Articles & News

Panasonic Releases Lumix GH6 Firmware Version 2.2 With Support for Recording Video On Specified SSDs

Panasonic has released Firmware Version 2.2 for the Panasonic Lumix GH6 video-oriented mirrorless hybrid camera and its main feature is the ability to record to external SSD (external solid state drives) up to and including 2TB capacity. 

So far only a subset of portable SSDs from two brands, Samsung and SanDisk, have been tested by Panasonic staff. 

Of those, Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives have reportedly become unavailable in many locations and Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield drives are currently going through Panasonic’s verification process. 

Panasonic has verified SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD drives and SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD drives up to and including 2TB capacity. 

Firmware Version 2.2, Release Date 2022/09/27

1. Support for SSD recording over USB
– Pictures and videos can now be recorded and played back with a commercially available external SSD connected to the USB port.

*Note beforehand that this is not a guarantee of operation on all devices.
*It is not supported in some video recording modes.
*We recommend using an external SSD whose operation has been confirmed by Panasonic.

For the latest information about external SSDs, check the following support site:
https://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/connect/index.html

2. Other improvements
– ISO [8000/10000/12800] can now be selected when [HDMI Raw Data Output] and [Dynamic Range Boost] are set to [ON].

Please download the operation instructions from here for more details about the specification change.
https://av.jpn.support.panasonic.com/support/dsc/oi/GH6/index.html

SSDs verified or undergoing verification

Installing and setting up the SSD firmware update is not a straightforward process so I recommend reading Panasonic’s instructions as well as watching some of the videos we’ve shared in this article:

Other considerations include the best cables for connecting your SSDs as many come with cables that are too short, as well as how best to mount your SSDs on your camera’s hotshoe or cage.

I’ve included some recommended USB Type-C cables in the list below as well as a SmallRig universal SSD holder with hotshoe mount that may do the job well.

So far as we know right now, however, this SSD holder has not been tested with Samsung’s T7 Shield SSDs, so I’ll keep looking and will share my results here soon.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 Operating Instructions, HTML, Firmware Version 2.2.

Meanwhile Panasonic has added information about the 2.2 firmware update to its DC-GH6 Operating Instructions which are available in a range of languages as HTML and PDFs:

Links

Photographer & Videographer Emily Lowrey of Micro Four Nerds Shares Her Loves, Hates & Niggles About Panasonic’s Lumix GH6 M43 Powerhouse Video Camera

‘Micro Four Nerds’ is the name of Emily May Lowery’s YouTube channel and she’s one of the nicest and most fun nerds you could ever imagine if her videos are anything to go by. 

She’s formally untrained in photography and videography but clearly her degree in music and sound design have provided more than enough creative plus technical savvy to move sideways into the visual from the sonic. 

“I initially bought a camera to take photos of my band (I was the drummer) and then ended up taking photos of the bands we played with. And then it sort of ended up being my favourite thing in the world.”

Emily Lowrey’s ‘GH6 Videos’ Playlist

I came across Ms Lowery while researching Panasonic’s coming support for SSD recording with its Lumix GH6 video-oriented mirrorless hybrid camera and was suitably impressed.

I’m sure you will be too as she expounds in-depth on the GH6’s bounty of video production and photographic capabilities in the playlist above and selected videos below.

My Faves from Micro Four Nerds

Micro Four Nerds: 6 Tips To Fake A Gimbal Shot // GH6 Stabilisation Test

“Here is an in-depth video about the very impressive stabilisation on the Lumix GH6. This camera has 7.5 stops of stabilisation — no matter which lens you use! — and it’s really effective for faking those gimbal shots in a pinch.”

Micro Four Nerds: The Best Lumix GH6 Photography Features // Photo Examples

“We all know the Lumix GH6 is outstanding for video, but what about photography? Does the updated GH6 Auto Focus help in photography? What about the 100mp handheld mode? and the very impressive 75fps photo mode. Let’s take a look!”

Micro Four Nerds: 3 ways I use Open Gate, and why you should too

“Open Gate has been around for a while. It’s on the GH5, the GH6, as well as some other full frame cameras like the Lumix S1H. I’ve recently started to use Open Gate in my own video work, and here are three uses for open gate, and how it can improve your video work as well!”

Micro Four Nerds: How I Set Up My Lumix GH6… and some honest thoughts…

“Here is my long-ish term review of the Lumix GH6! Here is exactly how I’ve set up my camera for my needs, as well as some features I LOVE (and some i’ve learned to HATE!) The Lumix GH6 is my all-time favourite camera but it isn’t without its niggles!”

Micro Four Nerds: GH6 SSD Recording IS HERE!

“Finally we have the Lumix GH6 firmware update 2.2! Which brings SSD recording! It’s available for everyone for free from the 27th of September! Here’s everything you need to know about the new SSD recording function on the Lumix GH6”

A Panasonic Lumix GH6 core stills and video documentary kit

Links

SSD Recording Is Coming to the Panasonic Lumix GH6 on September 27, 2022 via Firmware 2.2: Watch These Videos Before You Upgrade

Firmware 2.2 for Panasonic’s Lumix GH6 is due to be released on September 27, 2022 but some pre-release videos have already appeared to explain what this update offers in its support for some, not all, SSD cards for recording video and stills. 

The GH6 supports some already tested and recommended SD and CFexpress cards, however these media can be costly in their larger capacities whereas SSD can be more affordable and has already proven its value with Blackmagic Design’s BMPCC cinema cameras. 

The GH6’s coming support for SSD recording runs the flag up the pole for this exciting new feature in other hybrid mirrorless cameras and we hope that Fujifilm, for example, will already be working on its own support for SSD.

Pre-release videos from brand ambassadors, reviewers and staff members

We recommend watching these videos for anyone considering using SSD for their GH6.

The firmware update process is not a simple one but these videos show how it’s done and also cover the currently recommended SSDs that Panasonic has tested and will be listing on its compatibilities pages in the coming days.

The Samsung T5 is one such SSD but we note that it already appears to be difficult to impossible to find in many markets and at many retailers.

Luckily we have a few Samsung T5s in use for other purposes but need to acquire some more SSDs and they’ll probably be another brand, so we’re looking forward to Panasonic publishing its initial SSD compatibilities list soon.

I hope that more information about all the best choices for these items will appear after Panasonic releases Firmware 2.2 for the GH6 on September 27, 2022.

Caleb Hoover: LUMIX GH6 SmallRig CINEMA RIG with SSD Recording

“It’s always a good day when you can build out a cinema rig. I got one here for the LUMIX GH6 rigged up for SSD Recording. Thanks SmallRig for all the pieces to build out this cinema rig for the GH6.”

LUMIX Cameras: LUMIX Live : The GH6 SSD Firmware

“This week, Sean is discussing all things SSD recording with the recently announce firmware update for the GH6! In this recorded stream, we cover the process of installing this firmware, what SSDs are validated for compatibility, and how to navigate the menu to activate this storage option.”

Micro Four Nerds (Emily Lowrey): GH6 SSD Recording IS HERE!

“Finally we have the Lumix GH6 firmware update 2.2! Which brings SSD recording! It’s available for everyone for free from the 27th of September! Here’s everything you need to know about the new SSD recording function on the Lumix GH6.”

PhotoJoseph: NEW! LUMIX GH6 SSD Recording over USB Support Coming Soon! (Panasonic GH6 Firmware Update 2.2)

“The Panasonic LUMIX GH6 firmware update adding support for recording to SSD over USB is almost here! Learn all about the update, including what it does, how to install it, and get ready to mount an SSD drive on your GH6!”

Richard Wong: Panasonic GH6 FW 2.2 – SSD recording + All you need to know

“In this video, i’ll share with you everything you need to know about Panasonic GH6 Firmware 2.2. What it does, what is the special instructions for installing this particular firmware, what are the pros and cons and my test results.”

Steven Litton: Choosing the Right SSD Drive for the Panasonic GH6 | Best SSD Drive for the Panasonic GH6 Camera

Panasonic GH6, lenses, cages, SSDs, SSD holders & USB-C cables

I’ve shared all the above videos with you as there is more to Panasonic’s new support for recording to external SSDs than meets the eye.

Samsung T5 SSDs appear to be discontinued in many markets and it’s been reported that the next generation, the Samsung T7 SSDs, may have some issues in relation to the GH6.

Bundled USB Type-C cables are usually too short and of poor quality so I’ve added a brand that has received some good reviews in the past: we need to replace some of our current poor quality, short cables with better ones for other purposes too.

Safely attaching SSDs to your camera hotshoe or cage is another issue and so far SmallRig’s Universal SSD Holder looks like the most future-proofed choice.

We’ve been impressed by Angelbird’s apparent close liaison with camera manufacturers in producing memory card and storage solutions tested to work well and at reasonable prices so we went looking for the brand’s SSDs but they’re listed as “out of stock” on the Angelbird website.

With this and the previous firmware update for the GH6 it keeps getting better and better as an affordable yet versatile documentary video production powerhouse.

If building a GH6 rig from scratch we’d add Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm and 25-50mm f/1.7 zoom lenses, SmallRig camera cage and accessories, and a 32-bit float audio recording solution.

We’re researching the latter at the moment so can’t recommend specific brands or models but Zoom’s F2 and F2-BT Ultracompact Portable Field Recorder with Lavalier Microphone models look very promising.

They aren’t wireless but their 32-bit float audio recording outweighs that in our humble opinion.

We’re also researching recent developments in variable neutral density filters given the latest Fujifilm and Panasonic cameras’ log base ISOs of 1250 and 2000, with the aim of replacing our current ageing lower ND value 77mm diameter VNDs with higher ND value 82mm diameter VNDs.

Another area of research is external battery power for the GH6 given Panasonic chose not to make a vertical battery grip for it and that recording to an SSD uses the USB-C port that might have been used to power the camera on long shoots.

Alternatively, one could choose to forgo the SSD option and go straight to Atomos Ninja V+ with plenty of battery power there and some more easily obtained SSDmini drives.

Links

We Recommend Damien Bernal of ‘Les Guides Fujifilm’ for Video Reviews of Fujifilm & Sony Cameras & Lenses in French

Whenever researching for articles on newly-announced and newly-released photography and video production hardware I like to stop by non-English language YouTube channels and websites in case they have a different perspective. 

One of the most interesting lately is Damien Bernal’s ‘Les Guides Fujifilm’ and he also runs ‘Le Guides Sony’ so his comparisons and judgements may have some perspective given that. 

https://www.youtube.com/c/LesguidesFujifilmDamienBERNAL/videos

Ambassadeur, Sponsorisé ou PAS

Je n’accepte pas de sponsoring des marques et j’ai fait le choix de m’allier avec un magasin photo IPLN.FR. C’est eux qui m’envoient tout le matériel et je n’ai donc aucun intérêt à vous conseiller X plutôt qu’y. Vous pouvez soutenir cette indépendance en achetant le matériel photo chez IPLN.FR et en mettant le code créateur DAMIEN dans le panier.

Regrettably, my early education in Romance and Germanic languages came to a sudden halt as a child when my father’s employer moved us from an east coast capital city where I was attending the finest high school in the state to a tiny seaside town on the west coast with possibly the worst junior high school in the nation.

The text above states that M. Bernal does not accept sponsorships or brand ambassadorships so obtains the hardware that he reviews from a camera store, IPLN.fr in Lyon.

He lives in Perpignan, home of Visa pour l’image, the photojournalism and documentary photography festival, and regular exposure to great photography and photographers is one of the best educations one could hope for.

We’ve tested various in-browser translation extensions when watching some of M. Bernal’s video reviews and while they work to various degrees it’s well enough to understand the gist of what he is saying.

Links

A slow day in Pymble at the start of private and public school holidays

It was a slow day in Pymble running up to the start of private and public school holidays following the federal government’s national day of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Social class differences and similarities revealed themselves in play in another way through the window of our local hairdressing salon. 

The salon and the adjacent bakery are located on the edge of an old social housing estate in the midst of some of the wealthiest suburbs in Australia with rich and poor often living cheek by jowl in block-filling grey or mud-coloured multi-storey MacMansions next door to little old weatherboard cottages. 

This little stretch of pavement and street is usually densely packed with people and cars waiting to buy pastries and coffee during non-holiday periods but today it started off with a sparse crowd and grew very little by the time we exited the area.

A nearby suburb is one of the less wealthy around here but in recent years it has been invaded by large packs of corporate-liveried competitive cyclists using its streets as a training ground, to the dismay of the locals who have proven powerless against it.

Australia is not the egalitarian place it pretends to be and the conflict between rich and poor can be a bitter one with feuds and brutal power games occurring between neighbours of different social classes.

We moved out several years ago due to the packs of cyclists and mistreatment of locals by parents from the wealthiest suburb nearby dumping their skateboarding offspring off at the top of speed ramp-like streets to spend the day competing, fighting, urinating in our gardens and hurling their garbage into our front yards.

Complaining to the parents about their offspring’s misbehaviour drew threats of court action and worse, much worse – said parents turned out to be lawyers, judges or the spouses of lawyers and judges.

Old friends get a workout, as it were

Today I was carrying our beloved Panasonic Lumix GX8 Micro Four Thirds camera with tilting electronic viewfinder and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens attached.

I haven’t been carrying this combination as much as I’d like lately given COVID-19, the locals’ lack of interest in social distancing and mask-wearing, our own illnesses and often dreadful La Niña cold rainy days and dim grey light.

I love how the GX8 can become a waist-level camera like our old Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex cameras with a simple tilt of its electronic viewfinder.

I really like the 4:3 and 3:4 aspect ratio of the Micro Four Thirds sensor format and how it works so much better than the 3:2 and 2:3 of the APS-C and 35mm sensor formats for so many photographic genres, subjects and styles.

I absolutely love the 12-40mm f/2.8’s manual clutch focus mechanism that’s shared by almost all the rest of the Olympus and OM System M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses as well as several M.Zuiko Premium range lenses.

I’m saddened and concerned that OM System appears to be abandoning the manual clutch focusing functionality that convinced so many videographers, cinematographers and Directors of Photography to invest in Olympus lenses for their Panasonic Lumix M43 cameras.

I’ve been waiting so long for Olympus and then OM System to expand their wide-aperture M.Zuiko Pro prime lens range beyond the initial three – the M.Zuiko 17mm, 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 Pro lenses.

I’ve been hoping for M.Zuiko 14mm, 20mm and 52.5mm Pro lenses with manual clutch focus and when OM System released its M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 it made it into a semi-professional lens at best by failing to include the legendary Olympus manual clutch focusing ring.

Little wonder, then, that videographers, cinematographers and even Directors of Photography have now turned their attention to Panasonic’s revolutionary Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric and Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 Aspheric zoom lenses.

The final feature of the GX8 that makes me love it so is its in-body image stabilization, even if it’s an early version of IBIS that’s 3-way instead of the now more common 5-way IBIS.

It allows me to use low ISOs in poor light and slow shutter speeds in situations where our other daily carry camera, Fujifilm’s X-Pro2, would be challenged.

IBIS needs to be built in to every new hybrid “stills+movie” mirrorless camera from now on just as manual clutch focus must be in every new hybrid “stills+movie” prime and zoom lens.

My recurring question to Panasonic is, when are you going to release a professional-quality successor to the GX8?

My new and about to be recurring question to OM System is, when are you going to give up on these semi-professional “M.Zuiko Pro” lenses without manual clutch focus and go back to making real professional primes and zooms with the manual clutch focusing capability that we all love and that has proven its value for so long?

Links

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Grant Scott of the United Nations of Photography Reflects on the Late, Great Photographer & Filmmaker William Klein

Dr Grant Scott of Oxford Brookes University is one of the most interesting and insightful writers, podcasters and documentary filmmakers on the subject of photography today. 

I recommend visiting his website, The United Nations of Photography, on a regular basis and subscribing to his podcast, A Photographic Life, and I also recommend his audio and video projects on the great Bill Jay. 

With the recent death of the great William Klein, one of the greatest and most important photographers and moviemakers of the last century, Dr Scott has written some articles and has released a podcast that is worthy listening: 

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Three of the greatest. Screenshot at William Klein Instagram account: Helmut Newton, June Newton aka Alice Springs, William Klein and Jeanne Klein, Amsterdam, c. 1980. Photograph © Pierre Klein.
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Leagas Delaney “creative hotshop” advertising agency at 233 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EE, where I worked for Tim Delaney, the “God of Copywriting”. Image courtesy of Dave Dye.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with William Klein at Hamiltons Gallery in London when it was almost the only such place where one could see great contemporary photography and meet its makers.

My very long interview with Mr Klein is linked to in the list below.

That was back in 1995 when the Web was new, when contemporary media were nothing like they are today and when one couldn’t easily roll up with hybrid camera, a light and a tripod and make a short video for publication on YouTube.

I wish I had been able to do exactly that given all the artists, photographers and directors I met back then in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, some of whom I was able to commission to make photographs for advertising campaigns when I was working at The Leagas Delaney Partnership advertising agency in London.

The interview was kindly arranged by some of the best supporters of my work to help improve the then (and still) parlous situation of photography in Australia, including Andy Cowan and Tim Jeffries of Hamiltons Gallery and Tiggy Maconochie of Maconochie Photography, formerly of Hamiltons Photographers photographic agency.

At the time both Hamiltons organizations represented some of the greatest though mostly male photographers of the late twentieth century.

They and their staff have my eternal thanks for the many years of their kind assistance in that work and I know I could not have done it without them.

Grant Scott was able to commission William Klein to work on a couple of projects when he was at some magazines including Tatler that was located in the Condé Nast Publications building just around the corner from my temporary photography share studio in Princes Street, Mayfair.

I was unable to find a suitable advertising commission for Mr Klein when I was later at Leagas Delaney, or for that matter Helmut Newton and June Newton, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Links

We’re still sick with the worst cold virus infection we’ve had for years…

We’re still sick with the worst cold virus infection we’ve had for years but we’re doing our best to get back to work here publishing articles of all sorts and sizes about the things in which we are interested and which we hope are of benefit to you as independent self-funded documentary photographers and moviemakers.

Considering Fuji Rumors’ ‘List of Fujinon XF Lenses that Get Maximum Benefit from Fujifilm X-H2 (and X-T5) with 40 Megapixel Resolution’

When the List of Fujinon XF Lenses that Get Maximum Benefit from Fujifilm X-H2 (and X-T5) with 40 Megapixel Resolution appeared at Fuji Rumors we went in search of it elsewhere online and had to conclude that it probably came from an internal Fujifilm document. 

From the moment it was rumoured that the X-H2 would have 8K video capability to match its 40 megapixel sensor, discussion began as to which lenses would perform best at those resolutions. 

The list, below, released as a graphic and not actual text, goes some way to answering that question but gives rise to others as yet unanswered. 

‘List of Fujinon XF Lenses that Get Maximum Benefit from Fujifilm X-H2 (and X-T5) with 40 Megapixel Resolution’

We’re glad to see the promising though as yet relatively untested Fujinon XF 18-120mm f/4.0 LM PZ WR “movie+stills” zoom lens on that list given its reasonable price and that it is the first collaboration between Fujifilm’s cinema and stills lens designers and engineers.

It’s a great start but there needs to be many, many more such collaborations between both Fujinon lens departments to ensure that Fujifilm’s 5th generation cameras from the X-H2 and X-H2S onwards are matched with equally video-capable prime and zoom lenses.

It’s not just Jordan Drake of DPReview TV who finds the majority of Fujifilm’s X-mount lenses wanting for video production and who’s partial to the manual clutch focusing ring of the XF 14mm f/2.8 R, XF 16mm f/1.4 R and XF 23mm f/1.4 R for fast and accurate manual focusing and focus pulling.

We’ll be keeping our own first generation 14mm and 23mm lenses for that reason and for the 14mm’s always underestimated but excellent ability to render fine detail: it’s one of the best X-mount lenses of any generation and we wonder why it has been left off Fujifilm’s list above.

The current lack of video-appropriate Fujinon lenses is why we’ve been researching affordable but good-quality Arri PL-mount lenses and have been suitably impressed by Irix especially after the company revealed it is working on adding Fujifilm X-mount to its already impressive lens-mount lineup.

Two more Fujinon XF lenses to come…

It’s a given that all recently announced Fujinon X-mount lenses will be suitable for use on Fujifilm’s X-H2, X-T5 and all subsequent cameras.

Of the three lenses mentioned at the Fujifilm X Summit Omiya event early this year, we’re most interested in the XF 8mm f/3.5 and XF 30mm f/2.8 Macro.

For the time being, we’ll stick with our first-generation 56mm, the XF 56mm f/1.2 R, for its lush and cosmetically-kind rendering for portraiture.

Our XF 27mm f/2.8 R with its 40.5mm equivalence in the 35mm sensor format suddenly failed as, apparently, many of them do, and we’re tossing up about paying to have it fixed and possibly fail again.

We love perfect normal lenses, as opposed to standard normal lenses, and before it failed our XF 27mm f/2.8 R was a favourite for discrete portraiture and documentary work.

Perfect normal is versatile for video production too but pancake lenses can be challenging for fast and accurate manual focus and focus-pulling as well as for mounting variable neutral density and other filters on the front given their size.

The coming XF 30mm f/2.8 Macro with its 45mm-equivalent focal length looks promising for portraits and video especially if it’s about the same size as the XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR which we enjoy using more and more each day.

We’d much prefer, however, that Fujifilm’s Fujinon cinema and Fujinon stills lens designers and engineers continue collaborating on more “stills+movie” zooms as well as a whole new line of “stills+movie” prime lenses with excellent manual focusing and autofocusing capabilities, of similar sizes and shapes for easy use with gimbals and matte boxes.

Links

The Media History Digital Library Is a Great Place to Research the History of Film, Radio & Television Broadcasting & Recorded Sound

Today we came across the Media History Digital Library aka MHDL during a session on Twitter and are pleased to share some of our initial search results on the term “Robert Krasker”, below. 

“Lantern is the search platform for the collections of the Media History Digital Library. Enter a search term below to begin exploring the 2,845,814 pages of digitized books and magazines from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound.”

Our first attempt at researching Robert Krasker, the great but sadly forgotten Australian Director of Photography for major non-Australian feature films from the 1930s through to the 1960s, began at the National Library of Australia’s Trove search engine and yielded results from Australian magazines and newspapers.

Now it’s time to broaden our research to non-Australian trade media as well as popular magazines and newspapers around the world so stumbling across the MHDL is timely.

We’re also in the process of researching the history of Panavision and its prime mover Robert E. Gottschalk so the MHDL has proven effective there too.

Thank you to the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for providing this wonderful resource.

Thank you also to Eric Hoyt, Media History + Archives + Digital Humanities, Kahl Family Professor of Media Production, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Links

SBS Australia: The Australian Wars | Trailer #1 (Content Warning) | SBS and NITV – Commentary

“The story of Australia’s longest and perhaps most defining war has been kept silent – until now. Over three parts, this ground-breaking documentary series gives voice to the story of The Australian Wars – the battles fought on home soil, as the colonial frontier pushed forward, and First Nations peoples resisted. The series directed and presented by filmmaker Rachel Perkins, reveals the truth of Australia’s past. Airs Wednesdays from 21 September at 7:30pm on SBS and NITV, and available to stream free on SBS On Demand.”

Commentary

Rachel Perkins’ The Australian Wars is essential viewing for everyone who wants to begin to understand why Australia is what it is.

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