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NAB 2014: A First Look at Panasonic's GH4

with Rob Garrott

Video: Panasonic GH4 Intro

Watch a demo of the 4K video-capable Panasonic GH4, straight from the showroom floor at NAB 2014, the world's largest digital media conference.
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  1. 13m 42s
    1. Panasonic GH4 Intro
      4m 38s
    2. Inputs and Outputs
      4m 40s
    3. Gamma Control
      2m 0s
    4. Formats
      1m 5s
    5. Adaptability
      1m 19s

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NAB 2014: A First Look at Panasonic's GH4
Video duration: 0s 13m 42s Appropriate for all


For filmmakers, 2014 was an incredible year to attend the NAB Show. The exhibit floor was packed full of new gear and technology for creating video. One of the most exciting introductions was the Panasonic GH4: a 4K video-capable micro four-thirds camera specifically targeted at filmmakers. Get a sneak peek at this fantastic new camera as we interview Panasonic's Matt Fraser, straight from the show floor. He talks about the camera's coolest features, including 10-bit 4K output over HDMI and 96 fps slow-motion recording.


Panasonic GH4 Intro

The 2014 NAB Show was full of incredible new gear and technology for creating video. One of the most important introductions was the Panasonic GH4, a Micro Four Thirds camera, with a sets of features directly targeted at video content creators and film makers. In this video from show floor, Matt Fraser from Panasonic, shows us what makes the GH4, a powerful tool for capturing video. >> GH4 is our latest Micro Four Thirds sensored camera, so, for those who are not familiar with Micro Four Thirds standard.

The sensor here is a quarter the size of a 35 millimeter photographic camera, so this is a quarter the size of a 5D mark three sensor. The benefits of us using this sensor are that for one, I get very small lenses. This is an F1.7 lens. It's the equivalent field of view of a 30 millimeter lens. Because we use a 2x crop factor. So what you have, is a lens that on the top, says that it's 15 millimeters. But in practice, it has the effective field of view, of a 30 millimeter lens on a, you know, I guess a Nikon D800 or a Cannon 5D.

So you get a really small lens that's very bright, and all of our lenses are incredibly compact on the Micro Four Thirds standard. There is other benefits as well. The system is mirrorless. So, it does not have the mirror, does have a pentaprism, and so this allows us to make a much narrower flange back distance. That means that I only have a 19.5 millimeter flange back. Typical SLRs, they would have 40 millimeters of flange. The reason that this is a benefit for our system is that, I can adapt other lenses to this very easily. So the sensor's Micro Four Fhirds or it's smaller, which means if I want to use a PL lens, I can go ahead and put a PL adapter on to this camera.

And then add my PL glass to it. And because the sensor is slightly smaller then what a super 35 sensor would be, I have the entire sensor within the field of view of the lens. But let's say you're a Nikon shooter and you want to use your Nikon glass. Well, obviously we can go ahead and add a Nikon adapter. We can add Cannon adapters. We can add, just about any lens adapter that's. Less than 19 point, or greater than 19.5 milimeters away from the sensor, we could add those lenses. But there's a few things to consider. So let's say you're a Nikon shooter, and, you want to use your Nikon glass.

There are different flavors of adapters that are available. You could buy an adapter that has a de, an aperture control. If you're using newer Nikon lenses that don't have aperture controls on the lens. Or you can buy a Nikon adapter, made by a company called Metabones. That has something called a speed-booster function. Speed-booster function gives you a full-stop more light gathering capability. So if you use an F28 lens, it's now an F20. And on top of that, it actually gives you a wider field of view. So it really, frankly, on this camera. With a Nikon lens and a speed-booster, it will approximate the same field of view that you'd expect from a super 35 sensor.

So you really get a cinematic field of view with that Nikon lens. If you're going to try to do Cannon, Cannon has an interesting control system, to control the aperture of the lens. It requires an electrical coupling to control the aperture. So, companies like Red Rock, make an adapter that you can connect to our camera. Then you would connect the Cannon lens to it. And on the side of the adapter, you would see controls for aperture, and it'll tell you the aperture settings on the lens. If you're looking for a less expensive solution, there are companies that make ap, adapters that have an aperture inside the adapter, that has about 20 blades of aperture blades.

So that gives you a more rounded aperture, so then you can adjust it, and you'll get a little more rounded bokeh in the background. So, the point is you have solutions if you want to use your own Cannon lens, and use it's adapt, it's, it's aperture control, you can do that with Red Rock. If you don't care what the aperture value is on the lens, you're just looking for a specific look, you can use adapters from other companies. And then obviously, you can use our glass as well. And it fits natively, or you can see Olympus glass, and it fits natively as well. We have over 35 different lenses between Panasonic, Olympus, and all the other third-parties that are making lenses now, including glass I've seen as bright as F0.79, that can, that is Micro Four Thirds native.

So you can get some incredibly shallow depth of field with this system, and it's not going to break the bank. You know, I've seen lenses that got 45 millimeter F0.95, that you can get for under $1500 for this system. So, they're terrific for somebody who's wanting to get that cinematic look. Without having to pay the cinematic price.

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