Panasonic Unveils 4K Lumix GH5S, Camcorder Trio
Panasonic used CES 2018 to unveil the latest digital camera in its high-performance Lumix mirrorless G series — the GH5S offering expanded video recording capability and enhanced image quality.
The company also introduced a trio of Panasonic camcorders — two 4K models in the HC-WXF1K and HC-VX1K and a Full-HD model in the HC-V800K, which features a new sensor and new lens for significantly improved image quality.
The GH5S, which will be available Feb. 2nd at a $2,499 suggested retail for the body only, is said to have been optimized for for professional filmmakers, by providing the highest-ever image sensitivity and video image quality, including under low-light, in Lumix camera history.
The GH5S has a 10.2-megapixel Digital MOS sensor with Dual Native ISO Technology and Venus Engine 10 image processing.
The multi-aspect type sensor will capture the same angle of view in 4:3,17:9,16:9 and 3:2 aspect ratios. It is also capable of shooting stills in 14-bit RAW format, for greater flexibility with professional RAW development workflows.
Read more about the Panasonic Lumix GH5S and new Panasonic camcorders after the jump:
When shooting in dark locations, videographers will have less issues with image noise which often results from having to use higher ISOs. The Dual Native ISO Technology suppresses noise to produce cleaner footage in a wide range of lighting conditions.
The True “Multi-Aspect Ratio” Function allows swapping between different aspect ratios the most accurate results from a chosen lens. The camera supports Time Code IN and OUT, and is easy to set using the flash sync terminal and bundled conversion cable for a standard BNC connection.
Panasonic points out that the capability is especially important for “lip synchronization” when using multiple cameras.
The Lumix GH5S can be used as Time Code generator for other GH5S cameras and
professional camcorders, while simplifying the work for production teams by providing synchronization for both video and audio devices used on multi-cam shoots.
The GH5S betters the previous Lumix GH5’s 4KUHD 60p video recording by becoming the first camera to capture 4K/60p vide in Cinema 4K (4096×2160 pixel), which is displayed by some native 4K projectors.
The camera is also capable of internal 10-bit video with 4:2:2 chroma sub sampling in up to Cinema 4K/30p and internal 4:2:0 8-bit Cinema 4K/60p.
The Lumix GH5S also records 4:2:2 10-bit 400-Mbps All-Intra in 4K 30p/25p/24p and 200Mbps All-Intra in Full-HD 1080p.
The camera also imposes no time limit on video recording, and complies with 4K HDR video using the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) profile.
A low-bit-rate recording mode, 4K HEVC for HLG, is available, enabling playback on AV equipment compatible with the HLG Display format, such as Panasonic 4K HDR TVs.
A Variable Frame Rate (VFR) function lets users record overcranked time-lapse and undercranked (slo-mo) video in C4K/4K (60 fps, maximum 2.5x slower) and FHD (240 fps, maximum 10x slower).
A V-LogL and Rec.709 Look Up Table (LUT) are pre-installed in the
camera, eliminating the need for users to have to purchase a separate software upgrade key. Four additional LUTs can be installed using the Panasonic Varicam (.VLT) file format.
The camera also offers Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology and ultra-high-speed digital signal processing (DSP) for a blazing fast 0.07 auto focus speed with 12 fps (AFS) / 8 fps (AFC) in 12-bit RAW and 10 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps in 14-bit RAW high-speed burst shooting. The camera offers 225 focus areas.
The 4K Photo enables 60 fps high-speed capture in approximately 8-megapixel equivalent resolution.
The camera body is designed for heavy duty field use, and is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front, rear and top frame that is splashproof, dustproof and freze resistant to -10 degrees Celsius.
The GH5S is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II and Video Speed Class 90. Multiple recording methods including Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording are provided for added flexibility.
The camera also includes an HDMI Type A terminal and a USB-C interface.
The GH5S has a large Live View Finder with a magnification ratio of
approximately 1.52x/0.76x (35mm camera equivalent) providing smooth display at 120 fps. Additionally, a high-precision, high-speed OLED with 3,680K-dot resolution and 100 percent field of view is provided.
Other features in the GH5S include Bluetooth (BLE type) and Wi-Fi (802.11ac) connectivity, an optional new battery Grip, model DMW-BGGH5, and an optional XLR Microphone Adaptor, model DMW-XLR1.
Panasonic’s new camcorder offerings each offer a wide-angle 25mm and 24x optical zoom lens, and achieve quick and accurate focusing for both 4K and Full HD to enhance the AF function.
The new models are positioned for use by a wide range of videographer experience levels, from video enthusiasts to users looking to capture precious memories in high quality.
The Panasonic HC-VX1K 4K camcoder
The new large BSI MOS sensor found in the 4K models, HC-WXF1K and HC-VX1K, and the Full HD HC-V800 combined with the F1.8 lens, improves low-light shooting performance by approximately 70 per cent compared to previous 4K models.
Both 4K camcorders are equpped with a high-performance Leica-approved lens that minimizes flare and ghosting in images.
A 4K Photo Mode allows grabbing still images in high quality from video sequences, similar to a high-speed burst mode on single-lens reflex cameras.
All three models have a new Leica Dicomar lens with a powerful optical 24x zoom, ranging from 25mm wide angle to a 600mm telephoto. A 4-Drive Lens System operates the four lens groups independently to achieve the optical 24x zoom and compact body size.
To reduce handshake blur, a new Hybrid optical image stabilizer (O.I.S.) each model better the company’s previous 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S. + by incorporating a Ball O.I.S. System and Adaptive O.I.S. functions.
The Ball O.I.S. System is said to reduce wear on the drive section, and greatly improves correction performance for small-amplitude handshake. The Adaptive O.I.S. automatically optimizes the O.I.S. effectiveness by adjusting the mechanical control according to shooting positions, conditions and user characteristics.
The improved Hybrid O.I.S. system is said to further reduce blurring caused by natural handshaking during zooming, and enables recovering clear images all the way out to 24x optical magnification.
A Level Shot function automatically detects and corrects tilting of captured images. For professional applications, the camcorders have an electronic viewfinder and manual ring. The top-end Panasonic HC-WXF1K includes a tiltable viewfinder. The Manual Ring allows professional-standard, fast ring operation for fine tuning focus, iris and zoom. Two separate dedicated Manual/Auto and Focus/Iris/Zoom buttons enable quick switching.
The HC-WXF1K also adds a Variable White Balance feature with an adjustable range of 2,000K to 15,000K, Focus Expand/Peaking, 4K Cropping (also available int he HC-VX1K) that allows taking a Full HD close-up cropped from a wide-angle 4K image.
The 4K cropping adds Post Auto Tracking (Auto Tracking Crop) which allows you to record a fast-moving child at a wide-angle in 4K automatically tracking their face, allowing extraction of the Full HD movie with no framing-out and the further ability to add the image stabilizing effect at the same time.
A new Post Manual Tracking feature (Manual Tracking Crop) enables touching on subjects that move unexpectedly, to track them intuitively wit a finger.
The Post Close-up (Fixed Crop) function enables shooting at wide-angle in 4K and then cropping a section later.
A Cinema Like Effect in all three models, enables professional shooting techniques including Slow & Quick Video, Slow Zoom, Slow Motion Video, and Dolly Zoom. The HC-V800K supports slow motion video feature only.
By Greg Tarr
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