Panasonic came out with Firmware update 2.0 for the Lumix GH4 this morning. I did the update without any problem. Here is a list of what's new:
- 4K Photo Mode
- 4k/23.98p/100Mbps mode in MP4 video recording
- Upper ISO limit for the auto-ISO mode can be set on the ISO sensitivity setting screen
- Flash output can be adjusted on the exposure compensation screen
- Focusing performance of 1-area AF in video recording is improved
- Tracking performance when used with the 14-140 lens is improved
- Remote shooting via USB tethering is available by using a third-party software
4K Photo Mode
- This mode set the record format to 4K/30p/100Mbps (25p in Europe), MP4 and Luminance Level:0-255.
- You can chose the aspect ratio that you want: 16:9, 3:2, 4:3 or 1:1.
- Exif information is recorded with the photo.
- You can use the Fn1 key on your camera while recording to set marks in your file for quick navigation.
- A Loop Recording function is added which keeps the last 10 minutes of footage while shooting.
Basically, you film then go into playback mode to make 8 megapixels photos from the clip you just record. Hit the Play button then hit Pause. You can go forward or back frame by frame to select the one you really want. When you are on the one you want, hit "Set" and the photo is recorded after the clip on the SD card with the Exif Info. There isn't any quality difference if you simply grab a frame in Lightroom. The only difference that I can see is you have the Exif on the photo you grab in the camera (which is nice).
ISO and Flash settings
For the max ISO setting (for auto-ISO) on the Sensitivity setting screen, It is really nice. I had this on the GX7 and thought it was strange that it was absent from the GH4. Maybe someone forgot to turn a switch on the software side. The addition of the flash output adjustment is great though. It was cumbersome to change that in the menus.
Improved performance of 1-area AF in video recording
I ran some tests with the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 open at f/2 to stress it. Well, I can't say how it was before but I can say it is still far from perfect or even usable. It still hunts a lot and have some trouble following even when moving slowly. In 4K, it seems to hunt even more back and forth. I will still use manual focus with the focus peaking.
You can now shoot tethered through USB by using a third party software available here. Promote System developed the software in collaboration with Panasonic. They also have an advanced control remote that is now compatible with the GH4.
I know many professionals asked for that, especially for studio work. Panasonic already has a very nice WiFi app on iOS and Android. What I don't understand is why didn't they make this app available on Windows and Mac OS? Shooting tethered is nice but shooting and transferring in WiFi is even better for me (and probably a lot of people). I can do it now with my phone or tablet so why can't I do it with my laptop?