Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


It wasn’t that long ago when having a Betacam camcorder with an 18x broadcast lens was the assurance of plenty of television work then the goalposts changed and the need for a full HD camcorder like a PMW-500 with an 18x broadcast HD lens was the new requirement.

Soon if Panasonic and Sony get their way the new updated specs will be 4K plus 4K lenses and so it goes on…

Today Blackmagic Design dropped their elusive 4K Cinema camera by £1000 making it £1925…Why ?…The answer is simple…

Panasonic’s GH4 4K camera was announced last Friday and it has set the 4K heather alight with prices speculated as low as £1200 body only so have Blackmagic got anything to worry about…

If we go spec for spec the Blackmagic 4K cinema camera wins hands down but the size, shape and poor sound facilities does nothing to help the camera win much needed sales.


The Panasonic GH4 has a video feature set as long as your arm and an electronic mirrorless viewfinder with the popular micro 4/3 sensor takes an enormous amount of lenses added to the fact that you can get an optional sound adapter to equal any professional camcorder produced today the DMW-YAGH.


This one optional addition takes the GH4 about a mile above the BM camera sound wise and this is why BM in my opinion have shaved a £1000 off the price of their camera today.

This adapter also allows you to take a 4:2:2 10bit feed into an external recorder almost equalling the BM camera, the one fly in the ointment is having no official price for the YAGH adapter but if you consider the Tascam DR60 comes in at £300 the most people are willing to pay for the YAGH in my opinion is about £500 or less.

So back to my original question “Should Blackmagic Design be worried by the Panasonic GH4” the answer is yes !

Seemingly the BM 4K camera is now shipping and BM have told resellers to honour the price reduction to people who ordered before the price reduction, mind you considering no one has received the 4K BM camera yet that statement is a tadd hollow.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

4 thoughts on “The Battle for sub £2K 4K has begun !

  1. the estimateed price for the YAGH is other 2k euro, doubling the total cost.(source: EOSHD, who had a preproduction camera for testing).
    Note also that GH4 can have 4:2:2 10 bit only in fullHD, UltraHD is still 4:2:0 8 bit.
    GH4 PROS:
    – 4K cinema standard supported 4096×2160 (BMPC has “only” 3840)
    – 96 fps max in fullHD
    – can use almost any lens
    – better form factor
    – better screen
    – audio meters
    – UHD prores (RAW magically disappeared from info press.. is it gone?!)
    – SSD recording

    HDW : No chance that the YAGH will be anyway near 2000 euros this camera is a spoiler for the BM 4K camera Panasonic are not stupid. Appart from the SDI sockets this adapter is not even comparable to the Tascam DR60 at £300. EOSHD don’t have a clue, Panasonic are telling know one prices.

  2. Howdy,

    Can you kindly tell me, Why is the GH4 unable to internally record in 4:2:2 – Is it a firmware/software or hardware limitation ?

    Is there a marketing reason (or other) that Panasonic would leave this out of the feature set?


  3. In answer to Mike’s question. It’s either because
    1. They don’t have a clue (unlikely)
    2. They’re protecting the future AF200.

    This is a shame because as of 2014 no one seems willing to give us an internally recordable broadcast standard HD codec in a DSLR style camera.
    This is definitely a lost opportunity on both sides.

    At least they seemed to have woken up to the concept of a usable viewfinder in the GH4 – the GH3 is for me just dreadful.

    We’ll see plenty of competition this year. While I wait for Panasonic to get it right – I’m bound to find an appropriate alternative which equals Panasonics loss and my gain.

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