When it comes time for me to make my bread and butter with hybrid photography, my tool, up to this point, has been the GH3. I love this camera – it’s small, weather resistant, fast, and the image quality is spectacular. Everything about it is great. Because I shoot a lot of video and blend my video with stills into hybrid projects, I would really like higher quality video. Luckily, the new Lumix GH4 offers 4K video as well as spectacular image quality.

The GH4 and GH3 side by side.

Similarities to the GH3

If you have the GH3, or if you have another Lumix camera, shooting with the GH4 is going to be very straight forward. When you have it in your hands it you know you’re holding something that is designed for a working photographer. As you can tell, the GH4 is very similar to the GH3. The nice thing about them being so similar is the batteries are the same, the chargers are the same, and all of your accessories for the GH3 will work with the GH4. The one exception is the new GH4 has a micro HDMI port, instead of the mini HDMI port.

gh4 vs gh3 4

4K Video

The main difference, of course, is going to be the 4K video. 4K video has to be the coolest feature of the GH4. And it’s a feature that benefits still photographers, film makers, videographers, and hybrid photographers such as myself. We are shooting 1080 x 1920 with the GH3 which is roughly a little less than 2K video – every frame of video is roughly 2 megapixels. Now we’re looking at almost 9 mega pixels per frame. Which means if you take good quality video, which is very easy with the GH4, you can pull stills in lightroom. That is the coolest advancement I’ve seen in a camera like this in a long time. Also, being able to shoot very high quality slow motion video is very handy when shooting animated portraits.

gh4 vs gh3 frame grab
GH3 vs GH4 video stills
GH4 4K Pull Frame Kaiman
GH4 4K Pull Frame | Firmware 0.1 | Click to download

Other Notable Features

  • Larger control dial
  • Weatherproofed, tight card door
  • Speed and responsiveness
  • Fast autofocus system
  • Face detection autofocus
  • Built in photostyles
  • Slow motion video
  • Live view
gh4 vs gh3 1
Live view in manual video mode

Stuff like uncompressed video out at 422 is nice, being able to design your own auto focus regions on your screen is also awesome, and extremely fast autofocus with continuous face detection is also handy. There are a ton of other features in this camera that we will be digging into as soon as I get the final version, hopefully soon.

ISO 2500 SOOC JPEG | Firmware 0.1
ISO 2500 SOOC JPEG | Firmware 0.1 | Click to download


You can support Small Camera Big Picture by ordering the Lumix GH4 at Amazon.com

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  1. says

    Amazing achievement from Panasonic. Let’s hope it stimulates the other camera manufactures to lower their prices to compete in this market. I guess the biggest competitor is the Black Magic 4K camera but it’s reviews are mixed in low light, plus no stills of course.

  2. kawika says

    Very nice review of a potentially great camera. However, you make it seem as if the GH4 can shoot 4K at high frame rates. It can’t. If you want to shoot video over 30fps, you are limited to 1080p.

    • says

      Hi Kawika,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Not sure where I stated about high frame rates at 4K but thanks for clarifying. I’d suspect future GH cameras to have higher 4K frame rates.

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