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GH5s + B4 lens = The Unbeatable setup

February 12, 2019

For quite some time we have been working on the combination of our favourite Panasonic GH5s and an B4 lens. 

 

And finally the setup is here and working great on real life multicam live streaming sessions! Below are some tips & tricks on how we did it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wanted to use the GH5s on our live streaming sessions where the zoom in/out has to be smooth. 

 

So why not combine the super quality servo zoom of an B4 lens with the great sensor of the GH5s? 

 

Well, after some time and with the help of several partners we have reached the point where we enjoy our hybrid setup and get great results!

 

Why? 

 

B4 lens has great servo zoom.

GH5s can work great as a "camcorder":

- Can record without time limit. 

- Has two SD card slots to write and change cards if you like. 

- Can use dummy battery for indefinite power supply. 

- SOS... has dual ISO to compensate with the lose of light when applying 2x extender (see below for more).  

- Supports recoding on AVCHD MP4 codec for long lasting sessions. 

- We find MTF system great for such video shooting. 

 

What do you need. 

 

Β4 lens with a 2x extender.

Adapter B4 to MFT.

Cable adapter from B4 to 12V. 

Jump starter with 12V output

A custom base plate to mount the lens on a tripod and NOT the camera or the adapter.

 

 

The last part is the most difficult and got us into real trouble until we found the great guys from Zetarm  that built us a custom super ergonomic base plate for our setup. 

 

 

Setup

 

With the B4 to MFT adapter you can connect the B4 lens of an ENG camera to the GH5s body. 

Of course the camera cannot "see" the lens and also it cannot power the servo zoom. 

Here is where the B4 to 12V cable adapter comes in with the jump starter. The jump starter must have a 12V output (not all have one of these). So the jump starter powers through the cable adapter the servo zoom of the lens. 

 

You can also have a zoom demand to control the zoom from the handle of the tripod. 

 

 

Β4 lens with a 2x extender.

 

The GH5s is a Micro Four Thirds camera with a bigger sensor than an ENG camera. So if you just place the B4 lens on the GH5s you get a nice good looking vignette at any zoom range. Just use the 2x extender and the vignette is gone! 

 

 

 

GH5s boosts the setup 

 

The GH5s adds a lot on the setup because of its dual ISO. When using the 2x extender the B4 looses a lot of the light that comes in the lens. With the dual ISO of the GH5s you can take the ISO to 1600 or 3200 without loosing picture quality. 

 

On the below image check how the light changes when the 2x extender in on and off. 

 

 

 After having solved these issues you can start using the amazing picture quality of the GH5s to your multicam sessions and match it with different frames of other GH5 shots. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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