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GH4 4K Panasonic video camera, official topic
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  • @JohnTollwannabe

    One of the problems, and yes it's a problem, with their add-on audio/video "brick" is the ergonomics. It really looks hideous and makes the camera chunky and unwieldy, even on a rig. If they had smoothed out its lines, stream-lined it to match the GH4's body, and also made it weather resistant and more like a battery grip then it might have been something. As is, it smacks of "kludged together after-thought."

    The GH4's A/V brick is obviously not intended for handheld shots like a battery grip. It's an externally powered base unit designed for mounting on a tripod. Look closely and you'll see it has a pair of holes for 15mm rails built-in. That alone solves half your DSLR rigging issues in one versatile box. Mount the brick with rails on a fluid tripod head and you have a dedicated quick-release system for using the GH4 either on tripod or handheld at a moment's notice, with no cables or add-ons plugged into the camera itself. The A/V brick turns the GH4 into a modular upgrade to the AF100, lacking only ND filters and a waveform monitor. Synched audio was the number one reason I got an AF100 and it's been well worth the investment.

    As for the GH4's 16-bit audio quality, I've recorded with both dual and in-camera audio, and I will take secure cabling and connectors over 24-bit resolution any day. Yes, 24 bits is a measurable benefit, but I only really need it for live, amplified music. Even in that situation, a line-level feed can usually be tapped directly from the mixing board. The brick will make this simple to rig and easy to monitor.

    Last but not least is how the GH4 will simplify on-location backup issues. With a dual-camera AF100/GH2 shoot, I couldn't bring a second AF100 for backup, the best I could do was another GH2. With three GH4's, I'll have a plug-compatible backup for both tripod-mounted and handheld cams, all using the same settings and internal battery type. That will make a huge difference in logistics for me.

  • @DrDave An increase of one full stop is 2, or an increase of 100%. A half-stop increase is 1.414 or 41.4% increase. Likewise a 0.415-stop increase is 1.33 or 33% increase.

  • Thanks Paul--that is indeed tiny. I guess that's why it is advertised as percentage instead of stops. @Lpowell these cams normally have an outside connector that looks real and inside is a ribbon type connector printed onto a film. So there is sort of an illusion of a connector--plus the Phantom power is upconverted from 12v to 48v. But hey, better than what is on my GH2. And maybe this one is hardwired--I'm sure someone will open it up.

  • @LPowell,

    While the grip does have 2 rail mounts at the front, what happens if you want to shoulder mount the camera? Those two holes become useless because they do not go through to the back so no scope to add a shoulder pad.

  • @Tone13 The rails on the brick are a good idea, but they will not work with lenses that don't stick out over it as it bulges. If they made the front flush with the camera body, then I would say they have good designers but this is not the case. To address your question, the camera will sit higher on the mount with existing rail systems, but as I pointed out, it will not allow all lenses to work.

  • @tinyrobot

    You are wrong my friend. A lens riser must be used on those rails, since is common issue on cinema zooms.

  • With regard to rigging, all we would need is a bracket that secures to the two holes in the base and then curls up into the cavity directly in front of the camera where a clamp would secure the 15mm rails closer to the lens mount. Hot Rod Camera is probably already working up a prototype in addition to some PL mount options. Should not be too hard to fabricate.

  • The only problem i see here is shoulder mounting. I used to grab directly from my rig to the EVF of the GH2 and shoot up. With this i could no reach any EVF of the camera. Too high and cables must be on left side...maybe but no more shooting like on photo.

    720 x 480 - 55K
    720 x 540 - 288K
  • Ok maybe someone will devise a riser but do we need three levels of 15mm rods really or would a better design have made it easier?

  • @endotoxic good for you! With that kind of shooting position, I don't give 5 more years to your neck ;-)

  • @astraban, its more confortable than you think!

  • Have put a preliminary order at Scandinavian Photo here in Sweden. 14990 SKR. I beleive it will live up to the expectations:) The pdf posten by @dritwood made my day, confirming what I already thouht was thru. Thanks Driftwood!

  • This PDF Rocks!!!!! thanks Driftwood

  • Driftwood's .PDF just sealed the deal tight for me. Thanks, Driftwood.

  • I was receiving conflicting reports that the HDMI port on the GH4 was only supporting 1080P @ 4:2:2 8bit and not 4K, even though Vitaliy said otherwise. As usual Vitaliy was right all along - PDF on slide 15 confirms 4K/1080P @ 4:2:2 10bit via the HDMI on cam. This is EXCELLENT news since it removes the interface from the financial equation :) Thank you @driftwood !!

  • @Tone @endotoxic

    While the grip does have 2 rail mounts at the front, what happens if you want to shoulder mount the camera? Those two holes become useless because they do not go through to the back so no scope to add a shoulder pad.

    I wouldn't want to shoulder mount the base unit, it's going to have an external 12v power supply and a handful of cables attached. That's the kind of setup I'd put on a tripod, along with rails-mounted matte box and follow focus. If I want to shoulder mount the GH4, I'd detach it from the brick and rig it the same way as I've done with my GH2.

  • @Lpowell yes,

    but you loose the 10bit 4:2:2 200mbps

  • @driftwood Thank you, Great info!

  • Still no info on the sensor size (readout area) in mm?

  • @endotoxic How so? If you want 4:2:2, you're going to need an external recorder, plugged into either the camera or the brick's video outs.

  • @killagram I hope your right about 4k 4:2:2 via the micro HDMI port, but I'm not sure that the PDF confirms that. They could be referring to the full-sized HDMI port on the brick. As Vitaly says, it does look like the HDMI is just passing through from camera to brick, but it's possible there's a software switch mandating downsampling through the micro-HDMI port unless the brick is attached. If so, that would seem to be an area ripe for hacking.

  • For me one of the most important things is:

    Can I use 4/3-glass (with adapter) on the GH4 - Can I use my Olympus 14-35mm f2.0 and 35-100mm f2.0 with the GH4?

    Does anyone know? Couldn't find any information about "older" lenses.

  • Want my personal view? You can see from the specs this looks like a seriously shit hot camera (brings back memories of the GH2) and I believe that Panasonic engineers have listened to what we the filmmakers have been saying (and I'm quite sure they have taken note of the great work Vitaliy has done), and brought us a camera with new technology that they perhaps wanted to deliver in the GH3 - but didn't have enough time to implement.

    The GH3 (and GH2) is still no slouch (I won't be selling mine anytime soon), but, I am really looking forward to testing this lill' baby with some quality lenses, 4k IPB, 422 10 bit, and ultimately discover for myself if its the real deal. It certainly looks it.

    If anyone has any questions that you'd like me to ask Pany when I see them shortly, please feel free to pm me.