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Panasonic GH4 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in February 2014 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

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Is the Panasonic GH4 a good camera? The GH4 has a Camera Elo of 2419. This rating puts the GH4 among the top 40 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GH4 ranks among the top 30 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GH4
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25600
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1036k dots
Swivel touchscreen
12 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
500 shots per battery charge
133 x 93 x 84 mm, 560 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Panasonic GH4 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GH4 vs credit card front
GH4 versus credit card top view
GH4 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GH4 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH4 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic G80« » 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 Y Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G80
 
Panasonic GX8« » 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« » 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH3« » 133 mm 93 mm 82 mm 550 g 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GH4 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,499. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Panasonic GH4:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic GH4 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GH4 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GH4 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH4 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic G80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G80
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH3« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
 
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GH4 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GH4 can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GH4 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2359k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.67x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GH4 and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH42359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic G80« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G80
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH3« »1746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
 
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7

One convenient feature of the GH4 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH4YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Panasonic G80« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G80
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH3« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
 
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7

It is notable that the GH4 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GH4 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH4+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Panasonic G80« »+ +84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G80
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH3« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Sony A7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic GH4 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GH4.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the GH4 based on?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the GH4 with the Venus IX image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GH4?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the GH4 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4?

Panasonic mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the GH4. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the GH4 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic GH4?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic GH4?

The GH4 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Panasonic GH4 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The GH4's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Panasonic GH4 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the GH4 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLF19 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the GH4?

Yes, Panasonic offers the DMW-BGGH3 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GH4
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2014
    Launch Price USD 1499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus IX
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 74
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 791
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.67x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type DMW-BLF19 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 93 x 84 mm
    (5.2 x 3.7 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 560 g (19.8 oz)

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