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How Will GH4 Shooters React If The Rumored GH4R Is Announced On Tuesday?

Just a few days ago, I wrote a post about the GH5 and the features that I hope to see included when it’s released. While all of the points I made there still are valid, the timeline and overall trajectory of the GH5 release may be different than many of us had thought.

If you haven’t yet heard the rumor – Panasonic is supposedly going to announce a new iteration of the GH4 (called the GH4R) that will include V-Log as a feature. While no other details have really emerged at this time, the possibility of this new camera leaves a lot of questions up in the air.

First off, if the GH4R is released with V-Log, does that mean the current GH4 will never get V-Log via a firmware update? Who knows. Theoretically there should be no issue getting V-Log into current users GH4s, as beta versions have already been floating around for months… I even used one at NAB earlier this year and it looked great to me. But why release a new camera that is still labeled as a GH4 with the only difference being the inclusion of a Log color profile?

Some people may speculate that the GH4R will be more than just V-Log, and that other features will be included too. But if that’s really the case, why isn’t it being labeled as a GH5? The GH4R sounds a lot like an iPhone 5s. Some incremental updates, but nothing to write home about.

If that’s the case, I certainly hope that current GH4 users have the ability to upgrade their cameras, even if it means paying. In an ideal world the upgrade would be free, but I understand that a lot of R & D probably went into V-Log and that may need to be factored into the cost. So if it’s a paid firmware update for current users that’s acceptable, even if not ideal. But if there’s no ability to update your camera at all – even if you’re willing to pay for it, that will be very disappointing.

For now, let’s give Panny the benefit of the doubt and assume the GH4R will be a significant upgrade, and that V-Log will be available for current GH4 users one way or another. That still leaves the question of what will the future of the GH5 be…

I see two possibilities. One is that the GH5 will be what we all thought it would be: a V-Log enabled update to the GH4 with significant enough features to warrant the name change. But if the GH4R sort of fits that bill, then another possibility is the GH5 will be an even larger step ahead than we might think.

For instance, the GH5 could have a bigger sensor (Super 35) or a larger and more professional physical build that would allow for higher frame rates and other performance enhancements. Personally, I doubt this will be the case as I would assume changes that big would call for an entirely new product name. So that leaves me, and everyone else guessing.

I’ve been a Lumix shooter sine the GH2 days and am definitely rooting for Panasonic to do something bold with both the GH4R (if it is a real thing), and whatever the next successor to the GH4 line is. I want to see them succeed and appreciate how they have pushed technological boundaries ahead in the past.

That said though, this is a very pivotal time for the Lumix GH-line as there has never been more anticipation or a larger user base for their product. The market is very tumultuous right now and if Lumix doesn’t truly satisfy their users with their next release(s), I doubt they’ll be able to grow their user base nearly as quickly as they have been, and would bet they’ll lose customers.

Your guess is as good as mine as to what Panasonic has in store for us, but hope that they will impress us all with whatever comes next.

What do you think? Is the GH4R going to happen, and if so what will that mean for the rest of the lineup?

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About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

13 Comments

  • […] a huge letdown. That said, it would have been even better if the upgrade wasn’t a paid one, but as I mentioned in a previous post I do understand that a lot of development time and money likely went into V-Log integration, and […]

    Reply
  • Maxim Kostyayev
    September 1, 2015 at 9:59 am
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for sharing the link Maxim!

      Reply
  • Tim Sewell
    September 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

    A worry I have is that if V-Log is only available in a new incremental GH4 model it will immediately hammer the resale price of the original. That would be rather silly of Panasonic as it would mess with many users’ eventual upgrade plans for the GH5.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      As you’ve probably already seen you can now purchase it through Panasonic or other retailers for $99. Still, I wonder what’s in store now for the GH5.

      Reply
  • Jason
    August 31, 2015 at 5:09 am

    I think this announcement will tell us exactly what Panasonic is thinking about this GH line. If they make the Vlog only available in the GH4R they would lose so many customers including me, after this huge wait we have to buy a new camera to get Vlog… nope I would jump to Sony or NX1 as I think many people would. I think they at least make the Vlog available to current gh4 owners weather its paid or not to upgrade, and then if they have a GH4R maybe its better sensor like in the Gx8 with minor updates. Save the huge updates for the gh5! They really need to make a move here as the camera market is heating up fast with Sony and Samsung coming out with some amazing cameras. I am crossing my fingers that Panasonic stays aggressive with the GH line. Or what if the GH4R has a lower pixel count like 10 or 12 for better lowlight, I bet alot would make that jump just for as well…. Who knows what they are going do tho 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 31, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Who knows, indeed! Your guess is as good as mine but I am certainly hoping for the best as I’ve been a loyal Panasonic shooter since the DVX100 days.

      Reply
  • Garrett
    August 31, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Yikes. That was not what I was looking forward to. I certainly hope more of the upgrade your camera to the GH4R firmware rather than “your GH4 is now obsolete, sorry bro.” I’ve really enjoyed the GH4. But honestly, if it’s a whole new camera I’ll likely pick up a better stills camera like the new Oly m10 and a better video camera. Man that would be a bummer. GH4 still great camera though.

    cheers

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 31, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Absolutely – it would be a shame for Panasonic to drop the ball on this just as they’re picking up so much momentum… You never know what the motivations are behind these choices, but hopefully we’ll all have some clarity tomorrow.

      Reply
  • Danny
    August 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    It might just happen. As of lately cameras have been coming out of the woodworks like pancakes. I think its because of the changing market, from what i’m reading there is a 40percent drop in purchases of DSLR style cameras from US consumers. I believe many of these major corporations are doing football Hail Mary passes at us camera buyers, but thats just my take. So nows the time to keep buying a new camera? This GH4R will probably happen. I like the name GH4R better than GH5 because I don’t feel intimidated that my GH4 is outdated, but can comfortably buy the GH4R. I love my GH4 and will be taking it to the Amazon rainforest this October. It’s good weather sealing has been proven time and time again. To be honest, I just bought my last DSLR camera ( Sony A6000 ). I love that little gem for stills and beautiful 1080p vids under the good lighting conditions, especially outdoors. Im now investing in sound and lighting equipment. Ive been working on foley, and experimental sounds along with lighting and cinematography, more so than buying new cameras. BUT Im going to buy my first professional video camera soon , most likely a Canon 100 Mark ii or the Sony Fs7. Hopefully we can get V-Log in the GH4 and they can focus on V-log, and other goodies ( stabilization, better low light, etc, etc ) for the GH4R . If Sony can sell numerous consumers/ prosumer cameras with S-log, why cant Panasonic do the same with V-Log? Its probably a legal issue from behind closed doors.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 31, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks for the note Danny – appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.

      Reply
  • Rava
    August 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I hope on Tuesday they will anounce specs as well
    As well as V-log for current gen

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 31, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Likewise – I’ll be sure to post an update tomorrow with some thoughts if/when it is announced.

      Reply

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