Panasonic Lumix GH4, 4K Video Hybrid - First Look

First micro four thirds camera to capture 4K


Panasonic today announced the Panasonic Lumix GH4, the first Four Thirds still camera to capture 4K-resolution video. While it looks similar to the G3 and other cameras in the Panasonic EVF Micro Four Thirds camera lineup, it is more of a cinema camera while delivering high-quality stills. Built on a newly designed 16MP sensor that's optimized for 4K video capture of footage at up to 4096x2160 pixels, the camera has a 2.36 Million Dot OLED EVF, focus peaking, and an attachable XLR adapter.

Panasonic DMC-GH4 Key Features

  • 16MP Live MOS Four Thirds sensor
  • 4K 24p cinematic video (4096x2160), plus 4K 3840x2160 30p/24p
  • Wi-Fi, NFC
  • AF Acquisition claimed at 0.07 sec
  • 49-area AF
  • 12FPS Burst rate
  • 2.359 million dot EVF
  • 1.03 million dot LCD
  • Top ISO 25,600
  • Top shutter speed 1/8000 sec
  • High-speed 49-area autofocusing in photo or video
  • Durable magnesium alloy body


Although the big news about the GH4 is that the camera puts 4K recording capability in the hands of prosumer-level users, it also offers many more options for plain old 1080p HD video shooting, including multiple recording format choices, and slow-motion capture in full HD. You will be able to switch from 4K to 1080p and shoot at varying frame rates and file formats. The big upgrade here is specifically in video; no changes are expected in still image quality.

The GH4 can be combined with one of Pansonic's Lumix G Lenses or via an adaptor with movie industry PL mount Cine lenses.

Let's take a closer first look at this new hybrid still/4K Cinema mirrorless camera.

New Sensor

Panasonic has redesigned the 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor with what they claim is approximately 50% higher speed signal readout to suppress the effect of a rolling shutter when using electronic shutter or recording video. The Live MOS Sensor delivers an expanded gradation range by a maximum1/3 step at low ISOs. Superior noise reduction allows for exposures up to 60 minutes long.


Wi-Fi with NFC Technology

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 integrates Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. With the Panasonic Image App, remote photo and video shooting is available with a compatible smartphone or tablet, and can easily add embed geotag data in an image after shooting. Even if a smartphone / tablet is incompatible with NFC, you can still be easily connect to the camera by scanning the QR code displayed on the GH4’s monitor from your mobile device..

Video: Time Lapse, Stop Motion Animation, More

The GH4's VFR (Variable Frame Rate) enables Full-HD video recording with slow/fast motion. Time Lapse Shot and Stop Motion Animation produce a stop motion (stop frame) video with sequential pictures. Both are created in-camera without any postproduction process. In fact, there are nearly 40 different choices for frame rate, resolution and file format that includes MOV, MP4 and AVCHD, and frame rates from 24 to 60fps.

4K Video Recording with Simultaneous 8.8 MP Photo Capture

One of the most prominent features of Panasonic LUMIX GH4 is unlimited 4K video recording in both Cinema 4K: 4096x2160/24fps, and QFHD 4K: 3840x2160/up to 30 fps in MOV/MP4. Print-ready high resolution 8.8 megapixel still frames can be recorded during video capture, making future proofed Hybrid Photography a reality for any photographer. [4096x2160 – 8.847MP during Cine 4K].


Professional Video Functions

Time Code: SMPTE-compliant Time Code in Rec Run or Free Run makes it easy to synchronize multiple videos or sound sources in the postproduction process.

Color Bars & 1KHz Test Tone: Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) are used as a benchmark for fixing color or brightness. 1KHz Test Tone is used as a benchmark for fixing sound or volume.

Center Marker: Center Marker works as a guide mark for video image composition. Simply display it at the center of the viewing angle.

Synchro Scan: Use Synchro Scan to suppress flicker over the TV / PC monitor, or when shooting under fluorescent lights.

Cinelike Gamma: “CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” create a cinema-like tone to expand your creativity.

Master Pedestal: Use Master Pedestal to adjust the brightness balance ±15 steps based on the color black.

Zebra Pattern: Determine overexposed areas with the Zebra Pattern before or during shooting. This pattern can even be output to the external monitor too.

Versatile Video Recording Formats

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 is capable of ultra high bitrate video recording at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB), with no recording time limit*1 *2. Freely choose the format from MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive, and AVCHD at a variety of frame rates. In MP4 / MOV, high quality sound in LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) is recordable. Video can be recorded up to 29 min 59 sec depending on the recording format and the camera’s sales area. Panasonic recommends using a SDXC/SDHC Memory Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) when using high bitrate video recording mode over 100 Mbps.


Pro Quality Video Creation

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 continues to evolve delivering professional quality video. Take advantage of 4K (Cinema 4K: 4096x2160 / 24 fps and QFHD 4K: 3840x2160 / up to 30 fps) video recording in MOV/MP4, or ultra high bitrate video recording at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) without a recording time limit. Discover a variety of high-end functions for professional video recording.

Selectable System Frequency

For the global business and professional user, the system frequency is flexible from 59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz, so you are using the correct electronic output no matter where in the world you're shooting.

Improved signal processing

The Panasonic LUMIX GH4’s Venus Engine image processor is equipped with a quad-core CPU Panasonic says will deliver high-speed signal processing. Combined with the Digital Live MOS Sensor, Panasonic promises dramatically improved sensitivity up to maximum ISO 25600, gradation performance, resolution, and color reproduction.

Electronic Shutter & Silent Mode

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 boasts an electronic shutter. The high-speed signal readout from the Live MOS Sensor minimizes rolling shutter effect for improved video quality. The Silent mode switches the shutter from mechanical to electronic and turns off sounds, while suppressing the AF assist lamp and flash with just a single setting for special shooting occasions.

High Performance Shutter

The shutter unit boasts pro-grade durability, delivering approximately 200,000 releases and a top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. Both the built-in and external flash can be synchronized with a maximum 1/250 second shutter speed.

Durable construction

Tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 is composed of a magnesium alloy full die cast front / rear frame. It also features splash/dustproof construction with sealing on every joint, dial, and button.

49-Area AF/ Custom Multi AF

The number of focus points has been increased from 23 points in the LUMIX GH3 to 49 points in the LUMIX GH4. Custom Multi mode extends focusing flexibility with the ability to freely select the blocks to focus out of the 49 focusing areas.

Real-Time Output with HDMI

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 is capable of real-time image output (4:2:2 / 8 bit or 4:2:2 / 10 bit) to the external monitor via an optional micro HDMI cable. This is well-suited for professional video making that requires serious monitoring. Users can choose to output only the recording content, or the content with the setting menus individually, depending on the display.

In-Camera RAW Data Processing

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 delivers RAW images in-camera. The color space setting (sRGB / AdobeRGB), white balance, exposure compensation, contrast, highlight / shadow, saturation, noise reduction, and sharpness or hue can be flexibly adjusted while LUMIX’ s Photo Style, Intelligent D-Range Control, and Intelligent Resolution can also be applied.

Photo Style

You can choose color or texture type for photos and videos from Standard / Vivid / Natural / Monochrome / Scenery / Portrait. Contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, saturation, and hue parameter for each mode can be adjusted and even set into the camera’s memory.


Focus Peaking

Focus Peaking shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode. Users can see the peak of focus while monitoring the subject in live view. Focus Peaking is also available in remote photo / video shooting with a smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi.

Highlight / Shadow Control

Highlight and shadow can be adjusted separately with the front or rear dial. Three patterns of settings can be customized in addition to three pre-set patterns.

Dual OLED Displays - LVF & Monitor

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 boasts high-precision, high-speed dual OLED displays for 2,359K-dot LVF (Live View Finder) of approximately 1.34x/0.67x, and 3.0-inch 1,036K-dot free-angle rear monitor. These superior displays achieve high-speed response with minimum time lag while enhancing resolution. The OLED for the LVF boasts 10,000:1 high contrast for superior color reproduction.

Venus Engine Advanced Image Processor

The Venus Engine image processor dramatically boosts performance with a quad-core CPU, enabling high-speed signal processing required for rich video recording such as 4K. Sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution, and color reproduction are claimed to be dramatically improved.

Professional 4K Video Interface Unit (Optional)

The Interface Unit (AG-YAGHG) is offered exclusively for professional/industrial workflows enabling more powerful video transmission. It complies with Full HD (4:2:2/10 bit) four parallel output, or 4K (4:2:2 / 10bit) output, both with time code. The 2ch XLR input terminals are equipped for a line or condenser microphone. Left/Right microphone volume can be controlled separately, and complies with 12V DC IN.

Face/Eye Detection AF

In addition to the conventional Face Recognition AF, the DMC-GH4 incorporates Face/Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus right on the face or on the eye within the face, a potential convenience for portrait photographers. The 1-Area AF section can be seamlessly magnified not only in manual focus but also in auto focus mode.


Connectivity: Many Terminals, Options

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 comes with a variety of connection terminals including the 3.5mm microphone and 3.5mm headphone jacks. Take advantage of real-time image output on the external monitor via an optional HDMI micro cable while simultaneously recording video. AV outputs, flash sync terminal, and 2.5mm jack for remote controller are also available. The GH4 complies with the SDXC / SDHC Memory Card UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).

The expansive flexibility of Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 goes far beyond the limits of conventional Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras. The GH4 incorporates Wi-Fi with NFC Technology and in-camera RAW shooting. Expand your shooting options with an External Flash (DMW-FL580L), Stereo/Shotgun Microphone (DMW-MS2), or Battery Grip (DMW-BGGH3) for professional photography and videography.

Assignable controls

For quick, intuitive control, 3 dials are equipped on the top and back of the camera, and the main dial is equipped with a lock structure. A dedicated button allows direct reach to exposure compensation, white balance adjustment, or ISO setting. A maximum of 5 settings can be assigned to the Fn button. These external components are designed for ease of use without taking your eyes off the viewfinder.

High-Speed Burst Mode

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 boasts high-speed burst shooting at 12 fps (AFS) with up to approximately 40 (including RAW) / approximately 100 (excluding RAW) recordable images, and 7.5 fps (AFC) to capture fast moving subjects in clear focus. Together with the quick start-up and short release time lag, the DMC-GH4 never lets you miss a shooting opportunity.

Contrast AF with DFD Technology

The advanced Contrast AF system with DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology shortens the time to focus. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 determines the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different depth of field, while consulting the data of optical characteristics by using the lens, all within a moment. As a result, ultra high-speed AF of approximately 0.07 sec can be achieved.



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