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We get our hands on GH4: Panasonic's 4K video camcorder trapped inside a still camera

2 minute read

RedSharkPanasonic GH4

This is just by way of a preview of an article we're publishing on Tuesday. It's about the Panasonic GH4: a camera that has blown us away with its video capabilities

We spent a day with the GH4 and a Dell 4K monitor. And afterwards we were all agreed: this is a camera that is capable of very high quality 4K video, with very few compromises. It's going to give some much bigger, most expensive dedicated video cameras a hard time.

An OLED screen gives the pictures the resolution and more importantly the colour gamut - and intense black levels - that they deserve.

With the addition of the base unit, the GH4 becomes a completely professional video camera, complete with I/O facilities that would never be seen on a consumer camera.


In fact, it really did seem quite surreal to see Richard, our Demonstrator from Holdan (Pansasonic's distributor in the UK) plug four HDSDI cables into the GH4's base unit, pass them through a Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio, and plug the output of that into a Dell 4K monitor.

When set up E to E like this, the pictures (uncompressed, of course) were absolutely remarkable. They were as pin-sharp as you'd ever want them to be - and way better than you'd ever think a camera this size had any right to produce.

The menus were packed with features for movie makers. And for those who don't have their own personal focus-puller, there's one built right into the camera. It's able to lock onto a pair of eyes and change dynamically as you're filming. This was the most advanced autofocus we've seen.

The base unit is not just a pass-through: audio is digitised and passed through to the camera as digital audio. When attached, the base unit is solid and feels as if it and the camera are a single unit.

Gamma correction

There are picture modes that allow you to capture directly into the Look that you're aiming for, and the gamma correction controls are better than I've seen on any camera.

The GH4 has more video capability than many professional video cameras. Ergonomically, it's not right up there with the best, but this is a still camera, for heaven's sake!

For the money, it's hard to see what can beat it. We're still waiting to see what the Sony A7s is going to cost, which has a full-sized sensor. But the real battle is going to be between dedicated 4K movie cameras and these miniature marvels.

Watch out for Richard Payne's in-depth rundown on the GH4 on Tuesday. .


Tags: Technology