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GH4 4K Panasonic video camera, User reviews and opinions
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  • Was referring to GH4's RAW capture

    And what is this? Fantasy thing?

  • @mo7ies Panasonic GH4 does not capture RAW data, but it sends out a clean HDMI 10 bit 4:2:2 data. You don't need the Yagh to record that, only a 4K HDMI recorder like Shogun. If you had the camera and read the manual you should have known about this.

  • We're boxing with jello lol! It's easy to make statements about equipment on the internet. It may be cliche, but buy the best fit for your needs and go use it. I come to these forums to get help on equipment and maybe some proactive user reviews based on experience (vs. "it sucks"). It's pretty much guaranteed if you come on here and say "it sucks" or other blanket statements you will get called out on it.

    When the 5D MKII came out, the debates raged all over the internet about its merit as a "filmic" camera. Nonetheless it was adopted by many professionals and amateurs alike (myself included). Look what it spawned. It never ceases to amaze me how many people complain about equipment instead of realizing how many incredible options are available to professionals and amateurs today. Even "amateur" equipment can produce professional results in the hands of a creative, skilled user. It happens everyday. I know my clients are thrilled with the 1080p (downsized from 4K) footage from my GH4. Is it for everybody? No. Is it an incredible value at $1698 with tons of room to modify the appearance of footage. I think so and so do my demanding clients.

  • Double-checked. Apparently GH4 won't output RAW with YAGH box either, just uncompressed 4:2:2 10-bit over 3G SDI. Negates the point of external recorder for me, as my other cams (BMPCC) do record RAW internally. GH4's 4K scaled down to 1080p has less detail than BMPCC's 1080p RAW, so no win there using GH4.

    @Eno not so sure about that. What I read is GH4 automatically downscales 4K output to 1080p as soon as you hit record. This is on HDMI output; YAGH box does not downscale. Additionally, HDMI is always 8bit in 10-bit wrapper, downscaled or full-rez.

  • @mo7ies, I don't know where you're "reading" your information from but you just need to stop talking because you're making a fool of yourself with your lack of information.

  • What do you guys mean the image is "Less cinematic"??? That seems to be a vague, unspecific thing that means different things to different people and hence is effectively useless as a descriptor of a camera image.

  • Well all I can say is my GH4 produces an image that is a heck of a lot better than my HPX170. I can live with that.

  • There is no GH4 RAW capture, dock or no dock. Are you sure you own the camera?

    Maybe you can post some side-by-side examples shot with your GH4 and BMC so we can see the difference between "filmic" and "video-ish" for ourselves?

  • HillTop1 - I agree. Now we have other comments about the BMPCC vs the GH4 and 1080p stated as fact. They are two different cameras with two different target markets. But for versatility and flexibility the GH4 is an easy decision for many IMHO.

  • @mo7ies "GH4's 4K scaled down to 1080p has less detail than BMPCC's 1080p RAW"

    There are two possibilities here, he is either blind or he is just trolling.

  • Given his lack of knowledge about the GH4 despite claiming to own one, I would suspect trolling...

  • I'm going to retract my previous statement about this camera being "video-ish".

    I'm loving my gh4, the quality of the footage and the ability to downscale 4k-1080p (way better than BMPCC) is amazing. And, whether or not it outputs raw, 10 bit 4:2:2 is still amazing. I called it "video-ish" because I don't like the noise. However, I now know that I can use neat video to clean that up (spectacularly). Also, I'm coming from only ever having used a GL2 and a rebel t2i for video. This camera is a huge step in the right direction for me. One thing I enjoy about this camera is that it has all of the features of magic lantern on a t2i without having to install magic lantern.

    If the camera isn't for you, don't buy it.

  • 4K GH4 downscaled to 1080p vs BMPCC RAW 1080p: did A/B test, BMPCC wins. (Still bought GH4 because it has more merits than issues, for me.) If you'd like to see for yourself, do your own A/B tests that I'm sure you will believe better.

    GH4 video RAW - I was assuming wrongly. Stood corrected. Not sure what else do you want - seems like trolling on your end now.

    HDMI being only 8bit in 10-bit wrapper, and also downscaling to HD as soon as you start recording in-camera: I read it on Andrew Reid's site. Are you saying he is wrong? See #1 Q/A:

  • Please Vitaliy, stop @mo7ies trolling!

  • @mo7ies: Apparently that article on EOSHD has not been corrected. From another EOSHD article

    Panasonic have confirmed that the GH4 (quite amazingly) outputs 10bit 4K 4:2:2 from the onboard micro HDMI port without the YAGH external HD-SDI unit.

  • @mo7ies heres a great comparison Gh4 4k scaled down to 1080p has more detail than the BMPCC. At 1:04.

  • @mo7ies As long as you say things like "video-ish" and "non-cinematic" you're going to generate more heat than light and Vitaliy may bounce you out of here.

    You may have a valid point but you must back it up with something more concrete - many have suggested footage you consider "cinematic" and a bit about what you challenge the gh4 to meet.

    @caveport I respect your 30 years of experience. But one sentence of yours gave me considerable pause:

    The colour from the GH4 looks much closer to reality than all the film emulation plugs & things.

    The LAST thing I want out of narrative footage is for it to look as close as possible to reality. If that's what we were after then modern grading wouldn't exist - it'd all be just color correction. And why would anyone bother with black and white if reality were what we were going for?

    Nope - we're going for storytelling. And story is a heightened environment. I'm sure you know this but I think it bears repeating - to help us all keep our eye on the ball.

    We want beauty and an abstraction from reality. 24p doesn't look more real than 30p - but it does look more otherworldly. And it's a metaphor that many (most?) of us have grown up on so it's part of the film language that we subconsciously understand. Realism just feels like "video" because it's closer to mundane.

    Sure you can take 30p super-sharp deep-focus video and add lighting, set design, constrained color palette, etc to get away from reality. But why not use the tools of film-like color rendition and gamma as well? They already tap in to our story-hungry brains.

    Yes the day will come when these elements will no longer be recognized by our brains as story cues. But (I think) that day isn't here yet. And, by the look of today's grades, color fidelity with the "real world" isn't in the cards anytime soon - if ever. So I say bring on the film LUTs. I've edited six features, four of which were shot on film, and I far prefer that color and look - from an editor/director's point of view - as a starting point.

  • REQUEST: Let's do a test that'll take DOF out of the equation.

    I'm not a DP so - for everyone's benefit - I'd rather request this test than do it. Would someone do a test where they adjust the aperture and distance to subject to get both field of view and DOF equivalent for a number of cameras? Say GH4 (of course), 5DIII, BMPCC, and the famed hacked GH2?

    And make sure there are well-lit faces in the test for those oh-so-critical skin-tone evaluations. I'm pretty sure this is a test I have not seen. And DOF so biases our notions of "cinematic" that without apples-to-apples DOF I find it nearly impossible to compare the esthetics of several images.

  • @joesh - interesting link, so then YAGH box makes much less sense - unless you want to genlock a couple of GH4s, I suppose. Frankly, in any case, I was not advocating recording GH4's signal externally. Its internal recording is "good enough" IMHO, and unless there was a RAW output (which I now see is not forthcoming), no significant practical improvement will be made.

    Also let me point out that I did not "challenge" GH4 to meet anything. I own and like it for what it is. I do however support AndyS' point that its video is starkly non-cinematic. AndyS got trampled over for it, and I see myself getting flamed for supporting the guy. Be it as it may, the point is very valid IMHO. This is subjective and if some people don't see it from the get-go, no amount of proving will do.

    BTW I myself was very surprised GH4's 4K downscaled to HD was a bit worse than BMPCC's RAW HD resolution. From just viewing the footage, GH4 appears sharper. A/B comparison however shows a different story (then again, RAW has so much more data it is probably a predictable outcome.)

    Another thing I'm surprised with is how trigger-happy some of the folks here seems to be. Seriously, you disagree with my point, and you call on the moderator to do terrible things to me? How juvenile.

  • @Supertrooper yes I saw that test some time ago. Properly set, both cams will be very close, but fine lines that BMPCC still shows, disappear on GH4's 4K->HD downscaled footage. It is not possible to see in YouTube video, nor was that gentleman's setup 100% equal between the cameras. Do your own test with properly focused cameras on tripods with same lens, and you'll see.

  • Someone posted a "cinematic" Gh4 clip above. Not bad - but not truly "filmic". A lot of grading clearly went into it, and still it does not look truly 'organic'. Maybe the Hobbit movie was trying to tell us all something we did not want to hear. -That 4k is mostly "over-sharp", over-real like video. Maybe that's the way it is.

    I am an indie feature filmmaker. The last thing I want is a "video" look.

    I wanted to buy the GH4 to replace my hacked GH2. But at this rate I will be hanging onto the GH2.

    Even most documentaries want to look more organic - like "film" - not like video.

    Surely you can see this?

  • @mo7ies,

    learn to do a high quality downconversion.

  • @mo7ies - I'm trying to give you - and @AndyS - the benefit of the doubt rather than just assuming you're trolling. When you say

    unless there was a RAW output ... no significant practical improvement will be made.


    I do however support AdamS' point that its video is starkly non-cinematic.


    the point is very valid IMHO. This is subjective and if some people don't see it from the get-go, no amount of proving will do.

    You do little to help your case. As you know, people originally said the same of the 5D. The devil is mostly in how you shoot it. So a more interesting question - to me at least - is given a particular cinematic look, what hoops do you have to jump through and how close can you come to that look (or even one you prefer).

    So if you're sincere then do the work to paint your case with SPECIFIC clips that YOU post of shots you consider cinematic that it'd just be way to hard to do with the GH4 but are well within the scope of the GH2 and/or 5D. And then let the folks here try and equal them if they can and will.

    We can all learn a bit about how much effort it takes to get to a particular target. It's not a be-all-end-all but it is a useful exercise.


    Joe Shapiro

  • Actually the reason I like hacked GH2 is the amount of work I DON'T have to do to make it look quite "filmic".

    I don't do anything very special. Limited lighting. Limited grading. And still it has that 'look'.

    When I see GH4 footage it is the opposite. Maybe with a LOT of work it seems like it may sing.

    But I need evidence. And so far - basically none.

  • FYI @AndyS Mr. Indie feature maker, if you're talking about the filmic/cinematic video posted by AdamT "Eleven days with the GH4 4K Super 8 anamorphic" It's straight from the GH4 camera, no grading done to it. Lens and lighting is a key sir. Get your DP right!