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REVIEW: Testing the Panasonic GH4’s 4K Video Capabilities

By DAIMAOU – G.G-B

Sharp and beautiful video is what makes the GH4 a killer

What makes the GH4 an amazing camera is the capacity to shoot 4K videos at 100Mbit/s 30fps in an ultra-compact product. To be honest, at first I was a bit skeptical and I completely skipped the GH4 for its more affordable competitor the Sony AX100. And to be fair, the Sony AX100 is a GREAT video camera, and its latest Firmware update made it even better since the camera is now capable of shooting 4K 30fps video at 100Mbit/s instead of the previous 60Mbit/s. It’s fast, easy to use, has great image stabilization, and I would recommend the AX100 to ANYONE who wants to take great 4K videos on the spot.

However, even though the AX100 is a great camera, the Panasonic GH4 offers far better performance, but it comes at a certain cost that may discourage many casual shooters.

First, before wowing with the amazing things about the GH4, let’s talk about the downsides:

  • The GH4 AF (Auto focus) sucks, Sony’s AX100 is way better and faster when tracking objects. The only way I found to get it work correctly is to use the AF Tracking mode and select the moving object you want to track.
  • The GH4 crashes, and crashes OFTEN! I have experienced this on the GH1, GH2, GH3, and now on the GH4…for some unknown reason, the GH4 may from time to time freeze or will tell you that it cannot record video correctly on the card forcing you to either wait a few seconds before being able to shoot again, or forcing you to remove the battery and reboot the camera.
  • Forget about IS (Image Stabilization) when recording videos – use a tripod!
  • Like the GH1, GH2, and GH3, the GH4 sucks like hell in low light! DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go above ISO800. Everything above ISO800 will be filled with noise.
  • The internal Microphone is bad and not well placed. If you hold the camera close to you, the mic will only record your breath, not the surrounding noise.
  • It needs SUPER-FAST and expensive SDXC cards. Any card below 60MB/s recording capacity will crash your camera.
  • The Rec button is too small and not easy to push, especially when you are wearing gloves, even thin ones.
  • Average Full HD Video capability. Yep, even at 200Mbit/s, the GH4 Full HD mode is just average…but who cares when you can shoot in 4K! (will explain this later)

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