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Panasonic GH6, final m43 camera, again with bad AF
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  • Pre-ordered a GH6 because the price will not go down. My first preorder since GH2. I'm prepared to be disappointed :)

  • Got to play with a GH6 for 20 minutes yesterday. Files from my CFexpress card unfortunately are not being seen by my PC, but I attribute that to using my Z6 as the reader since I only have an XQD reader. Regardless, initial impressions, it is a smart camera that focuses quickly and has some fancy tracking shit, but as I focused on a little fuzzy animal next to the camera and lined up the lights behind it, the pulsing was immediately obvious even on the surprisingly small lcd. One other note is that initially I tested without a CFexpress. Many things were greyed out, but a few times I was able to choose certain high frame rates/bit rates, and then it would give me a message about needing CFexpress.. okay.. but the camera froze about 50% of the time after this, like the good old days of patching GH2's. Turning camera on and off did nothing. It did eventually recover on its own, but I would say good 30 seconds of this behavior, which would be annoying in any environment let alone a professional situation. In the hand comfort is mediocre at best. Sorta clunky feeling. The EM1X at $1700 on B&H is almost more tempting simply for the ergonomics not to mention phase detect. I am hoping to have an extended test soon in the real world, I will bring XQD card as a back up to make sure I come back with some files. I don't hate the camera, and definitely appreciated some things, and the familiarity of panasonic as I did use Panasonic for more than 10 years. I am really curious about wild life performance, and do to the location of the camera this will be an easy test, but the pulsing is just sad. Nothing I said in my leak video was a lie.. ie I was told Phase detect was coming, but Panasonic seemingly backed out of that direction or was just testing the waters to see how badly it was really wanted... maybe this is a test of how badly a advanced camera without phase detect will flop in 2022, before deciding whether to dump contrast only tech.

  • Panasonic Japan issued the following statement (google translated):

    Thank you for your continued patronage of Panasonic products. In the mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera LUMIX “DC-GH6” scheduled to be released on March 25, We have received reservations that far exceed our expectations, so Some customers who have already made a reservation may not be able to deliver on the day of release. In addition, it may take some time for customers who make reservations in the future to deliver the product after it is released. For customers who are looking forward to the product and everyone involved We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. To meet the expectations of our customers and deliver them as soon as possible. We will do our utmost to do so. Thank you for your understanding.

  • It's interesting, because at my local retailer, the Z9 is sold out till December, but when I asked about the availability of the GH6, and if pre-order was necessary, the guy behind the counter sorta smiled as he pulled a boxed GH6 out and said "I think it's okay, you can get it anytime". We will see.

  • @mee

    Outside of Japan it seems like the single body will be more difficult to get, while the kits with the various 12-60 mm lenses still are available for early delivery/pre-order.

    As for the contrast/phase detect issue... this might be linked to the sensor design and source. Which is not public knowledge.

  • @EspenB I think you're right about the sensor. My gut says the delay for release was likely them backing out of phase detect plans due to supply, or possibly an inability to get things up to speed with phase detect in a timely manner. Maybe a combination of lack of know how, and lenses unable to cope, much like Fujifilm's less than ideal phase detect. I really wanted to see Panasonic go through with it. I think there are enough new inexperienced wannabe youtubers in Japan and elsewhere to buy into the gh6 hype long enough to keep them afloat a bit longer, but I really do feel this is the last pass Panasonic will receive. Honestly if it was a $1200 camera I would probably budget for one. But I am not prepared to invest 3K for a camera a lens into a microfour thirds system, with an X-h2 right around the corner, and Nikon's flagship mirrorless APS-C ie D500 replacement surely coming in a year or less. Panasonic could keep Contrast based AF if they would accept the price constraints it creates.. At the same time they will push the technology by just being there even if they are sinking themselves.

  • @mee haha funny box was there all the time.

  • I got an almost schizophrenic view on the GH6 at the moment. One minute I'm considering the OM-1 or a total switch to Sony A7. The other I'm considering what can be done to live with the substandard auto focus in video.

  • @mee

    There source of the GH6 sensor is a mystery. Panasonic seems to have claimed that they used 5 years to engineer this sensor themselves and made with some other fab we should pressume. But five years is a long time.

  • I have a GH5, but I need to upgrade my camera to one that has built-in RTMP for live streaming jobs in challenging locations. The live streaming set-up for the GH5 isn't practical for outdoor streams or for on the move.

    I was waiting for the GH6 but all the specs I've looked at say it doesn't have built-in RTMP connectivity. However, there is some speculation that a firmware update may add this feature at some unspecified time in the future?

    My question is; is it worth waiting and seeing if this rumoured GH6, RTMP firmware update appears in the next few months?

    Or just go for the GH5Mk2, which has RTMP out of the box?

  • @espen. That is really interesting, since it puts it around the same time frame they ditched the 8k gobal shutter organic film e-nd filter sensor due to "difficulty". My mind runs circles thinking of possibilities here. Just brainstorming, but 5 years of development is something that is hard to throw out the window, especially in a Japanese style business system where people are very unlikely to approach the boss and say "we made a mistake". I find it difficult to believe they are not at least testing phase detect in the lab/field though, but Panasonic is a bit of an enigma to me at this point. I am doing my best to be kind, I do have relationships I want to maintain and Panasonic is the system I wish I could justify going back to if they would just see the focusing flaw that we are seeing. I sometimes wonder if just a dozen well placed phase detect pixels which tell the contrast detect system to lock off and not pulse could solve the issue, at the very least for talking head videos. Maybe just a few center frame, and a few in the rule of thirds cross points. This is assuming they really are concerned about picture quality loss by having too many blank spaces/pixels.

  • I'm sure there's a sensor that will even do 8K on m4/3, it's just the usual drips and drips.

  • BestBuy says today they have shipped the GH6, we'll see. Note that they have a restocking fee.............. I'm in the SF Bay area but the camera is being shipped from Oklahoma. So they have stock but maybe not local.

  • Autofocus worse than the GH5?

    (And for what its worth; Mr Pinota seems like a highly educated user.)


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  • Most ppl are saying the AF is improved....
    I personally wish the DR booster had a lower ISO limit. We'll see, camera arrives tomorrow.

  • @DrDave "Most ppl are saying the AF is improved...."

    You mean Ambassadors and paid people, cause in truth Panasonic AF still is like always was garbage!

  • Gh6 arrived. Looks exactly like the Sony A1 except, unbelievably, it is bigger!!!

    GH6 and Sony.jpg
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  • @DrDave if only it was APS-C. The 2x crop is too much as I recall using a G85. Full frame really spoils you with a very wide field of view using even with a 50mm

  • @theusualeditor add a metabones and you are wider than APS-C....

  • After a few hours no big news here. The AF is in fact faster and better, but it does not compare to the Sony A1. And there are still some focus issues. But it's zippy.
    There's some weird flickering when panning which is probably the IS trying to lock down, I just need to tweak that. I hope.
    The IS is amazing, really amazing, and the IQ is a solid bump up. Color is great.
    Of course, it is 4X the price of my G85, so it isn't for everyone (G85 is a great cam).
    But, basically, you get the features of the GH 5 II and the S5. Note the S5 is cheaper.....
    I also see no reason Sony cannot put out an APSC or a budget full frame that would compete with this camera. Still, it's the best m4/3 camera.
    Some of the ultra sharp lenses really shine at 5.7K video or photos on this cam, even the budget 42.5mm.

  • If you are using a telephoto, or anything handheld, you will love the IS on this thing.

  • @DrDave

    Imagine if camera had been modular thing, where you can change sensor from m43 to FF just by using 4 screws. Also sensor will have smartphone like tech with DRAM and initial processor located right behind sensor. With universal camera mount and open protocol. Main image processing board also will be universal and replaceable. So, even old board will work with newest sensor, just won't support some new resolution and framerate modes.

    Such way you can also use same parts even in $10 body that lack any buttons expect start and stop.