Panasonic jumps on 4K train with drool-worthy ‘GH Next’


posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM EDT


If 2013 was the year of the 'affordable' full-frame camera, 2014 is shaping up to be the year of 4K. We've seen dirt cheap 4K monitors from Asus, Seiki, Dell and Philips, but haven't heard many new announcements from camera manufacturers... yet. Panasonic is jumping onto the 4K train with a new prototype based on their excellent GH series.

We're not in the practice of paroting information reported in rumor sites, but provided the information below for several reasons: 

  1. The news pertained to a prototype Panasonic presented on the show floor.
  2. Engadget is a credible news source who broke the story some 14 hours prior.
  3. Engadget reported receiving the information from a Panasonic source.
  4. As of story's posting and today (01/11/14), we had and have no NDA information on the product. We never report on something that has ready been disclosed to us under NDA.

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Details are still scarce, but the spec that has us all drooling is the price: just south of $2,000. If Panasonic manages to come in that low (so far Engadget is the only site with pricing information from a Panasonic representative), they'll have the attention of the HD-DSLR world. Engadget is also reporting further details: video can be ouput via mini-HDMI in an uncompressed feed, while UHD can be recorded at a rate of 200 Mbps. Another feature that grabbed our attention? The camera will be able to snap photos while shooting 4K video. For certain applications (conference photography is one example) and depending on implementation, that could be a killer feature. If these photos are actually full-res and there's fine-grained control over shutter speed and ISO independent of the video feed, that could put the GH3 successor ahead of RED technology. 

CES is usually devoid of professional photography announcements. This year we have two, the other being the 'development' announcement by Nikon of their D4s HD-DSLR. Given the video focus of that model, we'd be surprised if the D4s doesn't support 4K. If the GH successor comes in at a similar price to the GH3, it could be tough for Nikon (or Canon, for that matter) to beat the GH4 'GH Next' value proposition. The February launch date reported by Engadget seems awfully aggressive. But with CP+ -- the major Japanese photo show -- just around the corner, we expect to see a lot more information shortly.

Panasonic 'GH Next' prototype on display at CES.

(Source: Engadget. We reached Panasonic for further information and were unable to confirm any details beyond the working name: 'GH Next.')

Artistic rendering of 4K GH model