Latest firmware improvements for Lumix G9, GH5 and GH5s explained

firmware update for Lumix GH5, G9 and GH5s

This is a three-page article

  • Page One – AF Tracking, Focus Ring Lock, L.Monochrome D,
  • Page Two – Handling top plate buttons, Night Mode, Images in a sequence, Live View Boost, 20x mag MF assist
  • Page Three – High Resolution mode, V-LogL for stills, Battery life display, 180 degree shutter AF, Vectorscope display

 

The recent firmware updates for the Lumix G9, GH5 and GH5s introduce a number of improvements and additions that are common to each of the three cameras, as well as some that affect individual models only. The upgrades are designed to fix some existing issues and to improve current features – particularly the abilities of the AF systems to track moving subjects. We also have some handling changes and the uptake of features we’ve seen before in other models now spreading across the range.

Here I’ll explain the principle changes and demonstrate alterations to the menu system to help you find and understand what these updates have changed. If you aren’t sure how to check your firmware version, or how to update it read: How to update your Lumix G camera’s firmware

Improved AF tracking

The Lumix G9, GH5 and GH5s will all now track moving subjects with better accuracy once their firmware is updated, and while Panasonic mentions that special attention has been given to the 180° shutter mode these improvements will be noticeable at all shutter speeds. The systems can now detect, acquire and move with subjects as they come in and out of the frame, travel towards and away from the camera, and suddenly appear in the picture. The AF motion is steadier, smoother and more decisive, and the occasional wobble that could appear with pervious firmware now doesn’t.

Focus ring lock

This new menu item allows users to deactivate, rather than lock, the focus ring of the lens attached to the camera.
When working in manual focus with a static subject this allows users to set the focus manually and to ensure the focus stays put even if the focusing ring is turned by accident.

The lock also helps to avoid the view on-screen suddenly becoming magnified should you accidently touch the focus ring while filming in manual focus mode. This will be useful for all AF lenses fitted to the camera, but particularly for zooms when users might occasionally mistake the focusing ring for the zoom ring. Of course, auto magnification can also be switched off in the preferences for MF assist settings in the custom settings menu, but the Focus Ring Lock gives us another method.

I’ve also found that having the lock on prevents the camera losing focus when it goes to sleep, is turned off or when it has the battery changed. This will be useful for those shooting still life when critical focus takes a while to achieve, and when there might be extended periods between shots being taken. For me this is one of the best things about the whole firmware update.

 

 

L.Monochrome D with grain

We met L.Monochrome D when the Lumix GX9 was launched a few months ago, and now the Photo Style comes to the top tier of the Lumix range. This style produces ‘dynamic’ black and white images which have a bit more drama than the standard monochrome settings.

The Portrait Photo Style compared with the L.Monochrome D

Along with this Photo Style we can now add a grain effect to all the Monochrome settings, and we have a choice of three strengths of grain with which to control the impact.

A shot processed using the Natural Photo Style compared with the same frame processed with L.Monochrome D and the ‘Standard’ amount of grain added

As with all Lumix G models, the L.Monochrome D Photo Style can be chosen at the shooting stage or, if you are a raw user, you can add the style post-capture using the in-camera raw processing feature. Nicely, raw images shot previous to your G9, GH5 or GH5s having L.Monochrome D or grain can now have these effects applied through the in-camera raw processing menu.

 

This is a three-page article

  • Page One – AF Tracking, Focus Ring Lock, L.Monochrome D,
  • Page Two – Handling top plate buttons, Night Mode, Images in a sequence, Live View Boost, 20x mag MF assist
  • Page Three – High Resolution mode, V-LogL for stills, Battery life display, 180 degree shutter AF, Vectorscope display

Pages: 1 2 3

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