The GH4's Funky Interface Unit Is Now Way Less Expensive, But Is It Worth It?
When the GH4 was first released, the YAGH interface unit was priced well beyond the camera itself, leading many to wonder whether or not it was worth that hefty chunk of change.
The (almost) universal response to that question was a resounding "hell no." At roughly $2100 when it began shipping, the YAGH was really only suited for professionals in dire need of the quad link SDI output for 10-bit 4:2:2 recording and the built-in timecode features. Even for folks interested in the YAGH's audio capabilities, there was really no reason to purchase it at that price considering all of the other DSLR audio solutions on the market at much lower prices.
However, the price of the YAGH unit has fallen significantly since it was first released, and it recently hit an all time low of $698 at B&H, which means that it may be worth reassessing the value that this funky interface can provide to users of the GH4. Caleb Pike, who just released what is easily the most comprehensive GH4 course on the market, pulled a video from the course in order to explain what the YAGH interface does, who it's designed for, and who it isn't. Check it out.
All things considered, the YAGH interface is still likely a no-go for most GH4 shooters. Sure, it does add some professional video features, most notably the SDI outputs, which can be essential for various on-set workflows. With that said, the fact that it has to be powered by an external battery means that you're looking at cobbling together a sizable and somewhat expensive rig just for the camera, interface, and battery, and in many ways, that defeats the purpose of working with a camera of this size.
And again, if getting better on-board audio is the primary reason that you're looking at this unit, there are tons of other options on the market that will provide results that are just as good (if not better), for a significantly lower price tag. As Caleb mentions in the video, juicedLink makes some solid pre-amps that fill that purpose nicely. Not to mention all of the solutions from companies like Tascam and Zoom.
If you're interested in checking out more of Caleb's GH4 videos, head over to DSLR Video Shooter where he's excerpted a few more videos from his in-depth course. Also, if you have any experience with the YAGH interface (positive or negative), share it with us down in the comments.