The Panasonic GH4 is not only an exceptional compact mirrorless camera, that shoots 4K internally, but it also delivers one of the best audio capabilities, especially compared to the other competitive DSLRs due to its superb built-in pre-amplifiers. Considering the audio, if you want the robust and professional XLR inputs and Phantom Power, you will need to invest additional $1,697 for the LUMIX YAGH interface unit which is not the most affordable add-on by any means.
In general, direct audio recording eliminates the need to have a separate audio recording device and syncing the audio in post. This is where the Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA Audio Adapter comes in handy. In combination with the GH4, it will provide exceptional audio performance for 1/3 of the cost of the YAGH interface unit.
How to Record Pro Audio on the Panasonic GH4 DSLR Camera with the Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA Audio Adapter from Beachtek Inc. on Vimeo.
The Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA is very easy to set up and use. The Neutrik brand combo XLR / ¼” inputs make it easy to attach a variety of audio gear including wireless systems, mixers, soundboards and professional condenser microphones that require phantom power to operate.
The Beachtek team had already tested the audio recording capabilities of the GH4. They found out that the camera provides very high signal to noise ratio of 78dB at the maximum -29dBu input level and excellent frequency response of 70Hz to 20kHz.The limiter of the GH4 works remarkably well at avoiding clipping with hot inputs. Overall, this makes the GH4 suitable for recording not only voice but music and sound effects as well where capturing low frequencies is important.
To get the optimal results from both the GH4 and the DXA-SLR ULTRA while recording audio, you should set the mic level to the lowest setting of -12db and also turn on the built-in mic limiter in the GH4’s audio menu.
On the DXA-SLR ULTRA you should set the gain switch to high in order to activate the build in low noise preamps. Since the GH4 limiter is already in use you don’t need to enable this feature in the adapter. Make sure that you keep your audio level in the -12db -3db range on the adapters VU meter.
An additional unique feature of the DXA-SLR ULTRA is the sleek adjustable rod support system to attach easily a matte box, follow focus and other gear for incredible versatility. It includes two 3″ rods that are threaded on both ends. Extra rods can be directly threaded on to extend to any length needed.
The adapter mounts neatly to the bottom of the camera and can also be installed on any standard tripod or any other rig or gimbal. Recording direct audio with the GH4 and the DXA-SLR ULTRA is much simpler and you’ll get identical results comparing to recording audio with an external recorder. The Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA adapter retails for $469 at B&H.