Shooting 4K with GH4 for the first time



This is the first video I've made since I upgraded from the Panasonic GH3. Oh, if you want to download, the file is 1.8GB and is available at vimeo.com/107379449.

Here are some quick notes on using it for the first time outdoors.

Video quality

The video quality is phenomenal. It's seriously an eye opening and I'm just blown away by what this camera can do.

The video above was shot at 4K (3840 x 2160) at 100Mbps (IPB), 30FPS. No post colour correction was done, I merely joined the clips together and did minimal editing.

The sharpness and clarity that the sensor can capture is astounding. Everything feels crisp. I'm watching it on my Dell screen which is only 2560 by 1440 and I feel like I'm standing on the streets at the moment making the video.

The lens used is the standard kit Panasonic 14-42mm. I sort of regretted not bringing the 12-35mm because I could use the 24mm field of view.

Grabbing stills from video

Apparently, Panasonic has made it much easier for users to grab frames from their videos to make still images. When I opened the box I had, inside was an additional pamphlet detailing the steps to grab a frame, and it's so easy to do.

In record mode, play the video and pause at the frame you want, then press the SET button. A 8MP jpeg image (16 by 9) is saved onto the SD card. The downside is it's just a jpeg and not RAW so you need to really set your exposures and profiles right to get the best possible video and hence jpeg.


Being able to grab a frame from the video is incredibly convenient. I was trying to get a good group photo of the people and picking the best moment from the video is so easy. When you take group photos, sometimes there could be people blinking, yawning, or just not look at the camera at the right time. With this feature, it's easy to grab the best picture. But the downside is it's not a RAW file so it's quite limited to work with if you did not get the exposure or lighting right the first time.

Shooting with the S mode in video

Unless you require aperture control, shooting in S mode will make it easier for you to grab frames. You can set a high shutter to freeze action, so that way moving objects, such as people, in your frame will be sharp and won't suffer from motion blur.

Workflow

With the GH3, since I usually only bring one camera out, I have to switch between video and picture mode. With the GH4, I can see myself using just video mode.

Again, if you need RAW photos, then you'll still have to switch between the two modes. I doubt you can grab RAW frames anytime soon in the future, so this is perhaps the best compromised currently.

No in-body stabilization

Since the GH4 has no in-body stabilization, your next best friend is the tripod.

ETC (Extra Tele Conversion) mode on GH4

You can't use the ETC mode while shooting 4K. Such a shame.

Lights flicker

You'll probably notice some flicker in the lights in the video, such as those from the traffic lights. I'm still trying to figure out how to prevent that. In GH3, I shot at 25FPS, and now with the GH4, I'm shooting at 30FPS so that could be the problem.

4K only in video mode

The 4K video mode is only usable when you're in video mode, not in A, S, P or other modes. When you're in other modes and press the video button, the resulting video is only 1080P.

Conclusion

The Panasonic GH4 is an amazing and really capable camera. With the family of lens, this is quite possibly the most capable and lightest 4K video setup around.

I can't wait to use my other lens on this guy. Wow. Just wow.

Availability

Just go check out other reviews on Amazon. I love this camera.

Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

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