New Panasonic Lumix Introduces `4K Hybrid Photography’
Panasonic introduced Monday its new Lumix G7 4K Micro Four Thirds camera designed for “4K hybrid photography.”
The company explained that the camera is a “4K hybrid” because it allows photographers to easily shoot 4K Ultra HD videos and then go back and grab 4K still frames with dynamic moments of frozen action.
More on the Lumix G7 4K features after the break:
The camera, in effect, turns the G7’s 4K Ultra HD video recording component into a hyper-wind motor drive system, recording frame rates of 30fps or 24fps, from which 8-megapixel stills can be selected.
At the same time, the still-camera portion of the G7 offers up to 8fps burst shooting, which Panasonic executives said enables taking a sharper still image with a fuller exposure and higher resolution than a 4K video frame grab, but with out the same degree of flexibility in grabbing key moments of action.
The Lumix G7 packs a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, and an improved Venus Engine image processor supporting greater low-light shooting situations (with a maximum 25600 ISO) while adding new multi-process noise reduction.
It is also equipped with a 2.36 million-dot organic light emitting diode electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch 1.04-million dot multi-angle static touchscreen LCD, that allows the photographer to use a finger to swipe along captured video frames to identify the best one to grab for a still.
Panasonic said the 4K Ultra HD frame capture system should be particularly handy when shooting subjects prone to unpredictable bursts of motion.
In fact, the camera uses 4K video recording to capture stills in three different scenarios:
- A new 4K Pre-Burst mode captures 1 second of video before the shutter button is pressed and 1 second after the shutter button, for situations where the photographer knows the exact moment to shoot.
- A new 4K Burst mode is used when the photographer knows what to shoot but has to keep shooting for a period of time to capture the right moment.
- A 4K Burst (S/S) mode is used when the photographer doesn’t know the best time or exact object to shoot in the frame.
All three 4K photo modes allow saving images in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution; 3840×2160 (16:9), 3328×2496 (4:3), 3504×2336 (3:2), 2880×2880 (1:1), using selectable aspect ratios.
The camera is able to capture 3840×2160 4K video clips for unlimited time in MP4 AVC format, in addition to Full HD 1920×1080 60p video in AVCHD Progressive or MP4 (MPEG-4 / H.264) format with practical full-time Auto Focus (AF).
New features in the camera also includes an improved wind noise filter that borrows from camcorder technology to reduce lower frequency noise characteristics.
The camera will also embed EXIF data, and offers a selectable P/A/S/M mode dial.
Defraction Compensation is another new feature offering crisper and clearer shots using small apertures.
The G7 is also the first Lumix camera to support the UHS-II SDXC/SDHC Memory Card format, the current highest performance BUS class, in addition to the conventional UHS-I.
The GF7 offers a maximum shutter speed of 1/16,000 second (electronic) for high-speed shooting, or using high-speed lenses with open apertures for a background defocus effect.
The camera’s Continuous Auto Focus system works for 4K video shooting. With this system, the camera’s priority logic focuses on the closer of the two moving subjects. The camera may focus on unintended subject, if the secondary subject appears in front of your primary subject. For quick response and added versatility the Panasonic system offers a 0.07 sec. Contrast AF with DFD technology.
The camera also includes a new Starlight AF feature for capturing starlit skies and TouchPad AF, which uses the monitor like a touchpad for setting AF.
Other new features include 200% AF Tracking performance and multiple panorama modes (8176×1920 and 8176×960).
Starting in mid-June in the United States, Panasonic will offer the G7 in three kit options: the body with a 14-42mm lens in a choice of black or silver colors for $799.99 each or the body and a 14-140mm lens in black only for a $1,099.99 suggested retail.
By Greg Tarr
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