Last May, Panasonic renewed its commitment to Micro Four Thirds cameras by announcing the Lumix GH5 II and teasing the GH6 which missed its 2021 arrival but is finally here in early 2022 with the largest megapixel count on a Micro Four Thirds sensor to date and some impressively upgraded video capabilities.
Although hybrid shooters continue to nibble away at the market share of dedicated digital video cameras, the new Lumix GH6 doesn’t water down its still shooting capabilities to cater to both disciplines. It’s the first Micro Four Thirds camera to feature a sensor with over 20-megapixels of resolution with a new 25.2-megapixel Panasonic Live MOS sensor. The camera’s highlights include a high-speed signal readout to help reduce rolling shutter effects when recording video, a wide dynamic range, and a new Venus Engine processor the company promises is nearly twice as powerful to facilitate in-camera image processing like noise reduction.
The GH6 ISO range goes from 100 to 25,600 and can be further dropped to ISO50 in photo mode, but it tops out at 12,800 in video mode. When using the camera’s mechanical shutter, continuous shooting can hit 14 frames per second, but when opting instead for the GH6's electronic shutter, that jumps to 75 frames per second. And for those wanting more than 25.2MP stills, the GH6 also features a High-Resolution Mode that uses the camera’s image stabilization functionality to slightly shift the sensor in order to capture eight images in quick succession that are stitched together to produce a 100MP composite.
The Lumix GH6's live viewfinder uses a 3.68-million pixel OLED display while a three-inch, 1.84-million pixel swiveling touchscreen LCD on the back can be adjusted and angled without interfering with attached USB or HDMI cables, which are joined by Bluetooth and wi-fi for transferring data or operating the GH6 remotely without wires.
But most people interested in the GH6 will be upgrading for the camera’s video capabilities. It can capture 4:2:2 C4k (Cinema 4K) 10-bit video at 60p while simultaneously outputting the same signal over HDMI to an external recorder for nearly unlimited recording time, a feature that’s made possible through an integrated cooling fan. The GH6 can also capture 4:2:0 5.7K 10-bit video at 60P for those needing a slight resolution boost, or 4:2:0 5.8K 10-bit video at 30P (or 4.4K at 60P) in a squeezed anamorphic 4:3 format that uses the entire sensor while previews appear unsqueezed and letterboxed on the camera’s screens in real-time.
For shooters needing higher frame rates, the Lumix GH6 can also capture 4:2:0 10-bit video at 120P, or drop down to HD resolutions to boost video capture rates to 240P and beyond.
The new Panasonic Lumix GH6 will officially go on sale sometime in mid-March with the body selling for $2,200 while a bundle packaged with a Leica D12-60mm f/2.8-4 kit lens will raise the price to $2,800. That’s $500 more expensive than last year’s Lumix GH5 II, but the GH6 is targeted more at video professionals.