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Panasonic GH6 rumours


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I'm surprised we haven't seen more in-depth reviews yet. I suppose that has been replaced by the "first look" reviews where they base it on pre-release cameras/firmware? But there hasn't been a lot of talk about it post release.

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
11 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

The footage feels great. There's a definate shift towards more natural and accurate colour representation. This is probably helped perception-wise by the reduced artificial sharpening. 

It's producing really lovely natural tones that I'm very comfortable sliding in alongside my C70 footage (I'm not making a big effort to match the cameras at this point, but they are surprisingly close in any case). 

It's the camera itself that is tricky.   A lot more to manage than previous GH models.

That's a natural consequence of a more ambitious product, but there are a dizzying array of choices to navigate. 

DR Boost - sometimes or always? ND - fixed or variable? SD card or CFexpress?

Even battery choice is a consideration if you've already built a legacy collection! 

None of the above are easy to answer and require a bit of strategising.  If you're thinking any of that is simple to resolve you might not have given it enough consideration. 

It's a workflow pest! (but I'm very much enjoying using it). 

Thanks for your reply - very useful, and also heartening that it's not the footage that is the challenge but the camera itself.  I'm also further heartened that it seems the challenges are just in working out the camera rather than challenges that come up shoot to shoot (like fiddly buttons or confusing menus etc).

10 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

I think the trick with any kind of camera really is learning its capabilities and then settling into a workflow that is the ideal blend of convenience and perfectionism for your own personal tastes.

I'd be a bit suspicious of anybody who didn't at least try to maximise the performance of their equipment, but I'd be equally dubious of anyone who claimed to make zero compromises in how they end up operating in the field.  It's all a balance.

The main quandary with the GH6 is in managing the jump between Base ISO 250 (V-Log, DR+ Off) and ISO 2000 (DR+ On).  The Dr Boost function is very good and finally lifts the GH series into the heady realm of 'just about acceptable DR' 😅.

Actually, so far in practical use it has been fairly easy to utilise DR+.  I've invested in some high quality fixed ND (Breakthrough X4 - cannot recommend them highly enough) and just whack on the 6-stop and then calibrate a bit using ISO.  Has been working well so far.  Obviously this strategy will not cover all eventualities.

I'm a bit torn as to whether to just stay in DR+ mode regardless of the actual dynamic range of the scene (thus negating the need to constantly jump between very different ISO values).  It's going to be a close call actually.

I've done many (many...) of these types of tests in the past to learn to get the most from the GH5 (and other cameras).  I've shot test scenes in different modes, uploaded to YT, downloaded back from YT at different resolutions and then studied the resulting images to see what is visible at the end of the whole pipeline and what is not (4K vs 1080p source material is essentially imperceptibly different when uploaded to YT at the same bitrate/resolution). etc etc.

This means that those considerations are, for me at least, kind of inconsequential.  I'd do some tests, evaluate my options, and then just work out my rules for shooting.  

On first glance, and knowing what I know about lighting levels (which I've talked about in another thread) I'd be tempted to have DR+ on all the time, have a fixed ND that I put on when outside during day, and then just let it expose with auto-ISO.  I tend to shoot with aperture only varying a few stops anyway, so that sort-of doesn't factor in that much.

7 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

I'm surprised we haven't seen more in-depth reviews yet. I suppose that has been replaced by the "first look" reviews where they base it on pre-release cameras/firmware? But there hasn't been a lot of talk about it post release.

Every time 100 people say "FF" on an MFT thread, one less review gets published.  We're voting with every comment, and most people are voting against themselves.

Go back in this thread and re-read the last 10-20 pages - you'll be left with the distinct impression that no-one is in the market for this camera and that AF has killed MFT.  It might not be true, but it's how it sounds with all the moronic comments that people make.

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It's unfortunate, as I'd really like to see more in-depth dives into the GH6. Seeing those that own one discussing it is great, but I'd love to watch some truly deep dives on those things being discussed. I'd especially love to see the difference in the workflow to the GH5. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

It's unfortunate, as I'd really like to see more in-depth dives into the GH6. Seeing those that own one discussing it is great, but I'd love to watch some truly deep dives on those things being discussed. I'd especially love to see the difference in the workflow to the GH5. 

When you say "workflow" what kinds of things are you talking about?  

I notice that each discipline (cinematographer, DIT, editor, colourist, etc) uses this word to mean different things, which is pretty obvious when talking about an Alexa, but cameras like the GH6 are often used by people that don't fit into such nice neat boxes 🙂 

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12 hours ago, kye said:

When you say "workflow" what kinds of things are you talking about?  

I notice that each discipline (cinematographer, DIT, editor, colourist, etc) uses this word to mean different things, which is pretty obvious when talking about an Alexa, but cameras like the GH6 are often used by people that don't fit into such nice neat boxes 🙂 

For instance, some of the chatter I've seen is that it's not as easy to get the most out of it like it was with the GH5. That's not a bad thing, as it's due in part to it being such an advanced video camera, but I'd like to see the process/differences, especially as it pertains to people moving from the GH5 to the GH6.

When the GH5 came out there were just ample videos of people going through all the menus, explaining what this feature does and what that feature does, and what they do together, and what's the optimal set-up. There were videos dedicated to getting the most out of the autofocus, colors, etc. Like, real videos about using the camera, not just "here are the specs, here's an example of DR boost, look at the stabilization" etc. Obviously, when you own a camera you want to go through that stuff yourself and make your own decisions, but those videos were a good starting point and gave you a good idea of what to expect, and also whether the camera is a good fit for you or not before even purchasing.

I suppose it goes back to me being less interested in specs, and more wanting to see and hear about the genuine user experience. It hit stores 6 weeks ago, it's just kinda surprising (and disappointing?) that there hasn't been a lot of that so far.

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21 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

For instance, some of the chatter I've seen is that it's not as easy to get the most out of it like it was with the GH5. That's not a bad thing, as it's due in part to it being such an advanced video camera, but I'd like to see the process/differences, especially as it pertains to people moving from the GH5 to the GH6.

When the GH5 came out there were just ample videos of people going through all the menus, explaining what this feature does and what that feature does, and what they do together, and what's the optimal set-up. There were videos dedicated to getting the most out of the autofocus, colors, etc. Like, real videos about using the camera, not just "here are the specs, here's an example of DR boost, look at the stabilization" etc. Obviously, when you own a camera you want to go through that stuff yourself and make your own decisions, but those videos were a good starting point and gave you a good idea of what to expect, and also whether the camera is a good fit for you or not before even purchasing.

I suppose it goes back to me being less interested in specs, and more wanting to see and hear about the genuine user experience. It hit stores 6 weeks ago, it's just kinda surprising (and disappointing?) that there hasn't been a lot of that so far.

I've read somewhere, though I can't remember where, that the GH6 doesn't sell a lot so far. Perhaps that's the reason behind the lack of more videos/tutorials?

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It's definitely tilted towards the needs of the professional user over the casual enthusiast I would say.  Features like DR Boost, ProRes internal, and compulsory 4-channel audio (you can't take a stereo track into post as far as I can see), potentially make life better for the dedicated pro, but probably more fiddly for the enthusiastic amateur.

Full V-log curve seems to be a bit of a gimmick as you're not able to stretch the DR past what V Log L would have allowed from what I can calculate (admittedly not my area of expertise).  V Log highlight clipping occurs around 88 IRE (compared to 82 for V Log L, and 109 for full V Log range).

That said, as previously mentioned, DR Boost is definitely worthwhile, and gives the crucial little bit of DR I've been crying out for with this series.  It doesn't turn the camera into a dreamy DR monster, but it does take the edge off of that burnt-out DSLR look, and seems to help both highlights and shadows.  I don't want to oversell it, because it really just adds a touch of latitude rather than a major transformation, but its a very useful addition in my book. 

What is also fantastic is full V-Log gamut, which seems to be providing much richer, more natural and accurate colours. I'm really enjoying shooting with it.

I think that if you're not going to be using V Log you've got some problems though.  DR looks much reduced, and from looking at online tests it looks like it may be even worse than the GH5!  That's not good news really.  Is there any point in using Linear DR+ mode when V Log (with DR+ Off) offers greater dynamic range?

 I'm really pleased with my camera so far.  It's familiar enough that I'm getting some muscle-memory imbedded straight away, but progressive enough that its challenging me in some interesting new ways.

As well as the obvious headline features, one thing that really strikes me is that Panasonic have really sat down and thought about how to make this camera better from top to bottom.  Some innovations I really like are:
 

  • Improved Custom Modes.  You can now save 13 Custom Modes (and crucially give them names that come up on the screen when you turn the dial).  That's up from 5 (un-nameable) on the GH5 if memory serves correctly.
  • Same topic, but you can now choose how the custom modes respond to shutdown/sleep, etc., even to the point of excluding certain values.  This is massive because the previous CM system was practically unusable due to the way it kept resetting exposure values 😖.
  • There's a lock switch, and again, you can dial in exactly what you want it to lock and not to lock.  I'm using it just to protect my shutter angle dial.  Hallelujah!
  • You can use 4-channel recording in conjunction with the (separate accessory) XLR input and the minijack socket.  You can now (I think) use this setup to patch a safety channel from the XLR, which you annoyingly couldn't do before (despite the availability of the stereo channels).
  • The exposure tools are improved.  There's a nice luminance spot-meter which works well (though they want you to switch your thinking from IRE values to stop values when shooting log, which I'm finding a bit of an adjustment).
  • The waveform is now bigger and actually useable (though it has no value scale).
  • The camera is palpably heavier, which is helping me to get steadier footage when going handheld (along with the excellent IBIS of course), but I appreciate this will be a negative factor for some.
  • You can get a surprising amount of functionality with the old GH5/GH4 batteries.  I can't remember the exact limitations, but basically you just can't record in the super-duper modes (5.7K, 800Mbps and above, ProRes, etc.), but everything else works fine.  I expected the limitation to be much more than that.  I can see certain people just sticking with their existing batteries to be honest.  The restrictions are similar (possibly identical) to those between V60 and V90 card recommendations from what I recall.
  • The battery lock tab (inside the battery enclosure) is now white instead of black so you can easily locate it in the dark.  Admittedly this is not a significant feature in any way, shape or form, but I'm really happy to see it because it tells me that somebody has been going over every inch of this camera series and trying to find incremental ways to improve it.

Some things I'm not so keen on - 

The whole 2000 ISO or bust thing.  It seems to me that if you are going to buy this camera, the top end DR improvement is one of the biggest draws.  You will have to develop a new ND strategy to use it freely.  To be honest it hasn't been the nightmare I was anticipating.  I love the DR Boost mode image output, so I might just adjust my thinking and continue to operate at ISO 2000.  It's nice for low-light in any case.

Battery life, which used to be the strength of this series (GH4 💪) is now distinctly meh.  But I guess that's just the price you pay for IBIS, Dual Gain sensor, fan, etc.

I've only just started to get to know this camera. I haven't tested any of the high speed modes (look fantastic online!) or photo features (ditto).  Overall , I'm really pleased with it.  Coming from the GH5S, the improved image quality (I was already happy with the GH5S to be honest) and addition of IBIS is an absolute killer already.  It doesn't lag too far behind the GH5S for low-light either, seeming totally useable up to 4000 ISO (VL DR+), which is more than enough for me.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

It's definitely tilted towards the needs of the professional user over the casual enthusiast I would say.  Features like DR Boost, ProRes internal, and compulsory 4-channel audio (you can't take a stereo track into post as far as I can see), potentially make life better for the dedicated pro, but probably more fiddly for the enthusiastic amateur.

Full V-log curve seems to be a bit of a gimmick as you're not able to stretch the DR past what V Log L would have allowed from what I can calculate (admittedly not my area of expertise).  V Log highlight clipping occurs around 88 IRE (compared to 82 for V Log L, and 109 for full V Log range).

That said, as previously mentioned, DR Boost is definitely worthwhile, and gives the crucial little bit of DR I've been crying out for with this series.  It doesn't turn the camera into a dreamy DR monster, but it does take the edge off of that burnt-out DSLR look, and seems to help both highlights and shadows.  I don't want to oversell it, because it really just adds a touch of latitude rather than a major transformation, but its a very useful addition in my book. 

What is also fantastic is full V-Log gamut, which seems to be providing much richer, more natural and accurate colours. I'm really enjoying shooting with it.

I think that if you're not going to be using V Log you've got some problems though.  DR looks much reduced, and from looking at online tests it looks like it may be even worse than the GH5!  That's not good news really.  Is there any point in using Linear DR+ mode when V Log (with DR+ Off) offers greater dynamic range?

 I'm really pleased with my camera so far.  It's familiar enough that I'm getting some muscle-memory imbedded straight away, but progressive enough that its challenging me in some interesting new ways.

As well as the obvious headline features, one thing that really strikes me is that Panasonic have really sat down and thought about how to make this camera better from top to bottom.  Some innovations I really like are:
 

  • Improved Custom Modes.  You can now save 13 Custom Modes (and crucially give them names that come up on the screen when you turn the dial).  That's up from 5 (un-nameable) on the GH5 if memory serves correctly.
  • Same topic, but you can now choose how the custom modes respond to shutdown/sleep, etc., even to the point of excluding certain values.  This is massive because the previous CM system was practically unusable due to the way it kept resetting exposure values 😖.
  • There's a lock switch, and again, you can dial in exactly what you want it to lock and not to lock.  I'm using it just to protect my shutter angle dial.  Hallelujah!
  • You can use 4-channel recording in conjunction with the (separate accessory) XLR input and the minijack socket.  You can now (I think) use this setup to patch a safety channel from the XLR, which you annoyingly couldn't do before (despite the availability of the stereo channels).
  • The exposure tools are improved.  There's a nice luminance spot-meter which works well (though they want you to switch your thinking from IRE values to stop values when shooting log, which I'm finding a bit of an adjustment).
  • The waveform is now bigger and actually useable (though it has no value scale).
  • The camera is palpably heavier, which is helping me to get steadier footage when going handheld (along with the excellent IBIS of course), but I appreciate this will be a negative factor for some.
  • You can get a surprising amount of functionality with the old GH5/GH4 batteries.  I can't remember the exact limitations, but basically you just can't record in the super-duper modes (5.7K, 800Mbps and above, ProRes, etc.), but everything else works fine.  I expected the limitation to be much more than that.  I can see certain people just sticking with their existing batteries to be honest.  The restrictions are similar (possibly identical) to those between V60 and V90 card recommendations from what I recall.
  • The battery lock tab (inside the battery enclosure) is now white instead of black so you can easily locate it in the dark.  Admittedly this is not a significant feature in any way, shape or form, but I'm really happy to see it because it tells me that somebody has been going over every inch of this camera series and trying to find incremental ways to improve it.

Some things I'm not so keen on - 

The whole 2000 ISO or bust thing.  It seems to me that if you are going to buy this camera, the top end DR improvement is one of the biggest draws.  You will have to develop a new ND strategy to use it freely.  To be honest it hasn't been the nightmare I was anticipating.  I love the DR Boost mode image output, so I might just adjust my thinking and continue to operate at ISO 2000.  It's nice for low-light in any case.

Battery life, which used to be the strength of this series (GH4 💪) is now distinctly meh.  But I guess that's just the price you pay for IBIS, Dual Gain sensor, fan, etc.

I've only just started to get to know this camera. I haven't tested any of the high speed modes (look fantastic online!) or photo features (ditto).  Overall , I'm really pleased with it.  Coming from the GH5S, the improved image quality (I was already happy with the GH5S to be honest) and addition of IBIS is an absolute killer already.  It doesn't lag too far behind the GH5S for low-light either, seeming totally useable up to 4000 ISO (VL DR+), which is more than enough for me.

Great post - thanks!

As a GH5 user I can see lots of interesting little improvements here that are against things that irk me about the GH5 so will be real-life improvements.

A few thoughts:

  • V-Log clipping at 88 isn't a big deal - for 10-bit footage the difference between 88 and 100 is inconsequential and it's designed to provide compatibility with V-Log cameras with larger DR
  • on the GH5 the HLG mode contains the whole DR of the camera (unlike any of the other picture profiles) so if HLG is in the camera then that's a full-DR alternative to V-Log
  • 13 modes rather than 5 is huge, and especially that there's 4 on the physical dial - I will definitely be using more than 5 of these modes
  • Sleep function forgetting things was definitely a PITA so refinements to that is huge, and the extra custom modes help with that too

I'll be particularly interested to see how the 1080p (or 2K?) Prores mode is integrated into the camera.  In addition to image quality, it'll be interesting to see if it requires the newer batteries or not, etc.  

Can you give a bit more information about how well the current (h26x) 1080p ALL-I mode works?

Particularly, I'm interested in how the footage looks from these modes:

  • 1080p24 mode
  • 1080p24 mode with 2X digital zoom
  • 1080p60 mode
  • 1080p60 mode with 2X digital zoom

On the GH5 all those modes are downsampled and the footage looks flawless.  Is the GH6 the same?

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So based on @Mmmbeats excellent post the GH6 probably isn't the best choice if you're creating content that needs a quick turnaround? I'd say 80% of my work is NOT shot in V-Log for that reason. Getting an image that is in the ballpark and then tweaking it a little to get it where it needs to be was one of the things I really like about the GH5, especially for my multicam work.

It's nice to have that flexibility when you need it, but when I have work that I need to film, edit, and release within 24 hours, it's also really nice to be able to get a good image SOOC. 

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6 hours ago, kye said:

A few thoughts:

  • V-Log clipping at 88 isn't a big deal - for 10-bit footage the difference between 88 and 100 is inconsequential and it's designed to provide compatibility with V-Log cameras with larger DR
  • on the GH5 the HLG mode contains the whole DR of the camera (unlike any of the other picture profiles) so if HLG is in the camera then that's a full-DR alternative to V-Log
  • 13 modes rather than 5 is huge, and especially that there's 4 on the physical dial - I will definitely be using more than 5 of these modes
  • Sleep function forgetting things was definitely a PITA so refinements to that is huge, and the extra custom modes help with that too

 

I have heard the GH6 doesn't have oversampled 1080p.

The thing about full vlog is better color than HLG.

 

2 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

So based on @Mmmbeats excellent post the GH6 probably isn't the best choice if you're creating content that needs a quick turnaround? I'd say 80% of my work is NOT shot in V-Log for that reason. Getting an image that is in the ballpark and then tweaking it a little to get it where it needs to be was one of the things I really like about the GH5, especially for my multicam work.

It's nice to have that flexibility when you need it, but when I have work that I need to film, edit, and release within 24 hours, it's also really nice to be able to get a good image SOOC. 

I dunno, for me just exposing spot on in VLOG and throwing a LUT on is pretty easy. It also gives me the flexibility to easily change the look if I so decide for some reason.

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1 hour ago, TomTheDP said:

just exposing spot on in VLOG and throwing a LUT on is pretty easy

Absolutely. I would say the same. If you have a LUT that you like then you are 100% sorted. It's rare that I'm more than one stop over or under and I usually leave WB on Daylight unless I'm in mixed lighting. All of that is easy to correct even with Premiere's unsophisticated (for log) Lumetri controls. For quick jobs I put an adjustment layer with a lut above the clips and then tweak each clip underneath the lut.

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I totally agree about V Log.  I used to be a bit intimidated by it till I sussed it out.  Now I hardly even think about it.
In post (in Premiere) I tend to put an instance of Lumetri with an input LUT on one of the master clips, and then cut and paste it onto all the other master clips at once (you can't use the Paste Attributes method on master clips for some reason).  Takes about 30 seconds and is very 'set and forget'.

Forgot to highlight that the focus magnification function now works during recording.  Finally! 

I keep forgetting that it does this and messing myself up because I have a long-standing habit of using the record button to simultaneously initiate recording and dismiss the focus magnification 🤪.   

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8 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

I have heard the GH6 doesn't have oversampled 1080p.

Wow - that would be why no-one has posted sample footage of it yet.  Maybe it'll come in the firmware update where they add 4K and 1080p for Prores.  There's absolutely no way they'd let people shoot their highest quality codec with non-oversampled lower resolutions.

8 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

The thing about full vlog is better color than HLG.

Maybe, I was just saying that it has the full DR.

8 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

I dunno, for me just exposing spot on in VLOG and throwing a LUT on is pretty easy. It also gives me the flexibility to easily change the look if I so decide for some reason.

Same for me.  Plus it gives the flexibility (once you know how to set it up) to adjust WB and exp in LOG before applying the LUT / CST.

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GH6 and S5

 

"  Comme vous pouvez le voir dans la vidéo, le S5 et le GH6 se marient à la perfection ! La nouvelle color science du GH6 est presque quasi-identique à celle du S5. D'ailleurs, je vous met au défi de me trouver les plans filmés en micro 4/3 et les autres filmés en 24x36. Nous avons aussi été bluffé par la stabilisation du boitier assez incroyable. Tous les plans du GH6 ont été tournés en run & gun !  "

Google Translate

" As you can see in the video, the S5 and the GH6 go together perfectly! The new color science of the GH6 is almost identical to that of the S5. Besides, I challenge you to find me the shots filmed in micro 4/3 and the others filmed in 24x36. We were also amazed by the quite incredible stabilization of the case. All the plans for the GH6 were shot in run & gun! "

Google Translate

 

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34 minutes ago, 92F said:

GH6 and S5

 

"  Comme vous pouvez le voir dans la vidéo, le S5 et le GH6 se marient à la perfection ! La nouvelle color science du GH6 est presque quasi-identique à celle du S5. D'ailleurs, je vous met au défi de me trouver les plans filmés en micro 4/3 et les autres filmés en 24x36. Nous avons aussi été bluffé par la stabilisation du boitier assez incroyable. Tous les plans du GH6 ont été tournés en run & gun !  "

Google Translate

" As you can see in the video, the S5 and the GH6 go together perfectly! The new color science of the GH6 is almost identical to that of the S5. Besides, I challenge you to find me the shots filmed in micro 4/3 and the others filmed in 24x36. We were also amazed by the quite incredible stabilization of the case. All the plans for the GH6 were shot in run & gun! "

Google Translate

 

Really looks great. But as we can see it really depends a lot on who you have grading the footage and their skill level.

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