Panasonic crams full-frame Lumix S1H goodness into box-style videocam
Panasonic's Lumix DC-BGH1 Micro Four Thirds box camera for video shooters is being joined by a full-frame mirrorless sibling called the BS1H, which squeezes the performance chops of the Lumix S1H into a modular box format designed for video pros.
The main differences between the S1H and its boxy variant are on the outside. There's no vari-angle touchscreen panel here, no electronic viewfinder, no in-body image stabilization, no OLED settings panel, not even a camera grip. Users will need to add extra hardware to make such things available, but the design means that you only have to take haul exactly what you need to a video shoot.
Within the aluminum and magnesium alloy box body is a 24.2-megapixel full-frame (35.6 x 23.8-mm) CMOS sensor with Dual Native ISO – giving the camera two ISO baselines to work from, which "minimizes noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing."
Light sensitivity maxes out at ISO51,200, there's an optical low pass filter to help keep moire and false color from spoiling footage, more than 14 stops of dynamic range are on offer, and users can look forward to the same kind of color accuracy as found in the company's VariCam lineup.
The camera is capable of recording 6K/24p video at 3:2 aspect, as well as 5.9K/30p in 16:9. A Super 35 image crop is available for 10-bit 4K UHD/DCI 4K HEVC video at up to 60p, while "the 4:2:2 10-bit 4K30p is recordable in H.264 at its full area."
Footage can be recorded to SD cards (the camera has dual slots), but there are a number of output options available, including up to 12-bit 5.9K/30p RAW over HDMI. Other ports on the camera include 3G-SDI and USB-C, Power over Ethernet is possible via LAN, and up to a dozen camera units can be controlled using Panasonic's Lumix Tether for Multicam software. Timecode and Genlock inputs allows for precision multi-unit synchronization.
An IP streaming function caters for transmission of 4K/60p video with H.265 compression (which can match the image quality of H.264 but cuts the bitrate in half) with a PC connection over wired LAN. Bluetooth 4.2 and 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi are also onboard, and Panasonic will provide a Software Development Kit for camera control over USB/LAN free of charge.
As mentioned earlier, there's no stabilization built in, but a Boost IS function is available when the camera is used with one of the company's Lumix S series lenses.
The Lumix BS1H goes on sale in November for US$3,499.99.