Photokina 2016 is happening in September, and rumors of new camera releases are already flying around. The most interesting rumor so far is that a 6K-capable GH5 will be released at the show.
I don’t often post rumors on this site, but after hearing about the rumored GH5 from multiple sources including EOSHD, I thought I would share my two cents here.
Before I jump into my thoughts, here is a short list of some of the rumored details:
- 20MP sensor
- 6K recording format
- Ability to pull 18MP stills from 6K footage
- 4K 60p capabilities (possibly with a cropped window)
There was no mention of sensor size yet, but I would have to assume that the GH5 will still utilize a standard MFT-sized sensor. Many users have been clamoring for a Super 35mm sensor inside of a GHx body, but I’m just not certain that’s going to happen. After all, the MFT sensor in the previous GH cameras didn’t seem to deter countless filmmakers from flocking to the lineup, and Panasonic have invested massively in the MFT format – both in terms of cameras and lenses – and likely won’t be moving on any time soon.
But back to the specs –
If the rumors are accurate and the GH5 can actually shoot 6K video, that would be a huge selling point and would certainly help Panasonic gain a stronger foothold in the mirrorless market. Personally, I normally don’t care about 6K video and any time I’ve shot in 6K on a RED Dragon I’ve always felt it was overkill. But a 6K DSLR would still make a huge splash in the industry as it would be the first of it’s kind, provided we don’t see anything similar from the competitors at NAB in April.
Canon is definitely not going to be releasing any 6K DSLRs in the near future (we’re lucky if they give us 4K), and Sony has recently refreshed their A7-lineup, so it’s doubtful we would see 6K from them in the immediate future either… Then there is Nikon, who have slowly been upping their game in the video-department, but are still seemingly far off from offering something as monumental as 6K video in one of their DSLRs.
So if Lumix can actually pull this off, they just might be able to gain some new customers, and win back some of their previous users that have since moved on to Sony… And I hope they do.
I really like Panasonic as a company and always root for them to knock it out of the park with new product releases. As great as some of their products have been over the last few years, none of them have been as groundbreaking as some of their older offerings, such as the Lumix GH2, which was truly revolutionary in it’s time.
With that in mind, for the GH5 to really make a dent in the industry, it’s going to need to offer more than just 6K recording capabilities. To most filmmakers 6K is simply seen as a bonus, and not a necessity by any stretch. Improved low-light performance, internal image stabilization, a better codec, and a higher dynamic range sensor are just a few of the other more relevant improvements Lumix will need to make in order to really compete in the 2016 market.
If the GH5 is simply a GH4 with the ability to record 6K, it won’t succeed the way that it should. It would be seen as a one-trick pony that might be used for aerial shots, or other speciality work, but probably wouldn’t get users to abandon their Sony or Canon products.
On the other hand, if Panasonic can deliver a 6K camera with amazing DR, ProRes recording, and internal stabilization, that will be a very different story. And if they do surprise us with a Super 35mm sensor – that would just be the icing on the cake.
So for now, we’ll just have to wait and see. With NAB just around the corner we are certainly going to see a slew of other exciting camera announcements very soon, and if we’re lucky we might even get a sneak preview of the GH5 at that point too.
What do you think? Would 6K be a big enough selling feature for you? Or are there other specs that are far more important to you as a shooter?
Leave a comment below.
Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!