Panasonic has launched a new Lumix firmware update which makes for easier use of the DJI's RS3 Pro gimbal and DJI LiDAR – and eliminates the need for the focus motor accessory or calibration. Panasonic announced it as a new partnership with DJI under the message, "Creating new excitement together, transcend the boundaries of stills and video."
The first fruit of the new partnership sees is a firmware update for the Lumix GH6 and GH5 II that enables expanded compatibility with the DJI RS3 Pro gimbal. The update of note is that the cameras will now support “DJI LiDAR AF” in the combination of the DJI gimbal “DJI RS3 Pro” and “DJI LiDAR Range Finder (RS)”.
So, what exactly is DJI's LiDAR AF? Lumix states on its new partnership webpage that:
"The LiDAR AF of the DJI RS 3 Pro uses the information measured by the LiDAR Range Finder (RS) to control a focus motor, but when used with the LUMIX, the distance measurement information is sent to the camera via USB, and the camera drives the focus, so no focus motor is required, enabling easier handling with a more compact size and greater freedom of shooting. Furthermore, there is no need for lens calibration adjustments, which saves setup time. Thanks to the LiDAR's high-speed 43,200 ranging points within a 14-meter distance, extremely fast AF is realized, which is also effective when shooting in low-light conditions".
The recent Lumix cameras have been topping the guides for best hybrid and video cameras, and this update further expands on their functionality. As a response to the increasingly diverse needs of customers, instead of spending time and effort creating their own system, they have partnered with a company that is already at the top of the game, a very smart move and one that will benefit many of Lumix's customers. With this partnership, Lumix and DJI bring higher-quality video equipment and capabilities to the masses, enabling a larger portion of users to use equipment they wouldn't have otherwise.
As part of the partnership, DJI's vaunted ActiveTrack subject tracking tech will now work on the Lumix cameras, so that any of DJI's RS 2 and RS 3 series gimbals can follow subjects using the camera's sensors – dispensing with the need for either the LiDAR Range Finder or RavenEye to enable ActiveTrack. Even the cheaper DJI RS 3 Mini is supported.
This means that when filming a subject the movement is detected by the camera and then sent to the gimble, which initiates auto-tracking. The ability to do this without the need for added equipment means that it can enable a lightweight on-the-go video setup, perfect for vlogging or filmmaking.
Previous evidence shows Panasonic Lumix is keen to collaborate with other manufacturers to support creators. The introduction of the L-Mount Alliance saw three companies work together creating a highly versatile lens mount. This time Lumix has teamed up with DJI to put their strengths together to best serve the customer. This is great to see and with the ever-changing landscape of photo and video, these collaborations offer much more versatility.
This is also just the start of the partnership, and I am excited to see what else they can create together. Find out more about the new partnership on their page, and keep an eye out for new tutorial videos that will show you how to get the best out of your equipment.