The introduction of Ultra High Definition recording in the form of 4K video has been a major advancement for those shooting video, but the 4K photo mode (introduced on the GH4) also opens up a number of opportunities for the traditional stills photographer.
Before 4K, grabbing a still frame from a Full HD video sequence meant capturing a rather disappointing 2 megapixel image (1920 x 1080). But 4K video recording changes all that by offering a resolution four times that of FHD. This means that each video frame contains approximately 8 megapixels (depending on chosen aspect ratio, example: 16:9 = 3840 x 2160), and as 4K video is shot at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, split second timing of a motion sequence can now be captured as a high resolution still. When you consider that even the highest spec DSLR cameras only achieve up to 11 frames per second (with Continuous AF), it’s clear to see how much easier it is to capture that elusive magic image.
With the GH4 you don’t even have to worry about using a computer to grab the frame of your choice. Set the 4K photo mode before you start to record your video, on playback you can convert any individual video frame to a high quality 8MP JPEG still image on board the camera – it’s as easy as pause, choose, convert.