Panasonic raised many eyebrows and rustled many feathers with announcement of the GH4 camera last month. The boastfully spec’d 4K mirrorless camera puts to shame Panasonics actual current video camera line in many ways (although that is about to change).
The pricing has now been released for both the GH4 body, and the XLR/SDI interface module; both available for pre-order here:
Predictions for the GH4 body resided around $1500-2000, so it’s no surprise to come in at this price range; quite refreshing actually as it could have easily been closer to the top end of that.
What may be slightly surprising is the cost of the interface module exceeding that of the body. There’s no doubt this product will sell far less than the camera body, no matter how much it is. Perhaps it’s a “professional price tag” as Panasonic knows that the target audience of the interface (us) has been waiting for something like this to come around and if we can afford it we’re probably willing to pay.
Credit to Panasonic, they’ve really listened to the market and have provided some essential video features for their flagship compact stills camera, and they’ve done this without adding huge costs to the body itself for photographers who don’t have a need for XLR audio, SDI output and 12V DC input.
Having held the interface module at BVE 2014, I certainly say that it would’ve been nice for Panasonic to have gone about this more gracefully. Restricting the connection for the interface to the camera underneath, you cannot rig this camera in any other way. With a cabled connection, you could’ve brought the interface off the camera, and further back on some rails, distributing the weight. The height of the camera will also create its own unique set of requirements for follow focus and mattebox configurations.
I think by committing to the battery grip style of connecting, they should have taken the time to make it a little more ergonomically friendly. But hey, as they say, “beggers can’t be choosers”. No other camera manufacturer is offering a similar package right now.