At last Panasonic has stopped the teasing and announced the full details of the Lumix GH6. The successor to the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and partner to the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mark II features a new 25.21Mp Four Thirds type sensor that’s capable of producing 5.7K 30p video in ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422, recording internally to a CFexpress Type B card. This is the first time that a CFexpress card has been seen in a Micro Four Thirds camera and it enables non-linear editing without transcoding.
It’s also capable of 5.7K 4:2:0 10-bit 60p/50p and 5.8K 30p/25p/24p 4:2:0 10-bit anamorphic 4:3 recording, using the whole sensor. In addition, 4:2:2 10-bit Cinema 4K 60p can be recorded internally while 4:2:2 10-bit Cinema 4K 60p is simultaneously recorded over HDMI.
Alternatively, 4:2:0 10-bit 4K 120p (equivalent to 5x slow motion) and 4:2:2 10bit FHD 240p HFR (High Frame Rate) footage can be recorded with audio for creative speed ramping. VFR (Variable Frame Rate) recording can also be recorded with a FHD maximum of 300fps (equivalent to 12.5x slow motion) for more dynamic videos.
Panasonic has also committed to improving the GH6 with firmware updates to support:
Cinema 4K ProRes 422 HQ / ProRes 422
FHD ProRes 422 HQ / ProRes 422
USB-SSD direct recording
4K 120p HDMI Video output during Live View
Cinema 4K 120p HDMI RAW Video Data Output to ATOMOS Ninja V+
On-board cooling for unlimited recording
High resolution and high frame rate recording is a recipe for heat generation but the Panasonic GH6 has optimised the heat-dissipation path with a forced-cooling fan mechanism. According to Panasonic, this enables recording that is only limited by the battery power and storage capacity.
Panasonic has given the Lumix GH6 a new 5-axis gyro sensor with a new algorithm to deliver up to 7.5 stops of stabilisation by itself (Body I.S.) and Dual I.S.2.
The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 applies appropriate compensation according to the type of movement by assessing the cause – panning, tilting, or hand-shake.
As usual, the Body.I.S. compensates for camera movement even when the mounted lens is not stabilised.
The stabilisation system also enables a 100Mp High Resolution mode that can be used without a tripod.
When High Resolution mode is selected, the GH6 captures 8 images in succession while the sensor is shifted using the Body I.S. (Image Stabiliser) mechanism. These files are then composited into a 100Mp-equivalent (11552 x 8672-pixel) image that can be saved in raw and Jpeg format.
According to Panasonic, the Lumix GH6 is capable of capturing 12+ stops of dynamic range with the pre-installed V-Log recording, but the Dynamic Range Boost mode can take this to more than 13 stops.
In Dynamic Range Boost mode, the GH6 can combine a high-saturation image from the low ISO circuit with a low noise image from the high ISO circuit at each pixel. The resulting composite image this therefore cleaner and smoother with rich gradation.
Panasonic has also given the Lumix GH6 V-Log/V-Gamut for high dynamic range with broad colours.
Using V-Log results in very flat footage with all the colour information, giving greater scope for grading. The GH6’s Live MOS sensor achieves a wide colour gamut known as V-Gamut, the GH6’s optimum colour space, which is wider than BT.2020.
The Lumix GH6 also featured the colourimetry of the Panasonic VariCam line-up of cinema cameras and V709 LUT (Look Up Table) with Rec.709 standard is available in the camera by default. In addition, V-Log View Assist (which can apply LUTs in real-time) supports the import of .CUBE as well as .VLT file formats.
New sensor and processor
Panasonic developed a new 25.2Mp Live MOS sensor without a low-pass filter for the GH6, This is said to combine resolution with high-speed signal readout for reduces rolling shutter. The company has declined to comment on whether the sensor has a BSI or stacked design – which suggests it doesn’t.
There’s also a new Venus Engine that has approximately twice the processing power of its predecessor. This enables three key technologies: New Intelligent Detail Processing, New 2D Noise Reduction, and High Precision 3D Noise Reduction for video.
The new Intelligent Detail Processing detects the flat, detailed, and edged elements in a frame more accurately to produce a realistic image. The new 2D Noise Reduction suppresses chromatic noise and improves the texture of luminance noise to achieve clearer and more natural images even at high sensitivity.
The detection capability of still and moving parts has been improved for the High Precision 3D Noise Reduction for video, to optimise noise reduction while minimising artefacts. As a result, the image quality of video with dynamic motion is enhanced. In addition, high-precision Dual 3D Colour Control enhances colour reproduction by brightness level, saturation level and hue level.
The combination of the new advanced sensor with enhanced saturation performance and the new engine makes it possible to render a clearer 25.2Mp image and reduce the minimum ISO sensitivity. Consequently the sensitivity ranges are Photo: ISO 50(Extended) – 25600 and Video: ISO 50(Extended) -12800.
Thanks to the new sensor and boosted processing power, the Lumix GH6 can shot stills at up to 75fps (frames per second) at full resolution and in SAF (Single AF) mode.
For greater flexibility when shooting outdoors or where there are multiple sound sources, or when recording backup audio, the Panasonic GH6 can record 4ch 48kHz or 96kHz 24-bit audio when an XLR microphone adaptor is attached.
2ch 48kHz 24-bit recording is also supported with the built-in mic along with 2ch 96kHz 24-bit high-resolution recording with an external mic.
It’s also possible to switch the channel used for headphones during video recording and audio menus can be directly accessed with the Fn1 button on the top of the camera for sound-level checking during 4-channel audio recording.
Naturally, there’s also a 3.5mm stereo jack for connecting an external mic.
The Lumix GH6 has a selection of features to make the workflow easier. For example, there are a collection of settings in the Photo Style including different Cinelike gamma presets (‘Cinelike D2’ and ‘Cinelike V2’), which have similar gamma setting characteristics for film production.
Panasonic has also responded to user requests and given the GH6 video assist functions including Waveform Monitor, Zebra Pattern, Luminance Spot Meter, Frame Marker, Anamorphic Desqueeze Display, Red REC Frame Indicator and Tally lamps.
The GH6 also gets a Safety Zone Marker, which shows a guide of 95%, 90% or 80% of the recording area and kelvin values can be displayed on the recording screen.
It’s also possible to create 4K 60p timelapse videos in-camera and there’s an Exposure Levelling function that adjusts the exposure automatically to prevent dramatic changes in brightness between frames.
In addition there’s MF (manual focus) assist available during video recording with the ability to enlarge the image by up to 6x.
Screen and viewfinder
The Panasonic GH6 has a 3.0-inch 1,840K-dot tilt and free-angle touchscreen with an aspect ratio of 3:2.
The movement of the screen makes it more flexible and it can be even be rotated when an HDMI cable and USB cable are connected to the camera.
There’s also a 3,680k-dot 0.76x OLED viewfinder OLED with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1.
Build and connections
Die-cast magnesium alloy has been used for the front and rear frame of the GH6 and it’s splash-dust- and freeze-resistant (down to -10°). The shutter unit is also durable for around 200,000 cycles.
There are double card slots with the CFexpress card (Type B) slot supporting internal recording of high bitrate video at 800Mbps or more including 5.7K 30p ProRes 422 HQ and C4K 60p ALL-I. Meanwhile the SD Memory Card UHS II V90 supports internal recording of video at 600Mbps or less. It’s also possible to set the recording method to Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording using both SD Memory Card and CFexpress Card.
Panasonic has given the GH6 as full-size HDMI Type A port and and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, plus there’s a cable lock holder to prevent accidental disconnection.
As is expected now, the 2200mAh battery can be recharged either via a mains supply or USB. It also complies with USB PD (Power Delivery) when the corresponding Battery Charger DMW-BTC15 is used.
The Lumix GH6 is compatible with Time Code IN/OUT synchronisation through the flash synchro terminal and bundled BNC converter cable with BNC cable. This makes the non-linear editing of footage shot with multiple cameras easy.
Wi-Fi 5-GHz (IEEE802.11ac) is enabled along with 2.4-GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n) to provide a secure and stable connection with a smartphone/tablet or other devices for smooth control. The transmission speed of photo/video data is also increased by using the 5-GHz band.
Meanwhile, Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption. Helpfully, the settings of one GH6 can be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other GH6 for easy setting matching.
The GH6 also supports both linear and non-linear manual focusing. In linear mode the degree of lens ring rotation required to shift the focus can be set from 90 to 360 degrees in 30-degree increments.
Panasonic Lumix GH6 price and availability
The Panasonic Lumix GH6 goes on sale in March 2022 for £1,999.99 / $2199.99 / €2199.99
body only or from £2,199.99 for a kit including a 12-60mm lens.