GH4 quality control

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by JoJo, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. JoJo

    JoJo Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Mar 19, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    JoJo
    I plan to buy another body for stills. I assume the GH4 is as capable as the EM5/EM1 in capturing an image. I have had some problems with Olympus. Is the GH4 having problems? I don't seem to see many things mentioned here.
     
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I've seen a couple of posts over on DPR, but that's all. It seems to be very ruggedly built and very reliable.
     
  3. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    JoJo,

    You might want to hold off a bit until it's confirmed that GH4's in the retail chain all have the "audio buzz" fix. I just sent mine in yesterday for the free fix at the McAllen TX facility. Insurance to cover the $1700 replacement cost ran me $30 on top of the UPS ground fee but I willingly paid it to protect my investment.

    GH4's shipping with the v. 1.1 firmware should have the fix, but right now merchants can't tell as they don't break open the boxes. Texas Media Systems in Austin sent in their entire retail stock for the fix so you should be in good shape ordering from them.

    I think you'll like the GH4. The EVF and LCD are improved and I love the video it does.
     
  4. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    I have not been able to reproduce the so called audio buzz... It's really nit picking issue ihmo
     
  5. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    You have to do something you likely would never do in use. Set shutter to 1/60th (you would use this setting in actual use), input gain to maximum, and headphone gain to max also. Then listen with mic plugged in but OFF and if you have the buzz it will sound nothing but pure NASTY.

    You will get a preview of what will begin to creep in if you ever have to process your audio and for any reason need to increase levels significantly.
     
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Seems ridiculous. Like who is going to do that as part of a process?

    So is it there on massive amplification of the audio track?

    This seems like a very pedantic "fault"
     
  7. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Greatly exaggerated ...

    Bif, this buzz only occurred while using a non Panasonic external mic in addition to having both the headphone audio level and mic gain to their maximum settings. When I first saw this I asked myself, "who shoots with such settings?" This was a great example of social media exaggerating an issue. I was able to duplicate it, but I had to have my playback volume set much louder than I would normally set it. I will say that Panasonic came up with a fix very quickly despite the very specific conditions required to cause it to occur.
     
  8. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Yes, ridiculous. Except to determine with no uncertainty a specific GH4 has the problem. No one who has any idea what they were doing would use settings like that.

    Yes, it would be there on massive amplification of the audio track. However several have reported hearing the buzz "creep in" on less than "massive amplification" and that's where the problem becomes a problem. Reasons for "amplification" will vary but just tonight I was reading on dvxuser.com where the sound guy on a production was deliberately recording audio very low (likely fear of clipping), saying it could be "fixed in post".

    I had one case where the guy doing sound on a project of mine "cranked up" the headphone volume on the audio recorder and therefore failed to get enough gain level on the actual track.
    Fortunately I had a Rode SVM on the Canon 7D being used and despite the AGC "pumping" effect I was better off using the audio from the camera than attempting to boost the audio from the ZoomH2 (too much noise floor and hiss).

    Yes, these tend to be extreme cases but sometimes we are faced with them.

    Bottom line: I pay $1700 for a camera body, I don't want audio buzz if I have to use the in camera audio.
     
  9. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Some were hearing this buzz (although at a lower level) during quieter parts of the audio track with their video, that's how the issue surfaced. They were not using max gain settings. We were told to use the max settings so those of us who didn't really know what to listen for could definitely hear that buzz. At 75 going on 76 I'm a bit hard of hearing (wife says I'm VERY hard of hearing!)

    And a lot of us have non Panasonic mics and don't want to be forced into buying Panasonic. I have two Rodes, the VideoMic and the StereoVideoMic

    You're absolutely right. No one uses anything close to max recording gain and max headphone gain in actual use, but this wouldn't be the first time social media got it wrong.

    See my reply to Pellicle on the reason for having to use those settings (only to test for the buzz) in the post above.

    One specific case where I had to boost portions of an audio recording was while I was filming some 3 gun match competition for inclusion in the local gun club introductory video to go on the website. I used a ZoomH2 recorder with built in mics and had a problem with the high "spikes" of gunshots so I had to set the level lower than I wanted for the Range Officer's commands and the competitor's responses. I had to boost the vocal sounds quite a bit in Audacity. Fortunately the only noise floor I was fighting was a bit of hiss from the H2 pre-amps which wasn't bad. I was using a Canon T3i at the time, the GH4 was a couple of years later in coming.

    Anyway I sent my GH4 in for the "free" fix, paid $43 in UPS and insurance, mainly because if I ever wanted to use the in camera audio I wanted that clean, and when time comes to sell the camera I will be able to sell it with no faults.

    FedEX delivers it tomorrow!

    One poster on dvxuser.com came up with a fix of his own, a TRRS (4 conducter) splitter to 2 TRS connectors that seems to do the same thing the Panasonic mic connector does.

    The way I plan to manage audio is to use a Tascam DR60D audio recorder doing dual recording (main track at dialed gain and "safety" track at about 6db less) on SDHC card with output to the camera mic input, input signal will be a tad "hot" as many recommend with the camera audio gain set to minimum.

    I've got an Audio Technica AT 897 shotgun mic coming in Friday to use with the Tascam.
     
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    well every bit of studio gear , every "desk" I've ever used is "faulty" under such sorts of tests. One could argue that one just needs to learn how the gear works, and that floating inputs are not good. Everything has limitations (except human imagination)
     
  11. Fran Guidry

    Fran Guidry Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 25, 2013
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Fran Guidry
    I had the same reaction to the initial reports of the audio buzz, but when I got my GH4 and tried to use the audio input for one of my music videos I heard the burbling buzzing noise in the tail of the music track at normal listening levels. It was worse than a similar effort using the GH3. So I sent my cam in for repair and now the audio is clean.

    Fran
     
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  12. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jul 21, 2013
    What did your GH4 audio testing reveal ? How did you fix this problem?
     
  13. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    I've had my GH4 since mid-May and it's been 100% troublefree. The on/off switch feels very sturdy and durable and the shutter has a quality sound to it as though it would last forever (it's rated for 200,000 releases) I use the Panasonic external mic and havn't noticed any "buzzes".

    I will admit, however, I will soon be ordering the much less expensive Panasonic FZ1000 because it delivers very noticably more accurate colors straight out of the camera than the GH4 (both jpegs and 4K footage). Sky colors with the FZ1000 look a truly natural shade of blue, whereas the GH4 is not quite there. And green foliage on the FZ1000 looks true green as it should instead of slightly yellowish-green like it does on the GH4.
     
  14. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Got my GH4 back from the McAllen TX facility yesterday. The buzz is gone and the audio is clean. Glad I sent it in.