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.
Now that Panasonic has officially announced the Lumix S5 Full frame camera which we saw as a direct replacement for the GH5 line even when now it seems a GH6 may be in the cards for a future release, it is now time to examine the slow motion modes on the camera to see if they stand a chance at becoming a feature which will be a seller for the new device or just one more feature.
When the GH5 was announced about 3 years ago it came with a 180fps 1080p mode that was better than many camera’s 120fps modes and quickly became our favorite Lumix camera for slow motion as we noticed how the quality of the 240fps mode on the GH5s low light geared camera was heavily inferior in resolution. The GH5 really became the best value along with the G9 for 180fps slow-mo modes in Full HD.
The Lumix GH5 is still one of the best video powerhouse cameras ever produced. It doesn’t overheat, it shoots incredible 4k oversampled video at up to 60fps 4k or 180fps 1080p with near Full HD quality but it’s Achilles heel, the Micro 4/3ds sensor which is small and quite inferior in low light compared to Full Frame or even APS-C rivals. The GH5s is the low light lower megapixel version with dual Gain senor which is actually very clean in low light and can go toe to toe with the best out there but has no IBIS which is a big loss.
Now Panasonic is set to announce the Lumix S5 Full frame mirrorless camera which essentially migrates most GH5 features into a full-frame body with nearly the same introductory price of $1998 USD but improves 4k 60p with 4:2:2 color at 10-bit instead of 4:2:0 8 bit on the GH5. You get IBIS, and also the 180fps Full HD of other S L-mount cameras by Panasonic. It is still too early to tell what kind of quality the 1080p 180fps mode will be capable of but it does hold promise as the S1H and S1 do a pretty good job on these modes.
The new trend this year is the selfie mirrorless camera being bundled so that Youtube and other social media Vloggers get a camera that can easily capture what they need with little fuzz. It is no secret that camera sales are in free fall and companies will try to market anything and everything to get some sales. Such is the case with the Panasonic Lumix G100. It has a very nice microphone, a diminutive body, a terrific bright day screen, and a very portable and good enough image from a micro 4/3 sensor.
So why all this negativity? Well for a camera that wants to compete with the smaller 1″ sensor but better overall featured Sony ZV-1 with excellent dual pixel tracking AF; the G100 is limited in a variety of ways. The 5x stabilization will only work in 1080p and be only electronic in 4k. 4k itself only lasts 10 minutes which is very constrained for 2020, maybe for 2016 as a spec but not 4 years later. Dig in for more info!
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