Before I get in to the reasoning behind my choice of the Panasonic GH4, a short introduction in how I got into photography.
After an exciting career running aerospace companies and a keen interest in all things photography related, a fluke request by my nephew to photograph his wedding propelled me into an industry I continue to be passionate about today. I have been photographing weddings fulltime for over 8 years.
To be a good wedding photographer, you need to be well versed in all kinds of photography — portrait, landscape, action, product. You also need to work well under pressure.
I have written for ShootSmarter.com, appeared on Friday Photo School, presented workshops including WPPI and speak wherever photographers are gathered. I am also a member of Panasonic’s Lumix Luminary team.
I have been shooting with the Panasonic Lumix GH4 for over a year now and it still amazes me. I have about 7 lenses to compliment the camera body. Here are some of my favorite reasons for shooting with this camera.
10 Reasons why the Panasonic GH4 is my Camera of Choice
1. The Electronic View Finder
I may be a little old fashion, but I love to use a viewfinder. The Panasonic GH4 EVF is amazingly bright and accurate.
My favorite thing about the viewfinder is if I am shooting in black and white mode – I actually see in black and white. This really helps to be creative with black and white shooting.
2. Camera Size
I like the fact that the Panasonic GH4 and lenses are about half the weight and size of a regular DSLR equivalent.
After hauling all your gear around at a 10-hour wedding this becomes a very important feature. My body thanks me the day after a wedding shoot.
3. Touch Screen
We all live in a world filled with smart phones. We tap and swipe all day it seems. So it’s very natural to use the Panasonic GH4 touch screen to control the camera and change menu items.
I was not using this feature at first – resorting to the old-school method of pushing buttons and turning dials. After playing with the touch screen for about a week it became second nature. It is a very fast way of working with your camera.
4. Frames per Second
The Panasonic GH4 is blazingly fast. It focuses quickly and captures 12 frames per second.
If you are in auto-tracking focus mode, the GH4 will lock onto your subject and capture 7 frames per second. This is great for action shots like the bride walking down the aisle.
5. Lens Availability
This is a great feature for Micro Four Third cameras. Panasonic Lumix offers a complete line of zoom and prime lens, but so do other camera manufacturers and third party manufacturers. They all share the M 4/3 mounting system.
In addition almost any lens can be used with manual focusing if an adapter is available and there are many adapters around. I use my Leica M lenses on my Panasonic GH4.
6. Forward Thinking
As a Lumix GH3 owner I was stoked to learn the Panasonic GH4 would be using the same batteries and grip. Why can’t other camera manufacturers get their stuff together and do the same thing?
This is an extremely comfortable camera to use. I have larger hands so I use the optional battery grip. It offers all the camera controls in the vertical position and gives me two batteries which will get me through an entire event.
8. Focus Peaking
The Panasonic GH4 incorporates focus peaking mainly for videographers, but it is great for still photography as well. As I mentioned above, I use my Leica M lenses on the GH4. Manual focus is a little difficult for me these days (must be an age thing). Focus peaking provides a visual aid of what is in focus.
Anything in focus is shaded blue. You can see this in the electronic viewfinder and on the rear camera screen. This is one of my favorite features of this camera.
9. Zebra Patterns
This is another feature of the Panasonic GH4 for Video shooters but works great for still photos. With this feature turned on, anything that is going to blow out (no details in the highlights) will be represented with a zebra style pattern. Again this is available in the EVF and screen back.
As a wedding photographer it is great to see if the bride’s dress is going to blow out before I take the shot. The other way to check is to take the shot, look at it with the blinkies turned on in your camera, but this just adds an extra step and slows me down.
10. 4K Video
This is an amazing feature of the Panasonic GH4 when you consider its price. The camera shoots 4K video (4 times the resolution of HD) and it does it in-camera.
Not only can you capture amazing true to life video – but by using a special GH4 mode called “4K Photo” you can extract 8 megapixel images right out of your video and you can do it right in the camera. Now you will never miss a moment.
Of course there are many other reasons I really enjoy shooting with my Panasonic GH4. I suggest you get your hands on one and give it a spin.
Guest Review by Southern California Wedding Photographer William Innes | www.innesphotography.com