Panasonic delivers another standout camera to its much-loved Lumix GH series. The Lumix GH6 continues in the tradition of its predecessors to deliver a video-centric workhorse in the Micro Four Thirds format.
At the centre of the GH6 is a brand new 25.2MP sensor, powered by Panasonic’s latest Venus engine. The increased power of the new processor delivers extremely fast readout, which supports high frame rate shooting in electronic burst modes and ensures rolling shutter is well-controlled. When using either manual focus or single-point AF, the GH6 can shoot up to 14 fps with the mechanical shutter and up to 75 fps with the electronic shutter.
You can get up to 8 shots per second with the mechanical shutter when shooting with continuous AF. If you find yourself needing to shoot at f/1.2 on a super sunny day with no ND filter in sight, you can crank your shutter speed to 1/32,000 sec in electronic shutter mode.
Although the GH6 is primarily geared towards independent filmmakers and videographers, there have been some very significant changes that photographers will appreciate. Most notably is the boost to image resolution. With its new 25.2 MP sensor, the Lumix GH6 is the highest-resolution Micro Four Thirds camera to date.
Photographers demanding even more resolution will love the High-Resolution mode, which combines multiple shots to deliver an image with even greater detail. With the GH6’s new sensor, this camera can generate a massive 100MP image, the largest for Micro Four Thirds cameras. And thanks to the GH6’s impressive image stabilisation, it’s also possible to capture these highly detailed images handheld.
Speaking of stabilisation, for those who enjoy the freedom of shooting handheld, the GH6 incorporates Panasonic’s Dual Image Stabilisation system, which delivers up to 7.5 stops of IBIS when paired with O.I.S lenses. The ability to shoot buttery smooth footage without the need for tripods or gimbals means creatives can work faster, with smaller budgets, and shoot virtually anywhere.
The new sensor in the GH6 offers an impressive 13+ stops of dynamic range with Panasonic’s Dynamic Range Boost mode switched on. This mode simultaneously captures an image at low ISO and another at high ISO and combines them into a single exposure with greater information, making it easier than ever to retain highlight and shadow detail in high contrast scenes.
Like its predecessors, the video functionality of the GH6 is really where this camera shines. The Lumix GH series has been a favourite among indie filmmakers since its inception, and for good reason. Loaded with pro video features and a tonne of record modes to choose from, the GH6 offers an impressive suite of shooting options for filmmakers.
The video recording modes on offer with the GH6 are too numerous to list. Still, a few highlights sure to excite filmmakers include internal 5.7K 30p video in Apple ProRes 422 HQ and DCI 4K at 60p with 4:2:2 10-bit, thanks to the fan they’ve built into this body, there are no recording limits. The GH6 can shoot 300fps in 10-bit 4:2:0 Full HD to capture super slow-motion.
Installation of firmware 2.0 adds the ability to output 5.7K 60p Apple ProRes RAW and Cinema 4K 120p ProRes RAW via HDMI to the Atomos Ninja V+ external recorder.
Filmmakers wanting to shoot with anamorphic lenses have the option to shoot 5.8K at 24P or 4.4K at 60P using the full height of the sensor (4:3). In-camera anamorphic shooting modes and de-squeeze options make it easier than ever to shoot in this format, and the camera’s IBIS supports shooting anamorphic lenses handheld.
With so many different frame rates, codecs and options to choose from, you’ll be happy to know that the GH6 allows you to save your favourite record quality options in your own list that you can easily access with the quick menu.
The LUMIX GH6 also comes with a couple of welcome audio surprises. The camera is capable of recording up to four audio channels. Two channels can be recorded via the camera's stereo 3.5mm mic input, and you can get two additional channels with the XLR microphone adapter. On top of the camera is an audio information button that brings up a dedicated audio screen with a single press, allowing you to access your audio information quickly without having to dig through the menu.
Ergonomics of the GH6 will feel familiar to Panasonic users, with a generous grip that is comfortable to hold and a range of customisable buttons that are easily accessible. Similar to the Panasonic S1H, the LCD monitor on the GH6 tilts up and is also fully articulating out to the side, allowing you to easily view your frame from any angle in front of or behind the camera.
The GH6 is equipped with a Full HDMI port that is ideal for connecting external monitors and recorders for viewing and instant file backup. Alongside the Full HDMI port is a USB -C port for high-speed data transfer and power delivery.
Like many other high-performance cameras on the market today, the GH6 features dual card slots for ultimate flexibility and speed. Data can be captured with a CFexpress Type-B card or UHS-II SD card or both, so you can manage your files in a way that suits your workflow. Although, due to the larger amounts of data, recording in Apple ProRes and other high bitrate codecs will only be possible with a CFexpress card.
Panasonic has clearly put a lot of thought into what small production filmmakers need and want from a camera and has managed to accommodate virtually all of them with this body. The GH6 now includes a front record button in addition to the standard record button on the top of the camera. A tally light on the front of the camera is handy for confirming when recording starts and stops.Those who like to use the waveform monitor to keep an eye on exposure will appreciate that the size and position of it on the screen can now be adjusted. The GH6 allows you to use custom luts when recording a log profile so you can look at a graded view while recording log footage. And thanks to the added power of the new processor, you can now punch in to see an enlarged preview allowing you to regularly confirm focus while recording.
With the Lumix GH6, Panasonic has crammed a stack of pro features into a Micro Four Thirds camera, offering filmmakers maximum features and functionality in a compact and robust body.
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