Lumix GH4 Question about RAW Support from Trent Anderson

Posted May. 10th, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

Lumix GH4 Question about RAW Support

Perhaps a potential ‘duh’ question but…. Had my maiden voyage with the new Lumix GH4 yesterday at a family event. That evening, I downloaded the evidence into Bridge and….”Not
tonight Josephine.” I had shot all day in Raw and realized that Adobe hadn’t time to come up
with a conversion for the new camera.

The questions are; should I shoot in jpeg until they come up with a conversion or, is there a workaround till that time comes? I’m trying to take the camera through an intensive shake down period because I’m going on a trip at the end of the month and I was hoping it would
be my first ‘nikonless’ excursion.

Trent, yes, one of the downsides to a completely new camera is waiting for the software developers to provide RAW support.  It’s the price we pay for being on the cutting edge I guess you could say. However, my temporary fix is to shoot both JPEG & RAW. The JPEGs allow you to see and work with your images immediately and the RAW is there for you to go back to once the software catches up. To set your GH4 to shoot both JPEG & RAW go to the Main menu, little Red camera in upper left tab. Select the red camera tab, click to the right you will see the fourth option on the 1/7 page of the menu is the QUALITY setting. Select Quality and up pops five options. You want the middle one which says RAW with a little down arrow on top of two rows of blocks. This is just that and the arrow pointing down signifies JEPG compression. I actually shoot both JPEG and RAW most the time . Hope this helps.

Photo of what you'll be looking for in the GH4 menu.

Photo of what you’ll be looking for in the GH4 menu.

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There are 11 comments on this post…
  1. Carol HindleOn Nov. 17th, 2017

    Hi Dan, just got GH5, please explain RAW with * and one row of lines, RAW with * and two rows of lines.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 17th, 2017

      Carol, RAW with one line signifies a RAW file with a small jpeg. RAW with two lines signifies RAW with large jpeg. I shoot the RAW with large Jpeg.

  2. mattOn Nov. 6th, 2015

    How do you save in silkypix? I have no option but pdf print? Most frustrating…

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 7th, 2015

      Matt, unfortunately I’m not a good one to ask on this question. I’ve not been a fan of Silkypix from the start. I recently took a fresh look at this program and it’s just too clunky compared to any other program I’ve used. I would seriously think about moving to either DXO Optics Pro, Lightroom or even Mylio for your workflow needs.

  3. Nikki JohnsonOn Nov. 22nd, 2014

    I’ve just recently bought a GH4 as I decided to get this for something different. I have owned the EM5 for 3 years now, and love it for street as it’s lovely and small. Having numerous OLY and Pana lenses already my decision was to get the GH4 in the end 1) lenses are all compatible and 2) to have a bit of fun with video. My issue is I shot in both the Raw-JPEG setting only to find out that my Lightroom 4 dosnt support it. I don’t want to fork out more money on processing software so is the Silkypix ok to use for stills. I’ve found the colour on the GH4 quite different to the Oly and feel it needs tweaking to get it looking really good. Or do I download the the Adobe Raw conversion and stay with Lightroom 4? I’m only an amateur but pretty good – I’m dissapointing that I can’t use the GH4 with LR4 – any advice is appreciated. After working with the EM5 I’m feeling I may have made the wrong choice with the GH4. The stills I’ve seen seem to be not on par with Olympus. But if you can prove me wrong it would be good to put my mind at ease. It’s such a different camera to the EM5, it will take some time for me to get used to it.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 22nd, 2014

      Nikki, You must not have the most recent version of Lightroom since I’ve been using Lightroom to work with my GH4 images for the past six months or longer. I would suggest, with Lightroom open, going to the Lightroom HELP tab at the top of the screen, click on that Help tab and a drop down window pops up. Fifth option down the list is “Check for Updates”. Download the most recent version and you’ll have no issues with Lightroom seeing your Lumix GH4. I definitely don’t recommend Silkypix, you will lose your mind with that program.

      Regarding your need for “tweaking” your GH4 images to get the look you want. A very important setting you need to check regarding “straight from the camera jpegs” is the Color Space you have your GH4 set on. I would be interested in knowing if the Olympus and the Lumix are both set to sRGB. You can see how to setup Color Space by referring to page 147 of the GH4 Advanced Manual. The manual can be download by clicking on this link: Panasonic GH4 Advanced Manual. All digital files form all cameras look much more saturated and beautiful when shot in sRGB. The other setting option in the GH4 Color Space menu is AdobeRGB. AdobeRGB requires much more, out of camera processing, to give your images the punch most of us are looking for when we see them on a computer screen. Not sure if you ever shot film but I liken AdobeRGB to the color palette of Kodachrome way back in the 80’s. In the 90’s most professional shooters, doing nature, switched to Fujichrome, due to its much more saturated, punchy colors. An editor would buy a Fuji image over a Kodachrome image 10-1.

      One thing you need to be aware of is; sRGB is not the setting to work from if you are only shooting JPEGs. I only recommend sRGB if you are shooting RAW or RAW+Jpeg. Why? Because a RAW file allows you to take the image back to AdobeRGB if you should ever have a need to do so. (more about why you might want to go to AdobeRGB in a minute) AdobeRGB has a larger “Color Gamut” (many more colors are recorded and saved to the file) and when you shoot Jpegs in sRGB, some of that color information is thrown out and not saved to the file. That’s part of the reason a Jpeg is much smaller file than a RAW. It sounds counterintuitive, but having too much color actually makes the tones in an image muddy looking, lacking vibrancy and saturation. Have you ever taken a dozen different colored paints and mixed them all together? Last time I did I was in high school. If you do such a fun trick, it makes no difference what colors you mix, the end result is a muddy looking pile of paint. Same goes for a digital file, too much colors on a computer screen or an inkjet print and you have muddy images that lack vibrant colors. Remove some of those colors and stick with just enough that a computer screen or inkjet printer can handle and you have vibrant, wonderful images.

      So why is there even an option for AdobeRGB? It’s due to the lithographic printing process. Lithographic printing is different than what we get from our inkjet printers. Lithographic printers are able to use the many more colors AdobeRGB provides. Lithographic printing, invented in 1796 has gone from black and white to color and it’s the basic process an actual physical book from your local book store is printed with. A lithographic press that can handle all the colors an AdobeRGB file has in it, is a monster machine that can produce thousands of pages per minute and can crank a physical book out in very short order with superbly rich detail and color fidelity. Obviously, most of us have no interest in such a large expensive, difficult to use printer. We choose something like an Epson desktop model instead. The Epson and our computer screens have no need for all the colors in an AdobeRGB file, therefore, when the image is viewed on a monitor or as an inkjet print, we get better results with an sRGB file.

      Sorry for the long winded answer but I thought this was a great time to explain the differences of sRGB and AdobeRGB. This questions comes up quite regularly from the folks who travel with us we call our NE Explorers.

      Let me know how your GH4 is set. I would love to know if it’s set to sRGB or AdobeRGB. I’m confident you will come to love the GH4 for both still and video. One last comment since you mentioned you wanted to do more video. Have you seen my blog post Lumix GH4’s 4K Photo Mode?

  4. Todd BrissonOn May. 14th, 2014

    Silkypix seems to be an OK stopgap while waiting for LR5.5 or 6. One feature in Silkypix that works particularly nice is the option to develop with an in-camera preset such as monochrome. I really like Panasonic’s implementation of monochrome, it has a distinctly smooth look to how it converts color gradation.

  5. Trent G. AndersonOn May. 12th, 2014

    Thanks Dan. I’ve been shooting with the camera almost every day and, other than the learning curve, have been really enjoying the camera’s operation. I did some early morning work this weekend and was surprised, while driving home, when I realized I had been shooting for almost an hour and a half and…my neck, hands and arms had nothing to say to me. If I had been lugging around my D800 those parts of my body would have been very petulant in response.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 14th, 2014

      Trent, glad to hear your getting up to speed with your new camera.

  6. RambalacOn May. 11th, 2014

    Well, that free Silkypix can develop GH4 RW2

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 12th, 2014

      Good point. I forgot about Silkypix since I don’t typically use it. But it is there for those who absolutely need RAW before the Apple and Adobe catch up.

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