Firmware updates are typically used to fix annoying camera bugs or tweak features so that they work a little better. But camera makers are increasingly using firmware updates to add features that didn’t exist before, extending the useful life of their cameras and often bringing them closer to the level of more recent releases.
And that’s what the latest round of firmware update from Panasonic does, particularly for its video-centric Lumix GH5S, launched back in 2018 and in danger of being sidelined by the new Lumix GH5 II and upcoming Lumix GH6.
The Lumix G9, Panasonic’s good value and very capable all-rounder, also gets an update, as does the more recent Lumix G100 vlogging camera. The updates will be available from June 9 from the Panasonic customer support website.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S gets raw capture over HDMI and more
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S Firmware Version 2.0 will add the ability to record Apple ProRes RAW to the Atomos Ninja V external monitor/recorder. The GH5S is an out and out video specialist that looks set to run alongside the new Lumix GH5 II and this will certainly help strengthen its appeal to filmmakers.
The firmware update will allow 12-bit C4K ProRes RAW output at up to 60p, and you will be able to get a dedicated LUT from the Panasonic website to offer the same color grading as Panasonic’s V-Log/V-Gamut profiles. It will also be possible to record 4K Anamorphic 3.K ProRes RAW in a 4:3 ratio to a Nina V.
The GH5S’s autofocus system will get an update too, with the AF tech and performance introduced with the full frame Lumix S5. Panasonic is promising 2x faster face and eye detection and 5x faster human and animal detection, together with improved tracking with the addition of head recognition.
It will also be possible to shoot and play vertical video for social channels, where the camera will automatically detect and preserve the vertical orientation.
Panasonic Lumix G9 gets improved AF and vertical video
Firmware Version 2.4 for the Panasonic Lumix G9 will also add the autofocus technology and performance of the Lumix S5, with faster eye, face, hum and animal recognition, with the addition oif head recognition for improved tracking performance.
Other enhancements (also available in the GH5S firmware update, above, include:
Panasonic Lumix G100 gets vertical shooting
It probably seems like an obvious omission in the original camera, but the Firmware Version 1.2 for the Panasonic Lumix G100 adds the ability to shoot vertical video without automatic reorientation, and the camera will now be recognised by a PC when connected via a USB cable.
It’s an interesting and worthwhile set of updates, and while the Lumix G9 and G100 firmware updates seem more like maintenance releases, the Lumix GH5S update adds important features to one of Panasonic’s lesser known but quite important video cameras – this will become all the more important if the GH5S is to maintain its position alongside the new Lumix GH5 II and the upcoming Lumix GH6.