Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless Lumix, the DMC-GH4

Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless Lumix, the DMC-GH4

I always thought the point of mirrorless was to make things compact, but Panasonic looks like they want to expand my mind and believe it also means raw power, as they have announced the Lumix DMC-GH4, a new camera that features 4K 24p cinematic video (4096x2160), plus 4K 3840x2160 30p/24p with 49 points of autofocus. The build is all metal, and it's obviously aimed at the professional market.

The 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor is built for high sensitivity image recording with quick response. An approximately 50% higher speed signal readout suppresses the effect of a rolling shutter when using electronic shutter or recording video. The Live MOS Sensor delivers an expanded gradation range by a maximum1/3 step at low ISOs. Superior noise reduction allows for exposures up to 60 minutes long.

It's Wi-Fi and NFC compatible, and with the Panasonic Image App, remote photo and video shooting is available with a compatible smartphone or tablet, and can easily add embed geotag data in an image after shooting.

The Panasonic LUMIX GH4’s Venus Engine image processor is equipped with a quad-core CPU that delivers high speed signal processing. Combined with the Digital Live MOS Sensor, you’ll enjoy dramatically improved sensitivity (maximum ISO 25600), gradation performance, resolution, and color reproduction while achieving exceptional picture quality with a natural look and feel that LUMIX is famous for.

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The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 doesn't go all Sony a7R on us, and keeps an electronic shutter. The high-speed signal readout from the Live MOS Sensor minimizes rolling shutter effect. The Silent mode switches the shutter from mechanical to electronic and turns off sounds, while suppressing the AF assist lamp and flash with just a single setting for special shooting occasions.

Video Features:

Time Code
SMPTE-compliant Time Code in Rec Run or Free Run makes it easy to synchronize multiple videos or sound sources in the postproduction process.

Color Bars & 1KHz Test Tone
Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) are used as a benchmark for fixing color or brightness. 1KHz Test Tone is used as a benchmark for fixing sound or volume.

Center Marker
Center Marker works as a guide mark for video image composition. Simply display it at the center of the viewing angle.

Synchro Scan
Use Synchro Scan to suppress flicker over the TV / PC monitor, or when shooting under fluorescent lights.

Cinelike Gamma
“CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” create a cinema-like tone to expand your creativity.

Master Pedestal
Use Master Pedestal to adjust the brightness balance ±15 steps based on the color black.

Zebra Pattern
Determine overexposed areas with the Zebra Pattern before or during shooting. This pattern can even be output to the external monitor too.

The aformentioned video records in MOV/MP4, or ultra high bitrate video recording at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) without a recording time limit.

Focus Peaking shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode. Users can see the peak of focus while monitoring the subject in live view. Focus Peaking is also available in remote photo / video shooting with a smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi.

Highlight and shadow can be separately adjusted with the front or rear dial. Three patterns of settings can be customized in addition to 3 preset patterns.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 boasts high-precision, high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays for 2,359K-dot LVF (Live View Finder) of approximately 1.34x / 0.67x, and 3.0-inch 1,036K-dot free-angle rear monitor. These superior displays achieve high-speed response with minimum time lag while enhancing resolution. The OLED for the LVF boasts 10,000:1 high contrast for superior color reproduction.

The Venus Engine image processor dramatically boosts performance with a quad-core CPU, enabling high-speed signal processing required for rich video recording such as 4K. Integrating superior noise reduction systems, DMC-GH4 successfully shoots at a maximum ISO 25600. Sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution, and color reproduction are dramatically improved to achieve even higher picture quality.

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That beastly thing? It's called Panasonic YAGH Interface Unit XLR and is available together with the body, or separate.

Pricing on any of this stuff isn't yet available, but you can start guessing! What do you think it will retail for?

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Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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That YAGH Interface starts defeating the concept of the format's size. It appears to be literally larger than the camera itself. However, considering it's purpose, and the amount of real estate it takes up, what they should have done was wrap it around the SIDE of the camera and start shaping the entire arrangement to be more like a traditional video camera to give it better cinematographic handling.

And if you've gone this far with the concept, why not just give it a global shutter? But in all honesty, why not just make a damn video camera with still capability?

Well you have to understand who this is for. It's NOT for a run-and-gun operation. Even then, it still has a relatively small footprint compared to similar devices in the market.

The GH4 and YAGH is aimed for professionals not looking for the smallest thing at the expense of features and power.

I wasn't referring to run-and-gun. I was referring to the kind of cinematographic work people have been doing with the GH series.

I kinda understand where they're evolving from, and if you've already invested in third-party cinema gear for an existing GH model, you know, to help make the camera act more like a (ahem) video camera, then this just helps all that along.

But if you're coming in from scratch, there's no point in investing in this system. Panasonic should just take the guts from both these devices and make a video camera proper that takes all the same lenses as the 4/3 GH series.

And it needs a global shutter. They've gone this far with the damn thing, finish it off.

Standard marketing rule, hold something back so they can upsell and launch another product later down the line.

>>>>to help make the camera act more like a (ahem) video camera

It's already a video camera, I think you mean to make it act more like an ENG style video camera.

>>>>Panasonic should just take the guts from both these devices and make a video camera proper that takes all the same lenses as the 4/3 GH series

But then the cost of entry becomes $5K instead of $2K, which defeats the whole concept of delivering a 4K camera for an extremely low price, and you've then lost most of your market.

>>>>And it needs a global shutter

Which would also raise the entry point to somewhere between the Blackmagic Production camera and the Sony F55, which hugely too expensive for an entry camera.

Personally, I think the GH4 will do extremely well, though many people may opt for a $700 Ninja 2 recorder instead of the Panasonic AV interface.

I think once you put those two devices together you're pretty much at or near $5k, although I bet you can make a camera like that for $3.5-4k.

If a global shutter would have that much of a financial impact on a camera (and that would probably be mostly mark up), then perhaps it can be sold as an upscale model with the shutter.

I'm sure the GH4 will do well also. I still think Panasonic (and other manufacturers as well) should start thinking about making a 4k video camera proper in 4/3 format that can take all the existing lenses and accessories.

The key feature of the GH4 is 4K for less than $2K, so there is no way to build a 4K ENG camera at this price point.

I agree that Panasonic needs to build a 4K version of the AF100 (which will probably come in at $4K - 6K), but I don't expect anything this year.

"I was referring to the kind of cinematographic work people have been doing with the GH series."

...It can encode 1080p 60 at up to 200mbps in-body, and it can output at up to 10-bit 4:2:2 through its included mini-HDMI port, so...The GH4 is better for video than the GH2, the GH3, and pretty much every DSLR out there (assuming you have no use / setup for actual RAW). On its own. The folks who you have a real use for the YAGH are probably used to cameras much larger than the GH4 and the YAGH. What are you really complaining about? o_o

That battery grip look very retro ^^

Have you guys seen video from this beast? It is breathtaking....

Link me! I would like to see.

It seems that quite some money has been devoted to make it a legitimate video camera. That however makes it a questionable investment for the still photography people though.
Why would I wanna "subsidize" video features I actually never make use of ?
Panasonic should fork its GH4 product line into a frugal "still" version and a fully fledged video optimized version which is reflected by their price levels.

Isn't the GX line the smaller photo oriented camera?

Any how, to get the great video features the only thing it really needs hardware wise is a really fast processor. The photo features can make use of that as well with smarter auto focus and faster burst rate.

Subsidizing? You realize recording VIDEOS is a matter of recording a series of STILLS at a persistent rate right, that what's good for video is often good for stills? It's no doubt BECAUSE of the need to beef up the circuitry for the video that the STILLS burst speed has significantly increased (For RAW even!), for instance. It's probably also video that drives them to do as much as they can to optimize autofocus.

That IS a beastly thing isn't it? Jeez. Pretty, it is not. That's the grip equivilant of the 285HV, ugly as hell but does a great job.

This should be amazing for Wedding Cinematographers. Light, compact and amazing professional features. Yes we won't need 4K at this moment, heck my clients still as for DVD. But to be able to downscale, crop, straighten the footage is still amazing!

Not fond of the add on for weddings, but production wise hell yeh! SDI out and XLR? wow amazing!

I'm currently a Canon C100 user with 5D mk3. I can't stand the softness of the 5d MK3 compared to the C100, so if ISO is same or better then 5D Mk3, I'm a buyer...

Have you tried using Magic Lantern on the 5D to get rid of the soft H.264 look?

I film weddings and I need audio recorded for backup reasons and reference sound to sync in post. At the moment raw doesn't record audio :(

hi, just wondered if i can get your opinion on something please. Im seriously considering buying the C100 and the GH4. Do you think having two GH4 instead C100 (or maybe 3 as the price will allow to do so) is a good decision? I'm an event videographer. thanks!

If you can wait for the proper details reviews of the GH4 then I would wait. I have the C100 myself and matching it to the 5D3 is a nightmare because of its softness. Obviously colour can be corrected but sharpness can't. I have to soften the C100 footage just to match the 5D which I feel is a step backwards and not forwards. The GH4 looks amazingly sharp BUT I have one thing holding me back.... ISO under low light performance! The colours look amazing on the videos so far we have seen of the GH4 but how well does it stand against ISO in low light situations? 5D MK3 is AMAZING under lowlight and I've got hand it to Canon for that, but the image is very soft even compared to my previous D800 (used to be heavy Nikon DSLR film maker). C100 is so amazing and sharp, but to use it with lower cameras puts it down. Ideally I would love to film a wedding with minimum 2 C100's and 3 if its a big one, but can't afford to buy 2 C100's and the option I have is to rent them. But yeh if your not in a hurry wait for the GH4 tests. It ticks EVERY box for me at the moment.... unrestricted recording time wise, 4K, fps, focus peaking, zebras, audio monitoring on display, wifi control for video and is much lighter! Just what you need for live events.

Thanks for your opinion much appreciate. I had a chance to shoot with c100 and I liked it so much. I do wedding to, so light and mobile cameras do for me. Hopefully I will see GH4 at this year and maybe play a bit with. This is what I do if you are interesting to see. Thanks again for your comments.

The GH3 took incredible video, can't wait to see what this thing can do.

Here it is sample video in full 4K

Thanks Nisde! Amazing. Blow away...

Nothing like seeing monkey nuts at 4k, eh?...

4 times as detailed as regular HD nuts.

Don't forget 96fps at 1080p. I can't wait for this!

The heck with 4K, I'm looking at 1920 x 1080p / 59.94 fps (200Mbps). As a die-hard Nikon shooter, I'm really drooling over this, and it looks like a videographer's dream in many ways; if high ISO noise is great, count me in. Nikon: anyone listening? No, didn't think so.

Jumped from hardcore Nikon to Canon few months ago. ISO was always an issue and most 3rd party goodies aren't available for Nikon range. Looking for this GH4 beast to accompany my C100!

Amazing. Beautiful footage. What lenses were used?

GH4 feature breakdown with Hotrod Camera's Illya Friedman