Announced today and available soon at a Mike’s Camera near you, the Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 is an unprecedented camera for unprecedented times. Designed with compactness, cinema-quality, and durability in mind, this new “box camera” (that’s what the B stands for) performs uniquely well in an impressive variety of usage scenarios:
- Artistic cinematography, especially on-location
- High quality live streaming presentations
- Drone videography
- Event videography & small-gimbal use
- Multi-camera control (e.g. sports, documentaries, bullet-time)
- VR, live or recorded
Watch the intro video below, then read on to find out just what’s inside this intriguing new tool.
Using an external recorder, the BGH1 is capable of a maximum video quality of C4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit video and can record RAW via HDMI. Internally, it’s still capable of a solid C4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit H.265/HEVC. (High-speed shooting maxes out at FHD 240fps.) Even better, thanks to a heat-dispersing design and cooling fan, there is no limit to recording time!
The sensor in the LUMIX BGH1 is the same 10.28 MP sensor found in the video-focused GH5S, and HDR/HLG lovers will be pleased to hear that it boasts a 13 stop dynamic range and dual native ISOs for minimal noise. The BGH1 is a video only camera. The trade-off, of course, is the ability to adapt the BGH1 into just about any imaginable video setup. With standard tripod mounts on four sides and an extremely lightweight frame, the camera is very physically adaptable; the astounding array of ports and customizeable controls makes it equally adaptable to whatever gear is in your rig:
- Micro Four Thirds lens mount
- Headphone jack
- Microphone jack
- LAN for PoE control, streaming, synchronized shooting, & power
- Full-size HDMI out
- SDI out (can be used simultaneously with HDMI out)
- TC/IN out
- GenLock in
- LANC 2.5mm remote control jack
- 12V DC in for power
- 2x SDXC
- Hot shoe
- 4 Fn buttons
- Security lock slot
- XLR compatibility with adapter
The LAN port in particular is an exciting first for LUMIX cameras. Both control and power supply can be provided with a single ethernet cable. Direct streaming and remote control for up to twelve BGH1 cameras simultaneously will also be possible with a firmware update to be released after the camera itself.
Panasonic has put a great deal of thought into the Venus Engine-driven firmware, as well. Image recognition by their AF algorithm continues to improve: they claim a 5x improvement in the speed of human and animal recognition when tracking (and 2x improvement in speed of eye recognition) over their last version, requiring 50% less size in the frame to get a lock on. Plus, support for anamorphic and variable frame rates allow for adaptations of both time and space!