Prepare to get taken on a technical ride. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera to introduce 4K video capture among stacks of other high-spec features.
In addition to what Panasonic claims is its best Micro Four Thirds sensor yet for stills images, the GH4 puts on a good spread when it comes to video capture. For the digit-hungry among us you'll be pleased to hear there are no half measures: it's capable of capturing 4K at 30/25/24 frames per second at a 100Mbps data rate, while 1080p is catered for with 60/50/30/25/24fps at 200Mbps ALL-Intra compression. That's miles beyond broadcast quality.
If you're a broadcast head then your ears probably just pricked up. And things get even better if you're into the proper professional standard, as the DMW-YAGH accessory enables uncompressed 4K video output with full 10-bit colour, time code sync via five SDI ports. There's also two channel XLR audio and a DC in for power. Whew. We had a little play around with the unit, and go into more detail via the link below.
It's hard to ignore all the powerful video capabilities, but Panasonic is keen to emphasise that the GH4 is a stills camera first and foremost. Short of snorting and saying "yeah, right," it does have a good list of specs to support its case.
There's a 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder, 1m-dot 3-inch, vari-angle OLED screen, the same weather-sealed body as the earlier GH3 model, plus a brand new autofocus system called Depth From Defocus (DFD) complete with new 49-point focus array.
That new 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor is paired with the fastest yet Venus Engine IX, enabling 12 frames per second burst shooting and up to 7.5fps with continuous autofocus to track those moving subjects.
New sensor, better images, better video capture, familiar design - the Lumix GH4 is sounding rather special. There's a lot more detail than this skim spec-based overlook touches upon. And that's why we've written a more in-depth preview based on our time with an early product sample that we were privy to get our hands on ahead of this announcement. Follow the link below to get the full details.
No final word on pricing or release date just yet. Given everything it can do, we wouldn't be surprised if the 14-140mm kit was set to break the £2,000 barrier. For now we'll have to wait and see. Our only question is whether the public demand for 4K capture is there yet and, therefore, if the camera has limited itself before it's even got off the ground by being ahead of the curve.