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Wiring a Shutter Release for a Panasonic GH4

Splash Drone

First published 12 January 2016

This article is also relevant for other Panasonic Products such as the GH3.


Recently I purchased a Panasonic GH4 to replace my Nikon D5100 DSLR on my UAV. The Nikon was (and still is) a very good camera but for Aerial Photography work it has a couple of deficiencies

Firstly it is quite heavy, which is fine for my craft as it is well within the payload but will have some effect on flight times.

Secondly, being a DSLR, the mirror has to flip up for each shot and for Live View. This causes unnecessary movement, drains the battery and the video disappears during the shot for stills and also permanently when shooting video. I have had to use a separate camera, mounted on the hotplate to frame the shot when shooting video. This is not ideal as the quality is lower and the focal lengths don't always match so I cannot be sure that what I see is what is being filmed. Finally, I have no feedback for focusing and have managed to shoot out of focus video.

Because of the above and also because my camera gimbal has recently been upgraded, I decided to invest in a GH4. However, the Remote has caused me a bit of frustration as it's not a simple open / close contact.

I am grateful to the author of to start me off on this path. Luke has researched a lot of camera leads and reverse-engineered them and this was the starting block for me. Here is his original page for reference. However, this only covers stills operation and I wanted to be able to start / stop the video as well. I noticed that the remote controls that I had lying about (e.g. for my Nikon), if plugged in, would actually start / stop the video, but not the stills! These were simple make / break connectors, no resistor bridges. After some tinkering and testing, here is the breakdown of the operation of the GH4

GH4 Remote Release wiring

Panasonic GH4 Remote release

The Shutter and Focus as as per the diy-docs diagram. I have added the video connectivity (in pink). It appears that you need to short the Green and Yellow pins permanently, then by making & breaking the video link you can start or stop the video recording. Stills taking is unaffected by the Green - Yellow short. NB the colouring scheme is based on the cable that I disassembled. Yours may vary, so continuity test before assigning colours.

Panasonic GH4 Remote Release wiring for stills and video

To make this into a practical cable, do the following:

Panasonic GH4 stills and video Remote release

Note the following:

  1. The White cable / pin is not used
  2. Short Y to B for Video, short G to B for taking a still
  3. The 36K and 2K9 resistors are combined into a 39K resistor. There is no need for a separate focus contact as if you press the shutter, it will perform focus and shutter release combined.
  4. Camera connector on left. Remote release on right - you can obviously adapt this to whatever you use. I have a couple of channels spare on my Tx which feed into a relay to short out the connections.

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