Panasonic Lumix GH6 Assessment: 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 well-liked, clear standout available in the market.
Lots has modified since then. Different producers are actually constructing great cameras for filmmakers that may shoot 6K footage. However the brand new GH6 continues to carry its personal for videography and images alike, particularly at this worth level.
There is 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 obligatory for higher-end video capturing (extra on that under). Its three-inch flip-out display will be rotated so it is seen to the topic of the digicam, making it helpful for on-line content material creators who must be their very own manufacturing staff.
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 regulate issues like aperture with out taking your hand off the physique, there are additionally a number of pink buttons for recording video. There’s one button on the highest plate and one other on the entrance. You can begin recording footage, irrespective of which photograph mode you are at present in.
The fabric on this digicam has a few of the most satisfying tactile suggestions I’ve encountered on a digicam. 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 steel video button proper subsequent to it. When you’re acquainted with the format, little particulars like this make it simple to inform precisely which button or dial your finger is on with out wanting.
The package comes with a barely better-than-standard f/2.8, 12–60mm variable focal size lens. It additionally consists of optionally available Energy OIS, which, mixed with the in-body picture stabilization, makes the entire system impressively easy, even when freehanding photographs. Inside, the GH6 packs a 25.2-MP Micro 4 Thirds sensor. It is somewhat on the small aspect, nevertheless it works properly sufficient for this digicam.
Battery life, sadly, is middling. A completely charged battery will final about an hour of steady utilization, whether or not that is images or 4K video. Nevertheless, that may very well be considerably much less, particularly in the event you depend on Apple ProRes recording. Conveniently, nonetheless, you may cost the battery utilizing the gadget’s USB-C port. If it could actually provide sufficient energy (round 9 V/3A), then you may function the digicam off USB-C energy. Nonetheless, you may want a spare battery or two.
Stability and Focus
The Lumix GH6 feels prefer it expects you to make use of it whereas on the go. The extent gauge overlay show has a built-in accelerometer to show lean and tilt, turning inexperienced if you’re as degree as will be. That is the type of characteristic that’s pointless if in case you have tripod or gimbal, but when all you may deliver with you is your digicam and your toes, it is a helpful software.
The digicam makes use of contrast-detection autofocus. This kind of autofocus is more and more outdated, however at the very least the GH6 does properly with it. A blue overlay will spotlight the areas of the picture which might be in sharp focus, and repeatedly urgent the autofocus button can (generally) swap between totally different topics in focus.
When rotating the main focus lens manually, a gauge pops up indicating the focal distance and, crucially, which path you are transferring the main focus. That is the type of extraordinarily helpful characteristic that is exhausting to do with out upon getting it—no extra guessing whether or not you have over- or under-shot the main focus.
Choices Upon Choices
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. Relying in your storage media, you may shoot as much as 5.7K video at 30 fps in ProRes 422 HQ, among the best compressed codecs you need to use with out diving into studio-level cameras. That is significantly helpful for filmmakers seeking to edit for 4K output.
Storage media issues as a result of, for sure video settings, the SD card you could have laying round most likely will not lower it. Commonest 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 normally on sale for about $36. In the meantime, a 128-GB SD card that can report on the practically 240 MB/s required for five.7K ProRes footage costs around $120, on the time of writing.