October 11, 2014

Panasonic GH4 V2.0 Firmware Opens Up Taller Aspect Ratios for 4K & Above Anamorphic Shooting

Panasonic GH4 1-1 Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Luke Neumann
While you can shoot with whatever kind of anamorphic lens you want on the Panasonic GH4 assuming it covers the sensor, many of them will not give you a proper aspect ratio without cropping a ton.

1.3X anamorphics have been popular because they take 16:9 and make it the correct wider aspect ratio, but the anamorphic effect isn't as strong as 2X anamorphics. The new V2.0 Panasonic firmware update has added 4:3, 3:2, and 1:1 aspect ratios that use more of the sensor height, so you can actually get closer to the correct aspect ratio using 2X anamorphics without significant cropping (or an insanely wide aspect ratio) that comes from using 2X on a 16:9 sensor. There is a pretty decent catch at the moment, however.

Here's some footage shot with this new mode from Neumann Films:

Here's Luke Neumann to explain how he shot the footage above and how you can get the most out of the GH4:

While he mentions in the video 30fps is only frame rate, you can also select 25fps as well for PAL. Unfortunately, neither of those are the frame rate many of us really want, as 24fps would be preferable at least for filmmaking purposes here in the US. Hopefully at some point Panasonic adds 24fps, as it would really make this the cheapest and most useful camera for anamorphic shooting with all sorts of different lenses. 

He's made available some test footage, and a LUT that he's been using. You can find both of those here.

Besides adding 4K 23.98 at 100mbps in MP4, here's what's possible with the new V2.0 firmware update:

Panasonic GH4 Firmware V2.0 4K Anorphic

You can download the Windows version of the firmware here, and the Mac version here    

Your Comment

10 Comments

Especially with SLR Magic producing a 2x lens, this is going to be really really fun.

October 11, 2014 at 8:40PM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
462

Yeah, I hope that one improves on the 1.3x.

October 11, 2014 at 8:57PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2661

I think it's really awesome how affordable all of the tools are becoming. For under $10,000 you can have an amazingly professional setup with all these different ways to shoot your film or whatever you do. RAW, 4K, anamorphic, sliders, and lights make it possible to film a great story in the closest way possible to the original vision.

I just bought two of the Voigtlander f/0.95 lenses for my pocket camera and as soon as the GH4 can shoot RAW I'll add that to my setup.

Such a great time to be getting into this industry.

October 12, 2014 at 2:15AM

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Julian Faras
Editor, Cinematographer, Director
388

It's interesting that they used the 1:1 mode instead of the 4:3, since the latter is what is usually used with 2x anamorphics, though I see he wanted to fill up more of the 16:9 YouTube framing.
Some quick math shows that the 4:3 option provides, by what is probably a negligibly slim margin, the largest pixel count. I could see using the different aspect ratios to create a bit of an "overscan" safe area, which is always nice to have so the operator can see microphones and staging elements within their view without them ending up in the final framing.

October 12, 2014 at 4:15AM

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Yeah, I was interested in the 1:1 mode for the test because it gave me the ability to shoot 2x and finish in a full screen aspect ratio, something I have never even thought of doing before. That's what immediately caught my attention about the firmware so that's what I tested.

For anything else I will be shooting 4:3 though. One can only hope Panasonic listens and adds more ratios in 24p as I think these were not initially added with anamorphic in mind.

A 3840x2880 mode would be perfect!

October 12, 2014 at 9:51AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2661

Yeah, that would be great.
That said, and this is just a guess, Panasonic may be limited by how many pixels it can render to video at one time; all these "4K Photo" mode resolutions have pixel counts in a similar vicinity. 3840x2880 would blow those numbers out of the water by a good 25%. If we're going there anyway, we may as well wish for a 4096x3072 mode at 24p. :-P
I was wondering, though, about the prospect of 24p from this mode in the future. Since the current cinema 4K video mode renders a few hundred thousand more pixels than the regular UHD mode, maybe Panasonic could add in that difference again if they were to enable 24p.
Eh, whatever... I'm splitting hairs/pixels at this point.

October 12, 2014 at 11:49PM

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That's what I meant, probably no way to get 30fps at 3840x2880 but you would think they could get close with 24fps.

October 13, 2014 at 12:35AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2661

That's what I meant, probably no way to get 30fps at 3840x2880 but you would think they could get close with 24fps.

October 13, 2014 at 12:36AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2661

Or better yet, 3840x3270 for a perfect 2.39:1 output. 4:3 is just a little too wide with a 2x IMO.

October 12, 2014 at 9:58AM, Edited October 12, 9:58AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2661

Here's a brand new clip featuring both V-Log L and a variety of Anamorphic lenses. This was shot using the (soon to be released) firmware version 2.2 vimeo.com/125215026

April 20, 2015 at 4:35PM

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Eduardo Angel
Visual Storyteller
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