Panasonic GH4 Field Test
Panasonic GH4 Field Tests
Panasonic GH4 Field Test Part I
High Performance, High Resolution, High Functionality
Despite 4K video recording as the hallmark feature of the new Panasonic GH4, Panasonic's new flagship mirrorless camera is still a top-notch camera for still photography. I had a couple of weeks to spend some quality time shooting with the GH4 -- out on the streets of New Orleans and along South Carolina's coast -- and right off the bat, I was very impressed with both the image quality and performance of this new mirrorless camera.
In the hand. On the physical side of things, if you're familiar with the GH3, then the GH4 has practically no learning curve in terms of handling and ergonomics. Despite the drastic weight- and space-saving benefits that come with the average mirrorless camera compared to the typical DSLR, the GH4 is certainly on the larger end of the spectrum with a more traditional DSLR design.
Compared to smaller to mid-sized DSLRs, such as the Pentax K-5 or Nikon D7100, the Panasonic GH4 looks practically the same size, with a nice solid heft -- although with a much more comfortable, contoured handgrip in my opinion. If you want a small and lightweight interchangeable lens camera to slip into your bag, the GH4 is not for you.
However, even with the slightly larger body, you still reap the benefits of the large selection of Micro Four Thirds lenses, which are inherently smaller than their DSLR counterparts. I was able to carry around a bright f/2.8 wide-angle zoom and a super-telephoto zoom lens with the 35mm-eq. FOV of 600mm with no sweat and hardly much space used up in my bag. Try that with a DSLR!
Read our first Panasonic GH4 Field Test installment!
Panasonic GH4 Field Test Part II
Video Recording and that's a wrap!
Whether you're a still photographer who's just dipping his or her toes into the ocean that is video production or you're a hardcore, seasoned professional videographer, the Panasonic GH4 is like the "Swiss Army knife" of video -- boatloads of file formats, bitrates, framerates, clean HDMI output, headphone jack, full-time AF... you name it, the GH4 probably has it.
The GH3 garnered heavy praise from us for its impressive video quality and pro-level featureset -- and doing so at a very "un-pro-like" price point -- and the new GH4 has upped the ante with not only 4K video recording, but also with even higher quality 1080p video bitrates (with a total of 26 different video resolution/frame rates options), cinema-like picture styles and advanced production features like zebra pattern, focus peaking and clean HDMI output at 4:2:2 8- or 10-bit quality. And still, the GH4 maintains a relatively low price for a pro-level camera at around $1,700, which is impressive considering it's: A) Panasonic's flagship photo-oriented interchangeable lens camera (the AF100 being a professional Micro Four Thirds camcorder) and B) a camera with video features and image quality that meet or surpass professional cinema cameras that can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
While I certainly don't consider myself a professional videographer, I've had a fair share of experience in video production, and after spending some quality time with Panasonic's new top-of-the-line Micro Four Thirds camera, I'm ready to discuss my thoughts on the video recording features of the GH4, as well as wrap-up my GH4 Field Test with my final summary of Panasonic's new flagship mirrorless camera.
Read our second and final Panasonic GH4 Field Test installment!
Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.