March 21, 2016 at 9:14AM

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Still buy the GH4?

I've got about 1.500€ to spend on a new camera (body only). I thought the Panasonic Lumix GH4 would be a could choice. But it's already 2 years old. Is it still competetive or should I wait untill Panasonic lauchnes the GH5 which will probably happen in Q4 this year (it's not unlikely that they will do it at the Photokina).

What are your thoughts?

20 Comments

The GH4 is a fantastic value today, moreso because it's now typically sold with an instant rebate or discount that fairly reflects that it is a 2 year old camera. The GH4 got a lot of things right, and I think it will be one of those cameras that people keep for a long time because it actually works very well for what it is.

I'm sure the GH5 is going to be mind-blowing, but I also think it won't be released until at least 6-9 months after it is announced. Since it hasn't been announced, I don't think it will be Q4 this year.

March 21, 2016 at 11:40AM

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What are you currently using and what lenses do you have?

March 21, 2016 at 2:08PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2232

At the moment I'm using a Canon EOS 70D with some canon L-series glass. Buying a Metabones adaptor wouldn't be an issue.

March 22, 2016 at 4:25AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2216

Eric, I can't even begin to describe my feelings of my own 70D once I saw footage from a GH3. And the GH4 is so much better than that. I was proud of my 70D until I was editing someone else's GH3 into my project. And I was so wowed at how much sharper his footage was. I've since lost all taste for Canon's APSC stuff. Sold ALL of them. Sell your 70D asap. Get a used GH4 with the 12-35mm f2.8. You won't be sorry.

March 23, 2016 at 10:22PM

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Dennis Nagelkirk
Write. Film. Edit. Draw. Paint.
142

I would wait until NAB 2016 ( coming next month ) is over, because there might be new gear announced at this show. If nothing changes after NAB, then I would take a close look at the Panasonic GH4 and the new Sony A6300 camera.

From what I hear it sounds like the GH5 won't be announced until at least Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.

March 21, 2016 at 6:10PM, Edited March 21, 6:10PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32134

There's also the very bad rolling shutter to consider with the Sony A6300. If it won't affect their shooting style, then not a big deal, but if they do a lot of movement, they'll need to stabilize it somehow.

GH4 is tried and true for me. I highly recommend it, Eric.

March 22, 2016 at 4:38PM

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RJ Ortiz
Cinematographer
156

Both cameras have Pros and Cons. My main camera is the GH4, but I could see people liking the A6300 for better low-light and better dynamic range.

For me, I like the GH4 because of: the unlimited recording time ( as long as your memory card and battery will last ), the long battery life ( 3+ hours, 6+ hours with the grip ), 10-bit 4:2:2 external output ( should be a great fit with the new Atomos Ninja Flame Monitor/Recorder ), 4K Photo Mode ( have only played with it, but I can see lots of possibilities )

March 22, 2016 at 5:58PM, Edited March 22, 5:58PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32134

The 10-Bit 422 is still one of the biggest pro arguments. Even after 2 years there is no other camera that has this at this price point (or at any other price point under 10k).
And it only makes sence to use V-Log if you take the 10-Bit externaly into a recorder like the Shogun or Ninja Flame because of banding and other artefacts.

March 24, 2016 at 12:22PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2216

You could wait another month until NAB, and then another year + for any of the NAB announcements to become a reality, or you can buy a camera now and start creating.

GH4 is the best bang for your buck right now. Buy the metabones speed booster and you'll be set.

March 22, 2016 at 12:48PM

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Quigley
79

A camera in the hand is worth 2 in the bush, my man. Even if you get the GH5 how long before Sony or Blackmagic release something that blows it out of the water? Tech is going so fast that you just have to ask yourself what you need, and get it. The latest and greatest is always around the corner.

March 23, 2016 at 4:44PM

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I feel like I had enough of MFT sensor cameras and recently sold my GH4 and replaced it with an a7s. I originally wanted to get the a7s ii but budget is budget.

That said you can do a lot of great things with the GH4, and I did use it for a lot of projects, such as events and even commercial work. I wouldn't pay full price for it, and actually I even sold my GH4 for €825 including VAT. If you do buy it I'm just thinking whether or not you'll be able to re-sell it at decent value or not.

March 24, 2016 at 6:24AM, Edited March 24, 6:24AM

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Sebastian Kammonen
Filmmaker
383

consider the samsung NX1. Almost no rolling shutter at 1080p, S35 sensor, great low light, h.265 manageable with premiere cc 2015 + gtx 960 like GPU.

March 24, 2016 at 6:56AM

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Nikola Curavic
Fan/Artist
83

Great camera, but it's no longer being made so tech support may not be around more than another year. ( apparently Nikon bought the Samsung tech, so maybe it will be re-born as a future Nikon camera )

March 24, 2016 at 10:20AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32134

Well Samsung doesn't seem to me as a serious player in the game. They have made their own lens mount and just very few lenses. Also H.265 isn't ideal because it's not compatible at all to any other software (except for Premiere and AE but you cannot open it with QuickTime for example).
I think Samsung just has tried to get their part of the big low budget filmmaker camera cake which they have failed.
And by the way: There aren't even powered adaptors for any other type of lens mount.

March 24, 2016 at 12:19PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2216

For a lot of my work, my GH4 could continue to serve me for another year. If I stay with the micro four thirds system, the GH4 would also make a fine B camera. Camera bodies depreciate quickly, so factor in your lens investment choice for the long run. Regardless of what other people use, seek a camera system that works for you long enough to recoup your investment.

March 24, 2016 at 9:22PM, Edited March 24, 9:22PM

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David Patterson
videographer/editor
167

At the moment (March 25, 9:40) you get the GH4 for about 1.100€ at Amazon (http://www.amazon.de/Panasonic-DMC-GH4EG-K-Systemkamera-Utra-Higspeed-Bi...).

The A7s still costs about 1.900€ and the A7s II about 3.400€. For this prices it seems pretty obvious that should rather buy the GH4 if you are in this price range. Alone for one A7s you can buy the GH4 with a very good lens like the Lumix 12-35 f/2.8. And for the price of the A7s II you could buy two GH4s and two different lenses for them.
Even if the A7s II gives you super low light capabilities I think it's the better choice to go with the GH4 because it's only the bigger sensor and low light. The last one isn't that much important if you work mor cinematicaly. And with a speedbooster and a fast lens (like the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8) you'll be fine.

March 25, 2016 at 4:44AM, Edited March 25, 4:44AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2216

I love the GH4. Right now, I can't see myself buying something more recent unless it were in a different class altogether (a full-fledged cinema camera like the Ursa Mini 4.6k or the RED Weapon) and at that point I'm more inclined to rent for a particular shoot, anyway.

Prices are so deeply discounted compared to when I bought my GH4, especially if you find one with a rebate or lightly used. You could afford to get a speed booster and rig it out pretty nicely for the price and I think that would have good longevity for the purposes of most kinds of video projects. And you could start using it now, instead of waiting who knows how long for cameras that haven't been announced yet.

There are certainly other options already out there, so as with any camera it depends on your needs. I personally have found the GH4 to be a more well-rounded camera for video than the A7S (1.0) and it's so much cheaper than the more recent cameras, meaning you can afford to spend some money on lenses and accessories.

March 29, 2016 at 12:41AM

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Philip Heinrich
Director, Producer
919

If I was in the market for a camera, I'd definitely be looking at the Panasonic G7. It seems to be the hot camera right now because it can output a 4K 8-bit or 10-bit (can't remember specifically) 4:2:2 signal from the HDMI port to an external recorder. People have been saying there is absolutely no banding or artifacts in the image, even when recording compressed internally. Also, there's no noticeable noise in the image until about ISO 1600. And, the camera is only $800 brand new!

March 29, 2016 at 1:58PM, Edited March 29, 1:58PM

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Jon Cibella
Director/Director of Photography
170

We use GH4s a lot for crash cam/mounting in smaller spots as a b cam to our Arri's. The battery life is amazing and it just works no matter what you throw at it. Mixes really well, just make sure you shoot color charts if you are mixing camera's/lenses.

March 29, 2016 at 4:34PM

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I just bought a GH4 on eBay for $750, and the 14-140mm Lumix lens for $250.
These days it's easy to think the older tech isn't as great as the latest and greatest. I don't think buying a whole new camera to record 10-bit is worth it.

January 8, 2017 at 4:24PM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
184

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