September 22, 2015 at 11:44AM, Edited September 22, 12:30PM

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Panasonic G7 as first 4K cam for a 4K Newbie on tight budget???

I got ZERO experience and exposure to 4K Video, Editing, Coloring and Work Flow though I am so very desperate to get into 4K video and like many I am also on a quite tight budget .

(((I reside in Pakistan so having access to a used GH4 is out of question and even the authorized Panasonic dealer will first take a down payment from me and then import a G7 in week time while charging big premium on price, I know it sucks but hey I love my country :) ))).

So my current situation makes the Panasonic G7 as a more preferable choice for getting into 4K video over GH4, yes there would be quite a few limitations with G7 but hey there is always hope for more functionality in future firmware updates or a Panasonic version of Magic Lantern or just maybe someone come up with the idea to run the GH4 OS on G7 :)

Also I feel that in less then a year GH5 would be coming so instead of waiting for that, for now I should opt for G7 and spend the year with it while preparing and educating myself to a level where I need to upgrade myself to more pro level cams (GH5 or better) or to get to know if this line of work is actually for me or not.

Guys kindly guide me and let me if I am opting for the right path or just going bonkers :)

3 Comments

Here's an interesting comparison between the Panasonic G7 with an external recorder and the GH4. The G7 footage looks as good as the GH4 when used like this.

Panasonic G7 (with Ninja2) vs. GH4 (internal)
https://vimeo.com/131990134

September 22, 2015 at 4:56PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30862

At the low end you are probably going to find that two of your goals are in conflict: 4K and grading/coloring. 4K is wonderful, but at the low end it takes an enormous amount of compression to squeeze all those pixels into a low bitrate format. Such squeezing makes the image very fragile and you cannot push it around very much without either breaking it (revealing all the blockiness that the initially compressed image cleverly disguised) or running into a brick wall (8-bit 4:2:0 is not RAW). If you really want 4K images on a budget, the latest Smartphones are hard to beat.

On the other hand, Log or RAW images are easy to grade and very flexible, but cameras that shoot 4K RAW or 4K Log are much, much more expensive than $700. The BlackMagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera are amazingly inexpensive, but they top out at 2560x1350 and 1920x1080, respectively. Still, if you want to learn how to color, the Blackmagic cameras come with Resolve, which is the industry standard. You may find that after working with it for a year, you're happier to turn that job over to somebody who has a knack for it. Or you may find that it is, in fact, Your Thing. But it's totally different than cinematography and totally different than editing (which is also totally different than cinematography).

There's a very heavy discussion in the GH Camera forum of dvxuser.com (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?175-Panasonic-GH-Cameras) where many are voicing their disappointment that the newly released Vlog-L function for the GH4 just doesn't cut it when recording to the internal card (8-bit 4:2:0), and that the only way to get a good result is with an external recorder recording 10-bit 4:2:2. Such external recorders cost $1200-$1800, doubling the cost of the GH4. And even then, people are Not Impressed. This is further proof how difficult it is to marry the worlds of 4K and gradable digital negatives.

RED will be formally announcing the RED RAVEN on Friday. Leaks from RED's CEO suggest that for around $9995 plus whatever you want to spend on an EOS EF or EF-S lens, you can get a ready-to-shoot system that will do 4K RAW at up to 120fps. I know that's 10x what you are hoping to spend and 2x what a GH4+external recorder costs, but I include that reference so that you can see what is the minimum to get, literally, the best of both worlds.

September 22, 2015 at 5:51PM, Edited September 22, 5:51PM

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I've been thinking of getting the GX8 as a b-camera for the GH4, and it should also serve as a great travel camera. It is however more expensive than the G7, however internally it's almost like the GH4, at least close enough to be used as a secondary.

September 23, 2015 at 8:09AM

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Sebastian Kammonen
Filmmaker
346

If you really want to stay around $700 and shoot 4k...which was my budget...you may want to also look at the Panasonic LX100. It has a really nice Leica lens on it and it tends to grade fairly easily. Just so you know what you are getting into...the video I shot below took up 23 GB of space before I cut it down to 2 minutes.

https://vimeo.com/131304833

September 24, 2015 at 3:47PM, Edited September 24, 3:47PM

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