Panasonic Lumix GH6 Review: Handheld Stability

Panasonic’s high-end mirrorless cameras have been the go-to for unbiased and documentary filmmaking for years. In 2017, Panasonic launched the original GH5, the flagship mannequin that took three years to construct. It was speedy, rugged, and simple to make use of—a massively standard, clear standout available in the market.

So much has modified since then. Other producers are actually constructing great cameras for filmmakers that may shoot 6K footage. But the brand new GH6 continues to carry its personal for videography and images alike, particularly at this value level. 

Control Panel

There’s a stunning quantity of heft to the GH6 however not a lot that it turns into a wrist pressure. It comes with a UHS-II SD card slot in addition to a CFexpress card slot, which turns into essential for higher-end video capturing (extra on that beneath). Its three-inch flip-out display might be rotated so it is seen to the topic of the digital camera, making it useful for on-line content material creators who must be their very own manufacturing workforce.

For run-and-gun photographers and filmmakers, the physique is constructed for useful muscle reminiscence. Alongside typical layouts just like the white steadiness, ISO, and publicity compensation buttons alongside the highest, or dials to manage issues like aperture with out taking your hand off the physique, there are additionally a number of crimson buttons for recording video. There’s one button on the highest plate and one other on the entrance. You can begin recording footage, regardless of which picture mode you are presently in.

The materials on this digital camera has among the most satisfying tactile suggestions I’ve encountered on a digital camera. Its design is not that far off from many different cameras prefer it, however the distinction is within the subtleties. For instance, the audio info button alongside the highest is rubberized, which supplies it barely extra friction than the machined metallic video button proper subsequent to it. Once you are conversant in the structure, little particulars like this make it simple to inform precisely which button or dial your finger is on with out wanting.

Photograph: Panasonic

The equipment comes with a barely better-than-standard f/2.8, 12–60mm variable focal size lens. It additionally contains optionally available Power OIS, which, mixed with the in-body picture stabilization, makes the entire system impressively easy, even when freehanding pictures. Inside, the GH6 packs a 25.2-MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. It’s a bit of on the small aspect, but it surely works effectively sufficient for this digital camera.

Battery life, sadly, is middling. A completely charged battery will final about an hour of steady utilization, whether or not that is pictures or 4K video. However, that may very well be considerably much less, particularly in case you depend on Apple ProRes recording. Conveniently, nevertheless, you’ll be able to cost the battery utilizing the gadget’s USB-C port. If it may well provide sufficient energy (round 9 V/3A), then you’ll be able to function the digital camera off USB-C energy. Still, you may want a spare battery or two.

Balance and Focus

The Lumix GH6 feels prefer it expects you to make use of it whereas on the go. The degree gauge overlay show has a built-in accelerometer to show lean and tilt, turning inexperienced whenever you’re as degree as might be. This is the type of function that’s pointless if in case you have a great tripod or gimbal, but when all you’ll be able to carry with you is your digital camera and your toes, it is a useful device.

The digital camera makes use of contrast-detection autofocus. This sort of autofocus is more and more outdated, however at the very least the GH6 does effectively with it. A blue overlay will spotlight the areas of the picture which are in sharp focus, and repeatedly urgent the autofocus button can (generally) swap between completely different topics in focus. 

When rotating the main focus lens manually, a gauge pops up indicating the focal distance and, crucially, which route you are shifting the main focus. This is the type of extraordinarily useful function that is onerous to do with out after getting it—no extra guessing whether or not you’ve got over- or under-shot the main focus.

Options Upon Options

The GH6 got here with an already spectacular vary of video recording choices, and a firmware replace in late July added much more. The star of the present is the addition of Apple ProRes 422 and 422 HQ. Depending in your storage media, you’ll be able to shoot as much as 5.7K video at 30 fps in ProRes 422 HQ, among the best compressed codecs you should use with out diving into studio-level cameras. This is especially useful for filmmakers seeking to edit for 4K output.

Storage media issues as a result of, for sure video settings, the SD card you will have laying round in all probability will not reduce it. Most typical SD playing cards max out at round 300MB/s learn speeds, however their write speeds can typically be a lot decrease. For instance, this 128-GB SD card tops out at round 120 MB/s when writing and is often on sale for about $36. Meanwhile, a 128-GB SD card that can document on the almost 240 MB/s required for five.7K ProRes footage costs around $120, on the time of writing.

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