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Disappointing Panasonic GH5 Mark II specs leak in Japan – Where is the GH6?


Andrew Reid
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Controversy is brewing!

Ever since 2017 the very significant army of Panasonic GH5 fans and Micro Four Thirds users have been waiting for the GH6. They did not all go out and suddenly change to a $4000 Panasonic S1H. Our feedback has been continually piped to Panasonic HQ in Japan about needing a professional editing codec like ProRes, phase-detect AF, 6K, 8K or preferably 4K/120p would be a reasonable expectation versus the Sony A7S III and even an internal RAW codec like Canon now has on the EOS R5. Alas our dreams are probably ended by the fact our dream GH6 camera would have to cost $3000 with all that, minimum – and in the current market who is going to buy a 2x crop sensor camera for that much? Alas the never inaccurate Nokishita has leaked specs which suggest an almost identical camera will be re-released instead, with the same 20 megapixel sensor as 4 years ago. This strongly suggests there will be no GH6 for eager Micro Four Thirds punters to look forward to.

What’s going on? EOSHD takes a closer look.

https://www.eoshd.com/news/disappointing-panasonic-gh5-mark-ii-specs-leak-in-japan-where-is-the-gh6/

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I wonder (hope) if there are some bigger benefits that perhaps this limited spec sheet doesn't show? The same sensor, but with a much better processor could mean faster readout, better DR, cleaner ISO, etc., right? Maybe internal 4K60p 10 bit? Maybe...

 

Although this is a pretty damning situation

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I think what is keeping micro four thirds alive (for now) is the still quite large group of aging photographers that down size.     The people that love taking photos and have done in some cases for decades but who now think some of their previous gear is too heavy.     Some of these just move to 1 inch sensor camera compacts but many do go to M43.    

That group will come to an end for the most part but still has a few years to move through the cycle (buy their first gear, buy better gear ....often heavier, take their heavier stuff less often, look for an alternative, roll over and die).

I am one of them (though I did try M43), I can still manage FF and a 300 2.8 but a lot less often than previously.

I have a couple of small sensor super zoom cameras and a 1 inch camera now added.

I would not mind a GH5s at some point when cheap enough (this new camera might speed that point up at least).

I think they need aim just about any new M43 camera at stills photographers even if best used for video.

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It's important to remember that this is a weird year for electronics, there's hope that this may only be a result of the shortages.

The wafer shortages, and even shortages related to resins(thanks, Texas freeze), is forcing companies to make changes in order to be able to produce a product. Examples: Intel stepping to old wafer technology, auto manufactures removing features and shutting down lines to protect the bread winners, inability to even spec out 4k screens in most of Dell's laptops, etc.

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Sony sensors are not made on the same production line as automobile chips!

It could be that some obscure old components in the GH5 could no longer be sourced and Panasonic is bringing newer parts into to a like-for-like camera that is basically the same, just a new badge.

However this does not excuse the lack of GH6!

The chips that are in short supply are actually mostly for more mundane stuff. They come off production lines that have been hammered for demand and switched out.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 5nm supply has been booked out by Apple at TSMC but that doesn't impact camera electronics either.

GPUs are in short supply because everyone is stuck at home playing games. Again not really related to camera image processors.

Sony has got the A7S III out and Fuji the GFX 100S so I am sure Panasonic can at least tease us with a GH6 development announcement?

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Panasonic’s logic is baffling. They seem to think by neglecting m4/3 users they’ll incentivize them to switch to L-Mount. Instead, they’ll drive them to Sony, Canon, Fuji, or Olympus. At this point I wonder if their camera business is viable at all. L-Mount certainly hasn’t been a roaring success, which was completely predictable considering they foolishly chose to take on Sony, Canon, and Nikon where they’re strongest, 135 format. M4/3, at least, was a defensible niche.

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22 minutes ago, Origami101 said:

Panasonic’s logic is baffling. They seem to think by neglecting m4/3 users they’ll incentivize them to switch to L-Mount. Instead, they’ll drive them to Sony, Canon, Fuji, or Olympus. At this point I wonder if their camera business is viable at all. L-Mount certainly hasn’t been a roaring success, which was completely predictable considering they foolishly chose to take on Sony, Canon, and Nikon where they’re strongest, 135 format. M4/3, at least, was a defensible niche.

I'd advised Panasonic to go full frame, but I was asking for this about 5 years ago and they moved too late. Sony had the chance to mature - expand the lens line ups and get prices down, they even got round to reorganising their menus. Shocking I know. The Panasonic S1 was great but now people are too heavily invested in Sony E mount lenses or even Fuji. The autofocus situation didn't help. The S5 is fantastic bang for buck but the body feels like a G100. Too consumer, evem compared to the A7 III. And it has to compete with the X-T4 and Fuji branding / film simulations too. Tough market.

Here's what Panasonic need to do now...

Cull almost 90% of the lower-end Micro Four Thirds line and focus on a big exciting GH6 launch, make it do what only the GH6 can do - unique sensor size, fast frame rates, no rolling shutter, add what was missing from the GH5 (phase-detect AF and ProRes / RAW) - pitch it against Blackmagic and sell it for around $2200. Rebrand it CINEMA GH6 INSTEAD OF LUMIX GH6 FFS. Even a mini-XLR and SDI port could help sell MANY GH6 bodies.

Stills is a different matter - in my opinion the market is pressing heavily toward full frame. It is in video too, but with stills cameras all being so similar, it is harder to give a small 2x crop stills camera enough 'uniqueness' to make it a viable alternative to full frame, especially now there are small full frame mirrorless lenses and the lower price Sony stuff like A7C. So the size and cost advantage of M43 is being whittled away even on the lenses side. Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 for L-mount anyone?

Clearly Panasonic is 99% committed to L-mount now.

I honestly think the writing is on the wall and there will be no GH6.

It would be a huge mistake.

My Kern Switar 26mm F1.1 is very tearful today.

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5 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

Maybe it'll be unto OM Digital to make a compelling M43 camera... not that I'm not happy enough with the current offering.

Complete unknown territory here - if the management have a clue, it is not enough in itself, they also need the investment! I would love to see them take a new sensor and processor, break the mould ergonomically, surprise us with ProRes, and even a dedicated small OM-D cinema camera or two.

But this needs the big investment and the demand from customers. I just can't quite see this being the most likely outcome.

Who apart from a very small niche is asking for an Olympus cinema camera?

Well... an OM-D E-M1C at any rate. What a mouth full 🙂

It might be a lot easier for JIP to do what they did with Sony VIVO laptops.

Chinese stuff with a fancy badge.

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About the GH5 II - the battery is now the S5 battery. Maybe they will use the S5 LSI and bring the same video modes and AF. Probably PD-USB delivery too.

Maybe use the G9 EVF - albeit this is unlikely.

The less probaly option would be starting to use PDAF - ironically, the best decision. Would suddenly make the camera VERY interesting.

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I want to add some thoughts to Andrew's (with which I mostly agree): At least among the group of photographers and videographers that I know, the main reason they buy m43 or APS-C cameras is not because of the look of the smaller sensor, or even because of their size or weight, but rather because of cost.

If it was up to most of my friends, they'd be using full-frame cameras all the time. As a matter of fact, many of them just abandones the GHx line in favor of the new lower-cost Canon, Nikon and Sony mirrorless cameras.

So as the price war keeps raging, my guess is that eventually the m43 format will disappear or become a much smaller niche. It's a pity though, as their sizes and weight makes them wonderful tools for certain scenarios (for artistic and/or practical reasons).

The good news is that at least from a creative standpoint we will be able to continue using crop sizes within full-frame sensors to get things done, although many lenses will need to be adapted obviously.

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Ehh, not looking good for MFT or even LUMIX for that matter. Real shame.

There is nothing left for them to capitalize on anymore. We have fast full frame 4K120p 40-50MP sensor cameras with crop version variants coming for RF and Z-mount and maybe even Sony E-mount.

They should just focus on releasing a PDAF FF LUMIX camera with as much gusto as possible and work on getting L-mount fleshed out with exciting lenses.

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42 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

focus on a big exciting GH6 launch, make it do what only the GH6 can do - unique sensor size, fast frame rates, no rolling shutter, add what was missing from the GH5 (phase-detect AF and ProRes / RAW) - pitch it against Blackmagic and sell it for around $2200. Rebrand it CINEMA GH6 INSTEAD OF LUMIX GH6 FFS. Even a mini-XLR and SDI port could help sell MANY GH6 bodies.

That'd be a terrific camera, the only problem, based on the current rumours, Panasonic has no interest in making it.

Where I think they goofed on their 135 adventure is having no cross-compatibility with m4/3. m4/3 has a short flange distance, just 19.25mm, so it would have been tricky, but maybe with something like Z mount, only 16mm, it would have been possible.

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18 minutes ago, Elias said:

I want to add some thoughts to Andrew's (with which I mostly agree): At least among the group of photographers and videographers that I know, the main reason they buy m43 or APS-C cameras is not because of the look of the smaller sensor, or even because of their size or weight, but rather because of cost.

If it was up to most of my friends, they'd be using full-frame cameras all the time. As a matter of fact, many of them just abandones the GHx line in favor of the new lower-cost Canon, Nikon and Sony mirrorless cameras.

So as the price war keeps raging, my guess is that eventually the m43 format will disappear or become a much smaller niche. It's a pity though, as their sizes and weight makes them wonderful tools for certain scenarios (for artistic and/or practical reasons).

The good news is that at least from a creative standpoint we will be able to continue using crop sizes within full-frame sensors to get things done, although many lenses will need to be adapted obviously.

For me was weight. Last trip (pre-pandemics) through europe was with 2 bodies and 4 lenses, all inside a messenger bag, did not even noticed the weight.

FF bodies are coming to the same size of the bigger m43s, but the lenses could not shrink. Kind of if you consider equivalencies - but generally the low aperture FF lenses don't have good optics.

Moved to Fuji, which is closer that what I could got to the m43 (Sony APS-C line is a joke), but the weight gain is already noticable. Fuji need more lenses like the Nocticrons or good XC ones.

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Disclaimer alert... Remember this is just one rumour about one camera, it doesn't mean there will be absolutely no GH6 in 2021.

But I can't think why they would put this out when everybody is expecting something big. It's a daft strategy isn't it?

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2 hours ago, Origami101 said:

That'd be a terrific camera, the only problem, based on the current rumours, Panasonic has no interest in making it.

Where I think they goofed on their 135 adventure is having no cross-compatibility with m4/3. m4/3 has a short flange distance, just 19.25mm, so it would have been tricky, but maybe with something like Z mount, only 16mm, it would have been possible.

Yeah, I agree. They should have developed a new mount with a flange distance that could accept MFT lenses and played around with crop modes on FF that were perhaps larger than standard MFT to make it exciting. Perhaps a MFT standard crop and then a non-standard (or variable!) crop closer to APSC.

And what has Leica done for L-mount other than name it? Kinda lopsided relationship this alliance is.

Just much more excitement in the RF and E-mount spaces in my opinion.

I do like Sigma's L-mount cameras. I would just like to see mark 2 versions of them with a bit more ecosystem.

I suspect Nikon will release more compelling FF Z mount glass and probably killer Z DX telephotos....if they get around to it. They theoretically have a great mount to design smaller and faster lenses on.

1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

But I can't think why they would put this out when everybody is expecting something big. It's a daft strategy isn't it?

It's pretty dumb if a GH6 is coming. They risk pissing off people who buy the Mark 2 and they are signaling (with the flaccid specs) to the diehard fans waiting for a GH6 to just move on.

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3 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

It's pretty dumb if a GH6 is coming. They risk pissing off people who buy the Mark 2 and they are signaling (with the flaccid specs) to the diehard fans waiting for a GH6 to just move on.

It is very odd. GH6 first. Why do they need to do this Mark II monkey business at all? Really?

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If they release a mark II before a GH6 they might as well just shoot themselves in the head. I'll divest from M43 the day it happens. It's hard enough sticking with M43 right now, knowing it's uncertain future, but doing that would be a sure sign that the Panasonic we knew is dead. 

It'd be very unlikely that I'd go with an L-mount camera, the long term viability of that alliance makes me uncomfortable. It'd also be impossible for me not to view Panasonic with distrust if they screwed over their M43 users like that. 

Be honest and make your intentions clear, we deserve it Panasonic. 

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GH6 could be for a higher price market.. 8K to differentiate 4K of GH5 II?

 

The Panasonic MKII's are generally not big upgrade judging by their past release like the LX100 II, FZ1000 II etc

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36 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

Be honest and make your intentions clear, we deserve it Panasonic. 

Agree 100%

Having a flexible road map is one thing, nobody wants to bring out products that are suddenly not in demand.

But making the intentions clear is whey they fail completely, everything is either hidden under NDAs or just complete silence.

Is it any wonder customers feel they are in the dark?

I feel I am in the dark personally all the time with all the companies. To be in the loop you have to sign the NDA. I find it intolerable as a journalist to have to sign NDAs in order to get privileged info. It is the complete opposite of journalism.

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