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Panasonic brings 4K video to the Digital SLR market

With companies like Sony struggling badly in the consumer electronics market, it’s interesting to see that one area where the CEO does not want to back away from is 4K TVs. As 3D interest cools (awaiting the next instalment in the Cameron blockbusting Avatar series for renewed energy), 4K looks set to stay. Panasonic wants to help us create the content. KitGuru casts a Quad HD eye over proceedings.

When Canon was preparing to launch the 5D Mark III camera, the forums ran RED with rumours of 4K recording – but it was not to be. Now the same rumour mills are saying that 4K will be in the 5D Mark IV – but that’s not scheduled to hit until summer 2015.

In a recent interview with Trusted Reviews, a Nikon spokesman said “We are aware of the need for, and request for, 4K video recording. It is a bit tricky, it’s not something that we are purposefully excluding from our cameras; however we need to approach it carefully. There are high-end cameras that produce this but it just puts such a load on the equipment. For us, because consumers are demanding it we are aware of this and will be looking into it for the future”.

i.e. ‘Not on the nearby horizon’.

Eager to position itself on the subject, Sony will be pushing the £2,000 FDR-AX100 4K video camera into the market around April Fool’s Day, but that will be an old-style handycam type product.

The reason why the world plus dog is interested in a DSLR option, is the lenses as much as anything. Investing a few thousand in a camera is fine, but if you then need to look at doubling or tripling that investment in lenses, then the potential market for your 4K solution will be much smaller.

It is into this market environment that Panasonic has launched the GH-4, which promises broadcast quality video at 200mb/s and 4:2:2 colour output – which is ‘fine for the BBC’.

If you want to see Panasonic’s new offer ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, here’s a little video created by the team at Park Cameras in central London.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkZZkSZx96c’]

KitGuru says: Why is KitGuru so interested in 4K video?  Simple. The huge increase in demand for CPU and GPU processing that 4K brings to the table is EXACTLY what’s needed to stimulate the market and create a positive overall forward drive. 2014/15 will be the time that 4K gaming and TV becomes normal. Canon and Nikon aiming to hit the market at the end of that cycle must be worrying for them.

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