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Panasonic GH4 Review


Andrew Reid
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From a grading perspective, GH4 skin seems good, as does all the stuff in the middle. I struggle with lifting the black details out, and how hard the white and black clipping are. That kind of washy look with no black, bent curves, that I can achieve. Where it's failing at the moment is lifting shadowed areas and actually finding something there.

 

I remember being able to get this detail out with hacked GH2, so I hope it's a matter of people nailing the perfect settings.

 

Try Master Pedestal + 15. That seems to allocate more bitrate to the shadows and stops them from crushing so much.

 

Then I lift the bottom of my s-curve in Premiere like Kendy Ty does with his T2i.

 

That gives me rich tonality and colour but with more detail in the blacks.

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I've been swapping files with user varicam in messaging here, including filesat +15 pedestal with lots of different settings, with lifted shadows and so on, but it's still very chunky down there, so I don't think it's a data allocation thing, it just seems very.. contrasty for want of a better phrase, and I can't seem to nail a variety of looks, beyond that lifted curve look you describe...

 

I've still not got it hands on

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Is there any chance you can get a GH4 to play with JG and do a comparison with the C100? I'm curious to see how it performs vs that and the Ninja.

 

I do think the internal codec sacrifices the lows, my work-arounds are just that really... not so much a cure but a technique to try and improve it.

 

With an external recorder I'm curious to see what the GH4 looks like as well especially the 4K -> 1080p down convert.

 

I am in touch with Atomos and will be getting some demo units hopefully soon!

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Does your preamp supply phantom power? If so, you might try it instead of the mic battery (might sound better). If it doesn't sound better, you'll get more runtime from the preamp using the battery on the mic.


My preamp does not supply phantom power. And so far I've had long run times with this setup. At least 45 mins to an hour straight. Once a week or so when I been doing interviews for the last 3 months or so.
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Is there any chance you can get a GH4 to play with JG and do a comparison with the C100? I'm curious to see how it performs vs that and the Ninja.
 
I do think the internal codec sacrifices the lows, my work-arounds are just that really... not so much a cure but a technique to try and improve it.
 
With an external recorder I'm curious to see what the GH4 looks like as well especially the 4K -> 1080p down convert.
 
I am in touch with Atomos and will be getting some demo units hopefully soon!


I'm excited to see what the Shogun with the GH4 can deliver. GH4 alone is already impressive
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Andrew, the math has been explained that even though only the luma could possibly be 10-bits from an 8-bit 4K to 1080 downsample, in practice all that's going to happen is a low-pass filter and any additional luma variance will come from noise; not the same thing as capturing and directly storing 10-bits from the sensor.

From the examples shown, one advantage of the A7S over the GH4 is more dynamic range from the sensor. Folks have already tested the GH4 10-bit external output against the 8-bit Canon Cx00 and the GH4 is significantly outclassed for post latitude. 10-bits can help with tonality gradations, however if true sensor dynamic range wasn't captured, an 8-bit system with more real sensor DR will outclass it.

If this explanation doesn't make sense, you can do the tests yourself with actual footage. Thomas Worth wasn't enable to show there's real 10-bit gradations with his own custom software.

If you want to be fair and accurate, you might want to revise the GH4 10-bit luma statement until you prove it to yourself one way or another with actual footage.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Did any one take a picture of a sky in 4k, and scaled it down to 1080p, and saw if it reduced banding and added more gradient?

In fact I'll go do it right now! (I'll even count the freaking bands in ever example to see if they're reduced)

Seems an 5-minutes test. And will conclude this argument once and for all without 10s of pages of math.

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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

 

Hi, I haven't had a chance to download these but I have a question:  Is the picture profile on the external recorder the same as on the GH4 SD card? When I record my GH4 to my PIX240i, the profile is different (more contrast and slightly different color on the PIX than on the "native" GH4 SD card recorded simultaneously).

 

Thanks.

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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!

 

There is so much hyperbole in this post I logged in just to reply.  No, the stills from the 1/4 sized GH4 sensor will never be as good as the full frame 5d3, nor will the skin tones and colors.  It might "af" as fast as a Nikon D4 for single shot AF, but please understand that people that shoot D4's/1Dx's also need to TRACK moving subjects, and the GH4 cannot come close.  Watch the latest "The camera store" video where he takes out all the latest mirrorless to a motorcycle track - the full frame "dinosaur" DSLR smokes all of them in AF tracking and speed.  "better than most cases actually".  Really?  I lol'd.  Still as good as the 5d3?  I realize this is your "camera du jour" Andrew, but do you even read what you type?

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Did any one take a picture of a sky in 4k, and scaled it down to 1080p, and saw if it reduced banding and added more gradient?

 

4x smaller bands = finer gradient.

 

Simple enough yeah?

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As long as it takes to fix.

 

It isn't in my hands so I'm not really the one to ask.

 

Let's move along please, as people will use this topic to dig for info and I don't think that's fair on me.

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Relax about what? Alot of people I know have been waiting and waiting and waiting for something like this come along. Its a hard product to make and we understand that but times about up and the need to move on to new things is here. I have chosen to just buy native M43 lens for our GH4 system. It seems like the smartest choice at the moment. 

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