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4K Video of Kenmore Camera on YouTube



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

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.

Hands On With The GH4


Preproduction GH4 taken at Kenmore Camera

It is here! On Friday Feb. 20th, I posted on this site that I was going to the Kenmore Camera Grand Opening. I tweeted it and Kenmore camera reposted that tweet. They also sent me a note that a certain 4K camera would be at the show. It was.

When I arrived at Kenmore camera, there was Mark Toal from Panasonic with the preproduction GH4. He warned me that this camera had beta software and from time to time would crash. Fortunately all I had to do was turn the camera off and turn it back on to continue shooting. I was able to shoot stills and 4K video at the store. All of the footage in my video besides his interview were shot with the preproduction GH4. How lucky was that! There are only four preproduction GH4’s in the country.

My thoughts about the GH4 after handling and shooting with the preproduction camera:

The first thing you will notice is that the camera looks like a GH3. It uses the same battery as the GH3 and battery grip. But a GH3 it is not. So much has been improved on this new camera that it is a major step forward.

The next thing you notice when putting it up to your eye is that the viewfinder has been improved dramatically. The viewfinder image appears very large to the eye. with no color fringing on the edges. It has a much clearer view because of the increased screen resolution and better optics in viewfinder. The eye cup is much more comfortable then the one on the GH3.

GH4 Top

The screen refresh rate has been increased so it doesn't not look like the traditional electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder image is much clearer. The pixels are so small that you don’t see them. Also the auto focus is blazingly fast because of a faster refresh rate and new quad processor.

There is a locking Mode Dial but it does not lock in the traditional way. If you leave it up the dial freely turns, if you push it down it locks. I like this arrangement much better than the way other camera manufacture’s do it.

All the buttons and dials are in the same place as the earlier camera. So anyone familiar with that earlier camera will be familiar with this camera. The menu system is very similar and more extensive add new features. There are a lot more controls for video in the new menus. With all these improvements we can tell that Panasonic is listening to the photographers who are using their cameras.

GH4 Back

But the main reason I came to see this camera was its biggest new feature, 4K video. It has been said before and I will say it again, 4K changes every thing. Panasonic has put together the most affordable 4K camera on the market. It does not have raw video, but the video it does have is damn good. Four times the resolution of full HD video is an incredible feat to put on an SD card. Mind it you need very fast cards for this camera. On this preproduction model with good cards it could shoot about 10 seconds of video before it quit. What a very fast card rated at 95 Mbps it could shoot 4K video without stopping. The 4K at this camera creates is at 100 Mbps. I tried the 1080 video at 200 Mbps and again on this very fast card I was able to get just a few seconds worth before it quit. To take advantage of this new camera, new SD cards will needed. This is not a big surprise but a necessity. The only video mode that you can still use regular cards is the slower AVCHD mode. This is a saving grace for wedding photographers and others who shoot long programs. 24 Mbps is a lot easier to record.

People are asking what is the benefit for still photographers with this new video centric camera? One of the major ones that I have thought of is that mirrorless cameras have never been thought of as good cameras for sports and other action photography. Most of them use contrast detection of focus so the camera usually is not good for tracking action. My solution is to shoot short 4K video clips and then pull out a still image from the video, a frame grab. 4K video yields an eight megapixel still, good enough for a lot of uses. Unlike the still photographers that use DSLR’s who get maybe 10 frames a second, with 4K video you get 30 frames a second with no viewfinder black out. That is a lot more frames to choose from. Still photographers are already doing this with the RED camera but the GH4 is only a fraction of the cost of the RED camera. In fact the GH4 is a lot less expensive than those DSLR's that the sports photographers are using now.

The better viewfinder, faster focus and better low light performance are also improvements for the still photographer.

Will I be adding this camera to my arsenal? You bet! Does it replace the GH3? No. It is now a higher tier camera then the GH3. It depends upon the shooter.

Here are the pictures I shot with and of the GH4 at Kenmore Camera at Flickr.

Here is my video recorded on February 21 at the Kenmore Camera Grand Opening.

The Arizona Memorial

131030-155627-024_wmOn this day of remembrance of the lives lost in Pearl Harbor I have a story to tell.  As part of the coverage for AFL China was our visit to Honolulu for the first of 2 games being played by the AFL All-Stars.  In preparations for the game on Dec 2nd in Honolulu, we traveled to historic sites. One of them being the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.  A shot done with my GH3 was used in the video that evening.

First of all I must warn you it is not as easy one might think to shoot there.  When trying to enter the Memorial Site staging area on land before the boat takes you out to the actual memorial on the bay, the park ranger said that no backpacks (camera bags) were allowed on the grounds.  So I had to take my bag back to the car.  I put my extra lenses in my pants pocket.  Shooting Micro Four Thirds has it's advantages.  The lenses are small enough to do so.  Try that with a C or N 70-200mm.

We were asked not to shoot video at the memorial and in respect to memorial I did not shoot any video at the site on the bay but did shoot from the boat going from it.

Here is the video used that evening at the AFL China site.  For Lou's standup for the video we used my F&V R-300 LED ring lights, my GH3 and my new Manfrotto MVH500A tripod.

Four Types of Final Cut Pro X People

I have taken a pause from this blog to focus on work and some upgrades to my gear including a new computer.  During this time I have done a lot of traveling and will be blogging about my adventures.

Screen shot Peak LimiterTo get things started I am reposting an article close to my heart from FCP.co

As many of you know I love Final Cut Pro X and do most of my work now in it.  For me it is the fastest and best editor out there.  I do fall into the first catagory of FCPX people.


They have put the hard work into FCPX. It is true to say that there is a ‘learning wall' with the NLE, not a curve, but they have got over it and can see FCPX's full potential. Just take a look at some of the great user stories on this site to see how FCPX works well in different production environments.”

Here is the full  article.  http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1288-the-four-types-of-final-cut-pro-x-people

Giulio Sciorio Visits Kenmore Camera

130829-195234-167Lumix Luminary Giulio Sciorio was at Kenmore Camera on Thursday, Aug. 28th, 2013.  He brought along the new Lumix GX-7 as part of a tour of the northwest.  He is the owner of Small Camera Big Picture, a blog about mirrorless cameras of which I am a guest blogger from time to time.  Fellow SCBP blogger Paula Thomas was there as well. It was great to meet them and chat about all things photography.

Later that evening he gave a course at Glazers Camera in Seattle on Hybrid Photography.

The GH3 does Kickstarter – Update: Funded!

I was approached by a long time friend and brilliant artist to help with his Kickstarter campaign.  Ross Matteson has created a sculpture dedicated to 9/11/2001.  He asked me to create a video for the project to be used on the Kickstarter page.  I worked very closely with him to tell a story that he wanted to tell.

My interview with him was shot in his studio with my Lumix GH3 and the Lumix G X 35-100mm f2.8 lens.  I used my F&V R-300 LED Ringlights for the lighting with umbrellas.  I shot the interview with the 72 All-I .mov setting at 29.7 fps in the camera.  I have found this setting to be the best and Final Cut Pro X loves it.  The slow motion I shot at 60 fps and slowed it down.  Post was done in FCPX.

Here is more information from Ross on this project:

In October of 2001, only one month after September 11th, I made a glass and steel sculpture titled, The Structure of Love Is Indestructible.  It was covered with hundreds of flying doves etched into the surface of a glass tower. My motive was to honor the people of 90 different countries whose lives were lost or affected by the devastation of that day.

The intent of my design was to overwhelm and displace the horrific and hypnotic images constantly being replayed over and over with something else, with the truth about each person— independent of that tragedy.  I didn’t want to give in to an obsessive portrayal of evil as dominant or inevitable.   Instead, I wanted to celebrate and be awestruck by 3,000 unique individuals in the fullness of their potential and life.  My love for what was good and true about each of those people transcended nationality, race, religion, injury and ultimately, even death.
With a remarkable team of collaborators, I am currently making The Structure of Love Is Indestructible into a 10 foot high monument.   Though it is based on my original sculpture, its message is growing to embrace anyone who has been given the label of “victim”.    This piece will have two glass towers and have an ascending, instead of scattering, pattern of doves in flight.

My team is working to build a community of support around The Structure of Love Is Indestructible and its 5 day debut in Olympia, WA, at the Harbor House on Percival Landing.  The Washington State Council of Fire Fighters is part of this community of support and has endorsed the event in a meaningful way.  The Olympia debut will include inspirational speakers and music, and be free to the public.

We are also soliciting community funding for both this debut and the sculpture itself, through a campaign that we have just launched, described in the link below:


I encourage you to view the video on the above web page.    You will hear from Bruce Salvog, who was in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and from Alice Musabende, who survived the Rwandan genocide.  Their stories about working to transcend victimhood are inspiring.  They also express their direct support for this project.

Other information about The Structure of Love Is Indestructible and the currently scheduled debut events in both Olympia, WA (opening 9/11/13) and Tulsa, OK (opening 4/18/14) are included via this web site.


GH3 Front

Amazon has a deal on the GH3.

Click here for details.

The GH3 is the camera that I use and are very pleased with.  It is small, and lightweight. This camera was redesigned with a Magnesium Alloy Frame along with Dust and Splash Proof seals. It is very clean at high ISO and does an excellent job in low light.

The media is SDHC allows you to work with cheaper media. The camera shoots in 72Mbps [All-Intra] MOV for high quality footage to grade in post and AVCHD when high quality compressed footage is wanted. There is built in Wi-Fi to be controlled by your iPhone, a built in Intervalometer (Time Lapse), the HDMI output is full 1080 with the LCD display still usable.  Full 1080p 60fps (for wonderful slo-mo), an articulating LCD, very fast auto focus (AF available in video mode), the ability to adapt pretty much any lens on the market make this a real bargain.

NAB2013 – F&V Report

As many of you know Frugal has been using F&V Lighting R-300 LED Light for sometime. (Here is the report.)  Frugalfillmmakers.com is an affiliate of F&V Lighting because they make very good equipment for the frugal filmmaker.  It was great to see them at NAB.  We stopped by the F&V Lighting booth and talked with Connor Hartnett.  The new Camera Slider is now available. Also is the new F3 LCD Monitor is coming soon.