NAB News: GH4 Anamorphic Update

Panasonic announced a firmware update for the GH4 to add proper anamorphic support:

  • 3328×2496 (1.33:1) recording at 23.98, 24, 25, or 29.97 fps.
  • 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output for external recording.
  • New electronic shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec.
  • Available later this month. [UPDATE 22 April 2015: GH4 Version 2.2 now available here.]

Anamorphic shooters have previously been able to use the GH4’s “4K Photo Mode” for 1.33:1 imaging, but only at 25 or 29.97 fps, and without external recording. This new update allows “native” 1.33:1 capture as a normal recording mode, complete with native-mode 1.33:1 HDMI output for external recorders; a 1.33x anamorphic adapter like the one from SLR Magic (or Panasonic’s original adapter for the AG-DVX100) will give you a 1.77:1 (16×9) image, while a 2x anamorphic lens or adapter gives you a 2.66:1 image, which with a bit of edge cropping gets you a ‘scope-ratio picture of 2.39:1.


GH4 with a Cooke 2x anamorphic prime and Odyssey 7Q+ monitor/recorder on the Panasonic stand at NAB

Sadly, the camera will not “desqueeze” the anamorphic image in its EVF or on its monitor — the internal processing is already being pushed to the limit — but Convergent Design has announced desqueezing in an upcoming Odyssey 7Q+ update; the demo unit on the GH4 also fed the desqueezed image to a separate monitor.

By a fortunate coincidence, Veydra announced the development of 2x anamorphic primes in MFT mount, starting with a 25mm, of which this is an early mockup:

Veydra 25mm 2x anamorphic prime (mockup)

Veydra 25mm 2x anamorphic prime (mockup)

Veydra anamorphics will cost under $5000 each, rather less than the Cooke in image above!

Also shown: V-Log gamma. This won’t be in the next release, but in a subsequent one later this year. It is claimed that V-Log will extend the dynamic range of the GH4 by 2 stops, and improve the look of highlight handling considerably.


V-Log gamma, coming later this year

The Odyssey 7Q+ will offer LUT support as well as de-squeeze:

7Q+ LUT options for GH4's V-Log

7Q+ LUT options for GH4’s V-Log

Exciting times, then, for low-budget anamorphic shooters!

Disclosure: I attended the Panasonic press conference and learned of this upgrade, then ogled it on the show floor. I also discussed lensing with Veydra. But, sadly, no one offered me any payments or other valuable considerations to write it up. Darn it.



About The Author

Adam Wilt is a software developer, engineering consultant, and freelance film & video tech. He’s had small jobs on big productions (PA, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, Dir. Robert Wise), big jobs on small productions (DP, “Maelstrom”, Dir. Rob Nilsson), and has worked camera, sound, vfx, and editing gigs on shorts, PSAs, docs, music vids, and indie features. He started his website on the DV format,, about the same time Chris Hurd created the XL1 Watchdog, and participated in‘s 2006 “Texas Shootout.” He has written for DV Magazine and, taught courses at DV Expo, and given presentations at NAB, IBC, and Cine Gear Expo. When he’s not doing contract engineering or working on apps like Cine Meter II, he’s probably exploring new cameras, just because cameras are fun.

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