Panasonic Lumix GH4: A Lot More gets Crammed into this One
Compact system cameras are in fashion, more so as they are highly utilitarian and come within a budget. With several companies vying for some attention while venturing into this unexcavated arena, Panasonic comes forth with the exclusive Lumix series. The innovative GH4 can be considered as one prized launch which makes the backbone of this much hyped series introduced by the company as the tagline suggests that it would be able to capture 4K videos without any hindrance. Although this is one highly desirable feature, a drastic improvement at the stills section is required for this camera to gain some respectability. The exhaustive list of features will be enumerated shortly as Panasonic did put in a lot of effort to get the specs sheet tweaked as per the user preferences. Pixel count, however hasn't been increased as the device still sports the 16.05MP unit, similar to the predecessor, GH3. New sensor makes a cut which calls for better image processing while keeping the clarity intact.
Design and Interface:
The device is noticeably sleek and includes all the needed ports and inclusions for being called a potent compact camera. One may easily find the XLR microphone ports associated with the device whereas the sizeable supply of 4 microphone units is also something to feel good about. Four SD sockets which are comparable to the video-output units are also available which can thus externally synchronize the device with cameras as per the time-code modifications. Video channel has been strengthened whereas the electronic viewfinder comes in as a great addition. This is one 3 inch variant which covers a wider angle as compared to the GH3 and renders a revamped resolution panel of 2359K dots. Both these units correspond to the OLED functionality and come forth with high-end touch sensitiveness for the users to benefit from.
While the entire body is designed on similar lines to the GH3, the latest gadget has been packed in with a lot more features including the newer dock and the elusive video gear. The 16.05MP unit although ceases to surprise but only if paired with the Live MOS sensor inclusive of digital attributes. We did find the Venus Engine IX processor which is quite capable of producing highly detailed images with ease. The single-AF mode is something which effectively seeps into the overall functioning of this device and can ably support continuous shoots up to 12 frames per second. We had to get the UHS-III format card installed but the addition was definitely worth the effort. The burst rate deteriorates slightly but still comes out to be 7.5fps in the autofocusing mode. Most compact cameras often fall behind as the autofocusing speed comes out to be excruciatingly low but Panasonic did introduce a newer technology for combating this anomaly. In comes the ‘Depth from Defocus’ technology which is a far better bet the traditional contrast detecting system. At GH4 the focus point corrections are far better than the predecessors and the same is achieved within a meager 0.07 second, which is seriously fast.
We did find the 49-area autofocusing system to be quite active out here in addition to the face and eye detecting scheme. Custom multi-mode can be accessed whereas the column and row patterned option is quite capable of handling the sharper hues while working on a moving subject. This can accentuate the overall image quality whereas the ISO range combines the loose ends rather perfectly. Expansion setting at ISO 100 is quite regulatory whereas the usual range happens to be between 200 and 25600, the upper limit being mostly for the low-light surroundings. Images are far better this time over with the elusive zebra mode which comes with an exceptional interface. This readily identifies the brighter areas in a given still and avoids burn outs by fixing the same.
4K videos can be recorded with ease over this Lumix GH4 as with the faster processor and exceptionally quick sensor read out. While we could easily add the positive knockout effect with each frame, videos look considerably vibrant and highly detailed. Inter-frame compression rates are in sync with the user requirements whereas the AII codec is also required at the video output. There is an excellent option in the refurbished pedestal setting in addition to the Zebra mode.
This is one system camera which is highly compact and makes for one affordable buy. Be it the faster processing engine or the Live Image sensor, GH4 has everything that can satiate the 4K savvy flock.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Rivals:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 6D