Since the release of the GH5 earlier this year, we’ve known about a big firmware upgrade planned for the end of the summer and now we’ve got official confirmation: version 2.0 will be available at the end of September and it brings lots of new features and improvements.
Concerning the video capabilities, the firmware will bring the following:
- All-Intra compression for all the 4K and 1080p formats, including the 10-bit 4:2:2 option. All-Intra means that every frame is compressed individually rather than in a group. This means that no data is lost in the process and the quality is higher but it also increases the file size. The bitrate will increase to 400mbps for 4K and 200mbps for Full HD.
- 6K 4:3 Anamorphic format: the camera can record using the full sensor area at 6K of resolution (20MP equivalent). The footage can be then desqueezed to regain the widescreen video format. The bitrate will be 200mbps with Long GOP compression rather than All-I. There will also be a new image stabilisation option designed for 1.33 and 2.0 anamorphic lenses.
- 4K HDR: a new gamma curve called Hybrid Log will be available among the Photo Styles. It will make the camera compatible with many 4K HDR ready TV and monitors that offer a wider colour palette, better contrast and more brightness levels. The camera will offer an HLG HDR view assist on screen as well. The profile will be available in 4K 50p/6p 4:2:2 via the HDMI output.
- HEVC codec: a lighter codec recording at 72mbps with LongGOP compression 10bit 4:2:0 HEVC
- IBIS Lock: the IS system compensates for hand shake when the viewing angle doesn’t change
- Crop Marks: for 1:1, 16:9, 2.35:1 and 2.39:1 aspect ratios
The update doesn’t just concern the video department. There are relevant improvements to the autofocus too:
- Several tweaks in the algorithm have been made to make the camera more reliable when following a subject in low light conditions
- Tracking has been improved during video recording
- A custom AF area can remain on display continuously in Multi AF mode
- You can switch an AF area to the other side when it reaches the edge of the frame in Multi AF mode
- The AF area can be moved with the shutter button half pressed or when shooting in burst mode and 4K/6K Photo
- AE lock can be set on the live view screen in advance while using AF tracking
Finally we have improvements to various functions, buttons and connectivity:
- Tethering will be available via USB and the Lumix Tether software. It will work for photo, video and 4K/6K Photo.
- 4K/6K Photo: the waiting time to start the next shooting sequence is reduced by half. Loop recording will be added to 6K Photo.
- You will be able to control the camera with your mobile phone using Bluetooth rather than Wifi
- The DISP button can be locked
- Usability of Time Lapse Shot mode improved
- Usability of Power Save LVF mode improved
- Bug fixed where the Kelvin temperature value was reset after adjusting white balance compensation
- You can rate the images or video with a function button in playback mode
- More settings can be assigned to the function buttons including Constant Preview, RAW Processing, Destination Slot for the memory cards, Mic Level Adjustments and many others.
- Various fixes concerning Relay Recording and Back-up Recording
- Image quality improvement when using ISO Low (100), i.Dynamic and Highlight / Shadows settings.
Lumix Ambassador Jacob James had the chance to play with the new firmware already. You can check out his impressions here.