The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is one of the lightest and most compact 4K cameras available, and is one of our top picks for any DSLR shooters who are looking to up their video game – especially as it comes in at a pleasingly frugal £981.66 ex VAT.
So, just to cover off the basics: the GH4 features a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, as well as UHD 4K 3840×2160 24p/24p/30p, cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p, and full HD at up to 96 fps onto SD card.
It’s a DLSM, meaning it has no mirror box so is even lighter and more compact than your usual DSLR – ideal for run and gun shooting – and the fact that there’s no arbitrary time limit for video shooting (a common gripe with otherwise lovely DSLRs for video).
However, it’s not quite perfect. We’re of the opinion that the the internal codec does not do that amazing sensor justice, producing 4K images that will lose sharpness and become unreliable if you manipulate them in post, and the on-board monitor is just a standard issue screen – it’s not particularly large, colour accurate and the monitoring of peaking, zebras and so on is unwieldy.
Our solution? The Atomos Shogun
The Shogun lets you shoot 10-bit ProRes, meaning you’ll have access to the sensor’s full dynamic range and colourspace, which the GH4’s internal 4K codec does not give you. The image you get as a result will hold up far better in post, giving you more creative options and resulting in an overall sharper, cleaner image.
Not only that, but you’ll have a large, accurate monitor with intuitive controls for peaking, zebras, and scopes – yes, the GH4 has some of these, but the Shogun’s display is designed specifically with them in mind, so is far easier to use and will ultimately give you tighter control over your image.
And if that’s not enough, it also has metadata tagging, so you can set in and out points, flag good or bad takes, or add metadata on the way back to base, speeding up your workflow no end, especially if you’re not the one who’s going to be editing your image.
The money bit
So eager are we that you experience the joy of a GH4-Shogun union, we’re currently offering a summer special deal where you can save £350 on a Shogun and GH4 when you buy them together, then get £200 cashback, and then we’ll give you a free Atomos Action Pack (including a travel case, silicone bumper, kickstand, sun hood and anti-reflective LCD protector). We’re not saying that only a madman would refuse such a deal, but if you don’t click on the tasteful banner below, we’ll worry about you.