Probably the most popular “DSLR” type camera that shoots 4K video, the Panasonic GH4, is getting a mid-life refresh. The new GH4R offers “unlimited” 4K recording (Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 / 24 fps and QFHD 4K: 3840×2160 / up to 30 fps in MOV/MP4) plus the “V-Log L” video gamma capability.
It’s that latter item that’s really the big news. Film-makers who want to keep their raw footage very uncontrasty (if there is such a word) so that they can pull and push it around in colour grading later will be pleased to use this option which flattens out the image as it’s recorded to maintain dynamic range which can then be retrieved in the edit.
Panasonic say the option “boasts log characteristics with 12 stops, allowing videographers to capture the darkest scenes and avoid ‘bleaching out’ details in very bright environments” and makes the tiny camera usable as a complement to much bigger and costlier Varicams because they will both use a similar picture profile.
Another upgrade is that the HDMI output from the GH4R provides 4:2:2 10bit colour so you can stuff that into a separate recorder such as those from Atomos to maintain tip-top quality.
If you’ve got an original GH4 and are feeling a bit miffed, there’s some relief inasmuch as you can upgrade to V-Log L for a measly £79.
The new cam is available from 7th September this year with an RRP of £1199.