How large can you print with the GH4 Question by Roberto Facchini

Posted Jun. 5th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Good morning,

I follow with interest your web site. I am seriously thinking of switching from a Canon FF system with L-series lenses to a M4/3 Panasonic (GH4).
I photography especially nature: landscapes, macro and wildlife. I wonder if the M4/3 is also suitable for landscapes. I like landscapes with many details, especially vegetation, which then I can print also in large formats , as 1.5 meters x 80 centimeters. What is your opinion? Thank you.

You known landscape photographers who use the M4/3? They have websites where I can see photos?

Best regards,
Roberto Facchini

Robert,

That is a great question and one that I’m curious about as well.  I recently printed an image that was 24×36 inches or aprox. 60×91 centimeters and it is spectacular. Even so, that print is considerably smaller than what you are interested in. I think this question can be answered by me doing some tests.

Panasonic Lumix executives Shinji Watanabe, Henri Nishikawa and Yasuhide Yamada take time out to review one of Daniel's newest print newest print releases "Raven Spirit" at the Natural Exposures office in Bozeman, Montana

Panasonic Lumix executives Shinji Watanabe, Henri Nishikawa, and Yasuhide Yamada take time out to review one of my newest print releases, “Raven Spirit,” printed to the size of 24×36 inches

So stay tuned and check back here on the Blog. I plan to shoot some landscapes in the next week. I will use the GH4 with the Lumix 12-35mm lens as well as a Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 24-70mm lens.

A patch of wild garlic in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.

A patch of wild garlic in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Lumix GH4 with 15mm F/1.7 lens

We’ll get some images and then print the results out with my HP Z3200 printer at the size you requested. We’ll then do some print peeping and see what we come up with.

Add Your Voice!
There are 8 comments on this post…
  1. Dennis LindenOn Jul. 2nd, 2016 (12 months ago)

    Hi Daniel. I just wanted you to know that the internet does keep turning. I just discovered your website while looking for more information on Lumix camera systems. So far, great reading, and perhaps I will add a tour to my bucket list. ( I hope I have a number of years yet. )

    I am a professional, NON-photographer, who enjoys the hobby. As a result I dabble from street to landscape to wildlife. A number of years ago I got back into photography in a serious fashion. I had some specific goals in mind, some of which have evolved. I suffered a shoulder injury and later ruptured a disk. Carrying a backpack full of gear and a tripod to match was beyond tolerable. How can you have fun if it hurts so much? So, I started evaluating the Olympus cameras, first an EM3 then EM 5. I found them lacking due to sensor performance, but I did buy into the dream of the system. To make a very long story short, I have used Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and just recently the GX85 from Lumix.

    In short, I am back in the MFT fold. The new sensors of the current cameras are more than good enough for my large prints (home prints to 13×19 and some larger). I am not selling anything, not trying to be Number 1 on Instagram, I am simply collecting photos to print and hang, to be enjoyed by friends, family and the many other people who cross my path in person. One day, I plan to self publish a few books with sales expected to be in the single digits 🙂

    Printing large is my holy grail. I have long ago stopped talking about or to people regarding digital noise on their screens.

    When it comes to landscape, my solution to a large sensor is many sensors. I have made some great photographs using the simple, light Nodal Ninja. Small and light weight, works on my travel CF tripod, and I’ve merged up to 7 exposures and printed to 44 inches wide. I know this won’t work for all occasions, but it might equalize the kind of comparison you are doing above. It’ really isn’t fair to compare a sensor that is effectively 1/4 the size of the other…. you are unduly pre-determining your results. The thing that makes MFT work for me is exactly the sensor size permitting lenses that are fractional in size and weight.

    The converse of the landscape are the birding photos. In my opinion the smaller sensor cameras should do better since their effective (not actual) dof is wider than a large senor, and the focal length of the lens is doubled automatically. I would like to see the comparison prints between a D800 and and 800 mm lens at f8 and the GX8 with the Leica 400 … of some subject at an equal distance. Then weigh the whole she-bang. Camera, batteries, chargers, tripod, gimbal head, backpack …. 40 lbs I think, versus the GX8 and the one lens. Ok, use a compact travel tripod and much smaller head… 15 lbs? Walk with each pack up the side of a mountain. Measure water consumption, ibuprofen usage and include a pain meter. Then factor in time from dropping the pack to the ground and being ready to shoot… Then compare the images using a grid that looks at these other factors. Oh wait, let’s look at the D800 and 800 hand held at 100 yards vs the Lumix kit!!! Now how’s that for a comparison?

    To me, those intangibles need to be promoted by the Lumix people. I’m in love with the GX85 and my prints are fantastic. I am looking forward to play with the 100-400. I will be slowly selling off all my Nikon gear with the exception of the 200-500 and my D7200 which I will continue to use for now. I look forward to reading more from you on these pages. I am sorry for the length of my blathering.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 9th, 2016 (12 months ago)

      Great input regarding the difference between traditional DSLR’s and MFT. Thats for adding your voice.

  2. Markus BolligerOn Sep. 11th, 2015

    Sorry Daniel – my last comment below is out-dated, I just discoverd in the other thread your contribution (from July) concerning the big-print-comparison – very interesting!

    No reason to change horses – image quality out of my GH4 is more than good enouth for nearly most purposes!

    Greetings,
    Markus

  3. Markus BolligerOn Sep. 11th, 2015

    I am also curious to see these prints – as I shoot Panasonic Lumix GH-cameras for more than three years (at present the GH4), after having left behind me a heavy Nikon D700-equipment. As a matter of fact I never looked back …

    Maybe fullframe has still the edge when shallow depth of field is very important, or when you have to shoot with high ISO values. But in these kind of situations I can work with the excellent Nocticron 42,5mm (f 1.2) or the Nokton 17,5mm (f 0,95).

    Concerning resolution for big prints there ist no visible difference to a 36MP image up to about 50x70cm, based on my own experience. But as I never printed bigger, I am really looking forward to your comparison-prints, Daniel, thank’s in advance!

    Best regards from Switzerland,
    Markus

  4. Roberto FacchiniOn Jun. 15th, 2015

    Great, quite a challenge. Let’s see how it ends. I’m curious.

  5. JeffOn Jun. 14th, 2015

    Great, looking forward to seeing your results.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 14th, 2015

      I’ve shot the test last week. It included a Nikon D800 with Nikkor 28mm F/1.8, a Lumix GH4 with 15mm F/1.7 (in MFT this is equal to 30mm F/1.7 and finally the LX100 with the 24-75mm zoom. We will be printing prints of 40 inches on the long side from each one of these these cameras. Hope to have them done in a week or so. Stay tuned.

  6. Roberto FacchiniOn Jun. 5th, 2015

    Thank you for your reply. I look with interest your test.

    Greetings,
    Roberto

Add your voice to this conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In an effort to combat spam, your comment may be held for a brief moderation period.

Natural Exposures, Inc.