Panasonic has announced the Lumix BGH1, a unique device that the company describes as a “box-style mirrorless cinema and live event camera.” It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and a compact cubic design, with one of the camera’s sides almost completely dominated by the lens mount. Essentially Panasonic has taken the internals of a GH5S and rehoused them in a box. The Lumix BGH1 will be out this December for $1,999.99.
Its small size and design also mean that it would be well suited for use on drones and gimbals. Because of the box design, in theory, it should make it easier to balance than a lot of other cameras. Like a lot of box style cameras, you have the ability to customize it by building it up, but also the advantage of keeping it small and compact when needed.
The BGH1 is designed for versatility, expandability, and ease of installation. Panasonic envisages it being used in multi-camera situations involving drones, live streaming, and other complex setups. The camera has the ability to output over HDMI, SDI, and USB-C simultaneously. It can also be powered and controlled via Ethernet. You can also control the camera through WiFi or Bluetooth. If you use the LUMIX Tether for Multicam, you can control up to 12 BGH1 cameras at once. The camera also has timecode In/Out and Genlock.
The sensor is 10.2 megapixels, presumably to optimize the camera for 4K video recording. The camera can shoot footage at 4:2:0 10-bit C4K/4K 60p or 4:2:2 10-bit All-I C4k/4K 30p, and there’s an option to capture in Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) for broadcast-ready HDR.
If you are looking to use the BGH1 primarily as a digital cinema camera then there are quite a few things you need to be aware of. The camera doesn’t have any screen, display, or EVF. To use it as a stand-alone digital cinema camera you will need to attach a monitor.
Other features include dual UHS-II SD card slots, USB-C 3.1, HDMI output (up to 4K 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K 60p), 3G-SDI, a 3.5mm in/out jack, WiFi and Bluetooth, and the ability to output desqueezed anamorphic footage over Ethernet, SDI, or USB-C. Panasonic is also releasing a free SDK to let people create camera control tools that work with USB. The body frame is composed of aluminum and magnesium alloy. The camera weighs 545g (19.22 oz) and it has physical dimensions of (W) 93mm x (H) 93mm x (D) 78mm.