal reducer that does the job, but aperture control and IS would be nice.

 

Here's my first test, shot the day after I got the camera and could put a lens on it with the focal reducer I got off of Ebay. Tried out the VFR mode and I must say I'm really impressed. My expectations were a lot lower after reading people's opinions and watching their tests. So excited to see what this camera is capable off

 

ah...just so beautiful.  

Color grading, in camera and post? Care to share?

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There seems to be a lot of criticism about this 50Mbit/s of A7s but no one complains about the 4K from GH4 being "crippled". The equivalence if I understand correct would be to have 4K at 200Mbit/s.

 

You were given an answer in a nearby thread which you've probably missed. Yet again, that "transfer rate" is just how much data you get for every pixel when you record internally. Compressor efficiency and workflow not taken into account, so that's just useless conceptual pixel peeping with theoretic pixels.

 

There is no equivalence, unless you're trying to say "if i put off 2 wheels from my car, its equivalent speed would double".

Or, as they say, if grandma had balls, she would be grandpa.

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no offense ylomo, but Andrew does a thorough review and I have confidence in his views. You on the other hand say other cameras are far better in different aspects, but you don't really back that up, and I don't know you so I can't really take that at face value.

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exactly right gmaximus. Bit rate is hard to compare between different resolutions, and frame-rates for that matter. For people that want to see this, try compressing a very small jpg, and you will see size vs quality is far worse than for larger images.

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The one question I have is: how does the gh4 stack up against the original Red One? A lot of movies I enjoy were shot on the Red, and I'm curious as to just how far technology has advanced over the last few years.

I used to own a R1 MX. I thought if took outstanding footage that no DSLR could touch in terms of colorspace and DR. If I were in the market, I'd buy one over the new BMC shoulder cam or AJA scion. You'd probably score one for 7-8 grand US. 

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100Mbit/s to transfer 4K data = 25Mbit/s to transfer FullHD data.

The A7S uses 50Mbit/s for the same FullHD data.

 

There seems to be a lot of criticism about this 50Mbit/s of A7s but no one complains about the 4K from GH4 being "crippled". The equivalence if I understand correct would be to have 4K at 200Mbit/s.

 

Regarding the FF myth, it seems to me that besides those who seek the extra shallow dof, there are many who prefer it for the qualities I mentioned earlier, namely better DR and less noise.

 

I hope my criticism didn't come across very harsh. :(  The GH4 seems a fantastic camera, but as I said, I believe for the sake of information the negative sides should be pointed out very clearly for those readers who don't spend so many hours as others have been doing, reading dozens of reviews per day. 

 

But, I must thank you for the effort you made to make all these reviews possible. I guess nothing is perfect. 

 

p.s. One last thing, a camera that wants to be considered pro level, with this audio grounding issue? Works only with panasonic's mic? Seriously? 

 

Do you work for Sony. If you are getting paid for these posts, congratulations. However if you're just another fanboy, don't give up your day job!

 

100Mbit/s is 100mbit. When you oversample 1080p from 100Mbit/s 4K you end up with 100mbit, 10bit luma, 444 sampling. The A7S is half the bitrate, 8bit everything (the in-between shades have larger banding) and 4:2:0 sampling, causing pixilation.

 

Those are the facts my friend!

 

As for BMPCC, I own both cameras, like them both, first comparison between the two I shot a few days ago... and to my eye, the usable dynamic range is similar between the two, but the GH4 has less moire and aliasing and a much larger sensor.

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And also I don't understand why compression and small size is a good thing when comparing the GH4 to higher end cameras with higher bit rates and it is a bad thing when the A7s does it, compared to the 200mbps HD of the GH4.(which almost no one uses anyway as they shoot 4k which is HALF the data rate of the A7s. A 50mbps rate which is constantly under attack).

 

Let's compare apples to apples here.

 

A7S internal 1080p 50mbit is vs 200Mbit on the GH4

 

GH4 100mbit 4K should be compared to internal 4K on the A7S... Oh it doesn't have it. Guess you forgot that part!

 

Therefore A7S external 4K should be compared to external 4K on the GH4!

 

Agree?

 

Here it is 10bit 4K vs 8bit 4K. The low light of the A7S will be amazing vs the GH4... no contest there... but the GH4 is respectable and has F0.7 apertures with Speed Booster. I've had usable ISO 3200 out of it... It depends on the glass and the exposure. What will also improve low light performance further on the GH4 will be taking the 10bit 4K out of the HDMI because the noise grain will be much finer, uncompressed, and the extra bit depth will help the shadows no end. The internal encoder allocates more of the available data rate to the mids and far less to the lows. What people are actually seeing with 'bad low light' on the GH4 is very compressed blacks and shadows, not a defect of the sensor at high ISOs. So uncompressed 10bit HDMI will help HUGELY with that.

 

Can't wait for Shogun.

 

Can't wait for A7S!

 

All good. Be happy.

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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

i am just saying that 4k in h264 is not future proof. when you step up the resolution you must also step up the codec to avoid an explosion in size it happened in the past it will happen again (as a reminder h264 is more than 10 years old). - 4k will go with h265, as HD now goes with h264 and HDV went with h262(mpeg2) and before that DV went with JPEG-DCT.  - and i also bet you that it will not be in 5 to 10 years but rather in 2 to 3 years because 4k screens are already out, they will be mainstream/low cost in 2 to 3 years.

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