Panasonic has just announced a ground-breaking camera in the Lumix DMC-GH4, which is capable of shooting 4k video, which is about 4 times the resolution of traditional 1080p HD video. With this camera, the Canon monopoly on greater than 1080p video on an interchangeable lens still camera has come to a end in a big way.
So, what does the GH4 have to offer?
Naturally, the video capabilities are the headline feature. First up: the 4k video, which has a resolution of 4096x2160 pixels, which is about 4 times the resolution of 1080p HD video. At 4k resolution, the GH4 can do 24fps, with speeds up to 60fps at lower resolutions. Additionally, the GH4 is capable of recording Full- HD video at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) without recording time limit, provided one uses an UHS Speed class 3 card. Additionally, users can choose from among MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive, and AVCHD formats. For professionals working globally, the system frequency can be selected between 59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz. The GH4 is also capable of real-time image output to an external monitor via an optional micro HDMI cable simultaneously while recording video. If that weren't enough, VFR(Variable Frame Rate) or Time Lapse/Stop Motion Animation can be done in-camera, too.
Video aside, let's look at the rest of the camera.
For starters, there's a 16Mp CMOS chip, which is more than enough resolution for most people shooting stills. To help the camera cope with the massive amount of incoming data, Panasonic has developed a new quad-core Venus Engine image processor, which has been optimized for 4k video. That powerful processor will also come in handy when shooting stills as the GH4 is capable of shooting at 12fps for up to 40 frames in RAW mode (or to 100 in JPEG). To make the use of all those pixels and processing power, the GH4 also features a 49-point AF point array, which the photographer can customize. Another thing to make the picture-taking experience easier: newly developed OLED screens, namely a 2359k dot monitor inside the viewfinder chamber and a 1036k dot rear display. For enhanced durability, the camera's shutter has been improved for a projected 200,000 shot life and the camera itself is fully dust/weather sealed, too.
Additionally, there are other features that are sure to please the serious shooter. These features include: wi-fi and NFC connectivity, a microphone and headphone jack, real-time uncompressed HDMI output to an external monitor, live focus monitoring in video mode, a whole host of in-camera video and photo editing capabilities, and a silent mode, among other features.
Want one yet?
Unfortunately, pricing and availability are still TBA here. However, the rumor mill has the camera priced at around $2000, which is far less than the other 4k video digital camera on the market: the $11,500 Canon EOS 1D C.
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