I really like cameras that are intuitive and straightforward to use, the one that you don’t have to plunge deep in the menus to find some basic functions such as changing the shutter speed or the ISO for instance.
Many of us are so used to the menu set up of the Canon DSLRs and sometimes it is hard to adapt to any other system when there is a necessity to switch over.
Probably, the most intuitive menu is the one implemented in the current line up of the Blackmagic Design cameras, however, it lacks some additional features that the other cameras in that range have, such as custom buttons for example.
On the other hand, I don’t want to say it is harder to work with the menus of the GH4 or the A7s. Not at all. Sure, you’ll need some additional time to get used to each one of them, but, once you do the workflow turns into your second nature.
One of the most popular and demanding features of those cameras is the possibility to customize buttons and set functions that can significantly speed up our work while shooting. In the video below Aron J Anderson will show us his GH4 menu setup and which functions he assign to the Function Buttons of the camera. He also walk us through some of the other functions of the GH4’s menu.
The custom buttons are one of the highlights of using the GH4, it makes filming much more fun and helps to nail the shot quicker and easier. The settings in Record Mode that Aron J Anderson suggests are as follows.
Fn Button 01 – Peaking – This function will highlight the edges of sharply focused objects in the frame with a bright colour to clearly show where the focus plain is.There are two Detect Levels, High and Low and three colors at each detect level. The High setting is described as being more precise than the Low setting. Pressing the button cycles through High and Low sensitivity before finally toggling Peaking off.
Fn Button 02 – Metering Mode – This function gives you three options – Multiple, Center weighted and Spot. The Multiple Metering gives you the correct exposure of the whole frame, while with the Spot option you can select and measure the exposure of different points of the frame.
Fn Button 03 – Zebras – Zebra highlights bright areas of the image to warn when exposure is too bright, or when highlights are about to burn out to white resulting in a loss of detail. At 100% the zebra effect will only show when an area of the image has burnt out completely to white.
Fn Button 04 – Touch Screen On/Off – This function prevents you from touching the screen and changing the settings accidentally while recording.
Fn Button 05 – Manual Switch between the View Finder and the Back Screen – Using the manual Fn5 / LVF button to toggle between the two displays could be preferable to prevent the LCD from going blank when there is a something else close to the back of the camera which could be really annoying.
The Quick Menu basically allows you to create shortcuts for your most frequently used menu items. Furthermore, the Touch Tab, let’s you create five additional function buttons using the touch screen as soft keys. The Touch Tab is extremely useful for shortcuts to Time Code display, Color Bars, Histogram, etc.
Guys, do you find the custom set up above useful or maybe you have some better suggestions? What is your GH4’s custom buttons set up and does it really speed up your work while shooting?