Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Review

5.0
April 24, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16M Fine JPEG image size option, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 produced images of outstanding quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 100 to 1600, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 and 12800 exhibit quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, while the fastest setting of 25600 looks much better on paper than in reality.

The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening level and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The various Photo Styles and Creative Controls allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images before you take them, while the Intelligent D-range and HDR modes extract a little more detail out of the shadow and highlight areas.

The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light.

Video

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 offers an incredible number of different video modes. We've provided 13 sample videos taken at different quality settings.

MOV 4K 100M 25P

MOV FHD ALL-I 200M 50P

MOV FHD ALL-I 200M 25P

MOV FHD 100M 25P

MP4 (LPCM) 4K 100M 25P

MP4 (LPCM) FHD ALL-I 200M 50P

MP4 (LPCM) FHD ALL-I 200M 25P

MP4 (LPCM) FHD 100M 25P

MP4 4K 100M 25P

MP4 FHD 28M 50P

MP4 FHD 20M 25P

AVCHD FHD 28M 50P

AVCHD FHD 24M 25P

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 which you can select at any time if the camera is in one of the creative shooting modes. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (7.51Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (3.42Mb) (100% Crop)

   

RAW (18.9Mb) (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level by tweaking the Film Mode, with five different settings available.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction (when iA, iA+), Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., and Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (280mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (280mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 25 seconds at ISO 160. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4's Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high.

Off (100% Crop)

Low (100% Crop)

   

Standard (100% Crop)

High (100% Crop)

   
Extended 4x (100% Crop)  
 

Intelligent D-Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4's Intelligent D-range feature adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.

Off

Low

   

Standard

High

HDR

In the HDR mode the Panasonic Lumix GH4 combines 3 frames taken at different exposures to create a single image with increased dynamic range.

Off

On 1EV

   

On 2EV

On 3EV

Multiple Exposure

In the Multiple Exposure mode the Panasonic Lumix GH4 combines multiple frames to create a single image.

Photo Styles

Panasonic's Photo Styles, similar to Nikon's Picture Styles, Canon's Picture Controls and Olympus' Picture Modes, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. The six available Photo Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There is also a Custom option so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Vivid

   

Natural

Monochrome

   

Scenery

Portrait

Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 has an extensive range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette in the shooting mode menu, with 22 different options on offer.

Expressive

Retro

   

Old Days

High Key

   

Low Key

Sepia

   

Monochrome

Dynamic Monochrome

   

Rough Monochrome

Silky Monochrome

   

Impressive Art

High Dynamic

   

Cross Process

Toy Effect

   

Toy Pop

Bleach Bypass

   

Miniature

Soft Focus

   

Fantasy

Star Filter

   

One Point Color

Sunshine

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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