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DPReview award Panasonic GH4 gold award, with filmmaker's perspective by EOSHD


Andrew Reid
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I´ve being using my GH4 for months now, mostly with my Panny 25mm F1.4, SLR Magic 12mm F1.6 and Panny 45mm F2.8 Macro.

Specially with my 25mm F1.4, I get really nice DOF and nice bokeh, beautiful rendering. 

 

I work as a 3D artist and have decent skills with Adobe Software, grading is a pleasure with the in-camera footage, even being 4:2:0 internally.

Of course, for me raw would be fantastic, but I´m more than happy with my camera. I´ve already owned a 5D MKII and a Nikon D600, but the size, ergonomics and true hybrid performance is simply great in my opinion, I had the chance to use the camera both for print and video work, both professionally.

 

And even better, I use to do some 360 pano pictures and now GH4 has support to promote control (a multi exposure, timelapse and other goodies device). With a 8mm fisheye, I can get a full 360x180 panoramic bracketed picture (HDR). 

 

All of this in one single marvelous camera.

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I don't see dual system recording as a hindrance any more, at least now with the built-in sync features in FCPX. If you are committed to audio quality, it is actually an advantage. I film a lot of long-form interviews. The Sony FS100 is my workhorse, but control over audio is so much better with a Zoom H6 as it records my microphones on independent track files and it allows an audio person delegated to the task to monitor it more closely. Unless you desperately needed SDI connections, I don't get why anyone would buy the overpriced, impractical, externally-powered YAGH interface. What a colossal waste of money! I suspect far more people in the GH4 price bracket need XLR inputs rather than SDI outputs. Buy a Zoom and use the money you save for augmenting your audio solutions. 

 

My GH3 gets used as a secondary camera on interview shoots. Most people who comment on these forums must not run long times, because I don't see many comments about how It's the ONLY DSLR style camera that will record over 29 minutes without restarting. Ever interview anyone "important?" They don't abide multiple takes for BS camera geek reasons that could otherwise be avoided with advance planning. Get your shot right and let it roll. The battery life is at least 2 hours of running time. Just a whisker under 2 hours on a 64GB card in the highest bitrate. So yeah, I'm thinking of buying 3 GH4s for a 4k multicam setup, slapping my ZE primes on them with speedboosters. If the A7s recorded chained files, I'd consider it instead. Oh, and no internal 4k, but at least finally an improved codec from Sony. 

 

There are always tradeoffs. GH3/4 will never do low light like my FS100. You can't push it around in post like a Blackmagic. I find myself using longer focal length lenses to approximate the look of a bigger sensor when using mft. It's just the geometry of the glass and sensor, and sometimes it is a hassle. But whatevs. Light it and shoot it right and the Panasonic will do its job. Panasonic should be applauded for delivering so much for so little. 

 

And heck, spend a few days with FilmConvert. It's not a bad option for color-matching different cameras. 

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