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GH4 4K Panasonic video camera, User reviews and opinions
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  • Are we really going to open the 2D vs 3D argument here? 3D modelling has nothing to do with the GH4 image quality. The GH4 produces 2D images & so do all the other cameras it is commonly compared to. How it looks and how it handles post-production processing is really what we are investigating. "3D look" is misleading and purely subjective, no offence!

  • @caveport Yep I agree to an certain extent. Its important tho to understand (as I am sure you do) that the world is 3d and a camera captures it on a flat 2d image.

    So it is the same with 3d worlds, they are virtual 3d (calculated by complex X,Y and Z co ordinates) but they end up being captured on a 2d image or movie...same a camera.

    All I really wanted to point out I have to manipulate 3d models, lights, light reflections look dimensional and great on a final 2d render...and in that sense its exactly the same as photography or video, there are lights, specular highlights, light falloff, depth of field, sub surface scattering and whatever else you care to name..I was not just talking about 3d modeling, I was talking about the whole thing.

    And originally I was simply agreeing with you that the original statement by @mo7ies that the GH4 has a 2d flat looking image is ridiculous if he does not care to explain why and where he sees this, because I certainly dont...thats all.

  • @brianl Thanks for the response. Actually I am not the one who said the GH4 has a flat 2D image, I dont see that at all, and I have had years of experience in developing and judging images dimension etc... Perhaps mo7ies would care to explain in some detail since he said it. Re The 3d stuff, well originally I was a professional airbrush mural artist many years ago, then I learnt 3d modeling, that expanded into pretty much everything in 3d (and there is a lot more as I am sure you may know) I basically was forced to because 3d programs have become more and more sophisticated over time. But if we go into it at length here Vitaliy will kick us off, because its off topic. We could start another thread if you like.

  • Caveport, people here understand that video is 2d. We were discussing gh4 critique by a prominent filmmaker. If that is uninteresting we can switch to "how it looks and how it handles post production processing".

  • Astro , That's is a cool background, and you indeed have expertise obviously in 3d perception. 3d is one of the holy grails in my images but is one of the hardest things for me to completely quantify. Shane's blog touched upon it.

  • Please check topic title.

  • @brianl I read that review...the thing is, I agree with @rNeil comments, seems like he didn't know what settings to use and spent no time at it, it doesn't matter how prominent a film maker you are, you still have to learn the tool and what it can do, no one is above that. Personally I think the Gh4 has so many possibilities that Panasonic probably should have given an early version of the Cam to some "prominent" film makers and made some extra ROM available or something and let them put in their favorite pre sets in the Camera, that way if some other famous film maker wants to rubbish a becomes more personal LOL!! Its easier to rubbish or dump on a camera, not so easy to dump on "another prominent person" I am sure Shane Hurlbut is fantastically capable and all that ...but "prominent" people can be some of the worst snobs, human egos and human failings dont diminish with its possible (I am not saying he was) but that he may have been looking for faults...its called prejudice and snobbery, maybe not, but very possible. At the end of the day...each of us has to develop our own artistic eye, and just because he's successful does not mean that he has a better eye than some unknown guy, all it basically means is he has facility to use more expensive gear.

  • Well another thing I love about the GH4 is because of the sharpness and detail I don't have to lower the quality of my CGI to match the video. If you haven't seen my Sci fi short film Clandestine, I use the GH3 to film it, I had to blur the CGI to match the footage quality. Now with the GH4 the CGI matches much better. GH4 can look as clean and sharp as you want or more filmic if you want in post. Here is my short film. Wish I had the GH4 to film it. Since this post is about GH4 I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a GH3 video so you can go to this link if you care to see the short film.

  • @Tron +1, @rNeil +1 What's the scoop with the ISO 800 native comment? I thought the GH4 had no native ISO per se but that lower ISOs are better overall, most notably in the noise department. And 200 is the best at which to shoot.

  • You can do a test, if you change the gh4 to work on gain instead of iso in the video settings then a gain of 0 appears to be around 400 iso if you flip between the two in the same lighting. I think I saw a vid ages ago where one of the panasonic rep said something like no published native iso but it was interesting that the gain option the engineers set a gain of 0 to be more sensitive than 200 iso. Not sure if we can read anything into that or not :-)

  • I think the GH4 can look very cinematic actually, but its all about the glass, making sure the settings are right (I like the 0,-3,-5,-2, 0, in cinelike d), exposing correctly (at ISO 200 ideally) and nailing white balance in camera, and then grading well.

    The panasonic lenses are not 'cinematic' looking lenses, they're incredibly sharp, precise and characterless and as a consequence feel more suited to news / docs / nature (albeit very very good at that)

    The SLR MAGIC lenses and the Voigtlanders are very cinematic with the GH4, and @mo7ies the Zuiko 14-54 Mark II is really something as a lens. I use it for my general walk around lens with the GH4 and although I wish it was F2.0 (rather than f2.8-3.5) for better low light and shallower depth of field, there is something about it that is both organic but still sharp. I've shot corporate stuff with it and I've shot narrative stuff with it and somehow it generally always comes up trumps, particularly around the 35-54 range. Its slightly soft but really organic and still modern looking. Its just a winner. I've just shot for two weeks with the 14-54 mark Ii and nothing else while on holiday and I think the footage can look like super 35 (when I've exposed correctly).

    I would love a speed booster from Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds, because the olympus zuiko glass for four thirds is wonderful, but I would imagine that doesn't make any kind of sense in terms of focal flange etc etc..

    Big lesson I've learned is not to trust Zebras. They don't seem accurate to me. Stick to the Histogram and exposure meter and make sure your footage is 'in the zone', and your white balance is accurate.

  • Any GH4 samples of the Oly 14-54mm MkII?

  • surely there must be a native ISO, where nothing is added or taken away - if fact for other settings, like master pedestal is there a 'native' or 'neutral' setting - is 0 actually the base setting?

    Has Panasonic adjusted the neutral settings to meet some 'norm' and do we then adjust further not knowing where the camera performs naturally - maybe I'm confusing myself here.

  • @nobbystylus " @mo7ies the Zuiko 14-54 Mark II is really something as a lens. I use it for my general walk around lens with the GH4 ... and somehow it generally always comes up trumps... I would love a speed booster from Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds"

    Yup, I'm using Oly Zuiko 14-54 on both GH4 and BMPCC as "ECU" lens with great results, just like you said.

    Speedbooster: for such a tiny market, I wouldn't hold my breath.... but yeah it'd be great if it materialized at some sensible price level...

  • This is a piece shot mostly with the GH4. For a first attempt with the new camera I was very pleased with the files it delivered. All native lenses were used, mostly the Olympus 12-40mm, followed by Lumix 45-200mm and 12-35mm (aerial shots). I was not going for a "cinematic look," apertures fell mostly around F4 to F5.6. None of the files felt too sharp to me but we all have our own opinion in that regard. I set sharpness at -5, dropped saturation to -1 and used Cine-D with no adjustments to pedestal. Color correction is a tweaked Fuji profile from filmconvert. The last two exterior shots were actually shot with the GH3. The dynamic range seemed to come up about 2 stops shy of the GH4's. The ability to crop in post while maintaining sharpness was just awesome, such a great tool for tweaking the composition to taste. The only negative I experienced were aliasing jaggies that became evident in 1080/60P (top of canopy in the backlit scenes) and minor moire on a sunshade behind our actress in the 4K terminal shot (yes it is still possible to get moire in 4K). I had an overall great experience working with this camera, it's definitely a keeper.

  • @joesch I agree 100%, ISO 200-400 are best with this camera. ISO 800-1600 are still quite usable and maintain good dynamic range, but are definitely less than ideal when trying to showcase the strength of the camera's image.

  • The Oly 14-54 2.8-3.5 + smart adaptor is my every day lens for the last 3 years of GH2 use. Yes, it's sharp and contrasty, I don't know about it turning everything instantly cinematic or 3d, I don't think even Shane's Cookes do that. But it's a good lens, and you can manual focus it pretty well for a modern lens. Auto focusing is sluggish and noise but manages to get the job done. Overall it's a very good value and you can find good deals on used ones. It's big and thick and heavy. Looks like a real lens.

  • Hurlbut's "review" is a joke. The one thing I will grant him is that the camera may be more sharp than other cameras out of the box. But every other conclusion comes from improper settings, misinformation and impatience. From calling the picture profile "Cinemalike-D" to inexplicably declaring the camera's native ISO to be 800, nothing about his review is right. What's worse, in the comments, when someone suggested he try the Natural profile, he defends his review by saying one shouldn't have to fiddle with settings to get a camera to look good. What!? Since when? Taken to the extreme, this means one shouldn't worry about pesky things like aperture setting, shutter speed or white balance. What an idiotic comment.

    Dialing the contrast to -5 on Cinelike-D and setting it to 800 ISO...of course you're going to get some noise! Did they even add a contrast curve later to see how it looked when graded, since that's the whole point of Cinelike-D?

    His replies in the comment section show that he made up his mind about two seconds after turning the camera on, and nothing will convince him otherwise.

  • I'd advise anyone who is interested in the 'film vs video' look debate to borrow a BMPCC..

    Mine (finally) arrived a couple of days ago, & from a brief amount of testing indeed gives pretty much the same identical look as my bigger BMCC.

    The advantage of it though, is that its both tiny (so can be used with a simple handheld flycam stabiliser or similar),& can use my Lumix & Olympus MFT lenses (the bigger BMCC only allows manual MFT lenses or Nikon etc via an adapter).

    The difference is remarkable. With the lumix 12-35 on my GH4, i still struggle to match the BMCC footage for this elusive 'film like' quality…but the same lumix 12-35 on my BMPCC..straight away looks pretty much identical to the BMCC with any lens i use.

    So from my brief experimenting, its def. not the lens, its the sensor/processing.

    This is not to say the GH4 footage looks in anyway bad..but that the BMPCC footage just seems to have a more pleasing aesthetic to me, without having to adjust anything…seriously…take your panasonic lens into a shop to try with a BMPCC & record about 10 seconds of footage, you'll notice the difference straight away. Maybe the firmware update tomorrow will change everything though ! Who knows...

  • Ok, another technical question for G4 users..

    Is there anyway to completely 'fix' different settings for Stills & Movie mode?

    I generally shoot on 'A' stills mode, with Auto-White Balance & Auto-ISO switched on..

    However for Filming, I set the ISO & Set the White Balance.

    The trouble is, when i switch from one mode to the other, the ISO & WB settings settings remain where they are. Is there a simple solution to this?


  • @nobbystylus Yeah just saw that..v.lame, no change in video quality

  • Raw, internal 422 10 bits, What a joke!!!

  • I'm guessing an Atomos Shogun / GH4 improved link up might be hinted at within:

    "DMC-GH4 now expands its connectivity with external equipment"

  • @paglez I think they were always a joke! But a LOG profile did seem more possible and some modest frame rate / compression improvements also seemed like a possibility.

    Oh well, lets get back to shooting and stop waiting for the gods to give us a free lunch!