Ken Duncan who has just returned from shooting a documentary in the Kimberly region called ‘Chasing The Light’ with Ray Martin said that new features such as 4K shooting which delivers superior editing capability coupled with the portability that mirrorless camera’s similar to what the new Lumix camera offers far exceeds the capability of the traditional and “often heavy” digital SLR cameras.
The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 4K Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera which is set to be sold via the specialist camera channel is according to Duncan a true hybrid camera designed for both professional photo and video use.
He said that organisations as well as free to air TV stations who want to shoot video using a high performance video camera that also shoots “excellent stills” will move to mirrorless cameras because they deliver high performance content that Also extends the editing and production capabilities.
The new camera which will retail for $1,999 for body only features a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor and a 4-CPU Venus Engine, capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, as well as UHD 4K 3840×2160 30p/24p and cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p.
Like its predecessor, the GH4 features a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, while offering increased resolution on both the OLED monitor and electronic viewfinder. It also features built-in Wi-Fi with NFC technology, in-camera creative controls, and a high-speed 49-point autofocus in both photo and video mode.
The GH4 delivers video quality surpassing many professional video cameras. Video can be recorded in a variety of formats, from efficient AVCHD and AVCHD Progressive, to 200 Mbps All-Intra and 100 Mbps IPB MOV and MP4 formats. And because the GH4 is a global camera, the system frequency can be switched between 59.94 Hz (23.98 Hz) and 50 Hz, yielding a variety of recording options including 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p, and 59.94p. The system can also be switched to 24 Hz to capture true 24p in HD and 4K resolutions.
Video and photos are recorded to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Video recorded to SD cards is 4:2:0 8-bit. Real-time 4:2:2 8-bit and 4:2:2 10-bit video can also be sent to an external monitor or recorder with an optional micro HDMI cable. Additional video features include focus peaking, time code support, and cine-like gamma options. For unique expressions, VBR (Variable Frame Rate), time lapse, and stop motion animation videos can be recording internally without the need for additional post-production processing. The GH4 comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, battery charger with AC cable, body cap, hot shoe cover, USB cable, shoulder strap, and DVD with supplied software.
Key features are as follows:
16.05 Megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
The 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor delivers high-quality images with high sensitivity and quick response times. The increased signal speed readout helps to suppress the effects of rolling shutter. In conjunction with the quad-core Venus Engine image processor, you’ll enjoy dramatically improved sensitivity (maximum ISO 25600), gradation performance, resolution, and colour reproduction.
Micro Four Thirds Sensor and Lens Mount
The DMC-GH4’s Micro Four Thirds sized sensor is large enough for shallow depth of field and yet small enough to take advantage of lighter, more compact lenses than a larger format camera would require. Plus, the short flange focal distance of the Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount makes it possible to add optional adapters (sold separately) to use a wide range of lenses, including PL-mount cinema lenses.
Dual OLED Displays – Monitor and Live View Finder
High-speed, organic LED displays are used for both the Live View Finder and the rear monitor. The 3.0″ monitor features a 1,036K-dot resolution, while the LVF features a 2,359K-dot resolution. These displays feature 100% coverage and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. An Eye Sensor automatically switches between the Live View-Finder and the rear monitor, for easy shooting with both.
Magnesium Alloy, Weather Sealed Body
The DMC-GH4 features a magnesium alloy full die cast front and rear frame. A splash and dustproof design is achieved by tightly sealing the joints and control components. To further meet the demands of professional use, the shutter is rated for approximately 200,000 releases.
Wi-Fi with NFC Technology
The DMC-GH4 integrates Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, letting you use the Panasonic Image App for remote photo and video shooting with compatible smartphones or tablets. The app also lets you embed location data to an image after shooting. If your mobile device isn’t NFC compatible, you can still connect to the camera by scanning a QR code displayed on the GH4’s monitor.
49-Area AF / Custom Multi AF
The newly developed AF system features 49 points, giving you more flexibility when composing shots. The Custom Multi mode extends that flexibility even more with the ability to freely select what blocks to focus out of the 49 possible focusing areas.
The high-precision Contrast AF integrates DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology to achieve AF speeds of approximately 0.07 sec in AFS mode. This enables the camera to shoot bursts of 12 fps in AFS mode.
The Silent mode switches the shutter from mechanical to electronic and turns off sounds, while suppressing the AD assist lamp and flash with just a single setting. This is useful when capturing photos in situations where noise and light from the camera would be a distraction to performers or people around you.
In-Camera RAW Data Development
Shoot RAW photos and process the images in-camera to create JPEG images, instead of relying on post-processing. You can adjust the colour space setting (sRGB / AdobeRGB), white balance, noise reduction, sharpness, and hue. Lumix’s Photo Style, Intelligent D-Range Control, and Intelligent Resolution can also be applied.
Choose from a range of Photo Styles and Creative Control modes. Photo Styles for stills or video include Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, and Custom. Contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, saturation, and hue parameters can be adjusted for each mode and even set into the camera’s memory.
Professional 4K Video Recording
The DMC-GH4 brings the GH-line into the 4K age by offering both 16:9 UHD 4K 3840×2160 video at 23.98p, 24p or 29.97p, and 17:9 DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) 4K 4096×2160 videos at 24p. 4K resolutions can be recorded as MOV or MP4 files in high bitrate 100 Mbps IPB codec. When recording at 100 Mbps, you will need an SDHC/SDXC memory card capable of handling the transfer speed.
Please note: For better quality, 4K recording modes use a 1:1 pixel map of the sensor. This yields a slight crop of the sensor, resulting in approximately a full-frame crop factor of approximately 2.3x when shooting DCI 4K resolution.
Selectable System Frequency
The DMC-GH4 is a true global camera, with system frequency switchable from 59.94 Hz (23.98 Hz) and 50 Hz. You can also select 24 Hz frequency for true 24 fps cinematic video.
VFR (Variable Frame Rate)
The VFR mode enables Full HD video recording with slow/fast motion, depending on the video format and system frequency selected.
MOV/FHD/100 Mbps/29.97p, MP4(LPCM)/FHD/100 Mbps/29.97p:
2 fps, 15 fps, 26 fps, 28 fps, 30 fps, 32 fps, 34 fps, 45 fps, 60 fps, 75 fps, 90 fps, 96 fps
MOV/FHD/100 Mbps/23.98p, MP4(LPCM)/FHD/100 Mbps/23.98p:
2 fps, 12 fps, 20 fps, 22 fps, 24 fps, 26 fps, 28 fps, 36 fps, 48 fps, 60 fps, 72 fps, 84 fps, 96 fps
2 fps, 15 fps, 26 fps, 28 fps, 30 fps, 32 fps, 34 fps, 45 fps, 60 fps
2 fps, 12 fps, 20 fps, 22 fps, 24 fps, 26 fps, 28 fps, 36 fps, 48 fps, 60 fps
MOV/FHD/100 Mbps/25.00p, MP4(LPCM)/FHD/100 Mbps/25.00p:
2 fps, 12 fps, 21 fps, 23 fps, 25 fps, 27 fps, 30 fps, 37 fps, 50 fps, 62 fps, 75 fps, 96 fps
2 fps, 12 fps, 21 fps, 23 fps, 25 fps, 27 fps, 30 fps, 37 fps, 50 fps
MOV/FHD/100 Mbps/24.00p, MP4(LPCM)/FHD/100 Mbps/24.00p:
2 fps, 12 fps, 20 fps, 22 fps, 24 fps, 26 fps, 28 fps, 36 fps, 48 fps, 60 fps, 72 fps, 84 fps, 96 fps
Versatile Video Recording Formats
Choose the video format that is right for each project. The DMC-GH4 is capable of ultra high bitrate video recording at 200 Mbps (All-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB). Available formats include MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive, and AVCHD at a variety of frame rates. In MP4 / MOV, high quality LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) sound can be recorded. All internally recorded video codecs use 4:2:0 colour sampling and an 8-bit colour depth.
Real-Time 4:2:2 Output with HDMI
Send 4:2:2 8-bit or 4:2:2 10-bit video in real-time to external monitors or recorders via the micro HDMI output. An optional micro HDMI cable is required. When outputting a 4:2:2 10-bit signal over HDMI, video cannot be recorded on the SDHX/SDXC memory card in the camera.
For easy focusing, the GH4 incorporates a Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF modes. Users can see the peaking of focus while monitoring the subject in live view. It can be set to HIGH / LOW / OFF and the colour can also be changed to blue, white or orange according to the colour of the shooting scene during live view. Focus peaking is also available while remote photo/video shooting with smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi.
Luminance Level Adjustment
In addition to the standard luminance level of 16-235 and 16-255, the DMC-GH4 also offers 0-255.
Additional Video Features
Time code – SMPTE-compliant time code for synching multiple devices
Colour bars – benchmark for fixing colour or brightness
1 KHz test tone – benchmark for fixing sound or volume
Center marker – guide mark for video composition
Synchro scan – suppress flicker on monitors or from fluorescent lights
Cine-like gamma – “CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” produce a cinema-like tones
Master Pedestal – adjust brightness balance 15 steps based on the colour black
Zebra Pattern – display lines on over-exposed areas
Professional 4K Video Interface Unit (Optional)
For professional video workflows, the optional DMW-YAGH Interface Unit is available. The Interface Unit attaches to the bottom of the camera and provides 2 XLR input terminals, for line or condenser microphones, with independent volume controls and an audio level display monitor. It also has two 3G-SDI capable BNC connectors and two HD-SDI capable BNC connectors for quad-link SDI 4K video in 4:2:2 10-bit, dual-link 4:2:2 10-bit 1080p up to 60 fps, or four simultaneous 1080p streams up to 30 fps – all with timecode. Power is supplied to the unit by a 12VDC 4-pin XLR input.
Please note: When using 4:2:2 10-bit output, simultaneous video recording on an SDHC/SDXC memory card in the DMC-GH4 is not possible.
The DMC-GH4 comes with a variety of connection terminals including 1/8″ microphone and headphone jacks. The camera also features a micro HDMI port, AV output, flash sync terminal, and a 2.5mm remote controller jack.
Supports UHS-I Class III Speed SD Cards.
The DMC-GH4 uses a variety of advanced recording media, including SDXC, SDHC, and SD Memory Cards. The fastest of these cards is the UHS-I Class III, which is recommended when using high bit rate video recording modes over 100 Mbps.
High-Speed Burst Shooting
The DMC-GH4 allows for high-speed burst shooting at 12 fps in single autofocus mode using the mechanical shutter, for up to approximately 40 RAW or 100 JPEG images, and 7.5 fps in continuous AF mode. This lets you capture fast moving subjects in clear focus. When using the electronic shutter, you can shoot in bursts up to 40 fps.
Highlight / Shadow Control
Highlight and shadow can be separately adjusted with the front or rear dial. Three patterns of settings can be customized in addition to three preset patterns.
For intuitive control, exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity, and white balance controls are positioned around the shutter button to make operation fast and easy while looking at the viewfinder. A programmable function button is also available.
In-camera time lapse and stop motion animation
1/8000 second maximum shutter speed
1/250 second shutter speed sync for built-in and external flash
Face / Eye Detection AF
Magnification of 1-Area focus point