Panasonic’s high-end mirrorless cameras have been the go-to for impartial 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 straightforward to make use of—a massively well-liked, clear standout out there.
Rather a lot 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.
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 needed for higher-end video taking pictures (extra on that under). 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 should be their very own manufacturing crew.
For run-and-gun photographers and filmmakers, the physique is constructed for practical 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 purple 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 photograph mode you are presently in.
The materials on this digital camera has a number of 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 data button alongside the highest is rubberized, which provides it barely extra friction than the machined steel video button proper subsequent to it. Once you are aware of the format, little particulars like this make it straightforward 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 elective Power 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 Four Thirds sensor. It’s somewhat on the small facet, however it works properly sufficient for this digital camera.
Battery life, sadly, is middling. A totally charged battery will final about an hour of steady utilization, whether or not that is photographs or 4K video. However, that could possibly be considerably much less, particularly for those who depend on Apple ProRes recording. Conveniently, nevertheless, you possibly can cost the battery utilizing the gadget’s USB-C port. If it may provide sufficient energy (round 9 V/3A), then you possibly can 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 stage gauge overlay show has a built-in accelerometer to show lean and tilt, turning inexperienced once you’re as stage as might be. This is the type of characteristic that’s pointless when you have an excellent tripod or gimbal, but when all you possibly can carry with you is your digital camera and your toes, it is a useful instrument.
The digital camera makes use of contrast-detection autofocus. This kind of autofocus is more and more outdated, however a minimum of 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 course you are transferring the main focus. This is the type of extraordinarily useful characteristic that is exhausting to do with out upon 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 possibly can shoot as much as 5.7K video at 30 fps in ProRes 422 HQ, top-of-the-line compressed codecs you need to 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 may have laying round most likely will not minimize 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 normally 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.