Panasonic’s GH4: this changes everything – again

4K cameras

Panasonic 4K GH4 with YAGH video interface
The Panasonic 4K GH4 with YAGH video interface. Picture: Panasonic.

It’s not often that a technology, let alone a single piece of equipment, changes an industry. But it can happen.

Talkies replaced silent pictures, colour black and white, TV took over a large slice of what was the preserve of the cinema. And analogue gave way to digital.

More recently the DSLR has revolutionised the economics, practicalities and aesthetics of budget film making, with the Canon 5dmkII at the fore. For a few thousand pounds or dollars you could shoot something that looked like it was made for the silver screen.

Could such a change happen again? Quite possibly. And the camera that could do it is Panasonic’s GH4.

The biggest mid-term trend in TV and video is 4K. It may have avoided the hype that affected 3D – so far – but 4K is slowly making inroads into our living rooms.

There are 4K TVs. Some services are now offering 4K downloads and there are even 4K tablets. Cameraphones and consumer camcorders are starting to offer 4K. Pro 4K cameras are coming to market fast and are even fairly affordable.

But none, so far, are as affordable as the Panasonic GH4.

It is not only the cheapest 4K camera to have any form of pro features, it is the cheapest 4K camera of any sort, if you exclude the handful of 4K camera phones and the limited 4K capabilities of the GoPro Hero 3. The GH4 even records ‘cinema’ 4K internally, alongside the slightly lower-res UHD. For a device that costs a shade over £1000, albeit without lens, this is remarkable.

Have we been here before?