News from the world of 4K: first Panasonic GH4 footage emerges; Blackmagic Production Camera 4K gets price update
posted Monday, February 10, 2014 at 6:45 PM EDT
About a month ago during CES in Las Vegas, we saw quite a bit of 4K UHD video related gear being announced, be it monitors that sport a 4K resolution or 4K-capable camcorders. Only a couple of days ago, Panasonic announced the first consumer-friendly, mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that is capable of recording 4K video: the Lumix GH4. As is evident from the massive interface unit that is available as an accessory, the camera is aimed not only at the consumer, but also at the professional who's looking for an affordable 4K solution.
Now the first footage from the GH4 has emerged, and it shows the beauty that is the peninsula of Yucatán, Mexico. The video was shot by documentary filmmaker Bryan Harvey, who has previously worked for National Geographic among others. For his Yucatán video, Bryan was equipped with two GH4 bodies as well as a slew of Micro Four Thirds lenses; and, as is evident from the footage below, he made good use of the equipment.
Now while some might argue that 4K only makes sense on gigantic screens, we have to say there is a noticeable improvement in sharpness over Full HD when viewed on a high-resolution screen, such as that on a Retina-capable MacBook Pro or one of the new 4K desktop monitors that we recently reported on. Whether or not the GH4 will satisfy even the most demanding of videographers remains to be seen, but so far the results are pretty jaw-dropping and well worth checking out, provided your computer is able to process the ridiculous amount of information.
In other 4K news, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is now finally available, and as what we reckon is a direct reply to the competition that is the GH4, it comes with a significantly reduced price tag. Instead of the previously announced US$3,995 price tag, the BMPC will now be available for US$2,995, which is a 25% drop. This is still a lot more than the GH4 will set you back, but then again the Blackmagic features a larger Super 35mm sensor and an array of pro-level amenities.
Apart from the larger Super 35mm sensor, the BMPC comes with ProRes 422 recording, a global shutter, built-in SSD recorder, 6G-SDI output for 10-bit HD and Ultra HD, a huge 5” LCD touchscreen as well as a mount for EF and ZE lenses. Those are some solid arguments that might make it the better option over the GH4 for some.