Best Panasonic GH4 Black Friday Deals 2020

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The Panasonic Lumix GH4 includes a well-deserved reputation as a good camera for video. With 4K resolution, top-notch lenses, great handling, recording up to an extraordinary 200Mbps bitrate, and choices where video codec to use, it has turned into a favorite as the core of a light-weight video rig.

I wanted to determine how it organized for stills. Had the engineers sacrificed still photography features to give attention to video? How does it build up as an all-round, take-anywhere, photography and video camera?

I’ve always been impressed by the Lumix selection of mirrorless cameras. The Panasonic Lumix GF1-which I still have and use as a backup-is an excellent little camera. Lightweight, with retro sensibilities, yet with a real focus on detail regarding quality, it’s simply a fun camera to use. And the photographs it released are too shabby-I’ve had a couple taken with the GF1 that finished up full-page in magazines.

The GH4 is among a surprisingly busy selection of cameras from the Panasonic-Leica collaboration that’s beneath the Lumix brand. Without technically in the same series as the GF1 (that series is currently up to the GF7) there is definite synergy between your models. They’re mirrorless, small, and utilize the same Micro Four Thirds lenses.

I tested the camera with the Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Aspherical contact lens. While not necessarily the tiniest lens, it’s focal range is pretty versatile for general shooting, being equal to 24-70mm on a full-frame DSLR.

As always, my focus is on real-world use instead of clinical tests. If you’re following the latter, have a look at DPReview’s GH4 review.

First Impressions
The GH4 is styled like a tiny DSLR. Despite the fact that there’s no mirror chamber, the popup flash at the top occupies some space and helps it be look like a far more traditional DSLR shape. It doesn’t have the retro styling of the FujiFilm X-T1 or Lumix’s own GF7. The handgrip feels good (assuming you’re right-handed, because so many cameras are). I don’t have especially large hands-if you do, it could feel just a little cramped, but that’s likely to be true of all smaller cameras.

The controls are logically organized, and it feels good in the hand. It feels solid and responsive.

I love that the rotator dial for selecting the shooting mode (P, A, Manual, etc) can be an old-fashioned dial and locks if you don’t push down the guts button. Among my pet peeves on some cameras is that it’s too simple to accidentally change the shooting mode when you put a camera in a bag or take it out of a pocket and not know that it has changed.

Performance and Handling
The buttons and controls are usually logically organized. There’s a combo of digital-style buttons together with retro-style, tactile dials for shooting mode and burst/timer modes. There’s a touch too much focus on cryptic labels like “Fn2” and “Fn3” for my tastes. I understand it’s made to be flexible for assigning functions to them, but it’s just confusing initially. THEREFORE I found it took some time to get to a spot where I wasn’t stumbling over those.

The electronic viewfinder is bright. It has computerized eye detection, this means it switches automatically from the trunk LCD screen when you put your eye up to the viewfinder. I’m not usually a fan of electronic viewfinders. That one is good but nonetheless is suffering from the same issues as the existing generation of electronic viewfinders. It’s still a lttle bit like watching through a TV. Having said that, it’s quite crisp, bright, and responsive, with reduced lag.

And among the advantages of an electric viewfinder is you could add a variety of overlays. Even optical viewfinders nowadays add things such as guide lines, but with an electric viewfinder you can include real-time data. I particularly just like the histogram option that overlays a little histogram in the heart of the screen. And another feature I like on the GH4, as a long-time black and white film shooter, may be the monochrome live view that can help you better visualize the way the composition works in black and white. As any black and white shooter knows well, visualizing for black and white is quite unique of shooting for color.

Surprisingly, silent mode is really silent. At least in a few shutter speeds. The longer shutter speeds you get an ever-so-slight indication that the shutter has truly gone off. But it’s remarkably quiet. It’d be very helpful for wildlife shooting or in other conditions where you don’t want to draw focus on yourself.

Autofocus is normally a concern with mirrorless cameras. But I came across the GH4’s to be very smooth without much searching. It’s still much less good as a pro-level DSLR, but that’s a limitation (for the present time) of contrast detection autofocus.

There’s built-in video stabilization in two modes. It is effective.

A dial at the top handles the on/off switch in addition to the shooting mode. Next to it are buttons for white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation.

A dial at the top switches between burst/single mode in addition to the self-timer.

LCD Screen & Menus
It’s a completely articulating LCD screen, so that it flips out and rotates. That’s useful not merely for shooting with different perspectives also for folding away the LCD screen to avoid it from getting scratched or bumped.

Not only is it bright and clear for both image and video playback along with menu options, it’s also a touchscreen. That’s useful for navigating menus without resorting to dials and buttons, but it’s a lot more useful when shooting for choosing precise focus points that aren’t dead center.

Also you can disable the touchscreen option in the event that you plan on getting the screen rotated fully around and don’t want to risk bumping it and accidentally changing modes.

There’s the usual range of overlays which come pretty standard on the existing generation of cameras, but the one which I particularly I love may be the histogram overlay. It’s a lot more useful than eyeballing it if you’re trying to avoid blowing out highlights or blocking shadows.

The screen is fully articulating.

Sample Photos
Generally, I shot in RAW mode. There are a variety of special effects you can apply in-camera to JPGs, from “Silky Monochrome” to “To Pop” to “Star Filter.” They become irrelevant when shooting RAW.

I found that there is quite good dynamic range. I recommended the results when underexposing from the in-camera meter by about 1/3 of an end. The meter handled different sorts of lighting circumstances perfectly, from artificial lighting to sunlit clouds.

And there’s remarkably little grain even at ISO 3200, and colors and contrast remain stable even at those high ISOs.

The shots below have already been minimally processed through Lightroom using standard light adjustments to exposure and contrast.

First up, here are several call-out that show the detail at completely.

And below are a few sample photographs taking under different lighting conditions.

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 12 mm | ¹⁄₄₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 3200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 12 mm | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 2000

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₈₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 3.2 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 8.0 | ISO 1600

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec | ƒ / 8.0 | ISO 200

Almost all cameras will have a problem with an image such as this. The shadows are pretty blocky, and the meter didn’t quite really know what related to it. Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₂₀ sec | ƒ / 4.5 | ISO 3200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₄₀₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 3.2 | ISO 400

I deliberately overexposed that one to swe what happened in the highlights. There’s still very good detail in the highights, in addition to retaining accurate color without washing out. Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₁₂₅₀ sec | ƒ / 3.5 | ISO 200

The contrast detection autofocus is good but often struggled with close subjects on the road (like toddlers). Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 12 mm | ¹⁄₁₀₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 200

This one has already established nothing done to it. Since you can plainly see, the RAW file is a lttle bit flat, as you’ll expect from most RAW files. Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 4.0 | ISO 250

Deliberately shot at sunlight with clouds, the light meter did an excellent job of finding a usable exposure. Again, that one hasn’t had anything done to it, but more of the highlights and shadows are recoverable in post-processing. Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₈₀₀₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₈₀ sec | ƒ / 6.3 | ISO 250

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 23 mm | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 8.0 | ISO 400

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 3.2 | ISO 400

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₈₀ sec | ƒ / 2.8 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 35 mm | ¹⁄₃₂₀₀ sec | ƒ / 4.0 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | ¹⁄₆₄₀ sec | ƒ / 8.0 | ISO 200

Panasonic DMC-GH4 | LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8 | 24 mm | ¹⁄₆₀ sec | ƒ / 8.0 | ISO 500

Quibbles
This isn’t unique to the GH4, but I don’t like the way the screen locks for an instant after you have a picture since it writes to the card. I’m a lot more used to the optical viewfinder that isn’t interrupted apart from a moment blackout as the mirror slaps up. It offers you far better feedback on another shot, specifically for moving subjects.

Wrap Up
Color me impressed. I already knew the GH-4 was an outstanding choice for video capture. However in my humble judgment it’s also an outstanding choice if you’re buying a stills camera. Put both together and you’ve got a hard-to-beat combination.

Lumix GH4 vs FujiFilm X-T1
I’ve previously reviewed the Fujifulm X-T1, and there’s a whole lot of overlap in both models. Both have 16MP sensors, are similar sizes (although your body of the X-T1 is slimmer), are mirrorless, and also have access to top quality lenses.

The GH4 is more costly. For bodies only, the GH4 is just about rel=”nofollow”>$1500 as the X-T1 is just about $1200.

The display quality of the GH4 is pretty near that of the X-T1 though it includes a smaller sensor. The GH4 doesn’t handle low-light quite as well-a symptom of the slightly smaller sensor, but there’s very little in it in “normal” lighting situations. I love the GH4’s handling better-especially its autofocus-although I love the X-T1’s styling better. In conditions of video, the GH4 can be an infinitely better camera-that’s not just a fair fight on that front.

For shooting practically exclusively stills with only rare video, I’d become more more likely to go wi

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