Sample Footage & Shooting Impressions: Panasonic’s 4K-Capable GH4

Panasonic is serious about the 4K-capable GH4 as both a video AND stills camera. But particularly in the stills category, a price tag that will likely push 2 grand and a sensor that is only Micro Four Thirds size makes for an uphill battle when it comes to convincing folks to jump on board.

In hopes that maybe some first-hand accounts will sway you, Panasonic gave a handful of professional photographer and videographers the chance to try out the camera ahead of release and deliver their shooting impressions.

Below you’ll find shooting impressions from a landscape photographer, a wildlife photographer, a photojournalist and, of course, given the GH4’s main selling point is 4K video, a filmmaker. Additionally, we’ve also included the first 4K sample footage out of the GH4. Enjoy and we’ll catch you on the other side of these videos!

Takehito Miyatake – Landscape Photographer: Shooting Impression

Bence Máté – Wildlife Photographer: Shooting Impression

Daniel Berehulak – Photojournalist: Shooting Impression

Bryan Harvey – Filmmaker: Shooting Impression

Brian Harvey: 4K Video Sample ‘Light of the Yucatan’

As you can see, this camera is a force to be reckoned with. Admittedly, for still photographers with no interest in the latest advances in video, there are other options that will probably serve you better by giving you more sensor real estate to work with. But the smaller sensor doesn’t seem to be taking away much wow-factor where this camera is concerned.

To learn more or see some of the spectacular sample shots that each of the above photographers captured using the new camera, head over to Panasonic’s GH4 Special Gallery by clicking here.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    I do not for a second, doubt the capabilities of this camera. But that sample website is incredibly awkward!

  • kenyee


  • Dream Art’s

    Actually got the GH3 and pretty impressed already by the stuff I could do with it.
    No I see that… Clearly i’m taking side of lumix when I see that marketing vidéo. Not about videography cuz I don’t make video. But about the topic of Photography, this camera look really cool especially with the DFD technology and the Burst mode. A bit curious to test it in real condition.
    (I’m not satisfied with the AF of the GH3…)

  • battlepriest

    Very few of us have 4K displays, so offering a video in the format is kind of pointless.

  • mps

    – your next tv/pc monitor is very likely to be 4k. im glancing at that 4k 10bit lenovo screen for 800 usd…. or the seiki tvs for 600.
    – shooting in 4k doesnt necessarily mean delivering in 4k. i talk stabilizing, cropping, zooming… imagine you shoot an interview in 4k and deliver 1080p – you have 2 angles (maybe not angles, but one close, one far shot), all done with 1 cam in 1 shot
    – besides of all the benefits of 4k, the main selling point – to the pro – is that 422 10bit output. placing a ninja ontop of this cam, even without the xlr/sdi box, will let it really shine…

  • Toast

    This feels like a sponsored post.

  • SwedishKiwi

    And a bonus: The resolution for 4K is so high, you can actually take a frame and turn it into a ~12×7 inch photograph (at 300 dpi).


    Yes, progress is always pointless;)

  • Kyle Clements

    The thing I find most curious about this camera is the naming scheme. Panasonic skipped from G3 to G5 presumably due to the superstition that 4 is an unlucky number, yet here we have them fielding a product containing 4 in the name.

    And Panasonic isn’t the only one to do this either, a lot of major Chinese and Japanese companies have an aversion to the number 4 when it comes to naming products. Did Panasonic abandon the superstition in order to tie the name in with the 4k video features?

  • fsjal

    Yeah, because every camera manufacturer besides Canon and Nikon appear on PetaPixel only by giving cash.

  • fsjal

    Also, downsampled 4k video shown on HD screen looks better than HD video (recorded on regular “full hd camera”), thanks to much higher bit rate.

  • Kyle Clements

    Woah! Nice name you’ve got there.

    Canon did something similar with the T4i, that didn’t last very long at all, replacing it months later with the T5i, which is virtually identical.

    I’m surprised Nikon hasn’t tried to blow past this number with the “D4″, and are going for the D4s rather than jumping straight to D5.

    It’s so silly that we are afraid of random numbers.

  • DaveShooter

    Seeing this makes me hopeful for a 4k version of AF100, hopefully they will preview something this year at NAB, if not I know I have this at least to fall back on, but I would happily pay 5,000 for a 4k sensor and 10 bit SDI out in the AF100 body.

  • Aloisi

    Looked like an allright camera. Until i saw the price tag, which it doesn’t really defend, at least not from the sample photos. Oh wait, it’s actually the photographer that matters, isn’t it? :)

  • Odin’s Nut

    This camera’s 4K is only 100mb/s, while it’s 1080p is 200mb/s. The GH4’s 1080p will have double the detail than it’s 4k. 4K on this camera is nothing more than a gimmick. Kind of like the 4k phone camera.

  • Kyle Clements

    Well, I don’t know about nice. But it is the name I was born with. ;) Coincidence is a hell of a thing.

    More on point though… Naming metrics aside, the GH4 is shaping up to be a nice looking camera, and one I wouldn’t mind picking up in a year’s time, especially if it is as hackable as the GH2/3 that came before it.

  • nestazhe265

    my Aunty Julia got silver Volkswagen Beetle
    Convertible by working parttime off of a home computer… Look At This

  • DaveShooter

    the writing speed has absolutely nothing to do with resolution or detail. The only thing the mb/s speed represents is the amount of compression for color information. 100mb/s is more than enough for any broadcast production, actually twice as much to be specific. 4k will always have 4 times the resolution as HD, if its dedicated 4k, which in this case it is. This is not a gimmick.

  • Truthbetold

    Hey, cousin Nestazhe. Can you please stop telling all these lies about our Aunt Julia? Geez, she doesn’t even have a driver’s licence OR a computer!

  • Odin’s Nut

    But 4 times the resolution does not equal a better image. What’s the point of 4K if your image is compressed that much? The GH4 will just give you a large substandard image. I guarantee people are going to be very disappointed with the GH4’s 4K once they start using it. Especially once they see how much better their 1080p images will look when compared to the 4K images. And especially once they start to see how much better other similarly priced 4K cameras perform.

  • DaveShooter

    I’m still not sure why you think the 4K image will look worse than the HD image… the 100mb/s compression used for the 4K recording is more than enough for a beautiful 4K image, and recording to HD, which will also look amazing, is not going to look better than the 4K image. Your eyes would never be able to tell the difference between 100 or 200mb/s compression at ANY resolution, HD, 2k, $K etc. That’s the equivalent of saying recording to SD on the FS700, or any other HD camera, will look better than recording to HD. That’s not how digital movies and compression works. The only exception to this rule is when cameras create certain dimensions by ‘upscaling’ the pixels in an intelligent way for marketing purposes. This happened all over the place when HD was first getting big, as well as with 4k-as you mentioned the ‘4K’ phone was a marketing gimmick. This is not happening here with the GH4.

  • Odin’s Nut

    If you don’t think that 4 times the resolution compressed at half the bitrate wont effect image quality, then I don’t know what to say.

    Not all 4K is equal. Bitrates do play a major role in dictating image quality. A higher bitrate image will have more detail information than a lower bitrate image. Why do you think people were hacking older GH cameras to achieve higher bitrates?

    I can promise you, the 1080p on this camera is going to be the superior image. Resolution is not the determine factor in image quality.

  • DaveShooter

    People hacked the GH2 to get more latitude in post production, and run the risk of less compression artifacts. The hacked image had absolutely zero effect on resolution or detail. I’m not debating this issue for my sake, I have been dealing with professional cameras and post production long enough to know the difference between bit rates, resolution, and compression. I was just trying to clarify this for you. I will try once again, but after this you are on your own. The resolution (4k, 2k, 1k) is not what is being compressed, I think that is what you are confused with. You could record 4k at 100mb/s on any camera, and it will always retain more detail and information than 1080p at 200 mb/s and more. Once again the bit rate compression does not affect detail or resolution. I urge you to research more of this on your own, please do not take someone disagreeing with you as an argument, if you stay open minded you will realize I am just trying to help you make more informed purchases in the future. there are plenty of forums with other professionals that will help you understand what exactly bit rate compression means.

  • Mr. Moe

    Umm, higher bitrate equals better quality. I don’t see how a professional can argue against that factoid. o_O

  • DaveShooter

    Geeze, you guys really don’t understand the implications of bit rate compression. I’ll just keep it as simple as this. The human eye will not discern a noticeable difference of 30 mb/s vs 300 mb/s in HD footage. This is not an opinion. This is not an argument. That is how a professional is, once again not arguing, but explaining to two misinformed individuals the reality of bit rate compression. If you want to talk about latitude in post production that’s a different story. Do you own an HD camera? Rent an external recorder that records to ProRes 4:2:2 uncompressed at over 200 mb/s, then compare that image with your in camera compression on what is probably 24-35 mb/s. You will not see a difference on any monitor in any situation until you star heavily post processing it. I do not need to do this test because I have done it many times with many different cameras at many resolutions. Don’t be afraid to be educated on matters, I am trying to help you not insult you.

  • Mr. Moe

    I own a Red Scarlet, a Black Magic Cinema Camera, and an Arriflex SRII. The company I work for shoots exclusively on Arri Alexa cameras. I personally would never use a DSLR camera for anything outside of insert shots (and even then, I wouldn’t recommend it). I’ve been working in this industry for the past 15 years. I have shot on SD, HD, 4K, 5K, Betacam, 16mm, 35mm, and 65mm film.

    And I’m telling you, if you can’t see the difference between 30Mbps HD and 300Mbps HD, then you are in the wrong profession.

    Oh, and FYI, there is science that says the human eye can’t see the difference between 1080p & 4k on a screen smaller than a theatrical screen. I can certainly see the difference, but then again, I am a professional.

  • DaveShooter

    Just do some more research, they won’t let me cite information on here, but here is a basic statement of what I’ve been trying to educate you with. If this doesn’t convince you I guess nothing will and you can keep on making uninformed purchasing decisions. Either way, good luck, here is a well pointed out argument from someone other than me. He words it better, but it’s the same thing I’ve been trying to say:

    “Do you honestly think there is a hidden super-video in your camera that the manufacturer doesn’t want you to see? If that were the case, they wouldn’t put SDI or HDMI connectors on their cameras. They give you the option of uncompressed video to stream to monitors or to record to external recorders in a codec of your choice, not a ‘better’ codec.

    Yes, this is a controversial statement. Let me explain:

    Many people assume and propagate the notion that having an uncompressed or higher bit rate version of the original (like an intermediary codec) actually makes their footage ‘better’ in some vague sense.

    If a sauce doesn’t taste good, adding more of it isn’t going to make it taste any better.

    Your footage can never be better than the system that created it. A lot of compromises happen in the transduction, sampling and handling of data within the camera, and this is where the men are separated from the boys.

    Most videographers don’t know anything about sampling and signal processing. Why should they? But these same people assume they know about these disciplines based on what manufacturers tell them. If somebody shouts out something long enough, people start believing in it.”

  • Handley

    Are you a troll Dave? Ever heard of grading?… The footage may well look the same regardless of bitrate straight off of the camera. Try doing a heavy grade on footage captured at 30Mpbs and footage captured at 300Mbps then come back here and say there’s no difference.

  • LucidStrike

    Actually, on the GH4, 1080p can be encoded at 100mbps, like the 4K, as well as 200mbps.

  • LucidStrike

    WHat point would there be to hacking it? That main point of hacking the GH2 was to up the quality of encodes, open more frame rate options, and remove the EU recording limit. Outside of the EU, this camera has no recording limit, has all the standard frame rates, and encodes at up to 200mbps natively (on top of likely quantizer optimizations), etc.

    I assume people wanna hack it for 200mbps Intra 4K, but it’s likely that the reason that isn’t included is because 200mbps isn’t enough for great 4K using intra encoding.

  • DaveShooter

    Clearly you missed the part where I mentioned that several times. But thank you for affirming my point.

  • Zack

    You are right, and everyone arguing with you needs to go read.

  • Zack

    I think this is exactly what Dave is arguing.

  • Matt Lundstrom

    “You could record 4k at 100mb/s on any camera, and it will
    always retain more detail and information than 1080p at 200 mb/s and more. ”

    This is true. To anyone who wants to do a little experiment. Try saving out some jpegs at these resolutions and file sizes.

    4k single frame
    100mb / 24fps =

    1080p single frame
    200mb / 24fps =

    I tried this myself and the the difference is really clear. the 4k frame has way more resolution. It’s sharper, and at 4.16mb it’s hard to spot any compression artifacts whatsoever.

    In fact, I saved a few test images out at 100% jpeg quality:

    4k was 3MB
    1080 was 1.5MB

    That’s right. Certain scenes at 100% jpeg quality (which is near lossless) aren’t using all the bandwidth that this camera provides.

    On top of that the GH4s internal 4k codec is h264 using IPB, which is much more efficient than the JPEG compression in this experiment.

    I’m certain everyone will be happy with the 100MB/s 4k bandwidth coming out of the GH4.

  • Orlando S. Gondar

    “Vanishingly Few” is the Wrong way to put it. Its the new standard so few have picked it up. Meanwhile “Vanishingly few” people still use DVDs for example. 4k is now the STANDARD so as a result 4k players and televisions will start becoming affordable. Over the next couple of years with that affordability you can expect the soon to follow mass adoption. A superior format is not pointless and neither is progress so EVEN if few are on board right now you can count on people catching up sooner or later. Have you looked at one of these? the picture can get downright gorgeous!

  • Ed Starkey

    You guys have to see this video! Make sure you turn on closed captioning…