Live streaming with the Panasonic GH4

Live streaming

YAGH test image
A frame grab from the GH4 and YAGH live stream

The GH4’s already attracted plenty of attention from film makers for its advanced video recording options and especially, its support for internal, 4K recording.

In that, the GH4 builds on Panasonic’s previous Micro Four Thirds cameras, including the GH3, and especially the GH2.

But, although the GH4 records in 4K, and gives a lot more control to film makers over the image, it is also flexible than earlier models, and most other DSLR or compact system cameras.

Panasonic has gone for a modular approach with the GH4, and provided an expansion box for it, the YAGH.

This adds XLR audio inputs, audio meters and level adjustments, and timecode input. But it also adds a full-sized HDMI port, and and 4K output over four SDI connectors, as well as HD output over 3G. This gives the GH4 functions to rival a conventional camcorder, and opens the door for its use in live production work.

The YAGH is a bulky add on. It’s larger than Panasonic’s battery grip, and it doesn’t contain its own power source, or draw power from the camera. So you need an external powering option to deliver 12 volts over a 4-pin XLR.

For live streaming, the GH4 has three options: its internal micro HDMI port, or using the YAGH, full-sized HDMI, or the SDI output. For our test we opted for SDI.

Using the adapter gives a range of output options, but these are not consistent across all frequencies and framerates, especially in the PAL region.

For Cinema 4K there is a single 24p framerate, the same as for internal recording to the HD card.

For 4K, QHD, you have a range of frame rates – 29.97, 25, 24 and 23.98p.

In HD though, in the PAL region there is no 25p option. There is 50p and 50i, as well as 24PSF and 23.98 PSF. There is broader framerate support for NTSC regions.

Next: Connecting up the GH4