4K is the name of the game at CES this year, and that includes some new camera models capable of the format. Sony showed their hand with the $2,000 4K handycam, and now Panasonic has unveiled more about the GH 4K, which will fit into their mirrorless camera line. Engadget snapped a few photos of the new 4K cam at the Panasonic booth, and managed to get some new details from the representative there.
Here is what engadget posted, followed by some photos:
UHD content can be recorded at 200 Mbps, and output in a full live feed via a mini-HDMI port (thanks to ALL-I Intra mode) to display on a computer or record to a hard drive. Of course, the Micro-Four Thirds shooter can save footage straight to an SDXC card -- a UHS Class 3 prototype variant tuned for such a task was on display -- though space will run out fairly quickly.
And on price:
More details are set to arrive with the camera's official release in late February, when it'll arrive with a price tag of $2,000 or less.
As a quick refresher, these are the rumored specs we got last fall:
1mil dot OLED screen
21mm OLED viewfinder, 3,000+ dot.
200mbps mp4 All-i/100mbps IPB
4k up to 30p
4:2:2 10/8bit output
3G-SDI and XLR adaptor (An adaptor that the camera sits on with XLR x2, HD-SDI x4)
Seems that those rumors are right on in terms of specs, as the 200mbps intraframe codec was confirmed by the Panasonic rep. Surprisingly, the final price may actually turn out to be cheaper than the rumor at $2,000 or less -- so this will be the most affordable interchangeable lens 4K camera when it is released (unless something is announced from another company sooner). Many aren't crazy about the Micro 4/3 format, but it does mean you can attach all sorts of accessories, like the Metabones Speed Booster, and get more out of the lenses you already have.
The camera looks just like the GH3 at the moment, but we don't yet know if this will be the final model coming in February. The full live feed mentioned may just mean a high-quality 1080p output, though it would be rather interesting if they were actually going to send out a 4K signal from the camera -- as the current options for displaying and recording that kind of resolution are limited. I think many would be happy to see some sort of 10-bit log output from the camera that could be recorded onto an external recorder into ProRes or DNxHD (even better would be 10-bit internal log). That would add some size to the rig, but for something that's going to be heavily color graded, a high bit depth 1080 image does more for you than a compressed and lower bit depth 4K image.
At 200mbps (25 Megabytes per second), that's going to be 1.5GB a minute, or 90GB per hour. Just like shooting RAW on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, it's a lot of data for SD cards, which is why Panasonic was showing a new SD card guaranteed to sustain the data rates. You may not actually need something like that though, as the Sandisk 95MB/s card can sustain RAW from the Pocket, which is actually recording at a higher data rate.
This could turn out to be a very interesting option with what is already going to be a very 4K heavy year. More details will likely emerge before the announcement -- so stay tuned.