Panasonic has just revealed the proverbial “game-changer,” taking a camera which already excelled in many facets of photography and video capture, the GH3, and packed-in the additional abilities of shooting video at 4K, ISO sensitivity of up to 25,600, a revamped autofocusing system, an upgraded OLED 2.36M-dot EVF and 1.04M-dot rear display, built-in WiFi and NFC, compatibility with SDXC UHS Class 3 cards, and enough video features to make any serious cinematographer weak in the knees.
The GH4 is real, it’s shaping up to be a hybrid photo/video powerhouse and it will amazingly cost less than $2,000.
“Cinema quality” 4K for under $2K
While the GH4’s pricing and availability wasn’t mentioned by Panasonic in today’s announcement, the camera-maker confirmed back at CES 2014 that it will be priced competitively at under $2,000, making it an absolutely compelling proposition for journalists and more importantly, budget-centric cinematographers. Without getting too technical, the GH4 can record “cinema quality 4K” (4096 x 2160) at 24fps (100Mbps), Ultra-HD (3840 x 2160) at 30fps (100Mbps), and 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 96fps at up to 200Mbps depending on codec choice.
Panasonic also unwrapped details on the optional Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit shown below attached to the GH4. This new audio/video workflow attachment is strictly aimed at the professionals, featuring 2 monaural XLR inputs, audio level displays, and quad-link SDI connectors for uncompressed 4:2:2/10bit 4K output.
As with the camera itself, no word on pricing or availability was given for the add on.
Of course, while the GH4’s video prowess sounds superb on paper, let’s take a look at some hands-on impressions from those who have actually shot with the camera.
Setting a new standard?
Could the GH4’s release spark greater competition from competitors? Time will most certainty tell, and the response from the consumer will ultimately be the judge. But a trend has most certainly been established; camera-makers such as Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic have stirred the pot and Canon and Nikon have taken notice. If the industry giants continue to let the rest of the field innovate and release more bang-for-the-buck products, the catch-up race will be a game certain camera-makers find themselves ill-equipped to win.
More GH4 information including additional hands-on previews can be found via the links below:
- EOSHD – Preview
- 43Rumors – Press Release & Pre-order information
- NoFilmSchool – Specifications & Discussion
- CNET – Hands-on
- Imaging Resource – Impressions