GH4 will be obsolete before (and if) 4K video will take off

Started Mar 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
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micksh6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,613
GH4 will be obsolete before (and if) 4K video will take off

I just came up with a response to post about 42.5mm lens here but I think it's relevant to all considering 4K and GH4, so I will repost.

GH4 won't beat E-M1 in stills and before (if) 4K video will be popular Panasonic will release GH5 or maybe GH6. It will take many years until 4K video becomes worthy, so why bother now?

Distribution. The best hope of 4K industry now is Netflix which is planning to distribute 4K video at 15 MBit/s. Which must be crap comparing to 2K blu-ray at 40MB/s even considering 2x more efficient codec. At current blu-ray video quality the audio quality is much more important than video resolution. Because some blu-rays have HD audio bitrate higher than video and audio bitrate combined (6+ MBit/s for audio only, more than Netflix or Apple HD) video + audio combined.

Since 90s I had multiple video and audio upgrade steps from 27" CRT TV with built-in speakers to 60" 3D passive LCD TV with 9.2 channel audio receiver and 9 decent speakers + subwoofer (much better than usual 7.1 system), and I had a projector with 120" screen in between.

I know it's audio that makes more difference in immersion than video quality when you upgrade your home theater. GH4 doesn't allow 9.2 channel audio recording, does it?

So, why bother with GH4 now if you are not a James Cameron (if you were, you would know about audio and you would be visiting Hollywood forums, not this one)?


When (and if) 4K video will take off (won't happen earlier than several years from now) Olympus will most likely provide 4K video with IBIS. So, stabilized 4K video with Voigtlander F0.95 will be possible.

Right now 4K video only matters for acknowledged videographers who can create remarkable material and can afford to store it for years when meanwhile very few people can enjoy it in full quality.

As I said, PL 42.5mm lens is a niche, so is GH4. I am not a video shooting person but I am a video watcher. I know that there will be many years until people will be able to afford 90+ inch TVs, because currently, at average 10-14 feet viewing distance people can't distinguish more than 2K (1080p) on their 50-70" TVs. Most people don't even need 1080p video quality, 720p would be plenty for their screen size/viewing distance ratio.

And, if you plan to shoot 4K video now so later generations will see it in exemplary quality, the storage is expensive, and so its maintanence over long period of time. I can tell it as an owner of a home server with 20TB of storage mostly used for movies.

20 terabytes got filled up with 40 MBit/s blu-rays relatively quickly (just a few years), but GH4 4K video at 100 MBit/s (200MBit/s for best 2K) and better 4K input from HDMI will take much more space.

With current internet bandwidth caps some US viewers would exceed their monthly bandwidth allowance in one weekend if they watched 4K video. Most just don't have bandwidth for that.

Until that changes, 4K video won't take off. And only guys like James Cameron and similar will be able to shoot 4K video freely and store material for several years. I'm not one of them. Are you?

If you are, I think you should rather be hanging in Hollywood movie maker forums, because 4K video is so niche right now. I personally would prefer 3D 2K video done right over 4K.

 micksh6's gear list:micksh6's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R +6 more
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
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