Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Review

5.0
April 24, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 harry

Hi there. Nice review. But where did you find the “panorama”-function??? You mention it on the bottom of the image quality-chapter.

8:25 pm - Thursday, April 24, 2014

#2 Dan

All in all good Review of this new film beast of a DSLR.

To be honest even Panasonic claims they design these GH cameras from the ground up to be Moviecameras with a Picture capability slapped on there.

The really low Mpixel count and market leading noise inducing sensor (worse then Nikon,Canon, Olympus and even Sony) in stills; means there’s no way it deserves a 5 in Picture quality more like 4.0 for a DSLR in its price range.

The total inability to use our photos for print at any higher ISO<1600 or professional work also means a rating of 5 is out the window.

As for video shooting DSLRs I’d also put the GH-4 1st then Sony A7 and then Sony A77/A99. Considering then that the A7 and A99 is at the same pricerange AND takes great fullframe sensor pictures and they also have a plethora of manual settings I’d recommend them instead to a prosumer that don’t need 4K video.

Anyone wondering I am using Fujifilm X-E2 with primes and kit lenses;great low noise Pictures at Indoor events but video is only good for interviews. For promotion videos or other i instead rent a Sony PMW-EX1R XD camera with plenty of XLR input, support for monitors etc. only COSTs me 150$ a day

12:28 am - Friday, April 25, 2014

#3 Dan

I forgot to link readers to a Review vid.
Se these guys videoreview of the GH-4 that I personally subscribe to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHBKNI8xBE

The GH-4 doesn’t seem to have any overheating issues either and no cut offs after 30minutes which is nice.

The interface unit for the GH-4 sets you back 1600$ btw. And anyone wanting to shoot professional video in 4K is probably going to need this also for the XLR inputs and prevideo outputs.

If you want an all in one package the fullframe Sony A99/A7 or the Canon 5D mark III is a much better choice imo for good pisture quality and good video…

12:44 am - Friday, April 25, 2014

#4 Grant

Didn’t take long for the first troll to arrive. The good thing about your good review, Mark, is that it show up the lies of the trolls.

8:50 am - Friday, April 25, 2014

#5 Patrick

@Grant

I don’t see how he is trolling. He’s not out to provoke anyone just for the sake of provocation. Not everyone with a different opinion is a troll.

12:10 pm - Friday, April 25, 2014

#6 Michael Blackthorne

@Dan:  “even Panasonic claims they design these GH cameras from the ground up to be Moviecameras with a Picture capability slapped on there.”

Dan perhaps you could post a link to where Panasonic make that admission? 

Because in my understanding the philosophy behind the GH series has always been that of a “true hybrid”.  Ie, designed from the ground up with equal consideration given to video as to stills.  In Panasonic’s own words:  “the ultimate professional tool for commercial photographers and videographers.”

I agree with you that if photography is your only consideration then perhaps a full frame camera could be a better option for some (quality vs bulk), however some of those cameras you listed are borderline useless for video!  And I know this because I have owned and used some of the Sony cameras (current A7r owner). 

They are rife with aliasing and moire issues, and are plagued by the particularly egregious nature of the rolling shutter.  Not to mention the deliberately substandard encode that Sony lumber their consumer cameras with, a decision apparently made to protect their pro video line.

Perhaps a hobbyist or a brand cultist could overlook such shortcomings, however I’m afraid that anyone who values their craft or requires quality video for professional use will be steering well clear. 

This is where the GH4 steps into the picture.  There really is nothing on the market at this price point that comes within a bulls roar of providing this kind of performance and functionality.  And I say that as someone who will be shooting 4K specifically for 2K delivery.  It really is a game changer.

5:25 pm - Friday, April 25, 2014

#7 Scott W

You mentioned a panorama mode in the review. Could you explain how this accessed? On the GX7 it’s in the scene mode but the GH4 removed this feature. I checked the manual, searched google, and looked at Panasonic’s product site. I can’t find any reference of it. Are you sure the production model has this?

7:09 pm - Friday, April 25, 2014

#8 Chris

I see Panasonic aren’t the only people recycling previous material!!

8:59 pm - Friday, April 25, 2014

#9 Steve

I can’t find the Panorama either. How did you do it??

10:44 pm - Friday, April 25, 2014

#10 Jak Crow

How does the GH4 get a 5 for value with a $1700 price tag, while better cameras get lower scores while costing less?

6:09 pm - Monday, April 28, 2014

#11 Allan Reid

Superb comments Michael even the little humble Panasonic G6 beats all these cameras (video-wise) that Dan the heavy bulky DSLR luvvie lists in his posting, and its not far off the stills quality of these cameras either!lololololo!

11:37 pm - Monday, April 28, 2014

#12 Michael

I am blown away by all the features this camera has.  What doesn’t this camera do?  The article, for the sake of brevity, doesn’t even cover all the video features, such as focus peaking, zebras, profiles, etc.  Panasonic really built a landmark all-in-one cross-over camera.

10:48 pm - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#13 Marge

I LOVE the video capabilities of the Lumix GH4 but I am wondering if it is me or if anyone else thinks that this camera is lacking when shooting indoors. I need to bump the iso way up which creates too much noise. I have the 14-140mm f3.5 lens. It does well outdoors with plenty of light.

Does anyone here have any suggestions?

2:37 pm - Friday, May 16, 2014

#14 Tom

How did you edit new GH4’s RAW format?
I’m unable to open new *.rw2 files with any software supported (old) GH3’s rw2. What changes did they make in ‘new’ GH4 raw files?

3:27 pm - Monday, May 19, 2014

#15 OlyGark

The Panasonic GH4 does have more noise at higher ISO’s internet in this sensor design. However, what KIND of noise are we talking about? Luminance noise or Color noise? I have used GK5 and the GH4 for stills, and both cameras exhibit more noise than their rivals, but it is almost ALL Luminance noise, not color noise,which I find very easy to remove, without destroying the detail of the photo. Therefore, when discussing noise, best to be specific!

7:07 pm - Friday, May 23, 2014

#16 Marge

OlyGark As for the Lumix GH4 noise what is the difference in color or luminance noise and be specific as to HOW you easily remove it?

3:49 am - Saturday, May 24, 2014

#17 Olygark

The specific type of noise in the GH4 appears as “grain” particles would appear in high ISO film. It seems to become more apparent when you get to ISO 1200 on the GH4. Very little color noise, or Chroma noise is present, and does not present a problem. Of the two, Luminance noise can be easily removed through careful use of sliders on the Adobe LightRoom product, or PS if you prefer. After removing this type of noise, I was surprised to notice no degradation in image detail (edge sharpness). Hope this helps!

7:39 pm - Saturday, May 24, 2014

#18 Marge

Thanks for your response on the noise reduction!

1:38 am - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#19 Henry

How do you access bulb mode?

12:42 am - Friday, June 6, 2014

#20 John

I’m thinking of buying this camera, but I’m concerned about shooting video in low light situations, such as performances.  How would it do there, assuming the scene is not terribly dark?  If I’m shooting dance or sports, will I have the normal DSLR issues with movement?  Thanks

7:09 pm - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#21 tmac4x4

Hello,

I’m not sure if anyone is still tracking this thread, but I wanted to share my experience with GH4 dead pixels.  I am on my 3rd warranty replacement GH4 and it still has numerous “stuck” pixels that are evident with long exposures (5 seconds or more).  I’ve had a number of cameras that could do long exposures - some that can go much longer than the GH4 and none of them exhibited this issue.

Panasonic has offered to have me send my 3rd one in again for “repair” but I simply don’t believe they understand this issue.  I’m actually starting to believe this is an issue with ALL GH4 cameras.  If I understand correctly, the dead pixel issue is actually somewhat common where other camera manufacturers have effectively used “pixel mapping” technology to solve it.  I would gladly accept this solution for the GH4.  But, I’m not sure if Panasonic is listening on this one, and I would like to change that if possible.

I don’t want to assume too much, so I wanted to ask this question… Does anyone have a GH4 that can take a 10 second exposure with the lens cap on that results in a clean RW2 file with no “stuck” or “dead” pixels when you zoom in?

Thanks in advance,

T

3:55 am - Friday, October 3, 2014

#22 Jordan

This is a really nice camera, the 4k is just insane, I shot a couple of videos with it on the UkEcigStore channel - take a look https://www.youtube.com/user/ukecig

10:50 am - Monday, December 8, 2014

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, 16 megapixel, compact system camera, hdmi, wi-fi, touch-screen, micro four thirds, touch screen, lumix, touchscreen, panasonic, nfc, compact system, 12fps, 4k, 4k video, gh4, dmc gh4, dmc-gh4, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Review

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