It may be the first mirrorless model to shoot 4K video, but the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 compact system camera is no one-trick pony. Among other things, it also has a new 16.05-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 review – Live view, viewfinder, LCD screen and video
Panasonic has produced two high-quality displays for the GH4: a brand-new 2.36-million-dot OLED live viewfinder, which offers a 1.34x (0.67x equivalent) magnification providing a 100% field of view; and a bright 3in, 1.04-million-dot vari-angle touchscreen OLED monitor with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
Looking through the EVF of the GH4 is an experience that is close to looking through an optical viewfinder, with the added benefit of additional information and enhancements clearly displayed around the frame. A speedy refresh rate on both screens ensures that there is barely any lag between what you see in front of you and what is displayed on the screen. The level gauge featured in the GH3, powered by acceleration sensors, returns to provide assistance when trying to take images with a correctly balanced horizontal, as well as vertical orientation, and it works reliably.
Composing images and video that need precision focus on the GH4 is made much easier thanks to manual focus assist and focus-peaking features, which magnify and amplify surface and edge highlights. There’s also the option to touch focus and shoot using the rear screen – a rapid alternative to cycling through AF points using a wheel or D-pad.
The bright rear screen can be rotated 180° and 270° to face up, down or outwards for group or self-portraits, or even for filming pieces to camera unassisted. One of the best things about its various angles, however, is the ability to fold the screen closed inwards for protection, leaving a rugged plastic back facing outwards. Articulated screens are a common feature on many modern enthusiast cameras, but few provide this extra security, so Panasonic has done well to go a step further and provide a little additional life-proofing. This should reduce accidental scratches and prevent ruining the display.
Image: I found using the GH4’s articulated screen was a great help when composing shots at low angles