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Old February 26th, 2014, 03:57 PM   #91
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

this is a huge step in the right direction , for us. 4K is here to stay (remember the first HDV? look at those now). But the huge step is that we have a proper tool for serious production without all the limitations they all put to maintain the sales of the unbelievably expensive tools for the real thing. I admit that I wasn't expecting this so soon, a sign that things got out of control (since the D90): the technology was there but it was settled that the prosumer segment shouldn't get past the miniscule 1 third of an inch stuff, and dedicate the real stuff to you know who. And they work day and night to make sure that there will be enough limitations to keep the tools into that standard (poor). We (all) should build a monument to the guys who created the D90 (by mistake, the live view was intended for product still photography, not video, and maybe that's why the players didn't pay attention at that time)

this GH4 looks awesome, it has everything and we only need to dedicate ourselves to shoot good footage: no excuses now, we have the tool now.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #92
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

My only thing is 60p. I'm willing to wait another year for 60p and HDMI 2.0, then I will move on to a GH5 from my EX1R.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 02:20 AM   #93
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Jack , sure , it's understandable
but you could do what I did going from the EX1 to the future with most of the good things that a real camcorder can offer, but with a bigger sensor (and that's the future in my opinion) : got the ea50 that shoots 60P (big difference shooting sports like I do compared to the EX1 @30P)
now the AX1 looks good but again those miniscule sensors ... it's cheap but I'm not sure about investing in those sensors anymore.
For now the ea50 is the best solution covering the gap between the DSLRs (GH3 inparticular) and the small sensors (obsolete) but with a (still primitive) servo , bust still "servo". Try the ea50, see how you like it. if you need SDI then the XA25 shoots a little better than my EX1 (by the way)
If you need a servo zoom and a real sensor then Sony is the only chance right now. Panasonic doesn't have the lenses yet (only the 45-175 and the 14-42 PZ , but those are two lenses... you can't sprint to change the lens if you need to zoom down from tele. LOL
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Old February 28th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #94
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

If there's a EA50 4K reboot with XAVC-S, I'd be all over that if there's 60p.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 08:34 AM   #95
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

I think lenses are the issue. My AX1 works better than I had thought. It's low light is not as sensitive as my NX5U but it is a lot less noisy, more like the NX30U. In good light it is great so unless all the shoots are in the dark it works just fine. It is also 60P as like Jack that is a must on any new cameras for me as well as a long servo zoom. Unlike most I want large depth of field not shallow so smaller sensors are just fine. The 1" would be a nice compromise in sensitivity so we will have to see what Sony comes out with after the FDR-AX100.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 12:20 PM   #96
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
If there's a EA50 4K reboot with XAVC-S, I'd be all over that if there's 60p.
yeah . but first we need to make Sony pro-sumer (and Canon pro-sumer, and Panasonic pro-sumer) change the mentality : the ea50 is a consumer camera (more consumer than pro-sumer), so doesn't deserve a good zoom (like the RX10 for example) and doesn't deserve a decent low light performance. Until they will change that mentality we're going to keep consuming ourselves with limitations over limitations while the dsrls, cell phones and pocket will keep surprising us. The entire consumer and pro-sumer segment is also changing fast : bokeh is done now with a 20mm lens , contrast is king now, sharpness is king , high definition and resolution is king. How are we going to compete against the kids posting on youtube part of the same event that we get paid to cover when their segments will look that much better? There is a gap (always been there actually) between the kids, us (small productions, weddings etc.) and broadcast (TV to be clear, not even considering the motion picture giants). and the gap is out of balance. the kids get better and better stuff, and diffuse like crazy on the net so our Clients can see it, then there are the big guys who get better stuff every other month and we are in the middle. But we are the guys who used to spend 7K a piece to produce. We do count. We need to catch up and they (Sony, Panasonic and Canon) are not helping as they should.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 03:47 PM   #97
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Well if you think the kids are producing better looking video you have to remember they are using devices with small sensors and in full automatic most the time. Either from cell phones or small cameras. No large sensors or fancy expensive lenses. I use my Sony Xperia T cellphone to shoot video of my granddaughter and as Jack often says it could be the same sensor as in my FDR-AX1 or my HX30V still camera!!. The lenses though are very different between these products. Either way it produces nice video or stills and very convenient !!! Maybe I will upgrade to the Z2 and shoot 4K to see how it compares to my AX1 !!!

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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:08 PM   #98
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Ron,
yes .. but come on.. seriously now: from the FX1 what progress has been achieved before the stratospherically expensive pro-sumer FS700? if it wasn't for the push of the D90 we'd be shooting with XL1-like expensive miniscule sensors machines. But even right now the RX10 is a pocket camera with one of best zoom Ive ever seen. and it's a pocket camera. The 18-200 for ea50 cost like the whole RX10 with that best of a zoom. (I mean.. 2.8 all the way into a inch of a sensor, do be carried in your pocket.) and us? what about us? my EX1 looks like a VHS camera compared to that. I'm not saying that our tools should look better than the pocket or cell phones... but at least they should look the same, no? Like this is more like a joke for us. I can't compete with the ea50 against the pocket RX10, plain and simple : I don't have the smooth zoom in servo, I don't have that Zeiss look, I don't have that low light performance, I don't have that bokeh and on and on and on. That's the picture right now. Am I complaining? You bet, of course I am complaining. I feel that the D90 revolution made all the priorities upside down.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 07:13 PM   #99
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

@Anthony -
Having watched a video suggesting that the RX10 has killed the videocam...


I would agree with your feelings... everywhere you go, there is a bumper crop of phones, tablets and phablets, many of which shoot 1080p, and a new crop is right around the corner that will shoot 4K, with stabilization, and features to make stuff shot with them look more like they are more expensive cameras.

The old saying about the best camera being the one you have with you has turned the cell phone into the PRIMARY camera for most people, and at least some of them have decent quality sensors (for dinky ones), passable optics, and usable software... the rapid consumer release cycle (with consumer DEMANDS!) for phones and the aggressive competition dictates that there is a LOT of emphasis of features and actual "no-brainer" usability with quality results, including in bad light, and difficult capture situations.


Pros won't likely be seen shooting with cell phones most of the time (although it is possible), so there will be a market for "big cameras", and cell phones will continue with a 1-2 year upgrade cycle (the batteries wear down, and network upgrades force new phones on users...), meaning that more and more powerful cameras will be in people's pockets and purses (whether they know how to use them fully is another matter).

So yes, the "event shooter" is going to be squeezed out of the market, and the limited demand for semi-pro equipment is likely to continue to shrink, which has been happening for several years already... 3-5 years, and the P&S and handycam are likely to be quaint history...


@Ron -
This is the "scary" aspect of all the above... a cell phone/tablet shouldn't "in theory" be able to compete with a "real camera", either stills or video, but there they are. Sure, the quality is going to have weaknesses, but for many people, the flaws are simply not enough to negate the use for capturing CONTENT, which after all is the thing of value...

With our last cell upgrade a year ago, the camera became "passable" for my wife, and I think it looks "OK" for casual "snaps", I expect the next upgrade to be another jump in quality, and carrying a pocket camera may become unnecessary. I'll still carry an RX100M2 or equivalent, just because it shoots better quality for both stills and video, and an RX10 is now my "primary" shooter, again for stills and video. But I've been using the cell phone sometimes TOO!

Sony is trying to get out in front of this sea change - they supply cell phone/tablet imaging modules, they know those are selling in quantity while their P&S and handycam markets and lines & sales shrink. The RX series is trying to appeal to those that want better quality, with portability - and it's succeeding. Sticking that sensor and processor in the AX100 with 4K output is an obvious extension of the same technological advances..

Panasonic is going with the successful GH line, knowing that works, and appeals to professional/semi-pro shooters. ALL the manufacturers are probably scrambling to figure out what will sell in the future, the tech changes SO rapidly!.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 08:27 PM   #100
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Dave,
your post is one of those posts that should be saved and read it and read it again. I couldn't say it better.
but I don't have any problem with the pocket cameras being good. It's fine, we do what we do and deliver , the cell phone crowd play and post on youtube 3 min clips, we do something different. My problem is with Sony and the others. They keep limiting and investing energy making models perform bad to sell the next more expensive one. And they seem like don't see what's going on. How is it possible that a D90 was able to produce 10,000 times better than the pro-summers at that time? And still we have to deal with obsolete technology (EX3) and sub-par quality. Like I said before I don't ask to have tools better than a cell phone, but at least as good as a cell phone. Am I asking too much?

Back to the D90 that started everything I too had the chance to open my eyes but since I'm not smart I didn't see it : this is a real story happened several years ago. I was covering a concert with an FX1 (paid by the organization). MY girlfriend came along and brought her g9 (canon). Again it was way before the D90 and the live view revolution. She did something wrong and instead of stills she shot a 10 minutes movie (in 640x480 I believe or maybe 1024 I don't remember. When we got back home and I was mounting the footage she asked me to check her camera and I found the movie. Please listen to this, as it's important Dave: I had my footage in front of me and compared to the G9 stuff was miserable. The G9 was crisp, sharp, better, better ,better. let me say it again: BETTER. I didn't pay attention, but right there in front of me was the truth of the huge scheme. The technology was there BEFORE the D90 . (Sony makes the sensor for the D90), so they knew. Dave, do you see where I'm going with this? But it wasn't for us, was for the better payers (you know who). We kept their business swallowing absurd money for junk.
And now we still have to fight against the absurd limitations of a pro-sumer camera that doesn't even come close to the pocket RX10?

Sony Canon and Panasonic (JVC doesn't count because it's part of one of those three): do your job, stop limiting our cameras, produce the best you can instead of spending all your time counting the performance (poor) to sell the other ones. Because the rest of the offers don't do that and improve every day now.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 03:54 AM   #101
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

I'll borrow from my reply on another thread to the "internet conspiracy theory" that somehow manufacturers go out of their way to release products that are deliberately "inferior" as a part of a marketing scheme...

I know it's popular to say manufacturers "cripple" products to make extra $$, but think about it, there are ALWAYS new features, new improved technology, and other updates/upgrades! Plus added features (particularly hardware type features, vs. "software") cost more in production, and a manufacturer must meet expected price points for projected production quantities...

How many cell phone modules do you think Sony sells in relation to say FX1's (if you took a current model, the ratios would be even more skewed!), or maybe NX30's (which are a derivative of the CX/PJ760, so they could reduce costs by increasing production/quantities)?

Where do you think they put the R&D $$$, and where do you think the "latest" tech ends up? A camera with a 3-5 year or longer life cycle that costs thousands of dollars, so it won't sell large quantities, or be "replaced" quickly like disposable consumer electronics... or something "whiz bang" that will make the consumer itchy to upgrade?? I know that "seems" strange, but it's really not when you think about it. It's basic economics 101.


Do you really think "they" could release a "kitchen sink" model at a reasonable market price point "now", and 3-5 years down the road that same piece of technology would still be "state of the art"?!? Heck, just the introduction of backlit sensors made huge differences in performance, and that was released within a YEAR after being announced as a new patented tech... it appeared in the high end consumer Handycams with the next production cycle...

Technology moves FAST, so it's more likely that the manufacturers are scrambling to stay ahead of their own R&D departments before the engineers obsolete the stuff they are trying to get into production! In consumer lines, they are "lucky" if the product retains more than a passing resemblance to the same design/features after a year on the market! There is little time to scheme about "crippling" products in devious ways, IMO.



As far as why a consumer low res still camera looked "better" than an FX1... there are about 3 years difference between those two, and I'll bet on there being other issues - the FX1 was not THAT bad a camera once you learned how to use it, and like any camera with more "adjustments", more ways to goof it up! And there can be other factors that make an image "look better" on the surface, but when you get down to details, it's not really...


The RX100 as originally released was a great little camera, the M2 got a "R" backlit sensor, and a few other features, and it got "even better" - likely because the RX100 was a "hit", and so got more development attention - the RX10 is another home run... as the AX100 likely will be. And in 3-5 years, they will all likely be outclassed by new "whiz bang" cell phones in at least some respects... That won't make them any less "breakout" cameras that will record a lot of good CONTENT for users.

The GH series represents another "breakout" camera (I've looked at them, and what they can produce image wise, even been tempted a bit). With the GH4, they will break into the new ground of 4K with a camera that extends an existing successful line... IF I were invested in Panasonic accessories and lenses, I'd probably be looking at how to finance the upgrade!


There is no perfect camera, but tech wise, they get better every year, sometimes there's a big jump like the sensor and processor in the RX10, but most of the time it's little tweaks, minor improvements, and so on.

Then again... sometimes you get seismic changes like cell phones with more and more functions that end up replacing other devices! Or DSLR's that shoot pretty good video... or little tablets that do most of what many people "need" a computer for...
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Old March 1st, 2014, 04:51 AM   #102
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Dave ,
of course they do (limit models) . The canon D300 was blocked intentionally because had the same sensor of the 10D. The "case" came out when some hacker unveiled the firmware, finding all the intentional blocks. I saw it and it was "na´ve", but they thought that nobody was able to see it. But somebody was and it came out. Im sure that now they pay more attention to the limitations they implement now. They keep things "secret" now. The sensor of the ea50 was kept so "secret" and why? It's not like is some "miracle" camera, it's average, many pocket models shoot better thean the ea50: so why "secret"? Take a wild guess.

The sensor of the ea50 is the same of the VG30 but the VG30 is slightly darker low light . odd, yes?. The sensor of the ea50 again in low light doesn't perform like the Fs series, and it looks (again) to be the same, same codes, only a dramatically different outcome: it's in the software (where else?)

all of that while the cell phones and pocket models put gasoline to their engines and they still keep playing tricks. It's old stuff. I'll say it again : look at the still cameras: they all perform as they should now, and at their best, the difference between models are the features, not some blocks in the software. Which is legit of course, but also disgusting. All this "blocking" activity cost money time and efforts beside finding engineers willing to do it (which is unethical, disgusting and brings no honor: to the engineers and to the corporation.

After the D90 in some desperate move they tried to limit the time for video: for tax purposes but mainly to keep the sales of the camcorders with those miniscule sensors that gave them so much money. Then the GH1/2/3 came out with no time limit. Another laughable move. And I still remember all the end users sprinting in defense of the corporations (absurd, a buyer siding with the sellers for a limited product they got, but it happened) users telling other users that there was no need for more than 3 min. , that the reason was to protect the sensor and other BS like that. A buyer defending the sellers in these cases is like the husband asking to the wife's lover if he enjoyed his wife.

Same thing now: but the message is out, loud and clear.

P.S. about the FX1 you do understand that it couldn't compare to the G9 , same year, not 3 years, same year. If we go back and check the video of the pocket cameras of that time I'm sure that we'd be surprised. Canon G9 when Canon was "proposing" the XL1 to us. I mean.. come on... and it's not like it was something "difficult" for the g9: it was 1024x768 , 30fps I believe. and beautiful footage, like the pocket cameras now, like the GH1 when it started, like the D90 when it was added the live view (meant for stills, studio and macro for product, not for video. That explains, uh? they did it by mistake at Nikon's. once out it was too late. sooooo easy... so why the XL1? You tell me...
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Old March 1st, 2014, 08:13 AM   #103
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Sure there is marketing involved but there are also some real costs that warrant a price change. The obvious are built in XLR, manual buttons etc. If a manufacturer makes 1000s times more of the one without these features then it will be a lot less expensive than the pro model with the extra mechanical functions. The sensor can be the same but the electronics different. AVCHD spec is for playback how the manufacturer encodes is up to them so the different models can have different encode functions which will result in different performance. If I am to believe the numbers my FDR-AX1 has the same sensor as my Cybershot HX30V but I can assure you the performance is very different. Some functions will be "hidden" in firmware but others will be totally different by model. Sony have always done the firmware for marketing just like other manufacturers so for instance there is very little difference between my FDR-AX1 and the PXW-Z100 other than the firmware and the fact that the PXW-Z100 has some more physical interfaces. Clearly Sony chose to differentiate for initiall firmware but I expect this summer with the firmware update the PXW-Z100 will totally embrace the features of the FDR-Ax1 just like the past differences in Sony models. Of note is that these newer lower cost 4K models are all restricted to 30P. Why ? Because for 60P one needs higher data rate and more heat removal involving different memory and a likely bigger body to house a fan or heat sinks. This all costs money for a low run product. This summer the PXW-Z100 will be a much better camera for the extra $1000. Should I have waited ? One could say that but I am 72 so that extra year of playing starts to become significant for my life !!!

As always one has a choice .

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Old March 1st, 2014, 08:48 AM   #104
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

Anyone who's been in product R&D knows that a product feature set is defined and refined using input from engineering, finance and marketing. Product lines are intentionally defined and evolved with parameters set by the same folks. It shows up in a number of ways.

Look at the large sensor market in terms of CODEC. If you want something better than AVCHD under $4k, you have to suffer using a DSLR. Look at Sony's line it terms of builtin ND filters.

Manufacturers control their product lines and nowadays have to trade off the impacts of features across DSLR, 3-chip and large sensor product lines. Feature sets are also tweaked under development where possible as competitors announce products. Ultimately, there is a spreadsheet with voodoo numbers that predict sales based on features, market availability and time in market.

I doubt Canon put a junky VF that doesn't articulate in the C100 because the technology wasn't there. Ditto the LCD everyone complains about. Those smack of cost decisions. It will be interesting to see who is the first to cross the $4K barrier with a large sensor camcorder that has a better CODEC than AVCHD. If ever. That would encroach on the 3-chip product sales which are impacted by power zoom lenses for large sensor products. It get complicated fast and I think each company has their own guidelines they are using to define feature sets.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 07:32 PM   #105
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Re: Press Release: Panasonic Announces 4K Mirrorless DMC-GH4

If my brief research was correct, the Sony FX1 released in 2004, the Canon G9 was 2007 - let's say that's two model years - LOTS of opportunity for improvements in electronics in that time...

It's easy enough to tweak what a camera records to "look better", usually Sonys overexpose, it's easy to adjust to make the image look better... many consumer cams tend to put a bit more contrast and saturation into the "mix" because it "looks better"... and it's quite entirely possible on a camera with more adjustments to end up with an adverse result (plus toss in any goof ups in post processing...). I'm not saying you didn't see what you saw, I'm saying there may have been other things at work...

Sony often uses sensors across models and lines. BUT I've seen the same sensor tweaked differently, with surprisingly different results. Yep, it's the firmware each group adds to the sensor and hardware they are working with. Like sailing teams with identical boats, one wins, others lose... I am aware of one instance where the "new improved" sensor actually resulted in poorer image quality year over year. Sometimes the "magic" doesn't work quite right!

I don't think there's any "mystery", sometimes Sony releases SIMILAR sensors, but with updates or minor changes, likely in the fabs... and they can have variations.

It's been long known that when fabricating electronics, you don't get 100% high spec parts, but you may get some that can perform at lower specs - I'd expect this in sensor production, so perhaps rather than tossing the perfectly functional (at lower spec) "rejects", using them in other products would be good use of resources - not saying this is the reason, but it makes sound business sense.

I've said the RX10 should have had 4K... and I believe it might have been "possible" given the hardware (and the AX100), but because of issues with memory availability and quite possibly stealing the thunder from other cameras being released that COULDN'T do 4K, it was left out - I fully expect it will be a feature in the "RX10M2 or RX20" or whatever.

As Ron notes, there are practical considerations like heat, processing power, etc., as well as feature sets that are designed to meet certain market criteria. Then there's that incredibly stupid 30 minute "EU Tax" thing, and so on... there are a LOT of factors that go into camera design, and production - I'm not buying into the "manufacturers deliberately release substandard products" concept - they are competing with each other, and have to stay relevant in the market, no one does that by selling deliberately inferior product, at least not for very long.


I'll again mention selling an RX100 to a self described Sony "camera expert"... he said the camera was broken... after experimentation I found that if you put a really slow card in it while set to burst and RAW 9(how the "expert" had it set), it appeared to freeze up (AKA "broken") while the camera desperately choked trying to push the bits onto the memory card. NOTHING wrong with the camera, just plain flat out user error!! TOO MANY SETTINGS for a novice (expert?!?) to screw up, or maybe something he read on the internet!

I can't count how may times I've read a "review" and thought to myself "gee, if they knew how to USE THE CAMERA PROPERLY, they'd get better results" (and the "criticisms" would be invalid!). Even in the video I posted, I was thinking, 24-200mm optical seems short against a video camera, but Clear Image zoom gives you 400, and is usable by most accounts, digital (yep heresy!) gives 800 equiv, and so 600 is probably usable in a pinch! And you're still at f /2.8, where that video cam would be ramped up more than a bit.

With tech, it's pretty safe to say that a few years on, we'll look back and say "why didn't they do this THEN?"... and probably be saying "why can't they do THIS... NOW?" Or we can use what's available and enjoy it as it is...
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