In this second review I show most of the settings on the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K. Also the XLR adapter cable arrived so I could test out the Mini XLR audio. I did some tests in the most space efficient mode, 720P PR Proxy. 1 hour and 18 minutes is possible on a 32 GB HC card. Also is shown how to format a SD card. A 32 GB HC or smaller cards need to be reformatted for ExFat from Fat32. They will no longer work in the GH4 formatted as ExFat. 64 GB XC cards are already formatted as ExFat. Cards formatted in the Video Assist do not work in the GH4 but a GH4 formatted 64 GB XC card does work in the Video Assist.
The mini XLR cables can be purchased at Amazon.
Always tune into www.frugalfilmmakers.com to see the latest videos and reviews. The Blackmagic Video Assist 4K can be ordered now through Adorama.
The new Blackmagic Video Assist 4K was introduced at NAB2016 this year and is now available. Quite a lot of features for the money: UHD 4K recording, SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, Mini XLR audio, ProRes Proxy, LT, Standard and HQ recording, Canon LP-E6 batteries, a mental frame all with a 1080p touch display.
Watch this to see it on a GH4 and some early tests. This is the first video and covers some of the basic operation. There will be more that cover cards and audio.
The Blackmagic Video Assist 4K can be ordered through Adorama for $895.00
The Lumix GH4 has become a very popular camera. Most of this is because of the 4K video feature at a reasonable price point. Some other bloggers are discovering the joys of using these 21st Century cameras that I have already known. Here in Part 1 of my user review I will explain some of the reasons why I like this camera.
GH4 & GH3
Even though they are very similar in many ways, the Lumix GH4 is a major improvement over the Lumix GH3. As regular readers of this blog will know I am a great fan of the GH3. For Panasonic to improve the camera is quite an accomplishment because the GH3 was already a great camera. The new camera would have to be considerably better for me to like it a lot more. It is. They look the same except for a small detail, locking mode dial. Inside Panasonic has changed the camera considerably. Because of this, I find it hard to pick up the GH3 anymore because of the GH4. Here are some of the reasons why.
The viewfinder is miles better than its predecessor in the GH3. Not only is it sharper but it is easier to see without the edge Rainbow colors of the old viewfinder. I just don't like looking at the GH3’s viewfinder anymore. They even improved the eyecup. It is now softer and more comfortable. With the extra pixels in the viewfinder the image is a lot clearer. Sporting a new sensor with a faster read out, the image quality has improved in both stills and video. This faster sensor has improved the viewfinder as well. This is the first electronic viewfinder that I find looks almost like an optical view finder because of the faster readout and higher pixel count that adds to the clarity of the image.
One thing that I have wiped about the GH series is the swivel LCD. Swivel LCDs were put on videocameras many years ago and I have always liked them. I am glad that Panasonic put them on all of the GH series cameras. They have improved over the years. By adding more pixels Panasonic has improved the clarity of the swivel LCD on the back of the new camera is much better than its predecessor. So much so that I could now use it as an auxiliary viewfinder with my HoodLoupe. Still there on the LCD is the wonderful touch control that worked so well on the GH3. I have always liked the touch focus.
The new locking mode dial is very convenient in that when you push it down it locks the dial. Leave it up and the dial spins freely. This is a better arrangement than having to hold the button down to turn the dial like I'm some other cameras. I like being able to lock the mode to movie shooting.
It is wonderful that the improvements that came with the GH3 are still there. Having dedicated buttons for white balance, ISO asked and exposure compensation is great. I use them all the time. Having so many other function buttons is great too. I have always liked cameras with two Control wheels. One for aperture control, the other for shutter speed.
In Part 2 of my user review I will write about the improvements on the inside of the camera.
Took the new GH4 to the 119th Sequim Irrigation Festival Fireworks. I thought it would be good to use the Cinema 24p at 4K on the camera. That's right, the camera records at 24 frames per second just like a film motion picture camera. None of this 24.976 stuff to NTSC. Just set the camera to 24.00Hz (CINEMA) in the Setup menu under System Frequency and the camera will only record 24p. Now we really have a motion picture camera.
This is the first 4K test with the new camera that I am publishing. I recorded the footage at 100mbps IPB on to a HoodMan RawSteel 32gig Class 10 U1 SDHC card with no problems. On a 32 gig card the camera estimates that you have about 40minutes of record time.
There will a an article soon explaining the differences in the 4K modes in the GH4. We are in a new exciting world with the GH4.
4K – it is insane. I cannot even play it back on the screen of late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina. 4K video has more pixels than my screen so I cannot view it in all it's grandeur. I have posted on YouTube at 4K the footage I shot at Kenmore Camera’s Grand Opening on a preproduction GH4. For those of you can view 4K it is there for you to see. The rest of us Will have to view it at lower resolutions.
The GH4 is the first camera that I will own that has more resolution than my computer screen. I have experienced 4K video before using a RED camera. The RED camera files were difficult to use because that camera only shoots RAW so the file sizes are huge.
Screen Grab from 4K video
At 100 Mb per second the GH4 files are much more easy to use. I like that the h264 files are in a QuickTime wrapper in the camera. I had no real trouble editing this footage. Final Cut Pro X is already set for 4K. Your performance on another editor may very. I imported the footage from the SD card and it did not take that long because the file sizes are reasonable. FCPX has smooth playback while editing this footage. I did not add a lot of effects or layers so rendering times were quick. Later I will do some heavier editing to push my editor to see if I have any problems.
Shooting with the GH4 requires a very fast SD card to have the camera continue recording without stopping. It appears that 95 Mb per second cards seem to keep up with the 4K video. These faster cards also make importing the footage faster.
Also I will post some 4K screen grabs from the 4K video in my Flickr Set.