Panasonic GH6

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The latest GH flagship in Panasonic’s lineup, the GH6 is the long-awaited update to the video-centric powerhouse mirrorless camera. Renowned for meshing high-spec video capabilities with portability, the GH6 brings with it a new 25MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, 5.7K video at 30 fps, 4K video at 120 fps, and even ProRes recording, along with updated stills features, improved image stabilization, and a higher-res EVF and LCD. The GH6 is the camera that makes the most of the svelte Micro Four Thirds system, offering maximum video performance and a useful feature set that will fit right into a professional workflow.

Panasonic Lumix GH6: A Powerhouse Mirrorless Camera!  Hands-on Review

Panasonic Lumix GH6 Top Features
  • 25.2MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor

  • DCI 4K 60p 10-Bit, 4K 120p HFR, FHD 300p VFR

  • 5.7K 30p in Apple ProRes 422 HW and Anamorphic Recording

  • Pre-Installed V-Log, 13-Stops with Dynamic Range Boost

  • Dual I.S. 2, 7.5-Stop 5 Axis Stabilization

  • 100MP Handheld High Res Shot Mode

  • 1.84m-Dot Swivel Touchscreen LCD

  • CFexpress Type B & UHS-II SD Card Slots

25.2MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine

Featuring a 20% increase in resolution, the GH6 touts a new, higher-res Micro Four Thirds sensor. Now at 25.2MP, this Live MOS chip also boasts improved dynamic range and faster readout speeds for an overall improvement in image quality and recording capabilities. An updated Venus Engine processor benefits the redesigned sensor, too, with twice the processing power that allows for faster frame rates, higher-resolution video and stills, reduced rolling shutter, improved sensitivity to ISO 25600, and lower noise levels with 2D and 3D Noise Reduction technologies.

Dynamic range is an area of major improvement for the GH6, which now comes pre-installed with V-Log/V-Gamut for the first time in a Lumix G camera. This allows for around 12 stops of dynamic range in use and can be expanded to 13+ stops when using the Dynamic Range Boost mode. This mode prioritizes the saturation levels from low ISO circuits and the noise levels from high ISO circuits to create a composite image that displays impressive dynamic range, low noise, and vibrant colors.

Professional-Grade Video Recording

The GH series has long been known for its impressive video capabilities and the GH6 continues this theme with an impressive variety of internal recording formats, frame rates, and creative recording features, like HFR, VFR, and anamorphic settings.

  • DCI 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit with unlimited recording times
  • 4K 120p 4:2:0 10-bit
  • Full HD 240p HFR (with audio), Full HD 300p VFR (no audio)
  • 5.7K 30p in Apple ProRes 422 HQ/ProRes 422
  • 5.8K 30p and 4.4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit anamorphic using the full 4:3 sensor area.

     

When recording externally, via the full-size HDMI 2.1 port, DCI 4K output up to 60p is available and simultaneous recording of DCI 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit is possible to an internal CFexpress Type B card and over HDMI to an external recorder.

A future firmware update will further enhance the video capabilities.

  • DCI 4K and FHD support for ProRes 422 HQ/ProRes 422
  • Direct recording to external SSD drives via the USB Type-C port
  • 4K 20p output via HDMI
  • DCI 4K 120p 12-bit raw output via HDMI to an Atomos Ninja V+

Agile and Capable Performance

Supporting stills and video, the GH6 incorporates a 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 system that compensates for up to 7.5 stops of camera shake. This powerful stabilization system helps when working in low light, using long focal length lenses, handheld recording, and even enables a 100MP Handheld High Resolution Mode, which composites several exposures into a single high-res raw or JPEG frame.

The updated sensor and improved processing also aid the focusing system, which features a new AF algorithm for faster focusing speeds and refined subject detection and tracking. This boosted speed also contributes to continuous stills shooting, which is possible at up to 75 fps when using an electronic shutter, 14 fps with AF-S and a mechanical shutter, and 8 fps with a mechanical shutter and continuous AF.

Reliable Body

The GH6 has a familiar form but has been revised in several ways for more efficient recording and handling.

  • Electronic viewfinder has been upgraded to a 3.68m-dot OLED LVF with 0.76x-equivalent magnification
  • Rear 3.0" LCD has a free-angle swiveling design that doesn’t interfere with the side ports and features an intuitive touchscreen and crisp 1.84m-dot resolution
  • Active cooling mechanism that helps achieve unlimited recording times with formats up to 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit and extended recording times with VFR/HFR and ProRes recording modes
  • Dual memory card slots: one CFexpress Type B slot for high-bitrate recording and one UHS-II-rated SD slot
  • Magnesium-alloy body is weather sealed and freeze resistant
  • Full-size HDMI and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, as well as 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks and a PC sync terminal for TC IN/OUT and flash sync
  • Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth for fast and secure wireless connectivity
 
GH6   GH5II
25.2MP Live MOS
Micro Four Thirds
Sensor 20.3MP Live MOS
Micro Four Thirds
5.7K 30p (ProRes 422 HQ)
5.7K 60p (4:2:2 10-bit)
DCI 4K 120p (4:2:2 10-bit)
FHD 240p (4:2:2 10-bit)
Video Recording DCI 4K 30p (4:2:2 10-bit)
DCI 4K 60p (4:2:0 10-bit)
FHD 60p (4:2:2 10-bit)
V-Log (13+ Stops) Log Recording V-Log L (12 Stops)
5.8K 30p (4:2:0 10-bit)
4.4K 60p (4:2:2 10-bit)
Anamorphic 4:3 5K 30p (4:2:0 10-bit)
3.3K 60p (4:2:0 8-bit)
DCI 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-Bit
4:2:2 10-Bit Simultaneous HDMI/Internal
DCI 4K 120p 12-bit raw via future FW update
External Recording DCI 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-Bit
4:2:0 10-Bit Simultaneous HDMI/Internal Recording
Contrast-Detection/DFD
315 Area
Autofocus Contrast-Detection/DFD
225 Area

AFS: 14 fps

AFC: 8 fps

Continuous Shooting (Mech. Shutter)

AFS: 12 fps

AFC: 7 fps

AFS: 75 fps

AFC: 7 fps

Continuous Shooting (Elec. Shutter)

AFS: 12 fps

AFC: 9 fps

100MP Handheld Shot Mode High Resolution Mode N/A
5-Axis, 7.5 Stops Image Stabilization 5-Axis, 6.5 Stops
3.68m-Dot OLED EVF
1.84m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen LCD
EVF and LCD 3.68m-Dot OLED EVF
1.84m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen LCD

HDMI Type-A (Supports HDMI 2.1)

USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C

3.5mm Microphone

3.5mm Headphone

Interface

HDMI Type-A (Supports HDMI 2.0)

USB 3.1 Type C

3.5mm Microphone

3.5mm Headphone

CFexpress Type B

SD UHS-II

Memory Card Slots Dual SD UHS-II
Yes Cooling Fan No
DMW-BLK22 (2200mAh) Battery DMW-BLK22 (2200mAh)
5.4 x 3.9 x 3.9" Dimensions 5.4 x 3.9 x 3.4"
1.8lb Weight 1.6lb

 

GH6 Accessories

Zacuto Camera Cage

Dedicated to the GH6, this Zacuto Camera Cage helps integrate the camera into a production workflow with wide compatibility for 1/4" and 3/8"-mounted accessories and an integrated Arca-type dovetail.

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Zacuto ACT Recoil Rig

A complete shoulder rig kit for the GH6, this Zacuto ACR Recoil Rig features a modular design and includes the GH6-specific Camera Cage, an ACT Baseplate, a Tactical Handle, and the ACT EVF Pro with matching viewfinder mount.

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B&H Livestream Live Discussion Panel
Ended Tuesday, February 22, 2022
5:00 PM ET - 6:00 PM ET
Add to Calendar 2022-02-22 12:00:00 2022-02-22 12:00:00 B&H Livestream Live Discussion Panel Location B&H eXplora explora@bhphoto.com America/New_York public

Livestream Presenters
* Derek Fahsbender
* Brad Cohen
* Frederick Van Johnson
* Matt Frazer
* Doug Guerra

Save the Date!
Ended Tuesday, February 22, 2022
5:00 PM ET - 6:00 PM ET
Add to Calendar 2022-02-22 12:00:00 2022-02-22 12:00:00 B&H Livestream Live Discussion Panel Location B&H eXplora explora@bhphoto.com America/New_York public

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

43 Comments

How many fps can the GH6 do and still collect audio at the same time? I love my GH5s for sports but won’t pick up audio for me when I do 120fps or 240fps

Using the High Frame Rate (HFR) options, you can shoot Full HD at up to 240p with audio

Does the CFexpress Type B slot also accept SD card? I don't care about recording in ProRes but I still need to record a backup on slot 2, but I would prefer not buying a CFexpress card for that.

No, the two card types have pretty different form factors and SD cards can only be used in the SD slot, CFexpress Type B in the CFexpress Type B slot. If you want to have two cards in the camera for backups, you'll need to have a CFexpress Type B card.

Can you tell me what is up with the 10 bit color for still images? (Canon has done this on the R5C as well) As we know the GH5II (and the R5) along with every other camera before this produces at least 14 bit still images. Can you shed some light (No pun intended) on why they would go from 14 to 10 bit color for stills?

The GH6 (and R5 C) has 14-bit stills recording, but video recording at 10-bit. I think the point you might be getting at is that Canon offers the HEIF format in their R5 cameras, which is a compressed format capable of 10-bit color, whereas JPEGs only support 8-bit color. Both cameras' raw file formats are 14-bit, though.

How about low light performance? vs GH5S?

Panasonic claims the GH5S will still have a slight edge in terms of low-light performance, but it's a marginal difference in practice between the two. The GH6's improved processing helps make up for the increased resolution and sensor difference, while the GH5S has the large pixel dimension and lower res that make it inherently good in low-light.

What is the crop factor? I know on my BGH1 / GH5s the sensor is slightly bigger than M43 standard with about a 1.85x crop factor.  Is this still true for GH6?

The GH6 uses a standard Micro Four Thirds sensor, like the GH5 II and GH5, it does not have the multi aspect ratio sensor from the GH5S or BGH1. The crop factor is commonly noted as being 2x, but this varies a bit depending on the aspect ratio in which you're recording.

Panasonic had me until the contrast-based autofocus. The phase-detection on the A7SIII is just so, so good, it's gonna take a lot to dethrone that camera. 

Contrast-detection AF seems to be a technology they're sticking with, at least for the time being. I appreciate the focusing performance of other systems, too, but I think Panasonic's decision to stick with contrast-detect AF lies mostly in their desire to be innovating other aspects of the sensor design, rather than AF. In any case, it's definitely a polarizing feature and something you have to weigh in terms of value to an overall camera system (if you're exclusively using manual focus lenses, for example, then the camera's AF is a moot point).

At the highest recording format, how long would the record time be on a 256GB CFExpress Card?

If my quick math is correct, you should be able to get around 17-18 minutes of recording time to a 256GB card if shooting 5.7K 30p in ProRes 422 HQ (1.9Gbps bitrate). This is one of those recording modes that will be greatly benefitted by the ability to record directly to SSDs via USB.

The fact that it has an articulating screen rather than a tilt screen is a deal breaker for me. 

Fair enough, an articulating design isn't for everyone, but it's worth mentioning that it has been a staple design element in every single GH camera, so I wouldn't expect Panasonic to be revising this decision anytime soon.

The GH6 is a Great.. camera gonna be buying one.  A couple feature request, they should Implement 5.8/5.7K ProRes 422 60P.  Also for the S1 add All-I in 4K mode even if it's limited to 15 minutes like the 6K mode even 10 minutes would work.  I know you can do It because you guy's said it on your livestream.  As a proud S1H owner the S1 All-I feature would be perfect for the action scenes that I film, and I film a lot of action sequences.  The S1 is $2500 the least you can do is give the S1 customers the option to have All-I that's all we need.  

We're excited about the GH6 as well! While 5.7K 60p in ProRes isn't in the upcoming firmware update, hopefully it's something that's possible to eventually implement. And agreed on the S1, hopefully we'll see something like this in future updates, too.

We don't have an exact ship date at the moment. For the most up-to-date information, check the GH6 product page and you can sign up for stock alerts and notifications there.

 My question is; does the GH6 still have the digital extender function that crops into the sensor and if so, what is the crop factor? The GH5 was about 1.4x and that was pixel to pixel. I am hoping the GH6 is a little higher crop factor because you are going from a 20 MP to a 25 MP camera. 

It does have an "Extra Tele Conversion" function that provides 2.0x and 1.4x settings.

Where is the extra tele conversion function located?

There is no crop in any mode. Period.

Are there any reports of overheating in any video configuration? 

The built-in fan greatly improves long-term recording, but overheating is still possible under certain circumstances; Panasonic claims this active cooling system will allow for extended recording when using VFR or HFR recording modes, or when recording in ProRes. Outside of these, they claim unlimited recording is supported with all formats up to 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit.

What's the power draw compared to the GH5 ? I'm guessing it's higher with the fan and new processor

Yes, the GH6 seems to have a higher power draw than the GH5, but the GH6 does use the higher capacity DMW-BLK22 battery compared to the GH5's DMW-BLF19 battery (2200mAh and 16Wh vs 1860mAh and 14Wh). Going off CIPA ratings, the GH6 gives you 380 shots per charge when saving to an SD card and the GH5 gives you 400 shots per charge. There're lots of variables that could affect either of these figures, but it seems like the cameras should have nearly the same battery life considering the GH6 is using a larger battery.

Four-channel audio will require the separate DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter (and an XLR-connected mic) for channels 1&2 and then you can use the built-in mic or 3.5mm mic input for channels 3&4. This will let you pick the type of XLR-connected mic you need for the specific recording situation (like an interview, for example) and then the built-in mic/3.5mm-connected mic could record ambient/background noise. You can switch the channel you're monitoring with headphones via the audio function button on the top of the camera.

GPS data can be saved to files' metadata using the wireless connectivity and grabbing the location info from a connected smartphone. The camera itself does not have a GPS module.

Let's talk about the USB C - can you download files off the camera via the that connector? And power the camera at the same time?

Panasonic does not specifically indicate if you can power the camera while downloading images from a card using the USB port, but the GH6 does support tethering via the USB Type-C port, which will supply power and provide a live view image/live image transfers when using the Lumix Tether software.

How weather proof is the camera compared to similar models in other brands?

Panasonic does not provide any metrics or test results, so it's hard to objectively compare this camera to other brands in terms of weather sealing- I think it's safe to assume it's on par with most mirrorless cameras of this class. Panasonic does state that it's dust and splash resistant and has a rated operating temperature range from 14-104°F.

My primary question is about hardware requirements to edit ProRes with older computers.  What are the efficiency gains in reduced hardware stress?

It's difficult to be too specific without knowing the details of your editing setup now, but it's safe to say that ProRes is objectively more power-hungry than more compressed formats, like H.264.

Most curious concerning autofocus speed and accuracy 

It should be a noticeable improvement from previous generations, but it's still a contrast-detection system (compared to a phase-detection system). Considering the intended use applications for the GH6, this focusing system is solid and reliable, but it won't be on the same level as a phase-detection system if working with fast or erratically moving subjects.