So what happens when the Panasonic GH4 runs for 30mins

Categories: GH5 camera 4 Comments


This must be my most frequently asked question. I never used my GH3 to record live shows where you are forced to find out what happens at 30mins so I had to run the GH4 for 30mins to find out.

It’s as I would expect it runs for 30m then cuts out of record…you simply press the shutter button to restart a further 30mins.

This is a stupid EU regulation that Panasonic adhere to avoiding a further tax hike if it goes beyond the 30m mark.


The second most asked question is does the display on the GH4 disappear after 60secs…


Simple answer is most of the display disappears after 60secs leaving, time recorded from start, REC dot and card flash together, exposure, VU meters and remaining time.

NOTE : If you press the DISP button at the back, right side of the camera the display shows itself for a further 60secs.

It would be useful to be able to switch on and off what info you don’t want displayed after 60sces like I would choose to leave on…

F stops




VU meters

Focus mode

MOV mode

Time remaining

Time REC from start

Red dot

Don’t need plus and minus exposure, red rectangle with cine camera, flash, focus mode, STD and Peak. Lets hope the right people at Panasonic look at this blog post and act on it.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

GH4 with 45-175 Power lens and Manfrotto remote

Categories: GH5 camera, Lenses 10 Comments


Taking the Lumix GH cameras to the next level Panasonic have opened up the camera with the ability to use a lanc remote to control one of two power zooms.


In the custom menu 7/9 you will find the POWER ZOOM LENS button which takes you to menu A where you can choose various zoom modes including zoom speed (menu B) the choice between Photo and Video is interesting but choosing Video (menu C) allows you to choose High, Medium and Low speeds but remember whatever you choose you still get a level of control over your zoom it is only limited by the top speed i.e. H,M,L.


I had the Manfrotto MVR 901-ECPL for my Panasonic PX270 and works a treat with the GH4, you get variable speed up to the limit you set and REC on and off.


Once again I can’t stress the need for a good set of tripod legs and capable head like the Manfrotto 505 HD.


As you can see the lens is very small and is an internal focus so the front element does not move. Here are two shots taken with the Lumix 45-175 f4-5.6

175 45mm

It’s a major bonus to have a servo zoom facility on a camera like the GH4 the only restriction being the maximum aperture set at f4 and the 4x zoom ratio, this does not compare with my PX270 at f1.6-3.2 with a huge 22x servo zoom.

Maybe this will promote Fujinon to produce a micro 4/3 power zoom 14x lens starting a f1.6 !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

My Panasonic GH4 Arrives

Categories: GH5 camera 5 Comments


Today was a good day my GH4 arrived, has it lived up to my expectation…lets start with the viewfinder, fantastic, as good as I had remembered, no more external monitor needed on a job. First thing I forgot when setting the camera up for filming was to stick it into “M” for Manual mode otherwise you don’t get iris or shutter showing up in the LCD.


When was the last time you saw a DSLR with SMPTE bars on the LCD or Syncro Scan as an option, it just gets better and better, the only minus part of the deal was no YAGH, there are two YAGH’s in Europe and both of them are pre production models. Don’t expect a YAGH till the middle of May I think Panasonic have had such a run on the adapter it’s caught them out.


Some extra facts I learned about the YAGH is it has 2 tripod holes and a pin insert on the bottom, both 1/4″ and 3/8″ which is great for attaching either a tripod plate or a rig. You won’t suffer any twisting if you use the two screw holes.


The two front holes that have been a mystery are only 1/4″ in diameter… not big enough for rails in my opinion nor is the distance between them which is about 35mm, standard rails are 15mm with a distance of 60mm between centres. They must be there for a reason if anyone knows please tell us.


So there you have it Day One with my GH4 my thanks to Holdan’s for shipping it direct and to John Preston for all his help and to Richard Payne for supplying the YAGI tripod hole picture. I will be doing a full user review of the GH4  but without the YAGH adapter I would rather hold off a week or so as it will give you a better feel for the camera in full video mode. Meantime as a photographic tool the pictures speak for themselves…

72-city 72dpi-city

Double click on the night shots of Glasgow taken tonight 8th May 2014 to get a 72dpi 1843 x 1037 enlargement.

Tomorrow I will go through some of the menus and what to choose for video use.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Who wants to shoot 422 10bit 1080 50p Green Screen footage with your Panasonic GH4 ?

Categories: Media 4 Comments


Just 2 days till we get our GH4/YAGH and already its apparent there is no way to produce 10bit 422 Full HD footage to an external recorder…its a joke. Thanks to Panasonic we only get 10bit 422 via the HDMI or the SDI output of the YAGH, this is a nonsense and has crippled the GH4 for recording green screen shots straight from the camera onto the internal SDXC card.

Your only option is an external recorder but sadly there is no suitably priced external recorder on the market that allows 1080 50p footage.


Atomos does not produce a 1080 50p external recorder till the end of 2014..the £1500+ Shogun which uses very expensive CFast media, even the SDI “BLADE” only produces 1080 25p footage. Reading further Atomos are looking to have the Shogun shipping during IBC in September but I hope their prediction of having CFast cards at consumer price levels is correct.


The Odyssey by Convergent design is promoted as a “monitor only” at £2000…Here is the info from CVP’s web site “Out-of-the-box, Odyssey7 & Odyssey7Q products are monitors only, without any recording or playback capabilities. Recording options must be purchased (or rented) separately from the Convergent Design website, available 24/7, via a secure credit-card transaction. A wide range of recording options will be available, including compressed, uncompressed and various flavors of RAW.”



This is the Sony option, to be fair you will always need to buy your SSD on top of your external recorder but a further $795 for the convenience of making the “MONITOR” into a “RECORDER”…I think this will all change when ATOMOS bring out the Shogun.


The AJA Ki Pro mini at £1600 is limited to 1080 25p


Lastly the Blackmagic Hyper Deck shuttle at an amazing price of £255 is once again handicapped by a 1080 25p HD Format.

It seems to me that you only get 1080 50p with 4K models rather than the companies producing a Full HD recorder that gives you 24, 25 and 50p.

If I have missed a reasonably priced external recorder that records 10bit 422 1080 50p please let me know.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Silent mode…”Now there’s no excuse”

Categories: GH5 camera 2 Comments


Far too often photographers have been banned from taking photographs in a church for 2 very obvious reasons…

1. Camera shutter is too noisy

2. Flashgun is very distracting

With the GH3/4 and GM1 cameras this is a thing of the past…silent mode


This picture was taken last weekend at a friends Christening from up in the balcony with a Lumix GM1 on silent mode with a 42.5 mm f1.2 lens set to f2.

The minister was unaware of me and as I found out later has a blanket ban on photography during a service but not only did he like the picture but has made it his profile picture on Facebook !

With the new range of fantastic “silent” cameras appearing these days maybe it’s time to re-dress the balance and photographers writing to their local churches or better still taking the camera to the local minister and showing him…NO NOISE-NO FLASH.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Don’t forget the Power Zooms

Categories: GH5 Wi-Fi, Lenses No Comments


Turn your GH4 into a sudo video camera with the aid of two special zoom lenses. The 14-42 and the 45-175 have built in power zooms very useful if you want a true servo zoom video look.


The first lens is the Lumix 14-42 f3.5-5.6 HD lens (28-84mm = 35mm) this is probably one of the most useful zoom ranges but starting at f3.5 is a handicap and not very useful in low light situations without increasing the ISO. The price point of £279 makes this a very useful lens to have in your bag and by all accounts is a very sharp wee lens.


The Lumix 45-175 f4-5.6mm with Power Zoom (90-350mm = 35mm). This is almost a 4x zoom and very useful for compression shots or someone presenting a speech in a conference. Once again starting at f4 and stopping down further to f5.6 is not helpful and will certainly be a handicap in lower lighting conditions.

Both these lenses can be remotely controlled via your iPhone, iPad or Android making the physical zoom a lot smoother especially the 45-175.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Powering the YAGH via a 12V power supply

Categories: Power 3 Comments


For those of us taking the Panasonic GH4 to the next level we need to introduce the YAGH, this allows professional connections for sound, video and power. We also discovered that the YAGH does not come with any mains power supply so in order to use it you will need to buy an external 12V power supply.

I have done a ton of research via the internet and many emails to Panasonic to finally come up with the definitive answer, unfortunately no one in Panasonic could give me any info other than 12v 1.5A which I already knew.


Why all the fuss…Firstly when I reported my findings to Hawk-Woods they needed to know if the YAGH had a regulator built in, this is for 2 reasons…

1. YAGH with regulator will stop your GH4 overloading and frying.

2. YAGH without regulator means your 12V adapter needs to have a regulator built in making it more expensive but safer.

Now talking to Hawk-Woods the YAGH will indeed have a regulator built in to switch the voltage down from 12V to 7.2V to feed the camera itself but if you want a belt and braces approach its recommended to ask for a 12V power adapter with a 1.5A power regulator this keeps your 12V battery at a constant 12V as most professional L-ion 12V batteries can produce up to 18V and having a switching regulator protects the camera from frying should your 12V external battery develop a fault.


With Hawk-Woods massive input we discovered the GH4 on its own draws 6W and looking over the YAGH the most it will draw and this is very conservative we recon between 3-4 watts making a total of 10W of power consumed.

The Hawk-Woods BPU power adapter has a 1.5A high efficiency switching regulator allowing up to 18W of power the same regulator used to externally power the Canon C300, so if you apply a GH4/YAGH at 10W the regulator has 8W to spare.


Why did I choose the BPU battery…size, it’s the smallest 12V battery on the market and thats important if you plan to use the GH4/YAGH independently off the tripod. Although I have a few “V” lock batteries they are far too big and cumbersome to use with such a small camera.

The Hawk-Woods solution at £140 also comes with a 2m 4pin power cable allowing you to rest the power adapter on the ground if using the YAGH on a tripod.

Due to its cumbersom construction the GH4/YAGH will not adapt well to present GH3 rigs as the YAGH takes up too much room but no doubt someone is working on one, I hope to avoid a rig which is why I got Hawk-Woods to design this PSU with a 2m extension cable.

The battery itself is a BP-U84 14.4V made by Sony, Hawk-Woods or DSM, the DSM is made with Panasonic cells and has an on board battery tester.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd