Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 evaluation: Digital Pictures Evaluate


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 is the newest in a line of high-end Micro 4 Thirds cameras aimed toward video shooters. The GH6 can shoot an unlimited vary of 4K-focused video modes, together with slow-motion from 120 fps seize, full-sensor ‘open gate’/anamorphic capturing, and seize in {industry} customary codecs reminiscent of ProRes 422 and 422HQ.

The GH6 is constructed round a sensor with parallel excessive and low-gain readouts to ship a ‘Dynamic Vary Enhance’ mode that Panasonic says delivers greater than 13 stops of dynamic vary at increased ISO settings. It turns into the primary GH digicam to make use of the complete VariCam V-Log profile.

Key specs

  • 25MP CMOS sensor with parallel readouts
  • Constructed-in fan for limitless recording
  • UHD or DCI 4K in 10-bit 4:2:2 at as much as 60p
  • Gradual-mo UHD or DCI 4K in 10-bit 4:2:0 at as much as 120 fps
  • 5.7K full-width seize at as much as 60p
  • 5.8K Full-sensor ‘open gate’/anamorphic seize at as much as 30p
  • Full V-Log/V-Gamut capturing
  • Vary of seize codecs together with ProRes 422 and 422 HQ
  • 1 x CFexpress Kind B, 1 x UHS-II SD slot
  • Stabilization rated to 7.5EV, maintained at longer focal lengths with Twin IS 2 lenses
  • Tilt-and-articulating display screen from S1H
  • Full-sized Kind A HDMI socket
  • 14 fps capturing with AF-S, 8 with AF-C (75 fps with e-shutter)

Promised by way of future firmware:

  • Direct recording to SSD over USB
  • HDMI interface to v2.1 customary
  • 4K/120 over HDMI with dwell view and 4K/120 Uncooked stream over HDMI

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 comes at a really useful worth of $2199. This can be a $200 enhance, in contrast with the GH5’s authentic worth in March 2017 however $200 inexpensive than the GH5S was, at launch.



What’s new

Sensor

The GH6 is predicated round a totally new sensor: the best decision chip we have but seen within the 4 Thirds sensor dimension. Panasonic is being distinctly tight-lipped concerning the fabrication course of, which strongly suggests the digicam is not utilizing the Stacked CMOS know-how that is underpinned the newest era of high-end cameras. Though we do not have absolute affirmation, we expect it is extraordinarily probably to be a BSI design.

It is a quick sensor, although, with our readout velocity assessments suggesting rolling shutter is not going to be a priority. There’s additionally no anti-aliasing filter, which is smart, since most footage will probably be output at a decrease decision than it is captured in (ie: 4K output from 5.7K seize).

29.97, 25, 24, 23.98p 59.94, 50p 119,88, 100p
5.8K (Full sensor peak) 17.6 ms
5.7K (1.9:1) 12.4 ms 12.4 ms
DCI 4K (1.9:1) 12.4 ms 12.4 ms 6.8 ms
UHD 4K (16:9) 13.3 ms 13.3 ms 7.3 ms

The GH6’s sensor, which we’re instructed is ‘not made by the corporate everybody all the time assumes we use,’ includes a twin output acquire design. That is to not be confused with the switchable twin acquire sensors we have seen in an rising majority of contemporary cameras, however as an alternative is nearer to the design utilized in Arri and a few Canon cinema cameras. The sensor has two, parallel output paths and at excessive ISO settings, the output from each paths is mixed to offer each spotlight and shadow element.

Discover out extra about twin conversion acquire, twin output acquire and the way they work

In stills mode this technique is robotically used from ISO 800 upwards, whereas in video mode it’s an non-obligatory function referred to as ‘Dynamic Vary Enhance,’ which could be engaged when the ISO setting is three stops above its base setting. Dynamic Vary Enhance is accessible for video as much as 60p.

Colour mode Base ISO Setting Dynamic Vary Enhance
Commonplace modes
(inc Cinelike V2 / D2)
ISO 100 ISO 800+
V-Log / HLG ISO 250 ISO 2000+

Each V-Log and HLG modes price their base ISOs as 1.3EV increased than the opposite coloration modes, which supplies a very good indication of how a lot extra spotlight seize they’re designed to accommodate.

If you happen to mix DR Enhance mode with V-Log mode, you acquire an additional cease of spotlight seize while you attain ISO 2000, whereas in stills mode and different video modes, you solely see an enchancment in shadow efficiency. This elevated DR helps clarify how the GH6 is ready to supply full ‘V-Log.’

The GH6’s log profile known as V-Log and makes use of a bigger chunk of the V-Log curve than the GH5’s V-LogL mode, however lower than the S1H does.

The GH6’s Log mode known as ‘V-Log,’ reasonably than ‘V-LogL’ which has been used on earlier Micro 4 Thirds fashions, to explain the truncated model of the V-Log curve that is higher suited to those cameras’ dynamic ranges. It is value noting that even cameras with the ‘full’ V-Log curve nonetheless solely use a subset of the complete curve, relying on their DR output.

Codecs

The GH6 expands the vary of compression and codec choices obtainable. New to the GH6 are the choice to shoot in Apple ProRes 422 HQ and 422 codecs. These are each comparatively massive All-I codecs, which has necessitated the inclusion of a CFexpress Kind B card slot. The nice advantage of ProRes is that, though it places vital calls for on the digicam’s inside knowledge charges, it’s totally simple on the modifying stage, without having for transcoding.

For the extra typical MOV modes, Panasonic says it is primarily used the much less environment friendly (bigger) H.264 codec for the digicam’s 4:2:2 modes as a result of 4:2:2 H.265 decompression places a big burden on most computer systems. The 4:2:2 H.264 modes embody each All-I and Lengthy GOP choices, with H.265 used to ship Lengthy GOP 4:2:0 information that stability dimension and high quality. MOV modes of 600Mbps or under could be written to SD card.

With the v2.0 firmware replace, ProRes modes had been prolonged to incorporate 5.7K, DCI 4K and FullHD seize. This exclude 16:9 UHD 4K or the digicam’s open gate/anamorphic modes, however in any other case enables you to select the file kind you need to work with, with nearly all mixtures of body price and determination that the digicam provides.

Hand-held high-resolution mode

Hand-held excessive res pattern. Observe the vapor path throughout the highest center of the picture has a single, sharp plane at its head.
OM System 12-40mm F2.8 PRO II | 1/100 | F4.5 | ISO 200
Picture by: Richard Butler

Many of the GH6’s greatest advances come on the video facet of the digicam, as you may anticipate. And, for that matter, among the multi-shot modes, reminiscent of 6K/4K Picture and Focus Stacking that appeared in earlier GH fashions are absent. However there may be no less than one photograph mode value drawing consideration to, specifically as a result of it is more likely to keep it up by to a extra photo-focused mannequin, if Panasonic chooses to make one.

The digicam’s 8-shot excessive decision mode, which delivers 50 or 100MP pictures, now good points a hand-held mode, by which the digicam aligns and combines pictures even when there’s some digicam motion between photographs. What’s fascinating is that that is mixed with Panasonic’s current movement correction processing, that means you may seize 100MP pictures, hand-held, even when issues transfer throughout the scene.

Up to date noise discount

The GH6’s noise discount has been up to date, with what Panasonic is asking ‘2D Noise Discount,’ which goals to suppress coloration noise and avoiding the graininess that would seem at increased ISO with its current system. In video that is taken additional, with the digicam analyzing motion throughout the scene in order that it could actually distinguish between actual modifications (motion) and temporal noise. This added dimension sees it branded as ‘3D Noise Discount.’

Autofocus

The GH6’s AF system is predicated round its Depth-from-Defocus system that builds up a depth map of the scene by nudging the main focus and analyzing any modifications, primarily based on an understanding of the out-of-focus rendering of the lens.

It is backed-up by AI-trained topic recognition, with a alternative of human (torso/head/face/eye), face/eye (simply searching for faces and eyes), and Human/Animal, which spreads the online somewhat wider and acknowledges cats and canines. These choices could be set individually for stills and video mode.

Essentially, although, DFD is healthier the extra typically it refreshes, which implies it really works nicely in stills, the place a number of measurements could be taken between photographs, however much less will in video, particularly at gradual body charges and lengthy exposures, the place there is no time to re-assess between video frames.

Different enhancements

As is common for a brand new GH mannequin, Panasonic has regarded to increase or enhance plenty of the digicam’s current features. These largely pertain to video and, whereas every change is, in itself, fairly minor, they add as much as a digicam that is simply that bit simpler to make use of.

Just like the S1H and GH5 II, the GH6 will get a ‘Luminance spot meter’ operate to assist set publicity in V-Log mode, together with the power to resize the waveform monitor show.

The modifications that stood out to us had been the power to realize a magnified dwell view whereas recording video (earlier GHs solely gave a magnified view earlier than recording). Additionally, anybody utilizing the Show Help mode to preview Log footage can now add their very own LUT within the industry-standard .CUBE format. Lastly, for a digicam with so many video modes, we actually appreciated the power to filter or create a customized listing of video modes for fast entry.

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Physique & controls

The physique of the GH6 seems to be somewhat like a barely deeper model of the GH5, crossed with an S1H. From the S1H comes a second massive, crimson [REC] button on the entrance of the digicam, giving easy accessibility, if the digicam is mounted in a rig that makes the top-plate button inaccessible. Additionally from the S1H comes a Lock change on the left shoulder of the digicam, which could be configured to lock whichever mixture of buttons you need to disable.

Fan

The GH6 physique turns into the primary within the GH sequence so as to add a fan. As typical for such designs, the fan blows air throughout the again of a warmth sink, and is mounted outdoors the digicam’s sealing. The inclusion of a fan permits the digicam to shoot 4:2:2 10-bit 4K at as much as 60p for limitless durations. Different modes could be shot for prolonged durations, with the choice to loosen up the temperature restrictions to permit primarily limitless recording in all however probably the most excessive situations.

The GH6 physique turns into the primary within the GH sequence so as to add a fan.

The fan is primarily used to chill the digicam’s processor and dissipate the warmth given off by the CFexpress card. Warmth from the sensor is performed all the way down to the digicam’s base plate utilizing a carbon sheet.

The fan could be manually set to repeatedly run at a set velocity or in considered one of two auto modes: considered one of which prioritizes preserving the physique cool, the opposite of which solely engages if completely needed.

Rear display screen

The GH6 good points a tilt/articulated 1.84M dot rear touchscreen. The panel is mounted on a fully-articulating hinge, that’s itself hooked up to a cradle that tilts up by round 30 levels or round 45 levels. This allows you to prolong the display screen out from the again of the digicam earlier than deciding if you could flip it out to the facet, making certain it could actually keep away from the digicam’s left-mounted ports.

The viewfinder is a 3.68M dot OLED panel behind optics that provide 0.76x magnification (in equal phrases).

Audio button & 4 channel audio

The highest of the GH6 good points one thing that is distinctive amongst stills/video mirrorless cameras: a button that offers direct entry to the digicam’s audio settings. Given how vital sound is to video content material, this can be a genuinely helpful shortcut as you go to arrange a shot.

The GH6 additionally good points 4-channel audio capabilities, with the three.5mm mic enter offering a 2 channel/stereo enter and the prevailing, non-obligatory DMW-XLR1 adapter can be utilized to supply one other two inputs. The digicam’s inside mics can seize 48kHz, 24-bit audio, with exterior mics additionally capable of seize at as much as 96kHz.

All 4 channels of audio are output over HDMI.

Extra Fn button

Whereas the button structure of the GH6 very carefully matches that of the earlier era of cameras, it does discover room for an additional Fn button on the entrance of the digicam. By default, that is used to offer a magnified view, which is now maintained whereas the digicam is capturing video. This and the 2 [REC] buttons are among the many 13 customizable buttons on the digicam’s physique.

With regards to button utilization, the digicam’s ‘Focus Transition’ mode, by which you pre-define particular focus distances, then inform the digicam to drive the lens between them, whereas recording, has been made much less fiddly through the use of the WB, ISO and Exp Comp. buttons to arrange these focus distances. Sadly these buttons cannot be used to drive the main focus between these presets, throughout recording.

Battery

The GH6 makes use of the identical DMW-BLK22 because the Panasonic S5. It is a 16Wh unit, that is sufficient to energy the digicam to a CIPA ranking of 360 photographs per cost when used with SD playing cards and the 12-60mm F2.8-4. This quantity decreases round 10% in case you use CFexpress playing cards. As typical, these numbers might considerably underestimate what number of photographs you may get throughout typical use, however are broadly comparable throughout cameras. 360 photographs per cost is an efficient, although not nice, quantity. Partaking power-save mode greater than doubles this determine.

Regardless of the bigger battery, this quantity is round a 15% discount, in contrast with the GH5 Mk II. In video, this distinction turns into obvious, and is exacerbated by the extent to which the fan must function. The older BLF19 batteries may also be used however some high-speed modes are disabled.

The digicam could be each powered and operated over its USB kind C socket, you probably have a PD-rated energy supply that may ship 9V, 3A.

Not like earlier GH fashions, there is not a battery grip obtainable for the GH6.

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Video capabilities

As you’d anticipate, the GH6 has a various and intensive vary of video capturing modes and assist options. We’ll have a look at the primary decision modes provided and the capabilities provided inside every.

Fortunately, the GH6 consists of instruments first launched on the S1H, letting you filter its obtainable modes (by body price, decision, codec or compatibility with variable body price mode), it additionally provides the ‘My Record’ possibility, that lets you choose the modes you intend to make use of on a challenge and solely see that listing of modes. This prevents inadvertent number of similar-looking modes, and ‘Rec High quality (My Record)’ could be assigned to a button to permit fast entry to your favored capturing modes.

As you’d anticipate, the GH6 has a various and intensive vary of video capturing modes and assist options.

The overwhelming majority of the digicam’s high-speed video modes can be found as ‘Excessive Body Fee’ modes that seem amongst the usual video choices and supply autofocus, audio seize and playback on the price the had been shot. It is solely actually the 300 fps Full HD mode that has to be shot in Variable Body Fee (VFR) mode, which is recorded on the slowed-down price of your alternative.

Autofocus is accessible in all however the quickest excessive body price modes. Autofocus throughout FullHD seize at 200 and 240p is restricted to 13 of Panasonic’s personal lenses, with firmware updates including an additional three lenses to the listing in March 2022, however for many modes and most lenses, AF with monitoring is feasible.

5.7K

The GH6’s 5.7K functionality captures the complete width of the sensor, in a 17:9 side ratio. This both permits you to pan and punch-in, within the edit. Alternatively it offers you the footage within the natively-captured decision, supplying you with extra modifying choices in case you’re modifying for a number of output resolutions.

Format Body price Chroma Comp. Codec Bitrate (Mbps) VFR Card kind
ProRes 422HQ 4:2:2 All-I ProRes 1903 CFe solely
1587
1524
1522
ProRes 422 1268
1058
1016
1015
MOV 4:2:0 Lengthy GOP H.265 300 CFe / SD
200 Sure

C4K/UHD

The core capabilities of the digicam are its 4K choices, all of which can be found throughout each 16:9 UHD and 17:9 DCI side ratios.

Apart from the fundamental MP4 information, not listed right here, each output mode of the GH6 is 10-bit. It might shoot 4:2:0 4K footage at as much as 120p and 4:2:2 footage at as much as 60p.

ProRes 422 and 422 HQ assist for DCI 4K as much as 60p arrived with firmware v2.0.

Decision Body Fee Chroma Comp. Codec Bitrate (Mbps) VFR Card kind

DCI (4096 x 2160)

or

UHD (3840 x 2160)

4:2:0 LongGOP H.265 300 CFe or SD
4:2:2 All-I H.264 800 CFe solely
600 CFe or SD

LongGOP

.

200

4:2:0 H.265 Sure
4:2:2 All-I H.264 400

LongGOP

.

150
4:2:0 H.265 Sure

5.8K / 4.4K Anamorphic

The GH6 can shoot open-gate, 4:3 footage from its total sensor. This can be utilized to allow you to pan or punch-in through the edit, or to supply scope for digital stabilization. Alternatively, it may be mixed with an anamorphic lens, placing the utmost attainable decision behind the lens, to offer the best-looking outcomes when de-squeezed out to widescreen format.

If you happen to want body charges quicker than 30p, the digicam provides a smaller, 4352 x 3264 crop for 48, 50 or 60p seize.

Decision Body Fee Chroma Comp. Codec Bitrate (Mbps) VFR Card kind
5.8K
(5760 x 4320)
4:2:0 LongGOP H.265 200 CFe or SD
4.4K
(4352 x 3264)
300

The complete sensor area of the GH6 is similar to what you’d get by taking a 4:3 crop from a Super35 (APS-C) digicam’s 16:9 video. Nonetheless, whereas this could ship comparable noise efficiency, we won’t consider an APS-C digicam that captures the 7.7K video that may be wanted to ship comparable decision from such a crop.

Even in case you did discover such a digicam, the GH6 additionally gives a desqueezed preview to offer a extra understandable manner of framing your photographs, and has stabilization modes that adapt to the truth that your lens has totally different efficient focal lengths in its horizontal and vertical axes, which is a degree of assist you may discover arduous to duplicate.

1080 (FullHD)

Alongside the push in high-res modes, the GH6’s 1080 modes get a lift, too. The GH6 can shoot 1080 at as much as 240p in 10-bit mode, and as much as 300p in case you use Variable Body Fee mode (no AF, no audio).

The vary of FullHD video modes is instantly comparable with that of the 4K choices, with a alternative of 4:2:2 H.264 modes in All-I or LongGOP varieties, or 4:2:0 H.265 LongGOP seize.

The two.0 firmware has added the power to shoot ProRes 422 or 422 HQ Full HD at as much as 60p.

HDMI output

The flexibility to output 4K 120p over HDMI throughout dwell view is promised in a future firmware replace, with the HDMI interface being formally raised to V2.1 specification. The HDMI customary limits 4K video to 4096 x 2160 pixels, so that is the decision output when the digicam is working in 5.7K mode. Capturing the digicam in 4:3 side ratio modes (5.8K and 4.4K) leads to the video being delivered as 2880 x 2160 footage.

Panasonic says it’s going to additionally grow to be attainable to output a 4K/120 Uncooked stream for Atomos recorders (one thing that sits outdoors the HDMI customary).

SSD direct recording

Additionally promised in future firmware is the power to output video on to an exterior SSD. The GH6 has a USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) interface, which comfortably exceeds the calls for of ProRes 422 HQ seize.

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Picture high quality

Studio Scene

Our check scene is designed to simulate quite a lot of textures, colours and element sorts you may encounter in the actual world. It additionally has two illumination modes to see the impact of various lighting situations.

Trying on the GH6’s element ranges, they’re primarily not possible to differentiate from its 20MP friends (which is to be anticipated: 25MP solely represents an 11% enhance in linear decision). Even this small enchancment is risked as a result of the reasonably disappointing magnified dwell view on the GH6 makes high-quality focus extraordinarily tough.

When it comes to noise, the brand new sensor performs comparably with the one within the G9. This implies it falls somewhat behind the chip within the OM-1 at very excessive ISOs, however there is no apparent low-light draw back for the change in sensor maker or design.

JPEG element is excellent, with delicate sharpening bringing out, however not over-emphasizing, high-quality element, that means that high-quality pure textures are convincingly represented.

Default JPEG coloration seems to be good. There is a trace of magenta to the central pink patch and a touch of inexperienced to the yellow, however each are adequately subtle that we might need to test whether or not they have any affect on real-world pictures.

JPEG element is excellent, with delicate sharpening bringing out, however not over-emphasizing, high-quality element…

Noise ranges are nicely managed at increased ISOs however that comes at the price of element and texture being misplaced to noise discount. General, it performs very equally to its instant friends.

The 100MP pixel shift excessive decision mode seems to be excellent, even when downsized again to a decrease decision. The multi-shot nature brings the anticipated enchancment in noise and tonal high quality you’d anticipate of a number of sampling. Sadly our favourite stills mode (the primary hand-held excessive res mode with movement correction) cannot be shot utilizing our studio tripod setup.

Dynamic Vary

Taking a look at dynamic vary, we see a unique story. Our dynamic vary assessments present considerably extra deep shadow noise (a results of digital ‘learn’ noise) than we have grow to be used to seeing in trendy sensors. This discount in dynamic vary offers you much less scope for tonal edits, decreasing the digicam’s skill to seize high-contrast scenes.

Evaluate the GH6 with the OM-1 shot on the similar publicity, and you may see much more noise within the shadows.

Issues considerably improves from ISO 800 upwards, when the DR Enhance mode kicks in, bringing it again into line with its friends. You do not get the additional cease of spotlight seize that DR Enhance offers in V-Log video mode, simply cleaner deep shadows. From a stills perspective, it is a disappointing efficiency, with information which might be noticeably much less versatile than the GH5 II, for example.



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Autofocus

As is the case with most trendy cameras, Panasonic’s AF system has grow to be fairly complicated as an increasing number of space modes have been added, to deal with various kinds of topic. The GH6 does a fairly good job of including its newest modes and additions with out making issues an excessive amount of extra complicated.

The GH6 gives seven various kinds of AF space mode, to which topic detection could be added. The three topic modes are: Human, Face/Eye and Human/Animal.

The digicam offers you a alternative of space modes, plus a monitoring possibility, then enables you to resolve whether or not to activate human or animal topic detection modes, that are then utilized in relation to the kind of AF space you’ve got chosen. We have discovered each techniques to be excellent at recognizing their topics and really ‘sticky’ as soon as they’ve.

Efficiency

The GH6 makes use of depth-from-defocus: a system that adjusts focus and builds a depth-map from the modifications prompted by that change in focus. This helps the digicam get near being in-focus earlier than fine-tuning utilizing the iterative distinction detection method.

The GH6 does an amazing job of monitoring topics (particularly people), and customarily does a very good job of driving focus to the right place. It will not ship pro-sports-camera ranges of consistency, although.

In stills images it could actually work very nicely: the quick sensor readout means the system can reply rapidly to actions and, when used with Panasonic’s personal lenses, delivers a very good hit-rate. There’s some flutter within the viewfinder because the lens is continually looking for and checking focus, however the finish pictures are usually targeted the place you need them to be. We have discovered our success-rate to be decrease when utilizing different manufacturers’ Micro 4 Thirds lenses, which might’t make full use of the DFD system.

Video autofocus

Considerably mockingly, for such a video-focused digicam, it is video seize the place the largest drawbacks within the focus system grow to be obvious. Its have to barely over and under-shoot to search out focus is seen within the ensuing footage, and though it is way more secure than older fashions, the digicam will often need to hunt to re-confirm its focus place, which once more means some pulsing and flutter will seem in your recording.

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Video efficiency

By Jordan Drake

Video high quality

The DR Enhance mode is arguably the largest improve of the GH6 over earlier GH fashions. This should be manually enabled, and will increase the minimal obtainable ISO by three stops (Leaping from 100 to 800 in most modes or 250 to 2000 in V-Log and HLG). When mixed with the V-Log gamma setting, this delivers an additional cease of highlights, giving over a cease extra dynamic vary than GH our bodies have beforehand provided. When coping with extraordinarily contrasty conditions, we really feel that the dynamic vary advantage of DR Enhance is totally worthwhile. Nonetheless, in case your scene’s distinction could be seize with out enabling DR increase, the usual base ISO will lead to cleaner shadows and midtones. Be certain to double test whether or not or not DR Enhance is enabled when metering a scene to make sure finest outcomes.

The Panasonic GH6 is able to capturing very detailed video in an enormous number of resolutions and body charges. The oversampled 4K recording at customary framerates is aggressive with equally video-focused fashions nevertheless it’s at excessive body charges reminiscent of 4K/120p the place the GH6 captures considerably extra element than all its instant rivals. If you happen to want a digicam to seize high-quality particulars at excessive velocity, the GH6 is considered one of finest cameras obtainable. Simply keep in mind that in difficult lighting conditions 4K/120p and excessive velocity 1080p seize won’t can help you use the DR Enhance mode for prolonged spotlight seize.

When mixed with the V-Log gamma setting, [DR Boost] delivers an additional cease of highlights as nicely, giving over a cease extra dynamic vary than GH our bodies have beforehand provided.

When utilizing the 5.8K ‘open gate’ recording, the picture is considerably sharper than even the flagship full body S1H, because of the lack of an AA filter. This makes the choice of cropping in on 5.8K 4:3 or 5.7K 17:9 footage much more helpful.

Uncooked video recording is feasible with an exterior Atomos Ninja video recorder, with a Ninja V+ required for five.7K/60p and 4.4K/120p recording. As we’ve come to anticipate from Panasonic, this offers you considerably extra flexibility when adjusting white stability or the extent of noise discount, however the preliminary seize is way noisier than even inside recording with noise discount on the lowest setting.

Rolling shutter efficiency is great, with figures that compete with the easiest of its friends. That is particularly spectacular contemplating that the entire 4K modes are considerably oversampled. Rolling shutter artifacts can definitely nonetheless happen, however are significantly better managed than different cameras close to its worth.

Panasonic GH6 Canon EOS R5 Sony a7S III / FX3 Panasonic S1H
4K/24p
DCI / UHD
12.4 / 13.3
(o/s from 5.7K)
15.4 / —
(o/s from 8K)
— / 8.7ms 24.2 / 25.7
(o/s from 6K)
4K/60p
DCI / UHD
12.4 / 13.3
(o/s from 5.7K)
9.6 / —
(pixel binned)
— / 8.7ms 13.8 / —
(1.5x crop)
4K/120p
DCI / UHD
6.8 / 7.3*
(o/s from 5.7K)
7.7 / — *
(pixel binned)
— / 7.6ms
(1.1x crop)
— / —

*Sooner readout implies decrease bit-depth readout

Whereas low mild efficiency continues to be restricted by the smaller sensor, in most different regards (dynamic vary, sharpness, rolling shutter) picture high quality is akin to way more costly hybrid cameras, and will definitely meet the wants of {many professional} videographers and cinematographers.

Video Dealing with

When it comes to bodily controls for video shooters, the GH6 is among the finest cameras we’ve ever examined. Each management is logically laid out, and the addition of a file button within the entrance makes it far simpler for creators filming themselves, or when utilizing a video cage. The devoted audio button and corresponding audio menu is a superb concept that appears lengthy overdue on hybrid cameras. The versatile tilt/articulating display screen (which now not requires a difficult-to-operate change) is probably the most elegant design we’ve seen, permitting full articulation whereas preserving the LCD away from any related cables. All dials have a pleasant resistance to maintain you from by accident altering publicity, and the locking mode retains you from by accident drifting off the ‘Handbook Film Mode’ the place the digicam is more likely to spend a lot of its time.



Our main criticism with the interface issues switching to excessive framerate modes when DR Enhance is enabled. It’s not suitable with excessive velocity modes like 4K/120p and 1080/240p HFR. Switching to considered one of these high-speed modes requires a consumer to manually disable ‘Enhance DR’, and it’s simple to neglect to re-engage it when leaving excessive framerate recording modes. We really feel that that the digicam ought to robotically disabled DR Enhance when deciding on a excessive framerate mode, ideally with a warning that dynamic vary will probably be decreased. Upon returning to slower framerates, DR Enhance ought to return to its earlier setting. This is able to save time, and decrease the opportunity of being within the flawed DR Enhance mode when switching framerates. Thankfully, this might be a firmware repair, one thing Panasonic has a unbelievable historical past with.

A full-sized HDMI socket and a display screen that does not conflict with the headphone socket: it is nearly as if Panasonic checked how videographers would want to make use of the digicam.

The opposite main concern we now have with the video capturing expertise is the standard of the ‘punch-in’ skill. The picture is sort of gentle and low-resolution, which makes figuring out focus (particularly at smaller apertures) extraordinarily tough. That is noticeable in each stills and video, and makes the in any other case welcome skill to punch-in whereas rolling a bit underwhelming. This is able to be pretty minor challenge, besides that the shortage of top-notch autofocus means most GH6 shooters are more likely to depend upon handbook focus often.

Video Stabilization

Stabilization within the GH6 has improved to a CIPA rated 7.5 stops when utilizing supported Panasonic lenses. The difficult half is, a CIPA ranking doesn’t let you know how the stabilization will look when recording video. Many extremely CIPA rated stabilization techniques can have a jerky look because the IBIS fights the motion of the digicam.

Since its introduction within the GH5, we’ve been very impressed with the Twin IS mode the place the digicam’s IBIS cooperates with the lens’ stabilization system. Pans and tilts are very clean, and strolling footage nonetheless has pure bounce, however is nicely managed. The GH6 performs even higher on this regard, and makes a very good argument for getting the digicam with the Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4 package lens, only for the Twin IS assist.

Surprisingly, although, the largest change we noticed was when utilizing lenses with out stabilization, or with unsupported stabilization techniques. The stabilization when utilizing the Panasonic/Leica F1.7 zoom duo, or Olympus lenses, is significantly improved. Upon seeing the outcomes, we shot a whole episode in Germany primarily handheld with the 12-25mm F1.7 & 25-50mm F1.7, and had been impressed with the end result. We might nonetheless take into account Olympus/OMDS’s Sync IS system to have a slight edge, however when utilizing unstabilized or unsupported lenses, I might take into account the GH6 equally efficient for video shooters.


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Conclusion

What we like What we do not
  • Glorious video high quality
  • Huge vary of video choices
  • Intensive video assist instruments
  • Glorious picture stabilization
  • Fan gives dependability
  • DR Enhance + V-Log delivers spectacular information, particularly in difficult mild
  • Movement correction makes hand-held high-res mode way more helpful
  • Fast entry to audio settings
  • 4-channel audio possibility
  • Only a few body price/decision/codec restrictions
  • Nonetheless picture DR is disappointing under ISO 800
  • Battery life noticeably shorter than predecessor
  • Magnified dwell view by no means very detailed (stills or video)
  • Awkward to need to disengage and reengaging DR Enhance to make use of excessive velocity modes
  • Low ISO footage with out DR Enhance mode is a contact behind that from the GH5

The GH6 is, in lots of respects, the same old spectacular continuation of the GH line of cameras. As we have come to anticipate, it expands the vary of decision and high quality choices provided in video, and provides options reminiscent of four-channel audio seize and built-in cooling to make it a extra credible and reliable video manufacturing than ever.

Even within the face of more and more fierce competitors from the likes of Sony’s a7S III, Canon’s EOS R5C (and even Fujifim’s X-H2S, to an extent), the GH6 provides a well-specced, nicely thought-out secure capturing platform that may adapt to a variety of video capturing eventualities. Panasonic has continued to build-out the function set and refine the consumer interface, with good particulars reminiscent of fast entry to audio settings.

Autofocus continues to be one thing of a weak spot for the digicam. Its topic monitoring modes do a very good job of figuring out and following their supposed targets, and in stills mode the hit-rate may be very excessive (notably with totally DFD-compatible own-brand lenses). However in video, there’s nonetheless some flutter, wobble and uncertainty that may seem in your footage, notably in case you’re capturing at 23.98/24p.



Jordan Drake
Reviewer

The GH6 capturing expertise caters to the wants of pros, whereas taking full benefit of the advantages of a hybrid mirrorless design. The inclusion of ProRes recording, waveforms, vector scopes, shutter angles and built-in fan are options we might normally solely anticipate from a cinema digicam. Nonetheless, the compact dimension, picture stabilization and intelligent images options take full benefit of the mirrorless format.

Panasonic has additionally acknowledged the restrictions of Micro 4 Thirds and labored to reduce them. The DR Enhance mode will increase the GH6’s dynamic vary over what we’ve seen earlier than with 4 Thirds sensors, and when paired with the Panasonic/Leica F1.7 zooms you may obtain shallow depth of discipline and lightweight gathering akin to APS-C and even approaching some full body digicam our bodies.


Our greatest concern, although, is the sensor. In stills mode it falls no less than a cease behind its predecessor when it comes to dynamic vary. This deficit is made up from ISO 800, when the DR Enhance mode kicks in, however this makes it a way more restricted photograph digicam than earlier GH fashions, regardless of the promise of the motion-corrected hand-held multi-shot mode.

Issues are somewhat extra optimistic in video mode, the place you are unlikely to be utilizing the deep shadows (and the place most modes will probably be making use of the digicam’s highly effective noise discount). Base ISO efficiency is strong sufficient and the additional cease of highlights you get (with DR Enhance and V-Log mode) three stops above base imply that you’ve got a digicam that may proceed to ship good leads to tougher lighting. But it surely does seem the un-boosted efficiency is not fairly on the degree we have grow to be used to, so there seems to be a trade-off for this wider working envelope.

For setups reminiscent of interviews, the place the topic is barely more likely to transfer to a small diploma, the GH6’s in-menu, configurable focus limiter can cease something going badly flawed, however there’s nonetheless the chance of slight focus pulsing or flutter.

There are cameras that may match among the GH6’s options, whether or not when it comes to providing ProRes seize, 4K/120 or fan-cooled dependability, however there is not one that provides all of those collectively, together with large cross-mode consistency (you may shoot nearly each decision and body price within the codec, bit-depth and bitrate that fits your wants).

The GH6 is the type of production-standard powerhouse we have come to anticipate from the sequence, however we’re undecided Panasonic’s large gamble on a unique sensor design delivers the pay-off it was clearly hoping for. It is a very good video digicam however whereas it does deliver some thrilling new photographic tips to the desk, total it is a much less succesful hybrid digicam than its forebears.

Scoring

Scoring is relative solely to the opposite cameras in the identical class. Click on right here to study what these numbers imply.


In comparison with its friends

The Sony a7S III has a considerably bigger full body sensor and a price ticket that is 60% increased however its video focus and close to full-width 4K/120p functionality make it a pure competitor for the GH6. Just like the GH6, it has sacrificed some photographic functionality, primarily when it comes to decision, in an effort to be a extra succesful video device.

The a7S III boasts a way more dependable section detect and topic monitoring system which has persistently impressed us. Additionally, it has a higher-res 9.44M dot (2048 X 1536px) EVF, is smaller and lighter and sports activities matched twin CFexpress A/SD card slots, permitting redundant recording at any decision, framerate and codec.

The Panasonic GH6 delivers extra detailed 4K video, increased decision 5.7/5.8K recording choices because of its increased decision sensor, and anamorphic assist. The choice of recording inside ProRes will enchantment to professionals who require a universally editable skilled recording format. We additionally discovered the picture stabilization and ergonomics superior on the GH6, and its fan cooling offers better dependability.

You too can try the Sony FX3, which sacrifices the a7S III’s wonderful EVF for a in-built fan, tally lamps, a number of 1/4″ mounting factors and a a number of extra Log profiles.

The complete body Canon EOS R5 C cinema digicam takes the sensor and core design of the Canon R5, however provides a fan to mitigate the much-discussed overheating points. It might file 8K video: manner above the GH6’s most 5.8K 4:3 mode, however prices at round twice the value.

The R5C provides lots of the similar skilled help instruments like waveforms, however provides inside uncooked video recording and Canon’s nicely regarded DPAF system. It additionally cleverly adopts the Cinema EOS interface when in video mode, however photo-focused EOS shows when capturing stills. Nonetheless, it sacrifices IBIS in trade for all these video additions.

The GH6 bounces proper again with much less rolling shutter in its oversampled 4K modes, extra detailed 4K/120p, and full sensor anamorphic assist. It additionally provides the IBIS that the R5C lacks.

The APS-C Fujifilm X-H2S additionally stands as an fascinating various at an identical worth, however we’ll wait till we have extra extensively examined it earlier than making closing judgements.

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