The Panasonic Lumix BGH1 is a strange camera if you are used to DSLR or Mirrorless camera body styles. It is tiny and full of connections with no screen unless you provide one via a computer that is tethered or an HDMI field monitor. It uses the same dual ISO sensor found on the Panasonic Lumix GH5s which is a very good low light camera in a Micro 4/3ds package. The BGH1 has a better internal recording set of options than the GH5s but it is more intended as a tethered studio solution with the addition of Genlock synch and SDI out.
The camera also has VFR or a Variable frame rate mode which is identical to the Lumix GH5s as it records from 1fps to 240fps in Full HD 1080p and delivers pretty good performance up to 200fps then lowers the quality along with providing a small added crop to the image at 225fps and 240fps. It is still not as sharp as regular 1080p video and the codec is saved at a lower bit rate but having 240fps as an option is great.
The folks at Blackmagic design are at it again when it comes to destroying spec sheets compared to price. The BMPCC 4k was already one of the best-reviewed and popular choice among budget filmmakers that needed excellent quality and dynamic range. At only $1,295 that camera was a smash hit but had only a four thirds (4/3) sensor which was not ideal in size and required speed booster adapters to get the needed depth of field to simulate an S35 image.
Now the BMPCC 6k ($2,495.00) with EF Canon mount comes in with a full APS-C sensor with dual ISO characteristics like before but with the added imager size and full electronic lens support for EF glass. It would have been in our view ideal to use an electronic mount with shorter flange like the Sony Alpha or the new Canon RF mount so you could adapt even more lens combinations but they are catering to a large installed base of glass owners.
As it was initially unveiled at Photokina last year, the Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R cameras are their answer to the domination of larger sensors in stills and video mirrorless cameras. Is there any reason now to buy a Full Frame DSLR when mirrorless is so advanced? The only thing we can think of is to have marginally longer battery life. The mirror is on its last legs and fans better start offloading their lenses if they don’t want to mess with adapters. In the case of Panasonic however, it is not possible to use Lumix Micro 4/3 lenses on the Leica/Sigma/Panasonic Full Frame L-Mount.
The S1 and S1R will both shoot up to 180fps 1080p video with a crop that may or may not be impactful. Seems the S1R has less crop on 1080p than the video geared S1 which is an odd spec. We will have to wait for more samples and info on the HFR mode to see which of these cameras offers the best slow motion performance. From the limited samples, we can say that the quality looks very good and at least on par with the Lumix GH5 at 120fps.
With NAB 2018 getting near, new announcements are starting to trickle in. The two newest are the Canon EOS C700 FF Full-Frame Cinema Camera & the RED DIGITAL CINEMA EPIC-W BRAIN with Gemini 5K S35 Sensor. These two are serious cinema cameras aimed at recording in high-end codec formats and supporting RAW codecs. Both cameras support higher frame rates but do not offer extreme high speeds like dedicated slow-motion cameras.
In the case of the RED EPIC-W with Gemini S35 sensor, it is the first time RED has used a dual Native ISO sensor like the ones seen on the Panasonic EVA1 and GH5s which have two different native sensitivities to deliver extremely clean footage with the widest dynamic range. Witha claimed 16.5 stops of dynamic range in standard mode & a gain of approximately two stops of light, from 800 to 3200 ISO without increasing the image noise. DPs of all kinds will savor these advances to shoot in dark situations knowing the output will be dependable.
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