I think that it's perfectly legal to install the firmware this way. At least from what we know right now. It shouldn't even void your warranty. I base my believe on the following:
- You cannot call it a "hack". You use your legally owned GH4 with the latest Image App from Panasonic together with the official firmware file you downloaded from their website. There is no process of changing, hacking, breaking or cracking anything if you ask me. You use a simple workflow with original Hard- and Software from Panasonic. I'd go as far as saying you can even ask for warranty repairs if this bricks your GH4.
- Panasonic hasn't made any statements regarding this incident. There is no piece of information published by Panasonic calling this apparent workaround illegal. Sure, one might argue that Panasonic didn't plan this because they put the firmware file offline, but this could also stand for a number of things and doesn't directly refer to the fact that this isn't allowed. Some software is sold for money through one channel and is completely free when taking a different, often more complicated route like compiling it yourself.
As far as I know it comes down to the question, if you have a way of finding out that you're doing something illegal. Since Panasonic hasn't informed anyone about this situation, it's perfectly fine to assume that while using their official products you can use their features any way you like, as long as you don't hurt the rights of others.
EDIT: Since a few laws in the USA are so messed up, i want to add that this is my personal unprofessional opinion and I'm not responsible for any possible actions regarding this topic you plan on doing. Inform yourself.
well this looks rather fantastic! Thanks for sharing Aaron!
Why did you choose to turn off OIS on the 12-35mm? Or is the OIS really that terrible?
i agree with you on the fact that its not a hack or illegal action. yet.
i disagree with you that Panasonic planned this. You're obviously right about the leakage marketing, but i don't think it applies to their situation like it does when you see the new iPhones 5 days early. Hardware leaks can only increase the sales, whereas this leak can directly work against it. Also leakage marketing only increases the number of people knowing about the device, but i bet that every professional planning to buy VLog will laready have heard about it.
To me this is simply a huge fail from Panasonic who apparently worked hard against something like this.
Personally, I'm not able to tell a difference between 420 and 422 footage while grading it. Its advantages are so minor that most people keep asking for it, because "its a thing" and not because they actually see an advantage in it. To me its a leftover from interlaced times...
Now, 10bit on the other hand is an entirely different story. this i need badly and i was kinda hoping that the A7sII would deliver. Sadly it didn't.
they might talk about internal recording whereas you refer to external recording.
Has anybody some input why companies are struggling so hard to implement 10bit video? is it a licensing thing? because i really dont get why this thing still doesnt feature 10bit.
the A7sII is a small upgrade compared to the A7rII. i was probably expecting too much. The A7rII still seems like the much better camera for video work.