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GH5 Mark II

iiiNelson

Well-known member
One thing that needs to happen in Panasonic AF (as long as they stay DFD contrast based only) is to increase sensor readout speed. This obviously happened already with the S5 and will again (hopefully) happen with the GH6, as this one will have a completely new and redesigned sensor.

While testing the Leica SL2 earlier this week it was pretty obvious that the SL2 AFC (face and body) is not as confident and fast as even the Nikon Z7 AF and this is known to be not the best AFC. And the Leica uses that same Panasonic technology. So they need to work on this and it will be interesting to see what their new GH6 will be able to deliver here. It should better be a real big upgrade - hopefully.

But maybe a miracle will happen and they decide to go also PDAF in addition to contrast based like all the others do.

Will be interesting to see if/when that happens.
Sensor readout speed is a mostly fixed parameter. What can happen is that the processor speedcan increase to shorten the data processing pipeline time. The S5 has the same sensor as the S1 and S1H (and Nikon Z6, Sony A7III, Sigma fp, Leica SL2-S etc.) but it had updated AF algorithms that all of the Panasonic cameras have now. I’m not sure how the Leica SL2 compares speed wise but maximum speed and accuracy can be had with single point AF or to just trust that the DFD is working (which it usually does even if it doesn’t appear to be). It’s disconcerting for sure coming from Sony but it’s a matter of trust. Also when you customize, I found that making some of the custom buttons to be near/far focus shift greatly increases accuracy to where it gets somewhat closer to being as reliable as Sony for tracking people or animals for photos in those zones.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Sensor readout speed is a mostly fixed parameter. What can happen is that the processor speedcan increase to shorten the data processing pipeline time. The S5 has the same sensor as the S1 and S1H (and Nikon Z6, Sony A7III, Sigma fp, Leica SL2-S etc.) but it had updated AF algorithms that all of the Panasonic cameras have now. I’m not sure how the Leica SL2 compares speed wise but maximum speed and accuracy can be had with single point AF or to just trust that the DFD is working (which it usually does even if it doesn’t appear to be). It’s disconcerting for sure coming from Sony but it’s a matter of trust. Also when you customize, I found that making some of the custom buttons to be near/far focus shift greatly increases accuracy to where it gets somewhat closer to being as reliable as Sony for tracking people or animals for photos in those zones.
One thing is for sure that the Panasonic and Leica sensors are definitely not made by Sony but rather very likely by Towerjazz. Panasonic (Towerjazz) could definitely improve their new m43 sensor and als readout speed will be improved compared to a FF sensor, simply because m43 sensors are smaller and hence data can get out of the sensor faster compared to a FF sensor that is roughly 4x the are of a m43 sensor.

Whatelse Panasonic tweaked on the S5 sensor, most likely algorithms, this will also be a benefit for the future GH6 m43 sensor. So there is hope that even without PDAF thy will be able to play catchup with Sony AFC-speed wise.

Not 100% sure if the current Nikon sensors (Z6, Z6II, Z7, Z7II) are form Sony, but it seems very likely they are. But even if they are from Sony that does not mean they have the same PDAF structure implemented - actually they don't otherwise also the number of PDAF points would be the same and also there is for sure a big difference in the AF algorithms between Sony and Nikon (hence Nikon is still lagging behind) and also Canon.

No matter what the differences in PDAF are in reality, they get closer and closer with each camera generation and actually they are already pretty negligible for me and my use cases. Remains the hope that Panasonic can catch up with their DFD soon.
 
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Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Some of you may already know about this, but here itis, just for the record:
It's important to understand that the speed of DFD AF relies on much more than sensor readout speed and processing power. Algorithms are important, and sometimes discoveries are made that improve things in a dramatic way. 3 years ago, a youtuber named YodaYeo discovered that AF on the GH5 improved dramatically by reducing the shutter angle slightly, the 179 degree theory. The latest of the videos below suggests that Panasonic took action on this, but it's interesting to see how rather simple, and in this case coincidental discoveries can make a lot of difference, even when the hardware stays the same.

Here's YodaYeo's orginal video about the subject:


Here's his explanation about how and why it works:


Here are Gerald Undone's comments:


Here's Gerald Undone again, this time saying that Panasonic appears to have been looking into the matter, making the 179 degrees shutter angle less of an improvement:

 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
If it is as complicated to get useable AFC speeds out of cameras it is totally impractical for normal usage. Nobody wants to keep all this in mind just to perhaps be able to tweak AF and get decent speeds and accuracy.

So better go back to the drawing boards - at least for GH6 - there is still a chance.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
If it is as complicated to get useable AFC speeds out of cameras it is totally impractical for normal usage. Nobody wants to keep all this in mind just to perhaps be able to tweak AF and get decent speeds and accuracy.

So better go back to the drawing boards - at least for GH6 - there is still a chance.
Most of what was discussed in those videos have already been taken care of by Panasonic with firmware, and in the case of GH5 II hardware, updates. When it comes to tweaking of the AF, that's the same for all cameras when it comes to video, the same way as it was for shooting sports with an SLR camera. There are different settings for different scenarios. It would have been simpler if all cameras were like my OM-1, but they are not. For real simplicity, there's always Leica M ;)
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Still there is hope that the GH6 and S2 will finally improve DFD AF/AFC in both disciplines 1) cease of use and 2) speed and accuracy for whatever body, head, eye, ear, nose, .... AF :cool:
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Still there is hope that the GH6 and S2 will finally improve DFD AF/AFC in both disciplines 1) cease of use and 2) speed and accuracy for whatever body, head, eye, ear, nose, .... AF :cool:
Remember that, in spite of thise weakness, the GH5 has since it was launched been an immensly popular camera among video creators of all catagories. I have used Panasonic cameras since 2009, and although the AF is till not perfect, the cameras are over all so good that I have no plans of changing. I have tried more or less all the alternatives, but for video, Panasonic reigns supreme.

The AF won't become perfect overnight, but with faster processors, better algorithms and also due to faster frame rates becoming more common, it will improve enough to become something most creators don't think about.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
One thing is for sure that the Panasonic and Leica sensors are definitely not made by Sony but rather very likely by Towerjazz. Panasonic (Towerjazz) could definitely improve their new m43 sensor and als readout speed will be improved compared to a FF sensor, simply because m43 sensors are smaller and hence data can get out of the sensor faster compared to a FF sensor that is roughly 4x the are of a m43 sensor.

Whatelse Panasonic tweaked on the S5 sensor, most likely algorithms, this will also be a benefit for the future GH6 m43 sensor. So there is hope that even without PDAF thy will be able to play catchup with Sony AFC-speed wise.

Not 100% sure if the current Nikon sensors (Z6, Z6II, Z7, Z7II) are form Sony, but it seems very likely they are. But even if they are from Sony that does not mean they have the same PDAF structure implemented - actually they don't otherwise also the number of PDAF points would be the same and also there is for sure a big difference in the AF algorithms between Sony and Nikon (hence Nikon is still lagging behind) and also Canon.

No matter what the differences in PDAF are in reality, they get closer and closer with each camera generation and actually they are already pretty negligible for me and my use cases. Remains the hope that Panasonic can catch up with their DFD soon.
Only the sensor in the S1R and Leica SL2/SL come from Tower Seniconductor (what used to be known as TowerJazz. Panasonic has since divested from the sensor market about a year ago.

As for their use of Sony sensors. They absolutely do and have for years since moving to the 16 and now 20 megapixel Micro 4/3 sensors. All of those were Sony sensors. Nikon uses Sony sensors as well. Even the Z7/D850 is a Sony sensor made by what used to be a Toshiba Semiconductor design which is owned by Sony.

…so yeah. Sony and Canon (and to a lesser extent Samsung) are going to be the most major players in the ILC sensor business for the foreseeable future.

As for how the AF modes are implemented. I really don’t think anyone besides Sony has a system that you don’t have to do a lot of tweaking for. Fuji requires a lot. Panasonic has many modes. Canon has a few settings. I don’t remember Nikon off the top of my head but I remember that you had to press a string of buttons to get it to track or use the 3D focus (which may be corrected now as it’s been over a year since I last tried one). With a Sony I can leave it is wide area and it tracks in real time or I can hit eye AF on a rear custom button and it functions like back button AF.

Purely simple AF operation.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
It's rather simple really:
With the quality of the documentary that is the last half of this review, the GH5 II is good enough, at least for my needs. The lens used is the PL 12-60.

 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Thanks for posting that. Just seen the first third so far, but the more I learn about this camera, the more convinced I get that this is what I need for my video work. Being able to shoot 4K/50p 10 bit is a fantastic feature, and gives maximum flexibility when editing. I'm also happy to see that I'm not the only one who has missed out on shots because I thought I was recording. Happens to everyone sooner or later I guess.
 
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