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GH4 4K Panasonic video camera, User reviews and opinions
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  • Come on ENO... Who wants to compare Alexa to GH4 ? LOL... I'm just saying everybody's hearing the sirens of 4K... and don't see the cons of a less good codec and less good dynamic...

    When you shoot with the GH4, you have to choose between highlights OR blacks to expose well in contrasty conditions. When you have the possibility to make the choice later with the editor, that's a more convenient way to work... less stress on set... More flexibility.

    We are talking about how a camera is easy to work with... flexibility with codec, flexibility with dynamic, flexibility with colors... etc... 4K has nothing to deal with flexibility. It is just a matter of definition... GH4 is not convenient enough to work with because it lacks all the features that make the work easier...

    That's what i wanted to say showing the evidence that the 2.8K sensor with bigger dynamic range produces wayyyy better image than 4K poor dynamic... i have not compared them... they're not comparable...

    N.B. : Dynamic range for those DSLRs is for stills... My little Canon eos 350D has a fantastic DR... Why don't i make videos with it ?

  • @larouflaquette

    You start out by saying you're not comparing the GH4 to an Alexa ... then immediately go on to point out how it is so NOT an Alexa. But you're not comparing ... right.

    There are quite a number of people around here and other forums that are used to working with video cams up through the Red/Alexa/Arri rigs, let alone the Canon/Panny et al dedicated "pro" video cams ... who feel that (from using one) a GH4 is as good or better as anything available over-all up to at least $10k USD.

    As a couple have noted, particularly since the 4k output when transcoded to 1080p gives a full 4:2:2 file for editing/grading. So ... for what it can work for and considering budget/rig-size constraints, it's a useful tool, and a big step forward from what is available given price constraints in the current market. And I know, no one uses peaking or zebra or bars or such tools ...

  • 4K certainly does afford flexibility in a lot of ways if your final destination is 1080. You can create a panning shot from a locked off camera. You can do digital zoom. And in some situations you can in effect have a two-camera (or more) shot from a single camera. These are cool features for run-and-gun shooting where you might not want to carry two full rigs, sliders, power zooms, etc.

  • In the goldie-oldie days we had a custom pro-lab to do portrait & competition (PPA style) printing/artwork for our own studio & others. We completely re-built images between neg retouching, Ansel Adams-style complex dodging/burning operations where the "base" exposure would be 20 seconds, but there'd be more than 3 minutes of additional 'burn-in' times going on. Printed a lot of images up through 40x60 mostly from Mamiya RB67's and Hasselblads.

    The Hassy folk always insisted their lenses were SO much better than the Mamiya that their images were clearly superior. Interesting concept. Printing length of a Hassy neg was just under 2-1/4 inches (6cm), that of an RB neg just under 2-3/4 inches (7cm). Take negs of both cameras, shot on tripod at same f-stop/shutter speed on same emulsions, print them to anything above say 20" long-side. Um ... RB images were a little sharper, & by the time you got to 30" or better, getting comparatively sharper all the time.

    Were the Hassy lenses sharper? Oh, most certainly so. Though for portraits that's not always an advantage, you know? However ... the RB negs were simply so much bigger that they took less enlarging to get to the same size final print ... and therein, created sharper large prints, also achieving a visually identical contrast & color "purity" ... both of which degrade with enlargement.

    The Hassy folk would ALWAYS insist in very angry tones this was NOT a proper test method. No, it wasn't a test, it was a real-life application. In real-life use their smaller neg did NOT result in a "better" image up to the size we printed to ... even though their cameras & lenses cost half again as much more.

    Methinks some of the comments critical of the GH4 are similar to the Hassy folk complaining that you simply could not compare a Mamiya RB to their vastly superior camera & optics. Well, in "absolute" tests, no. For the particular real-world application we were all doing? Um ... yea, very favorably in fact.

    In this current real-world, budgets, rig-complexity, and size of gear counts for more all the time. I'd hate to be putting out $25g for a camera now ...

  • IMO the GH4 pretty much nails it! It has every feature that I would want in a hybrid camera. Is it perfect with 14+ stops dynamic range nope, does it record 4K all intra internally to an internal card nope, does it compare with Nikon full frame for stills nope, is the video quality better then ARRI nope.

    However, for the price and ALL of the features that this camera brings to the table I think it is hard to beat. IMO nothing at this price point can compare... Please show me a camera at this price point that has the convenience, flexibility, and features of the GH4.

    The Black Magic cameras might have better dynamic range but these cameras are not for everybody due to the workflow and accessories needed just to make the camera functional. I am not saying that the Black Magic cameras suck or that the GH4 is better then the Black Magic cameras. What I am saying is that the GH4 offers the most flexibility due to ALL of the features that it has.

    The electronic viewfinder is one example but really the list goes on and on for me. Another example is the data rates and containers, everybody has different needs and once again the GH4 offers the most flexibility in this price range depending on what you are shooting and what your needs are. I also think it is ridiculous to compare these cameras to camera such as the Sony FS700, ARRI or the like. This is akin to comparing a Hasselblad H5D-200MS to a Nikon D7100. People need to be realistic about what they are getting at a specific price point.

    You are not going to get filet mignon on a McDonalds budget. I think if you are realistic about the amount of money you are spending and temper your expectations accordingly then you will happy with the GH4. However, if you live in a fantasy world of thinking you can spend $1700.00 and get the same quality as cameras that cost $50K+ then you will never be satisfied.

  • I played with a couple four or five Black Magics ... fully set-up & rigged-out ... at the Black Magic booth at NAB. Amazing tools, all set-up to go right to a big-screen so you could instantly see what you were shooting. Very impressive to hold & work with. Walking around with one of those, I mean, how cool would one look?

    But just to get a 'basic' image, they took a fair amount of rigging, which a GH4 could get by without doing. an equivalent rigging of a GH4 for basic run & gun could be a fair bit lighter ... and a LOT cheaper. Sitting at an opticial-quality analyzer, I'd imagine you could find a difference in absolute image quality much of the time. Watching on a typical tv from 10 feet away, not so much.

    The Canon C-cams were pretty cool also ... and ... spendy too.

  • I'm a Pocketcam fanboy. Love it. But going by specs and user reviews, GH4 is far better all around camera. GH2 and 3 also better all around.

  • Realistically, there's a ton of gear I'd love to have around ... toys, toys, toys, right? ;-)

    I mean, why not have a couple Black Magics & a Red sitting around too? Other than needing mucho grando dinero to afford to ... which is where the GH4 comes in.

  • @larouflaquette LOL Blackmagic - "Flexibility with Codec": Soft & Full of Moire with 1080P ProRess codec or Practically useless Cinema DNG without transcoding for editing (AVID & FCPX dont take it) not to mention the waste of space vs REDCODE or Sony SR Workflows in RAW. I think you need to reconsider what flexible means after realizing you need to find a computer to reformat you Blackmagic's SSD on set because you can't in the camera, Even the first RED One could do this! Your attitude to "Fix it in Post" does't make it "more convenient" for the editor who has to transcode Cinema DNG shit (not that h.264 is a great editing codec either, but at least its efficient). The GH4 is Flexible the Blackmagic is not. This is a topic about people who own a GH4, lets keep it to that no?

  • If you shoot in 4K, you will have to transcode anyways unless you have an expensive computer. Cinema DNG is better if you don't finish with the transcode as an intermediate but finish on Davinci using proxies or what you call transcode. And I agree the GH4 is more flexible. They are what they are.

  • @larouflaquette

    And you continue to compare the GH4 to Arri...........

    Assuming GH4 had the same dynamic range as the GH2/3 then what Panasonic did was create a higher resolution (4k) and give more tools to control and properly expose the image. You simply cannot ask for me from camera at this price point. Several people using Canon 5d, 70d etc. and no once here can honestly say those cameras have more dynamic range than the GH4.

    Please let get back on topic now....

    • I own a Pocket camera and Dynamic Range is great, but like I mentioned in another post it lacks many things that the GH4 has which is why I prefer the GH4 to it.
  • use the right tools for the right job. there's a place for every camera.

    If your work pays, there's really no issue in owning more than one camera. The problem is many expect one camera to be the mother of all camera with the lowest price in town.

  • Guys, this topics is about camera owners opinions/tests and questions to owners.

    It is not flame topic.

  • @ tinyrobot:
    There is no need to transcode GH4 4K footage ! or to have an expensive computer.

    I have a 900$ Laptop Quad core I7 and succeded to edit easily the 4K files from GH4 with Premiere Pro CS6, After Effet, and also Pinnacle 17 which already takes into account 4K.

  • @JFighiera

    Okay, I guess I didn't enable Cuda in fcpx. I will try it and report with GH4 4K material. Unless it is for quick delivery, transcoding is best for heavy grading purposes if one chooses.

  • There's a lot of talk on a few other forums about the 1080p 200mb/s option exhibiting a lot of aliasing and moiree. What's opinion like over here?

  • @JFighiera

    Some people consider a $900 laptop to be "expensive". I have to agree though. I think any modern day quad core I7 will handle the 4K @ 30 FPS video regardless of the video card. That type of computer generally costs less than $1000.

  • I had a failure with the 200 mb/sec All-I mode and my SDHC UHS class 3 Transcend card this weekend. I am going to stop using that mode as it is the only mode I have had failures with and I don't consider it to be a stable mode.

  • Howdy, has anyone tried the continuous auto focus in movie mode? For example a panasonic 25mm @ f5.6 , people moving slow or shifting in their seat during an interview... I'm curious about the focus "hunting" that goes on and if it's improved.

    I have the pana/leica 42.5 coming with my gh4 as a package. Should be interesting. Thanks.

  • @mpgxsvcd

    For desktop, even i5 will do.

    Like HP Pavilion 500-297c Desktop, Intel Core i5-4440S 2.8GHz Quad-Core, 12GB DDR3, 1TB SATA, Win8.1, $499 - http://moofi.woot.com/offers/hp-quad-core-i5-12gb-ddr3-desktop

  • I had my GH4 with me Friday night at a concert and shot some semi low light footage. Most shots are C4K scaled to HD with a 2.35:1 crop. A few shots are FHD 60p slowed down. Shot in Cinelike D -5,-5,-5,-5. Graded with FilmConvert. You might see a few strobing lights due to dimmed LED's on stage. It showed up no matter what shutter speed I used. The card I used was Transcend UHS I class 3 128GB.

  • @mpgxsvcd. I have tried different scenes with a lot of detail using 200 ms/s all-I mode while zooming with 14-140, 100-300 and ETC using Sandisk 64gb 95mb/s and have not had a single failure.

  • @aaronchicago According to the manual there is a mode to put "on" the camera to help against strobing. It supposedly works very well, I can't remember the name but it's a new feature of the GH4. Make sure you have it enabled. Also it only allows for certain shutters speeds when on.

  • Aaand the WINNER IS -> GH2! XD Heh. Sorry guys ;)