Panasonic has officially introduced a new high-end Micro Four Thirds camera, called Lumix DMC-GH4, which can record videos at 4K resolution.
Finally! It’s here! After months of speculation, Panasonic has taken the wraps off its sought-after mirrorless camera that is capable of shooting 4K videos.
It will go on sale under the name of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and will pack a long list of exciting features for videographers. Nevertheless, the photography part has not been ignored, so this Micro Four Thirds camera is perfectly suited for taking high-quality images, too.
Panasonic introduces world’s first mirrorless camera to record 4K videos
Panasonic says that the new GH4 is the first mirrorless camera in the world that records 4K videos. This is all possible thanks to a new 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS image sensor powered by the Venus Engine IX image processor.
The Venus engine runs on a brand new quad-core CPU that processes signals in a quick manner, so that the device can capture movies at a maximum bitrate of 200Mbps.
The Japan-based manufacturer adds that the rolling shutter effect is easily suppressed thanks to the camera’s electronic shutter. Moreover, noise is subdued, too, even when using the camera at its maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600.
Speed is key for the Panasonic GH4, which supports a continuous shooting mode of 12fps for about 40 RAW frames and 100 JPEG frames, respectively. However, enabling continuous autofocus (AF Tracking) will reduce the rate to 7fps.
Panasonic GH4 could become the dream camera for videographers
Video features include recording at 4096 x 2160 resolution at 24fps and 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30fps in MOV/MP4 format. For this, you will need an UHS Speed Class 3 SD card that supports 30MB/s writing speeds and which is currently the standard for 4K video capturing.
Panasonic GH4 records full HD videos as well using ALL-Intra and IPB modes. The former offers 200Mbps bitrate, while the latter only 100Mbps. Both support the AVCHD format, so this might make you want to shoot at lower resolutions.
Another video-related feature consists of the HDMI port, allowing users to output images to external monitors in 8-bit 4:2:2 codec.
Getting the best out of your new 4K video recorder should include an optional Interface Unit DMW-YAGH. It supports 10-bit 4:2:2 output to four external units with time code support. In total, users can add four SDI terminals and a pair of XLR ones.
This 4K video shooter is perfectly-suited for capturing high-quality photos
Panasonic GH4 specs list includes a 3-inch 1,036K-dot fully-articulated OLED touchscreen and a 2,359K-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage.
It goes further with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second, while the minimum stands at 60 seconds. It is worth noting that the minimum ISO stands at 200.
The Micro Four Thirds camera comes packed with a built-in flash and an autofocus assist light. If you connect it to an external flash, then you will get a 1/250 flash sync speed.
The camera also sports a USB 2.0 port along with microphone and headphone ones. The new Lumix GH4 can be remotely controlled from a smartphone thanks to its built-in WiFi function.
Panasonic GH4 features one of the fastest autofocus systems in the world
Software-wise, the Panasonic GH4 can be considered a pretty smart camera. It offers luminance level adjustment, highlight / shadow control, and Focus Peaking.
These should help users with post-production, controlling highlights and shadows separately, as well as focusing a lot quicker than conventional cameras, respectively.
Panasonic is claiming that the GH4 can focus in as few as 0.07 seconds, faster than Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujifilm X-E2, which can focus in 0.08 seconds.
A silent mode will stand at your disposal, turning off all sounds and lights. As for your inner creativity, you can switch to a time-lapse recording mode and capture some beautiful footage of your favorite place in the world.
DSLR-like design, decent dimensions, and still no exact availability info
Panasonic GH4 is not such a big camera, as it measures 133 x 93 x 84mm / 5.24 x 3.66 x 3.31-inches. It is not very heavy, weighing 560 grams / 1.23 lbs / 19.75 ounces, including batteries.
This mirrorless camera is designed to look like a DSLR. It employs a large grip and plenty of controls and buttons all around its body.
The company will show off the Lumix GH4 at upcoming digital imaging shows, when we hope that the exact release date and price will become official, too.
In the meantime, you can marvel at the idea of preventing white wash-outs, thanks to its built-in Zebra Pattern. There are some gamma presets available for video recording, which provide rich video expression.
As stated above, stay tuned in the coming weeks as Panasonic still needs to announce the availability details of its latest Micro Four Thirds jewel, as “spring 2014” and “less than $2,000” are not good enough for us.