Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4: a quick summary

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Please note that the camera pictured in this article is a pre-production model that is not 100% cosmetically final (for example, it is missing the 'GH4' stencil on the front plate).

From a hardware point of view, the GH4 looks a lot like the GH3 - and they're similar enough in footprint that the forthcoming model can still use the same external battery grip as the GH3. Some of the fine detail has been changed, with the inclusion of a 1024x768 (2360k dot) OLED viewfinder panel and a shutter that's capable of operating at 1/8000th of a second and rated to last for around 200,000 exposures (twice as long as the GH3's).

Under the familiar skin, a lot else is going on. It's probably fair to say that the bulk of the camera's improvements will be most apparent to video shooters, but there are also some extra features added for the stills photographers that Panasonic says are equally important to them in the GH4. Based on our briefing and an afternoon spent with a pre-production GH4, we've summarized the changes we've seen from both a movie and a stills-shooting perspective.

Video features

The headline feature is that the GH4 can shoot 4K video, capturing either Quad HD (3840 x 2160) at up to 29.97p or 'Cinema 4K' (4096 x 2160) at up to 24p. But 1080 fans aren't left out, either - the GH4 can capture Full HD footage at extremely high bitrates - with the choice of 200, 100 or 50Mbps at a variety of frame rates and in the choice of MOV or MP4 wrapper. That 200Mbps figure is based on using All-I compression (where each frame is treated separately during compression), while the lower option uses the more common IPB system (where the differences between frames are used to describe some frames).

In both Full HD and 4K video, the GH4 can be switched between capture frequencies (rather than previous models, which were pre-set, per-region). The GH4 provides three options: NTSC (offering frame rates of 23.98, 29.97 and 59.94), PAL (25 and 50) and Cinema (24) and requires that the camera be rebooted to switch between settings. It means that a single unit can be used to create content for a wide variety of applications and broadcast markets.

Movie shooting options (MOV or MP4 wrapper)

Frequency modeResolutionFrame
- rate
Bitrates (Compression)Audio
59.94Hz 4K (3840 x 2160) 29.97p 100Mbps (IPB) Linear PCM/AAC*
23.98p 100Mbps (IPB) Linear PCM
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 59.94p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM
29.97p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM
23.98p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM
50.00Hz 4K (3840 x 2160) 25p 100Mbps (IPB) Linear PCM
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 50p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM
25p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM
24.00Hz Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) 24p 100Mbps (IPB) Linear PCM
4K (3840 x 2160) 24p 100Mbps (IPB) Linear PCM
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 24p 200Mbps (All-I)
100Mbps (IPB)
50Mbps (IPB)
Linear PCM

*MP4 only. The MP4 option also includes several lower bitrate options, in addtion to 720p and 480p resolutions. AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD are also offered, limited by the maximum frame- and bit-rates of the two standards

In addition, the GH4 builds on the GH3's spec for videographers. Not only does it gain zebra and focus peaking, to guide exposure and focus when capturing footage, it also gains much called-for options such as a flatter, 'Cinema-like' gamma setting, Master Pedestal (black-level) adjustment and the ability to specify the scale used for luminance (16-255, 16-235 or 0-255). In addition to this, faster readout from the sensor should mean less rolling shutter.

The GH4's HDMI 1.4a connector allows it to output 4K or 1080 streams. The bit-rate and amount of color information (expressed using the '4:X:X' terminology of chroma subsampling) varies, depending on how the camera is used. By default, the HDMI outputs 8-bit 4:2:2, either for monitoring or for sending to an external recorder, leaving you with the option of using the 8-bit 4:2:0 files from the camera as more convenient proxies during the editing process. Alternatively, if you take the SD card out of the camera, you can use the GH4 as a camera head - which gives you access to a 10-bit 4:2:2 stream.

The camera is designed to use SDHC and SDXC cards with a UHS I bus (rather than the newer, UHS II format used in the Fujifilm X-T1), and Panasonic only promises the camera's full capability when used with cards conforming to the U3 speed class, which guarantees 30MB/s (240Mbps) sustained write speeds.

The optional DMW-YAGH 'Interface Unit' provides a more extensive selection of video industry connectors for using the GH4 as part of a high-end video rig.

An optional 'Interface Unit' (called DMW-YAGH, when sold through consumer channels), provides XLR inputs for audio and an SDI input for externally-generated timecode, along with four HD-SDI connectors for 4:2:2 10-bit output. It also provides a 12V DC power socket.

Stills additions

The base stills specification of the GH4 is very similar to that of the GH3, as it's still based around a 16MP Four Thirds sensor (although it should be noted that Panasonic touts it as being new and promises an extra 1/3EV of dynamic range at base ISO). The more powerful processor has encouraged Panasonic to raise the highest standard ISO setting to 25,600, while the new shutter mechanism sees the flash sync speed jump to 1/250th, up from 1/160th. A combination of those two additions helps double the camera's continuous shooting rate, to 12fps for up to 50 Raw+JPEG images, or 7fps with focus tracking.

Stills shooters will get some benefit from the camera's video upgrades - particularly in that they gain focus peaking, for fast manual focusing.

With the exception of the locking mode dial, the handling of the GH4 is little-changed from that of the GH3.

Probably the biggest change is a feature called DFD (Depth-From-Defocus) autofocus, where the camera uses image blur to judge subject distance. During live view (before a half-press of the shutter button), the camera will occasionally make a tiny adjustment to focus, to check whether subjects in the frame are in front of or behind the current focus point. In addition to this information, the camera judges how far out-of-focus objects in the scene are, based on how blurred they are, assessed using a profile detailing the blur behavior of the lens at its current aperture. Although this combination of data itself doesn't give the GH4 enough information to achieve precise focus, it does give it a clear idea of where it should start using conventional contrast detection AF process to achieve fine focus.

For now the camera will only have profiles for the company's 22 Micro Four Thirds lenses - meaning any DFD speed benefits will only apply to them. However, the company seemed to suggest the blur characteristics of other lenses could be included as built-in profiles in future Micro Four Thirds lenses from other makers.

Panasonic has said it won't be announcing pricing of the GH4 until near its (also unspecified) availability date. Despite the pro-level videography features, the company continues to describe it as a hybrid, consumer-accessible model, so while we wouldn't be surprised to see a price increase over the GH3, we don't expect it to cost vastly more than its predecessor.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

Comments

Total comments: 454
123
jtan163
By jtan163 (3 weeks ago)

Do you think 3rd parties will release their own versions of the DMW-YAGH with perhaps more or less of the features?

I don't know enough about video to take a guess but I assume if the signal comes in/out the jack someone could read it and use it?

Unless of course they encrypt the stream.

As a computer nerd it would be interesting to know what bus it uses.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (1 month ago)

PLUS: Real time RAW 4K video. CONS: Silly ugly big box to capture the data.

0 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (1 month ago)

Love the "cine grip" option. I believe every semipro and higher DSLR/DSLM camera (that doesn't already have the grip) should have available both a simple photo vertical grip and a cine-friendly interface like the DMW-YAGH for this camera.

I'm currently using a separate Zoom audio recorder and would love to be able to eliminate it. Or add 2 more channels.

Does this thing capture 24/96 audio or 16 bits / 48KHz only?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DGurney
By DGurney (1 month ago)

So it records HD at a higher bitrate than 4K. Brilliant.

1 upvote
Alec
By Alec (1 month ago)

Idiosyncratic, but may be simply because doing HD instead of 4K frees up some computing cycles to enable them to do so. I suspect there could have been an internal debate along the lines of "some users will be confused by the availability of such super-high bit rates". Fortunately folks have prevailed who believe in not holding back viable features because they might "confuse" users.

1 upvote
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (1 month ago)

I wonder? "The bit-rate and amount of color information (expressed using the '4:X:X' terminology of chroma subsampling) varies, depending on how the camera is used. By default, the HDMI outputs 8-bit 4:2:2, either for monitoring or for sending to an external recorder, leaving you with the option of using the 8-bit 4:2:0 files from the camera as more convenient proxies during the editing process. Alternatively, if you take the SD card out of the camera, you can use the GH4 as a camera head - which gives you access to a 10-bit 4:2:2 stream.

My question being: do we need the $2000 YAGH to output the 10-bit? If so it puts it above the price of the Panasonic AG-AF102 M43 dedicated Vid camera with inbuilt ND's and a strong suite of pro required features.

It's very early days for consumer 4k, so the GH4 isn't offering very much.

I have an OMD and I'm looking at the GH4 as a portable vid camera body. But I have to say, the 4K hasn't convinced me at all on this one. I hope I'm wrong!

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (1 month ago)

Still no x64 Windows 7/8 drivers for RW2 files for the latest cameras. How do they expect to be taken seriously? Can't they hire one guy for a day to tweak the codec and recompile it for x64 processors?

0 upvotes
DGurney
By DGurney (1 month ago)

You're talking about Panasonic here, the company that (as far as I recall) NEVER released a DV100 codec for Windows. Or even DV50, if I remember correctly.

This is like releasing a printer with no Windows drivers. Idiotic.

1 upvote
SF Photo Gal
By SF Photo Gal (1 month ago)

Except for my GX7, still been holding on to my old stuff:LX3, GH2, and my FZ50. I don't use the FZ50 any more tho and probably should give to someone. Don't think it's worth much on ebay.

I skipped the GH3, but I think I'll start savings up for the GH4.

0 upvotes
Dekalinee
By Dekalinee (1 month ago)

I'd like it if you don't need it.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (1 month ago)

I think I'll still get a Sony A77 first, but this thing looks amazing! I want one of these now too. Until this thing, I really wasn't interested in m4/3 cameras.

1 upvote
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (1 month ago)

I'd wait a bit more for the A77 successor ( to be launched sometime this May ). I wonder what features Sony will have in it, since currently the A77 is quite well loaded already, but why not 4k video...?

0 upvotes
chim91
By chim91 (2 months ago)

For many years Panasonic has been delivering outstanding and well design products, some of them ahead of their competitors, like the FZ50 (which still works fine) or the lx3 to lx7 series. Unfortunately the customer support - at least here in Switzerland - has deteriorated to an extent which does not allow to considering the product anymore. I believe this is an frequently overlooked aspect when judging and evaluating digital cameras

2 upvotes
papa natas
By papa natas (1 month ago)

I bought my FZ50 in 2006.
And that camera is still bringing home the bacon.
It has overly paid its worth with studio baby pictures.
It won't let go.

0 upvotes
Rambalac
By Rambalac (2 months ago)

And that EVF eyecup is much more comfortable.

0 upvotes
Rambalac
By Rambalac (2 months ago)

Ok, I finally got to CP+ and could touch GH4 myself.
Info and level marks become dimmed after 30sec and totally disappear after another 30sec during video recording.
EVF is really incredibly sharp and looks bigger than in GH3, moreover while display is 16:9, EVF is 4:3.
Timelapse has special mode on the left dial(visible on photos) and in the end of shooting or in play mode all photos can be converted into video including 4K
Now in WiFi you can not only start video recording, but stop it. Though they are still "deciding" about showing remote video during recording.
Memory card bay lid is much harder to open.
Hard to say about AF, but except more flexible zones it doesn't look noticeably faster. Cant say about following focus accuracy, as they don't allow to use your own memory card.
Now you can adjust shadows and highlights for JPG.
RAW converter is quite simple and allows to setup all usual settings as for JPG shooting (including new shadows and highlights)

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Brightshade
By Brightshade (2 months ago)

IMO 4K is a headline grabber but mostly a gimmick. I'll be buying the GH4 on day 1 for its faster sensor, sharper OLED and focus peaking. Sounds like it'll be at least 1 stop faster, if not more. The biggest plus will be the 50% faster rolling shutter. Few mention it but it's the lack of global shutter that limits the Canon DSLRs & the GH3 for pro video work, something the test video makers always miss, as they lug their tripods around on holiday. The GH3's current 70 mbps bit rate is already adequate as a B camera for Full HD acquisition for folks like the BBC, but the shutter spoils the show

I'm making 3x1hour TV docs, posting at a decent London facility and the grading and online pros there have been very impressed with the GH3's flex, depth and sharpness, (I've edited around the giveaway wobbly frames ;-). the GH4 will be even better and at an amazing price. BIG shame they didn't move the headphone output. Next steps, built in NDs! (who'll be first to do this electronically??)

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

You mention some great benefits of the GH3, faster rolling shutter being one of them.

But we also have some dedicated 4K and HD Sony codec cameras that are just now starting to come out. Using XAVC and XAVC S video codecs.

Soon Sony will drop AVCHD for video in their cameras like a bag of potato and replace it with cameras shooting in the XAVC S codec, and the better model shooting in undiluted XAVC. At up to 600 Mbit/sec.

As an HD camera the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 looks mighty fine and capable, indeed. But as a 4K camera -- not so much. It cannot record 4K in interframe All-I, cannot record 4K in frame rates past 30 fps, and it can only record 4K at a lamentable 100 Mbit/sec recording data rate. Maybe that is all one can expect out of a pedestrian SD card, anyhow.

Use the GH4 for great HD video, just don't expect it to deliver much when you are switching it over to 4K mode.

Also, GH4 has some sort of a "fuzzy logic" AF -- downside is, it only works with Panasonic's own lenses.

1 upvote
Brightshade
By Brightshade (2 months ago)

Sure, but AF is not important for pros and yes its not really a cinema camera. I'm no expert on codecs etc but i know that it'd be mighty strange for a producer to put a $2k camera body at the front of a movie that's destined to be screened in a theatre. He'd be spending more than the per day on crew, minimum! The most useful thing about 4k on the Gh4 for now will be the option to crop frames heavily. For me though the GH3 has been an inspirational tool and the GH4 should be hard to upgrade from for quite a while.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

"....the GH4 should be hard to upgrade from for quite a while."

Could be. But I suspect that the Lumix DMC-GH4 is a temporary measure until Panasonic gets with the program and comes out with a true 4K-enabled GH body. Could be called "DMC-GH5" for all we know, right? I don't see how it is not going to happen within the next 12 to 18 months.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (1 month ago)

they really should bring a good 4K for the sake of the name.

0 upvotes
tabloid
By tabloid (2 months ago)

I suspect that all the camera companies will be showing their 4K cameras in the next few months.

I wonder who will come out first with a full frame 4K.

Most probably just around the corner.

1 upvote
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

why is there ads in the comments?

0 upvotes
5D3andSonyF55
By 5D3andSonyF55 (2 months ago)

I am so incredibly impressed, and absolutely apprehensive at the rate technology is changing. From the point of a human- it's a fun time to be alive, with such innovation and new devices coming out every so many months, what took decades is now taking a year, what took a year is achieved in mere days.

But as a consumer - it's a different story. It is so hard to stay on top. It's hard to have the very best equipment because:
A. It's constantly changing and you have to buy the new thing every few months
B. Your investment in any gear(except glass)is gone, it's just GONE!

Look at the Sony F35, it is also called the Genesis... it was the first real global shutter 1080P movie camera and it was worth 135,000 dollars just three years ago and it is worth 12,000 dollars today. Thats absolutely ridiculous. I purchased a Sony F55 to get into 4k with a global shutter and thought I did good buy purchasing the gear used, so instead of a 45,000 dollar investment it was only a 28,000 dollar one.

4 upvotes
5D3andSonyF55
By 5D3andSonyF55 (2 months ago)

Continued:

But I am afraid that the gear will be worthless in no time.Why should you care about that as a consumer that buys DSLR's? I didn't understand what the RED camera owners were talking about until I got the Sony F55 and I see now what upsets them so much..they are the ones making the feature films, they are the ones who do the commercials, the internet videos, news, etc etc... and when they keep seeing their investments cut down to 10% over and over again - and not in 5 years but less then a year, they will eventually stop - many of the really great ones already have... some have gone back to the way it worked with film (renting not buying) because it's not dropping in price. What does that mean? It means that the big dollar spenders who finance the changes in technology are going to get out of the game, letting rental houses take all the risk meaning:

1. this means that democratizations of movie industry will fail
2. this means tech will eventually be out of reach again.

3 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

I knowww..

0 upvotes
Gearsau
By Gearsau (2 months ago)

That " thing " is just so ugly, with " The optional DMW-YAGH 'Interface Unit' .that only Panasonic could love it.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

That has a special appeal to many - me included!

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

Easily the ugliest thing ever to come out as a camera.... at last since that other really ungainly camera body cooked up 1958 in the German Democratic Republic.

GH4 with that crazy boat anchor contraption cancerous growth sticking out of its bottom -- priceless.

1 upvote
Rambalac
By Rambalac (2 months ago)

But that's for rig, not for holding

1 upvote
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (2 months ago)

Wow. People with multiple axes to grind. The spite is so thick it makes it impossible to see that the GH4 is a great camera with great codecs and lots to recommend it at a bargain price. As to the design of the XLR add on machine---for the 1,000 who will actually buy it and use it in a cage with attached rails, follow focus, etc. the value is in what it does not how it looks. To people who actually work in the video production field it will be a sought after accessory. To all the tire kickers and people who shoot test videos it will be "too expensive and too ugly." To appreciate the value you have to know what side of the fence you are really on.

The value to me, right now, will be the improvement in 1080p and in stills. The value also extends to things like zebras, focus peaking, faster top shutter speeds, faster sync speeds and improvements is focus tracking and focus lock on. No, it's not the holy grail. But no, it's not $28,000 like a Cine Alta F55. Codec? Let's wait and see.

12 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

How do you know that the Lumix DMC-GH4 is a "great camera with great codecs? Have you been using it for a while? Links to the videos shot with it, please?

As to the Panasonic GH4 having a "bargain price" - well, I guess you have more disposable income to spend on cameras and stuff than the rest of us. Anyhow, last week it was the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K edition that was universally said to have been a "bargain." This week, it is the Panasonic's turn. Next week -- someone else, surely.

GH4 is totally off-beat for the recording bitrates -- it can record HD video at 2x the data bitrate that it can record 4K video in, so how much sense that makes?

No way to tell right now whether 200 Mbit/sec HD video is a necessity or a waste of good flash media space.

2 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (1 month ago)

"it can record HD video at 2x the data bitrate that it can record 4K video in, so how much sense that makes?"

Less CPU load / bandwidth required elsewhere in the pipeline. 200Mb/s is all i-frame which means it's doing much less processing on the data.

0 upvotes
HJMM
By HJMM (2 months ago)

@Francis Carver
BTW The XAVC codec still uses H.264 codec..(its a container in other words) only the H.264 is at a higher level
So does the GH4 use H.264 codec as well, same as the XAVC , XAVC is not revolutionary, its using the standard H.264 codec...same as everybody else, just squeezing more out of it, despite the tech jargon.
And there are plenty of issues with XAVC as well, judging by the forums...
So try to cool the snobbery a little mate, it only makes you look like an elitist who looks down on anything that doesn't meet his ever so high standards.
But if you are going to do that, at least do your homework before you rant, cause your facts and figures simply dont add up.

4 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

What are you bubbling about, I wonder? So, Sony's XAVC codec is also an H.264 subset -- so what? Had you informed your local authorities about that already, or what?

You getting your information on codecs from the forums, do you? Considering that Sony is not even selling any video cameras yet as of today that will use the XAVC codec, I am rather surprised to learn the the Panasonic forums are bitching about the Sony XAVC codec already.

I guess since Sony's XAVC can only record 2160p60 4K video at 600Mbit/second, it follows that the Pansonic GH4 4K codec at 100Mbit/sec must be like totally superior in all aspects to Sony's XAVC. Oh well, whatever.

2 upvotes
HJMM
By HJMM (2 months ago)

@Francis Carver
Honestly mate...your posts come across as you basically want to hate on the GH4 with little information to back yourself up.
The GH4 is not a GH3 with 4K...if you read ANY of the specs,or ANY of the reviews from you would know that fact very clearly...the GH3 similarity ends with the housing.
The processor alone can generate twice the bitrate and is much more powerful than the GH3.
You do also know that IPB is much more efficient than I frame...so your point about 100mbs IPB being available in the 4K mode and not all I not making sense is wrong, it makes perfect sense.
You run an efficient codec & lower bitrate for larger frames,that makes sense, people like Nick Driftwood and many others that know a lot more about codecs than you obviously do that have given it a big thumbs up.
Bryan Harvey who shot the 4K vid with it, said the detail in aerial shots was astounding on a 4K screen and that's in 8 bit 4.0.0, you really need to get your facts straight before you rant.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

"that's in 8 bit 4.0.0"

Wow, I had no idea GH4 is such as dog that it records 4K video with a 4:0:0 subsampled chroma space. I was hoping it can at least do 10-bit 4:2:2, or at the very least absolute minimum, attain 8-bit 4:2:0. Apparently not -- only 4:0:0, like you were good enough to point it out for us.

Heck, by comparison that Sony XAVC codec at 600 Mbit/second sounds better already -- heck, that one is at least a decent quality 10-bit color depth, 4:2:2 chroma quality codec, see?

But there is hope. Who knows, after Mr. Driftwood generates a few hacks for the GH4, maybe it can be straightened out a bit?

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

For now, there are lot of barkers trying to climb up the 4K tree, but for processor and codec, only Sony had succeeded with the XAVC and XAVC S codecs. Those were in fact designed with 4K resolution recordings in mind. With the Panasonic GH4, the camera can only do 4K video in IPB predictive Long GOP recordings. Not in All-I interframe. A lot of folks (like me) will hate that severe shortcoming. This is nothing but AVCHD in 4K. And talking about that -- GH4 is recording in AVCHD and AVCHD "Progressive" as well. It is also recording in 480p. Just what everyone must have been demanding from Pana in 2014, huh? What are these folks smoking?

Camera's video interface -- Micro HDMI. Same as with a smart phone or tablet, in other words.

On the positive side of things, GH4 can record regular HD video at 96 fps for those who are into slow-mo. Also, Panasonic just might smoke the assorted Australian Blackmagic Cinema contraptions right out of the water with their GH4.

2 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

Tell you what, let's persuade Panasonic to release a GH4-B, that has all the features you want, and is the same price and size as the Sony, less 5 per cent.

Then you can buy 4.

(If Sony could have delivered all that in a sub-$2000 unit, why didn't they? Why are Sony ripping you off so badly?)

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

I sort of doubt that anyone over on the Sony-san side of town is losing any sleep over the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4. No way. On the colossal Sony scale of things, that must be a small fish indeed.

Heck, I don't even think Sony is losing any sleep over the camera announcements coming from Blackmagic and Digital Bolex, what do you think?

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

Why have you got so much to say about a newly announced camera? It says more about you than about the camera. Clearly an axe to grind. It really shows, you are trying WAY too hard.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

GH4 is a GH3 with 4K video tossed in, but of course who even knows what type of a codec this is, certainly not XAVC or XAVC S, as with Sony. Probably the Pana house band. 100Mbit/sec maximum sounds way too low for quality 4096 x 2160 video recordings. In fact, this camera can record HD video at a higher bitrate than it can record 4K video. How much sense does that make?
The killer with this sprced up GH3 is the codec. The wretched thing uses the nogoodnik Pana codecs of dubious wide acceptance, GH4 records in a lower bitrate in 4K than it can record in HD -- how much sense does THAT make to you?

The GH4's 4K codec of only 100 Mbit is IPB Long GOP only, not intraframe All-I, so that really and truly kills it for folks who thought this was going to be a "cinema camera."

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

Gotta give it to Pana: they are-a trying. Trying, just not delivering. Does this latest emperor wear any clothes?

GH4 body looks way too weird with that huge canker sore of an audio-video interface brick affixed to its bottom. The contraption with the interfaces clearly looks like it was designed in East Germany in 1958 or something. The thing is so butt-ugly, I would drop the camera rig every time from the sheer frightfulness of it. An ergonomic and design calamity of the highest order, surely.

2 upvotes
ClearVid
By ClearVid (2 months ago)

The GH4 does not maintain the bit-rate to resolution ratio quality at 4k resolutions that it does at 1080p resolutions. That is a disappointment and means it is not going to be until the GH5 that we get full quality 4k. SD cards can't handle the bit-rate needed for 4k full quality right now and without HEVC the data size is quite large. If the GH5 uses HEVC-IPB and HEVC-ALL-I then that might help. UHS-3 and UHS-6 SD cards should also help.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (2 months ago)

Exactly. You need to get some decent media if you want to shoot in 4K. We have CFast 2.0 and XQD flash memory cards that can handle higher-end video codecs. In the case of the XQD cards, data rates of up to 180 MB per second.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Card+Type_XQD&ci=1097&N=4037060554+4129206588

SD cards simple cannot handle it. Not b a long shot. Attempting to record usable 4K resolution video to any iteration of SD cards is plain foolhardy.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (1 month ago)

Was a GH5 already announced?

0 upvotes
JoshKline
By JoshKline (2 months ago)

I love the idea of an interface unit- it adds tremendous flexibility. Hopefully this idea will spread to Canon whose cameras I use for video currently. 60p is also an awesome addition.

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (2 months ago)

On the side bar, the title for this article has a blue over title that says "4K for the rest of us." If we don't know the price, how do we know it's for the rest of us? Double sigh.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

Well surely the price range is $1500-$2000. And the next least expensive 4k unit is $8000+. Easy.

Some people are complaining that it is not nearly as good as the Sony ($25,000+). Double sigh.

3 upvotes
Peter201
By Peter201 (2 months ago)

Don't forget about the Black magic production cinema 4k camera. that does 4k RAW on a 35mm sensor for just $3000. although that price doesn't include lenses or ssd drives. Although if they put in the faster UHS-2 memory card interface then I don't see why this couldn't of had 230mbps 10bit 4k inbuilt, with 1080p raw offered, (that would have sold well). Actually people have managed using ML to get the 5dmk 3 to do 1080p raw. so this really should have that option. well there is also the bmpcc which does 1080p raw

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (2 months ago)

I guess everyone has a different budget. For me, I wouldn't consider $1500-$2000 for the body the price for the rest of us, especially now that the new LG phablet also does 4K. I know they are not in the same league (or even the same planet), but still.

0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

I hope you like your tablet.

2 upvotes
littleroot
By littleroot (2 months ago)

Maybe they meant "I've had it", as in "I've had enough of this!"

0 upvotes
Rbrt
By Rbrt (2 months ago)

16 people have voted "I had it" LOL.

6 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (2 months ago)

It just underlines how useful this feature of dpreview is.

3 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (2 months ago)

They must be the ones who wrote all the detailed criticisms in this comments column!!

LOLOL

0 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (1 month ago)

Francis Carver 16 times LOL

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (2 months ago)

The DPReview home page heading says "Lumix DMC-GH4:Hands-on" but really, this is just a regurgitated version of the press release of something that has no release date and no pricing. Sigh.

4 upvotes
rialcnis
By rialcnis (2 months ago)

Will the GH5 do 3D?

I already sent my GH3 back to Amazon to sell. Is future proofing even possible?

0 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (2 months ago)

Who cares?

And no.

0 upvotes
Lab D
By Lab D (2 months ago)

Even the old GH2 did 3D! LOL. There was a 3D lens and for video you had to cover a contact, but it worked pretty good!

3 upvotes
rialcnis
By rialcnis (2 months ago)

Yeah I know, I meant native 4K 3D video But being sarcastic anyway.

0 upvotes
GrantDixon
By GrantDixon (2 months ago)

This camera has not been released and already 136 people want it, 8 have it and 15 have had it and I presume it wasn't their cup of tea. Sounds legit to me.

3 upvotes
Shield3
By Shield3 (2 months ago)

Can I use my Canon EF glass with this? Is the Metabones Speed Booster available for EF to M43?

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (2 months ago)

Its too sophisticated "video shooting digital camera" for average consumer.

I wonder does Panasonic or Blackmagic or Sigma or Olympus.... Or some other brand considering producing something like Sony vg-10... But its micro43 version.

2 upvotes
light2shoot83
By light2shoot83 (2 months ago)

agree with you, base on the spec, GH4 is more to video but looks like still camera, i like the idea if they make sony VG model version of m43

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

I sometimes wonder what has happened to photographers' eyes. Look at the demonstration videos of 4k you see, designed to show the highlights of the medium, and they render people's skin as robot like and plastic. They are great for plastic, glass, reflections, and metal. We have got to a point where we accept digital artefacts unquestioningly, including the rather inhuman quality they impart to humans.

We always recognised film stocks had a quality. We now kid ourselves it's about "reality" rather than the intrinsic qualities of the medium. Electronic is not necessarily better than dye and light.

Years ago, I filmed a love story for television and faced immense pressure not to shoot it on film but video. I fought back and chose film. It makes skin look like something you would want to touch. Which helps love stories.

It's too late now. That ship has sailed. But it is saddening to me that all we can do is throw about big numbers and not actually LOOK at the mess they give us.

7 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

And yes, I undoubtedly WILL have to end up shooting on the GH4 at some point.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

it's makeup
which is probably the hardest part when shooting 4K video.

4 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

I am using hi-def airbrush style make up for TV production these days. Still doesn't make skin look as appetising as film. I still feel the re-education of our eyes to think digital "qualities" are better is not necessarily a boon.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Nick49
By Nick49 (2 months ago)

I agree in principle, but I'm wondering what video you have seen from this camera that has that problem. Infact, when I import photography shot at higher resolutions into a premiere or a FCP programme, tones generally look better than at 1080P. I'm just wondering whether this might be the case here. Film is lovely and just so incredibly unweildy and unafordable. I don't think we should knock them for trying to work out a digital solution.

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (2 months ago)

When something is too sharp and clean, it may lose its soul. Its like music recording. Despite all the clarity of digital recording, many listeners still prefer the old vinyl record where one can enjoy the warmer sound. The same maybe true with food. "Slow food" prepared with love and passion is anytime better than fast food.

Yes, bring back film for that "look".

3 upvotes
sidecar
By sidecar (2 months ago)

So do you reject digital photography and use film for your still photos? I might ask why you're on a site called "Digital Photography Preview"?

If you do shoot digital stills, do all your people look like they're plastic robots? Kodak is no more because the goal of Nikon, Canon and the rest was to produce images that were as good or better than Kodak film. They succeeded.

But I take issue with your blanket statement about "the mess they give us" in video.

DSLR video is not a "mess." It's amazing. It's a nascent technology that began with the Canon 5DMKII in Sep 2008. It'll get better. Movie film's been around since the late 1800's.

My Nikon D800's video look is a far cry from any camcorder I've ever used -- consumer or pro.

We're only at, what, 3rd gen DSLR vid now? And it's vastly improving with each step. And it is beautiful.

And your suggested medium -- 35mm motion picture film -- is just silly. 11 min (1000') of film costs $625...before processing and transfer.

0 upvotes
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (2 months ago)

Film is dead. Long live film for those fanatics who can make a go of it, economically. You can have it.

Cameras like the GH4 will enable the rest of us to do a credible job of commercial video production for hybrid photography, training, advertising, promotions, "film" class projects, and even short "film" productions.

Trust me, your knowledge areas of lighting, lens selection and usage, audio production, and storytelling are far more important than whether you are using film or digital technology.

0 upvotes
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

AVC-ULTRA for 4K
In February 2012, Panasonic revealed AVC-ULTRA for 4K at HPA (Hollywood Post Alliance) Tech Retreat and exhibited the 4K image (4096 x 2160 resolution, 4:4:4 sampling, 24pfs) compressed to about 400Mbps from the source image of 7.6Gbps.
So, 4:2:2 24fps at 200mbps sounds just about right for GH4 .And on 4k mode GH4 crops the sensor to 2.3x .

Still, 1080p ,60P at 200mbps its going to be "bonjorno tut a la France avec duck souce" . Roughly translated ,it means , perfect picture quality.

3 upvotes
ClearVid
By ClearVid (2 months ago)

Unfortunately it doesn't have the bit-rate to record 4k at high quality. That would require 800 mbps. 200 mbps is needed for AVC-I 1080p60fps. So, if you quadruple the resolution that is going to quadruple the required bit-rate to 800 mbps. Acquisition needs to be at a higher bit-trate than distribution. I'd be curious to know what bit-rate ProRes 422HQ or HEVC-I would require for 4k60p.

It does finally have the bit-rate to record 1080p60fps thanks to AVC Intra-200! I wonder what are the trade off's of using AVC Intra-200 vs. just going with ProRes 422HQ at that point.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ClearVid
By ClearVid (2 months ago)

There is an alternative to the super high bit-rate AVC-I which is 200mbps IPB for 4k or maybe 400 mbps IPB for 4k, which would actually look good and you wouldn't need the super high bit-rate. But it can't do this ! A high bit-rate IPB of 50mbps or 100mbps per 1080p works well. The GH3 uses 50 mbps 1080p in IPB mode, so naturally it would make sense that the 4k model would have 200mbps IPB for 4k, but it doesn't. The GH4 actually allows 100 mbps IPB for 1080p60fps, which is really nice. That may be the nicest shooting mode on the camera or 200 mbps ALL-I for 1080p60fps. I think ALL-I requires about or at least double the bit-rate of IPB.

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (2 months ago)

Τhe only problem I see till now in every cam design is that the digital era needs new designs...
Especially because still and video are getting closer.
It's almost ridiculous still to have a back and lens perpendicularly on it...
There is no need for that any more...
There is no film reel...
We need a design to function with available technology...
We don't need to batch technology in older forms...
Can't they understand that current cams layouts undermine their products?

As for this cam...
The GH-4 seems to be more than just fine...

Cannicos can deal with what they usually do. Low level marketing.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

The old designs and their modern variations work just fine with current technology. Film reel or not, from a handling/ergonomics perspective the basic design just works for most people. It doesn't undermine the cameras.
So why fix something that isn't broken? What kind of practical user problem do you think needs to be fixed in today's cameras, and what is your proposed solution?

2 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (2 months ago)

Let's say that cameras design have to be more riffle like. Designs that Olympus and Sony have approached (Oly from late 90's -pre digital era and Sony in 500-600 series). The back in cams was designed just for the film reel, no need for that anymore. Cams must look more like video cams, than a plate with a tube stuck on it, it's useless and non functional design even in its best. When u see a photographer to handle a camera u 'll see that his motions are quite unnatural, no matter that practically all of us cannot see or understand it.
The only bad thing in a more riffle design implementation is the psychological fear that it will produce in a lot of situations... lol

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (2 months ago)

Serious video from such a small package. I'm not sure i will ever have anything capable of post-editing 4k video but the 200fps HD bit has my attention. Very cool.

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (2 months ago)

Unfortunately, Full HD isn't 200 fps but 200 Mbps.

Theoretically, assuming the same readout speed as with the 4k mode (and line skipping - assuming 4K also needs to do line skipping to reduce the needed bandwidth), the camera could shoot at 1080p120.

0 upvotes
pellicle
By pellicle (2 months ago)

Quick question. You say "During live view (before a half-press of the shutter button),"

what other view does the GH have?

0 upvotes
jeffharris
By jeffharris (2 months ago)

There's Constant Preview, available only in M mode, that shows you exactly what your exposure is without needing to press a preview button.

When you change you f-stop or shutter speed you'll see the exposure change instantly. It's a Constant Live Preview.

For some odd reason, only the GH-series, GX7 and GM1 have that feature.

1 upvote
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

It would be great to have GH4 heart inside AG-AF101 body. Or maybe Panasonic is already cooking a new camcorder AG-AF4k, just a thought.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (2 months ago)

Care to elaborate - to the uninitiated - what GH4 is missing compared to the AF100?

With the YAHOO add-on (or whatever it's called) it appears to tick all the boxes videographers were complaining were missing from GHx cameras.

0 upvotes
AndersDM
By AndersDM (2 months ago)

Biggest thing missing is built in NDs. ND filters is pretty much essential for video production and all pro videocameras have them built in.
Also with the add-on "brick" you need external power to use it.

I'd like to see Panasonics take on the C100/C300. In other words a GH4 with built in NDs and proper audio inputs.

1 upvote
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

I agree. It would be great if Panasonic comes up with a new AG-AF101 style camcorder but with GH4 features. If you combine GH4 and AF101 together ,then you get : ND filters, XLR-s, SDI-HD, twin SDHC slots, 4k, 200mbps, 60P , zebra, safety zone, focus peak, wi-fi, better grip, ............... and so on. I would call this camera AG-G4k .then this hybrid camera can take over C500
Sony F55 or even some ugly expensive Red ones.

1 upvote
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (2 months ago)

Calm down... This is a HYBRID camera: Stills plus video. It is not a video camera with stills tacked on; it is supposed to be a balanced combination of the two.

ND filters can be screwed onto the front of most m43 lenses.

1 upvote
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (1 month ago)

The AG-AF102 is out now.

Simply put all the features of the GH4 and the AF102 or any other camera that is on your short list on a spread sheet.

Highlight the pros and cons, make a decision based on our individual requirements.

Option 2 being: we can be a right twit and display our lack of understanding of the real topic by hurting others?

I will wait till it comes out and do my homework, ..make my decision, ... invest my money.

I'm happy to share my findings with those that are really in the market for a camera.

I don't take the posters that hide behind their screen and insult others seriously.

There are a lot of good people here just trying to make sense of the manufacturers claims. We all have different needs, lets just see if we can be of assistance.

I choose to ignore the not-so-nice.

"What does your perfect day look like?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (2 months ago)

On the press release, it says that it can do slomo (24fps playback) on full HD with a 96fps capture rate but the official specs do not mention it. Kindly clarify.

0 upvotes
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (2 months ago)

Similar to the GH3, there's variable frame rates built into the camera. Not sure why its not listed but its in there.

0 upvotes
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

This is an Alexa and Red killer. For $1999 >Even if you don`t need 4k at the moment ,you get 200mbps ,1080p 60P, SDI 10bit 4:2:2, zebra, focus peaking and the option to have a proper XLR and DC power plug with DMW-YAGH interface unit. GH1 was great, GH2 still is a king .GH3 still rocks and I am sure GH4 will be an amazing camera. Canon 1DC can shoot 4k for $ 12.000) or Canon C500 for $20.000 . I own a GH2 , for me it will be great as I can use all my M4/3 lenses with GH4 .

12 upvotes
wherearemyshorts
By wherearemyshorts (2 months ago)

hopefully the price will be a lot less than the 5d mark 3

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (2 months ago)

There are some indications that the price is 1499€ or probably 1599€.

0 upvotes
hisoka
By hisoka (2 months ago)

is canon 5D mark 3 better then GH4 ?

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (2 months ago)

That would depend on the situation.
The gh4 with the more advanced codecs will give producers more headroom in post. The 5d has an advantage in depth of field. However there some very fast cine lenses available for the gh4 to counter that advantage to some extent.

So in video it looks like a better package out of the box. Being able to use the viewfinder in video is also great.

However in stills it will be different. The canon has a full frame sensor which will yield more detailed shots with most lenses.
Tracking AF for sports is in a whole different league as well. So it's more are less what you want to do with it.

0 upvotes
hisoka
By hisoka (2 months ago)

thanks for the replay BarnET
i'm thinking of making videos and i'm not sure what to do
buy 5DMARK3 and start shooting raw or wait for GH4

1 upvote
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

Technically GH4 is a GH3 but with few extra features. It looks like they are both sharing the same body and the same sensor. I have the feeling that the GH4 body will cost around £1500.

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (2 months ago)

You mean 1D C not 5D MK III since the GH4 shoots 4096x2160 Cinema 4K just like the EOS 1D C . The 5D MKIII does not even shoot 1080p60 .

0 upvotes
hisoka
By hisoka (2 months ago)

no i'm talking about 5DM3 cause GH4 don't shoot RAW
but u can shoot raw with 5DMK3 and i was wondering whos the best
to buy a camera can shoot raw or camera can't shoot raw but have 4k shoots

0 upvotes
John Banister
By John Banister (2 months ago)

If you're looking for raw video, I think BlackMagic Design has a camera in that price range.

0 upvotes
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (2 months ago)

The GH4 presents more "a few" new options and a better sensor, actually. Did you not read the article before commenting?

0 upvotes
Cristian Mihai
By Cristian Mihai (2 months ago)

My Macbook Pro ( not that is important here! 16Gb RAM with 2 SSD SATA 3 linked at 1Gb/s ) but with the normal Graphic card CANNOT play the 4K sample videos normally. 4K will force high end computer sales, storage, cloud space, etc...I

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Bill T.
By Bill T. (2 months ago)

It will be another year before 4K is comfortable to use in even professional editing environments. The real killer feature on this camera is 1080 60P at 200 mbps. That's got to look fabulous on the screen, and will transcode beautifully to any format you want. If your shot is precisely focused and correctly exposed, you'll think you're looking at 4K.

7 upvotes
al_in_philly
By al_in_philly (2 months ago)

Yes 4K does present some issues in post. The massive heat from the processing speeds and volume generated on the processor chips on both the motherboard and graphics card might make it impossible/impractical to do post on laptops. Additionally 4K also begs for post to be done on large screen high-res monitors. Are we in for a niche rebirth of the desktop?

4 upvotes
ajendus
By ajendus (2 months ago)

Use proxy media and you'll be fine.

0 upvotes
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (2 months ago)

For 4K editing, get a Mac Pro (the new trash can design) and don't look back. It was designed for 4K video work.

The real sweet spot for this camera is commercial advertising agency use in TV ad production.

0 upvotes
light2shoot83
By light2shoot83 (2 months ago)

this is the future of DSLR cinematography, canon hits on 2008 with 5DmkII BMCC hits in 2011, and now 2014 its the GH4.

3 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (2 months ago)

GH1, 2, 3, 4 are all hits. 5DIII is hit, a lot of Indie film maker use them.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

the first one was a Nikon (D90, September 2008).

think 4K videos are most likely shot with Canon if not RED.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
light2shoot83
By light2shoot83 (2 months ago)

yes true, i agree D90 was the first HDSLR but 5D MkII is the one widely use by production, i'm still new in the industries, i actually heard of legendary hacked GH2 and the GH3 but never get a chance to try them, start with canon DSLR when i look at GH3 sample, i'm amaze. anyway in malaysia i can say 70% HDSLR video shooter use canon for video some start to use BMCC and i guess no one use lumix yet, ok maybe if any lumix shooter i bet i can easily remember all of them :P

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (2 months ago)

May I not live long enough to know That a major motion picture was shoot on cell phones, and look good! No more Arri's.

0 upvotes
wazu
By wazu (2 months ago)

Actually some of 'Searching for Sugarman' was shot on an iPhone due to budget constraints

1 upvote
km25
By km25 (2 months ago)

Just saying, would you do the remake of "Lawrence of Arbia" on a cell phone? My fear is some will say "yes". Sometimes the digital age brings down the level of quality, i.e., music play recordings. Most people lisen to MP3 players, CD sound better, they are less compressed. Analog records may have their own sonic problems, they are not compressed. The new word is not HIFI, it is OKFI.
No more Panavision 6x6cm.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ArchiDeos
By ArchiDeos (2 months ago)

Nice Camera.. but still a comparable size compared to DSLR rig. Well this is just only the first quarter of the year, expect new Camera will be release soon and this model will be the least to consider. CANIKON new model will rock the show as always.. Happy shooting guys..

0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (2 months ago)

A new CANIKON model hasn't rocked the show for the last 5 years. Why would it do now? This camera is small if you compare it to a CANIKON dSLR with the same functionality.

12 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

Well for me the main reason to use a camera of this kind for video (the GH series' strength) is sensor size. And this does not have the size I want. So in that sense, Canikon WILL rock it.

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (2 months ago)

Comparable to a smaller DSLR, sure, but you gotta take into account the lenses too. A 10x superzoom for the GH (14-140mm) is still only about as large as a kit zoom for the DSLR, equivalent lenses are usually smaller, etc. It can very well mean the difference between carrying one extra lens vs a bundle.

I think a lot of people are holding their breath until Canon puts the dual pixel sensor on a mirrorless body tho... Whether they'll commit to developing more lenses will be the real story.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

Canon and Nikon don't have to. that's why we need second and third class makers who always try interesting things, that they have to for survival.

0 upvotes
ajendus
By ajendus (2 months ago)

The Canikon version of this 4K camera (Canon's 1Dc) is $12,000.

3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

But 4K is a niche, and way beyond what broadcast TV is currently capable of. Not everyone plays their video off of computers.

0 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (2 months ago)

According to eoshd.com, the GH4 will cost $1,999 and the Interface Unit will cost the same.
As it happens I ordered a GH3 today (the whole kit), and I 'm having mixed feelings now. For what I do, I don't need 4K (right now) and I certainly don't have the funds for a 4K capable editing station and the expensive memory cards and storage etc.
What do you think, should I send back the GH3?

0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

I just ordered GH3 too and keeping it.

1 upvote
Ronald1959
By Ronald1959 (2 months ago)

Most software is not ready, so it will give a lot of problems.

0 upvotes
thecouchguy
By thecouchguy (2 months ago)

I don't give a damn about 4k either yet. However the gh4 has peaking, zebras, a better view finder and a higher bit rate, if these are not attractive to you then keep the gh3. If you do keep the gh3, its still capable of producing a wonderful image.

3 upvotes
Filk4k
By Filk4k (2 months ago)

GH4 is (will be ) future proof camera. Even if you dont need 4k now, you may later. Still, with GH4 you get 1080p. 60fps. 200mbps, zebra, focus peak, 10bit 4:2:2 , Cine-like flat image ...I was going to order the GH3 last Christmas and then I heard rumors about Gh4. I am so glad that I didn`t buy the Gh3 . For me, GH4 is a top-notch camera. I am hoping to use the GH4 for professional work.

2 upvotes
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (2 months ago)

Keep the GH3. It's still hella awesome. I just shot an assignment with it this week. The video quality is just as good as the GH4 in 1080P minus the 200MPS mode.

0 upvotes
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (2 months ago)

Keep the GH3. Build your lens kit. In a couple of years, 4K will start to become more interesting.

It will be at least five years before 4K starts to gain real traction in the mainstream. Remember that cable TV is dying!

Internet video is the new rage, and consumption on small screens (smart phones, tablets, and laptops) is growing rapidly. 4K requires WAY too much bandwidth for current network channels to support it in any major way. Give it time...

Some will say that 4K is needed to produce original content. Maybe in Hollywood, but that is another world for most video producers.

You can easily use your GH3 for another few years.

0 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (2 months ago)

DSLR is just a transition technology from film to digital. Mirrorless (or better CSC) is the only future, even Canon and Nikon have to admit that sooner or later.
In 2013 mirrorless already took the crown in picture quality and equaled in sensor size (A7r) and 100% replaced the OVF (A7, E-M1).
In 2014 video and AF are the last things that mirrorless will fully catch up and overtake the DSLR (actually I think AF is already better today because accuracy is more important than the last 1\100 of second a DSLR might be quicker).
In 2015 CSC will surpass DSLR in market share, in another 3 years the DSLR as it exists today will probably be reduced to one pro FF body and one crop body per brand for some people who still prefer an OVF. The actual only other reason to do that is to serve people bodies for all the the lenses they still have. But most will adapt then to a CSC (without the advantage of having a smaller system).
Finally in 2050 Nikon is going to release the DF mkII. It's basically the same thing but it has a video button to record 1080/30p.

30 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

no, you are wrong!!

8 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (2 months ago)

Nah. People will still want real time OVF, great battery life, AF speed and tracking, real ergonomics with or without large lenses, manual focus and so on.

Mirorless replaces the compact/bridge and amateur DSLR market.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
taktak91
By taktak91 (2 months ago)

If A7R is truly an indicator of the future, the future is pretty grim. A7R is just an oversized smartphone made by a manufacturer that might not have a future in the photography market.

4 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (2 months ago)

Totally agree. Entry level OVF sucks. It should be replaced by EVF. Reserve the OVF for semi-pro class(D7100) and above.

3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (2 months ago)

"A7R is just an oversized smartphone made by a manufacturer that might not have a future in the photography market."

Given that Sony's shares are rated junk right now it may not have any future in ANY market.

2 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (2 months ago)

Sony is no more likely to go bust than the United States of America is likely to go bust.

People really, really, do not understand how Japan works..

4 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

Given that DSLRs still outsell mirrorless ILCs roughly 4:1, I don't think mirrorless will surpass DSLRs in market share already in 2015. Remember that mirrorless cameras recently have shown less growth than DSLRs, and that they have yet to conquer the European and American markets.
Maybe it will happen that soon in Japan, but if we're talking global market shares, 2015 is far too optimistic (or pessimistic, depending on how you look at it.)

1 upvote
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (2 months ago)

EVF's will replace OVF. The mirror is the final pice of the analog camera.

1 upvote
brownie314
By brownie314 (2 months ago)

Why people get all excited about the flippy mirror thing - I will never understand. It isn't a big deal. I think you are really arguing for your brand vs. Canon or Nikon - it is a thinly veiled argument. Canon and Nikon will gladly dump the mirrors and switch to mirrorless as soon as they see that the advantages of dumping the mirror outweigh keeping it. They are not married to the mirror. They have been making "mirrorless" compact cameras for over 10 years. You may like a brand that is not Canon or Nikon - that is fine. But arguing for/against a mirror is not an argument for/against Canon or Nikon.

3 upvotes
KevlarKevin
By KevlarKevin (2 months ago)

I love both Mirrorless and DSLRs. They have their own places. it doesn't replace 100% of it. Both mirrorless and DSLRs have pros and cons, so let's stop having forum wars.

0 upvotes
taktak91
By taktak91 (2 months ago)

>KevlarKevin

That's my point. I use DSLR, mirrorless, and P&S, depending on the situation. The way I use them, mirrorless cannot replace DSLR, or vice versa. They all have their uses, pros and cons. And I want to make the choices on what and where to use them, not manufacturers or some vocal users.

0 upvotes
KevlarKevin
By KevlarKevin (2 months ago)

taktak91

Yes you're right. Just like medium format cameras has its own place, everything has their places and does not necessarily kill off each other. I'm not sure why so many people are over-analyzing and over-comparing these different cameras to select this "the only-one solution to everything". It's just their characteristics.

This is kind of out of topic, but I'm in love with Sony A7R btw. The details coming from A7R equipped with Alpha mount Zeiss lenses are really close to medium format details and it really shocked and awed me. I think the detail is much better than the D800E.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (2 months ago)

I wonder..if they can detect blurriness. Can they also introduce a lower DOF with that same detection? If you can detect, why not use it so that side of the equation (""oit is difficult to get lower DOF with m43s) is gone too?
SO make it an option: "low DOF shooting". If you wnt it and you like the efect, bokeh etc: keep it. If not, you can not use it or may be change it back later in post (when the origina info is stored in the file)...

1 upvote
Lab D
By Lab D (2 months ago)

Cool idea. Can they increase detected blur by a factor and leave the sharpest areas sharp? They could shrink DoF and suddenly an F/5.6 lens would look like and F/1.8 lens was used.

0 upvotes
ttbek
By ttbek (2 months ago)

Detecting blur isn't the most difficult thing to do in post, and you can make it more blurry, the difficult part is to properly replicate the bokeh of the lens.

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (2 months ago)

Some programms are vry good at that too. So why not incoporate it in cam? There are lots of things you can do in post, like CA correction, NR etc. But doing it in cam saves time I think.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (2 months ago)

Last week, I presented a paper at IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging on things you can do knowing the out-of-focus point spread function ("blur" image) of a lens, which I've measured for over 125 lenses. Faster AF is the tip of the iceberg; single-shot stereo capture, after-capture refocus, etc. are all possible.

0 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (2 months ago)

@DPReview, was there any press release given regarding compatibility with Olympus lenses?

Thank you.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

If there'd been a release, we'd have published it. As mentioned in the article, DFD autofocus will only work with Panasonic lenses. Olympus lenses will still work, using conventional CDAF (which is very quick), they just won't be quite as fast nor, in theory, as good at tracking.

3 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (2 months ago)

It doesnt really make any sense that DFD will only work for Pana lenses, unless its a software lock-out. How can it work on old Pana lenses if there is some "new hardware requirement". Wasnt the whole point of the partnership to make bodies and lenses full compatible.

4 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (2 months ago)

Panasonic and Olympus still compete with one another, even though they share the mount. There are basic functions that work across all lenses, and then there are proprietary niceties, that are not critical, but can sway the customer to one system or the other. Most people use both Olympus and Panasonic lenses, so it's not really a big issue.

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (2 months ago)

I thought they did not exclude other lenses in the future. As it is I think it is a pretty stupid move. Most certainly if they dare to do this in the G7 and other forthcoming cams. It is a sort of incopatibility within a system. Not a good idea, at least not at face value. But...we have to know the reasons why tthis is in order to come to some conclusion about Panny, Oly and the other m43 lensmakers.

1 upvote
Artpt
By Artpt (2 months ago)

Thank you DPRview and all commentors...

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

The camera uses the blur of OOF areas to determine distance. This requires a lens-specific profile describing the appearance of the blur at every aperture value. The camera has profiles for all Panasonic m43 lenses, but apparently they didn't profile any Olympus lenses. Such profiles could be added with future firmware updates, though.
That Panasonic and Olympus share a lens mount, doesn't mean that every feature in their cameras must support the other company's lenses.

0 upvotes
s_grins
By s_grins (2 months ago)

In my understanding, Panasonic can be responsible for Panasonic lens DFD profile. Other makers of M43 lenses will have to write a lens firmware updates in order to include necessary DFD data into profile. I think this is an obvious and fair.

1 upvote
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (2 months ago)

^This. DFD requires lenses to be well-profiled. Panasonic profiled its own lenses. I don't see how that's shady. Hell, for all I know it was legally all they could do.

0 upvotes
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