NAB 2016 Announcements.

I’ve been honored to speak at NAB for the past 9 years. A few days ago I was addressed as a “senior” speaker, which feels kinda good but very weird at the same time. One of the many lessons learned is that it’s close to impossible to understand what’s happening in terms of announcements while you are AT the show. There are so many people, so many widgets, and so much noise… It is actually much easier and faster to follow the news and read the reports “from the the trenches” to stay up to date on new toys.

If you are attending the show, I’d love to have you at one of my seminars or simply meet and catch up. I’ll be on Twitter (@EA_Photo) obsessively.

In collaboration with B&H, this year I’m testing two new widgets that are populated automatically; one for Announcements and a second one for B&H specials during the show. I have no idea how this is going to work, but it doesn’t hurt to try. So, here we go!

NAB 2016: Just Announced


NAB 2016: Show Specials



Essential Filmmaking Gear – Lean and Mean.

On our previous equipments lists (here’s #1 and here’s #2) we covered the essential gear while working with small crews constantly on the move. Today, we’ll list the equipment we usually bring on “Lean and Mean” jobs. On these jobs we usually spend more time at each location, and don’t need to carry everything on our backs, so we can add a few bigger/heavier tools.

List #3 – Lean And Mean

Hybrid or Video Only Assignments
Small Crew On Location But With Some Time To Prep
Example: Maragas Winery Commercial.

In addition to everything on List #1 and List #2 we typically would add:

1. If the job doesn’t require stills I’d swap the GH4s or the Sony a7R IIs for a couple of Canon C100 Mark II bodies (Amazon and B&H). At this point we are seriously considering investing on a couple of Sony PXW-FS7 (Amazon and B&H), but we are waiting to test it against a Sony PXW-FS5 (Amazon and B&H) to make the call.

2. Depending on the job we would add another camera movement tool, like a Glidecam (Amazon and B&H) or a Ronin (Amazon and B&H) or even jibs and dollies. It depends on many different factors.

3. In terms of lighting I usually bring three 1×1 Bi-Color LED Panels (Amazon and B&H) with batteries (B&H) and two Chimera 1×1 Lightbanks (Amazon and B&H) with grids (B&H). That pretty much covers my basic needs. Another option is a Fiilex kit (Amazon and B&H), which I like a lot, but it is too expensive for most people.

4. A Sekonic Color Meter (Amazon and B&H) and a Sekonic Light Meter (Amazon and B&H) are pretty much mandatory.

5. Most of my grip gear is made by Impact simply because it is inexpensive, versatile and durable.  I consider essential a few accessories like adjustable Gaffer Clamps, and Collapsible Reflector Holders (Amazon and B&H) which also double as mic or light stands. These very inexpensive items effectively function as additional crew members.

6. We would bring a second Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case (2 total) (Amazon and B&H), add a second Benro S8 tripod (2 total) one more Benro S4 monopod (2 total), and a very compact and portable slider (Amazon and B&H) that would take the same fluid head from the S8 tripod and/or the S4 monopod.

Here’s the complete list of what we are currently using.



Well, there you have our essential gear. There isn’t a perfect gear list, just like there isn’t a perfect camera, but the most essential items have been working great for most assignments. Of course, there are those long and complex projects that require everything and the kitchen sink. If I forgot something essential, please let me know here!

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!


Essential Filmmaking Gear – The Moving Crew.

On a previous article we covered the essential gear for solo gigs (List #1). On this article, which we call List #2, we’ll concentrate on the equipment required for longer/bigger hybrid assignments where I’ll have a few more people fulfilling different roles (gaffer/grip, second camera/editor, BTS camera/DIT). We are usually moving from place to place very quickly, so traveling light is essential. When possible, I added direct links to Amazon and/or B&H for your convenience.

List #2 – The Moving Crew.

Hybrid Assignments
Small Crew Constantly On The Move
Example: Panasonic Anamorphic.

So, in addition to everything on List #1 we’d typically add:

1. In addition to my sharpest and heaviest lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (Amazon and B&H), we’d also bring a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (Amazon and B&H), and a Sigma 24-105mm f4. (Amazon and B&H). These are the same exact lenses I used last year on another one-man Hybrid project in Istanbul and Europe. To make the Canon and Sigma lenses work on the Panasonic GH4 we’ll need a Metabones Speedbooster (Amazon and B&H).

2. Having more space and more people to carry bags, I’d also add a Varavon cage (Amazon and B&H) to each camera body. I like these cages a lot!

3. An Atomos Shogun (Amazon and B&H). We previously wrote an article explaining why this is a must have item.

4. As many SanDisk Solid State Drives (Amazon and B&H) for the Atomos Shogun  as possible.

5. A USB 3.0 reader for the Solid State Drives (which are generously included in the Atomos Shogun kit).

6. A second 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (Amazon and B&H).

7. Two RodeLink kits (Amazon and B&H). They are great for interviews and to record clean sound while doing on-camera tutorials or even getting some BTS. The RodeLinks are extremely light, small, reliable and fairly inexpensive.

8. In addition to the monopod (on List #1) I’d add one Benro S8 tripod (Amazon and B&H).

9. I’d add one more Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag (2 total) (Amazon and B&H) for the most expensive, essential and fragile items, namely cameras, lenses, Shogun and hard drives.

10. One sturdy Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case (Amazon and B&H) for light stands, tripods, grip, cables, etc. My favorite one is Tenba’s Rolling Case 38


What else are we using? Here’s the complete list.

As you can see, anyone involved in run-and-gun, single-operator scenarios like weddings, events, corporate shoots, documentaries, red carpet premieres, product launches, sporting events, video podcasts, and even student films could benefit from these lists, so feel free to share them.

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!

Coming next week: List #3 – Lean and Mean. Working with a small crew but having a bit more time to settle down and prep. Bring the big guns!



Essential Filmmaking Gear – The Solo Gig.

In aviation, an MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List) is a categorized list of on-board systems, instruments and equipment that must be operative in order to flight. Any additional equipment not included in the MMEL may break temporarily, but it won’t make the aircraft inoperative. For several years I’ve been attempting to create my own MMEL for “hybrid” productions. My simplest definition of “hybrid” is “productions or assignments where a skeleton crew (from one to four people) is required to produce, direct, shoot video and stills, record sound, and even edit. Most of these assignments will be happening on location, more often than not over several days.”

Like it or not, these gigs are becoming increasingly popular. It sounds crazy and indeed, being on the field trying to wear so many hats at the same time can be extremely stressful. The keys to make these projects run smoothly (and even fun) are simple: invest as much as possible in pre-production, bring only the most essential gear, know your equipment well, and be decisive.

Regarding gear, a substantial challenge is how to pack and travel as light as possible while carrying a full production and post-production setup that is literally on your back, so “essential” in my book is something you will use all the time, not “maybe, just in case, what if.”
Over time, we have created three “lists of essential items”, depending mostly on the crew’s size. When possible, I added the product’s link to Amazon and/or B&H for your convenience.

List #1 – The Solo Gig

Hybrid Assignments
One-Man Crew
Example: Japan.

When working and traveling alone, a single carry-on backpack (like a Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag) contains every item I’ll need for up to three days, except some clothes and toiletries that will go on a smaller backpack the gets checked in or shipped in advance. 

Hardware & Software:

1. A small, light and versatile Camera (“Cam A”) to shoot video. In the photo I have a Panasonic GH4 (Amazon and B&H), but I also like the Sony a7R II (Amazon and B&H).

2. A second camera (“Cam B”) to capture stills and B-roll, ideally identical to Camera A. Having the same brand, model and firmware can save you a lot of time in post. Plus the batteries, chargers, media and lenses are the same.

3. I like to carry a third (even smaller) camera for location scouting and behind the scenes stills. My weapon of choice is the Fuji X100s (Amazon and B&H). A compact camera is especially handy after a very long day, when I don’t want to carry more gear but still want to capture a few night scenes of nice-looking dishes during my evening meal. Here’s my original X-100s review. Believe it or not after all these years, I’m still using (and loving) this camera.

4. Two or three lenses. In this case I’d bring a Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H) and a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H). I like these lenses because they are the equivalent to a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8, but extremely small and light, yet very sharp and fast (2.8 all the way.)

5. For sound I’d bring a field recorder like the H4n (Amazon and B&H) or a more current model and smaller version like Tascam’s DR-05 (Amazon and B&H) to capture interviews and my own production notes.
While like the versatility of the H4n, it is bulky and too slow to start up, so we are considering something newer like the Zoom H1 (Amazon and B&H). I probably would also add at least one Rode VideoMic (Amazon and B&H) to capture soundscapes and decent scratch sound for interviews. And of course, we need to add good headphones to our audio package. (Amazon and B&H).

6. Two (2) G-Tech 1TB external portable hard drives (Amazon and B&H) and one (1) compact, super fast and awesome 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (Amazon and B&H). And by the way, I ONLY trust G-Drives, even if they fail every 14years.

7. A 15″ MacBook Pro (Amazon and B&H) with Adobe’s Creative Suite (Amazon and B&H) and Shot Put Pro. Here’s an article on how we use this software to backup our media on location.

8. A small tripod (Amazon and B&H). This thing is worth its weight in gold. I’ve used it for time lapses, low angle shots, as a handheld rig, car mount, microphone stand, and even to attach small lights for quick interviews. Priceless.

9. Benro S4 Video Monopod (Amazon and B&H). It’s small, relatively light, and sturdy. Works great.

10. A variety of Tenba Tool Boxes (Amazon and B&H) to pack all the batteries, chargers, cables, adapters and other small accessories. At first, they might seem a bit bulky but having everything neatly organized and protected is worth it.

11. One of my favorite photo bags ever, the new Tenba Shootout (Amazon and B&H). It is small enough to meet carry-on size limitations, but large enough to fit my most fragile and essential items. Plus, it is extremely comfortable.

12. In terms of lighting, for these assignments I try to use mostly available/natural light, but I always bring a 5-in-1 collapsible reflector (Amazon and B&H)

13. Two ND filters are essential when shooting daylight exteriors. By the way, we recently found out how to save $250 per filter.

14. Media pouch with ten 64GB SD cards (Amazon and B&H).

15. X-Rite’s Color Checker Passport Video (Amazon and B&H). If you get into the habit of using for a few seconds during production, it will save you hours in post. Guaranteed.


Miscellaneous Items:

1. Obviously, the most important tool if you are crossing any borders: the passport. This website compares the “power” of passports from many different countries, and, as Americans, we are blessed to have the most powerful one.

2. My good ol’ Columbia jacket/vest has been traveling with me to more than 40 countries. It has lots of pockets, a hoodie, and because it has a self-stowing pocket, it sometimes doubles as a pillow on the road. A priceless item, to be sure.

3. Media credentials which sometimes (but not always) can give you special access, get you discounts and the most important part, allow you to travel with some heavy or oversized gear without paying a fortune. Here’s a link to DeltaAmerican, and United Media Baggage policies.

4. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen — truly essential items.

5. I like to dress in layers and in dark colors when shooting on the road. Black hides dust and stains very easily. A cashmere sweater is worth its weight in gold, well perhaps even more.

6. I always bring gloves unless I’m going to the Caribbean in July, comfortable shoes, and plenty of granola bars.

What else do I bring with me? Here’s the complete list.


As you can see, anyone involved in run-and-gun, single-operator scenarios like weddings, events, corporate shoots, documentaries, red carpet premieres, product launches, sporting events, video podcasts, and even student films could benefit from these lists, so feel free to share them.

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!

Are you working with a small crew constantly on the move? In that case here’s our List #2 – The Moving Crew.


Canon EOS-1DC 4K DSLR price drops 34%.

The price for Canon’s EOS-1D C has effectively dropped 34%, from $12,000 as of yesterday to $7,999 right now.

canon-1dc-_-B&H-Photo-Video-2_blgpst Canon-EOS-1D-C-Cinema-Camera-Body-6994B002-1_blgpst

Canon EOS-1D C $7999: Adorama | B&H

The 1D C is the first Canon hybrid DSLR to offer onboard 4K motion imaging and Full HD motion imaging on CF cards and it is considered part of Canon’s Cinema EOS system, right next to the C100/300/500 models.

The main (and huge) difference between the EOS-1D C is that it features a full frame CMOS sensor that can capture 4K (4096 x 2160) as Motion JPEG and HD (1920 x 1080) as H.264 and can also shoot 18-megapixel (5184 x 3456) still images recorded as RAW or JPEG. An important (and also huge) difference between the EOS-1D C and the other C series bodies is that it lacks important features like built-in ND filters and XLR ports among others.

The camera’s rugged, ultra-compact form factor and huge sensor makes it an interesting option for challenging hybrid assignments when low-light performance is critical. For example, underwater or wildlife photographers capturing 4K and not needing XLR ports or other advanced video videos can find a great solution on the 1DC. Another instance is corporate assignments when the photographer is expected to shoot high-end video as well as stills. Unfortunately I believe the camera’s price have seriously challenged its market penetration. Let’s see what happens with this new price.

Now, while simultaneously shooting stills and video is certainly possible, I prefer to keep separate systems with different settings and features assigned to each task. It is hard enough to THINK about sound and movement and lighting simultaneously. the last thing I need is to be switching settings back and forth.

As of right now I’m happy with our current systems; a couple of Panasonic GH4 4K bodies with Canon and Sigma lenses (using a Metabones Speedbooster adapter), and a couple of Canon C100 Mark II bodies when stills are not necessary.

EduardoAngel_BTS_01 EduardoAngel_BTS_02

Here’s our current standard camera package:



• Panasonic GH4 at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• Canon C100 Mark II at Adorama | B&H


• 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

• Canon 24mm F1.4L II USM at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

• 12-35mm at Adorama | AmazonB&H
• 35-100mm F2.8 at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds at  Adorama | Amazon | B&H

If you are ready to buy any of these items, I’d suggest checking all three stores as the prices constantly change. Happy shooting!


DP Review issues Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Final Review.

DP Review releases final conclusions on the Panasonic GH4. I agree 100% with them.

  • The DMC-GH4 sets a new bar in terms of the video capability available in a camera that a significant number of people can afford.
  • In a professional setting the GH4 is unusual in being compatible with an interface unit (the DMW-YAGH aka “The Brick”) that adds industry-standard 3G-SDI and XLR connectors.
  • The GH4’s image quality is very solid, producing nice JPEG images and usefully flexible Raw files. The color and tonality of its images seem improved over previous generations of camera. In video mode the camera is equally solid.
  • Despite the increased competition, the GH4 remains the king of accessible stills/movie hybrids.
  • A remarkably capable all-in-one package that lets you capture good quality footage and excellent stills from a sensibly-sized standalone camera.
  • The GH4’s video quality and well implemented touchscreen control system give it the edge over less expensive cameras, such as the a6000, while its price and ability to capture 4K internally will give it broader appeal than the Sony a7S.
  • What makes the GH4 so strong is its balance of capability, size and price. Its ability to slot into a professional setup, via the optional interface unit can only help expand this appeal.
  • Low light performance is solid if not exceptional – so you’ll need to think about lighting and bright lenses for low light shooting – but in many situations the GH4 produces good footage with a little subject/background distinction.
  • If you’re only interested in stills then it’s not quite such a compelling proposition – the competition is fierce at this price point. However, if you have any inclination towards moving images, there’s not a camera that offers nearly as much capability and support as the GH4 does, for anywhere near the price.

The complete review is available here.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out these additional links:

And here are some samples clips:

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.


I’m extremely proud of the 100% free content we provide and I hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and constructive criticisms – I appreciate each and every one of them.

I only promote products, services, and companies that I use and trust, and that in my opinion deliver great value to our industry. If you are purchasing something, please consider using my affiliate links to help support this site. Thank you in advance.






Dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance! dance!

Dance. from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

Everything in slow motion was shot at FHD 96 fps with the Panasonic GH4. Everything else was shot at 4K (QHD or 3840×2160) with the same camera.
The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Maddy, our beautiful and super talented dancer often performs in New York City. Here’s the Facebook Page for her last event:

UPDATE 20140530: Since MANY of you have been asking about the gear we used, here’s the list:
Panasonic GH4
Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8
Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
Syrp Genie
Cinevate Pegasus
Benro S8 Tripod
Benro S6 Monopod
Comodo Orbit
Rode Videomic


I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Batteries.

First, the good news. If you already own a Lumix GH3 like we do, the GH4 uses the same exact batteries. The majority of camera manufacturers and other companies like Apple could follow this strategy for a change!

The OK news is that while the DMW-BLF19 battery (one included with every body) is really good, we generally go through two or even three batteries per camera on a video shoot. The Panasonic branded battery goes for $45 on Amazon.


Panasonic DMW-BLF19

A cheaper option is the Wasabi branded version that costs a THIRD of the price ($14.79 on Amazon). Now, an event BETTER deal is the Wasabi kit, which includes TWO batteries and one charger with a European plug AND a car adapter. The price: a no-brainer $31 on Amazon.


Wasabi Kit for the Panasonic Lumix GH4

I purchased a very similar kit for the Fuji X100S and so far have not seen ANY significant difference in performance between the original Fuji battery and Wasabi’s.


Related Posts

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.


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.

UPDATE 05/17: The camera is currently out of stock at Adorama and Amazon. I’m expecting a second camera so I’ll tweet when they get them back in stock.

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.

Amazon.com_ Extreme Pro SDSDXPA-064G-A75 64 GB Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)_ Computers & Accessories

Best current price: $99 on Amazon:

SanDisk | Product Compatibility Tool


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:



SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Memory Card_32GB
Best price: $49.95 on Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC:SDXC UHS-II Memory Card 32GB

SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC:SDXC UHS-II Memory Card 32GB

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I Memory Card 64GB
Best price: $98.95 on Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC:SDXC UHS-II Memory Card 64GB

SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC:SDXC UHS-II Memory Card 64GB

SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Memory Card 64GB

Panasonic 64 GB microP2 Card

Panasonic 64 GB microP2 Card

We could also shoot with the Pana­sonic 64 GB microP2 cards that we used when we tested the GH4 prototype, but at $340 for 64GB I believe I’ll pass.

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.

Ki Pro Quad Solid State 4K RecorderYAGH Eduardo Angel

Do you have any other suggestions or workarounds? Please share them with us.

Related Posts

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.


7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4.

The invitation from Panasonic USA to perform a field test arrived quite suddenly, with multiple commitments for Fashion Week already in place, and with nasty weather that didn’t really allow access to tried and true locations. Great!

It is very important to mention that the camera we tested was a preproduction model running firmware v0.3. As it is always the case with preproduction models, as well as some early production models, many features were disabled or not working as expected. We also wanted to test if our current workflow, which we generally use with Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera and Canon products—ranging from the 60D to the 5D Mark III to the C300 and even some 1DCs—would work at the same or needed adaptations for the GH4.

1. Comparisons
Instead of a side-by-side comparison between the GH4 and other brands, Sean Davis and I were more interested in exploring the new features of the GH4, compared to the GH3 and a hacked version of the GH2 that we have used in the past. Obviously, shooting 4K was at the top of the list. GH4 field test central Cinevate_01

2. Look and Feel
The GH4 is the exact same size as the GH3. Not only that, unlike other camera manufacturers that feel inspired to sell new batteries and chargers with every new camera, we were pleased to see that the GH4 shares the same exact DMW-BLF19 battery (here’s a much better deal). In other words, all your GH3 “power rigging accessories” will continue to work. Great news for Panasonic users and rental houses. An important difference (and a small hiccup in our field test) is that the GH4 uses Micro HDMI, and not the GH3’s Mini HDMI.

Before you ask, the answer is no. We did not have the Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit (aka The Brick) with us. GH4 field test grand central _001

3. The 4K Footage
As you can see from the image below, the GH4’s 100 Mbps is broadcast 4K or Quad HD (3840 x 2160), not DCI compliant 4K cinema spec (4096×2160), but the camera is capable of recording DCI compliant 4K at 200Mbps. This article explains what DCI is. GH4-4K-File-Size_web

Just for fun, I created this side-by-side file size comparison between the cameras I use most often. GH4 File-Sizes-compared_web

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

4. Storage
Regarding memory cards, we were ALSO testing a pre-production version of a SanDisk. The GH4 didn’t like the SanDisk 95mbs SDXC that we always use with our Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera. To spice things up a bit more, we had to use a beta SDHC II 280mbs 32GB card provided by SanDisk. I hope that once the camera ships, it will take “standard” SD cards, but they won’t come cheap.

Shooting 4K @100mb/s 30p on a 64GB card will give you about 29 minutes of shooting time. So we are looking at three to four cards per shoot at $150 each. All things considered, I’d get Panasonic 64 GB microP2 cards. If you have a better suggestion please send me a tweet.
This extra budget consideration of $450-$600 doesn’t even include hard drives for storage and backups. Definitively a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt drive is the way to go.

5. High ISO
Per multiple requests via Twitter, we shot the same exact cityscape in Central Park with the GH3 and the GH4.

The exposure settings were identical:
• Manual Exposure
• The beautiful Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 Lens
• f/2.8
• 1/30th
• 1600 ISO
• WB at 5500K

Lumix12-35mm lens

The only difference was that the GH3 was recording at its highest video resolution 1920×1080 at 72mb/s ALL-I 24fps while the GH4 was recording at 4K at 100mb/s IPB 30fps. Note: This was the ONLY video setting working on our prerelease GH4. Other settings were available but the camera was not able to record.

Here are some tests:

6. Workflow
The workflow we tested was intentionally kept as plain and simple as possible. The idea was to mimic a “normal” setup for an “average” shooter.

1. Download the SD card directly to a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt External Drive connected to a 27-inch mid-2011 iMac. About This GH4 4K footage on iMac 2011_001

2. Open the MOV directly into Adobe Premiere Pro CC v7.2.1 without transcoding to ProRes or doing anything special to the files. This is exactly why I switched from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro a few years ago. Another feature I love on Premiere is the ability to change the playback resolution. In a few words, with high-resolution footage, you can set playback resolution to a lower value.

3. Start editing

7. Other Observations:
• The GH4 comes with two options for focusing magnification: Full frame and PIP which I find much more applicable for video. Even though PIP was not working while shooting video on our pre-production model, I’m sure it will be there when the camera ships.
• The peaking feature was working perfectly. A wonderful addition to our tips and tricks arsenal. GH4 Peaking_001
• The camera didn’t have, and won’t have, built-in ND filters. I was really hoping this would be an improvement over the GH3, but we will need to keep using our variable ND filters.
• There’s a lot to like about this system and I am confident Panasonic will add enough improvements to the firmware to make your shooting experience even better. GH4 field test grand central2 GH4 field test Rode Mic


Related Posts

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Drives.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Batteries.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.



New Panasonic GH3 update brings Silent Mode.

We just noticed a new Panasonic GH3 firmware update. As you already know this is one of the many cameras we have been using lately for still and video productions. Our original field test review, samples images and links to previous lens and body firmware updates can be found here.

There are some interesting improvements on today’s version 1.2: (more…)


On editing photos and telling stories.

Wow! Our video interview with PhotoShelter hit a nerve! We have received over a 100 emails and tweets with additional questions. That is awesome!

For the people requesting the GH3 article, here’s the link, for the ones asking about Custom White Balance for Video, here’s the link, for the ones asking for additional Lightroom 4 Tips and Tricks, here’s the link, and here are a TON of additional articles on photography and filmmaking. Enjoy! (more…)


Adobe Lightroom 4.4 is out. 25 new cameras supported.

Adobe just released a new Lightroom update making this version 4.4. Lightroom now officially supports over 25 different RAW file formats. Here is the complete list.

This version adjusts the White Balance for a number of Nikons, includes a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor, and adds support for new lenses like Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM and Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR are included. Unfortunately the Panasonic Lumix lenses are still missing.

According to Adobe, users are now (finally!) able to add contacts from their Address Book to email (on Mac). I’ll try this ASAP.

Fujifilm X-Trans sensor.These are the main improvements added and bugs fixed:
• The crop overlay tool resized incorrectly when used in conjunction with the “Constrain to
Crop” checkbox in the Lens Correction panel
• Background graphics were not correctly rendered within the Book Module
• Reading metadata from file would sometimes result in keyword and and GPS metadata to
not save for video files
• Updated the “Missing File Icon” for HiDPI / Retina dispalsy
• The supplied lens profile for the Sony RX-1 did not contain vignette information
• Preview in Develop Module was not updated with the latest adjustments
• Square tile artifacts while painting with brush
• Previews of photos in portrait orientation were blurry when viewed in the filmstrip in the
Develop module. (Mac only)

Click to keep reading  (more…)


NAB 2012 wrap-up.

Blackmagic announced a hard-to-believe camera featuring a 2.5K image sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, built-in SSD recorder, popular open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, compatibility with quality EF and ZF mount lenses, and LCD touchscreen monitoring.

• Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is out with and enhanced 64-bit playback engine that can handle 5K resolutions, and higher, new trimming options, compatibility with Mac touchpad gestures, a Warp Stabilizer that was previously confined to After Effects, and expanded multicam editing for more than four cameras. Taking a page from its sister app, “the audio oriented Audition, Premiere Pro CS6 offers a redesigned and more functional audio mixer. Adobe also introduced SpeedGrade, a film finishing and color grading app, and Prelude, for ingesting, logging, and transcoding.

• Autodesk announced Smoke 2013 for the Mac, a new version of what the company is now calling video editing software and at users of Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer who want high-end editing and finishing tools in one app. The new price is “only” $3495, down from $14,995 for the 2012 version.

• Panasonic announced a bittersweet firmware update for the AG-AF100 that provides 1080 50p and 60p modes. That’s the sweet part. The bitter? They want users to pay $300 for the upgrade.

Panasonic AF0100

Canon announced the 1D C ($15,000), which has the same chassis and still shooting features of the EOS-1D X ($6,800), and captures 4096 x 2160 8-bit 4:2:2 video to a CF card at 24 fps. Unlike the X, the C swaps a headphone jack for the X’s PC sync.

• The higher-end Canon EOS C500 ($30,000) offers the same ISO range as the C300 (320-20,000) and requires a dedicated external recorder, but captures in two full-RAW flavors: 4096 x 2960 (for motion picture), and 3840 x 2160 (for 4K TV). Both of these modes offer 10-bit 4:4:4 at 60 frames-per-second. There are two additional RAW option, 4096 x 1080 or 3840 x 1080 resolutions, which are also 10-bit 4:4:4, but at 120 fps. The camera also offers