August 30, 2017

GH5 Firmware 2.0 Offers ALL-Intra Format and 6K Anamorphic Mode

Panasonic is adding a valuable new feature with its latest GH5 firmware, announced today and available later this month.

When the GH5 was announced nearly a year ago, it hit all the major specs—4K, 10bit, 4:2:2 and even 60p—all in a tidy package building on the beloved GH4, all for under $2,000. One thing missing was intra-frame encoding, which is coming at the end of September with the latest revision of the firmware to version 2.0.

Credit: Panasonic

The new record format is called ALL-Intra, where Intra refers to "intra-frame" encoding, which means all compression will be applied to individual frames as opposed to "inter-frame" encoding that compresses groups of pictures (GOP) together. Inter-frame encoding actually has the possibility of creating nice looking images in smaller file sizes, but requires more work for post-production systems and generally requires a transcode. Inter-frame encoding can also tend to fall apart in heavily action focused or wildly hand-held sequences where ALL-Intra can record action beautifully by applying equal data to every frame. ALL-Intra will be available in 400 Mpbs and 200 Mbps flavors, up to 4K 23.98p.

4K 60p will remain 4:2:0-8bit Long GOP, limited to 150 Mbps, which makes sense but might frustrate some users. 60p is a lot of bandwidth for a camera to process and pump onto a card, and in ALL-Intra mode, even at 400 Mbps, you are likely to see some artifacting if the camera tries to push 60 frames into each of those seconds at 400 Mb. With the limits of the record cards accepted by the GH5, it's unlikely that 4K 60p will ever be available ALL-Intra. Frankly, having 400 Mbps intra recording at all in a camera this small and inexpensive is a major bonus. Additionally, as frame rates get higher, with less difference frame to frame, Long GOP remains a useful tool to keep file sizes manageable.

Heavily inter-frame encoded video files don't tend to play well in your editing software and typically require a transcode to work effectively, while intra files tend to be much larger (hence that top data rate of 400 Mbps), but play more easily. ALL-Intra files are going to eat up more of your disc space, but if you want to dive straight into your edit without a transcode, especially on a tight turnaround job, the 400 Mbps or especially the 200 Mbps ALL-Intra are something to test. Be sure you are working with SD cards that are at least video speed class 60, and frankly faster cards couldn't hurt.

Credit: Panasonic

The firmware update also extends the Anamorphic mode of the camera with new format options that increase the total pixel count of your anamorphic recordings. This gives you pixel volumes equivalent to what you would get in a 6K recording, but in the 4K file size. 

Credit: Panasonic

Firmware 2.0 will be available from the Panasonic site at the end of September.

Tech Specs:

  • 6K Anamorphic equivalent mode
  • ALL-Intra 400 Mbps and 200 Mbps formats
  • Lumix Tether USB-tethered shooting compatiblity
  • HLG HDR video mode
  • Improved white balance and auto focus

Your Comment

14 Comments

Cool feature :-)
Still a bit mysterious to me: "This gives you pixel volumes equivalent to what you would get in a 6K recording, but in the 4K file size. "

PS.
I never ever had to transcode GOP-codecs since 2009

August 30, 2017 at 5:10PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9040

You had a GOP 4K camera in 2009?........

August 30, 2017 at 10:21PM

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what i was gonna say LOL

August 31, 2017 at 9:13AM

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John D. Kim
Director & Editor
159

Where did he say it was 4K?

September 3, 2017 at 6:20PM

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David Gurney
DP
1470

6K because the total pixel count is roughly the same, even though the aspect ratio is vastly different than 16x9.

You only have to transcode if your software does not understand the CODEC you are using. I just upgraded to MAGIX Vegas Pro 15 which natively opens GH5 10-bit files. No more transcoding for me.

August 31, 2017 at 11:02AM, Edited August 31, 11:02AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32021

Also means it shoots now 5k in an imax style ratio :) . Reframe like a mutha

August 30, 2017 at 5:31PM

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Woah.

OK, if Panny can do this, let's have the intra 4K on their new Eva-1 at launch, please. Otherwise, no bueno.

August 30, 2017 at 7:09PM, Edited August 30, 7:09PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
718

Soon we'll have these Pannies shooting 8k... soon... :D

August 31, 2017 at 1:18AM

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David Huxiley
Director
64

So impressive in such a small camera. I bought one last week as a B-cam.

One has to wonder though...how many owners of this type of camera are going to notice any difference with the new bitrates, other than having to spend money on new cards and extra hard drives?

August 31, 2017 at 5:08AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
767

If you'll pardon stupid questions...

1) Does the 10-bit depth allow taking advantage of HDR formats, like Dolby Vision?
2) Can all of these formats be recorded internally to a memory card within the camera?
3) What are the benefits of 6k anamorphic, if most people cannot watch a 6k anamorphic film?

August 31, 2017 at 11:17AM, Edited August 31, 11:21AM

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LW
8

1) Well, it supports HDR broadcast standard developed jointly between the BBC and Japanese national broadcaster NHK. I'm guessing that's an alternative to Dolby Vision
2) Yes, but some will require the new, very expensive V90 cards
3) Future proofing, downgrading to resolution suitable for cinemas (most likely indie rather than Hollywood fare), the ability to punch in or reframe in post

September 1, 2017 at 7:43PM

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Alternate uses for the Anamorphic update
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ7RAodlouI&t=0s

August 31, 2017 at 1:53PM

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Once again, a manufacturer pointlessly cuts the bitrate when the frame rate increases. WTF?

The camera's throughput is obviously 400 Mbps; it'll do 4K at 30 FPS at that bitrate. And yet at HD resolution, 60 FPS is only at 200 Mbps.

September 3, 2017 at 6:23PM, Edited September 3, 6:26PM

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David Gurney
DP
1470

1080p60 at 200Mbps is the same compression ratio as 2160p30 (UHD) at 400Mbps.

You're cutting the pixels per frame down to 1/4 from 8,294,400 to 2,073,600 and only doubling the number of frames per second... so there's half the data in 1080p60 as there is in 2160p30.

1080p120 would have the same amount of data moving through the codec as 2160p30.

The camera may be able to write 400Mbps to the card when shooting 4K, but there might be some other technical limitation that doesn't allow it to record 1080p at a lower compression ratio even though it could write it to the card.

September 5, 2017 at 3:40PM, Edited September 5, 3:43PM

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