IX. Panasonic GH4

[•] Panasonic GH4 Cine Video Build Complete

[•] Panasonic GH4 

Purchase Camera Here: PANASONIC LUMIX GH4 Body 4K Mirrorless Camera, 16 Megapixels, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DMC-GH4KBODY (USA Black)

    • 16.05 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
    • DCI 4K 4096×2160 at 24p
    • UHD 4K 3840×2160 at 30p/24p
    • Full HD up to 60p
    • 3.0″ 1,036k-Dot OLED Touchscreen Monitor
    • 2,359K-Dot OLED Live View Finder
    • 4:2:2 8-Bit or 10-Bit HDMI Output
    • High-Speed 49-Point Autofocus
    • Adds V-Log L Gamma Profile to GH4
    • Wide Dynamic Range of up to 12 Stops


With the purchase of the Upgrade Software Key DMW-SFU1 and the camera’s firmware update Ver.2.3, users will be able to activate the V-Log L function.
Log recording, which Panasonic currently offers on its Varicam digital cinematography cameras, offers exceptional flexibility as well as a wider dynamic range for colour grading in the post-production process.
V-Log / V-Log L has been developed by Panasonic to feature a similar characteristic curve to Cineon which is a characteristic curve of film digitalisation. Taking full advantage of the Four Thirds sensor, V-Log L boasts the log characteristic with 12 stops.
Both V-Log and V-Log L have the same characteristic curve and LUT (Look Up Table) can be utilised in common.



The price on the GH4 really grabbed my attention for under $1000 for 4K video is amazing and even cheaper if you acquire one on the second hand market. Right now I’m content with a great camera even if its used as B camera capable of breaking the rules with a few tweaks. The challenge was to build the GH4 to rival the Canon C100 Mark II and if lucky the C200. 


Using vintage Canon FD glass was the main goal for this build and will be my distraction into looking for a signature vintage look. At this stage captured footage looks quite appealing with a combination of LUTS. Generally I use the Panasonic Cine-D to Rec.709 and Panasonic V-Log to Rec.709 depending on lighting conditions.

I bought the GH4 over the GH5 as my first B camera and mostly for lens testing older glass. I wasn’t fully convinced on what Canon had to offer and the other contender was the GH5 even though I really like that camera on paper with all it’s wizardry and special powers of IBIS and questionable auto focus. I have always shot manually with lenses for video and my way of shooting has been instilled from early days using older camera’s to shoot manually. And in doing so you are more in control of the camera which in turn produces better results.

Further testing still to be done with the SLR Magic Anamorphot X50 X2 Lens and SLR Rangefinder with sample footage of Sydney Harbour would be nice to show. Current build of the video rig for 4K anamorphic was done and focusing is the most difficult but results are good. To be able to shoot in that format and price point is impressive.

Choosing SmallRig has been the right path for me there are some small complaints but over all they deserve a pat on the back for really listening to the video community to make a setup work.

Some weight was shredded using carbon fibre 15mm rods. Any extra weight is an issue for a camera operator with a bad back.  Review on the camera rig build is in the blog.

Audio: With so many options out there little do people know that a quite contender is the Movo VXR10. Clean crisp clear audio is all that matters. You can find this mini shotgun mic on Amazon or eBay.

[•] Panasonic GH4 with Leica M 28mm F2 ASPH

Leica on the GH4 produces a signature look for video and stills. The Leica glass does suit the camera as both compliment each other in size when using the Summicron lens range. For stills there is more grain in the image compared to the the GH2. 100% zoom in Photoshop really shows the limitations of the GH4. I believe this is the sensor design as it’s geared more as a video camera than it is a stills camera.

The sensor in the GH4 is a double edged sword in the treatment for image processing. It can be positive and negative but if you purchase the GH4 like I did I recommend it to be used as a video camera.

[•] GH4 with Canon FD 24mm F2.8 B&WEdit

New Update:

[•] Panasonic GH4 complimented with Atomos Assassin Recorder.

I’ve had the GH4 for some time and never been 100% content with the setup of this camera until now Nov 2018. Its one of those things you can either buy a fully dedicated video camera like a Canon C200 or you can do a work around and build your own setup. This handy setup still impresses me that the output is an impressive 4K 10Bit 4:2:2 to the Atomos Assassin.

The cage as mentioned SmallRig and includes: Handle, Top Handle, Atomos Monitor Cage, Rear V mount plate, 2 X Carbon Fibre 15mm Rails and One metal 15mm Rail for the monitor setup. Add on top the impressive Movo mini shotgun mic.

[•] Panasonic GH4 with all day power.

On the back to power both the Atomos and GH4 is the Fotga DP500 Mark III V-Mount Power Supply Battery System and Power-U V-Mount Battery 95Wh/14.4V. As mentioned early my path to use older lenses most of the time fitted is the Canon FD 20-35mm F3.5L lens Metabones Adapter Speedbooster. Many don’t know this but the lens is pretty much a secret weapon when it comes to using for video. You can adjust focus on a subject at 35mm and pull back to 20mm and still be in focus. Pretty much a par focal lens and great to use. 

[•] Panasonic GH4 Cables can be tricky finding a balance is key.

Total estimate of build $3425 Vs Canon C200 $9177 this includes no memory and for this Cine rig add a standard SSD say 240GB for $100 which is quite a savings compared to an expensive Fast CF card.  

Note: The Biggest weakness overall with the GH4 is the mini HDMI port and it is well documented that the port is very fragile. Unfortunately that is the downfall to this camera design. 

[•] Panasonic GH4 Cine Video Build Complete

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