While the Panasonic GH4 has been a hit with photographers and videographers since its release last year, demanding users in the latter camp have been asking for a bit more. Now the firm has announced the GH4R, an advanced version of the camera which boasts unlimited 4K recording and V-Log L video capability for better post production potential. Existing GH4 users will also be able to benefit from the new V-Log L functionality via a paid software upgrade.
The Lumix DMC-GH4R and software upgrade for the GH4, are moves clearly intended to make the Panasonic cameras an even better option for both professional and amateur movie-makers. For example, where the original GH4 was limited to shooting 29 minutes and 59 seconds of 4K video, the GH4R can record unlimited 4096 x 2160 24 fps (frames per second) cinema-like footage, or QFHD 4K 3840 x 2160 at up to 30 fps, and is only restricted by your memory card.
The addition of V-Log L video recording will also give users more control in post production, and make it easier to incorporate footage from the cameras into a professional workflow with other devices. V-Log L makes the most of the GH4R’s Micro Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor to allow wider dynamic range (12 stops) for color grading and has similar characteristics to the Cineon curve, the industry standard for film digitalization.
These updates, combined with other video-centric features such as clean high quality HDMI output make the high-end photo/video hybrid camera an attractive proposition for videographers, especially those who want to partner it with the like of the Atomos 4K Shogun and Ninja Assassin, or are also using Panasonic Varicams.
However, users of the original GH4 shouldn't feel left out, or that this update consigns their camera to the scrap-heap. By purchasing a DMW-SFU1 Upgrade Software Key and updating their GH4 to firmware version 2.3, they will also have access to the benefits of V-Log L functionality.
The Panasonic GH4R is currently being shown off at IFA 2015. It will be available body-only later this month for £1,200 (that's US$1,833, but no US pricing is available yet). The DMW-SFU1 Upgrade Software Key will set original GH4 users back £79 (or $99 in the US).