The Panasonic GH4 just received another significant firmware update.
With Firmware 2.0 the GH4 is now capable of recording video in 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 aspect ratios due to the newly added 4K Photo mode.
According to Panasonic this new feature is implemented in favour of photographers using GH4 as now they will be able to extract still images directly from the video files they shoot.
However, in this mode the camera CANNOT record the cinema standard 24p! Video recording is possible only in 30p and 25P on PAL cameras, which to some will be a major letdown.
Additionally recording is limited to the MP4 format and the HDMI output is disabled. Still, this new feature will be beneficial for filmmakers that want to experiment with 4K anamorphic capture as well.
Now the available aspect ratios on GH4 are:
- 4:3 (Size: 3328 x 2496)
- 3:2 (Size: 3504 x 2336)
- 16:9 (Size: 3840 x 2160)
- 1:1 (Size: 2880x 2880)
There is another important feature added in the firmware 2.0. A 4K (4096x 2160) 100Mbps mode at 23.98p is added in MP4 video recording. This will be useful for more user-friendly DCI-compliant 4K editing as some NLEs still struggle with editing of true 24p material.
This is a summary of all new features added to firmware 2.0
1. [4K PHOTO] mode is added which records 4K video exclusively for capturing a frame to save as a photo.
◦ Settings can be adjusted as below when entering this mode.
– Rec Format : MP4 - Rec Quality : 4K 30p, 100Mbps (System Frequency 59.94Hz), 4K 25p, 100Mbps (System Frequency 50.00Hz) - Luminance Level:0-255
◦ In addition to 16:9 aspect, 4:3 / 3:2 / 1:1 can be selected.
◦ EXIF information is embedded to the captured image from the 4K video.
◦ Marking function is available enables marker setting on the designated point while recording video and users can jump to the markers when playing back the video to capture the frame they want.
◦ Loop Recording function is added, with which the camera keeps on recording video while deleting the old footage automatically.
2. 4K 23.98p, 100Mbps mode is added in MP4 video recording.
3. The upper limit of the ISO sensitivity can be set in the menu of ISO sensitivity setting and emission amount of flash light can be adjusted in the menu of exposure compensation.
4. Focusing performance of 1-area AF in video recording is improved.
5. Tracking performance of tracking AF when used with the interchangeable lens H-FS14140 is improved.
6. Remote shooting via USB tethering is available by using PC software “USB Tether” supplied by Promote Systems.
With the ability to shoot in resolutions up to True 4K internally, the recently added Multi-Aspect Video modes and the option to turn it into Super 35mm camera with a Metabones adapter, the GH4 is turning into a serious filmmaking machine. We’ll see how the other manufacturers will respond to the challenge set by Panasonic.
Here is a link to download the latest firmware 2.0.
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