Panasonic has been doing amazing with their GH-series mirrorless cameras and already built a name for itself in the cinema space with their advanced cine cameras and camcorders.
Now things are getting interesting as they are beginning to take some of that mirrorless tech and pack it into more cinema-ready bodies.
It’s not just any old type of camera though, Panasonic is entering the box camera world and by doing so are now making camera choice a bit more difficult for videographers.
The exterior design is the most obvious difference between the BGH1 and GH6. The BGH1 is a box camera due to its boxy shape.
It has a ton of connectors and a spot for a larger battery though it lacks things like a screen or viewfinder. It’s designed to be used with accessories and has mounting points to make this happen easily.
Something that is familiar for Panasonic shooters is the Micro Four Thirds sensor and mount system. This has become more common, but still isn’t as popular as Super35 or even full-frame cinema options.
Looking at the GH6 you’ll see something a bit more familiar to a traditional camera. It is a classic mirrorless with some video-specific tweaks, including a large red record button no the front and a fan. It also has an articulating touchscreen and an electronic viewfinder.
Being designed like most stills cameras makes it very comfortable to use handheld as it has a decent grip. If you want to just grab and go the GH6 might be a better choice since the BGH1 requires a set of accessories to start using.
These cameras are actually quite different when it comes to the underlying tech. The BGH1 uses a 10.2MP 4/3” MOS sensor with dual native ISO and resolutions up to DCI 4K at 30p in 10-bit 4:2:2 and 60p in 10-bit 4:2:0. There is also anamorphic recording.
Unfortunately, both these cameras still rely on Panasonic’s contrast-detect AF instead of the phase-detect systems many other cameras use (including the newer S5 II).
Panasonic did upgrade the imaging tech in the GH6 as it uses a newer 25MP sensor that can record in 4K up to 120 fps and 5.7K ProRes at 30p.
There’s also full V-Log, multiple assist tools, active cooling, and more. There is also built-in image stabilization and firmware coming to unlock 4K 120p raw over HDMI.
Besides the potential for higher resolution imaging on the GH6, the BGH1 may get you cleaner imagery for 4K capture and may be a better fit for most workflows. Still, it is hard to deny that there are some appealing specs thanks to the higher-resolution sensor in the GH6.
Camera Zone does interestingly give the win here to the BGH1. I would think it was almost a tie and dependent on personal preferences.
The BGH1 is going to be very similar in image quality to the GH5S since they use the same sensor tech. This goes along with plenty of recording formats.
There is HEVC, V-Log L, Cinelike, 709, HLG HDR, and much more in here. The BGH1 is also the most affordable Netflix-approved camera on the market today.
Looking at the GH6 there is full V-Log, which is the full log gamma profile that is better suited to the sensor’s dynamic range. It can also record in ProRes, though the camera’s smaller sensor may struggle in low-light conditions and not make the most of those formats.
I think it is a bit of a tossup here – except for the Netflix approval of the BGH1.
For true cinema applications, the BGH1 is likely going to be the better bet. The design and functionality of the box design with the professional ports and mounting options make it a great option.
However, if you are comfortable with the mirrorless body or want something a bit more pick-up-and-go then the GH6 will be a better fit.
Oh yea, and the BGH1 comes it a touch cheaper, though you’ll be spending more when you add in the accessories. The GH6 is a very capable camera and doesn’t require accessories to start shooting.
This is definitely a personal choice. Though it is easy to see that additional cinema-oriented features of the BGH1 might give it an edge for more serious productions while the GH6’s design and appealing feature set make it a better pick for advanced shooters working on their own.
Which one would you pick?
[source: Camera Zone]
- Panasonic Lumix BGH1 Box Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Panasonic Lumix GH6 Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
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