I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.
I’ve spent a LOT of time trying to figure out what are the best/fastest/cheapest memory cards for my brand new Panasonic GH4 (which JUST got down in price…) At first the options seem endless, but they really aren’t. I hope this short article saves you a headache and a few hours of research. Please consider supporting our free educational content by using our links.
UPDATE 06/26: The Transcend U3 64GB works fine shooting 4K. This is by far the BEST price/capacity/speed value we have seen.
Few people know that Panasonic has a brand new SD Card to support the GH4. It is a 32GB with up to 90/45 MB/s, and supports Ultra High Speed Class 3 specification (U3). It is available now at Adorama for $59.95.
I happen to have one with me right now, so I’ll be testing it to shoot 4K and will share my impressions.
According to an email I received from SanDisk, the company “no longer recommends the Extreme Pro UHS II card for use with this camera because the camera does not support the UHS II bus. These cards will work in the camera however we currently recommend using UHS I cards as the best match for the GH4.” Here’s a handy link to determine the best camera/memory card compatibility.
So, acccording to SanDisk’s chart, this is the best card for the Panasonic GH4.
Getting an 8GB or even 16GB nowadays, especially if you are planning to shoot 4K video is kinda silly. So here are the direct links to the 32GB and 64GB options:
We are also VERY intrigued by the new Transcend 64 GB High Speed 10 UHS-3 Flash Memory Card 95/60 MB/s (TS64GSDU3), but it seems too good to be true: only $50.70 on Amazon!
I’ve had mixed results with Transcend cards in the past but I wonder if things have changed. Just because I’m feeling a bit courageous, I just ordered one from Amazon and will be testing it in the next couple of days. Will share my findings on Twitter (@EA_Photo), so follow along!
My brilliant friend Sean Davis had something interesting to say about this:
“Based on the official specs and what I’m being told, only UHS-III cards are tested and approved for 4K capture. Although some people have had luck with slightly slower/cheaper cards. From my personal and professional experience if slower cards work they will run a higher risk of failure (buffer under run errors and such). The data rates on this camera are incredibly high, 200mb/s in 1080p will usually mean that you need cards capable of that write speed.”
Another option is to go with an external recorder like the AJA Ki Pro Quad or an Odyssey 7Q. The catch with the Odyssey is that you STILL need Panasonic’s YAGH Interface Unit and connect 4 SDI cables to the 7Q for 4K recording. Too messy. A third option seems to be the yet to be released Atomos Shogun. The huge advantage of these recorders is having a 1280 x 720 display, and the convenience to record directly from the sensor to 10-bit, 4:2:2 Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD to ver large portable hard drives, but this requires a serious additional investment.
Do you have any other suggestions or workarounds? Please share them with us.
I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Drives.
I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.
7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4.
Dance! The first of a series of videos shot for Panasonic USA to promote the new Panasonic Lumix GH4.
A digital image in-depth look. Literally.
Ever wonder how images are captured inside a digital camera? I obviously understand the logic and technology behind the process, but SEEING it is something completely different (and very cool).
The video below, made by Lexar, shows the capturing process and also helps to understand how the speed on memory cards, and card readers, can affect your entire digital workflow.
To learn why the processors are the “brain” of the camera check this article “DIGIC Processors Explained.”
Meet the XQD Memory Card. Works with Nikon D4. Lexar joins the Party.
A few days ago The Compact Flash Association announced a new format to replace CF cards for professional photographers, and HDLSR filmmakers. The new format is called XQD, and has a physical size that falls between CF and SD cards (it is thicker than SD cards, but smaller than CF cards). The interface used is PCI Express, with real world write speeds around 125MB/s, eventually being able to exceed 2 terabytes of capacity. All that was pretty interesting, but I assumed that given the current prices of memory cards, pushing a new format would be a pretty hard sell (literally).
Well, I stand corrected. Twice. As you already know, Nikon just announced the D4 camera, which happens to be the very first camera incorporating the XQD technology. And Sony, on a surprising move, has also announced not only one but TWO flavors of the new memory card. A 16GB card for $129, and a 32GB card for $229. The new cards borrow the PCIExpress (PCIe) high-speed serial communications link interface from computers, offer 125MB/s transfer speeds, and can store up to 100 RAW images in continuous shooting mode.
Additionally, Sony will have a new USB 3.0 card reader, and an ExpressCard/34 adapter, and will start shipping the goods next month at the same time Nikon delivers the D4. Just on time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Check Sony’s commercial for the XQD. It looks like an awesome video game. Now, would you pay $129 for a 16GB card?