Panasonic GH4 – General Thoughts

GH4_front_700With the impending release of the Panasonic GH4 at the end of April and the general excitement that has surrounded the GH series over the past few years, I’ve been checking out all of the info I can find and overall I think it’s a pretty impressive camera especially when you consider the retail price of $1699.

The Panasonic GH4 test footage I’ve viewed so far looks great for the majority of uses that most shooters will probably be using this class of a camera for.  It feels too “sharp” for my taste in general and the overall look is a bit video-centric.  At this point I personally don’t believe it is a great choice for narrative projects but is probably ideal for documentary, industrial and other less visually expressive forms of cinematography.  This is of course my first impressions of the camera and once it is released and time is put into testing with a variety of lenses, my opinion may change.

Some of the other highlights for me are the 11 stops (possibly 12 stops) of dynamic range and the native 800 ISO.  One thing that is disappointing is that recording 4K 10bit 4:2:2 must be done via an external recorder through the HDMI port or the YAGH add-on but I’m not sure one should have expected anything different at this price point.  Also, there seems to be more of an issue rolling shutter compared to the GH3.  See the video below…

Hopefully, this is just a preproduction hardware and prerelease Firmware issue.  I’m sure we will know more in the next few weeks.

Image_26Lenses_GH4_H_FS14140_700

It’s great to see a camera of this price point offer 4K resolution but I think some of the strength of the camera is it’s offering at 1080p.  Specifically the 96fps.  See the Slow Motion test footage shot at 96FPS from Andrew Reid.

 


Panasonic GH4 Specs:

  • 16.05 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • DCI 4K 4096×2160 at 24p
  • UHD 4K 3840×2160 at 30p/24p
  • Full HD up to 60p
  • 3.0″ 1,036k-Dot OLED Monitor
  • 2,359K-Dot OLED Live View Finder
  • Support for 59.94p, 23.98p, 50p, & 24p
  • 4:2:2 8-Bit or 10-Bit HDMI Output

It’s an impressive camera system in a tiny body for sure.  It will be interesting to see how the Panasonic GH4 stacks up against competing camera systems from Sony, Canon, Black Magic Cinema, Red and all the others especially after all of the recent announcements from NAB.  More on that later…


Panasonic GH4 Sample Test Footage:

These are some of best sample test videos of Panasonic GH4 footage I have found.

GH4 ballade a LA Manhattan Beach 4K test #4 from Emmanuel Pampuri on Vimeo.

Berlin Sunrise – Panasonic GH4 pre-production 4K DCI with Cooke S4/i Mini PL lenses from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.

Campaign for “Undefinable” from S. Allman on Vimeo.