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4K brings flexibility to digital photography: Panasonic

4K brings flexibility to digital photography: Panasonic

Technology vendor integrates 4K video recording into its digital camera to expand functionality

Panasonic has unveiled its latest digital single lens mirrorless (DSLM) camera, the Lumix DMC-GH4, which features 4K high definition video recording capability.

Lumix product marketing manager, Doug Campbell, said the 16 megapixel camera is one of several Panasonic products incorporating 4K capability.

“What this enables people to do is capture 4K footage for themselves and then play the content back on 4K TVs,” he said.

Campbell said the advantage of 4K capturing is the possibilities it opens up for filmmakers.

One advantage of 4K footage is it can be downscaled to lower HD resolutions (such as full HD 1080P or 720P), so the end product has the potential to look that much sharper and more detailed than using traditional HD to begin with.

“You can also crop within 4K to get a full HD product, and if your 4K footage is unstable, you can crop into full HD and stabilise your footage,” Campbell said.

4K has also been integrated into the GH4 to allow for further flexibility in editing and processing.

“With a 4K video, you can extract a still image which is eight megapixels in size,” Campbell said.

Campbell said eight megapixels is large enough to be printed with an A3 printer and produce “magazine print quality.”

“A professional photographer could capture 4K video in a one off scene and be confident they can extract a high quality still image from that footage later on,” he said.

New but developing technology

In addition to the “cinematic” 4K format, the Ultra HD moniker has showed up, which has slightly less resolution but is still often regarded as 4K.

As for why Panasonic is labelling the GH4 as 4K, Campbell said it is because the camera can record in both formats.

“If you are a cinematographer producing 4K for the big screen, you can record in that format,” he said.

“If you want to record for an Ultra HD TV, then you have the option of capturing in that direct format.”

The GH4 will be available from May starting from $1,999 for the body only, and Campbell said Panasonic is “very confident” it will meet the needs of Australian consumers.

“This camera is not only feature packed and mobile, but also affordable and good value compared to other products on the market,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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