GH6 and the future of M43

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Dad of 2 Junior Member • Posts: 37
GH6 and the future of M43
4

It’s my opinion that the future of the M43 system is being determined as Panasonic develops the GH6. Here are some things I’ve gathered which support a view as to where this is going.

  • The current GH5S uses the Sony Exmor IMX299 sensor, which is a customization of the IMX294 sensor developed for the industrial/security market. It’s important to note that this sensor uses a Quad-Bayer design .
  • The sensor in the GH5S is important because it is VERY closely related to what I believe is the next generation sensor for M43, the Sony IMX492 (or some customization of this sensor, which was also designed for industrial/security apps). The datasheets for these two sensors reveal striking similarities – they are clearly related designs.
  • I think the GH6 is being designed to support several shooting modes including high-resolution (40+ MP), low light (10 MP like the GH5S), and an HDR mode. The high-res mode will also be used to support 8K video, although lower resolution video will be supported by enabling Quad-Bayer capture. Advantages of various modes include enhanced dynamic range, improved high ISO performance, or better HDR. It all depends upon which mode you select.
  • If this sounds far-fetched, the IMX586 sensor using this same technology is already deployed in smartphones (Honor View 20, ZTE Axon Pro 10, OnePlus 7, Xiaomi Mi9, Asus ZenFone 6). DPR published an article about this sensor.

There are a couple of reasons why it makes sense for Panasonic to do this with the GH6:

  1. Panasonic is dependent upon Sony for sensors, and it doesn’t appear that Sony is interested in further developing the IMX272 used in the GH5. The main reason Sony is still developing M43 is for other markets like industrial/security .
  2. Given the market shift to Full Frame, I think Panasonic is taking a “go big or go home” approach with their flagship M43 model.
  3. The future of M43 is going to be enabled by a clever new sensor design and lots of processing power, just like smartphones. This will offer a host of new functionality and features.

I will let others opine on whether this new direction is good or not. To me, it’s exciting and will attract new users to M43. Part of me just wants a dual-native ISO version of the GH5 (with better AF), but let’s be real – that won’t get M43 back into the game against FF. Time to be bold and do something innovative.

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victorav Senior Member • Posts: 1,209
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
3

I'm excited, probably not going to buy one but I'd like to see something new for the gh line.

Some people are saying the S5 is the gh6, but other than the already established benefits of a 35mm sensor what's the difference?

Would it be possible for a gh body to record 8k for long periods of time (limited by card space obviously and battery life) because canon is really the only one offering 8k at a "low" price, but you can't really record for too long.

isinadinos
isinadinos Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
2

I also believe that gh6 is the future of m43. M43 shooters expect for a new sensor for a long period and is not coming. Hope that there will be a gh6 with a new sensor.

S5 launch might cause a delay in gh6 as Panasonic won't release 2 cameras at same period. S5 is a good chance to add some clients on l mount and a gh6 wouldn't help on that.

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dadada486 Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
9

I went camera shopping last weekend. I was left with the conclusion..... M43 isnt going anywhere!

The reason I had that impression was simple. The L mount cameras were absolutely gigantic! Their lenses were similarly huge. They were also at a price point about three times more than what I would spend on a camera. They were stored high up on the shelves, and few would even request to look at them. The Lumix G series still dominate 90% of what Panasonic is offering.

This was last week though and the S5 really changes things. It's still too big and expensive for me, but definitely more manageable. They will never become truly compact though. Remember the compact system camera, a term that is becoming more and more rare. That was the whole point of removing the mirror in the first place, and that is still my preference. Frankly the G90 and Olympus E-m1 are the largest sizes I will ever be comfortable with but that's me.

brentbrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
11

victorav wrote:

Some people are saying the S5 is the gh6, but other than the already established benefits of a 35mm sensor what's the difference?

MFT users with a lot of MFT lenses can use them all on a GH6. An S5 would require acquisition of an entirely new array of lenses. That alone makes "the S5 is the GH6" nonsensical to me.

Aside from that, in an interview from March, a Panasonic bigwig talked about the advantages of MFT format for video in some use cases.

But that interview and a more recent one also said that Panasonic is "considering" or "studying" the possibility of a GH6. Personally, I suspect that a GH6 will eventually arrive, but it sounds like it's in the discussion stages, far from any imminent release.

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victorav Senior Member • Posts: 1,209
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
1

brentbrent wrote:

victorav wrote:

Some people are saying the S5 is the gh6, but other than the already established benefits of a 35mm sensor what's the difference?

MFT users with a lot of MFT lenses can use them all on a GH6. An S5 would require acquisition of an entirely new array of lenses. That alone makes "the S5 is the GH6" nonsensical to me.

Aside from that, in an interview from March, a Panasonic bigwig talked about the advantages of MFT format for video in some use cases.

But that interview and a more recent one also said that Panasonic is "considering" or "studying" the possibility of a GH6. Personally, I suspect that a GH6 will eventually arrive, but it sounds like it's in the discussion stages, far from any imminent release.

Yeah I mean video wise the S5 doesn't offer anything different than the gh5 other than the sensor, even then I don't think the gh5 has a record limit does it?

Jeff4500
Jeff4500 Senior Member • Posts: 1,833
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
1

With the Sharp 8K coming out and BM already having a 6K camera, I think Panasonic might be working to make the Gh6 an 8k rather than a 6K - the video market is a big target for them. I don't think you will see the Gh6/G10 combination until near the Olympics. Right now the Gh5/s and the G9 are still very viable cameras. I am going to wait to see what happens in the next 12 months. I might get another G9 to "hold me" over or even a Gh5.

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Kent Ekasak
Kent Ekasak Contributing Member • Posts: 703
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
3

S5 is, to some extend, the replacement of several models, including S1, GH5 and GH5s, IMHO.. And I can see some GH5 users upgrade to S5 and start using L mount to compliment m43.

GH5 is selling at great price now. It was way ahead of its time when launches 2-3 years ago, but most features are about right today, except for Video AF..

I can see Panny will firstly introduce 8K to GH6 before next Olympic, but with faster DFD..

Seeing from some reviewers, AF on S5 on APSC model is better than A73, so with faster processor, GH6 should have much improved AF over GH5 (though I still prefer PDAF)..

Roger Monroe Regular Member • Posts: 380
Tough time to be a product manager.

I can’t imagine trying to anticipate the camera market , given all of the challenges. It seems that every manufacturer except Fuji is getting sucked into the FF vortex as a safe bet. It appears to be the safe route for manufacturers, and evidenced by the sentiment of many on dpreview.

I use my GH5 professionally for stills and video, but I’d like to see the GHX head more towards a video cam form and function direction. A new version of the AF100, with a new and improved GH5s sensor, would be great. A no compromise M43 motion camera would be awesome. A proper VF, tally lights and a menu setup optimized for motion shooting would be very welcome. Regardless of any external changes, I’d like to see Penny take Fujis approach and create separate menu structures for motion and still shooting. Let the G9 be the stills powerhouse and let the GHX do the same on the motion side. It would be tragic for Panasonic to close the door on M43, if no successor to the GH5 comes to market, I’ll pick up a Zcam M43 camera for my lens collection.

For the GHX to implement resolution  larger than 4K would be unfortunate, too many pixels on too small of a sensor for no useful purpose other than marketing talking points. The resolution race is getting silly and unproductive.

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dkyl Contributing Member • Posts: 908
IMX492
1

I find the IMX492 sensor very curious.

It’s doesn’t appear to be a standard product because the flyer for standard products normally include words to the effect of: “individual specification change cannot be supported because this is a standard product.”

So it appears to be a custom sensor built for a specific customer/s.

Even though it states the applications are for “Surveillance, FA cameras, Industrial cameras”, why would there be a need for 8K 17:9 readout if not intended for the creative video market.

So my question is who commissioned the sensor?

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Cyvan Regular Member • Posts: 398
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
3

brentbrent wrote:

victorav wrote:

Some people are saying the S5 is the gh6, but other than the already established benefits of a 35mm sensor what's the difference?

But that interview and a more recent one also said that Panasonic is "considering" or "studying" the possibility of a GH6. Personally, I suspect that a GH6 will eventually arrive, but it sounds like it's in the discussion stages, far from any imminent release.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the nuances in that. It may just  have been a bad translation. The real meaning could have been lost. Remember he also basically said the same thing in february for the S5, a "smaller mid-range FF camera". For it to be here already means it was well near the production stage when he said it.

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dkyl Contributing Member • Posts: 908
Re: Tough time to be a product manager.
1

Roger Monroe wrote:

I can’t imagine trying to anticipate the camera market , given all of the challenges. It seems that every manufacturer except Fuji is getting sucked into the FF vortex as a safe bet. It appears to be the safe route for manufacturers, and evidenced by the sentiment of many on dpreview.

I use my GH5 professionally for stills and video, but I’d like to see the GHX head more towards a video cam form and function direction. A new version of the AF100, with a new and improved GH5s sensor, would be great. A no compromise M43 motion camera would be awesome. A proper VF, tally lights and a menu setup optimized for motion shooting would be very welcome. Regardless of any external changes, I’d like to see Penny take Fujis approach and create separate menu structures for motion and still shooting. Let the G9 be the stills powerhouse and let the GHX do the same on the motion side. It would be tragic for Panasonic to close the door on M43, if no successor to the GH5 comes to market, I’ll pick up a Zcam M43 camera for my lens collection.

For the GHX to implement resolution larger than 4K would be unfortunate, too many pixels on too small of a sensor for no useful purpose other than marketing talking points. The resolution race is getting silly and unproductive.

I wouldn't mind if Panasonic produced essentially a twin GHX and G9-successor with basically the same underlying electronics and sensor but differing in form factor. We basically got that in a G9 after the firmware update to bring it close to the GH5.

In that sense, the GH5 and G9 morph into one hybrid flagship whereas the GH5s goes all out video and becomes a GHX or GHV(ideo) or whatever we like to call it.

It might be easier on the development costs as they'd essentially be the same inside but the form factor of the GHX/V would be completely geared towards video (maybe like a Z-Cam design for cage use or something, I'm only guessing since I'm really not into videography).

I'd like them to do 6K which would require a 27MP m43 sensor but 8K m43 sensors already exists so it just really depends on how good their downsampled 6k and 4K files are.

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Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 43,421
I think if S5 takes off...
3

there goes the GH6.  By now several reviews and live panels (BHPhoto) are calling it a "full frame GH5" or a "nice upgrade from a GH5."

But, we'll see.

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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 2,669
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
2

Panasonic have an organic sensor coming. I think it's a no brainer that it will end up in a video oriented m4/3 camera. The S5 is no GH5 replacement. Not even close. Watch the Gerald undone vid on the S5, & it's very very easy to understand that

DirkL Regular Member • Posts: 386
Re: GH6 and the future of M43

I don't think there will be a GH6.

Panasonic will provide m4/3 cameras for the 'prosumers', and full frame for the professionals.

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C Sean Senior Member • Posts: 2,923
Re: GH6 and the future of M43

There’s going to be a Gh6 8k model and we probably going to see it in time for the Olympics but the market for this type of camera will be limited to begin with. Recording 8K take up a lot of storage and processing the 8K video files will require a new expensive computer designed for processing videos.

The Gh6 8K will also be more expensive than your average Gh camera since it’s common for high megapixels cameras to be a few grand more expensive than your standard model in the Full Frame world.

I now believe we will see a standard Gh6 model after watching the reveal of the S5. Before I thought Panasonic could skip the Gh6 line and instead focus on the G9 successor, Gh6s and the Gh6 8k.  However, both the Gh6s and the Gh6 8K are aimed at the smaller group of videographers and the G9 is a sport/ wildlife camera with now great but limited video features.

Confusedabit Senior Member • Posts: 1,755
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
1

Dad of 2 wrote:

It’s my opinion that the future of the M43 system is being determined as Panasonic develops the GH6. Here are some things I’ve gathered which support a view as to where this is going.

I do not think that the GH6 will compete with FF at this level. At this level probably better getting a full frame though if Fuji can get ibis in the cheaper stuff that may save things at the lower end.

m43 is probably mainly low end stuff and if that goes then m43 has gone as far as most of us are concerned. All this focus at the moment is by the big spenders on low turnover high margin products and very videocentric.

  • ..........................

I will let others opine on whether this new direction is good or not. To me, it’s exciting and will attract new users to M43. Part of me just wants a dual-native ISO version of the GH5 (with better AF), but let’s be real – that won’t get M43 back into the game against FF. Time to be bold and do something innovative.

I see a bleak prospect of just the 20% , if even that many, currently using full frame being all the camera industry is interested in and all that is left in the end.

Plenty of m43 kit around so I am in it for the long term even if cameras go entry level at £1500 across the board for a new one which is what the industry seem to want. I cannot see any encouraging messages on the future availability of anything less than this and if they want to keep these low end users off smartphones they need to say it.

JIP may in fact be a good thing and possibly a lifeboat for the less affluent camera user if they manage to save the EM10 as you wonder if the big boys with their heads in the clouds have any interest in this sort of camera.

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spider-mario
spider-mario Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: GH6 and the future of M43

Dad of 2 wrote:

  • The sensor in the GH5S is important because it is VERY closely related to what I believe is the next generation sensor for M43, the Sony IMX492 (or some customization of this sensor, which was also designed for industrial/security apps). The datasheets for these two sensors reveal striking similarities – they are clearly related designs.

“Recommended lens F number: 2.8 or more
Recommended exit pupil distance: -100mm to -∞”

I may be wrong, but as-is, this clearly doesn’t look like it’s made for ILCs.

  • Advantages of various modes include enhanced dynamic range […] or better HDR.

Isn’t that the same thing?

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Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,678
Easy time to be a product manager!
4

It's an easy time to be a product manager!

  1. Find the most successful line on the market (Sony E-Mount)
  2. Copy what they did. Make identical cameras. Right down to the letter-number naming pattern.
  3. Document the market research behind it, and your a** is covered.
  4. Stand back and watch as the market collapses, as there is only a finite number of people who will buy a Sony A7, whether it's called a Sony A7, Canon R6, Nikon Z5, or now Panasonic S5.

The alternative, where each vendor takes a different niche, grows the market, has a lot more risk for each product manager. If you've picked the wrong niche, your company might suffer relative to the market, and you lose your job. If you've picked the right niche, there's no upside. If you've done a really good job and your product has 10x growth, you might get an extra 5% salary as an annual bonus.

On the other hand, if the whole market collapses, you just blame it on market conditions. Not. Your. Fault. Or if a competitor did well with same product, the fault lies in other folks who failed to execute as well. Not. Your. Fault.

Brilliant!

Disclaimer: This dynamic isn't specific to the camera market. There are about a dozen nearly-identical cars one can buy: a compact hatchback, a sedan, an SUV, a pick-up truck, a van, a sports car, a luxury car, and not much else. For the longest time, there were just three laptops on the market; every single one had a 1280x720 screen. It's very hard to structure a company such that the individual incentives, which are to avoid risks, don't overwhelm the systemic incentives.

Andersonm Contributing Member • Posts: 564
Re: GH6 and the future of M43
2

As you say, the existence of a mass of good quality, cheap lenses pretty much ensures another MFT camera.

Simply because, as time passes and the current MFT models get outdated, the buying interest in a new camera will keep increasing.

Like Sony releasing the A99 II.

Over time, it's possible that MFT will decline. But it's undoubtable that there are more MFT cameras coming up.

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