Latest firmware improvements for Lumix G9, GH5 and GH5s explained

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

WB/ISO/EXP button

This is a handling change that makes the process of altering white balance, ISO and exposure compensation a little quicker. In previous incarnations we pressed one of the three buttons on the top plate to activate the ISO display, for example, and then while the display was active we could alter the setting by turning a dial, using the rocker or with a finger on the screen. When done, a press of the set button or a touch of the shutter button would make the display disappear and take us back to the normal shooting screen.

With the new firmware we have a choice over how long the display stays active on the screen – until we actively get rid of it using the shutter/set button as before or only while the ISO button is being held down. For some the ‘While Pressing’ will feel a bit frantic while others will relish how quickly they can get back to shooting. Using the ‘After Pressing’ option remains the more leisurely option.

 

Night mode

Night mode was first introduced to the Lumix range in the G9, and now it comes to help GH5 and GH5s users too. In this mode a red ‘filter’ descends over the rear screen and/or EVF to cut down the brightness. This makes it easier to use the screens at night without sacrificing our night vision, and without the rear screen lighting up the world behind it giving away our position.

Lumix G9 GH5 GH5s Night mode
As before, users can decide to switch either the rear screen or the EVF to night mode, or to use both in the red-screen mode.

Picking single images from a drive sequence to edit

This change allows images shot in a high drive sequence to be singled out post-capture for in-camera treatment, such as raw processing or sending via Wi-Fi. Previously sequences were shown as a stack and while each could be reviewed many functions that could be applied to singly recorded images were turned off. This change corrects that, so now we can extract a single frame from the drive, process it in-camera and send it to a smartphone, for example.

Live View Boost

Live View Boost will help those working in extremely dark conditions to see what the camera is pointing at. When switched on it boosts the picture shown on the back screen and in the EVF. This doesn’t reflect the exposure obviously, but it helps us to compose a scene that might be lit by a burst of flash, for example, when the exposure is made. It also helps will manual focusing in dark conditions for both stills and movie photographers. This new menu item is found in the Display settings, and allows us to choose in which exposure modes it works – plus we can switch it on or off.

It is a bit like a more powerful version of the camera’s standard means of brightening the view when Constant Preview is off.

Live View boost was introduced in the GH5s, so it only becomes an addition for the G9 and GH5.

20x magnification manual focus assist

Sometimes 6x magnification just isn’t enough when manually focusing a lens on a distant or very detailed subject – especially if you are using a very wide aperture. To help avoid difficulties in precision focusing Panasonic introduced a 20x magnification mode in the Lumix GH5s, and via these latest firmware updates that mode comes to the G9 and GH5 as well.

To get the most from the mode you need to select the full-screen mode in the manual focus (MF) section of the settings menu, as the PIP (Picture in Picture) configuration will still only allow 6x magnification as the window is too small to be useful at higher degrees. With film makers fitting third-party wide aperture lenses this mode will be very useful to owners of the G9 and GH5, as it has been to users of the GH5s. It is also very useful when ensuring accurate focus with the G9 for High Resolution pictures – again especially with third-party lenses used in manual focus mode.

You can also find a bit more on this in our article about using 20x magnification in the GH5s

 

Internal sound improvement

There isn’t too much detail on this, but it seems that Panasonic has improved the way these cameras use their noise cancelling microphones to create a clean signal through the main recording microphone.

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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