Panasonic GH4 Anamorphic Mode in New Firmware v2.2

April 24th, 2015
Panasonic GH4 Anamorphic Mode in New Firmware v2.2

Panasonic have released firmware v2.2 for the Panasonic GH4 that adds 4:3 anamorphic support at a resolution of 3328 x 2496.

gh4-anamorphicThe firmware update enables the entire height of the Panasonic GH4 4:3 sensor to record footage with anamorphic lenses or anamorphic adapters.

panasonic-gh4The benefits of this are an increased shallow depth of field, higher resolution and a cool 2.66:1 aspect ratio. This would then need to be cropped slightly if you want a more standard 2.39/2.40:1 ratio.

During recording in the GH4 anamorphic mode the HDMI output cannot be used in 8-bit. In 10-bit mode however, the camera outputs via hdmi at 2880×2160, but internal recording is disabled.


The new firmware can be downloaded here:

Panasonic GH4 V2.2 Firmware — Windows

Panasonic GH4 V2.2 Firmware — Mac

via nofilmschool.com

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Levi Davis
MemberApril 25th, 2015

It’s not the full height of the sensor. As a result, there is an additional crop factor applied to the m43 sensor.

Peter Kent
Peter Kent
MemberApril 25th, 2015

I was never clear on the benefits of anamorphic lenses on digital, doesn’t stretching the image back out in post just interpolate or horizontally clone more pixels into the image, like turning a 4:4:4 image into a 4:2:2 or “upresing” to HD? What if you’re starting with 4:2:0?

Other than the slightly larger sensor area, if you want 2.66:1 are there other benefits to taking a digital 2880×2160 image with a 1.5x lens and “de-squeezing” it to 4320×2160, over taking the 4096×2160 DCI 4k image with a normal lens and squeezing it to 2880×2160 then applying the same de-squeeze to 4320×2160.

Of course you wouldn’t get those anamorphic aberrations and distortions that show off you used an anamorphic lens but I think those are subjective benefits.

Mister Blah
Mister Blah
MemberApril 26th, 2015

To a certain extent, yes, there is interpolation going on if you choose to expand the image outward to its un-morphed aspect ratio. That said, I don’t think that extends to modifying the chroma subsampling; each pixel will usually be operating at a wider aspect ratio, but should still contain the same amount of color data as originally recorded. Of course, the less compression introduced before the interpolation is performed, the better the final image will probably look.
Keep in mind that instead of “stretching” the image horizontally back to its intended aspect ratio, one could alternatively shorten the vertical axis, thereby not increasing the objective dimensions of the image.
The advantage of using actual anamorphic lenses over doing it digitally would be in how the lens affects the angle of view in the shot. Anamorphic lenses will be distinctly wider-angle on the horizontal axis than a spherical lens of the same focal length. As an added bonus, some people like the vertically elongated boké and horizontal flares that are characteristic of anamorphic lenses – as you said, those are very preferential.
Finally, there’s (usually) the added benefit of having a greater overall pixel resolution when shooting in 4:3, since one would normally be using extra parts of the image sensor. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if the sensor crops down too much to record in 4:3

Peter Kent
Peter Kent
MemberApril 26th, 2015

Thanks for the informative reply! Squeezing the vertical resolution is a great option, I could easily turn 2880×2160 to 2880×1080 for 2.66:1, alternative (but expensive) couldn’t one also keep the export squeezed and use a digital anamorphic projector, would that give the best results?

What I’m seeing with decompressing the horizontal however is that rectangular pixels actually take up two horizontal pixel for the same color and luma, seems similar to subsampling 4:4:4 to 4:2:2 except chroma-subsampling keeps the extra luma.

Kori Reay-Mackey
Kori Reay-Mackey
GuestApril 25th, 2015

Ya, really cool. Still waiting for the Log profile though! Amazed at the features they continue to pump into this camera.

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