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February 6, 2014

4K Panasonic GH4 Has Arrived: 4K Up to 24FPS, UHD Up to 30FPS, & 1080P Variable to 96FPS

The camera made its first appearance at CES in January, and now the 4K Panasonic GH4 is finally here. While we weren't sure if Panasonic was going to create a whole new line with the camera, it seems like this is definitely some sort of successor based on Panasonic's wording, and it is building off everything that was good about the GH3. We've got full specs and photos below, as well as the first video shot in 4K on the camera, so click through for more.

[Update]: Pricing will be announced in March (but less than $2,000), and the 4K mode is a slight crop (from 2x to around 2.3x as compared to full-frame). The UHD crop is only slightly more.

[Update 2]: This was shot with the GH4 in 4K by Bryan Harvey:

His impressions:

And more videos:

The Specs

Thanks to 4/3 Rumors for the specs and photos (post will be updated as we know more):

  • 16.05 Megapixel Micro 4/3 Sensor
  • 4096 x 2160 up to 24fps (100Mbps)
  • 3840 x 2160 up to 30fps (100Mbps)
  • 1080p up to 60fps
  • Variable Slow Motion in-camera up to 96fps (not a sync-sound format)
  • 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) at 1080p
  • 2,359K-dot LVF (Live View Finder)
  • 3 inch 1,036K-dot Rear Monitor
  • 4:2:2 10-bit or 8-bit External HDMI (4:2:0 8-bit internal)
  • Cinegamma Modes
  • Peaking and Zebras
  • ISO 200-25600 (Extended Mode: 100-25600)
  • New UHS I Class III SD card (min. 30MB/s) format needed for over 100Mbps
  • 1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, AV Output, HDMI D (Micro), USB 2.0, Wired Remote Port
  • Approx. 50% higher speed signal readout suppresses rolling shutter effect even when using electronic shutter or recording motion image
  • 12 fps(AFS) up to approx.40 (including RAW) / approx.100 (excluding RAW) and 7.0 fps(AFC)
  • Price: TBA
  • Availability: TBA

Here is the GH4 with the new optional YAGH interface unit:

  • 2 Monaural XLR Inputs
  • Line/Mic Level Switch
  • Audio Level Display Monitor
  • 3G-SDI Capable BNC Connectors
  • Quad-Link SDI Output for 4:2:2/10-Bit 4K
  • HDMI Output
  • Timecode In
  • 12VDC 4-Pin XLR Power Input
  • Price: TBA
  • Availability: TBA

Panasonic GH4 4K with Base Bottom

More on the 4K GH4

Some interesting words from Panasonic on the image processing:

The image processor Venus Engine is also newly developed dramatically boosting its performance with new quad-core CPU that lets high speed signal processing required for rich video recording such as 4K. The advanced Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and edge processing according to each component frequency. Plus, newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image even more naturally.

In the press release, Panasonic keeps mentioning that there is no recording limit, but then near the bottom says it is up to 30 minutes depending on the recording format and where the camera is sold. This means one of two things, either the external recording is unlimited, or the internal is limited only in places like Europe where there is an extra tax for video cameras -- though it says this is a global camera (possibly for the US only), so you should get all the frame rates possible, rather than those limited to where you live (NTSC or PAL).

What's big about this new camera is that the HDMI is capable of being recorded in 4:2:2 10-bit, either through the camera or the optional add-on box. When you want to use the 10-bit, the camera will not be able to record internally (only externally). It seems like this is the case with both the camera's HDMI and the interface unit HDMI. If you want to go right from the camera to a recorder (or monitor) and still record internally, you'll be limited to 4:2:2 8-bit (which is still better than 4:2:0 8-bit, which is all the camera can record internally).

The interface unit (which looks like it requires external power) is also capable of sending out a 4:2:2 10-bit 4K signal through the 4 HD-SDI ports. This means that you can view the output in 4K and should be able to record the output separately for even higher quality than you will get internally. When the interface unit is on the camera, the camera's micro HDMI is no longer usable (so you only get one HDMI output). The HDMI on the interface unit is full-size and is capable of the same sampling as the camera's HDMI, though neither seem to output 4K -- but maybe during playback?

Slow motion is going to be very nice with this camera, as you can get a massive 96fps using the slo-mo mode in-camera. The camera will go up to 60fps at 1080p natively, but you can get all sorts of other frame rates with the variable frame rate mode (click for larger):

Panasonic GH4 4K Frame Rate List Panasonic GH4 4K Variable Frame Rate List

Head on over to the pages below to learn more.

Links:

Your Comment

239 Comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHKJ5eE7I1k

Watching with decent 1080P display, using the Youtube 4K stream.

There is some sharpness here people : )

February 6, 2014

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Juhan-i

Whaaaat...96fps...i wanted 240...or at least 120....

February 6, 2014

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lol

February 6, 2014

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Then go buy a Sony FS-700.... that is the only other "affordable" high speed FHD camera out there. This GH4 however is bringing a whole new meaning to "affordable" high speed filmmaking!

February 7, 2014

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he was joking, man.

February 7, 2014

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VinceGortho

the good old sarcasm...

lol

Since they're investing in XLR outputs in the grip, I suppose they'll add nice pre-amps in camera for quality sound recording.

Wow this is massive! An affordable doc camera with everything inside (with the grip). Amazing!

February 7, 2014

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Alex Mand

Detailed ongoing round-up on the #GH4 at its User Group: http://www.facebook.com/GH4users (and @GH4users at www.twitter.com/GH4users).

February 6, 2014

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Wow, that is a game changing camera! 10 bit 422 output, 96fps 1080p, grip with pro ports and 4k. Speechless

February 6, 2014

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Michael Hawk

My thoughts too - hadn't thrown around the "game changer" cliche is quite a while but it certainly fits here - wow!

February 7, 2014

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Lance Bachelder

Damn! I just clicked purchase on my Canon 4k 1DC. (not really).

February 6, 2014

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VinceGortho

There's an major firmware update for 1D C coming around March, will be interesting to see what it brings

February 7, 2014

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Ash

After this it would want to bring about an $8000 rebate ;)

February 7, 2014

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Yeah exactly

February 7, 2014

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South of JHB

what firmware? Or whats the speculation?
The $8k rebate should be the firmware.

February 8, 2014

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VinceGortho

Now this finally looks like there is a froward thinking company here giving us all the innovation we have been craving for...

February 6, 2014

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Raul

I hadn't heard about that propack add-on - that's a real game changer. If it has no record limits I have customers for this cam now.
Images look nice.
Very very interesting!

February 6, 2014

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marklondon

It sounds like it may have record limits in Europe.

February 7, 2014

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Shenan

Great cam but Im still pissed at the 100mbps for 4k??? WTF is with that?? 4 times the pixels of FHD yet HALF the bitrate?? That isnt going to be pretty when gradding, especially at 8bits.. Not to mention STILL internal 8bit recording everything despite forcing us to go with a new (and expensive) class 3 recording media.

Seriously its the year 2014 - 8bit needs to be put to death. This cam is more than capable of internal 10bit but we are forced to buy their extra add on device PLUS an expensive external recorder just to get what should be a given internally. FAAAAAARRRRRRRK!!! :-(

Other than that Im absolutely picking one (or two) up...unless Sony brings out something better at their press release next month ;-)

February 6, 2014

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Peter

> "Great cam but Im still pissed at the 100mbps for 4k???"

From EOSHD:
"The 4K internal recording is H.264 at 100Mbit/s (megabits per second). The H.264 codec is much more efficient than MJPEG on the Canon 1D C and to save Canon’s blushes we won’t mention the price! The 1D C uses a bitrate of 500Mbit/s just to keep the image quality up. The end result is that you can store just 20 minutes of 4K video per 64GB compact flash card on the 1D C but a much more practical 90 minutes of 4K on one 64GB SD card with the GH4."

> "Seriously its the year 2014 – 8bit needs to be put to death. This cam is more than capable of internal 10bit but we are forced to buy their extra add on device PLUS an expensive external recorder just to get what should be a given internally. FAAAAAARRRRRRRK!!! :-("

You could do with only just an external recorder, such as a cheap Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle.

And no other DSLR has given us true 8bit 422 yet anyway, so this is undoubtedly a game changer camera.

February 7, 2014

1
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This will be a great little b-cam to hang off quadcopters and 3 axis gimbals

February 7, 2014

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Robert A.

The D800 output true 422 8bit.

February 7, 2014

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See this Canon? This is what happens when you actually listen to customer feedback.

February 6, 2014

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Hubert

If my Canon lenses could work on this GH4, with changing aperture in camera... I am getting one NOW... ok when they are actually available. Canon like Apple is starting to irritate their customers...

February 7, 2014

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Frank

But it can work...

February 7, 2014

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Alexandre

The best way IMHO is to keep nikkors. Or buy manual lenses nikon mount. You get lenses for virtually any camera with cheap adapters. Buy a M4/3 to nikon F Speed booster and the GH4 will fly high.

February 7, 2014

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Alex Mand

Indeed. I have a Sigma 18-35mm and waiting fot the Speed Booster for the GH3, it fit's just right apparently (at 1.42x resulting crop factor) and I can't wait to try it out.

The only thing that throws me off is reversed (from my perspective) focus on most Nikon lenses (and if I were to use Rokinon lenses with Nikon mount they're reverse too, much to my regret... but of course that's to be expected if you're a Nikon user buying a Nikon mount lens!).

February 7, 2014

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If this bad boy could shoot RAW then it would be all over amazing. Magic lantern hack this please.

February 6, 2014

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gianfranco

My thoughts exactly. Raw and dynamic range interest me more than 4K right now.

February 7, 2014

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200 Mbps done to an external recorder with 10bit 422 will be more than good enough for many uses! RAW isn't everything.

February 7, 2014

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Yeah but currently the cheapest recorder on the market is the ODESSEY and its $2,300 then add their proprietary media storage cards which is another 400-800.

So all in all, you would be payingg around 2k at most for camera, another 2.3k for recorder, i say the add on panasonic component should not be more than 200 dollars, so total would be just shy of $5,000 to get 4k 10 bit.

Still not bad and will be cheapest complete package 24p camera available for 4k , but not sure if i would rush the gun on this one. Ultimately the media and external recorders will help this baby sell units.

However a stills camera and 4k in a way make it a decent future proof investment.

February 7, 2014

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JAYE

Blackmagic Designs Hyperdeck Shuttle is under $400 and uses SSD drives which are much cheaper and faster than the best SD cards out there. I've got a GH2 now, but I would love to add this with the hyper deck and the Black Magic Pocket Camera to my arsenal.

February 7, 2014

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julian

What on earth are you going on about? The Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 for around £240 in the uk will record the 10bit 1080p no problem to cheap SSD's - $2300 being the cheapest???

February 7, 2014

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The shuttle is not 4k unless I'm mistaken

February 7, 2014

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The hyper deck is only 1080p I know exactly what I'm talking bout

February 7, 2014

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jaye

1080p at 10-bit 422 is more than enough for me, so, the question is: how good is DR with these cinegamma modes?

but keep in mind, this is not really that much different from a BMC, which is painful to operate but does 10-bit 422 internally...

February 7, 2014

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Dear magic lantern, we love you, I'll pay if you hack the gh4. By the way, after the gh2 hack did panasonic do anything to lock up their firmware so future cameras could not be hacked?

February 8, 2014

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thecouchguy

Crop on 4k.

February 7, 2014

1
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moebius22

I wish they made it bigger. The YAGH unit is really bigger compared to body so when you attach it, it's not really balanced when handheld.

February 7, 2014

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Just wait till you see the AF200! ;)

February 7, 2014

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Anthony Marino

With the SD-HDI, does that mean the camera can be Gen-locked for 3D production???

February 7, 2014

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Lucas Kao

Well, it looks a lot like sharper GH2 hacked footage. Might be the grade, but this looked very contasty and bottom heavy as far as footage goes. Might be totally recoverable, or this crushed things, but I'd have to see some more images before being as stoked as I wanna be.

February 7, 2014

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Paul Watt

Why is there a 1980's cell phone attached to the bottom of the camera?

February 7, 2014

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James

This is now a broadcast standard camera. Outputting the 422 should be acceptable on every channel in the world. I wonder if the feed of the 4K utilises the full sensor to deliver 1080p?

February 7, 2014

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JPS

UPDATE , now seeing that the add on box for 4k may be upwards of 1.5k to 2k , that added with price of camera and external recorderr plus meida will put you at around $6,500. or $6.7k.

for about 3k more one could get the fs700 and recorder capable of much more including 4k second quater with odyseey

Looks like promising news, but we shall see ultimately how it boils dow.

February 7, 2014

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JAYE

The thought of pairing this camera as a rental to go with a BMPCC brings joy to my heart.

With the MFT mount and sensor, it fits so nicely in a kit that includes a MetaBones Speedbooster and Nikon AI/AIS vintage glass---it's like the missing link for high frame-rate work for those of us in the super-low budget crowd.

Footage should (hopefully) cut beautifully at 1080 with the black magic pocket camera...Definitely seems appealing to rent a cam for $100-$200 to take care of all the slow-mo shots you might need for a feature that calls for it.

February 7, 2014

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George

4:2:2 8bit HD/4K internal is more than enough for me. This, with a SPEED Booster and Nikon lenses makes a lot of sense. I'm definitely going for this.

February 7, 2014

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Timoteo

Okay, it's 4:2:0 8bit internal recording. Even so, it's still on for me. 4:2:2 via HDMI to the ODYSSEY is cool. Can't wait.

February 7, 2014

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Timoteo

Or the Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle for not much at all :)

February 7, 2014

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No Dynamic Range no thanks

February 7, 2014

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Murph

these new cinegammas could bring it up to 12+ stops in video mode too, so, let's wait and see...

February 7, 2014

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