Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 Announced – Box-style Camera With MFT Sensor

8 days ago

Panasonic has just announced a new box-style mirrorless camera: the Panasonic LUMIX BGH1. This camera is designed for video shooting and no stills photography, emphasizing streaming/ broadcasting/multi-camera shooting capabilities. It features a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, a 10.2MP Live MOS sensor with dual native ISO, similar to the one found in the LUMIX GH5S. It can record in C4K/4K at up to 60 fps, and up to 240 fps in FHD. Let’s take a closer look at this new compact and lightweight camera!

The new LUMIX DC-BGH1 is Panasonic’s first take at creating a smaller and even more compact mirrorless camera with a four-thirds sensor. But, the Panasonic LUMIX DC-BGH1 is not a hybrid camera; it’s designed for shooting video.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 Image credit: CineD

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 – GH5S with a New Form Factor

This camera features the same sensor as the GH5S, which is a 10.2MP Live MOS sensor with multi- aspect and dual native ISO (V-Log L: ISO 400 & 2,000, HLG: ISO 320 & 1600, Cinelike: ISO 160 & 800). The general ISO range is from 160 to 51,200. The image processor is a Venus Engine, similar to the one in the GH5S, too.

However, the LUMIX BGH1 has a smaller form factor than the GH5S and the sensor / processor are optimized to work in video mode. According to Panasonic, the camera has been designed for a vast range of applications, including streaming, events, documentary, cinema and traditional broadcast shooting. Due to its small weight it can also be used on drones.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 – Panasonic Gh5s size comparison. Image credit: CineD

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 – Recording Modes

The Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 can record internally in C4K/4K at up to 60 frames per second in 4:2:0 10-bit Long GOP form (and 4:2:2 10-bit All intra up to 30fps). The camera has two SD card slots and offers relay/back up/Allocation recording. If you drop down the resolution to FHD, you can crank up your frame rate to up to 240 fps. Mind you that the angle of view will change when filming over 201 fps and the image will crop.

Various picture profiles are available, including Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) compatible with ITU-R BT.2100 colorspace. You can also record internally in C4K/4K HEVC/H.264 or H.265 (recording settings related). A V-Log L picture profile is pre-installed, and Panasonic claims a maximum Dynamic Range of 13 stops (we already have the camera in-house and will present our Lab test findings soon).

For even greater usability, you can record externally. The camera is capable of outputting a C4K/4K 4:2:2 10-bit signal over HDMI. It is also the first LUMIX camera that can output the video signal to HDMI and SDI simultaneously. (HDMI, 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit, SDI, up to FHD 60p 4:2:2 10-bit).

Like with its LUMIX GH5S sibling, the new LUMIX BGH1 includes an anamorphic mode (4K 3328×2496 up to 50p).

The camera’s body is made of aluminum plus magnesium alloy to disperse heat in conjunction with a new heat dispersion structure that allows unlimited video recording times and no overheating issues.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 With lens. Image credit: CineD

Autofocus Capabilities

It seems like Panasonic put a lot of effort into improving the autofocus capabilities of the LUMIX BGH1. According to the company, the camera features an “advanced deep learning technology” capable of detecting humans and animals.

For humans, the camera can recognize the eye, face, body and head separately. On paper, it can track the subject if he/she moves, turns his back to the camera, or moves away from the camera.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 connectivity ports. Image credit: Panasonic

Input/Output Ports and Connectivity

The Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 features a lot of input/output ports, including:

  • One USB 3.1 Type-C port
  • A 3G-SDI output connector
  • One HDMI Type-A output connector
  • A 3.5mm microphone input and a 3.5mm headphone jack (the LUMIX BGH1 is compatible with the DMW-XLR1 unit that gives you access to two XLR ports)
  • A 2.5mm port for a generic remote control unit (LANC)
  • A Gen Lock IN and Timecode IN/OUT port
  • One ethernet port with Power over Ethernet capabilities (PoE+)

As you can see, the LUMIX BGH1 has nearly every input/output port you can think of. But, the camera is also capable of wireless connectivity with 2.4GHz Wi-FI connectivity and Bluetooth 4.2.

Some of the above mentioned connection ports are mandatory as the camera doesn’t have any built-in monitoring functionality. Also, bear in mind that since this camera is targeting “Business to Business” customers mostly, it will come WITOUT a battery or charger included.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 next to Z cam E2 (Left) and E2c (Right). Image credit: CineD

Remote Control Capabilities

For live recordings or broadcast events, you can control a maximum of 12 LUMIX BGH1 simultaneously via the Panasonic PC software LUMIX Tether. This software allows you to take pictures, even if it’s a video-centric camera. Also, to get all LUMIX BGH1 cameras in perfect synchronization, the LUMIX Sync software can help.
There are two tally lamps (one in the front and one at the back of the camera) and a network connection lamp. This feature is handy if multiple camera operators are working with you, so everyone knows when they are live or not.
For further control, an SDK for camera control via USB will be provided by Panasonic for free. The SDK will be released for owners of compatible LUMIX cameras (BGH1, S1, S1R, S1H, S5, GH5S, GH5, G9) on October 14th. Check out Panasonic’s site by clicking here.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 Dual SD cards slots. Image credit: Panasonic

Pricing and Availability

The Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 will be available at the end of October for $1,999 (or 2,099 Euro excluding VAT). This small-form-factor camera could be great for you if you are often shooting live events or are in the need for a lightweight multi-camera setup. I also see the BGH1 as a “Z-Cam/RED Komodo-type” offer from Panasonic, used by indie filmmakers and one-man-band filmmakers. 

What do you think about this new Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera? Will you consider getting it for multi-camera configurations? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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Marc Szeglat
Marc Szeglat
Member
6 days ago

Without viewfinder, display and grip its not usable for most broadcasters and documentary filmmakers. if i have to buy external viewfinder etc, its lose mobility and it is more expensive like a sony a7sIII. So why I should buy this camera?

Wayne S
Wayne S
Member
7 days ago

Old and overpriced.

If this was based on the gh6, it would be different.

It’s hard to believe it’s bigger than the big zcam, and more competes with the cheap zcam.

10 bit HDR acquisition is amateurish. 12-16bit is better. The BM pocket 6k is basically a better buy, and the 4k also cheaper. Go figure!

Ian Taylor
Member
6 days ago
Reply to  Wayne S

Black Magic is old and over priced. Black Magic was released on September 4, 2012? It’s almost 2021 right? Your opinions are a bit over clocked.

Last edited 6 days ago by Ian Taylor
Luigi
Luigi
Guest
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian Taylor

The BM pocket 6k was released in 2019

Ian Taylor
Guest
5 days ago
Reply to  Luigi

yeah and it’s almost 2021.

alexandre Prod'homme
alexandre Prod'homme
Guest
7 days ago

Genlock, no ibis, dual iso and unlimited recording at 60fps? This could be a fantastic camera for VFX work on bigger set, as arrays of witness cams!

Oscar M
Guest
7 days ago

Article is not correct in regards to specs.
It also records 4:2:2 10bit internal upto 30fps.

But not having internal ND´s and h.264 internal is a bummer

Last edited 7 days ago by Oscar M
Ian Taylor
Member
7 days ago
Reply to  Oscar M

Sony’s digital ND filters are lame in my opinion. Sensors need to stay pure and high res without turning the camera into a Lightroom app. Digital ND filters are for Social Media Apps and making lo res eye candy for commercial web media. Lumix makes camera’s for film makers pushing the boundaries of digital film. Real glass will always be real glass. Panasonic makes tools not toys.

Wayne S
Wayne S
Member
7 days ago
Reply to  Oscar M

Thanks for that.

Eugenia L
Member
7 days ago

It would have been a great camera if it had ibis and external raw recording, maybe internal prores too and a couple of ND filters too. I’d pay $2500 for that. But at its current configuration, it’s 2 years too late. The fact that it’s MFT hurts its chances for adoption, so it had to be fully tricked out to convince people.

Last edited 8 days ago by Eugenia L
Wayne S
Wayne S
Member
7 days ago
Reply to  Eugenia L

I would say internal raw etc too Eugenia

Walter Vargas
Walter Vargas
Guest
6 days ago
Reply to  Eugenia L

Word is that external raw is coming.

Benedikt Neumeier
Benedikt Neumeier
Member
7 days ago

what is the ethernet port for? can it be used as a IP camera? would be great for live streams

Ian Taylor
Member
8 days ago

Dear everyone, Why are you all missing the fact that this amazing camera records 24bit audio / 4k etc?. Plus Lumix live streaming beta software in amazing with USB-C Lumix is still winning! PS you’re welcome.

Last edited 8 days ago by Ian Taylor
Andreas Schwarz
Member
8 days ago

This camera does not fit into 2020 somehow….3 Years ago, it would have been intresting….

Jerry
Jerry
Guest
8 days ago

Way cool! In fact I’d suggested to Olympus way back when to make a square format camera 1:1 instead of 4:3. This looks like a scene stealer for sure.

Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Guest
8 days ago

HEVC/H.264 or H.265.
Why not ProRes?
(Or braw)
pass.

Walter Vargas
Walter Vargas
Guest
6 days ago
Reply to  Markus Magnon

Raw output to ProRes Raw is coming.

Steven
Steven
Guest
8 days ago

I’m very happy to see new gears especially from Panasonic, a brand that I much respect. But this new camera isn’t nothing new for me. What does it offer more than the Z CAM released long before for similar pricing?
No Prores Raw yet but I have no doubt Atomos will work on it. But nothing new in 2020 for me…

Behnam Moghaddam
Behnam Moghaddam
Member
8 days ago
Reply to  Steven

SDI output (the reason i did not buy the Z Cam)
and PoE (like the Z Cam E2c but with way better PQ and DR)
to me (and to you if your use case is multi-cam studio and livestreaming, too) this is more relevant then high frame rates and IBIS and all the other bells and whistles one could want ( and which my G9 and the S5 do cover perfectly).

Yaroslav Soltys
Yaroslav Soltys
Member
7 days ago

Have you seen z cams sdi module? Seems to be a good fit.

Stephane Shogun
Stephane Shogun
Member
7 days ago

I hope you’re right about the DR. they announced 13 stops but let’s see when it will be released and tested. I like the fact that it is a reliable brand too.

Greg Greenhaw
Greg Greenhaw
Guest
8 days ago

is mft dead though?

Jerry
Jerry
Guest
8 days ago
Reply to  Greg Greenhaw

Seems not (your kind has been saying this since the start of MFT). And with lenses like Zuiko on this camera…

Eric Darling
Eric Darling
Member
8 days ago
Reply to  Jerry

Yeah, just think of EVERY LENS YOU OWN having a 2x extender behind it. I mean, who really needs distortion-free wide angle footage anyway? ;)

Luigi
Luigi
Guest
6 days ago
Reply to  Eric Darling

yeah, but think of every non-mft-zoom lens you put on there with an adapter having a 2x extender without the glass in between. that 100-400mm leica zooms in quit a bit. today i’m working with a pxw-x500 from sony with a 2/3 inch ccd, and I won’t complain that the lensit isn’t wide enough…

Depends on your work, but it can be an advantage having the option not to deal with limited zoom range and super-shallow DOF.

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