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GH4 4K Panasonic video camera, User reviews and opinions
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  • i'm getting mine from i'll email them and ask about date again.

  • @JFighiera: Than you. I used Neat Video plugin for Premiere Pro, nothing special. I think with any other good NR you can obtain similar results. I just wanted to demonstrate the GH4 is a very capable camera, even in 4K and at high ISO, that's all. People should learn how to use it fist before making bad comments. I be if you dial maximum NR in the camera you can get decent results without any other processing, but people like to destroy the files with super flat, unsharp and NR dialed to minimum, and then complain about noise, complain about sharpness and unfairly compare (to Arri, Canon, BMC etc) LOL.

  • @Eno What settings are you using now and you doing any grading?

  • @Eno

    ** I hope your not speaking to me when you mention that I or people I work with do not know how to set the settings of the cameras as we have worked on professional projects..........**

    I've done and worked on many projects, once you add de-noise software everything changes......

    You simple cannot add this post process and say a camera is good in low light. Yes 5D is softer, but in low light is a much better camera than any GH and that is a major advantage. If I am editing 100+ clips into a timeline the amount of time de-noise software takes defeats the purpose.

    I work with RED EPIC footage weekly and even RED cannot compare to 5D in low light. 5D lacks detail in wide shots, we all know that but it has other strengths.

    In front of me I have GH3, Blackmagic Pocket Camera as well as GH4 and I would rate them pretty much even in low light. Disappointed with poor low light performance of GH4 and might just keep the GH3.

    @SuperSet i seen the video and it isn't telling me anything I don't know. GH4 resolves more detail due to 4k, but still low light performance is not the same. I own the camera and have it in front of me, I have no reason to not say the truth. I am only here to help users.

    This project was done on Hacked GH2, so I know the strength/weakness of GH camera in low light

  • @SuperSet : My settings depend on the subject shot, ambient lighting, lenses used and grading stile etc. Sometimes I use neutral profile with -2 contrast and the rest on 0, sometimes standard profile. For example on wedding videos I use +5 NR because I don't have time to clean hours of filming, but if I have o more demanding client for a film of 3-10 minutes, I dial the NR to -5 and clean it with care afterwards.

    I grade almost all my videos after taste.

    I used several other cameras before GH3: Nikon, Canon, Pentax DSLR's and Panasonic video cameras and I fell that standard profile on GH3 with Panasonic 12-35mm f/2,8 zoom resembles more the natural profile of Canon, Nikon and Pentax DSLR's.

    @FilmingArt : I do not wish to offend anybody, but Canon DSLR's, especially Canon 5D mar3 and 1Dx and 1DC have a very soft video output and a strong noise reduction applied. This does not make them high iso kings. Panasonic likes to give sharper and more detailed files compared to other DSLR manufacturers. If man wants cleaner files form GH4, he can always dial more NR to the profile used or clean the noise afterwards. I think if man has time to grade a super flat profile man must also make time to clean a little NR in post.

    I also posted the link to the original files strait out of the camera on standard profile, they are not so noisy and unusable as many suggest. And man can always dial more NR in camera if he has no time to clean them in post process.

  • Here's a quick (very quick) comparison of the GH3 and GH4 at ISO 3200, with and without Neat Video applied. Should have made the clips a lot longer -- sorry about that -- but you'll get the idea.

  • it'd be more useful if you shot gh4 in 1080p as well. downscaling from 4k helps to hide a lot of noise.

  • Well, that's sorta the whole idea -- show the GH4 at it's best vs the GH3 at its best. Plus, I don't think I'll ever shoot at high ISO in 1080 with the GH4 for that reason.

    In my opinion the GH4 4K downsampled to 1080 is at least a full stop better than the GH3.

  • Facts: GH4 has a sensor area 3x as small as the 5D mk III

    GH4 has much smaller pixels

    GH4 captures more detail at 1080p than 5D mk III not just at 4k

    GH4 has worse hi iso performance above 3200.

    With that in mind it may seem a clear low light looser but the 5D mk III achieves that great low noise with extremely heavy NR that obliterates detail that the GH4 gives you the option to retain or fix with video de-noise tools.

    However when you start with such a great amount of detail and apply denoise on the GH4 it is to my view a superior camera under 3200 ISO because of the amazing detail retention even at 1080p. The 5D mk III is really a glorified 720p camera at best by the time the in camera H.264 processing spits out the file. Completely different in raw mode of course.

    The real test will be if you took the GH4 at 1080p and applied the heaviest NR in camera and compared it to the 5D mk III. My guess is that detail wise it will still be no contest, the GH4 will win at 1080p and maybe look as good in the noise dept. That at a limit of 3200 ISO since even in stills mode it seems to have hit a wall above that threshold. The small sensor just cant pull a rabbit out of the hat at 6400 ISO, its just wishful thinking.

    Imagine if this exact sensor tech was used on Full frame, it will be no contest, the Panasonic sensor with newer tech would destroy the 5D mk III easily.

  • I think we need to wait until we get uncompressed footage examined in detail to really know its lowlight and DR capability. I don't expect it to better the ML 5DIII but it'll be very close at 1080p downscale.

  • I'm running my GH4 10-bit 4k into my 4k Panasonic wt600 . With the built in color profiles it is absolutely necessary even at 10-bit to not overexpose since the color channels do the regular panasonic weird color clipping on the curve down from overexposure. You can very slightly mitigate this by setting highlights at their lowest setting. If you use a little i.dynamic you can gain a couple of stops of underexposure that would otherwise be black. 0-255 matters as well.

    Attached is the GH4 4K on top and the BMCC RAW upscaled to 4k on the bottom. Neither is pretty but a test of how far you the DR could be pushed. SLR Magic Anamorphot on Panasonic 20mm. (you can see barrel distortion not corrected on bottom)

    5461 x 4320 - 2M
  • @jamesgh2

    Yes, but my main problem is Noise Reduction takes time. When editing a project with several hundred clips, it's very time consuming. No one here can deny the higher detail of GH2,3,4. My main problem was the noise reduction time it takes to denoise several scenes.

    Even at +5 Noise Reduction in camera I still feel it doesn't do anything. This is my one and ONLY problem with MFT Sensor size is the low light/ high iso noise problems when compared to most Full Frame cameras.

  • The bottom line is if you're shooting for clients looking for quick turnarounds then the GH4 is not for you. It is a cinema purpose camera to be used like how "film" cameras are (were) used which means a nice raw image (not RAW) to tweak in post production. Yes...even film goes through noise reduction.

    @jamesgh2 I totally agree about the Canons having a heck of a lotta "in-cam" de-noising. I've been saying it for years. And yes...that has a lot to do with their soft images. I used to shoot Canon as well. The resulting images always looked smoothed over and very strange. People always harp on them being the low light kings...but they can't seem to grasp that it comes at a price. Give me the raw unadulterated image all day every day so that I can do what I want to it.

  • This low light discussion is a very interesting one for the GH4 and other m43 cams.

    I'm finding them to be a huge advantage actually. This is due to light gathering gains at low apertures vs. depth of field. A GH4 cam with a 25mm at f/1.4 will have a 40 deg FOV and 0.51m DOF with the subject at 3m. A 5D3 will have the same FOV and DOF on a 50mm at f/2.8, only the GH4 will have 4 times the light available at that lower f/stop.

    If you compare this concept vs. all of the APS-C cams you'll see they are not even in the same ball park. If the low light on the GH4 is actually close to a full stop better than the GH3 which is a full stop or more better than the G6 it's going to be like hitting the mother load.

    I don't have a GH4 or a 5D3 available to test with but it would be interesting to compare equally usable DOF vs low light capability.

    Cheers, Pete

  • @c3hammer "only the GH4 will have 4 times the light available at that lower f/stop."

    While the GH4 will have 4 times the available light per unit area (due to the wider aperture), the 5D3 will have 4x the light gathering area so both will gather the same amount of light. So they will both perform similarly noise-wise for the same DOF. If you increase the ISO by 2 stops on the 5D3 and keep the shutter speed the same, the noise will be quite similar since the total light gathered will be the same.

    If you don't desire thinner DOF than that, then the GH4 camera is optimal. If you'd like shallower DOF or more total light gathering, the 5D3 with a faster aperture (1.4?) lens will give you more options to choose from.

    There really isn't a case that m43 is an advantage due to the more can always stop the FF lens down to give similar DOF and the noise will be about the same. Taken to an extreme, compact cameras have very fast lenses and tiny sensors, so they have more DOF and higher noise. There's no free lunch unfortunately.

    The m43 advantage is size and convenience and "good enough" shallow DOF capabilities for most compared to FF.

  • @ricksastro "The m43 advantage is size and convenience and "good enough" shallow DOF capabilities for most compared to FF."

    +1 Agreed. I feels there's enough DoF to help you get it & keep it in focus, but you can still get a shollow DoF look if you're willing to work at it (use a prime at f1.4 or f2.0). I feel it's a compromise, but, one that works for me.

    My GH4 showed up yesterday and I took it on a stills job this morning. Shot a little video too, I agree it's not the low-light king,I was hoping it would be. The stills were not up to even the level of my older Nikon D200 for grain and detail, but, it has a higher usable ISO and 12fps in stills mode. I sounded like a machine gunner any time I turned that feature on! The peaking while using my Nikkor AIS primes is my favorite feature so far. I am sure I will enjoy the headphone jack too.

    Looking at the naked sensor, it does look slightly smaller than the GH2 sensor. No MAR going on in the GH4.

  • It's not so much that MFT has an advantage due to wider DOF, but rather that many people overstate the advantage of full frame because they don't take into account the fact that you often have to stop down with FF to get sufficient depth of field.

  • getting totally confused with sd cards , I have a sandisk uhs class 1 card that can read/write faster than a transcend uhs-3 card is there some thing I'm missing what the best top 3 cards to go for I have seen sandisk cards that can do 280 mb/s and a Kingston one that can do 80mb/s write for £70 the transcend ones are £26 for 64gb and they claim class 3 /confused

  • @CFreak Yes The GH2 has a larger sensor as it is muli aspect, 16 MP used out of 18.

  • Thanks for all the great info guys and gals. Just a quick question. How do you make the jpeg pics bigger then the thumbnails size pics?

  • @ricksastro, the GH4 pixel size is 3.7 microns to the 5D3's 6.25 microns. The GH4 pixel size is over half the size yet the lens is giving 4 times the light.

    I've actually filmed with folks on a night time action sports trailer against a 7D and 5D3. Even the G6 outperforms the 5D3. From what I've seen so far in all the samples, the GH4 is going to double down on this effect in low light. The combo of 4k and a slightly more sensitive sensor is going to produce amazing images in lower light.

    For an equal field of view and depth of field I believe the GH4 system will produce cleaner images in low light. Compared to a 1DC in s35 mode, no, not a chance, but compared to a 5D3 or any of the APS-C cams it's a clear winner.

    Cheers, Pete

  • @c3hammer so the area of a gh4 pixel is 13.7 and the 5D3's is 39, so about 3 times the area.

    But if you are viewing the image (or video) on the same sized screen, overall area of the sensor exposed (assuming the same f stop and shutter) determines the noise characteristics (assuming pixels aren't skipped). Also, the GH4 uses about a 2.3 crop for 4k video so it doesn't use the entire sensor even.

    I do believe the GH4 at 2 stops wider will beat the 5D3, mostly because 4K allows NR in downsampling and the 5D3 skips lines (I think) when creating 1080p rather than sampling the entire image. But if you used the same aperture, the 5D3 is better in the shadows for sure.

  • Just a quick first test.

    Requests?? Then i'll go out and shoot that.

    Panasonic GH4 with the SLR magic Anamorphot. 35mm 1.4 SLR magic as taken lens. No diopters. 4K MOV Cine D mode. No grading. Mostly shot at f5.6

  • I think if you want low noise/high ISO, for whatever reason, Panasonic GH whatevers are just not your best choice. Great cams, but always there is a layer of noise. Cleans up nicely with Neat Video, but you start out with some noise.

  • Panasonic GH whatevers are just not your best choice. Great cams, but always there is a layer of noise.

    Layer of noise :-) Many people are so obsessed with noise or grain.. and forget that if you shoot interesting thing it is not really matter much. Many good films have significant grain and even color noise in low light scenes.