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    New to the GH4..So I've some questions!
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    Senior Member petermullett's Avatar
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    So I'm starting to try to understand yet another camera system, the GH4 this time. Just got mine this week.
    I've got a couple of questions that I couldn't find a good answer to in the manual, so throwing them out to those of you that probably know the answers:

    1/ If you've recorded in 4K can you down-convert to 1080p HD out of the camera after the 4K footage is recorded / shot? If so how's that done?
    If it's not possible to down-convert that way in camera what's the best way to do it after the shoot? I work, ( still! ), in FCP7 Studio so 1080i HD is the best option in that NLE.

    2/ Has anyone on the forum used and S16 lenses on their GH4?
    I've a lot of S16 glass and would love to be able to give it more "life" in using it on this camera....But before I buy an expensive PL-MFT mount I thought I'd ask for other's experiences / advice on this.

    3/ Audio....What's the best option here? I keep reading that in-camera audio recording isn't the best on almost any DSLR rig including the GH4, so is it best to go with an external recorder and TC and sync' in post? If so, what external recorder has worked for you?......Oh yes I'm not talking SD budgets here, I'd like to keep costs down too, this GH4 kit is supposed to be a "budget option" to my other digital cinema & film gear.

    I'm sure I'll have other questions soon enough, but for now I'd be grateful for any input you can offer on the above.....Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by petermullett; 02-09-2015 at 02:30 AM.


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    Senior Member ProfessorU's Avatar
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    1 - You can't down-convert in the camera, you'll want to do that in your video editor. I suppose technically you could playout 4k footage as 1080p over HDMI, but that's needlessly complicated. If you're trying to work in 1080i (please use 1080p, please, please) then you should be able to convert to ProRes 4:2:2 in 1080p before you edit.

    2 - I've given some S16 glass life on a BMPCC, but not the GH4. The sensor size works well, especially since you have an even more pronounced crop in 4k video mode. Definitely plan on using rails, since that tiny camera isn't designed to carry a huge metal lens.

    3 - My favorite low low budget recorder is the Tascam DR40. Almost all the latest generation recorders are pretty respectable. If you're going to spend a bit more, you can consider something that mounts under your camera body (like a DR70). I'm not one for that style, but I know some shooters who prefer to have everything in one place.


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    S16 lenses will likely be a crapshoot, much like they were with the GH2. I have an old C-mount Bolex Kern-Switar 16mm lens that works without vignetting on the GH4's UHD mode, but vignettes in the 2x 1080 mode.

    There's another user that marries a PL-mount adapter with the Olympus MC14 (IIRC) 1.4x teleconverter to enlarge the image circle and thus utilize S16 lenses, a search may serve you well.
    Pudgy bearded camera guy
    http://mcbob.tv


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    Senior Member petermullett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorU View Post
    1 - You can't down-convert in the camera, you'll want to do that in your video editor. I suppose technically you could playout 4k footage as 1080p over HDMI, but that's needlessly complicated. If you're trying to work in 1080i (please use 1080p, please, please) then you should be able to convert to ProRes 4:2:2 in 1080p before you edit.

    2 - I've given some S16 glass life on a BMPCC, but not the GH4. The sensor size works well, especially since you have an even more pronounced crop in 4k video mode. Definitely plan on using rails, since that tiny camera isn't designed to carry a huge metal lens.

    3 - My favorite low low budget recorder is the Tascam DR40. Almost all the latest generation recorders are pretty respectable. If you're going to spend a bit more, you can consider something that mounts under your camera body (like a DR70). I'm not one for that style, but I know some shooters who prefer to have everything in one place.



    Thanks for all of this ProfessorU, very helpful…..AND I meant 1080p! A typo from posting late last night…Changed that in my post.
    For now I will only record to HD unless I really need 4K. I did some tests at 4K and this camera is remarkable.

    And yes, I do plan using 15mm rails, a cage and a PL adapter that gives support to the lens taking the weight off of the camera's mount. Just sensible seeing how heavy some of my S16 glass is, ( Zeiss S.Speeds, Optex wide Primes, Cooke, Canon and Fuji zooms plus PL'd Nikkors ). I guess all but the longer lenses with vignette on the HD /full sensor, I'm going to have to plumb for a PL adapter and just try the lenses out, ( at 4K sensor size ), and see what works.

    I bought the camera with the Panasonic 14mm "pancake" lens just so I have something to try the camera out, but what a remarkable little piece of glass that is! Love it.

    Interesting your choice of the Tascam DR40, I've been looking at that and wondering how decent it can be. I do have some Sound Devices gear, but all of that's just too bulky to mount on the rails with the camera.

    Thanks again, and to Mcbob too


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    1) You can film in 1080p mode on the GH4 at different mbps. For weddings, I film at 24mbps 1080p because it is high quality but allows for me to film much longer. This footage would be perfect in Final Cut Pro 7.

    2) Never used S16 glass but I feel that it would be more work than its value. Invest in some vintage lenses if you want to go that route. M42 lenses, Minolta lenses, or old Nikon lenses would be great and affordable.

    3) I have the Tascam Dr-100. It works for me as a dual system, but if I had to purchase any audio recorder right now, I'd choose the Tascam 60d. It would fit underneath your camera which would make one-man shoots so much easier and less bulky.


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    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petermullett View Post
    1/ If you've recorded in 4K can you down-convert to 1080p HD out of the camera after the 4K footage is recorded / shot? If so how's that done?
    If it's not possible to down-convert that way in camera what's the best way to do it after the shoot? I work, ( still! ), in FCP7 Studio so 1080i HD is the best option in that NLE.
    Just send it to Compressor and encode it with the PRORESHQ 1080p setting. Both 4k and UHD downscale beautifully, but for simplicity's sake, you might want to stick with UHD as the aspect ratio stays the same as 1080. The original h.264 files work great in FCP X without transcoding on any capable system.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    Some great suggestions above.

    A decent little zoom will make you very happy. I picked up the 12-35 2.8 which is terrific and compact. Shooting UHD and going to 1080p in the edit will also make you happy. There is a change in FOV with UHD –– narrower –– since for 4K/UHD the GH4 captures at 1:1, pixel for pixel. A benefit is very very minimal moiré. Very good battery life. Focus peaking is your friend. I like CineD with sharpness turned to -5 and saturation to -3, then cc in FCP X with the color board and White Balance Plugin 2. CineV is good for many things right off the SD card, but I would still knock off some saturation and sharpness.

    I have a Rode Videomic Pro, but I generally get sound from either an H4n or my trusty HPX170, which I still use as a lockdown or master on most things, a Sennheiser G3 and and ME66 through that. FCP X makes sync easy: just select the clips and right click to choose Synchronize. (Unless there is a compelling reason, I would seriously consider moving to FCP X now. It is ready, and it is much much faster on a halfway decent system.)

    There is a Beachtek DXA-SLR that looks interesting if you want sound directly from your XLR mics into the GH4, but at almost $500, I'm going to think about the Atomos Shogun at some point, which in addition to everything else it does has XLR in. That would make the Beachtek redundant it seems, unless all you really need is the sound in.


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