Panasonic Lumix GH6 has been announced, and if you’re a filmmaker, it will steal your heart. Much like its predecessor, the GH5 and GH5II, it has stellar recording capabilities, especially for a micro four-thirds camera. So, what’s new with the Panasonic Lumix GH6?
Panasonic Lumix GH6 Impressions
Let’s give you a complete review of the Panasonic Lumix GH6, so you can decide for yourself if it is the best mirrorless camera for filmmakers or not.
So what’s new with the Panasonic Lumix GH6? Much like the GH5, it takes a video-centric approach; it takes all the goods from the GH5 and massively improves on those. That’s already good news for filmmakers and cinematographers. Despite the GH6 rocking a micro four-third sensor, it comes with a 25.2MP LIVE MOS sensor over the GH5’s 20.3MP one. So, when you’re filming, you will capture more details. The latest camera also comes with a new Venus image processor. Thanks to that, you’re getting far better dynamic range, faster frame rates, and more. Paired with a CF Express card, you can easily shoot those silky smooth footage seamlessly.
Speaking of dynamic range, you’re getting thirteen additional steps with the DR boost mode. So, if you’re shooting in a high ISO setting, you will still get great highlights and shadows. The GH5 had a great dynamic range performance, too, showing little to no noise in your footage. Of course, the GH6 incorporates that, but filmmakers will get far better noise reduction thanks to the thirteen extra steps. More so, it’s also equipped with 2D and 3D noise reduction technology. Thus, now you can shoot better in low-light scenarios with your ISO cranked up.
Besides noise reduction tech, built-in stabilizations help a lot. The great news is that both the GH5 and 6 feature dual I.S. 2 technology. Besides the built-in stabilization, when paired with a stabilized lens, your footage will shake free for sure. Don’t worry as you’re getting 7.5 more stops when handling shakes. These 7.5 steps will help you more when shooting handheld footage. Combining the IBIS, you can shoot 100MP stills. How’re shooting 100MP stills with a 25MP camera? The GH6 combines 4 pictures together to come up with one hi-res photo. Not only that, when shooting in this hi-res mode, the camera also takes into account moving objects.
Now let’s spot the difference in their recording powers. The only common feature among the two cameras is the 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling, but that’s where the similarity ends. With the GH5, the highest you could record was 4k 30fps; even then, not all the recording modes had 4:2:2 sampling. That changes with the GH6; with it, you can shoot 5.7K at 60fps and 4K at 120fps. Need more slo-mo? Step down to 1080p, and you can shoot at 240 fps. If you want more, you can switch to VFR mode and get a whopping 300fps. The best part is that all these modes come with 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling.
The fun doesn’t stop there; you are getting more capabilities with the GH6. The anamorphic mode doesn’t crop in but uses the entire sensor. So, as a filmmaker and cinematographer, you can shoot anamorphic without losing details.
Now let’s talk about profiles. The GH6, unlike GH5, supports vLOG over vLOG-L, meaning you’re getting all the benefits of shooting in LOG. Besides that, you’re getting ProRes, external recording power at 4K 60fps. Pansonic promises 4K 120fps and Apple ProRes in a future update. This is great news for filmmakers; you can now seamlessly use it with an external monitor, and post-processing the footage will be a breeze.
Another similarity between GH5 and GH6 is the unlimited recording ability. There’s a fan built into the GH6’s body, you don’t need to worry about the time limit or burning your hand. You can record 4K 60fps, even in ProRes mode, due to the cooling system. Also, you can charge the camera with a USB power bank; now, the only recording limitation is the storage space. With the GH6, you can use both a CFExpress type B and SD card, so storing that footage and backing them up can be done in a jiffy.
Since the camera will be a tremendous upgrade for filmmakers, does it also mean the same for YouTubers, vloggers, and casual shooters? Unfortunately, that’s where the sparkles stop. The Achilles heel for both of these cameras is the autofocus. This is the only instance where the GH6 shouldn’t have been inspired by the GH5.
Both cameras use vv, or as Panasonic likes to call it, depth autofocus. The problem with it is that it’s not accurate 100% of the time, and the focus hunting can be an annoyance. So, it’s not the camera you set up and get to shooting or recording. Perhaps including a phase detection autofocus system could have made the GH6 the best mirrorless camera of everyone, maybe the best hybrid shooter. But, unfortunately, that’s not the reality. Wildlife shooters and filmmakers can benefit the most from this camera with manual focus. But vloggers and causal shooters – not so much. Even in burst mode, the autofocus is hit or miss.
Overall, filmmakers will drool over the Panasonic Lumix GH6 comes packed with recording capabilities. Thanks to the micro four-thirds format, there will be a wide range of lenses. This new addition to the GH lineup might become the next best mirrorless camera for filmmakers. That was all about the Panasonic Lumix GH6.