Camera News: Panasonic GH6 is here…and it’s a pretty impressive video shooter

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Panasonic has finally unveiled its highly anticipated follow-up to the GH5.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH6 shoots up to 5.7K video, includes V-Log (no longer a paid option) and features an all-new 25.2MP sensor – the largest ever for a camera of this size. type.

Panasonic says the camera will ship in March and cost US$2,199.

An important little news about the release that I didn’t expect: the integrated support for Apple ProRes (422 HQ and 422). Having an industry standard codec right in the camera without having to use something like an external Atomos recorder will be a huge plus for those who prefer to keep their video rigs nimble and light while supporting a stream of professional work.

Other things to note from this week’s live stream launch event:

  • GH5 batteries are compatible with the GH6 but there are some restrictions; the GH6 uses the same battery (DMW-BLK22) as the S5 and GH5 Mark II
  • Autofocus is still contrast based and not PDAF (phase detection) as many would prefer
  • The dynamic range claim is over 12 stops and there is a plus boost which promises an extra stop
  • Panasonic replaced one of the SD slots with a CFexpress slot in the GH6
  • full size HDMI

Unlike the GH5 which featured passive cooling, the GH6 features a fan, presumably to deal with the heat generated by high frame rates and resolutions. And, again, this is a Micro Four Thirds (MFT), so the body is quite small, and heat management is surely a challenge.

WATCH: Panasonic Lumix GH6 Launch Event

Although the GH6 will probably appeal mainly to those interested in video, I must point out that the GH6 has a high resolution mode for photos. By combining multiple frames (without a tripod no less) into a single shot, you can get a 100MP image. Testing this feature on the S5 I found the results outstanding, so I expect similar results with the GH6.

Panasonic Lumix GH6 Key Features

Video specs, V-Log, dynamic range, frame rates

  • 25.2-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • DCI 4K 60p 10bit, 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 IS 2, 7.5-Stop 5 Axis Stabilization
  • 100MP Handheld High-Resolution Shooting Mode
  • 1.84m swivel touchscreen LCD
  • CFexpress Type B and UHS-II SD card slots
  • Pre-order on Amazon ($2,199)

Source: B&H Photo Video

To read the most comprehensive review of the GH6 I’ve found so far, head over to Newsshooter – it’s actually a mini-series rolled into one blog post, pretty impressive!

Stark Insider Take

First of all, this is a stellar camera. It’s packed with everything a modern video shooter or filmmaker could want. We’ve already seen all of this in the GH5 and with the GH6 things get more refined, with a nice spec bump where it’s needed (5.7K, ProRes, new sensor, CFexpress). No doubt this will be shortlisted by many potential buyers.

And the price is actually right.

I was surprised. Like many, I expected the GH6 to cost around $2,500. But for $2,199, this thing offers good value for money. Here in the US there’s even a promo (already!) giving you a 128GB CFexpress card worth $199. So the deal gets even better.

However, there may be a caveat. Or two.

Competition for one thing. It is quite intense around this price level. Cameras that come to mind here include the Sony a7 III, Nikon Z6 II, Canon EOS R6, and the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (with free DaVinci Resolve). Plus, don’t forget Panasonic’s own Lumix S5. It’s a pretty cool camera for video, and features a full-frame sensor and a modern L-mount.

Speaking of modern. This may be the GH6’s Achilles’ remedy – or it could be for many investing in newer Sony, Panasonic and Canon gear. It’s a camera, in 2022, still based on the aging MFT/M43 sensor and lens mount. These days, full frame is all the rage. The narrower view and perhaps the flexibility of the GH6’s smaller sensor could hamper some projects.

Finally, I wonder if the GH6 will still have that video image quality that I found too common on the GH5? In post, I would almost always use FilmConvert and/or Lumetri to grain the video. When shooting on a RED and using Redcode this is not necessary as these cameras do no sharpening or noise reduction in the camera. The RED look, to me at least, is organic and a close approximation to the film. Either way, it’ll be something to watch as reviews of the GH6 unfold. Ultimately, however, there are plenty of tools you can use in your editor to smash and smash the image however you want, so this might be an unnecessary concern.

Panasonic LUMIX GH6, 25.2MP Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera with C4K/4K 4:2:2 10-bit Unlimited Video Recording, 5-Axis Dual 7.5-stop Image Stabilizer - DC-GH6BODY
The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is the successor to the popular GH5 launched in 2017 and features a Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mount, and is capable of shooting video at up to 5.7K resolution.

For me, I’ve never found this to be the case when shooting video projects here on Stark Insider with the GH5. I actually prefer the compact nature of the system and like the field of view provided by the camera. Additionally, MFT lenses tend to be less expensive. A nice bonus for those entering the industry for the first time.

Despite this concern, I think the GH6 is a feature-rich behemoth. You really get what you pay for here – supply chain issues be damned. Again, $2,198 is impressive for a camera with 5.7K, 4K/60 4:2:2 10-bit video and internal ProRes recording. I’m not sure there is anything similar in this price range.

OK, if you want the best autofocus, forget about the GH6. Go for Canon or Sony.

But for hardcore manual focus types, those who revel in the filmmaking process and aren’t necessarily into the YouTuber or Vlogger shtick, the GH6 ticks all the right boxes. ProRes alone probably pushes this one above.

Ultimately, the GH6 is like that enticing all-optional car in the field. Except it’s the one built on a platform that moves a bit forward.

Now I just have to decide if I’m personally willing to commit to the MFT system for the foreseeable future before placing a pre-order…

UPDATE: Jordan and Chris have their initial review on DPReview TV. YouTube embedded below. These guys really are the gold standard when it comes to cam review videos.

WATCH: Panasonic GH6 initial review (DPReview)

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