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2014 Neighborhood Fireworks at 96fps

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 4.27.51 PMOver the Forth of July here in these United States there are lots of fireworks celebrating our Independence Day. I decided to take the Lumix GH4 out and shoot some of our local fireworks at 96 frames a second. One of the nice new features of the GH4 is the ability to shoot slow motion in the camera. That way when I play it back it plays in slow motion. I set the iso of the camera at 1600. I used the new Lumix 14-140mm lens. I am real happy with the results. I hope you enjoy them.

The GH4 does a Parade

Framegrab from 1080p

Framegrab from 1080p

Here is the 2014 Sequim 119th Irrigation Festival Parade in all it's glory shot in AVCHD 1080/60p. With the limitations of YouTube the video was reduced to 480p at 30 frames a second. YouTube does not do 60p. I reduced the video to 480p because the parade video is 105 minutes to keep the file size down. The lens used is the New Lumix 14-140mm f4-5.6 O.I.S.

Doing long form video on the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is wonderful.
Number one: Unlimited Recording. There is no limitation on how long you can record, unlike most other HDSLR's. The bigger the SD card the longer you can record. The camera does not stop till you stop the camera.
Number two: No Overheating. The GH4 does not overheat and shut down, period. That was a problem with other cameras that I have used.
Number three: Long Battery Runtime. The camera battery lasts a long time. I have had one battery cover an entire opera, symphony concert or musical.
Number four: Buit-In Viewfinder. The viewfinder works while shooting video. In sunlight, in shade, in the dark, does not matter.
Number five: Adjustable LCD. The rear OLED LCD is adjustable. It can be viewed from any position.
Number six: Bright LCD. The OLED LCD is bright enough to be seen in daylight without a hood. Wonderful while working on a tripod.
Number seven: Audio Level Display: The audio levels display on the screen and stay on screen as long as you are recording video. On the GH3 display the audio levels went off after a short time.
Number eight: Focus Peaking. Being able to manually focus on the fly with the LCD and viewfinder is great when the subject is constantly changing.
Number nine: Zebra Bars. Being able to see what will wash out in exposure is very helpful. They can be set to 80% or 100%.
Number ten: Low Rolling Shutter. 1080 60p has the lowest rolling shutter on the GH4. A noticeable difference. 4k has the most rolling shutter.

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 replaces a video camera.

GH4 4K Fireworks

24.00HzTook 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.

Unboxing the GH4

Unboxing The GH4 ProjSo far I am very happy with the Panasonic Lumix GH4. The features are wonderful and I like that Panasonic has listened to it's customers. This is a very impressive camera indeed.

This unboxing video does not have footage from the camera or goes into depth of features. Those videos will come very soon as well as the full review. This is just a look at the camera.

Hands On With The GH4

GH4
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.